Are you overwhelmed with the whole concept of email marketing and have completely given up on it?
Email marketing doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
As an online business owner or entrepreneur, email marketing is one aspect of marketing you can’t ignore.
If you desire to build a profitable online business, then you MUST take email marketing very serious.
There’s no successful entrepreneur I know who does not do email marking.
Here are interesting statistics you must know about email marketing:
♦ You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.- Campaign Monitor
♦ Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. – McKinsey
♦ 81% of online shoppers who receive emails based on previous shopping habits were at least somewhat likely to make a purchase as a result of targeted email. -eMarketer
♦ When it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, email has the highest conversion rate (66%), when compared to social, direct mail and more. – DMA
♦ Email subscribers are 3 times more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources. – QuickSprout
♦ 72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media. – MarketingSherpa
♦ Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social. – Monetate
♦ A message is 5x more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook. – Radicati
♦ 4.24% of visitors from email marketing buy something as compared to 2.49% of visitors from search engines and 0.59% from social media. – Monetate
Contrary to popular belief that Nigerians don’t open their emails, Nigerians still open their emails.
Why it seems like Nigerians don’t open and read their emails is because in the past they have been incessantly spammed by unscrupulous and unprofessional marketers in Nigeria.
But as long as people still own emails, they open and read the emails of people that matter to them.
In fact, I open and read my emails as much as I check Facebook and Instagram.
Since I am subscribed to only the email list of people that matter to me, I make sure I open and read all their emails.
So the problem is not whether people read their emails, the problem lies with unprofessional marketers who go about spamming people who innocently gave them their emails.
My intention in this post is to explain email marketing in the most simple term possible.
This is what you’ll learn in this post:
- What is email marketing
- Why you should start doing email marketing (Benefits of email marketing)
- Best email marketing services for small business owners
- How to get started with email marketing
1. What is email marketing?
Let me not try to assume that you know what email marketing is. A lot of people use the term without knowing what it is. So, I’ll briefly and plainly explain what it is.
According to Stream Send:
“Email marketing occurs when a company sends a commercial message to a group of people by use of electronic email. Most commonly through advertisements, requests for business, or sales or donation solicitation, any email communication is considered email marketing if it helps to build customer loyalty, trust in a product or company or brand recognition. Email marketing is an efficient way to stay connected with your clients while also promoting your business.”
This could also mean that sending an email to your dad or mum is not email marketing, well, unless, your dad is your client.
In essence, anytime you send an email to a client or prospective client to build a relationship with them while promoting your business, it is called email marketing.
As a blogger when you send an email to your blog readers to read your latest post, buy your product/service or perform any specific action that promotes your business, you’re practising email marketing.
So, you see, it doesn’t have to be a complicated term.
Brick Marketing has a very simple definition:
“Email marketing is a way to reach consumers directly via electronic mail”.
That was clear enough. Wasn’t it?
2. Why You Should Start Doing Email Marketing (Benefits of EM)
With the overwhelming innovation of social media, SEO and mobile marketing, a lot of internet marketers say email marketing is dead. But that’s wrong.
Email marketing is as effective as ever, and it’s arguably the most profitable means of marketing.
In 2011, the Direct Marketing Association estimated that email marketing typically returns £40 for every £1 invested.
Email marketing presents more opportunities for your business and drives a better ROI. With email marketing, your business can create deeper relationships with a wider audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media like TV, radio and magazine.
With email marketing, you can create deeper relationships with a wider audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media like TV, radio and magazine.
There are many benefits of email marketing but I’ll mention just 7 benefits.
1. It is cost effective:
While other forms of marketing are equally cheap but email marketing is by far the cheapest of them all. In fact, with Mailchimp and Mailerlite, you can start for free for the first 2,000 and 1,000 email subscribers respectively. There’s no need for a special design. Whatever, your budget is, you can start email marketing like right now.
2. It is targeted:
You can target a specific audience based on geography, age, income, or whatever suits your business needs. Gone are days of placing an advertisement on TV with little or no control of who sees it.
You can’t place an ad on TV and ask them to show it to only men between the age of 20-25. That’s not possible.
However, it is possible with email marketing. Targeted emails ensure that you send the right emails that suit the needs of your audience.
3. It is measurable:
Unlike other means of marketing, you can measure whatever there’s you want to measure with email marketing. You can measure how effective a particular campaign is and the ROI.
For example, you can measure the click-through rate and also see how your customers arrived at your website. This way, you can easily decide whether email marketing is paying off or not.
Here are a few of the more interesting metrics:
Price per email sent: This is the return on investment of your email marketing. By determining how much money you spend on each email, you can determine the profitability of your campaign.
