Effective Email Marketing: Solidify Your Relationship & Increase Your Conversions

There are many opportunities for reaching a potential customer online, but few boast the high conversion possibilities like email do. Despite the fact that there are different methods for communicating online, we always encourage our readers to put plenty of focus into building, nurturing and selling to their email subscriber list. An opt-in list will always be one of your most powerful business assets.

Some of the benefits of email marketing include:

* Permission to contact your prospects and customers over and over again.
* Reach them directly through a very personal medium.
* High conversion rates.

How to Use an Autoresponder Series to Leverage Your Time More Effectively

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mailing list puzzleThe dilemma: You need to keep content going into your customer’s inbox on a regular basis, but your time is limited. You can’t always be in your office at the moment you need to send information.  You’re afraid your list will go cold and you won’t get them back.

The solution: The Autoresponder Series.

An autoresponder series is a group of emails sent in a particular sequence to people who signed up to receive them. You use the email newsletter software you likely already have such as Aweber to accomplish this. The software allows you to set up, in advance, an entire series of emails to be sent upon certain triggering factors to those who sign up for your information or purchase products from you. (Note: Please read your country’s laws about SPAM.)

  • Saves Time — Using an autoresponder series will save time by allowing you, or your VA to load up a series of messages in bulk, to go out on certain dates based on you and your audience’s preferences. For instance, you might have a short 7 day eCourse loaded into the autoresponder for your audience members who sign up for either a paid or free eCourse that you are offering. 
  • Automatic — Once you load up the information, you don’t have to do anything else. It’s all done automatically. Your audience will receive the emails, which should also contain various calls to action that links them to sales pages, affiliate information or a blog post with more information right on your website. Setting this up in advance will save you time because once you set it up, you can forget it and let it run without any action from you. 
  • Warms Up Your List – By keeping your list active with one or more autoresponder series, you will keep your list warm and waiting for your other offers. Otherwise, you will have to always reawaken your audience to tell them about the next thing you are promoting. Now, when you send a one-off broadcast or more current email to them they won’t be surprised, and it will be like they’re expecting you. Keeping your audience warm will cause your conversion rates to go up.  

An autoresponder series can be as short as a few days to an entire year of messages. It just depends on what your goals are. You can add new autoresponders anytime you want to any list. You can set them up to go out every day, every 3 days, or every Wednesday. It’s up to you.

Now that you know why you need to have an autoresponder series for every email list that you own, you need to know what to include.

  • High Quality Targeted Content – Don’t skimp on your email autoresponder series content. You want the content to be really good so that your audience thinks to themselves, “If this is what I get free, imagine what I’ll get when I pay.” 
  • Interactive & Engaging Content – Nothing will feel more current than content that is interactive such as linking them to a questionnaire, poll or forum. Your audience will feel more connected to you which helps build a trusting relationship. 
  • A Current Call to Action – Calls to action are important, and if they’re old and outdated your audience will not trust you. They will stop reading your emails, and they’ll stop interacting with and connecting with you. 

Now you may be wondering how you can create current calls to action when you’re sending out an autoresponder series to one audience member today, that you sent out to another a year ago.  But, there is a way. It’s called technology.

My favorite is the Limited Time Offers Plugin. This plugin is so simple, yet has amazing potential. But, the Aweber software also offers some unique features that you can use to update existing autoresponder series with new CTAs anytime you want to with their Personalize Your List Option using Global Text Snippets.

As you can see using an autoresponder series has the potential to save a lot of time and effort when building your list, and converting those who sign up for your list. Don’t start inviting people to your list until you have at least a short autoresponder series ready so that you don’t waste one more second building a list without direction.

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Email Marketing Segmentation Using Your Autoresponder

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Email SegmentationMarket segmentation is an important aspect of email marketing that you cannot afford to skip over. Segmentation is simply the process of identifying specific and meaningful groups of customers that you can target with specific messages, products and / or services in a way that resonates with them.

