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Someone voluntarily gives you their email address either online or in person so you can send them emails. They may pick certain types of email content they wish to receive, like specifically requesting email alerts when new blog posts are published. Opt-in email addresses are the result of earning the interest and trust of your contacts because they think you have something valuable to say.
Every ESP will give you tools to create an opt-in form for your site. Generally speaking, the less information you ask for (at this initial stage, at least), the better. The more information you ask for, the less likely your prospect is to complete the process. You’ll obviously need to ask for an email address, and I also highly recommended that you ask for a first name so you can personalize your emails. However, asking for any information beyond these two fields can decrease conversion rates significantly without adding much valuable data.
After that, you need to make a choice about how to construct an online presence that helps you achieve that goal. Maybe you need to set up an e-commerce site. If you’re interested in publishing content to drive awareness and subscribers, look into setting up a blog. A simple website or landing page with a lead capture form can help you start developing your brand and generating traffic. A basic analytics platform (like Google Analytics, which is free) can help you start to measure how you are tracking towards your initial goal.
Personalization in email marketing is essential because most people want a more relevant experience. Email personalization is not just about using people’s names in an email. It’s also about making sure you send the right emails to the right people at the right time. One essential tool for email personalization is segmentation. You can get an email marketing expert to help you set up segments so you can personalize appropriately. Done right, email personalization results in more clicks and more business.
Scammers can take advantage of consumers' difficulties verifying an online persona's identity,:1 leading to artifices like phishing (where scam emails look identical to those from a well-known brand owner) and confidence schemes like the Nigerian "419" scam. The Internet Crime Complaint Center received 289,874 complaints in 2012, totaling over half a billion dollars in losses, most of which originated with scam ads.
A/B testing is trying two different techniques that communicate the same message on a small percentage of your list, seeing whether A or B performed the best, then using the better performing option when you email the rest of the list. It sounds complicated, but there are plenty of email marketing solutions out there that take all the math and guesswork out of it. (All you have to do is come up with the option A and option B you want to try.)
If you’re going to get in the habit of pitching often, try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Ask yourself if your messaging is consistent with the expectations you’ve set. As I said before, Amazon does this well because they send relevant offers based on my buying habits. Those that send blind offers are far more likely to lose permission to keep doing so.
More recently, companies have sought to merge their advertising messages into editorial content or valuable services. Examples include Red Bull's Red Bull Media House streaming Felix Baumgartner's jump from space online, Coca-Cola's online magazines, and Nike's free applications for performance tracking. Advertisers are also embracing social media and mobile advertising; mobile ad spending has grown 90% each year from 2010 to 2013.:13
Write a compelling subject line. The subject of your email will be the first thing that people will see when viewing it. Because of the immense amount of spam that exists, it's important that you draw the recipient in enough so that they open the message. The subject line should invite the reader to some benefit or include a sense of urgency which requires action. Avoid cliche marketing terminology like "act now" or "free limited offer" as these subject lines can make recipients feel suspicious and turned off. Your subject line should be 50 characters or less.
Using an omni-channel strategy is becoming increasingly important for enterprises who must adapt to the changing expectations of consumers who want ever-more sophisticated offerings throughout the purchasing journey. Retailers are increasingly focusing on their online presence, including online shops that operate alongside existing store-based outlets. The "endless aisle" within the retail space can lead consumers to purchase products online that fit their needs while retailers do not have to carry the inventory within the physical location of the store. Solely Internet-based retailers are also entering the market; some are establishing corresponding store-based outlets to provide personal services, professional help, and tangible experiences with their products.
Further, today's consumer is connected 24/7 and attention spans are divided across multiple mediums -- web, email, mobile apps, texts, TV, radio, etc. Direct mail pieces received directly to homes or businesses break through marketing silos and require a dedicated pause to consider compared to the many thousands of on-screen messages we receive any given hour. Consider how unaffected you are as a consumer when you receive spam emails -- it's a quick click to delete without a second thought. But we're receiving less physical mail than before, and are therefore less likely to dismiss mail as quickly as we used to.
If you haven’t yet started building an email list (but know you need to), this article is for you. You may have heard that a strong email list is one of the most valuable assets you can have, but when you’re starting from scratch, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This is partly because many business owners have a hard time envisioning the long-term payoff for the hard work they need to do now.
The recipient of your email blast is unlikely to commit a lot of time to reading what you send. If you keep the content short, make it easy to scan and easy for them to digest, it will be a much better value for both of you. Aim the content toward providing the reader with enough info to get them interested and then encourage them to follow the links to learn more.
This ties into the first 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – even if you have what you feel is a great and well-defined target list, you won’t truly know how great it is until you test it. If you operate a business in a smaller community, this won’t be as critical – but if you’re in a medium or large city, it can be crucial. Using the example above, even if you know that the Life Alert bracelet offer is meant for seniors, in a city like San Francisco or New York, you wouldn’t want to send it to everyone over the age of 55 citywide. Instead, select one (or in a very large city, several) small area to test the market out. Start small and measure the effectiveness and ROI along every step of the way.
Use it to make sales on autopilot. Creating a sales funnel out of an email autoresponder sequence is a widely adopted strategy used by information marketers, but it can also be used by software companies, eCommerce businesses and service providers. For example, it could consist of a series of educational videos, a sales video and follow-ups to sell your information products. Or, you could create a sequence of free educational emails, and then invite them to a live or recorded webinar where you make an offer. For eCommerce businesses, your sales sequence could include promo offers for products your subscriber has just viewed on your website.