Email marketing might seem a relatively old-fashioned method of marketing your business these days with new kids on the block like Instagram and TikTok often being touted as the best way to advertise brands and make online sales in the modern market.
However, taking a look at the current statistics still says otherwise with email-based transactions being over three times more profitable than paid advertisements and boasting forty times the conversion rates of social media outlets.
There’s a much greater potential for creating more personal and trusting relationships developed over time with email subscribers, which in turn correlates with higher conversion rates and all-importantly, more profitable transactions. By boosting things such as brand awareness, driving traffic to your website and also generating direct sales, marketing your business via email is a highly effective method of monetizing it. The latest studies show that over half of the adult population worldwide are subscribers to at the very least one email newsletter which is a huge pool of potential customers to target.
So how should you go about drawing them in? Here’s the fun part. If you plan well from the outset, emailing your potential customers can become a totally automated process so you can literally sit back and watch the purchases come rolling in.
There are various different types of email to familiarize yourself with first such as broadcasts which are one-off pieces such as a tailored welcome letter. Then there are the autoresponders or drip-sequence types which consist of a pre-scheduled calendar of multiple emails due to being released over a set period of time. You can also play with triggered emails which as the name suggests, are pre-composed emails triggered to be sent after the subscriber takes a certain action. As simple as it is to send these types of emails out to your mailing list at the merest click of a button, however, it is important to consider exactly what that email contains if you want it to have any pulling power in terms of making sales. With that in mind, here are my top nine email marketing tips:
1. Sell Your Own Product or Service
Firstly, know what you want to sell. This may sound blindingly obvious but having a clear business plan and knowing your product well enough so that you can honestly, thoroughly market it to the correct audience ensures that you are not wasting your time from the get-go.
Get creative with what kind of products, packages or services you can offer for purchase online; these can range from physical objects for shipping, to virtual things such as ebooks and membership subscriptions or even the more intangible offerings like coaching and workshops.
2. Sell Via Affiliation
Selling your own product is not the only avenue available for making money via emails however. You can also monetize by selling via affiliation, which basically means selling other people’s products and services. For this, you will receive a percentage commission from the company whose products you are promoting.
However, you must be careful only to recommend products that you know will be relevant and interesting to your subscribers, otherwise, you risk alienating them with too much obvious hard-sell and spam-like content.
Genuine recommendations that tie in with your business and go hand in hand with your own products are worth exploring though, and may even lead to reciprocal arrangements with other companies providing affiliate links to your website too.
3. Go Premium With Your Product Lines
Once you have an established client base via email, you can start to up-sell your existing products. A great way to improve returns on products is to offer the option to upgrade to an exclusive, premium version for an extra fee at the point of transaction. You can incentivize these upgrades in a wide variety of ways such as adding tempting freebies to a premium package or a more personalized approach.
4. Make Use Of Cross-Selling
Gradually expand your offering in order to sell customers originally interested in one of your products, another different product that you think they might be interested in. You can use the data you collect from existing purchases to gain insight into your customers here and predict what they are likely to be open to purchasing. This is best done one to three weeks after the customer’s first purchase, which you can time via an automated email.
5. Get Them Coming Back For Seconds
Use your emails to encourage repeat purchases from existing clients. This obviously works best if you have the kind of product or service that is recurring, seasonable or perishable. You can easily schedule timely reminders to be sent out to your clients in case the option of using your business has slipped their mind. And to really push the boat out, you can even offer discounts and coupons as rewards for loyalty, giving them an opportunity to book in or set another reminder.
6. Gentle Encouragement and Timely Reminders
One area in which many online sales are lost is right at the final hurdle. We’ve all been there, with the products in the shopping basket, only for something distracting to happen and we end up never making the purchase.
Well, fortunately, technology has advanced far enough for our computers to be able to detect when this happens to our customers, and we can send out a triggered cart abandonment email. This type of email should gently remind the buyer to complete their purchase, again providing another opportunity to communicate with them just why they should do so!
7. Sell Space In Your Emails For Advertisements
Emails might seem like a dull marketing method to the unassuming, but they are such a blank canvas of opportunity. Not only can you earn from selling your own products, but if you have white space left over you can sell it for advertising much like billboard space.
Again, be careful not to overdo it as your customers will not appreciate being bombarded, but the advertisement of other well-chosen products can really help earn you that little bit extra every time you hit send.
8. Make The Copy Convincing
All of this said, none of the above tactics is likely to work well unless you invest time and energy into creating good copy, or money into hiring somebody who can do so for you. The ideal marketing email needs to be attention-grabbing, relatable, personalized and possibly even humorous unless you are trying to sell funeral plans.
Your copy needs to include a call to action that encourages the reader to follow through with their purchases from you. The more quality content you offer for free in your emails, the more interested your subscribers will be in purchasing content or products that they need to pay for.
Most newspapers now utilize this method of selling their journalism now that most of their readership has moved online in an effort to be greener. Offering great, informative writing in regular newsletters will keep consumers coming back for more and eventually will hopefully lead to invested readers feeling prepared to pay extra via a paywall for special access to premium content.
9. Invest In High-Quality Design
The same can be said for ensuring your emails are well-designed. Clients can lose interest before even opening an email in this era of twenty four seven marketing from all angles.
As result, ensure that your subject line and pre-header look good, as well as the email address that you use appearing genuine. Once the email has passed this test, make sure that your design is mobile-friendly as most people check their emails from their phones these days.
If your email content is not compatible with this screen format then it is unlikely that your client will spend the time transferring to a laptop or monitor in order to take a second, proper look. After that, you need to consider how eye-catching and professional your content appears, being careful to always include consistent branding and smart logo placement.
Once you do start selling as a result of your email marketing strategy, be sure to ask your clients to leave good reviews and spread the word about your business. Nurturing your online relationship with your subscribers goes a long way, and those who feel well informed and experience consistent, friendly communication from you are likely to develop a greater sense of trust in your brand and therefore be more likely to purchase again from you, to make bigger purchases in the future or to encourage their friends and family to make purchases from you.
While it may seem an intimidatingly complex kind of marketing campaign to get off the ground, with myriad ways of approaching your target audience and potentially only one chance to get your email read and after that, liked, once you have successfully navigated your way through these nine top tips you’ll find that your efforts are amply rewarded.