Why You Need to Segment

Segmenting your email list, no matter how small, is an important step toward boosting customer loyalty, increasing purchasing and it will help spark your creativity in terms of creating new products and services for your customers.

  • Boost Customer Loyalty
  • Increase Purchasing
  • Spark Creativity 

You can introduce some very simple segmentation into your email marketing using your autoresponder’s segmentation features. Most autoresponders offer some sort of segmenting features. If it doesn’t, then you need to switch services because segmentation is an important tool to use that will make all your marketing efforts exponentially more effective.

If you’re still not sure about segmenting, read this post by Alice that shows how a mailing to a segmented list of 98 people beat a larger list of over 5200 subscribers.

How to Segment

First, decide how you want to segment your list members. A great way to start with segmenting is to segment based on behavior. Separating those who have purchased a specific item from those who have not is a good first step.

You can even segment subscribers from the beginning of their subscription by putting different sign up forms on each landing page they use to sign up for your email list. Aweber makes it a simple and straight forward process and these are the segmenting features available. Other autoresponders will likely have similar options.

  • Segmenting with Forms – You can include segmentation criteria right on a sign up form. Male from female, income levels, topics of interest and more. You can do this by adding questions that a subscriber clicks, and you can also do it by putting a different sign up form on different landing pages. 
  • Behavioral Segmenting — You can segment based on who clicks various links in your email messages. You can do it via a link inside a normal message, or you can set up a poll specifically designed to assign people to various lists based on their answers. You can incentivize clicks by offering coupons, free downloads, letting subscribers choose their sales and more. 
  • Surveys & Poll Segmentation — You can send buyers, subscribers, and list members surveys and polls that segment them based on their answers or in the case of some, their lack of answers. This is a great way to segment list members after they’ve signed up. 
  • Give Members Self Segmenting Options — With Aweber you can actually include self-segmenting options in specific messages such as a rating scale so that your readers can rate your messages, products and services, thus adding them to a specific segment of your list. 

Each of these ideas works by providing a special link to your subscribers that takes them to a hidden page on your website once they click it. Then by clicking it they also, due to the code involved, automatically get added to the specific list based on the segmentation criteria. Once it’s set up, inside your autoresponder service, it runs itself and is pretty hands off.

Segmenting customers from prospects is a good starting point into email marketing segmentation. When you do that, you’ll be able to better personalize and target your email marketing messages to make a bigger impact on their future behavior and increase sales exponentially.

How to Develop Successful Email Marketing Habits

A big part of email marketing success, comes from making it a regular habit. The more you work on growing and nurturing your list, the better your results. To ensure you develop those great habits, be sure to join Alice for the 30-Day Email Marketing Challenge. She’ll whip you into shape in no time.

18 Things to Send Your Mailing List

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What to send your email listIf you’ve ever wondered what to send your email list, wonder no longer. Just keep this list of 18 ideas handy to use over and over again.

1. Weekly Roundups: Let your email list know what’s happening on your blog and in your business. You can even share content from other sites as well.

2. How to Content: Share instructional content with your subscribers and add value. Show them how to do something that easily lends to promoting another product, whether it’s through an affiliate link or one of your own products.

3. Educational Content: Consider sending an educational series that connects weekly messages and tackles a topic more in-depth. Keep the momentum going over a period of time to fully educate your subscribers.

4. Checklists: Help guide people through tasks with checklists they can print and re-use. This is high-value brandable content they’ll refer to over and over again.

5. Worksheets and Quizzes: Allow subscribers to work through problems and challenges by asking tough questions and providing potential solutions. Whenever you can help your subscribers accomplish something, you boost your reputation with them.

6. Product Reviews and Comparisons: Help consumers make the best product choice for their needs. Your subscribers will thank you when you help them make the best buying decision possible. And of course, don’t forget to include your affiliate link.

7. Share Relevant Industry Facts and Statistics: Compelling statistics can be used to motivate action and conversions. They’re great for sales page, but emails and other content as well.

