That is not the sexy and exciting answer they were hoping for, but it is the best answer I have. With all of the shiny objects and dangling carrots hanging in front of an online marketer’s eyes, there is one profit-generating method that has stood the test of time and still delivers results: email marketing.
It seems as though every week someone else steps forward to declare that email is dead. It was killed by RSS, Twitter, texting, Facebook and lots of other flavors of the day, but email doesn’t stop. Like the Energizer rabbit, it just keeps going and going and going and…
You Own Your Email List
Perhaps the most important thing about email marketing is that you own your list. MySpace can become irrelevant, Facebook can stop showing your posts, any platform can close your account and make you disappear off the face of the web (or at least their part of it), but you control your list.
I know many people whose businesses were saved when Google stopped sending them traffic because they had an email list. That email list allowed them to keep generating income without the blessings of the gods of Google. If you are dependent on Google or Facebook or Pinterest or some other platform you do not control, you are playing with dynamite. Start building your email list today.
Direct and Personal
Why does email marketing work? It is direct and personal, like getting a message from a friend. You can build relationships with your subscribers so that they feel like they know you. People buy from those they know, like and trust. Email can help you build that relationship.
Email Subscribers Respond
The specifics will vary by list, but email is a cost-effective way to reach a lot of people and get them to take action. In general, email open rates and click-through rates are higher on average than other marketing methods, and the cost of managing an email list is relatively low.
Almost Everyone Has Email
Social media sites are popular, but there are many people who do not use them. Even if they do, some of your potential customers may be on Facebook, while others are on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc. No matter what your business is, it’s highly likely that your customers use email.
Email Isn’t Going Anywhere
Email is not a fad, and it is not going to go away anytime soon.
SEO Not Required
With an email list, you already have an audience. When someone reaches your site, no matter how they got there, you want to get them on your list. They are not likely to randomly arrive on your site again, but once they are on your email list, you can bring them back again and again. And these are people who want to hear from you or they wouldn’t have signed up for your list.
One of Many Weapons
This doesn’t mean that email marketing is all you need. You need to get people to your site in the first place so they can sign up. Social media branding, search engine marketing (organic or paid) and other online marketing strategies are great for that. But getting as many of your site visitors as possible to sign up for your email list should be one of your highest priorities.
As long as you have a list, you have a way to generate income.
So what is your first step? You need an email marketing service. Don’t try to run an email list out of Gmail or your webhosting account. It will put you in a world of hurt. You need a service that is able to send large numbers of emails and (most importantly) get them delivered. Sending bulk email from your hosting account will likely get all of your emails blocked and may cause you to lose your account.
There are lots of good services out there, so which one should you use? I have used Aweber for many years and I have been very happy with their service. They are very good and they just keep getting better. You can get a free 30 day trial to check them out and see what you think.Sign up for the free trial, then put opt-in forms all over your website. Put one on the home page. Put one in the sidebar. Put one at the bottom of every post. Have a lightbox open on every page or post. Okay, you don’t have to do all of those things, but do at least a few. Make it easy for your visitors to sign up for your list.
Then what? Keep in touch with your list by emailing regularly (at least once a month, but every week or two is usually better). We will talk about what to email them in a future post.
If you don’t have an email list, let me know what is stopping you. Leave an answer in the comments.
No more excuses! Go get your trial started and start collecting email addresses.