Email marketing explained with simplicity and clarity, particularly suitable for small business owners. This article explains how to attract traffic to a site or web page, capture an interested audience and send a predefined sequence of emails, guiding subscribers on a path that will turn them into enthusiastic customers.
The importance of email marketing
Some data to understand the value of this tool:
- the marketing messages conveyed by mail are those with the highest conversion rate (66%);
- an email gives more sales opportunities. When you create a strong relationship with your subscribers, they could buy at any time: after one hour of registration, like after a year;
- you own your mailing list: you do not use other people’s platforms, you have direct access to your audience;
- there is less competition: you are not a status update destined to disappear into thin air. If you’ve done a good job, people will open your emails and read them;
- emails are an excellent tool to make you understand who you are, what you do and why you can be useful to your subscribers.
Email marketing involves 5 basic steps:
1. Direct traffic to your site or to a specific page, where you offer something for free in exchange for an email address;
2. Capture this traffic with an opt-in form ( opt-in form ) or a landing page;
3. Propose to your new subscriber an unrepeatable offer or a tripwire (high value product at low cost to understand which customers are really interested in the purchase): it is the first attempt to convert a contact into a customer;
4. Send a welcome email to the new member;
5. Send a sequence of emails designed specifically to guide the new subscriber towards a goal that you yourself have defined (purchase of products or services).
The funnel (funnel) is the path that the member undertakes towards the goal you have set, consisting of an entry point, a method of capturing the contact and a sequence of emails designed to make the purchase. There are two technologies you need: a platform for managing email ( email service provider ) and tools for creating landing pages and opt-in modules ( lead capture systems ).
Enhance the mailing list by communicating your uniqueness
Your subscribers must feel an emotion when they read your name in the inbox, your brand must communicate ideas, thoughts, uniqueness. Decide how you want to be perceived by your subscribers, what content you want to communicate, what distinctive features your emails must have and what benefits you want to offer to people who subscribe to your list.
- every email you send must create value;
- the style you use must be personal and consistent with that of the brand;
- there will always be members who will take off the list, regardless of how good you are;
- you must always have a good reason to send an email: even if not all of them will be masterpieces, make sure that each one is important;
- you have to be brave when you write: express your ideas without fear, so you will attract your ideal customers and drive away people who have nothing to share with your values. Don’t try to satisfy the average reader;
- you have to decide what is the degree of accessibility of your company, if you want to respond to readers, if you want to create a dialogue, aware of the commitment that this entails. Communicate clearly your availability in the welcome letter;
- it is good to establish how often to write and what kind of emails to send (not only newsletters exist).
Create a lead magnet (content that you offer for free in exchange for an email address) that is engaging and persuasive
The lead magnet is very important because it allows you to attract people who are really interested in your product / service; to be effective it must:
- be usable quickly;
- to give gratification-immediate utility;
- be very specific: attract only a certain type of people, who are your potential customers;
- contain only one idea / goal;
- create an immediate change in your reader, however small;
- solve a problem that the reader is aware of having;
- lead directly to a future product / service.
Capture traffic and convert it to subscribers
To guarantee more traffic and more subscribers to the mailing list, here are some of the actions you can do:
- insert an opt-in form on the website, choosing from various possible positions;
- use a landing page. It is the page where you present your lead magnet to get email addresses in exchange;
- add an opt-in form or a content upgrade (special content linked to an article always in exchange for user contact) to your 5-10 most read posts on the site;
- add a link to your lead magnet in the site navigation bar;
- create a “subscribe” page;
- make it easy for you to share your posts;
- keep users on your site as long as possible by adding related articles;
- add the link to your landing page in your profiles and social pages;
- share the link of your lead magnet on your social profiles.
Keep in mind that the landing page has a higher conversion rate than that of the opt-in form. For a landing page to be effective it must contain the title and image of the lead magnet, benefits offered and testimonials for social proof.
The landing page must reflect the words used by readers to describe the problems they want to solve: the reader must be able to identify himself.
Welcome emails that best enhance the brand
The welcome email has a very high opening rate (50%), it is the welcome you give to the new member and for this reason he must:
- sound consistent with other content, with the tone of your brand, that you use in videos, in posts;
- explain well what you do and why you are the best in this field;
- tell the reader that you are the right person to help him achieve a goal / solve a problem;
- invite the member to a dialogue, asking questions to better understand expectations and desires;
- avoid saying that you will not send too many emails: the user has signed up because he is interested in your content, let him decide if there will be too many;
- give the reader an idea of what he can expect;
- stimulate curiosity, make you want to read the next email;
- avoid too many requests (advice, subscriptions to social platforms, answers to surveys etc.);
- at the end have a post scriptum (PS) in which to intrigue the reader regarding the content of the next email;
- ask a specific question by encouraging you to answer.