8. Frequently Asked Questions: Share answers to the questions you receive most often. Ask your subscribers to submit questions, so they feel a deeper connection and you can help them with what they really need.

9. Industry News Commentary: Discuss your thoughts and feelings about industry news, changes, events, and controversies. Use your email messages as a tool to spark conversations. Staying educated about what’s happening your industry is a good thing all around.

10. Coupons and Special Promotions: Deliver coupons to your audience or share exclusive or limited time promotions. Share them for your own products or ask a vendor to extend a special offer to your list.

11. Make Announcements: Are you launching a product, hosting or attending an event, or making changes to your business? Use email to keep your prospects and customers aware and engaged. It’s the best way to reach them directly.

12. Contests and Sweepstakes: Launch contests and sweepstakes through yoru email list and get more people involved and excited about your business. People love free stuff and they even love to spread the word about free stuff, so you can grow your traffic.

13. Share Useful Tips on Relevant Topics: Tips are amongst the most popular types of online content. When you keep your emails simple and to the point, your readers are more likely to take action.

14. Videos: If you have a video channel, share links to your video or embed the video in the body of your email message. If you don’t have any video to share, find some great ones your subscribers would be interested in.

15. Webinars and Live Events: If you host live events you can use your email marketing to not only market the event but to also share links to the recordings and/or transcripts. You can also share snippets or quotes from the event to provide value and market the event.

16. Interviews: Interview industry experts and share all or a portion of the in1terview in your email message. This is a great way to deliver useful content and to build relationships with players in your niche.

17. Challenges: Challenge your subscribers to achieve something within your niche and to share their results. For example, an organization expert might challenge subscribers to share their biggest organization problem and how they solved it. Or challenge them to share their messiest closet. It’s a great way to get subscribers involved.

18. Images: There are a number of different ways to approach sharing images in your email marketing. You can share:

• Photos
• Cartoons
• Memes
• Pins from your Pinterest account.
• Infographics

Get your subscribers involved in the image sharing too. Ask them for photos using your product or other images they want to share.

The easiest way to keep delivering great content is to plan your content in advance, but as busy entrepreneurs, we know it doesn’t always work out that way. That’s why this list will provide you with ideas to use in a pinch…or while you’re doing your topic planning.

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Don’t Want to Write Your Newsletter?
Here’s How to Get Away with It

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Outsource your emailAs a business owner, there are so many things you have to take care of, so it’s not always easy to get to everything. If you’ve been putting off your email marketing because you never seem to get around with it, you can stop that right now. We’ve got tips to help you effectively outsource your newsletter writing.

Identify Your Topics and Goals for Your Content

What do you want the content in your newsletter to achieve? For example, do you want to send traffic to a sales page? Do you want to boost your Facebook page or promote a new contest? Let your ghostwriter know what you want to achieve. It helps them write for your goals.

What Type of Content Do You Want to Writer?

In addition to sending the topics you’d like your ghostwriter to write on, let them know the type of content that you prefer or feel best fits the topic. For example, you might ask them to write a “how to” type article or a product comparison.

Assign the Content Well in Advance of When You Need It

Work with your writer to create a schedule that fits your needs and theirs. For example, you might assign November’s content in October so you have your content ready to upload into your autoresponder at the beginning of the month.

Planning ahead also ensures you bring forth the best content for your subscribers possible and makes it easier for you to include effective product promotions to go with that content.

Provide As Much Information As Possible

In addition to sharing the goals for each newsletter article also let your writer know:

  • What keywords and keyword phrases you want to use, if any. If you publish your newsletter content online then keywords can help improve SEO. If you have specific requests regarding the placement of keywords, for example in the title or the first paragraph, let your ghostwriter know.
  • What you want the message to sound like. Share your brand message and voice. For example, are you friendly and informative, controversial, or authoritative? Include a description of your brand image and message along with a few links to content that accurately conveys your voice.
  • Are there any links you want included in the message? You can always add links later after the content is written. However, sometimes the flow of the article can be improved when the writer inserts the hyperlinks in relevant and appropriate places.
  • How do you want it formatted? For example, does your audience prefer lists? Do they respond to bullet points and content with numbers or steps?

