Your opt-in mailing list is one of your most important assets to your online business. It’s what allows you to keep in direct touch with your website visitors over and over again. But simply building a list is not enough. Here are 10 tips for getting more response and more sales from your email marketing efforts.
1. Build Targeted Lists:
You can spend all the money you want in trying to build a list, get leads and try every list-building service out there, but that often results in a large list of uninterested people. Having a large list of unresponsive people makes it hard to see what exactly your subscribers want. If they’re targeted to your topic and already know they love your information, it will be much easier to develop a trusting relationship with your subscribers.
How to build targeted lists:
Include opt-in forms on your content pages and other places where you provide valuable information to your potential customers. If people love your content, they’re going to want more of it.
Use your article bylines, YouTube videos, targeted advertising campaigns etc. to promote more of your free information (again, your list) instead of a product. Conversion to a product sale will be lower than getting them into an opt-in list and once you have them on your opt-in list, you can reach your prospects over and over again.
Get your subscribers to tell their friends about you. Part of this will be accomplished naturally by creating stellar content that people will want to talk about. You might also want to create an incentive program to help encourage people to spread the word if they love what you have to say.
2. Keep Your Emails Simple:
Your email writing efforts needn’t be complicated. Keep your messages short, simple and focused on one thing at a time. This allows your readers to quickly absorb your message and decide whether or not to take action on your call to action. Think of it this way. People are busy and with few exceptions, experience email overload. Why load them up even more?
Besides the more you bombard them with information and links in an email, the less likely they are going to take the call-to-action you want them to.
3. Keep it Personal:
Imagine yourself writing to one person and use language that you’d use if writing to just one person at a time. Don’t address your readers as a group. For example, “I know many of you…” Address your subscriber as that one important individual they are. The language is far more powerful.
For example, if you write: “I know many of you are looking for a…”
As opposed to…
“I know you are looking for a…”
You may be sending out your email to thousands of people, but each of your subscribers is reading it one by one. Address them that way.
4. Don’t Mix Irrelevant Content with Promos:
If you want your subscriber to take action on something, don’t distract them with other stuff.
Being informative in your promotions is a good idea. If you’re selling an affiliate product, an honest evaluation of that product and information on how it helps is a good thing. For example, if you’re trying to sell a product that helps your readers lower their cholesterol, illustrating the benefits of a lower lever is absolutely relevant and important content.
However, you don’t want to give a bunch of information on other topics when you actually want to sell something. Focus on selling instead.
5. Train Your List:
If you want your list to accept and take action on your promotions, teach them to become accustomed to promotions. You can let them know on the sign up page something like this:
“We will only use your email address to communicate with your regarding [x]-related topics and offers.”
If you want, you can also remind them in your welcome email that you’ll be sending them offers. You can tell them how you like to review products on your reader’s behalf and alert them to any products that might be helpful or to stay away from.
Then, regularly send them offers so they expect them.
6. Research Everything:
Your readers will appreciate your promotions, especially when you take the time to research and review everything thoroughly. In fact, your readers will come to expect you to do a lot of the hard work for them…but don’t worry this work is profitable for you!
7. Be Honest:
When you do your research, report it in an honest way and that will solidify your reputation with your readers even further.
When you investigate a product, avoid coming back and telling your reader’s it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread…because not everybody eats the same kind of bread.
Sure, you might think the product is really terrific, but break it down for your readers and identify:
Who the product is for (ex. beginner rose gardeners only).
What problems you personally see the product solving.
Any potential drawbacks of the product.
Don’t be afraid to share any potential negatives because that makes your promotion REAL. For example, you can tell them that the baby stroller you’re recommending doesn’t come with a drink holder, but the other features totally make up for it. Besides, an attachable drink holder can be purchased at very little extra cost.
8. Get to Know Your Subscribers:
Of course you can’t talk to each of them individually, but there is plenty you can do to get to know them. Here are some:
Pay attention to which links they click on in your emails (and track your links!). Whether they are clicking to read/view content, take a product recommendation or sign up for more information, pay attention.
Take note of which types of products they are buying through your links. Note which products flop and which seem to get a lot of response.
Invite them to submit feedback on your blog on a certain topic. The response you get can be incredibly valuable and give you insight into your readers.
When your readers do comment on your blog, take the time to click through to their websites. See what they are talking about, what their problems are, what products they are buying. Do this on a regular basis and you’ll come to understand your typical audience even further.
9. Use Effective Subject Lines:
If your emails are top notch, your subscribers will be waiting for them, but this doesn't mean you can get away with dull subject lines.
“Newsletter #18, Volume 8, Issue 1”
…doesn't cut it.
The only job of a subject line is to get your reader to open the email…that's it, so I personally don't really recommend descriptive subject lines either.
For example, going back to our potty training guide promo, I'd never use a subject line like:
“Potty Training Guide”
Sure, it does mean that you're more likely to have those readers ALREADY interested in a potty training guide open your email, but most of your reader won't know (yet) that they really want a potty training guide…in particular this guide you're recommending.
It is the body of your email whose job it is to convince your readers they need a guide…not your subject. Again, you only need your subject to get your reader to open the email.
In a case like this, use something like:
“This will help with the frustration…”
Now in this case, if your readers are parents of toddlers, they can very likely relate to frustration and the subject line is more likely to capture interest. Being a parent is a joy, but there are definitely frustrations with all kinds of things along the way.
So, they open the email and you talk about and relate to that frustration…and then they feel like someone understands them, knows what they need and are more likely to make the purchase.
10. Don’t Forget Your Thank You Page
Your thank you page is a priceless piece of real estate, so use it! I'm not sure what it is, but people seem to like to follow directions when they hit a thank you page. When someone hits your sign up thank you page, don't waste that space. Make a recommendation for a Real Life product right there!