What is email marketing?
There are several ways of getting people to be interested in what you are “selling” online. One of the methods used is email marketing, a marketing method whereby you send out commercial emails to potential or current customers of yours with the intention of either building relationship for the longterm, or advertising or selling a product or service. This is usually achieved by means of a marketing software installed on your website (or other form of web presence).
Why learn email marketing
- Email marketing is a viable marketing tool for any kind of internet business.
It does what traditional mailing did for businesses prior to the advent of the worldwide web: allow them to send out communications to their customers. It is however much more effective as delivery of messages is instant in its case.
- Email marketing puts the online business owner in direct contact with his/her customers.
Whenever there’s some important information to pass on, a simple click of a mouse can achieve that. Email marketing is therefore a must-have for any internet business trying to reach out to a large scope of people who may be interested in its products or services.
- Email marketing has proven to be quite effective with a targeted audience than other forms of internet marketing.
That is another reason why it is important not just to learn email marketing, but also to make use of it as an online business owner. Whether it is implemented by means of opt-in forms, landing pages or marketing funnels, email marketing generally attracts interested customers and insures that your messages reach their inboxes, unlike other forms of online marketing which may not be directed at a targeted segment of your market. The prospects presented by email marketing are simply great.
- In addition, email marketing can provide invaluable information regarding the behavior of customers.
By using an email service provider, an online business can gather, study and consequently act based on information about the activities associated with the purchase and use of its goods and services, including the way consumers respond emotionally, mentally and behaviorally before and after the above-named activities.
How to learn email marketing
Like other forms of online marketing, email marketing is better learned in practice than in theory. Meaning, you learn it better by taking action than by just reading about it. Although reading provides you with the concept, it is important to “do” as part of your learning process.
Email marketing is actually learned “in reverse order”. You begin by preparing the latter steps before actually carrying out the initial ones, as you are going to find out below.
The email marketing process appears in the following order:
1. Put in place relevant mechanism (opt-in forms)
2. The forms collect email addresses (of interested persons)
3. Group the addresses (list-building)
4. Send out relevant emails to the list (campaign)
5. Achieve your objective
However, like in the case of other forms of marketing, you must begin by identifying the goal(s) you wish to achieve from the very beginning, which will determine how you go about the actual process. That is why I mentioned earlier that it has to be done in reverse order. If not, you’ll either get stuck along the way or your email marketing efforts will prove fruitless.
So, although I’ve spelt out the email marketing process above, to begin with, you must first:
1. IDENTIFY YOUR OBJECTIVE
This is the foundation of any marketing strategy put in place. Clearly determine what you wish to achieve by engaging in a marketing campaign. That will assist you in the next step; i.e. determining how to:
2. PLAN YOUR CAMPAIGN
Depending on your objective set in the previous step, in this step, you will get to plan the actual marketing campaign: the content of the emails to send, who you intend to target, and the like.
For example, if in Step 1, as objective, you establish that you wish to nurture a relationship with your customers, in Step 2, you could go for a weekly newsletter to ensure your objective of maintaining a relationship is achieved.
Planning will help you to eventually create well targeted and highly-performing campaigns that will lead to you achieving your objective set in Step 1.
After appropriate planing with regard to Numbers 4 and 5 in the process above, it’s now time for actually start the email marketing process outlined above:
3. Put in place relevant mechanism and collect emails.
As defined initially, an integral part of email marketing is the collection of email addresses. This is not done manually. There are so many email marketing service providers (EMSP) – some free, others paid – which assist, by means of relevant software, in putting in place mechanisms that will allow you to collect emails.
Those mechanisms include opt-in forms.
Common Types of Opt-In
The most common types include:
Embedded Sign-up form: A sign-up form seen Embedded into a website.
Exit-intent: A pop-up that appears if the visitor moves their mouse pointer towards the close button
Light-box: A pop-up that appears after the visitor spends a certain time on a website
Bar: A sign-up form that appears like a bar on a web page
Slide-in form: A sign-up box that pops up from the side or bottom of the page when the user scrolls down to a certain part of the page
Download box: A sign-up form that allows the user to download content from a web page.
Some Prominent EMSPs
Prominent EMSPs include GetResponse, Aweber, ConvertKit, Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Drip, etc.
As part of their service, you have the possibilities of creating opt-in forms which will do the job of collecting the emails of persons interested in your offer.
Note: It is quite a wise marketing strategy to attach a “freebie” to whatever form of opt-in you wish to use. An email address is something personal and important to people. Many do not share it with just anybody. Something valuable that is offered them free of charge in exchange for their email address serves to entice them to “peacefully” turn it over.
This is a strategy not to be neglected when it comes to collecting email addresses.
4. Group the addresses
Like in the case of the previous point, your ESP stores the email addresses collected in one place – your list. There, you have the possibility of sub-dividing them according to your reality and needs. Within your overall list, you could have sub-lists relating to specific segments of your market. That will serve you correctly in the next step.
5. SENDING OF EMAILS
With the planning of this step previously carried out, here you send out your messages to your email list as set out in your plan.
As mentioned in the previous point, sub-dividing your list is essential to your marketing campaign. You will not want to send all messages to every single person on your list. Sub-lists therefore allow you to send certain messages to particular groups of people – to only those who you think actually need to receive it.
Note: The above points outline the steps involved in learning email marketing. There are however courses/programs provided by several EMSPs which are meant to hand-hold you through the email-marketing learning process.
Email marketing is an essential marketing tool for any online business owner. When learned and applied properly, it serves to assist in achieving one’s online marketing goals. In this age of technological advancement, it is made simple and available by the presence of so many service providers who don’t only make available software intended to help you in executing the various steps, they also provide learning programs to help you master such an indispensable marketing method.
Depending on whether the EMSP is free or paid, the services they provide may / may not adequately respond to your email marketing needs.