How to set up and maintain relationships with your customers automatically
The nurturing is a fundamental aspect of email marketing, it means dialogue with the customer, taking it slowly to prefer your company and to choose your products, conveying credibility. With a series of predefined emails that you send on set dates, you can strengthen your company’s knowledge and build a relationship of trust and then present your offers.
All subscribers, from whichever channel they come from, must receive the welcome email sequence; in creating it, make sure to:
- make your audience aware of having a problem that needs a solution;
- be perceived as an expert in the sector;
- communicate the benefits that will be obtained once the problem is solved;
- remove any doubts about the offer;
- create expectations regarding the product / service you will propose;
- accustom subscribers to small requests, so that they can buy more easily;
- do not give too many free contents: they make the public passive and do not inspire action;
- promote the benefits and not the characteristics of the product;
- create a specific path for each product;
- present a clear and precise call to action at the end of the sequence: members must know exactly what to do.
The importance of creating an editorial plan
It is important to have an editorial plan for emails too, because they are an integral part of your company’s content marketing.
The contents of the emails can:
- rotate around offers and promotions in your marketing plan;
- be based on topics related to the months (especially valid for those who are starting out);
- relate to goals you want to achieve.
You will basically have two types of mail: sequences and broadcast (used for urgent or topical content, or live launches or limited-time promotions).
So, at the same time, you can have new subscribers who receive the sequence of welcome emails and subscribers who have completed the sequence who receive emails related to limited promotions.
It is important that you always keep these two different types of subscribers separate, in order not to send other promotional offers to those who are still receiving the sequence, for example.
Earning through a mailing list
The easiest way to monetize is to use a tripwire strategy (a low-cost, high-value product that helps you understand which members are ready to buy). Usually it is an e-book, a mini-guide, an audio file, with a price less than 50 dollars. The idea of tripwire is to have not only subscribers on your list, but also customers: those who have already purchased once are more likely to do it again.
Since the price is low, you must leverage the urgency and you must do it with an instrument that is not linked to the current moment (time and date), using for example a stopwatch that shows the passing of minutes since the user views the offer.
Another way to monetize with the mailing list is to create evergreen products (which you always sell) that you will propose through a special funnel.
Measure the performance of emails
To evaluate the effectiveness of an email, the opening and click rates are usually used.
If you have a very low click rate, check if the email is well written, if the call to action is clear, if you sent it at the right time, if there are too many distractions inside, too many arguments.
A good way to improve the performance of your mailing list, even if it may seem counterproductive, is to clean up, i.e. eliminate those subscribers who have been inactive for at least three months. By doing so, the open and click rates will be higher and your reputation as a sender will improve, with less chance of ending up in spam.
Here is how you can proceed to thin out your list:
- identifies inactive members;
- organizes a reengagement campaign (reactivation): 2-3 emails in which you communicate to these subscribers that they have not opened your email for months and ask if they want to remain on the list;
- ask them to perform an action to show interest again, such as clicking on a link, or to cancel their membership;
- if you do not receive any reply, you will delete them from the list yourself (after having communicated it to him).
Learn how to write effective emails
The characteristics of a good mail:
- the first sentence is short and immediately draws attention to what you want to communicate;
- no introduction or preamble, it goes straight to the point;
- visually it must be airy and flowing, it must not be a single block;
- each paragraph consists of three sentences at most;
- each point or thought is equivalent to a sentence;
- boldly presents the most important points of the text;
- speak directly to the reader, giving him tu;
- always has a post scriptum (PS) to remind the reader of the call to action within the text or to create expectation regarding the content of the next email;
- its object is clear, effective and concrete;
- it has only one call to action, very precise;
- it can have multiple links, distributed at the beginning, middle and end of the text.
Create different mail systems that automatically reach different groups of subscribers
You can organize multiple email systems for different purposes:
- to identify your potential customers – send an email to all those who have clicked on a sales page, (after putting them in a specific group with a tag) to invite them to talk. When one of these members makes a purchase, you enter it in the group of actual customers;
- to provide automatic customer support – once the customer has bought your X product, enter it among the group of X customers and send a series of emails relating to that specific product. By marking these people with a tag, you will be certain that you will no longer send them sales emails relating to that product;
- to be more specific about your audience’s interests – segment your subscribers based on the interest shown in a particular topic. When you have a test or a survey on that topic, you will already know who to contact;
- to identify your fans – they are the ones who read your emails, interact and buy multiple times. If you cultivate the relationship with them well, they will easily become ambassadors of your brand. If you include them in a specific group, you can refer to them as testimonials or for reviews;
- to collect testimonials automatically – social proof is very important, do not be afraid to ask a reviewer who bought your product;
- to understand what kind of audience you have attracted – to do this you can use a simple one-click survey, a question to answer that can give a lot of information about your audience.