Table of Contents
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What is email marketing?
Is email marketing still effective?
Is email marketing dead?
How can email marketing help my business?
A simple answer is yes. Email marketing is still going strong and is probably the most effective marketing strategy there is. Reports also indicate that email marketing is ranked as the most effective marketing channel, beating social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is more than just sending or rather blasting a series of emails to random email addresses. Many a time, businesses purchases email databases from vendors and send mass email campaigns. And then complain of a low open rate of less than 10% (percentage of emails opened).
And you really shouldn’t be surprised. On the contrary, you should be happy with a 10% open rate. What is the probability of you opening a randing email, let alone clicking on the links inside that email? And that again is if this email landed in your primary email folder. For all you know, it could have landed in your SPAM or promotion folder.
The below image, is a screenshot of my email open rates.
Sadly, a lot of marketers, and even yours sincerely at one point in time, did follow the same process mentioned above. Until I really saw the power of email marketing and how it actually works.
Email marketing is a complete process by itself. From luring the audience or the customer into sharing their email address, to them confirming their email address, sending a welcome email, and nurturing this audience continuously. And by continuously, I do not mean daily. But at regular intervals in order to stay connected with your tribe.
Simply put, email marketing is the process of sending content to a list of subscribers via email. No rocket science here. The content that you send on a regular basis, helps generate traffic, leads, and over the course of time, even product signups and purchases
The key to email marketing is to send valuable content to recipients who have opted in rather than to a list that’s bought.
Is email marketing still effective?
The most popular daily online activity for adult users is to send or read emails. After which is searching online, going to social media, checking news sites, etc.
Reports also indicate that email marketing is ranked as the most effective marketing channel, beating social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing.
And why does email marketing still rule? I guess it is more personal.
If you were to subscribe to a newsletter or a website, it is because you found value in their offering and in their content. And hence you signed up to it in the first place. And from then on, well at least until the newsletter or content offers value, you look forward for the emails hitting your inbox. The day you feel there’s no value and all it does is remain as unread emails in your inbox, you finally unsubscribe to it.
While I know I have mentioned this already and chances are that I will repeat this a million more times in this article, the key, my friend, is offering value to your audience. And this helps in the long run.
Hence to answer the question ‘Is Email Marketing Dead?’. A big NO, and in fact, far from it!
The Importance of Email Marketing
The data above clearly indicates that email marketing is ranked as the most effective marketing channel, beating social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing. Hence, it is more than safe to assume that email is the best marketing strategy.
And while there may be multiple reasons to back this statement, I would like to highlight 3 main reasons why email marketing is important and probably the best marketing strategy.
1. You own the list
Unlike the social media or online groups and forums, the list you have built is owned by you. Let’s say you had your links on various social media platforms. And one fine day, these platforms decide not to allow such links. Or for all you know, they decide to shut shop. What next?
Unlike these platforms, the email list you have built is entirely yours. And irrespective of whether any platform stays or vanishes, you continue to be in touch with your audience.
2. Build long term relationships
Unlike sending emails (rather spamming) or contacting random customers (similar to cold calling), the list you have built is one that you have built a long term relationship with. You have provided value and nurtured these clients over the course of time. And in the process, you have earned the trust of these clients. It is imperative that you continue to build trust. And offer a product if you genuinely feel it will help your audience. Do not get lured by the fancy commissions or the paycheck you earn. You may earn a fat paycheck, but you would have lost the trust and the audience for a lifetime.
3. Better conversion rate
A spill off of the previous point of building long term relationships is a better conversion rate. Again, the key is the Audience first. By providing value, you have earned their trust. And if you offer a product that is of value to your audience, you will notice there will be a far higher conversion rate, than sending emails to a random list. Hence, do not be disappointed if you see an open rate of less than 10% if you mail random clients.
How to build an email list?
One method I can immediately say is, do not buy a database. There’s no point in spending money buying databases. I’ve gone down that path and can tell you, it doesn’t work! You rather invest the same money in running paid ads on social media or Google and capture email addresses.
Building relationships with clients takes time. And above all, building an email list takes time. But, even if you end up with a list of 100 clients who open your emails, that’s a great start.
1. Lead Magnet
A lot of websites include a ‘subscribe to newsletter’ form somewhere on their page. This really doesn’t work that well. You could, however, change that to ‘Download a FREE Checklist on ___’, pertaining to your niche and industry. And you will notice the increase in subscriptions.
One very common, yet effective way to capture email address is by providing a lead magnet.
Some common lead magnets are
- Online Courses
- Audio Book
- White papers
- Case studies
- A webinar
- Free trials or samples
- A free consultation
Well, there are a LOT of options!
While the end goal is to collect the email address, it really shouldn’t be a below-par lead magnet. Your lead magnet is the first step towards you earning the trust of your audience. The lead magnet has to add value too.
What Makes a Good Lead Magnet?
