For too many entrepreneurs, the rise of social media has been the decline in email marketing. That is a mistake. Email marketing is still a highly effective way to increase sales for your business.
In 2013, 3.6 billion people had email accounts according to Jeff Bullas. It’s estimated that by 2016, that number will increase to 4.3 billion people. Social media is a great way to generate leads, but email converts leads into customers.
Over the years, email marketing has gotten a bad rap because of spam. Realize that spam is everywhere, even on social media. People still respond to the right kind of emails. Smart entrepreneurs use email marketing to create new business and turn customers into repeat customers.
Email marketing done right is the best tool in your marketing arsenal. The frustration with email results when entrepreneurs use dated techniques or have relied too heavily on social media. Here are six tweaks that will greatly help your email marketing efforts.
1. Offer an incentive to get people to sign up. Entrepreneurs know the value of offering a free digital download/video as an incentive to get people to sign up for their email list. The problems is most of these “gifts” are terrible.
Legendary entrepreneur, Ramit Sethi, says your free content should be better than most people’s paid content. With more than 500,000 monthly readers, he definitely practices what he preaches. When you can master this philosophy, you create life-long customers.
It’s worth your time to create a free gift that makes signing up for your email list a no brainer. When someone gets good value from your free content, they are more likely to buy your premium content. You will see a dramatic increase in conversion rates.
2. Use automation. One of the great things about email marketing is that you can have automated campaigns running 24/7. You can set up auto responders with services Mailchimp, Aweber or Infusionsoft.
These campaigns are designed to introduce new customers to your company and, eventually, what your company offers. Automating these emails frees up your time to work on your other marketing efforts.
3. Focus on the little things. Many emails from entrepreneurs are not opened because they’re missing some of the basics:
- Strong headlines.
- Research guiding the best time to send emails.
- Being straight to the point.
- Clear takeaways.
Making tweaks here and there can dramatically increase your open rates. When you have a captive audience, you create an opportunity to close the sale.
4. Send out exclusive content. Your email list should feel like a VIP club. At least once a month, send content exclusively for your email list. They will realize the value and stayed subscribed.
If the exclusive content is good, they’ll recommend your email list to other people and make it a point to open every email they receive from you.
5. Don’t oversell or be afraid to sell. Entrepreneurs create a ton of free content to build an email list. Whether it’s your blog, podcast or videos, this free content establishes your authority.
The problem comes when you only offer free content, and don’t sell regularly. When you do get around to selling, people opt out like crazy because you’ve confused them. They don’t want to be sold to because you’ve trained them to only expect free content.
You also should also avoid the other end of the spectrum. You risk coming off as the sleazy marketer if you're always selling. A smart entrepreneur will figure out the right balance.
6. Never stop growing your list. Whether you have an email list of 50 people or 500,000, always work on growing your list. People will come and go, so adding new names is vital to keeping your email list healthy.
We live in an unprecedented time where the Internet and social media have created tremendous opportunities to grow an email list of engaged fans and future customers. Take full advantage of social media, webinars, video, guest posting and joint ventures to grow your email list. Grow that list, and nurture it.
If you can use these techniques to make your email marketing efforts better, your influence and income will increase. Use social media, but don’t neglect email. It’s still working and not going away.
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