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September 30, 2009

5 Ways to Get Your Email Marketing To Your Prospects or Customers

Don’t think email marketing is now too hard as more autoresponders insist on double opt in. You can still market effectively to your customers only you hve to be a bir more creative.

Personally, I welcome email marketing becoming harder because the more effort that has to be put in will make those ‘lazy’ or wannabes simply drop out. Into that gap the inventive professional approach to email marketing will thrive.

I want to show you the impact of the new rules and how to deal with them and let’s start with the double opt in.

If you use any of the major shopping cart providers like 1shoppingcart (ISC), they now have, mandatory double opt in and they did this because of being blacklisted by SPAMHaus organisation. This was caused by one selfish, unethical person using ISC’s ‘Tell a Friend’ script to send out thousands of Spam messages. The consequence was that email sent via 1SC servers was being classified as Spam by many ISP’s. 1SC agreed to make all email sign ups double opt in so as overcome this problem. What does this mean to you?

Double opt in means that anyone joining your list is sent an email asking them to confirm that it really was them that signed up and they want to join. This method produces a better and more responsive list BUT reduces the numbers. Take your pick because there are a few different reasons for this, including forgetting to confirm, changing their mind, or not really understanding what they are being asked to do. What can you do?

I am a firm believer in telling your customers and prospects EXACTLY what to do. On my website I have a video of me telling people exactly how to confirm that they want to subscribe to our lists. The video allows me to actually show them what to do, and how to do it and anyone signing up to my list is directed to a web page where I show them the exact email they’ll receive and how to click on the link.

This is simple…but very powerful and by using it on several of my lists I have achieved a confirmation rate of over 90% – and that’s virtually unheard of.

5 key tactics to use now Your aim is to get your email through and read by your customers and prospects. Yes it may be getting harder, but these tactics will help you win out over your competitors:

1) Brand your emails so they stand out from the crowd Give your emails a brand name or title so as soon as people see that name they know who it’s from and what to expect.

For example, one list I have with my partner Neil Travers is the Junior Soccer Coach Newsletter ‘Tip of the Week’. Now that doesn’t really have impact so we went to ‘Junior Soccer Coach – Inside Tactics’ and further refined it to ‘Inside Tactics’ and that is now our ‘brand’ name for the free tip of the week.

2) Send out a reminder for all of your emails. Your first email is your regular email and you must follow up with another one that briefly reminds them of what you have just sent or to direct them to read a copy online or on your Blog.

That second email must give them a REASON to go and find/read your earlier email. How? Give them a teaser of the information your newsletter contained, maybe a free gift or how it can help them…use the biggest benefit.

3) Always, always, run your messages through a SPAM checker It’s essential because it will tell you if your email is likely to be classified as spam or not. If it is spam, then you will know which words you need to change.

4) Your subscribers need to be kept in touch with regularly. I receive better responses to my promotions when I am regularly emailing people in that niche.

Coincidence? No, because more contact with your list means you are building a relationship with them, and so they are much more likely to buy from you.

5) Build smaller targeted lists Smaller, targeted, lists are by far more responsive to you and your offers. I would rather have 250 highly focused names on a specific topic than 5000 names on a generic one.

I want people who are positively interested in my specific niche. Your first sub list should be of buyers, people who have already bought from you, and then people who have bought from you more than once. Build sub lists of topics within your particular niche, as your next step.

For example; in our football newsletter we might ask subscribers to email us for more information about a specific topic such as under 7’s or girls football. We would add these people to a sub list with its own autoresponder series. Then target these prospects with specific offers relating to their enquiry.

Use these 5 tips to help you make your email marketing more effective, and to ensure it gets through to your customers and prospects.

Neil Stafford is Editor and Publisher of the Internet Marketing Review the UK’s longest running PRINTED Internet Marketing Newsletter. ‘Test drive’ the Newsletter for FREE – Visit this special web page for more information: Internet Marketing Review Newsletter