Email Marketing – Grow & Maintain Your Audience

Being in the digital era as it is now,  the opportunities for small businesses to grow and be able to sustain this growth, are endless.  Digital methods to market products and services are readily available and easily accessible.  One tried and tested method that is widely used is email marketing.

This is an all-in-one guide on email marketing.  Get to know what it is, how to use it- from the basics to the more advanced strategies and tactics.  Choose the section you like:

EDM = Email Direct Marketing

In today’s business trend, more tools are being utilized by the entrepreneurs to market their products and services. Even small businesses are now going digital and one essential tool that they take advantage of is the widely-used communication tool – email.  

Email marketing is a digital strategy to advertise products and services directly to target consumers.  Unlike the conventional method of marketing using print media with all the works and manpower involved, this method can be done with just the power of the send button.  

Businesses can send their proposals, advertisements, solicitations and other sales or fund generation campaign to their current or prospective customers through email.  They can also utilize this tool to link other companies to those in their customer list for a possible business matching. With these business solutions in mind, it can be said that it is, as with other advertising methods, efficient and effective.  But, how is it more efficient and effective than other conventional advertising methods?

Advantages of Email Marketing

Email marketing, if done right, has a lot of advantages that can benefit any business greatly.  These include:

  • Preferred communication medium.  Consumers prefer email to reach out to companies and other businesses, and receive regular updates and promotions from them.  For businesses, the consumers can be accessed easily as most are always online.
  • Grouped customer database.  The customer list can be sorted and grouped based on the demographic, geographic and behavioral aspect of the target niche.  With a well – sorted list, businesses can then benefit from the next advantage of email marketing.
  • Customized and personalized messages.  There are a hundred and one ways to customize advertising through email.  Using the grouped database, businesses can create an advertising email addressed to a particular group and do the same for the others.  Also, for VIP customers, the message can be personalized in a way that will touch on his interests and specific business need.
  • Individual feedback mechanism.  In conventional advertising methods, having  general target customers, feedback is not often obtained timely.  Sometimes, it is not obtained at all. In email marketing however, the target consumers can directly give feedback or respond, real-time.  If an action is necessary, businesses can address it with urgency.
  • Efficient data analysis and monitoring.  With a grouped list on hand, a feedback mechanism in place and digital data analytic tools available, consumer behavior can be easily monitored.
  • Optimized sales results.  Having a better understanding of consumer behavior, email campaigns can then be improved.  This will, in effect, give businesses an upperhand in sales conversion.
  • Higher return on investment.  The sales impact that can be generated from email marketing can be significantly greater than the cost of logistics involved.  Manpower can be confined to only one, less supplies and resources are being used and customer response time is prompt.
  • Environment-friendly. Businesses, as part of their advocacy, aim to protect the environment.  Thanks to the advancement of technology, the use of paper and ink to advertise products and services is now minimized.

Elements of an effective Email Marketing

Even if email marketing gives businesses an edge over those that use conventional methods of advertising, its success will still depend on the following elements:

  • Tone.  The tone  of the email should make consumers feel like it is going towards a one-on-one conversation rather than a mass email advertising for a general audience.  
  • Relevance.  Personalizing an email must be accompanied by an intention to be relevant to target customers. It must present products and services as the solutions that they need in their businesses.  
  • Format. Visual is vital to capture the customers’ attention.  The high-resolution images, appropriate color, and organized layout of the email are some of those that will make a good visual.
  • Time and Frequency.  The schedule for sending out the emails is within the control of the business owners.  It must be based on the result of the data analytics where consumer behavior is being considered.  When do they usually access their emails? What day in a week has the most number of email response?  How long should the next email of offers be sent out? These are just some of the questions that must be answered to create a more efficient schedule.
  • Incentives.  The cost efficiency of this method will create a financial ground for businesses to play around with. Sample items, gifts, a raffle and other promotional gigs can be offered to encourage the customers to participate, but not without buying products or availing of services.  
  • Language. The language being used must be one that consumers will understand.  The thoughts being conveyed should be well – organized. It is also very important for the email message to be grammatically correct and free from typographical errors.  So, proofreading is a must.
  • Highlight.  The business must be highlighted in the email.  It does not necessarily mean the repetition of certain words.  It could be a sentence or a tagline with words that will bring a strong effect or impact to the consumers.  The bottom-line is, the business is remembered.
  • Landing page.  The readers must be led to the landing page – the website where all the other information about the business, all of its products and services can be found.  With this in mind, the website should also possess the above elements.

    With the benefits of email marketing, it can be the best way to reach, connect and engage with prospective and current customers. It provides greater chances of increasing sales and overall, growing a business. After all, what is being developed here is awareness, customer relations and loyalty – crucial factors for a business to grow, to profit and to sustain.