Conversion rate: This metric determines how many people clicked through your email and went on to accomplish a certain goal (signed up for something, made a purchase, etc.). This metric can help you discover what type of email content your customers like.
Unsubscribe rate: People often opt out of emails because of their frequency, quality and relevance. If someone wants to unsubscribe from your emails, offer other communication options, like your social media sites. You don’t want to lose the customer.
3. Best email marketing services for small business owners
The success rate of your email marketing does not only depend on your ability to capture people’s email address. It also depends on the email marketing service/company you choose.
There are lots of email service company out there that you’d become confused not knowing which one to use for your small business.
A good email marketing service enables you to create highly engaging emails. It also allows you to manage your contacts, segment users into groups, and track the performance of your email campaigns.
Most essentially, a good email marketing service ensures that your emails do not end up in the spam folder of your subscribers.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best email marketing service providers out there.
1. Constant Contact
I highly recommend MailChimp and Mailerlite for beginners and small business owners on limited budgets.
When you’re starting out, spending money on email services may not be your priority yet. At least, you need some time to understand email marketing before you start spending money on it.
Mailchimp is free for the first 2,000 subscribers while Mailerlite is free for the first 1,000 subscribers.
They are both great email marketing services.
4. How to get started with email marketing
At this point, I can guess that you’re itching to know how you can get started with email marketing.
Here we go:
1. Know and understand your goals:
As a smart business owner, every decision you take should be purpose driven. You can’t start email marketing for the fun of it or because everyone is doing it.
You should know what you want to achieve with it so that it can serve as a guide to track your success.
Your goals would determine the kind of emails you send and the people you target.
Your goal could be to drive sales, drive traffic to your site, get attendees to your events, get donors for your cause, etc.
Email marketing is such a powerful tool. It can be used to achieve lots of different objectives. So, it’s worth the time to spend on it to know what you want to achieve with it.
2. Sign up with an Email Marketing Service Provider
The next thing to do now is to sign up with one of the email marketing service providers I mentioned above.
Again, I highly recommend MailChimp and Mailerlite. You can never go wrong with both of them.
It is quite affordable and easy to work with.
The steps you take to signup depends on the email marketing service provider you choose.
3. Build your List
Let me assume that you’re starting from scratch.
Let me warn that it is wrong to buy email list from third parties. Whatever you send to the bought subscribers would be called “spam” because you didn’t ask for their consent.
Whatever you send to the bought subscribers would be called “spam” because you didn’t ask for their consent.
Since you’re running a legit business, you have to go the legit way.
So, these are the steps you need to take to build your list:
a) Create a lead magnet: A lead magnet is an irresistible (ethical) bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information (name and email address).
This is very important if you want to create targeted email subscribers.
Of course, you don’t want everybody to join your list. You only want those that are interested in your business.
So, you need to create the lead magnet that attracts your ideal client.
The lead magnet could be a free eBook, video, podcast, checklist, worksheet, report, free samples, free consultation or anything you know your ideal client would be interested in.
Your incentive doesn’t have to take you days to create. You could take less than 48 hours to create your incentive.
In fact, you could turn a highly valuable blog post into a lead magnet.
The idea of just asking visitors to “Join our Newsletter” is dead.
When last did you go to a site and join their email list just to receive a future update?
But when you’re asked to give your contact information in exchange for a valuable incentive, you give it without thinking twice.
b) Create your signup forms
Again, the procedures you take to create your signup forms depend on the email marketing service you’re going to use.
If you’d be using MailChimp, download the WordPress plugin “Mailmunch by MailChimp” to create beautiful Signup forms.
Ensure that you place your signup forms in numerous places on your site so as to make it easy for people to find and subscribe to your list.
I have four forms on my blog.
Top bar: At the top of a site
Popover optin form: Pops up when a visitor comes to your site
Sidebar optin form: Placed on the sidebar of your site
embedded optin form: Placed before or after a single blog post
c) Create and Send your first campaign
After getting your first 10, 20 or 30 subscribers, you should create and send your first campaign.
Again the procedures depend on the email service provider you choose.
Mailchimp has a drag-and-drop email builder, which makes it incredibly easy to create beautiful email marketing campaigns.
I hope with this simple guide you can start your email marketing without feeling overwhelmed.
There are more to be discovered in the future. With this simple guide, you can get started and scale from there.
I am organizing a free Email Marketing Workshop for business owners.
If you’d like to join the workshop, read the Facebook post below and follow the instruction:
Do you have any question regarding email marketing? Kindly drop it in the comment box below and I’ll reply as soon as possible