In 2017, email marketing is still my favorite channel for two reasons- efficiency and effectiveness.
- Cost Efficiency: Designing and sending email has never been cheaper. For small businesses, it’s practically free. As you your list grows, so do your costs (typically) but always in scale.
- Time Efficiency: Every major email marketing provider (Constant Contact, Mailchimp, etc.) provides mobile-friendly design templates. Swap out your logo and message and you’re on your way.
- Effectiveness: Email marketing is effective, if done right. There’s no better way to drive sales than with timely and relevant email pushes.
As an efficient online marketing channel, email marketing is something which always pays dividends if you invest in it. Whether your business is just getting started or has been email marketing for years, there is a fundamental that you must take ownership of. I highlight it because few businesses take each to heart.
It’s this simple…
Scale is what you need to make email marketing interesting. I don’t mean interesting like a solar eclipse. I mean interesting like new customers, more sales, money, bigger houses, and better vacations.
To reach scale, we need to lead by building your email list legitimately and with precise intention.
Fundamentals of Scale
- Appeal to Your Customer: You won’t win the love of the masses (gain email addresses) without a relevant and appealing pitch and delivery upon a promise. Give something to get something, always.
- Be Aggressive: A wise man once said, “Ask and you shall receive. But hide your calls-to-action in the footer of your crappy website doesn’t do sh*t.” I forget the wise man’s name but the saying stuck…
How to Simply Grow Your Email List Faster and Better
No magic potion, just logic. Growing your email list always begins with a quick exercise. Here’s how that process goes.
- Who do you want to sign up? What are the profiles of prospects who you’d ideally see sign up for your email list. Think about prospects in each part of your funnel.
- What’s your pitch? For each prospect profile, what is your pitch, gimmick, offer, etc? Maybe one pitch works for all, maybe not. Think about the buying experience. What can offer, promise, and fulfill which appeals to each prospective segment.
- What tech will you use? Tactically, how will you get your pitch in front of the right prospects at the right time. Software, third party apps, etc. are important in tactically implementing your plan.
- How to promote? How will you promote? Build it and they will not come. Promote it and they probably will.
Since it’s usually easier to learn by example, let’s go through one.
Sample 1: See You At The Car Wash
Let’s apply the three steps above to a sample business, a car wash. My goal, get a ton of nearby people (who hopefully own cars) on my email list so I can promote a special offer each week and boost sales.
- Who do you want to sign up? As a car wash, I want anyone who has a car and is in close proximity to my business to sign up. They buying cycle is short and I think one pitch will work for all, at least to start.
- What’s your pitch? Well, it’s a car wash so I think it’s simple- I’m going to offer a great deal to all people who sign up for my list. For this effort, I’ll offer a buy one get one free coupon so I can establish a new paying customer. If my service is good (and I email market to them), they’ll be back
- What tech will you use? Since I realize that people who come to my website will likely forget about me within seconds of leaving, I’ll aggressively go after the email address by implement a pop-up email subscription form. As soon as they get to my website, I’ll use popup software like OptinMonster to make this a seamless experience.
- How to promote? Aside from showing the popup to all my website visitors, I will also run a Google Adwords local campaign to promote my car wash. This way, I can push a lot of local traffic through in a short period of time to get the list building quickly.
Sample 2: E-commerce Blues
Let’s apply the three steps above to another sample business, a makeup ecommerce website. My goal, get a ton of email addresses from customers interested in purchasing makeup.
- Who do you want to sign up? All current and prospective customers who are interested in my makeup.
- What’s your pitch? Simple- Sign up today and I’ll double your next order. Increase conversion rates (good discount) and acquire email addresses for future email marketing campaigns.
- What tech will you use? Since I realize that people who come to my website will likely forget about me within seconds of leaving, I’ll aggressively go after the email address by implement a pop-up email subscription form. As soon as they get to my website, I’ll use popup software like OptinMonster to make this a seamless experience. When users sign up, I’ll let my email marketing software like MailChimp email them a private coupon code.
- How to promote? Aside from showing the popup to all my website visitors, I will also run a Google Adwords campaign promoting my makeup. While I expect some who come from this campaign will purchase, it’s more likely that more will sign-up to get the deal and I can get them back later.
A Few Closing Thoughts
- Don’t invest in building your email list unless you plan to nurture it (send emails to it). You need a full plan here and it needs to continue to deliver value (fulfill your customers’ expectations) or the list will shrink and quickly as it built up.
- Don’t bother investing in designing and sending emails if you’re not aggressively growing your list. Without scale, it’s a waste of time and money.
- End goal, establish an efficient channel where push communications can drive sales regularly.