    How We Use Email Marketing

     My Current Email Marketing Stack

    Curious on how to do email marketing? I’d love to share my marketing process for email captures and see if you have some ideas on how I can improve.

    Let’s review all the steps here. It has become quite a bit. I have been diving so deep into email marketing and funnels at my business blog Global From Asia – I thought I’d take a step back and recap what I have been working on.

    For years I have been collecting emails on the site and sending out a weekly Global From Asia newsletter – Thursdays at 9pm. There is also the welcome series and other lead magnets that are given as bonus to those who come into the email account for the first time.

    Since DCBKK I have been inspired by Brennan Dunn to do more and to get more focused on the various segments in the list.

    This is the marketing stack I am currently using:

    Active Campaign I’m using this as my email provider. My buddy Dustin got me on this back in 2014 when I moved off of MailChimp. There are some more advanced ones, a bunch of people are talking to me about Drip email marketing, but I am overall satisfied with this one. I have about 116 automations going now, and have templates and can plugin other templates as I go. No matter what you are doing in your email marketing, you will need a email “sending” system such as Active Campaign – which I am happy to recommend and you can signup here.

    Optin Monster – Now, you’ll need to get people to join your email list- you could use the default form that Active Campaign and the other email sending providers offer, but they are not specialized in that. My friend Rene got me onto Optin Monster which is freaking powerful! You can configure just about anything. I love the modal popup, so that when people click a button to subscribe, a popup comes for them to enter their email. This saves space on the blog post, and also avoids them having to load a new optin page. I have some with A/B split tests as well. My biggest finding here is that my most simple optin pops are the most effective. Less is more with a popup and optin from my research.

    Deadline Funnel – One that I learned about from Brennan Dunn, it is powerful! So I set this up after someone opts in via Optin Monster – they get added to the Active Campaign email list. On the thank you page after opting in, I give them a limited time one time offer. The big work comes in on all the different optins I have on the GFA blog. I’m spending more and more time making more and more limited time offers based on what they are opting in for. And then later in the welcome email series you can give them other limited time offers. What I have learned a lot from my emails is that people like my new signup series but say they will come back later to buy the book or course that I am offering.

    Amazon S3 – I store my pdfs here as Active Campaign can’t hold big files (1 megabyte limit) in their email templates. What this means is if I offer you a checklist when you join my email newsletter list, you’ll get the email from Active Campaign but inside the email will be a link that goes to the Amazon s3 file. You pay for the amount of data people are downloading on s3, and I have it for my podcasts as well so it is just a small incremental charge on top of my podcast hosting bill.

    So those are the 4 tools I am using when building and tweaking my email marketing funnel.

    My Email Marketing Workflow

     Here’s the workflow I go through when I make a new lead magnet:

    • Create the lead magnet – normally use google docs and export as PDF.
    • Upload lead magnet to Amazon S3
    • Start a new automation in Active Campaign (copy a current automation as a template)
    • Setup the email template and the “here’s your PDF” in the email which links to the Amazon s3 file
    • Create a new optin in Optin Monster (copy a commonly used optin that is working)
    • Edit the text on the optin, the tag that connects to Active Campaign, and the name of the optin (name it the tag)
    • Decide which thank you page to send the new optin (based on what the lead magnet is) with a deadline funnel limited time offer that is most relevant to that optin
    • Ensure that the tag added in the Optin Monster connects back to the correct Active Campaign Automation
    • Refresh WordPress’s Optin Monster plugin and then get the Monster Link to add to the blog post
    • Edit the WordPress blog post / page to add this Optin Monster Monster Link.
    • Test the page and click all the links and ensure the correct modal popup happens. Recheck the integrations and tags and see if it works.

    One extra step I have taken is I set in the Active Campaign automation a notification email to be sent to me each time a new optin happens – so I can quickly click into that flow and see that they opted in and got what they asked for.

    This is pretty complex (in my opinion) but I feel very focused for each individual person. What I do is in these lead magnet automations I send them to a main on boarding email automation so that I can focus on tweaking that one. The optin automation simply delivers the lead magnet (PDF) and then is finished.

    To summarize, these are the tools, main flows I feel you need:

    • A place to hold the emails and send out the emails (I use Active Campaign)
    • A system to attract people to join your email list (lead magnets- I use Optin Monster, I have used Lead Pages before)
    • A system to give limited time offers – you can just use a static count down, but Deadline Funnel I have found has really powerful features with tracking IP and email and can be integrated inside the emails
    • A place to hold the lead magnets you are delivering, I use Amazon s3 storage.

    How about your email marketing stack and process? I’d love to hear from you!