Email marketing can be a very intimidating aspect of becoming an online entrepreneur. It is a process where you are asking permission to take someone’s name and email address, something very personal to many people, and contact them on a regular basis. I’ll share my experiences with email marketing for beginners with you here.
You may have many different questions and concerns about integrating email marketing as a part of your overall strategy for success. If you are new to this process, you will want to learn a variety of things such as the basic technical steps, the strategic options you have, and the etiquette that needs to be considered when communicating with your list.
Below, you will find the answers to ten of the most common questions about email marketing. This will provide you with a solid foundation to get started so that you can stop wasting time and build a list that is eager to hear your expertise and insight.
The longer you put this task off, which is a common obstacle for many, the more you are delaying profits and branding that could elevate you to the next level of success as an online marketer.
What Is Email Marketing?
For those who are brand new to the concept and don’t know what email marketing is, it’s a strategy of communicating with your target audience directly in their inbox rather than waiting for them to approach you on your blog or on social media platforms.
Many marketers use email marketing to showcase their expertise as a niche leader, to promote products and services (either as a vendor or affiliate), and to serve the needs of their audience.
You can drive traffic to your blog, to sales pages or to your social media accounts. Ideally, you’ll be doing a combination of informing, educating and entertaining your audience through your email autoresponders.
This is one of the best ways to level up your business because it’s a cost-effective strategy that builds momentum over time. It lets you build a strong rapport with your subscribers and most systems give you a plethora of analytical data so that you can improve your conversions over time.
How Do I Build a List of Subscribers?
Before you start sending out emails, you have to have someone to send them to, right? In order to build a list of subscribers, you have to go through a process that begins with narrowing down your target audience.
Not everyone in the world is going to want to be on your list. So think of who your demographic is. Are they men – or women? What age group are they? What interests do they have?
Once you know more about them, you can create a lead magnet that will be of use to them. This can either eliminate a pain point or obstacle – or it can be used to elevate their life to the next level, helping them achieve a goal they’ve set for themselves.
Your lead magnet offer can be a report or video course. It might be a series of emails that are drip-fed to subscribers over the course of a week or more. Try not to rely on the simple, stale statement of, “Sign up for updates,” because you need a stronger incentive to convince people to hand over their contact details.
You need to make it easy for people to sign up. A first name and email address will suffice. Don’t start asking for their mailing address and phone number (or even their last name) because you will lose many subscribers if you do. Think about it: The last thing you want to do when you’re connecting with someone new, especially online is to share every personal detail with them. I ask for their first name and best email address and leave it at that.
Put your opt in form on its own landing page where you can drive traffic to it strategically. But also include it below each blog post, so that if someone enjoys your content, they can immediately sign up to your list.
You also want to have the opt in form in the sidebar of your blog so that people can see it on every page of your site when they are navigating around. There are some platforms that allow you to build a list from your profile, such as a Facebook page, so be sure to integrate that there.
Sometimes, there will be a niche giveaway event that you can take part in. Numerous marketers all find something they want to give as a free gift and everyone drives traffic to the site.
Your listing can send people to your opt in page where the leads can sign up as subscribers and download their gift. You also want to make sure that if you sell a product on a platform like Warrior Plus, that you have your autoresponder system connected so that buyers are sent a confirmation email to get on your list.
What Email Autoresponder System Should I Use?
Your email autoresponder is the system you’ll be using to gather the contact information of your subscribers and then queue up emails to be send out to them. You want to choose the best one that’s right for you.
They all have individual pricing plans, but the great news is – most have a free option for newbies to begin building momentum with their list before they pay anything. Aweber and GetResponse are two of the most popular autoresponders that are perfect for newbies. I’ve used AWeber since my second year online (2008) and highly recommend you get started with their free plan to begin with, as a way to ease into the habit of emailing regularly. Email marketing for beginners does not have to be painful or confusing. Once you get used to this part of online marketing and entrepreneurship, you’ll be on your way to a life changing business.
With Aweber and GetResponse, you can use their system free for up to 500 subscribers. By that time you’ll be earning income online and it will make sense to pay the $19 per month for their full, professional service plan.
They each have their own type of system that can include templates you can customize, landing page builders, segmentation and data analysis provided, and more. If you know you want to integrate your autoresponder somewhere specific, make sure that the platform you’re considering will work with that.
Some people primarily base their first choice for an email autoresponder system on how much it costs them. But you have to think long-term. It’s not a fun or easy process to migrate an entire list over to a new platform, so you want to choose something you’ll be happy with as you grow your list.
What Kinds of Emails Should I Send to Subscribers?
There are different types of emails you can send, along with different styles (like longer or shorter emails). You will find the best way to communicate with your target audience, and it needs to be genuine for you – not a spammy, false persona.
Authenticity is important. But you can also control the types of emails you send out to people. This is something that stumps many individuals. They build a list and then have no idea what to say to them.
The very email you’re going to create is a welcome email. This not only tells them that you’re happy to have them as a new subscriber, but it provides them with the access link to the free gift they were promised when they signed up.
After that email is written, you need some marketers go with a simple newsletter. This can include a variety of items where you discuss trends and news in your niche, offer insight or tips about how to do something, share updates or progress on products, and so on.
You can also send emails where you only do one of those things, rather than having multiple items in the email. Promotional emails are where some marketers get intimidated.
You want to make sales and commissions, but you don’t know how to sell in an email. Promote products, services, and courses that you feel are truly worthy to your subscribers – and protect their interests at all costs.
Your email should cover briefly the benefits they’ll enjoy, the reason you feel it’s a good fit for them, and what your specific thoughts are if you reviewed it. Make sure you abide by all rules for emailing out about a product as an affiliate.
You also might want to occasionally survey your subscribers. This is especially helpful if you are creating info products and want to tailor it to their needs. Use a tool like SurveyMonkey for this purpose.
If you have any type of event, like an upcoming online webinar or in-person meet up, you can make an announcement in your email letting people know so they can attend that.
There’s no perfect email marketing strategy that will suit everyone. But you will learn, over time, what your subscribers do and don’t respond to – and you’ll be able to make the privilege of having their contact information work in your favor, as long as you treat them well. Remember to bookmark and return often to this detailed information on email marketing for beginners.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.