If you’re wondering how email marketing can boost your business, you’re not alone. A lot of times, I have had people ask me the same question because they really don’t understand the concept of sending emails and getting leads, prospects and eventually customers just from mails.
I will love to start with the concept called email marketing. Email marketing works by sending emails to acquire leads and convince existing customers to make additional purchase.
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The foundation behind email marketing is that you as a business owner will build a client, customers, prospects and subscribers list who want to hear from you.
According to Neil Patel, “What’s more important is that email is the most efficient way to reach audiences across multiple marketing channels—especially paid channel advertising.”
Today, over 205 billion emails are sent and received every day according to technology research firm, Radicati.
How to build your email list
Create sign up forms on your website for your new customers, and then you move a step further by creating an email content which you will send to your new subscribers, with this you can collect your new subscribers and automate your emails to deliver to your various prospects.
The good thing about email marketing is it lets you send information to a wide range of existing and potential customers at a much lower cost than the regular printing of newsletters and other adverts.
Also, when sending emails, you should be careful with sending unsolicited emails to those who have not opted in to subscribe because it is not in accordance to best practice but in most countries like the US, laws have been put in place to punish such offenders but here in Nigeria, laws have not been made to that effect.
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Due to the large amount of spam email, it is getting harder to get legitimate commercial email delivered into people’s inbox. Specialty software and service firms have emerged to help business manage their email programs and ensure that their emails are not blocked as spam.
Also, there are specially created mailing software’s to make emailing easy and less stressful. Just imagine you have about one thousand people on your list, how do you send individual mails to those people? It might take you the whole day or more to get that job done.
Therefore, emailing has been made stress free with the likes of mailchimp which happens to be what I use to send mails to my audience, Aweber, Campaign monitor, Constant contact, and Active campaign etcetera.
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This saves you all the time because you already have the emails of your subscribers registered on your preferred software, once you have something to send, you log in and send. You also have the opportunity to customize your preferred template for your emails.
Nothing is as good as having your work automated, easy and fast. There are free versions (Mailchimp is popular for this reason) or free trials to let you get a taste of the kind of value to expect from different platforms.
The most popular form of email marketing is the email newsletter while the permission-based email marketing includes special email promotions, daily deals emails, solo blasts, advertising, follow up sequences and auto responder, email courses, and more.
You then market to your leads and customers by regularly emailing them to stay top of their minds and make more sales. If you try sending emails to people without their permission, your emails go to spam, which is bad business for you.
The popularity of email marketing is because it is rather easy, quick to get started, effective, and inexpensive way to find and keep new customers.
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It is also used to enhance the relationship of a business with its customers and prospects and encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.
It is an essential tool in growing your business in the fast paced world of internet business because it offers open, conversational, and interactive communications. When done the right way, it can also generate profit.
Although it takes time and effort to grow and maintain mailing list but once it is gotten, it can end up being the most powerful tool in your internet marketing cache.
One of the most compelling reasons to use email marketing is its return on investment (ROI). According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing brings in about $40 for every $1 you spend.
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You shouldn’t be worried about what if your mail doesn’t get read by your customers due to how a lot of people complain about their inboxes being overcrowded by mails.
One thing is that email newsletters that deliver real value still get read, saved, shared, and clicked. Plus, email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your audience, increase brand exposure, continue to deliver value, and foster your authority status.
While you are impressed with how much value you can gain from email marketing especially with the monetary statistics, I know you will want to learn how you too can attract customers using email marketing.
This post will provide you with more information to enable you make informed decisions when it comes to email marketing.
Send valuable content while using email marketing
Content is king and will always be king on the internet. Am sure you know you can’t send empty mails to your leads, prospects, and customers.
So, what do you send to them?
The thing about sending emails is, there is always something you need to send down and it has to be value packed before sending it down to your customers.
You really can’t wake up one morning and decide to send messages to your customers that won’t add value to them. It is important that for every email you are sending to subscribes, be it leads or customers, it must add value to them.
This means, you have to device a means stuff your email with information’s that will cause your customer to take a purchase decision.
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In most cases, businesses send emails containing a promo or special offer to their customers. For bloggers and content marketers, they send emails containing their blog post and links to enable their audience access the information.
Many times, potential customers or leads may not be ready to make a purchase, but they will have an interest in information that you can provide that is relevant to their lives and related to your field of expertise.
For example, if you sell household appliances, potential customers may not have an immediate need or comfort level purchasing a light bulb from you.
However, those potential customers or leads may have a significant interest in valuable content that is related to house wares.
A common technique for using email marketing to convert prospects or leads into active or paying customers is to offer a free newsletter or auto responder series that provides valuable information along with promotion of your product in the body of the newsletter or auto responders.
Image Courtesy: johnhaydon (Example of a Newsletter)
To get potential customers or leads to sign up for this email product, you can offer a sign-up directly on your website pay for advertising on AdWords or other online media sites in order to directly solicit potential customers or leads to sign-up for your email list, or purchase or rent an email list.
Again, if you choose to purchase or rent an email list, please be diligent about ensuring the source of your list is legitimate.
If you develop your lead or prospective customer list by including a sign-up on your website (or by collecting emails at a physical place of business), then there is no cost associated with the emails you collected and any customers that you convert to active customers will be pure profit.
However, if you build your email list by buying advertising or by renting or buying email names, then you’ll need to figure out how much you can afford to spend per email sign-up to break even on your conversions.
For now, just be aware that offering free information to users via an email product in order to build a relationship that will hopefully translate into sales can come with costs involved.
