Want to make an Internet marketing professional laugh? Ask if email marketing is dead. Marketers are constantly being asked this question because people assume, because the internet is always changing and that email is over 40-years old, that somehow email is no longer as effective or – at worst – completely useless as a marketing tool.
I’m here to tell you that Internet marketing is indeed still effective. The proof is in how often it’s used. It’s estimated that marketers will send 258 billion emails this year alone. Your job, if you hope to join all those marketers and see results, is to make sure that your emails get noticed. Here’s how to do it.
Clean Up Your Act
New York Times’ media columnist David Carr recently wrote about the rising popularity of email and – more specifically – email newsletters in a recent column. He writes, “It helps that email, long dismissed as a festering petri dish of marketing come-ons, has cleaned up its act.” He continues by saying, “Gmail, in particular, has stamped out a lot of spam and segmented the inbox into personal, social and promotional streams that make email much less a mess than it used to be.”
Carr has nailed the current state of affairs with email marketing. It is that very Google segregation that caused many people to predict that email was dying in the first place. This, of course, is false. Email is not dying. It’s just doing away with the spam.
Carr used the metaphor of a festering petri dish of marketing come-ons to describe the old way email marketing used to be, the one that had yet to ‘clean up its act’ as he so eloquently put it. Anyone who used the Internet just a few short years ago probably remembers getting bombarded with offers and popups and getting search results for websites that were nothing more than sales-brochures made up to look like useful information.
The fact is, if you want email to work for you, you must do what Carr says – clean up your act. What does that entail? That’s what we will cover next. The following email marketing guide should help you come up with one or more ideas that will keep your audience clicking-on and reading the emails you send to them.
Just remember that, when email marketing, you need to respect your audience, you need to send out material that is better than – or more effective than – your competitors and you need to keep the emails coming if you want to build a large following and get results. Then put these techniques in place to take your results even higher.
How to Email Market Effectively by Thinking Outside of the Box
Tips, Tricks, Hints, Discounts & Specials: Let’s be honest. Most email users are selfish. They want to know what your email can do for them. So, when writing emails to your subscribers, try to imagine what they want, what they crave, and what would make them become unable to resist opening and reading the content you’ve sent. For many, this would be tips and tricks to help them finally reach a special goal, as well as discounts and specials to save money AND get everything they want. Some subscribers just want to think or laugh, and others may want to cry. Tune into what your audience wants to make your emails extra effective.
Contests & New Promotions: People love to enter contests and win, and promotions where subscribers can potentially score free stuff are a good option too. If you don’t have a contest that you can email your subscribers about, come up with one. Or come up with a promotion where your subscribers can get their hands on free merch or free tickets to a special event.
Loyalty Programs: People love to feel as though they are part of a club, so use that in your future email marketing campaigns to give them a real boost. You might give your VIPs a glimpse of your latest product before anyone else gets a chance to, or you might come up with a discount that’s only given to them and no one else.
Feedback Generators: Want to know how your marketing efforts are doing, or if your customers are happy? Send out an email asking for your subscribers’ feedback. You might do this in a multiple-choice survey or you might leave it open ended, allowing your subscribers to tell you whatever’s’ on their minds. This is also a good way to gather testimonials that you can use to adorn all your other marketing materials, such as your website.
Personalized Offers: One of the benefits of email marketing is that it can be tailored specifically for the recipient. Not only can you address the person by name, but you can ensure that the rest of the email speaks to the person and his or her wants and needs. For example, you can offer a customer a product from your inventory that’s based on a product he’s bought in the past. This is just one example of how to email market that will boost your sales and your subscriber loyalty, if handled correctly.
This short email marketing guide hopefully managed to convince you that email marketing is definitely not dead. These marketing methods will work as long as you clean up your act and think like the subscriber. Focus on what the recipient wants and your emails will get read more often than not.
As an added tip, you might want to subscribe to your competitors’ emails and newsletters. That will help you keep on top of the emails you’ll need to beat, and you just might learn a thing or two about how to email market specifically for your audience.
I hope you liked this email marketing guide and that you go on to use it to completely dominate your competition one inbox at a time.
Image Source: Mike Shinkel on Flickr
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