These days, many small business owners overlook email marketing because they associate it with those spammy ads that constantly sneak into their inboxes.
But in all fairness, that’s a far cry from what most consider email marketing.
Building and marketing to an email list is one of the single most effective ways that you can both stay in touch with, and nurture your leads.
In fact, using some light email automation, you’ll be amazed by how quickly you can turn email into a legitimate (and often game-changing) sales channel.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The Benefits of Email Marketing
Let’s outline a few key things that a proper email marketing strategy can accomplish for your business.
Highly Cost-Effective Sales Channel
It can be pretty expensive to hire full-time salesmen. You may not even have the time to effectively manage them.
Email marketing requires a decent amount of setup. That’s true. But once the lead nurturing series are in place, they require little to no maintenance.
Better Conversion Rates
It will probably come as no surprise that leads whom you’ve been emailing regularly, are far more likely to convert.
If you’ve been providing value to someone, especially free of charge, you’ll often earn a sense of loyalty from them.
That turns into sales.
Affordably Test New Audiences
It can be quite expensive to reach new audiences.
Whether it’s money going into PPC, or time going into networking events, the end result is the same… a sizeable investment in an unproven market.
Capturing some leads and trying out a few email campaigns is a relatively cheap alternative that can quickly test whether your solution will get legs or not.
How to Get Started With Email Marketing
Ok, so let’s just assume you’re sold on email marketing. That’s great.
Now you need to know where to devote your efforts.
How do you get leads? What do you send them? How can you turn an email list into a bunch of sales?
I’d recommend starting with the basics.
Get Some Subscribers
There’s honestly enough material to cover here for an entire article or two.
But for brevity’s sake, here are a few tried-and-true tactics that will likely grow your list in no time.
Ask Readers to Subscribe: One of the easiest ways to capture some emails, is also one of the most obvious. Simply ask readers to sign up to your mailing list! Try including a signup form on your homepage, on your blog, or even at the end of your articles.
Lead Magnets: These can be short and sweet. All you need to do is gate some kind of useful content behind a “subscribe” button.
It’s an even exchange. A working email address in return for some free and useful content!
Exit-Intent Popups: Offer some form of incentive (a coupon, or free trial) if someone is about to leave one of your sales pages. Services like OptinMonster and Convert Pro can help here, and they both have WordPress plugins.
A/B Test your Landing Pages: I really can’t stress how important it is to always be testing. Constantly try changing the offers you give, the copywriting on your landing pages, and more.
This will help you fine-tune your conversion process and ultimately get more subscribers and sales. But keep in mind that it will often take a long time and a lot of traffic to produce meaningful results.
If you’re a numbers geek, try using a statistical relevance calculator to ascertain if your sample size is large enough to attribute cause and effect.
Send a Thank You Email
After a purchase, subscription, or registration, be sure to send a thank you email. This is an extremely easy way to build rapport with your new lead.
Be personable, make sure that the copywriting is short and sweet, and try to drive some further action.
Maybe that’s an initial sign in. Maybe it’s to download an additional resource. But whatever it is, open-rates on this kind of email are very high, so take advantage of the opportunity.
Schedule Monthly Newsletters
Many times, business owners will want to create a weekly newsletter. But I’d recommend starting with monthly.
It’s easier to stay on schedule with a monthly commitment, and you also don’t want to outstay your welcome in a person’s inbox.
Make these newsletters fun, engaging and concise. Give readers the option to “read more” on your website, offer them some sort of incentive on a cross-sell, and generally make yourself useful to the reader!
Tip: Write out a handful of newsletters when you’re starting, and try to stay 6-12 weeks ahead of schedule. Just make sure that you revisit each newsletter before sending, so you’ll have a chance to add/update as needed.
Build Lead Nurturing Campaigns
Once you have an email address, it’s time to employ some automation to send “campaigns” consisting of 5-7 emails each.
Creating a campaign can be simple, or as complicated as you want it to be. You could send the same campaign to all of your leads/subscribers.
Or, you could segment your audience based upon what pages they’ve visited on your site, and how they’ve engaged with earlier emails.
The more granular you get, the higher the likelihood is that you’ll be able to provide timely and relevant value to recipients. So keep that in mind.
In short, your goal with a lead nurturing series is to turn a lead into a sale. Build loyalty by making yourself useful, showcase the value of your service or product, and offer incentives with clearly demarcated CTAs.
Where to Go from Here
The sky is honestly the limit with email marketing campaigns. In short, you’ll get out what you put in.
Just start with the basics, and remember the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid.
Your emails should be
- Short and sweet
- Mobile responsive
- Contain strong headlines
- Have a clear call-to-action
After you’ve got some experience under your belt and cataloged your learnings, be sure to revisit this list. Touch up on anything you missed, and then explore additional resources to get inspired!
It’s also worth noting that we provide a comprehensive online marketing service that includes email marketing, content creation, and more.