The key to successfully using an information-based newsletter or auto responder series to convert customers involves two elements:
• The information you provide must be useful, engaging and valuable to your subscribers
• You must integrate product promotions into your emails in a way that will convert without being obtrusive to the subscribers
The first point is, in fact, the more important point. The only way to convert leads or potential customers to active customer via an information-based email program is to ensure that subscribers continue to open your email and then begin to feel a relationship between themselves and your company or brand.
If you do not provide valuable and engaging content, your subscribers will stop opening and reading your email long before they convert to paying or active customers.
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The bottom line is, if you aren’t providing emails that people actually want to read, you might as well stop wasting your time.
Of course the main purpose of your email campaign is to convert your leads, but you also need to remember that no one wants to open emails that are nothing but self-promotion.
This may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many people send nothing but promotional content. Your clients want something that benefits them, which they can’t get anywhere else and that is free.
Create a powerful call to action
According to Jeff Bullas, “Any action in an email is measured by the click on your CTA (call to action). That’s why click rate (along with the conversion rate) is the ultimate metric in email marketing.”
Your website needs to have a strong call to action to compel people to subscribe to your email list and give up their precious information.
This is the time when you should be telling them exactly what the value is for them to subscribe. If your prospective client feels that your information could benefit them, they will be more willing to commit.
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This is the time to be very direct. Explain the value and instruct them to exactly what to fill out so they don’t miss out. Giving them clear direction on what they should be doing next eliminates any confusion and puts you in control. Call to action makes decision making much easier for your leads.
Nothing speaks free like promotional offers
Just as common as converting customers through extended information email programs is the idea of converting leads or potential customers into active customers through emailing them a “can’t resist” offer.
You may email this offer to subscribers who have signed up for your informational email but haven’t converted to customers yet, or you may email it to a rented or purchased list. When emailing a “can’t resist” offer, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The great idea of converting potential customer and leads into responsive customer can be achieved through emailing them a “can’t resist” offer. When this is done, you have presented to them offer will likely get when they order for the information they have subscribed for.
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While great offers are often one of the most effective ways to convert leads or potential customers to active or paying clients, you can over do it.
Once you become the email sender who has an offer in subscribers’ inboxes every day or every other day, you will see a spike in subscribers marking you as spam or unsubscribing from your email list.
This can not only be damaging to the future of your email program, it can also be damaging to your overall business reputation. Limit the number of times that you send offers via email and pay close attention to your email metrics when you do!
Terms and conditions
For every offer you present to your subscribers you have to include terms and conditions apply. Make sure your leads and potential customer can abide with your terms and conditions for your offer.
An awesome offer can be rejected by your list, if you miss a step in the process of making customers abide to terms and conditions.
Most importantly, surely any offer you present will have terms and conditions applied to it. After all, you don’t want potential customers to be able to buy ten products all at an eighty percent discount off!
Make sure that the terms and conditions of the offer are easy for your leads and potential customers to find so that you don’t experience a bad customer service backlash later.
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Presenting leads and potential customers with great offers via email can often result in fantastic conversions to active or purchasing customers. However, the process isn’t as simple as just sending an email with a strong offer in it.
Be sure to put thought and research into developing your offer, the metrics you’ll use to judge its success, and the creative for your email. A great offer can go badly if you miss a step in the process!
Personalize your email marketing
Everybody responds better when you call them by their name! If possible, capture a subscriber’s first name or user name when they sign up for your email list and use an auto fill feature, to present the user’s name or user name in the subject line, the welcome line of the email body, or both.
People respond well when you call them by their name when creating a newsletter campaign, you can only achieve this if you can include first name on your sign up page.
By personalizing your subscriber name you build trust and relationship. They will trust your brand or service more. It is very important to always personalize their names.
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Because with a customer conversion email you are trying to instill trust and confidence and build a relationship that will lead to purchases, consider sending the email from a “personal” source.
A special offer sent from the president of your company carries more weight than just a generic offer in an email, especially given how many offers many of us receive in our email each day.
Provide Company Contact Information
Leads or potential customers aren’t tied to your product or brand yet, so you want to make it easy for them to contact you with questions as well as to know that you are a legitimate business.
Make sure that your company contact information is easy to find and clear in your email. And, of course, because you want to be CAN-SPAM compliant, make sure that your physical mailing address or business location is included.
Segment Your List When Possible
In many cases, you won’t have much information to work with when dealing with a lead or potential customer email list. After all, because you want to make it easy for people to give you an email address, you don’t want to ask for too much information when you request the email address.
However, if you are able to get any type of information from your leads or potential users when they sign up for your email, such as gender or geographic location, try to segment your lists before you send the email to put the most targeted information possible in front of people.
If you k now, for example, what the gender of your subscribers is, then you can use language and graphics that will appeal specifically to each gender.
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Converting and acquiring customers is challenging, but email marketing provides a low-cost, high volume marketing channel to convert leads and potential customers into active customers.
Over time, you will learn which types of information and which types of offers convert the best. The flexibility of an email marketing platform will allow you to easily change your campaigns to support those discoveries.
You may find that customer conversion email operates with one of the lower conversion rates of any of the types of emails that you use at various points in your customer’s life cycle.
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However, you will certainly find that, compared to other forms of customer acquisition, email marketing performs with a high return-on-investment and significantly higher conversion rate than many other forms due to its ability to speak directly to customers in a personalized and segmented way as well as its ability to react to specific market conditions.
If your business acquires new customers by generating leads and having salespeople do quotes and close them, then it’s an unfortunate fact of life that 50% of those leads aren’t going to be ready to purchase upfront.
However, by setting up an automated series of emails that educate leads on the significance of their problem and why your business is best positioned to solve it, then you might have a shot at converting some of those leads into customers over time.
So set up integration between your email marketing software and your CRM or website today and start sending this automated email series to that will grow your business.
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