Remember. Your audience will give you their email address only if your lead magnet is really good. Here are 4 pointers that you must consider while creating your lead magnet.
a) Solves a problem
Your lead magnet has to genuinely solve a problem.
b) Offers high value
As mentioned, your lead magnet is the first step towards building trust with your audience. It’s your first step towards building an impression. Make it a great one!
c) Easy to digest
Yes, you have to offer value and create an impression. But, do not end up creating a huge lead magnet. For e.g., if it’s an online course, offer the first two episodes free of cost. And these could be a 5-minute teaser. Or if it’s an ebook, do not end up creating a 100 pages ebook. A short and precise ebook will clear and actionable steps will be ideal.
d) Available immediately
The lead magnet has to be available immediately. If the customer is keying in their email address, the lead magnet should be either downloaded right away or sent via an email immediately.
Here are some examples of lead magnets
2. Follow the 80/20 rule
Another key aspect of building an email list is to follow, what is referred to as, the 80/20 rule. 80% value, 20% promotion (preferably, soft promotion).
Offer content, to begin with. And by content, I mean, blog articles, videos, images, infographics, podcasts, etc. By providing free content, you are, slowly but steadily, building yourself as an authority in your space.
In a world where there are a number of individuals out there to carve out a niche for themselves, it is important for you to build your own tribe. Your followers. And while it does take time, focus, and consistency on your part, the benefits of this are exponential.
Even while following this rule, do not end up being a hard-on-the-face salesperson. Have a soft sales pitch. Remember, this is your tribe and let’s not spoil relationships over a single sale offer. Continue building trust and offer value.
3. Build Trust & Nurture Relationships
All the steps mentioned here go hand in hand.
As you keep offering value and building your tribe, you earn the trust of your tribe and become an authority in your niche. Your audience is key. Do not promote a product or service, just because of the fat paycheck or the commission that you may receive.
If a product or service genuinely solves the problem of your tribe, by all means, offer it. If it is your own product, e.g., an ebook or an online course, or a software, clearly mention the benefits and features. More so the benefits and how it will help the customers.
If it’s an affiliate product, ensure you review it first. And then give you honest feedback.
This way, you build trust with your audience.
How Does Email Marketing Work?
In order to have your email marketing system work seamlessly, the following 4 steps have to work in tandem. Your email marketing system has to be on autopilot. It has to be working round the clock, 24/7, 365 days a year. It has to work irrespective of whether you are sleeping or on vacation.
Step 1: Increase Traffic
The first step is to increase your website traffic.
Create content, such as blogs, images, podcasts, videos, etc., on a regular basis. Make use of all your various platforms to drive traffic to your website. Work on SEO to build your organic traffic.
Step 2: Lead Magnet
Offer a lead magnet as explained above. Collect and build your email list.
Step 3: Segment your list
In your emailing software, create segments and tags. For e.g., if you have a landing page created for a lead magnet for ‘The Best Keto Diets to Reduce Weight’, you would ideally tag the audience under the ‘weight loss’ category. Let’s say you have another lead magnet (free guide) for ‘Yoga for Beginners’. This could be in another tag or category called ‘yoga’.
By creating clear segments and categories, what you are doing is clearly identifying the audience. And let’s say in future, you want to send a mail to all yoga enthusiasts. In such a scenario, you needn’t send it to the ‘weight loss’ categories. And vice versa.
This is to ensure your mails are targeted to the right audience.
Step 4: Automated mails
- you have regular traffic coming on to your website
- your lead magnet is capturing the email address
- your mailing software is segmenting your audience according to your pre-defined categories
Next, you start off a drip email marketing campaign.
As soon as the audience signs up to your lead magnet, a confirmation email is sent. On confirming, a welcome email is sent. This will have, most importantly, the lead magnet, either as an attachment or a downloadable link. You could also, in short, describe your business, service, or product. And include your social media and website links.
Over the next few days (you can decide on the frequency), you could send regular emails with valuable content to help the subscriber.
And all this happens on autopilot.
And that is the biggest advantage of autoresponders and email marketing software. Once the systems, automation, and sequences are all set, it works on autopilot.
Best Email Marketing Tool
I have been using a number of email marketing tools since 2004. You name the tool, and I have used it. And hence, after using most of the tools in the market, I highly recommend ConvertKit and GetResponse.
And between the two, I currently use ConvertKit.
The ConvertKit Free plan is the best way to start your creative project today.
You don’t need a website. You don’t need social media. You don’t need to invest a lot of time and money right now. All you need to do is put your idea on a landing page.
With a free ConvertKit account, you can build unlimited landing pages to start growing an audience for your new project. Choose from 30 different templates, add your content, personalize the design, and hit Save.
Here’s a short video showcasing how to create a free landing page inside of ConvertKit:
A landing page is the first step in getting feedback from people you trust. Does your idea have traction? Are people excited to learn more? That’s the first step.
Along with the ability to create as many landing pages as you want, the Free plan also gets you access to the ConvertKit Community – an online gathering of creators from all over the world working toward their goals and dreams, just like you.
There are member-lead groups within the community, specific to different industry niches that allow for further connection, space for questions and discussions, and brainstorming.
As a new creator, having this community could be the foundation of any successful business. You need people in the trenches of creative life with you.
I hope you found value in this article.
Please do share your views and feedback in the comments section below. It will only help me improve and in turn, help me in bringing out quality content for you.