EMAIL! Yep. No kidding. Are you using it? Are you using it well?
Let’s begin easily with a few definitions…
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the use of email messages sent to potential customers to advertise or promote products or services and things related to them, such as events and news.
Nothing is new under the sun, and before the advent of email and online marketing, the equivalent was direct mail marketing of letters and postcards. Many marketers made good money in their segments with physical mail, physical orders by return mail or toll-free telephone order placement, and physical delivery of goods and services.
But it was like targeted mass advertising in a key aspect: The cost was relatively high to get a conversion, especially if the list of recipients was not prior customers but “cold” prospects.
From the recipient’s side, when the information was wanted and valuable, it was welcomed. Many people enjoy catalog browsing a favorite company’s latest stuff.
When it wasn’t wanted but was sent to you because your name was on a mailing list, it was “junk mail”. Even today, I get bunches of “junk mail” I didn’t request in the form of catalogs and promotional offers, especially at Christmas time (and it seems nearly impossible to get off those lists!).
These concepts all transfer over to the virtual world of email. We get on an email list by signing up when we make a purchase, or by picking up a free offer that interests you, or in any number of other ways. Once we are on that list, we will receive promotions of products and services, and “special” offerings until we “unsubscribe” from that list.
And, just as in the physical mail advertising business, it is the law that we are able to stop receiving emails and be removed from that list. It’s the law, but it isn’t always obeyed. It is also the law that we not be put on a list or receive emails unless we have requested that. And we all know that law isn’t always obeyed, and we now protect our email inbox with junk email detection and filtering programs (usually part of our antivirus package). In the early 1990s, this junk email became known as “spam” and today spam is an amazingly large and costly problem.
(An interesting article on this history is here: https://www.digitaltrends.com/web/why-junk-email-is-spam/ ).
I’ve spent some time and energy on “spam” to point out a couple of things.
First, spammers continue their activities for the simple reason that…
Here are some quotes from that same website:
“The attraction for senders is the low cost. One of the most pernicious things about spam email is the fact that it costs the receiver more than it does the sender.”
“A 2012 academic study, “The Economics of Spam”, suggested that spammers generate about $200 million per year, but cost American consumers and business around $20 billion per year.”
The second reason is to emphasize that ethical email marketing NEVER uses SPAM! NEVER! Ethical email marketers despise spam and welcome compliance with ethical practices and the LAWS against spam such as the CAN-SPAM Act and other regulations in place to curb this problem.
Why Email Marketing?
That question is EASY!
The value proposition of email marketing is obvious when we understand the numbers, just what the spammers know. The numbers are a bit astounding.
According to a report by the Direct Marketing Associate, the average return on investment (ROI) for email marketing these days is $38 for every $1 spent. Read that again.
Over time, $1 in, $38 out. Like the sound of that?
Check this out: 80% of business professionals report growth in customer acquisition and retention resulting from email marketing!
There is nothing else like it. Not even social media comes close.
Leads are twice as likely to opt-in to our email list than they are to engage with our business on Facebook. And if you thought social media and search engines were the key to growing your business, think again. Email conversion rates are higher than both search and social combined!
This should come as no surprise, really. Consumers have repeatedly insisted that they LIKE getting promotional messages via email. Remember how people like getting catalogs in the mail at holiday time? One of the things that people like about promotional emails is that it comes to them rather than them seeking out that information. We’re all lazy in a good way, basically looking for anything and everything to be easier.
Here is another stunning stat: Over 70% of consumers say email is their preferred channel for business communication and 60% even say they want to receive your marketing emails weekly or even MORE often.
As we can see from these facts, there’s no questioning of the critical importance of email marketing in our businesses. If you’re not using email marketing in your business, you are leaving lots of money in the market that could be yours.
It’s time to start, right now. The only question is where to start and how to begin taking advantage of this phenomenon.
You may contact me for consulting and coaching to discover what would make sense for you. I’ll recommend training and products, and I will probably start with some of the best training in online marketing, including email marketing, for affiliates who want to create their own products. It is John Thornhill’s Partnership To Success.
And for a complete “Done For You” program for Affiliates with over 30 email campaigns and full automation, his Ambassador Program is amazing. In these programs, you will see email marketing used to maximum effect for customer acquisition and sales.
