If you’ve heard of the concept ‘Your email list is the most important thing for your business’ then this article is for you.
It’s one of the things that you keep hearing when reading about email marketing strategies, ‘your list’, ‘your list’… and while I agree that your email list is tremendously important, there are some who say email marketing isn’t as effective as it once, the reason being that more and more, people are on their mobiles, texting or messaging via facebook to communicate with each other.
Has email been left behind?
Some would argue that young people text and tweet rather than read their emails, but as we all know, to log on to any social media platform you need an email address. All smartphones come with a built-in email app, and emails are pushed into your inbox daily.
While there’s no question that social media, texting, and other communications platforms are more popular than email, especially if we see how kids today are glued to facebook and twitter, I think the principles of email marketing can still be applied and achieve good results.
So if we’re to believe that email isn’t as popular as it once was, we can still use the strategies below to connect with customers via Google+, Facebook, Twitter.
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Here are some universal email marketing tips that will help you build your subscription list with loyal, enthusiastic customers:
1. Opt-In Forms aren’t the only way to build your list
A well designed opt-in form is one of the best ways to capture contact information, but it’s not the only way.
Take this example, if you already own your own business, you probably already have a loyal customer base.
Incentives: Why not give them an incentive to give you their email address by offering special offers, discounts, or rewards? It’s much harder to get a new customer than it is to hold on to an existing customer. An existing customer is much more valuable in my opinion because they’ve already purchased from you, trust is already in place.
Treat your customers well, serve them and they’ll respond in kind.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get: You can invite your social media contacts to join your list and invite them to recommend you to their social media contacts.
Another option is to promote your list in forums and chat rooms, or post articles or blogs related to your niche subject and include a link back to your opt-in form in the “About the Author” box. If you offer your customers something they find valuable to be a part of your subscription list, then you can grow your list very quickly.
2. Keep Testing, test more, and test again
I’m sure you’ve heard of “A/B testing”, or also known as split testing. This is basically when you create or send out two versions of the same email (or opt-in page for that matter) with one slight variation to see which one converts better. For example, you could send the same email with two different headlines.
Opt-in pages are very closely associated with split testing. The psychology of colours, text, and layout is so delicate and fickle, something may seem perfect to you, but might not be received as well as you’d hoped, where a split test, a slight variation may give much better results due to a minor tweak.
Call to Action: You add another call to action, or you could change the Call to Action slightly and record which one gives you with the best responses.
You need to be clear in what you want from your visitor or subscriber.
From that point on, you can incorporate the successful version in future emails and achieve better results. Use what works, and discard what doesn’t.
3. Market only to those who want your products
This one should seem very self-explanatory. It won’t do you any good to market to people who just aren’t interested in your products. This scenario is frustrating for everyone involved, so it’s imperative that you always have the option to unsubscribe.
Another way to remove the folks who aren’t a good fit is to use a double opt-in. This way you can be sure that only people who really want to be on your list are added, as it entails them to confirm again.
A double opt-in is when you send a second email to somebody who signs up for your list to confirm their subscription. It eliminates people who don’t really want to be on your list (and it also helps avoid spam complaints later, which is not a good thing for you as a marketer).
Ideally, you’d be emailing your list often and build a rapport with them, but you could send an email every few months asking your list to confirm that they’re happy to continue to receive emails from you.
4. Don’t Ignore Social Media
As we mentioned above, social media is a part of our every day lives now. It’s how people communicate and reach out to their friends, albeit, dare I say, an impersonal one, but that’s just me. Social media is here to stay, so don’t get left behind.
Promoting your website on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram increases your chances of connecting with your customers and gets your message out there.
You can run ads or invite people on your subscription list to “Like” your Facebook Fan Page, follow you on Twitter, do so for all the social media platforms. It’s a free way to get noticed, so use it, and use it on a constant basis if possible.
I hoped this has given you a better insight into the strategies of email marketing and how to benefit from it by using all the tools available, instead of focusing only on a single aspect.
Everything is connected!
Using all the tools in conjunction with each other gives you the opportunity to exponentially increase your potential points of contact with your prospective customers.