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The Effectiveness of Email Marketing. Very Powerful Marketing Tool for Your Online Business




The effectiveness of email marketing will enable you to retain your customers along with continuing to acquire new ones. Email marketing is one of the best ways to continuously market your products and services to existing customers and ensuring that your business remains fresh in their minds. Your long term success will depend on the relationships you develop with your customers and how you maintain them.

It is difficult to establish a good level of trust and credibility on the Internet. But if you are able to do this, you will experience a great level of success in selling your products and services. And since there is no personal face to face interaction involved in Internet transactions, email marketing is arguably the next best thing to a true personal touch.



Email Marketing 101

Email marketing is most often conducted through newsletters subscribed to by your customers or website visitors. Since this marketing campaign is voluntary from a customer’s standpoint, you can ensure that you are connecting to a niche audience that has agreed to hear from you on a periodic basis.

The type of Newsletter you use as part of your e-mail marketing campaign will heavily depend on your niche audience. You have to appeal to your target audience and give them want they want to establish credibility and build a long term relationship with them. After you consider your niche target audience, you need to assess your marketing needs as well as the size of your wallet.

There are some very sophisticated email marketing software packages available today that cost a lot of money. They are all very good and worth it, however, you need to weigh out the costs and benefits in making this business decision. There are two main types of newsletters that you can manage electronically:



Email newsletters

These are online text based newsletters that you can manage and distribute using an email marketing software. Your customers typically have to voluntarily opt in to receive these letters. Email newsletters are received by your customer/visitor in their email programs.



Subscribership through RSS Feeds

These can be text based or in form of digital files (audio and video) that are managed by your Blog or another management software. Like email newsletters, your customers/visitors have to voluntarily subscribe to the RSS feeds to receive your content on a periodic basis. This content can be received in email programs or other media collection and management tools (i.e. I-tunes, to receive audio files)

Depending on the product or service that you sell, it can cost tens, hundreds or even thousands of dollars to acquire one customer for your business. So why would you ever want to loose one once you have them? As an online business owner, you need to maximize your sales to your existing customers before you should expand into offering other products and services and pursuing other sales channels. Often underestimated, targeted email marketing is one of the most important things you can do to accomplish these objectives.

The Benefits of a Good Email Marketing System

  • Cost efficient – Include some stats here. Cost per thousand etc.


  • Effective – extremely effective. Attract, engage and compel action


  • Great thing is that this technique has all kinds of tools to show you what works and what does not – discuss trying different subject lines and clickthrough rates, open rates, etc.


  • Staying in front of your customers’ eyes – stay fresh remind them who you are and what you have for them. Always be there for them


  • Make your customers feel special and part of a community – sense of belonging. Everyone wants to feel like they belong to something


  • Cross selling to existing customers – use your existing customers to gauge interest in new products/offerings and sell to them. Maintain relationships while expanding your base at the same time

Use

Email marketing has been used for years and retailers rank this online marketing technique as one of the easiest, cost-efficient and action generating activity for them. I think the last time I picked up an Internet magazine I remember an article mention that over 70% of retailers use email marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.

If you currently do not use e-mail marketing as part of your broader marketing strategy, I highly recommend that you do so. If you decide to go with Site Build It (“SBI”), you will have this capability built in your website software. If you choose to build your own web business step by step, then I recommend AWeber, the best email marketing solutions that is available today.



Email Marketing Tips


Don’t forget about the jolly good times

Keep the calendar very close to you and capitalize on the major holidays and special occasions. There are certain days every year when we celebrate certain events and causes more than other days. Events like Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas amongst others are some of the Holidays retailers capitalize on by offering special discounts and promotions to their customers.

Historically speaking Holidays have been the most popular time for shopping and where retailers have made most of their profits. The peaks and valleys in the retail industry clearly suggest that the largest volume of profits is made during just a few occasions every year. As an online business owner, don’t forget to join the rest of the retail industry on this Holiday seasonality waive or you will be leaving significant amounts of profits on the table.


Signing up for email newsletters

A common practice among retailers is offering seasonal discounts and promotions to customers on their email newsletter list. Retailers advertise this as an incentive for customers to sign up. Come up with a few promotions of your own and entice your customers to sign up for your list. It’s ok if you have to sacrifice some profit margins or even have to pay a little bit out of your pocket; this would be a great start to building solid, long term relationships with your customers.


