18 Email Marketing Tips I Swear By
It was in 2006 when I first learned the power of an email list when I began to sell digital products on eBay.
Instead of making one time sales, I figured, why not get customers to opt-in to my newsletter so that I can alert them of new items for sale.
It started slow.
Then 50, 200, and 2,000.
Each time I’d release a new product, I would send out an email to my subscribers.
Within minutes, I’d receive sale notifications from PayPal.
That exhilarating sound of cha-ching kept coming through.
That’s the power of having your own email list.
But don’t get me wrong, email marketing has indeed changed over the past decade. Back then, you could send out an email and expect an open rate of over 90%. Nowadays, 10-20% is considered high (at least in the internet marketing space).
In addition, it’s harder to reach the inboxes of your subscribers. Mail servers have put strict filters and algorithms so that recipients are seeing “important” emails in their inbox as opposed to promotional emails.
But no doubt, email marketing is still a medium you don’t want to ignore. It has the highest ROI versus other mediums such as social media, especially in the B2B industry.
So what can you do to get as much engagement from every email you send out and of course make it a profitable marketing tool?
Here are 18 quick tips and principles I follow:
Give to get. If you want website visitors to opt-in, you need to offer something of value. It could be a free ebook, a 5-day email course, templates, cheat sheets, or anything else that is valuable. The key is to offer an incentive that is easy to digest and one that your subscribers can take away and implement right after they go through your ebook, course, etc. For an example, you can take a look at my 5-day Entrepreneurial email course.
Following up is key to increased sales and engagement. Have an autoresponder sequence to automate your marketing and relationship building. You don’t want to just have one email in your sequence. Make sure to have at least one going out each week to keep your subscribers active.
Be personal. People want to know you’re a real human with real emotions. Share your stories. Share your wins and your failures. Being vulnerable makes you human. Subscribers will stick around for many years because you’re not just another person trying to grab a quick buck.
Add a “Help getting started” email half hour or a day after your welcome email. This is an email that simply has a subject line titled “Need help getting started with anything?”. The body of your email should then say something like “Hey, just wanted to check in and see if you needed help getting started with anything?”. That’s it. You’ll get much more engagement plus valuable feedback you could use for creating content pieces, courses, and more.
Don’t fall for “lifetime” autoresponder deals. You’ve probably seen marketers promoting an autoresponder script/software or service where you pay no monthly fees. I say avoid it at all cost. There are far too many reasons why you should avoid them one of which is that you need to know how to maintain a high sender reputation. It gets very technical, so I won’t even waste another word on this.
Do use reputable autoresponder services such as GetResponse, AWeber, Drip, ConvertKit, Mailchimp, Ontraport, etc. They have been in the business for years and maintain a solid email deliverability rate.
Be consistent with your mailings. If you’re going to post once a week, do follow through on that. If your mailings are sporadic, there’ll be no predictability which means your subscribers don’t know when to expect your emails.
Do let subscribers know what to expect in your emails. In your welcome email, let subscribers know what to expect from your emails. Will you be sending tips each week? Are you going to send a new offer each day? Set the expectations at the start so there’ll be no surprises for your subscribers.
Make sure subscribers can easily unsubscribe. The last thing you want is getting spam complaints! Don’t try and be tricky and add lots of line breaks, making your unsubscribe link at the bottom of your emails or disguised in a bunch of texts. Keep it clear and simple.
Don’t mislead subscribers with subject lines that don’t match your email body just to get their attention. It’s tempting to want to use a catchy subject line to increase open rates. Use caution as it’s considered spam when your subject line doesn’t relate to your actual email.
Don’t be afraid to sell. When you’ve worked hard to get your subscribers, it seems so much harder to try and sell to them because you’re afraid they’ll unsubscribe. When it’s time to sell a product, you can be as direct or subtle as you want. Just don’t think that you need a week to warm up your subscribers to ask for the sale.
Double opt-in or single opt-in? The simple answer is that you’ll always build a higher quality list using double/confirmed opt-in because subscribers have to physically click on a confirmation link to subscriber. Not only will you build a higher quality list, you’ll also lower the cost of your autoresponder payments since you’ll pay for fewer subscribers. On the contrary, single opt-in will give you a “bigger list”. To me, it’s more about the quality of your list than the quantity. So don’t aim to have a big list for the sake of it.
Do email swaps and collaborations. This method involves contacting another site owner and seeing if they would be interested in sending out an email to your opt-in page. You can agree on however many clicks you want — 50 clicks, 100, 200, 1000…you name it. Of course, this method does mean you need an existing email list so that you can actually deliver clicks.
Backup your email list. Just like anything, it’s always good to have a backup. Apply the same rule to your email list. You can easily export your leads. Do this on a weekly basis. I have my assistant do it for me so I don’t have to remember.
Keep your list clean. In email marketing, this is called “list hygiene”. Periodically, what you want to do is remove any subscribers who have not opened your emails for a while. What rule you follow depends entirely on you. I usually remove subscribers who have not opened my emails in the past 6 months. Maintaining a clean email list improves your sender reputation which in turn helps get your emails across to the inboxes of your subscribers.
Avoid “digital sharecropping”. Although I recommend building an audience on social media, I wouldn’t recommend relying on just one. What if your Instagram account of 20,000 followers gets hacked with no way of retrieving it? You don’t want to be “sharecropping” or in other words, build your business on someone else’s land. Use social media to drive traffic back to your site where you have complete control over.
Take care of your existing subscribers. Continuing to build new subscribers should always be part of your marketing strategy, but don’t forget about your existing subscribers. They already showed some type of interest, so take care of them. It’s much easier to sell to existing subscribers than it is to find new subscribers.
Just start. If you haven’t already, what are you waiting for? The aim is to start without getting to analytical of email marketing. As my favourite quote goes - “You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going”.
SUBSCRIBERS ARE NOT NUMBERS
Behind every email address, there’s a real human.
Where I see the power with email marketing is connecting with your audience and knowing that there are people out there who value your work.
On two separate occasions, I organized to meetup subscribers face-to-face. One was in Singapore and the other was in Sydney. It was a great opportunity to meet some of my subscribers, some of who have been customers for many years. It just brings that extra level of connection in the end by showing that you’re a real human.
No doubt, to this day, email marketing has been my number one driver for traffic and sales.
When I release a new product, I announce it to my 20,000+ loyal customer base and almost instantly receive sales.
When I want to learn what topics subscribers want to learn, I simply send out an email and receive immediate feedback.
At the end of the day, an email list is powerful.
It’s more than just a marketing tool.
It’s an asset.
Over to you!
What are some email marketing tips, tactics or strategies you follow?
Let me know in the comments!