Is Email Marketing Dead? Or Alive and Thriving?
This is the 3rd part of a 5-part series outlining the 5 essential skills to create a successful business online. They are listed below. And if you miss any of the posts, just click the link to open in a new window:
Today, we talk about # 3. Email Marketing.
If you've created your list building mechanism as we discussed previously and you're beginning to get people pouring into your database, you're probably ready to start making some of that massive coin that people say is hiding in the list.
You've heard the saying, I'm sure. "The money is in the list!"
It's true. The money IS in the list, but there's another saying that's important to remember. "The FORTUNE is in the follow-up."
What exactly does that mean?
That's what we'll uncover today.
There are a lot of ways to follow up with prospects and customers including:
Meet at a live event
Social media groups and newsfeed interactions
Letters and gifts delivered to their doors via snail mail
You get the idea... there are many more ways to follow up with people.
When I was a consultant, I used to deliver donuts or bagels to an office just so I'd have an excuse to start another conversation with a prospect.
But BY FAR, the most efficient and profitable way is email marketing.
Why should you be doing email marketing now and forever?
Every successful online business relies on email marketing because it's the highest return on investment (ROI) of any other marketing source. By far.
Hubspot, the marketing software giant, quotes $42 average ROI returned for every dollar spent on email marketing.
ROI, or return on investment, measures the efficiency and profitability of your marketing efforts.
Using Hubspot's $42 number, email campaigns crush other online marketing method with an average of $42 gained to $1 spent, making their ROI an awe-inspiring 4,200%.
So, is email marketing worthy of your focus?
Here's the ROI formula:
Now, does 4,200 percent ROI mean that you should mortgage the house and spend as much money as possible on your next email campaign? Uh, no...
Honing in on that kind of ROI takes expertise and tools. And that comes with experience. But the only way to get the experience is to follow the rest of these suggestions listed below.
What are the essential tools required to succeed with email marketing?
This is a tough question. The only thing we know for sure is that you need the best Autoresponder to do what you need for your business that you can afford with your business budget.
Your Autoresponder will be your number one email marketing tool. And with hundreds of Autoresponders out there, you'll want to make sure you check all the boxes.
Primary consideration is List based vs. Contact based.
Most people don't even consider this until it's too late. Here's why it's important: In a list-based system, you can have 10 email lists (for example) and one subscriber signs up for all of your email lists. According to the autoresponder system, that one email list on 10 different email list equals 10 subscribers. If you're in a tiered system where your rate changes as you add subscribers, this can become expensive quickly. The same scenario in a contact-based system means that you have one subscriber with 10 different custom tags to represent the different email lists. Both have their uses, but make sure you know which you're signing up for.
Email confirmation and validation.
In some newer systems, you can integrate with a 3rd party email validation service that checks your subscriber's email before adding it into the system to make sure it's real and deliverable. That keeps your subscriber base clean and lean.
Ability to address the subscriber by name automatically. This is important because recent research has shown a 12.6 % increase in conversions when you do that.
Broadcasting is like sending personal individual emails to dozens, hundreds or thousands of people at once. The secret is that you write one email and it goes to everyone.
Many of the bigger Autoresponders do not allow you to import your list and require a double optin confirmation if you do. You can lost a massive chunk of your list this way. Find one that helps you rather than limits.
The bigger your email list the more emails you'll send. And the more you send, the more it will cost you. Watch out for tiered pricing. And know what you're getting into. One major autoresponder company actually includes all your unsubscribes when calculating the size of your list.
If you have multiple websites, or plan to, your autoresponder system can't have limits on the number of campaigns you create.
Unlimited follow-up messages.
This is crazy, but sometimes an Autoresponder system will limit the number of emails in a follow-up sequence that you can create. So, for example, if you have a 5 email limit and want to create a 14-day challenge, you've got trouble right off the bat.
HTML and text emails.
There are reasons for both, but you shouldn't be making the choice for your readers. Most Autoresponders will allow your subscriber to choose how they want to receive email.