Double opt in to make sure it’s unsolicited. Avoid spam as well. Why would you want to send emails to people who you are not sure want your product or services anyway? Make your email list as lean as possible ensuring each customer on there wants to hear from you.


Make your email list sign up process easy for your customers. Provide a brief description of the benefits they will be receiving if they sign up and provide a small but visible area where your customers can enter their email addresses. Always follow up with a thank you email note and reemphasize the benefits of being a part of the email list. This small gesture goes a long way; especially during Holidays when your customer’s hearts are already pre-warmed up for you ?

It’s not a bad idea to occasionally surprise your customers with a coupon in the mail or with a small rebate check. Use these techniques in conjunction with your email marketing campaign and you are almost guaranteed long-term success.

Make sure that you specify the purpose and frequency of the e-mail newsletter distribution in your brief description of the benefits. Then ensure that you satisfy both the purpose and stick to your frequency of distribution. Always ensure your subscribers that their information will remain confidential and will not be resold or redistributed for purposes other than that of the e-mail newsletter.

Take advantage of the Holidays to beef up your mailing list by running a time sensitive e-mail marketing campaign where you are telling your potential subscribers that your offer is valid for a very limited time only.


Contents of the e-mail newsletter

Email addresses are a very personal thing to most customers and customers are often reluctant to give them out to just anyone. Customers will give you their email addresses in exchange for a promise you make to them. The promise of providing them with something valuable that they can use. So if you run a Blog or an information based website, include some advice and tips in your newsletter. You can also send your most recent articles or product reviews that your customers might be interested in.

If you run an ecommerce business, consider providing detailed information on some of the hottest selling or new products. They key is to provide value to your reader in an interesting enough way to get their attention and engage them in reading your e-mail newsletter. Always have a link from your email newsletter back to your website and include verbiage in your newsletter that compels your reader to take action by clicking onto the link. We see this everywhere everyday. Just think about the last time you were interested enough in something that you clicked the “Click Here” section of a website, Blog or email newsletter? Yup, that is exactly what you want your readers to do.

Many shoppers still prefer to go to a local brick and mortar establishment because of the personal touch they experience. Many people feel good knowing the store clerk’s name or having the owner operator of some local store address them by their name when they walk in. It is impossible to replace human touch when you are not directly dealing with your customer. However, you can and should go the additional mile in email newsletter marketing by addressing your reader by their name.

And as you build your relationship with your customers and gather more information about them over time, try to incorporate that information in your e-mail newsletters to them. For example, you can incorporate an automated feature in your e-mail marketing software that sends out a customized Happy Birthday e-mail to your customers on their Birthdays. Or you can set up your email marketing system to study your customer’s shopping preferences and periodically send them emails recommending certain products or services along with detailed reviews.

I am not suggesting spending countless hours on e-mail marketing. This is supposed to be a streamlined process that you can add to your overall marketing strategy. There is sophisticated e-mail marketing software today that includes such features that allow you to personalize your e-mail newsletters. The more expensive the software, chances are the more sophisticated functionality you will have. Do your cost benefit analysis and pick out the appropriate e-mail marketing software from the list below that best meets your objectives and your budget.

You can market your website on other businesses’ newsletters by offering to add your original content to their mailing if you don’t have your own email marketing software. Read my discussion on using third party establishments to market your website.

However, I strongly recommend establishing your own email marketing campaign. There are just way too many benefits to this that you can’t pass on as a serious online business owner. I hope this discussion was successful in highlighting the effectiveness of email marketing and its importance to you as an online entrepreneur.

The two most popular email marketing solutions in the marketplace are Aweber & Constant Contact.



Evaluation of Affiliates:

Constant Contact - Email List Management Tool (60 Day Free Trial)

A comprehensive eMail Marketing program with one of the best template creators. Vast customer base and excellent support services. Constant Contact offers tours to demonstrate how to use the program and provides handy guides you can use to effectively create and manage your eMail campaign. As low as $15 per month


AWeber

By far the best help and support program in my opinion. This program is a perfect autoresponder (automated way to send a message or string of messages to someone who requests it so that you don’t have to do it manually again and again) solution that works just as good as a newsletter distribution service.

As low as $19.95 per month. It is by far the best overall in my opinion and has single handedly made me a lot of money in my internet career. I have written a full review on it which you can check out here.






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