Email Marketing For Your Business – A Beginner’s Guide

Many sources will tell you email marketing is the number one method of making sales. And we agree. There are some strong reasons why you should not to be in business online without using email marketing as a tool.

What is email marketing?

The concept is simple. You have probably encountered it many times on other websites. Ever been on a website where you signed up to receive their free newsletter? Ever been offered some freebie in exchange for your name and email?

If you have seen this you will know what email marketing is about. You need to implement the same system on your website or blog. When interested visitors give you their email addresses, you can reach their inboxes with offers or entice them to come back to your website again. Email marketing is the best method for getting responsive visitors to view your products again.

Repeated exposure is very important for making a sale. It is estimated that a typical buyer needs to be exposed to a product for 5 to 7 times before he buys. Emails are an excellent way to warm up your leads to the prospect of buying from you.

Once you sign up with an email marketing service provider you can email as many prospects as you want and as many times as you want. You can send thousands of emails to several thousand subscribers as often as you wish. This is a great method re-targeting. Once you have a list of subscribers, email marketing becomes a free source of traffic for your website.

Why email marketing works better than any other kind of marketing?

Email marketing is known to be more effective and it gives you more return on the dollar than any other promotional method. Depending upon your product, the average return is $28 for every $1 spent.

There is a reason why email marketing tends to convert so well. A person's email address is personal. But these people are giving information to reach them in their inbox and tell them more about your products and offers. People are more attuned to emails they receive. Emails are personal and therefore more effective than online advertising.

You can also say what you want in your emails, design them the way you like unlike other forms of advertising online where you are restricted by space and word limitation.

When people sign up for for a newsletter on your website, they have warmed up to the idea of you and your business. Emailing them personally results in a lot of these subscribers successfully converting into sales. And not just once, but multiple times. As long as they stay your loyal subscribers you can keep sending them new offers.

Email signups and newsletter signups is one of the first things you should implement on your website. If you are getting traffic on your website and you do not have email signups, you are almost certainly losing money.

How to start with email marketing

Sign up with an email marketing service. There are many names in the business and the list just seems to get bigger every week. The biggest names in email marketing are GetResponse , Aweber, Constant Contact, MailChimp and InfusionSoft. We have tried mostly all of these and for your purpose we recommend you sign up with GetResponse . Why? In our opinion there are some distinct advantages of choosing GetResponse . Here they are in short:

  1. Very good email templates. Lots of designs for every need. Emails looks really professional and enticing. 
  2. Mobile friendly emails. Not something you get from all other providers. Almost half of traffic comes from mobile devices. Almost half our email gets opened on mobile devices. The emails from GetResponse look fabulous on mobile devices. A large chunk of your traffic is also likely to come from mobile devices, you can be sure of that. 
  3. Detailed email analytics. Very easy to see and understand which emails are working, converting and which are not. 
  4. Much more automation allowed. You can put a number of things on automation in GetResponse . For example, you can set a certain set of people to get a special collection of email if they click on a particular link. Effective testing. You can test everything in your email from different subject lines to content and choose the one that performs the best. 
  5. Great apps for iOS and Android devices. You can download the free GetResponse apps on your mobile devices and stay updated with all your campaigns and statistics. 
  6. Cost friendly. GetResponse matches services and cost perfectly. It is perfect for small business start-ups. GetResponse offers more features and yet is better priced to sell some of its other competitors. 
  7. Landing Page Creator. You can create free custom-built landing pages to capture leads. You can really optimise your landing page using the well designed, free, pre-made templates which look great and will increase your email sign-ups many times. 
  8. Reliable, great delivery rate. And email marketing service is only as good as its reliability and rate of delivery. GetResponse has a good reputation with ISP providers and their email do not end up in the Junk mail but in the inbox of your subscribers.

Sign up with GetResponse using this link and you will get an immediate $30 off. Of course you will first get the first month completely free. You will most probably not have cause to regret choosing good response.

After you have signed up with GetResponse you will be taken through the steps of creating your first campaign. It is simple enough. You will have to choose a name for your campaign and a few other settings like which email address to use and whether you want a single opt-in double opt-in. If you do not understand these terms do not worry. You can find a complete guide in the help section.

Placing the Sign-Up Form On Your Website

At the end of setting up the campaign you will be asked to create a signup form. There are many ready-made templates available. You can just choose the design that fits your website the best and write a few lines that you want the form to say. When you are done with making this form, you will be provided with a short code that you can place anywhere on your website.

