Email marketing doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to involve reams of different highly specific tips on things like headline length, word count and link placement. In fact some of the most essential and useful steps to a great email campaign can be summed up in just a few key strategies and easily memorized.
Here are 5 of those crucial, fundamental email marketing tips. Focus on applying these, forget a million trivial details and make your email marketing campaign easier to get off the ground and simpler to manage.
1. Focus Attention on Email Opt-Ins
This is the single most fundamental general rule of internet marketing and it can be surprisingly easy to forget about under some circumstances. You as an online marketer might have your email marketing software in place and an opt-in area available on your website and blog but none of these are likely going to earn you much traction unless you learn to really focus your reader’s attention on them in a consistent, interesting way.
This means several things. For one, you need to make sure that every email opt-in you have on your websites is clearly, unambiguously visible to anyone who lands on that page. You might even want to make it the largest thing on the page, with a clear value proposition and simple subscription form attractively visible.
Another option is to actually use pop-up windows to attract opt-ins from customers. These are little software plugins that can be tailored to appear on your site after a certain time with new visitors. You don’t want to make them annoying but they’ve been known to really boost conversion rates.
2. Offer Real Value
Now that you’ve made sure your email offer is as visible as possible, you need to give it a value proposition! Simply asking for readers email addresses might get you a few fans for your subscription list but it’s not going to really give you a strong chance at maximizing conversion.
Thus, create something that will entice subscribers into the extra effort of giving you their valuable personal email. Make it something that you think will make your type of niche viewer really want to get their hands on it. And once you’ve created that value proposition item, attractively word a way of offering it in a friendly way.
As a simple trick for deciding on just what sort of value proposition is likely to actually work for your audience, practice the art of putting yourself in their emotional shoes, asking yourself just what are they really likely to respond to with some extra effort and desire.
3. Don’t Spam and Annoy your Subscribers
So you’ve boosted your opt-in message’s visibility and you’ve created an awesome bonus offer that really gives value and encourages signups. Your conversion rates are climbing and your list is growing faster. However, you’re not out of the woods yet.
Why? Because a growing audience can always later decide not to follow through with anything you send them, or they might even unsubscribe themselves from your mailing list. You not only have to work to collect email subscribers, you also need to put effort into keeping them interested long term.
This is where delivering consistent value comes into play. You need to really give your readers email messages that are worth opening and reading, you need to give them emails that really offer value and practical help and not just stale, thin content followed by sales offers and affiliate links. Another option is to use a transactional email service that delivers one at time emails that are more personalized.
As a rule, limit your mail outs to no more than a couple per week at most and more importantly, mail your audience only when you really have something new and useful to offer them. This will build their trust and make them much more likely to buy from you when you actually launch a new product or service.
4. Make your Email Marketing Mobile Friendly
Smart phone use is becoming ubiquitous and an ever growing percentage of your audience will be accessing their email from their smart phones.
You need to account for this and make sure that your entire email campaign, from landing page and opt-in to final email format is fully mobile optimized. This obviously means using mobile friendly websites for your business (which you should have been doing anyhow) but it also means carefully selecting mobile friendly email formats whose structure and titling makes them not only attractive to readers but also completely functional.
You only have so much time to keep your mobile readers attention, when they open their inbox on their iPhone, don’t waste it with a format that totally fails on a mobile screen.
5. Don’t Forget About Social Media
Email gathering through your blog or website isn’t your only option these days. You can also get fans email addresses right through your company’s social media pages. Because a social media environment is often more friendly than a simple static web page and because a lot of marketers still aren’t doing this, your social media based email collection efforts have a good chance of converting exceptionally well.
How do you collect emails through social networking? Well, at least with Facebook, it’s quite easy to set up. You can retouch the top of your business profile page to resemble an actual blog landing page so new social media subscribers can’t miss the offer. This is possible with an interesting tool called 5 Minute Fan Page.
Or you can take an even more interesting route and actually request email subscriptions in every single one of your business page posts that appear on your Fan wall. What doing this gives you is the ability to feed on readers “in the moment” engagement as they get entertained or interested by your specific Facebook posts and use that to gain some subscribers to your email list. Setting up in-post email collection can be done with another social media marketing tools called SplashPost.
Stephan Jukic is a writer who enjoys writing about email marketing and advice for small business owners. Connect with Stephan on Google+ and LinkedIn.
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