Is email marketing dead? With the rise of social media, chat marketing, and other digital marketing platforms many have been predicting the death of email.
The truth is that email still generates $38 for every dollar spent, and is still the most cost-effective way to market to your customers online. Email marketing is still going strong because in 2019, the number of email users was over 3.9 billion.
In fact, it is more important than ever to start list building and get your email market strategy off the ground.
In this post, I am going to show you the best email marketing strategy for beginners by starting with why building your email list is important, how to build your list, and 11 secrets to email marketing for beginners.
The importance of an Email marketing strategy
Email is one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies available today. According to a study by Emma, 59% of marketers say email is their biggest platform in terms of ROI. Best of all these returns have stayed consistent for the last decade.
Now compare the number above with digital ad costs on platforms like Google and Facebook. Digital ad costs have gone up an average of 20% each year! This means the Google or Facebook ad that is making you money this year will slide into the red in a year or two.
You own your email list
Another reason why email marketing is so powerful is that it’s the only digital marketing asset you truly own. When Facebook first started people who liked your page saw every one of your posts which made it amazingly fast and affordable for you to interact with your customers on a regular basis. Facebook quickly realized that these interactions could be monetized and has built a business worth hundreds of billions of dollar with this insight.
You can get started with email marketing for free
Facebook and other social media platforms are now a pay to play system. For example, if you worked hard to gain 10,000 followers on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, today only a small fraction of those followers will even see your post if you don’t pay.
The other critical point to know about social media platforms is that they can change the rules at any time. Facebook may decide overnight that they no longer allow organic or even paid content for your products or services. There are numerous examples of business accounts suspended or deleted without notice and with no explanation given. I have been a victim of this as well.
There have been multiple times when my Facebook ad account, my personal Facebook account and even my Facebook groups have been suspended without any reason.
In the case of Facebook, it can take months of back and forth with customer support to get your account back and that’s the best-case scenario.
Email marketing different because your customers gave you permission to email them and you own your email list. If your email service provider decides to dramatically increase their prices overnight you can easily take your email list to another email service provider.
List building 101
Now that you know how cost-effective email marketing is and how it’s the only digital marketing asset you truly own, we’re going to cover how to do list building the right way.
1. Engage your existing customers:
If you have people that are already willing to pay money for your products or services they are the easiest and most valuable people to add to your email list.
When someone buys a product from you, you can add them to your email list, and take them through a consumption sequence to help them best use your product. You can also use these emails to up-sell other programs, since it is easier to sell to those who have already bought from you once.
2. Create a lead magnet:
There are a number of different ways to create a lead magnet depending on your business and your overall objective. Most lead magnets are digital content because they’re cost-effective to make, free to deliver, and can have an immediate impact on your new email subscriber.
I have an entire post dedicated to lead magnet ideas.
3. Giveaways campaigns:
These are incredibly effective at list building if the giveaway is done correctly.
First, you need to create a prize that is going to attract your target audience. For example, if your company sold lotion for women you would want t a prize package that might be the “Ultimate self-care kit” and include your product along with a few other products from brands your target audience already loves.
Second, promote the giveaway to your existing customers and allow them to refer their friends. This is an easy way to generate high-quality email subscribers. You can also use social media platforms with both organic and paid posts to get your message out to more people that have similar interests as the customers you already have.
Finally, make sure you have a welcome series so your new subscribers can get to know you and your brand. Additionally, have high-quality content ready to send them on a continuous basis to keep these new subscribers engaged.
You can use a tool like Kingsumo to create a giveaway from scratch.
Mistakes to avoid in list building
1. Never buy an email list:
It’s easy to find large email lists for just pennies per email. This sounds like a tempting way to start off strong with a large list, but in reality most of these email addresses are extremely low quality and will get all of your emails sent directly to the spam box.
2. Single opt-in:
Many email service providers give you the option to offer either single opt-in or double opt-in for new subscribers. Double opt-in means new leads have to put their email address into a form plus click in their email to be added to your list.
The quality of your list will be significantly better with double opt-in enabled. This means for every email you send you’ll get better open rates, click-through rates, and fewer of your emails sent to the spam folder. Since most email service providers charge by the subscriber it will save you money too!