For example, you can put this code in your sidebar, in the footer, below every post, in the header on top of that website etc. Just make sure that the size of the form fits the location where you are putting it. For example if it is in a sidebar, make sure that the width of form is within the width of the sidebar.

You can make different forms for different placements on your website. Another kind of form that you can choose is called a Lightbox. A Lightbox form is a pop-up form. You can adjust different kinds of settings like how often you want the form to appear to the visitor, after many seconds into the visit etc. Lightbox forms can have a dramatic impact on your signup conversion rate. You should definitely try experimenting with it. If you do not want a pop-up form for your entire website you can insert the code only on pages of your choice.

Double Opt-in Or Single Opt-In

In your campaign settings there will be a setting for the single or double opt in. GetResponse allows you to import email addresses from an existing list without sending them confirmation messages. Other email marketing companies do not. This is of particular advantage because a large number of people may not sign up twice.

In order to be compliant with CAN SPAM regulations you need to enable double opt-in for your email signups on the website. Double opt-in works in the following manner. When a subscriber signs up on your website, he or she is immediately sent an email asking them to confirm their subscription. They are asked to do this by clicking on a link in the email. Only when they receive, open and click the link in the email they can start receiving further emails from you.

This is what this is why it's called a double opt in and ensures that people give their correct and active email ids. Single option allows a person to start getting emails from you right after signing up on your blog. There is no confirmation email sent.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to double opt in. The advantage is that only is that you only get confirmed email addresses in your list. The bounce rate is less. The disadvantage is that some people may not take that extra step of confirming the email address. This is not so much of a worry because these visitors are not seriously interested in your business anyway.

The bigger disadvantage is that we have found that with certain email marketing companies, the double opt in confirmation email ends up in the junk mail folder of the subscriber. These are subscribers may not find your email at all and therefore never end up confirming this subscription.

The disadvantage of a single often, on the other hand, is that you might get some false emails. However, you can minimise this by giving out access to something valuable for free in the sign up. Let the subscriber know that you will be sending the free giveaway to his email inbox. If they are interested in you and your business, nine times out of 10, they will enter their correct and active email addresses.

Double and single opt-in is an important setting in your campaign. You should test each setting for at least a week and see which one performs better for your business.

Setting Up Newsletters and Auto Responders

After a subscriber has signed up to your newsletter, they need to get that first email from you. Usually the welcome email also contains the freebie that you have promised during the signup, if any. This email is sent automatically after sign up. This email is called an auto responder and you will be asked to set it up after you have created your first sign up form. You can add more emails the auto-responder series.

You can choose the time interval of mail delivery, such as everyday, two days etc. This sequence of emails that you create will be sent to each subscriber according to the delivery schedule you set up. It is a completely automated process and once you have created the email sequence every subscriber goes through receiving the same emails.

Auto responders are great if you can devise a series of emails that you want all the subscribers to get such as a series of promotions, special offers, a list of important pages on your website, your Etsy shop et cetera. You can have more than one email campaign with different signups on your website with different auto responders to follow.

Newsletters are one time emails you can create to send to your existing subscribers, or a part of them. Newsletter can only be sent to the existing subscribers. If you send a newsletter today, the people who sign up on your list tomorrow will not receive it. Newsletters are used to keep subscribers up to date, announced new offers etc.

Newsletters can be used in combination with auto responders. Auto responders take the subscribers from a fixed series of emails and offers, whereas newsletters can be used to announce anything new and interesting about your business.

Good Email Marketing Practices

These are a few tips you can follow to optimise results from your email marketing campaigns on your website.

  1. Choose the double opt in to increase conversion rates. Because only the people who are genuinely interested please confirm you can keep the size of your mailing list down with a more responsive subscribers on it. 
  2. Experiment and split test with newsletters. Choose different subject lines, content, text-based vs image-based emails etc. 
  3. Set high performing newsletters as auto responders to go automatically to all subscribers in the future. 
  4. Set auto responders schedule. Send initial emails quickly. For example, send the first five emails every second day. If you notice a drop in the open rate increase the interval to 5 days, a week or a fortnight. 
  5. Work on a regular newsletter pattern. Write one weekly or monthly depending on what you have to share. 
  6. Place the sign-up up form on multiple locations on your website, giving visitors every opportunity to sign up. 
  7. Create a newsletter sign up page, the only purpose of which is to generate email signups for your list. Use the GetResponse landing page creator to create a great page for email signups.

Email marketing

Start with signing up with one month trial with GetResponse . They have free getting started guide which you can download from the help section. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about managing and creating your email marketing campaigns. You will also learn some effective steps to maximise your conversions and email sign-ups.

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