Not All Email Is Created Equal
Just as one physical marketing campaign, say to promote discounts at a car dealership, can be remarkably different from another, such as announcing the opening of a new deli in town, email is created to purpose as well and will be quite different depending on the business, the products or services being offered, and the intention of the promotion.
On this blog, we will be focused on Online/Internet Marketing of digital (soft, or virtual) products that we produce and market, or others’ products that we market, aka “Affiliate Marketing”.
Other businesses will seek certain things from their email marketing that we may not cover well here, but the basic principles will apply, just as basic marketing principles, such as segmentation, features to benefits, value alignment, etc., always apply to any business.
Not All Email Systems Are Created Equal
As you already know or can easily surmise, systematic and robust email marketing operations can’t run from your personal email account and your personal PC or Mac. To use this marketing dynamo, you need a designed-to-purpose email marketing system.
These come in several forms. Some, like Kajabi, are focused on a complete system for online education.
Others, like SalesForce, are large Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. There are other specializations as well. What all of these incorporate is a product/service for making customer contact easy, duplicatable, and automatic. That product/service is called an “autoresponder”, and many autoresponders are available that are not part of larger systems.
These autoresponders are offered as online service platforms that can handle a wide range of email marketing requirements—automatic sequences of messages over periods of time, such as a daily education or promotion for a product a prospect has expressed interest in but not yet purchased, or weekly newsletters and articles, and ad hoc “broadcasts” that make announcements or provide a professional, personal, or motivational message “in the moment”.
Complete systems also offer automated workflows and integration with other online business tools. One of the best uses of automation and integration is found in John Thornhill’s Ambassador Program’s use of Aweber and Clickbank to grant and preserve your ownership of every prospect you introduce to Partnership To Success and the many other products John has created and markets. It is very innovative and a critical, ongoing value to Affiliate partners in the programs.
If you wish to learn more about such systems before the next post, search for autoresponder descriptions, reviews, and comparisons, and note the ones at the tops of the lists. We’ll tell you our favorites for online marketing and affiliate marketing in the next post.
We will cover more on using these in the future, but the basics will be the same:
1. Get a prospect onto your list by personal contact, advertising, social media, etc.
2. Get their permission to receive emails from you (NO SPAM).
3. Serve the daylights out of them with your regular and special email messages.
4. Serve them further with targeted offers they will want and that you believe in, and that will create great value for them.
5. Serve them so well they turn into promoters of your products and brand and YOU, bringing you more customers and remaining loyal, future customers of additional products or services.
This is how $1 invested in email marketing returns $38 or more over time, and how every name on your list will be worth about $10 per month in revenues. That’s right: A list of only 1000 people can generate $10,000 per month.
I hope you notice something in the list above:
“Serve” is in that list THREE TIMES. This brings me to the most important mindset about email marketing, and for any kind of marketing of a thriving and vibrant business.
The KEY Is The RELATIONSHIP
As with all forms of business, and indeed any form of abundant life, the key to creating a very valuable email list of thousands of people eager to learn more about your latest product and buy many products from you because they know, like, and trust you, is your relationship with them.
There is a saying in this business that “The money is in the list!” Yes, and no. Your list is valuable, because of what it represents, but in and of itself it is worthless. It is the people on that list that are valuable. The money flows from your relationship with them.
Every email address in your list is a person, and a doorway into their family and circle, with strengths and weaknesses, triumphs and defeats, joys and sorrows, desires and fears, just like you and me in the critical, important ways of being human.
To serve them, as I hope is your foundational desire in business, requires that you create, nurture, treasure, and protect your RELATIONSHIP with them. When you write to them, if you will always keep in your heart your strong desire to first serve them, then to be rewarded by them, you will be many leagues ahead of most of your competitors that chase their dollars instead of their hearts.
Trust me. Be a Go-Giver, not a Go-Getter, and seek first to serve. The dollars will follow, and in amounts that will please you (and probably surprise you as well).
In the upcoming posts on email marketing, we’ll dive into which of the systems that we think serve our business of online marketing of digital products best and some of the key points of email marketing strategy and tactics you will want to understand to optimize your email marketing efforts.
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Committed to Excellence and Your Success,
This is a guest post from Keith DeBrunner, if you would like to be considered for a guest post please contact me.