Wednesday, April 9, 2014

7 Steps to Email Marketing Success

Every so often, email marketing takes a serious hit. Small business owners claim that it’s dead. Marketers proclaim it “old-fashioned” and eagerly jump to the shiniest new marketing platform.
But, here’s the naked and unadulterated truth: email marketing works. More than that, it’s one of the most cost-effective marketing platforms available to the penny-pinching small business owner.
However, like any marketing platform, you need to follow a few simple guidelines for optimal and enduring success.
If you’re interested in creating an email marketing campaign that builds a list of interested subscribers and eventually turns those subscribers into loyal customers, here are a few rules of the email marketing game:

1. Permission is NOT an option.

It’s essential that every single person on your email list has opted-in through a form on your website. Sending unsolicited emails will only hurt your small businesses reputation. In addition, as tempting as it is to purchase that list of “one million leads,” you run the risk of creating an army of angry prospects who never officially asked to be on your email list and will promptly report your emails as spam.  Therefore, build your list through permission, not spam.

2. Offer a valuable “freebie” in exchange for an email address.

When a visitor lands on your website, there needs to be a compelling reason for them to give you their email address. Unfortunately, signing up for your small business newsletter isn’t very compelling. Instead, offer something your prospects would actually pay money to receive. Perhaps a downloadable ebook, video lesson or webinar can effectively persuade your prospect to hand over their personal information.

3. Focus on quality over quantity.

Too many small business owners believe that a large list is the key to success. However, the truth is that a targeted list is the key to success. It’s always better to have 500 prospects who are excited about your products and services than 5,000 prospects who, frankly, couldn’t care less about you and your small business.

4. Deliver value.

As you build your list, it’s essential that every email that you send delivers valuable information to your subscribers. This is the key to building loyal subscribers who look forward to hearing from you. Avoid aggressive sales pitches and pushy behavior – it’s the quickest way to lose valuable prospects.

5. Get visible.

When you take advantage of the vast variety of available marketing platforms, you create more visibility for yourself and your small business. It goes without saying that when a prospect encounters you through social media, seo, press releases, podcasts and videos, they will begin to pay attention. So, get out there and get noticed.

6. Segment your email list.

Take the time to segment your list in order to send customized emails to your leads. If you have prospects who are in the “just looking” phase, send them emails that educate and inform them about your products and services. Once your prospect makes a purchase, send them emails that keep them happy and loyal customers (coupons, special offers, customer appreciation promotions).

7. Send out more emails.

Many small business owners don’t want to overwhelm their list with too many emails. However, emails sent out every day register a bounce rate of only 0.4 %. Whereas, emails sent out only once a month generate a bounce rate of 5.1%   So, don’t be afraid to communicate with your prospects frequently.
Email marketing is a powerful marketing tool that should be utilized to generate leads and convert those leads to happy clients and customers.
Best of all, it’s a cost effective price tag ensures that small business owners on virtually any budget can implement into their overall marketing plan.

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