Without tracking opens and clicks, you have no idea what's working in your email marketing. Your autoresponder system should be able to give you that information quickly.
Free customer support.
This is important, especially if you're paying for a service. If it's free, I wouldn't expect customer support to be available immediately.
Ever received a PDF via email? Of course. And you'll probably send some too if you want to deliver courses or ebooks. To do that, you system has to allow you to attach files.
RSS feed archiving.
This isn't essential, but useful. It's always nice to be able to send prospects back to a link that contains your emails. After all, it is part of your content.
This is essential. Your system needs to have an automatic spam checking app that will allow you to optimize your email for the best delivery.
There are some bad people in the world. And they will try to take over your system, send fake subscriptions, spam your system, and other nefarious stuff. Most systems now allow you to add them to a blacklist that stops any incoming connection before it gets to you.
That's not a comprehensive list of Autoresponder features to look for, but it's a great start.
Everyone gets so much email today. How do you keep your messages from getting lost in the crowd?
Even though this seems like a pretty vague question, it gets to the heart of the email marketing issue.
Does your prospect or customer WANT to receive your email? If they don't, then you haven't created a relationship with them. There's really two types of email marketers.
- Churn and Burn
- Relationship Builders
Churn and Burn is for the folks who actually want to build a list faster and bigger so they can hit it as hard as possible for as long as possible to get as much money from it as possible...until they're burnt out and dead to your list.
Relationship Builders write tons of valuable content, tell lots of stories, and engage with the readers to get them to respond as much as possible so that if you ever meet, you're already friends because as my ex-father-in-law said, "People like doing business with friends."
The key is making sure that people want to hear from you. That means helping them. They're not reading your emails just to find something to do. They're always looking for ways to improve their lives. If you consistently help them do that, they look forward to your emails.
How often should you mail your list?
More than you do now...
How do I know? I've never met any 'new' email marketers who weren't afraid of pulling the trigger on email broadcasts at first. And you're probably afraid you'll make someone angry.
If you've got something valuable to say, and it applies to the people on your list, they're going to want to hear it.
And it also depends on your market. People in the business opportunities market want to hear when an opportunity is hot. Like now. People in the parenting niche might want to hear from you a couple of times a week.
Let the market dictate this answer.
I hear delivery rates are a real problem today. Is that true?
This is true. Email delivery rates have declined every year for many years. Email opens and clicks have declined as well.
That's why it's especially important to preform list maintenance and segmentation while building relationships to get great delivery. That's assuming you've done all the technical stuff as well to make sure your email is being delivered.
What do you do about unsubscribes?
I used to dread sending an email because I was afraid I'd get an unsubscribe. I took it personally.
Today, I love unsubscribers. I bless them and send them on their way. This is a relationship. If this relationship doesn't work any longer and the subscriber is no longer finding value here, I much prefer they unsubscribe than stay on my list dragging my deliverability rate down.
My old mentor made a lot of money by helping his "loyal unsubscribers" find someone else that suited them better and he'd point the way with an affiliate link.
Remember, it's not personal.
We focus on all of this in our Insiders Club, and we'd love to have you join us.
BTW, Email Marketing accounts for about 80% of our business, so we know of what we speak here. That's why we teach about it regularly in the Insiders Club. as one of the 5 essential skills to create a successful business.
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David Perdew is the CEO and founder of NAMS - the Novice to Advanced Marketing System. He’s a journalist, consultant, and serial entrepreneur who has built one of the most successful and fastest-growing business training systems online today called the MyNAMS Insiders Club.
The Novice to Advanced Marketing System is a step-by-step system focusing on Team, Training and Tools to help novice to advanced business people build a Simple, Scalable and Sustainable business.
He took a year off in 2003 to personally build a 2200 square foot log cabin in north Alabama where he and his wife and two dogs and a cat live on 95 acres of forest with four streams and 60-foot waterfall.
The NAMS team includes his daughter, Jen, who is an email marketing and automation specialist. Jen runs the day to day business and is one of the primary trainers in our MyNAMS Insiders Club.