As someone with limited resources, can e-mail marketing help you? There is an ongoing debate that e-mail marketing is dead, but there are still opportunities for reaching your customers through e-mail. Let’s review the basics of e-mail marketing.
Is E-mail Marketing For You?
Most online entities such as businesses, organizations, educational institutions, and even clubs, can benefit from email marketing. Unfortunately, emails in general have a general downturn in effectiveness due to spammers. It never fails, no matter how good your spam filter- one sneaks in. Once one makes it in, your inbox floods with unwanted junk. You change your email address and suffer the consequences of not keeping a detailed list to update. Even then, your mom emails the old email and calls you later lecturing you for not returning her email.
Still, several internet sources report general click-through rates around 20%. If you do not currently use e-mail marketing, could you use an increase of 20% views from an email list? (In case you are not sure- the answer is YES!). An increase to traffic with minimal effort is always good. So, how do you collect, store, and manage emails with minimal effort?
The Secret is in the List
E-mail marketing focuses on sending emails to people already interested in your product/service/information. This usually means they have already visited your site and signed up to join your email list. In order for them to sign up, you need to have a way to capture and then store the emails. Let’s explore these separately.
Capture emails: This is where you get the customer to give you their email. It is not really easy, unless you have something to offer that people do not want to miss out on. Most people are increasingly cautious about providing their email. To encourage your website visitors to sign up, you need to make it very easy and give them something in return. For example, if you sell items, offer your potential customer 25% off their first purchase by signing up to your email.
Storing emails: Once you capture the email, you need to store the email. There are guidelines and laws that cover the requirements, but ultimately you want to protect your customer’s information. If you store it on your computer and end up with some sort of infection on your computer that steals the information- you better hope your customers do not find out. Keep in mind, if your customer ends up getting tons of spam (your fault or not), they change their email and you lose the chance to reach them again.
Making E-Mail Marketing Easy
While both capturing and storing e-mail addresses sounds easy, there are challenges. The main challenge with capturing email is automation. When someone signs up to your list, they need to be able to enter information easily. To do this, you need an easy to use form. A “contact us” page can work, but still requires the customer to do more work than some will do. Did you see the pop-up when you first came to this website? I use a pop-up program with significant versatility. To learn more about that pop-up, click here.
If you see the bar at the top of the website, this is a FREE Plug-in available through the WordPress plug-in site. If you use WordPress (which I highly recommend for a website), you can easily add some sort of bar to your site for free. Making it easier for the customer to find how to sign up and then easy to provide their information is critical.
Resources for E-Mail Marketing
Landing pages exist to actually capture the email. Your “contact us” page can act as a landing page. Better is a page dedicated to enticing that sign up. You can purchase a plug-in for WordPress, but I have mixed feelings with purchasing something that could be part of your email software program that stores and automates everything for you. If you have technical knowledge, you can probably find something to add to your site for relatively inexpensive. If you are like me, and are less tech savvy, you might like Sendlane. The great thing about Sendlane is that you pay a low monthly fee for the email software program, and the landing page resource is included in the cost. I have a review on Sendlane coming soon!
No matter how you capture emails, you need to store the emails and manage the lists. If you have multiple websites or offer different categories of products, this gets complicated trying to manage the emails manually. There are many different programs available on the market, but I highly recommend you try Sendlane for free and see if it meets your needs. Most legitimate companies utilize some sort of software program to assist with email marketing. Unfortunately, most of the programs on the market are limited. If they offer additional resources (like landing pages), they usually charge more. Not Sendlane! The prices are some of the lowest available, with some of the best benefits. Check it out, sign up for a free trial, and see how you like it.
Final Thoughts on E-Mail Marketing
The jury is out on the number of times someone needs to see an ad before they make a purchase. Regardless, e-mail marketing is a way to get the information in front of interested people AGAIN. If someone takes the time to sign up to your email list, they WANT your information. If you are new to email marketing, check out Build My List. It was created more for affiliate marketers, but the concepts apply to all e-mail marketing. No matter what options you choose to support your e-mail marketing efforts, you need to start creating that list as soon as possible!
-Kim on E-mail marketing
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