August 3, 2010
If you’ve ever considered launching an email marketing campaign, you probably very rapidly discovered that there are two main road-blocks between you and email marketing success. The first is the question of how to get your hands on an email subscriber list. And the second is once you have begun building your list, what should you send them? This article will focus on those two fundamental tasks of email marketing.
List-building is not as hard as you might imagine. All it really takes is the effort of asking people you are already coming into contact with to join your mailing list. You can do this in person if you run a restaurant, dealership, or other brick and mortar venue. At a retail store, the cash register is the best place to offer a free membership. If you are trying to convert your existing web traffic into email subscribers, you will want to create an attractive sign-up form and place it very prominently on your web site. You will also need to provide a good explanation of the value that people can expect to receive by being subscribes to your mailing list.
We all know that high quality content is not cheap. And when you’re dealing in email marketing, that is likely to be the primary expense related to your campaign. So you want to make that investment worthwhile by getting as many potential buyers as possible signed up for your mailing list. Take advantage of your existing web traffic by making your subscription form a central feature of your web site. It should almost always appear above the fold, and almost always on every page of your site. Keep in mind, email list subscribers convert much better than one-time web site visitors, so you should not be afraid to lose a sale or two in the short term in order to collect a large number of subscriptions that will become valued clients over the long term.
When you think about designing content for your email list, there is a very important question you should ask yourself: What will people in my target market be happy to receive? What value can I provide to them? Because the first task of an email list is to ingratiate you to your subscribers. If the list is ultimately going to convert into sales, then your subscribers must trust you and see you as someone who provides things that they value. Once you have developed the unique proposition for your mailing list, then you can begin developing content to fulfill that promise.
These two basic steps are all it really takes to build an effective list that you can continue to improve upon indefinitely. The list and the techniques that you use to market to the list will evolve over time along with your overall business strategy. But the long and the short of it is simply this: create a mailing list that offers a real value to your market, and then ask people to sign up for it. Everything else simply improves on this basic, winning formula.
David Godot works for ActiveCampaign, makers of the industry-leading Email Marketing software package. Their software allows you to automatically test multiple versions of your mailings based on the actions you want readers to take. Once it has determined which version of your message is the most effective, the software will automatically send that version to the rest of your list. Also check out ActiveCampaign’s Survey Software package.