Some might say that email marketing is a thing of the past, a dinosaur, outdated, old and unworthy of time, effort and money. But the reality is, email marketing is a leader in internet marketing, providing some of the best ROI rates available.
1. Offer incentives to sign-up
You can obtain a free website planning guide by entering your name and email below. The content contains valuable website planning information and asks some of the hard, and often overlooked, questions you need to ask yourself if you plan to start a website.
A free downloadable book is great. It not only shows off the quality of your content, if it is good content customers are more likely to buy other premium content you provide. Using this method you can see a dramatic increase in your conversion rates.
Some of the different types of content you can use as incentives for visitors to sign up to your email list are:
Write up a book about a hot topic in your niche. Don’t just throw something together, take your time, write out something that would be helpful to you if you were a customer. The key here is content (of course). Write something worth while and offer it for free. This will help label you as an industry leader, and that kind of title garners respect and loyal viewership.
Service Templates / Automated Quote Systems
You might want to try creating a service template or automated quoting system of some sort for your niche. Every company needs some automation, and creating templates can garnish a lot of repeat traffic. Service companies can use this type of content to entice users into entering work details into online forms that are easily printable, enabling a potential client to get professional quotes/service templates of their work details. These types of forms also help you gain relevant, usable information into there business needs as well.
Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” marketing messages. – Epsilon Email Institute
Email Gated Content
If you have good content, and you can show your visitor your content is good you can set up a system within your website that is only accessible after signing up. This doesn’t necessarily mean a visitor will have to pay to view the content, but they will have to submit their email address to view the content. You can use this method very effectively if you are viewed as an industry leader. Great content can also serve as a subscription service. So again, good content is key!
Facebook or Other Contests
Users tend to be more responsive when they feel they may get something in return for free. This is why using contests are a good incentive for visitors. Facebook has an easy platform to do this on.
2. Make your current content shareable
Adding like buttons, and share buttons to your content is a good email marketing strategy. Here are some tips that can help you get your content shared.
“Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media, with a 17% higher value in the conversion.”
“Email is nearly 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter at acquiring customers.”
Add a share link: Share links that are easily viewable, without scrolling, in your email, preferably in your header can entice your users to share your email. It’s important to make it easy for your viewer to share your message, and remind them to do so. A lot of times people don’t even think about sharing emails, so reminding them does help. In addition, you will want to make sure you have a subscribe button on every email you send out. *Quick Tip: You can put this subscribe link in your email signature so that every email that goes out has this link included automatically.
That brings us to social media: Again, ask people to share your messages. Facebook and Twitter make sharing posts easily, and if you are posting good, quality posts that catch people’s attention they will share it. If you are asking and people aren’t sharing your really need to take a good, long look at your content. I guarantee your content probably needs some spicing up because people love to share knowledge, and it’s your job to give them shareable knowledge.
Write headlines that grab your attention: I’ve written an entire article on this subject, that’s how important this step is. (You can view the article from the above link.) Headlines are what captures a users attention. A poor headline will get looked over time and time again. A poor heading could cost your thousands of dollars in lost revenues too! Take the time to learn about best practices for enticing readers to open your links. Take the time to research your market and competition and find what every seems to be working in your niche. Look up similar ads in Google and try to mimic them to some degree. To learn more about headline, check out the post linked above, it will really help you refine your headlines to capture users attention.
3. Host an Online Webinar
People like live content from industry leaders on topics that are interesting and helpful to their own personal interests. So host a webinar, it doesn’t have to be a huge process, start with a 30 minute presentation about your business, and outline some case studies or industry best practices. Provide information of interest to your niche and let viewers ask questions. It’s also a good idea to have these webinars recorded and uploaded to your website as a free download (with email entry, of course). To learn more about planning your own webinar, check out this article from MarketingShera.com. It details a lot of information to help plan, and refine your webinar, including tips, content ideas, title and marketing ideas, audience refinement and much more. It’s a bit long, but if you are interested in doing an online webinar, it’s worth the read.
*Bonus Tip: Optimize for Mobile Viewing
About 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. – Campaign Monitor
With more and more people moving to mobile platforms (iPhones, iPads, Kindles, Tablets, etc) you really need to make sure your content is mobile friendly. And with this being said, you really need to check to make sure your email sign-up forms are still easily usable for mobile users. Leave the long sign-up forms alone and go with easy sign-up forms, containing only fields for a Name and Email address.
I want to give you one big tip on what not to do when trying to obtain an effective email list….
Do not buy an email list
This is probably the easiest method available, and their are tons of email list companies just hoping you want to go the easy route. And while I say this route is easy, I will not say this is an effective route. The problem with paid email lists is that you are effectively cold-emailing a ton of people you have absolutely no information about. This actually could work well in location specific service companies, such as landscapers, heating/ac, plumbers, etc. But it really never did me any favors, and yes, I did test out this method in my earlier days. The email list I purchased was of poor quality, and while cheap (I only paid $100 for 30,000 contacts), I found the contacts to be out of date, the companies to not reflect my target audience, and a lot of bounce backs. Nonetheless, if you do want to try this method, my best advice would be to research your target market thoroughly first. Refining your list criteria before you buy you can greatly cut down on your costs, as well as your time in refining the list yourself.
I believe after mulling down the list I bought I ended up with a little under 1,000 loosely usable names. This may sound like a decent deal ($100 for 1,000 potentials), but it really did take a lot of work to pull these potential customers off this extremely large list. The other methods I outlined above can return much better results.
With so much to gain from email marketing, their is no reason not start building your email list today. Should you need help figuring out which methods are best for your company, or need help planning out an email marketing strategy please call RG Web Solutions. We can help get you pointed in the right direction to increased sales and better visibility for your company and brand.