The Money is in the List
Have you heard that before? If you haven’t, the ‘list’ is your mailing list.
I’m going to spend the next few posts talking about email marketing: what it is, how you get started and what to do when you finally have a growing list.
Email Marketing is Alive and Well
First of all, let me lay a rumour to rest. If you’re studying up on email marketing, you will undoubtedly run across articles that say email marketing is dead.
Pay no attention. If nothing else, the growing number of email companies, called autoresponders, is testimony to the importance of email marketing.
The fact is, your list and your online income are closely connected. If you are creating products or hiring people to create them for you, you won’t sell many of them if you don’t have a list.
Conversely, if you have a huge list but only a tiny percentage buys from you, you probably are not speaking to the needs of your list.
So what could have gone wrong? Why do some people have a large list of responsive buyers while your list languishes? Not only are people not buying, but they also aren’t even opening your emails.
Pssst! I’ll Let You In on a Secret
I make no bones about the fact that as a retired music teacher, I have had to fight tooth and toenail to acquire each little bit of internet marketing information that has taken up residence in my brain.
I’ve made many mistakes along the way, and email marketing is no exception.
With that, I’ll tell you some of the mistakes to avoid so that if you are just getting started with email marketing so you can get off to a better start than I did.
Email Marketing Tips that Improve your Open Rate.
1. Look Before You Leap
Before you start creating products, do your research. Just because you enjoy a specific topic and no one else seems to be doing it online, it doesn’t mean that it is marketable.
Successful internet marketer Anik Singal tells a story about one of the first products that he created.
He was in college when he got an idea to write a product on how to study for exams. Sounds like something that college students would be interested in, right?
Who doesn’t want to get better grades, if for no other reason than to keep your parents off your back?
Well, the product flopped. When analyzing his failure, Anik realized that students don’t want to spend their money on more books. They want to buy beer and pizza.
So go online and do some research. Type a keyword into Google to see if there are any products similar to the one you are thinking about creating for sale. If there are none, revise your plan.
Check This: How to improve email deliverability
2. Find an Autoresponder You Like and Stick With It
There are many useful autoresponders out there, and every one of them has people who champion them.
For those who don’t have a budget, in the beginning, there is MailChimp which allows you to mail a certain number of subscribers for free.
With a red face, I admit that I have been with all of these and more. I was very hard for me to settle with one autoresponder.
The big problem with switching autoresponders is the CAN-SPAM act. The autoresponder companies don’t want to have the feds coming after them claiming that they are allowing their clients to spam people.
Most autoresponders have a double opt-in (or sign up) system.
A person fills in their name and email address on your opt-in page and then is immediately sent an email with a confirmation link.
That is proof positive that the person requested to receive email from you.
Of course, that double option makes it a problem to bring your current email list with you. Many people will not click the confirmation link when you change autoresponders.
After bouncing around for a number of years, I discovered Insty.me, which is a web host that incorporates Amazon’s SES autoresponders.
The cost is included with the yearly fee, and it allows me to mail 50,000 emails a day. The deliverability rate is nearly 100%, and I can add people to my list without a double opt-in.
Of course, I am VERY careful not to add people willy-nilly. Only people who sign up for my membership site, Dual Pay Web Biz, is added to my database because I don’t want to get myself, Insty.me, or Amazon in trouble.
Make it Personal
Most internet marketers do some selling of affiliate products.
And most people who create affiliate products give their affiliates an array of marketing tools: web pages, banners, and email messages, called swipe files, that you can copy and paste into your autoresponder.
Know that yours is not the only mailing list your prospects may be on.
If they see the same autoresponder on your list, Sally Salesperson’s list, and Joe Blow’s list, they probably won’t even open it.
You need to change the headline and body text slightly to make it unique – and uniquely you. It has to catch their eye and demand to be opened.
3. Pet Peeves
If you have been working at internet marketing for any length of time, your email box is probably filled on a daily basis with emails that are from affiliate marketers and bloggers.
You either purchased something from them or signed up to get a free report or a newsletter.
Have you noticed how many of those emails are not what you expected?
The person you bought a product from says you need to sign up for their email to get important updates on their product.
All you get is pitches for affiliate products they are selling – nothing helpful about the product you purchased at all.
If you were expecting lots of juicy, helpful tips from bloggers, frequently you get an email with a headline and a few lines of text and then a link to an article on their blog. Well, heck!
If I wanted to read a blog post, I would have gone to their blog or signed up for RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed.
That’s the big reason that I decided to do something different when I created Home Biz CEO Magazine. Subscribers get an email once a week with a link to the magazine, which they can read online or download.
It has exclusive small-business-related content that doesn’t appear on my blog. Most weeks, I do a review of a business product or training product that I use and love.
The link is sometimes to an affiliate product, but not always. And I don’t continually bombard my list with a lot of crap they don’t need or want.
I also have set up a membership site for subscribers so that they can access back issues.
Do you email market? We’d love to hear anything that you’d care to tell us about the company you chose and why, what marketing has been successful for your company, et al.
Please leave a comment below, and I’d appreciate it if you would click on the buttons above and share it with your friends.
All the best.