Whether you're a small business, established company, entrepreneur or anyone just looking to make some extra money, email marketing presents a unique approach that doesn't take much work to start. When done right, you can grow a loyal following and generate a consistent source of income on autopilot.
What is email marketing, and how does it work? Here you'll find the answer to this common question among beginner email marketers. Consider this your beginners guide to building a profitable email marketing campaign.
What Is Email Marketing For Beginners
Email marketing is a marketing technique that is used to promote product, content, and engagement with your clients or customers. By building an email list and sending regular content, product updates, product releases, or communication of any kind, you are able to immediately reach a market of customers who are already interested in your business.
Lets say you are an ecommerce store selling health and nutrition products. Your company has just released a brand new product and is looking for an avenue to quickly create awareness of your new release.
With a list of 10,000 email subscribers, all it takes is a few minutes to create a captivating email announcement and send it to your 10,000 subscribers. This results in a bunch of immediate sales, it creates conversation on social media, and could be the start of a marketing “domino effect” of your newly released product.
Email marketing combined with other marketing efforts can drastically increase your immediate reach for marketing new products and communicating with your clients. It keeps your business top of mind to your subscribers.
Why email marketing is important
A common mistake made by many online businesses is relying on just one source of website traffic such as organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) traffic. The problem with that is it is totally dependent upon the search algorithms of the major search engines.
It's not uncommon for search engines like Google to update their search algorithms, resulting in a decrease in website traffic for your business.
With email marketing, you are in complete control of sending emails to subscribers who authorized you to send them updates.
If you're like me, and you check your email multiple times per day (and so does the majority of people), then doesn't it make sense for small businesses to be sending me content and updates regularly? Absolutely!
Along with the stream of website traffic email marketing creates, here are a few (among many) reasons why every small business should be using email marketing:
- To educate prospects and clients about your company
- To receive feedback about a product or service
- To create awareness of new product releases and updates
- To grow a larger social media following and create social media “Buzz”
- To create more sales for your company
- To increase website traffic
- To grow overall brand awareness
The best thing about email marketing, is that it doesn't take much time or money to implement! You can literally put your email marketing on autopilot.
How to make money with email marketingSo you're building your email list, and you've got a decent amount of subscribers, so how do you start to make money through email marketing?
The goal of each sent email is to help your subscribers in some form or another. If you keep that top of mind, the rest will happen naturally. However, making money with email marketing ultimately happens in one of three ways:
- Email subscribers purchase a product mentioned in your email
- Email subscribers purchase a product from an affiliate partner of yours resulting in an affiliate commission
- Email subscribers click on an ad you included in your email
If your company sells health and nutrition products, and one of your emails has a link to your newly released product, you obviously make money when your subscriber buys that product.
When a subscriber clicks a link that sends them to a partner company website with a suggested product, and the subscriber purchases it, you can make a commission for referring that customer to your partnered company. This is called affiliate marketing.
Recommended Reading: How To Make Money Affiliate Marketing
By including relevant ads in an email sent to your subscribers, you can get paid every time a subscriber clicks on an ad shown in your email. This is called Pay Per Click advertising.
Regardless of how you decide to make money through email marketing tactics, it is essential for any business, and will only grow in necessity as the internet ages, and as technology progresses.
Email Marketing Tips & Best Practices
There are a few things I wish I had known when I first started email marketing. If you follow these easy yet essential tips, your path to success will be much quicker and profits much bigger.
Tagging subscribers to customize your content
Most email marketing services will allow you to create “rules” within your marketing campaigns. These rules are simply “If/Then” actions that will happen automatically.
For example: You send out an email with your newly released weight loss product. At the bottom of the email you include a link to the product description page. You can create a “rule” saying that any subscriber who clicks on the link to the product page will be tagged with the label “weight loss products” or something similar.
You can then filter your email subscribers and view all the subscribers marked with the tag “weight loss products.”
You now know that each subscriber who clicks on that link probably has an interest in weight loss products. This allows you to know what types of emails to send to which clients, resulting in increased relevancy of the emails you send, and higher conversion ratios.
Build trust before you promote products
Many beginners in email marketing will write emails that start promoting products from day one. The problem? It's not focused on helping your subscribers, but rather helping you make money, and your subscribers can see right through that.
The trick is to build a loyal following by providing sincere help and creating captivating content. This means not jumping to selling or promoting a product in every email, and certainly not trying to sell something to your list from day one (unless its absolutely relevant and necessary, which varies per circumstance).
By providing sincere help and tips to your list, and providing free resources and advice will give your audience a chance to get to know you and realize the value you provide. Once they start anticipating your emails, you've built a loyal audience who will buy from you time and time again.
Again, the focus is to provide helpful information that is relevant to their interests. The rest will fall in place as you keep this top of mind.
Only promote products you've tried, or thoroughly researched
The biggest frustration in marketing is seeing someone recommend a product that they have never tried or thoroughly researched and reviewed. It becomes apparent very quickly that the author of an email like this is only sending out content that will make him money, and you and I can see right through this. It creates immediate distrust, and results in a high unsubscribe rate.
If you want to be really picky, only promote products you have personally tried. It backs up your advice with personal experience, and shows your audience that you are sincere in the value your promotion provides.
I believe that there are occasional times when your audience could benefit from a product that you have not used personally. But in order to refer a subscriber to this product, you need to be absolutely sure that it is a trusted resource and will sincerely help the reader.
Often times its a good idea to be transparent by saying you've not used the product personally, but you've done hours of research and can confidently recommend its value.
Choosing A Good Email Autoresponder
Choosing the right email marketing autoresponder will save you loads of time and headache. When deciding which email autoresponder you choose, keep the following top of mind:
- Do they offer a user friendly platform?
- Do they have customizeable templates?
- Do they offer a free trial?
- Visuals of how your pre-made email sequences is helpful. Do they offer visual setup for your email sequences?
- Do they make it easy to tag and segment your subscribers for personalized emails?
- Do they count duplicate emails to your overall email list (monthly costs are usually per subscriber, and some don't take into account you may have subscribers signed up to multiple of your forms).
- Do they offer multiple types of forms such as pop-ups, in article forms, link triggered forms, landing pages, and slide in forms?
These are just a few to keep in mind that will make your email marketing campaign much more successful.
Our recommended email marketing autoresponder is ConvertKit. They have revolutionized the process to create profitable email marketing campaigns with their easy to use forms, simple layout and access to expert educational content on email marketing.
What is preventing you from starting an email marketing campaign for your business? Post your answers, comments and questions below and ill personally respond ASAP!