12 Secrets to Email Marketing for Beginners
Now that we’ve covered why your email marketing strategy is so important and list building 101, it’s time to show you the 12 secrets to email marketing for beginners.
1. People enjoy getting email:
We hear all the time that people are sick of getting email, but the truth is that people are sick of email that provides no value to them and fills up their inbox.
Up to 95% of people want to receive email from brands they have made at least one purchase from. They want to get useful content, stay informed about your brand, and take advantage of exclusive discounts.
2.You’re a guest in their inbox:
When you’re invited into someone’s home you should be polite, engage in interesting conversation, and leave a positive impression. Your customer’s email inbox is no different.
Would you invite back a house guest that is constantly trying to sell you something, shouts at you, or babbles on about themselves? Take the extra time and effort to be one of the few emails in their inbox that your customers’ look forward to reading because they are useful, engaging, our just plain fun.
3. Welcome them:
Imagine how you would feel if a strange walked up to you on the street, introduced themselves, and then immediately tried to sell you something? You probably would have your guard up.
Now imagine if a new friend introduced themselves, shared a little about their background, and then asked a few questions to learn more about you. Then send you some useful content based on your discussion a few times over the course of a couple of weeks. Finally, asked you if you interested in their product or service because it could help you solve a problem for you.
When you get new subscribers have a process in place to welcome them to your brand. Many email service providers offer an automated welcome sequence that you can customize to your brand. These first few emails are critical to letting your new subscribers get to know you and your brand.
Also, do forget you can ask them a quick question. This gives you valuable feedback and lets them know there’s real people behind the brand.
4.Write like a friend:
Your customers want to connect with you and your brand. Write your emails like you would if you’re sending it to a friend.
5. Timing is everything:
There is a right time and a wrong time to send marketing emails. Fewer people read emails that are sent on the weekend. They are also more likely to open emails in the morning instead of later in the afternoon. Most brands see the best open rates and click-through rates Monday to Friday and earlier in the morning. You can do some testing to find out which day and time works best for your brand.
6.Create great content:
Your customers will love hearing from you if you create great content that is useful to them. This means investing some time or money into writing great blog articles or other content.
If you don’t put in a solid effort on your content your customers will notice and you’re emails will go unopened or worse into the spam folder.
7. Send more emails:
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make in their email marketing strategy is not emailing their customers enough. Too often brands wait months in between emails because creating compelling content is intimidating when you first get started. If you wait a few months, many of your customers will forget they signed up for your email list and mark you as spam.
When developing an email marketing strategy for beginners, we recommend emailing your customers a bare minimum once a month with useful content. A better goal is once a week because you’re going to learn quickly what your customers are interested in enough to open your email. For many beginners, this sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that many successful companies email their customers with useful content three times a week and a few companies even email daily!
8. Resend to un-opens:
Many people that are just getting started in email marketing incorrectly assume that if a customer didn’t open an email it was because they weren’t interested. In reality, many times it’s because they didn’t even see the email. Resending the same email with a different headline a few days later usually results in 50% to 75% more people reading your emails.
9. Segment your list:
Some customers are want to read every awesome email you sent. Others might just want the promotion emails you send every 4 to 6 weeks. It’s important to segment these customers onto a different list so they’re getting the value they want from being on your email list.
What’s the easiest way to know what type of emails and how often your customers want to hear from you? Just ask them when they first sign up. Many email service provides give you this functionality.
10. You want some people to unsubscribe:
Most email service providers charge based on the number of subscribers you have. Every time you send out an email a small number of those people are going to unsubscribe because they are no longer interested in your brand. This gives you great feedback on whether your emails are connecting with your audience and removes people who don’t want to buy from you.
11. Clean your list:
You should be regularly removing people that haven’t opened any of your emails in the last six months. Instead of actively unsubscribing, they have ghosted your brand and are no longer interested. Taking these people off your list will ensure your emails don’t end up in the spam folder.
Email marketing can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. But the best time to start with email marketing is today. With the right email marketing strategy you can achieve a 34x to 44x return on your investment.
Once you get started with email marketing and start seeing results you’ll see clearly why many brands have successfully been using email marketing as one of their core digital marketing channels.