Obviously, it’s a great thing when you can get someone else do quality work for you and free up your schedule in the process. But another benefit we don’t always notice right away is that working with a writer ensures we are organized and proactive in moving our businesses forward. When there is a writer waiting for our instructions, it forces us to stay on top of things and our business has no chance but to grow.

If we can help you with your email writing at all, we’d be delighted to help. You can check out our email writing services here.

Now, let’s get emailing!

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How Do I Get More Subscribers on My List?

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If you know the power of the mailing list (and I hope you do), you’re probably always trying to get more people on yours. Of course, you want targeted subscribers, not just numbers.

Here are a 8 must-do ways to grow your targeted subscriber list:

1. Have a Great Offer: It’s not enough to say, “We have a newsletter…join!” You have to give them a compelling reason to subscribe. You can give them a free gift like a report, software or tool. Or if you’re mailing list has some other attractive perk, include that in your offer.

2. Change Your Offer Accordingly: Sometimes the same freebie or perk doesn’t work in all instances. Change it up to fit the appropriate situation. Just like with any advertising you do, always make your offer as targeted to the audience as possible.

3. Have Multiple Lists: Not only should the freebie or perk should be targeted, so should the email you send to the list. Target your list to the specific audience. This doesn’t mean you need 30 lists, but where it makes sense, do it. For example, if you’re in the women’s health market, you may have lists for healthy eating, exercise, etc.

4. Opt-In Form on Every Page: It’s email marketing 101, but a good reminder to have your opt-in offer on the top fold of each content page. If it’s a sales page, you may not want the distraction, but for your blog, articles and other content, get that opt-in form on there.

5. Dedicated Opt-in / Squeeze Page: In addition to having an opt-in form, create a full page dedicated to nothing but “selling” your freebie/perk and opting into your newsletter. This is going to be a key piece of real estate for building your list. See the resource link at the bottom of this post for help in creating your page.

6. Link to Your Opt-In / Squeeze Page: Once you have your page set up, make sure you link to it readily. Use it in your advertising, resource boxes, signatures and more. If you expect to send a lot of traffic from one linking source, create a special landing page that welcomes those visitors and target the offer as much as possible.

7. Refer-a-Friend and Share: Ask your subscribers to pass on your emails and to share them on social media. If they like your content, encourage them to make sure others know about it too.

8. MAKE FRIENDS!: This one is HUGE. One of the fastest ways to grow your list is to make friends of would-be competitors. It’s not a dog-eat-dog world out there amongst content publishers…most of them readily share, so get to know them and these relationships will be some of your biggest assets.

A Couple of Optional List Building Tools:

These are a matter of personal preference and the second depends on the type of resources/time you have. However, they can be extremely effective in building your list more quickly.

1. Pop-Up / Footer Ad: Test different pop-ups or footer ads. They are an effective way of bringing your offer in front of your visitors and you can often adjust settings so they aren’t as intrusive. I haven’t used pop-ups much in recent years because the technology didn’t provide for as much control as it does now. I am currently testing a footer ad here and working on tweaking it, so bear with me.

2. Pay-Per-Lead Affiliate Program: Instead of just paying your affiliates for each sale, you can also pay them for each new subscriber they bring you. We’ve done this in the past with good results. It was a fairly closed program (so we avoided much of the riff raff), but you will still need to monitor for any fraudulent activity and make sure you use a confirmed opt-in process.

Further Reading:

Here’s a post at Contentrix called Build Your List: Autoresponder Promotion 101. It includes help for creating your freebie offer, putting together your opt-in page and driving traffic.

What to Do Next to be an Email Marketing Success

A big part of email marketing success, comes from making it a regular habit. The more you work on growing and nurturing your list, the better your results. To ensure you develop those great habits, be sure to join me for the 30-Day Email Marketing Challenge. I’ll whip you into shape in no time.

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