5 New Ways Small Businesses Can Spice Up Email Newsletters

 Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Email marketing is one of the best ways to connect with your target audience. The only problem is that the majority of businesses online are now using email to contact and sell to the same people you are contacting. These can be direct competitors or businesses offering substitute goods. This can be bad news for your email marketing campaigns as it limits the effectiveness of your message; unless, you find a way to stand apart from these competitors and spice up your email newsletter.

There are several ways you can do this. Here are five options for you to consider.

1. Using A Preview Image For A Video

Videos are very intensive to send via email. To avoid this, most businesses use a simple link to a video on YouTube or another video sharing website. This can often lead to a poor video viewing numbers. Yet, videos can be highly effectively in the sales process. Therefore, use an image from the video that looks impressive to entice your audience to click on it and find out more.

You should also consider hosting the video on your website. This way you can set up better monitoring to see how effective the video was at increasing page views.

2. Keep Your Text Short And Snappy

If you really want your audience to read your emails and then click through to your website, don’t place all your content within the email. This only encourages the audience to read the email copy and then either click off your email or delete it. You want them to visit your site and therefore, the best option is to get them there to read the content.

Use teaser paragraphs or descriptions of the content on your email copy and then link them to the full article on your blog or on a landing page.

3. Humour

Comedy is not used frequently enough within the online marketing realm; yet it is one of the best tactics for engaging your audience. Emails containing humour are often shared more via email and social media than those without. This can grow your brand’s online footprint and email marketing list.

Ensure all jokes are clean, short and funny. They cannot be sexual, sexist, racist or in any other way offensive – otherwise you may grab headlines, but not for the right reasons.

4. Competitions

People love to win and entering a competition is one way to achieve that. By offering them that chance through your email marketing campaigns is a way your brand can satisfy their need to compete. The prize doesn’t need to be expensive as long as it something that will have value to the customer.

Ensure that your competition isn’t just related to one email. Promote it over several emails and encourage people to share the emails with their friends and family to gain more tickets or chances to win the prize.

5. Quotes To Inspire And Motivate

Whether you are engaging customers who are already buying or attempting to attract new customers, using quotes from famous people is likely to grab their attention. Quote sites are very popular and are often categorised by industry and type of quote, so finding a good quote for your business is not going to be difficult.

Don’t go overboard, but if you include one good quote from an inspirational person you will be sure to grab some attention. Experiment with where to place the quote as different audience may prefer different placement.

Conclusion

The email marketing landscape is becoming a very busy place. Many of your competitors are likely to delivering their content to your target audiences at the same time as you. Therefore, you need to create content that is highly effective and a little different. One of the best ways: use techniques that will add a little spice to the content and allow your emails to look different to your competitors’.

Take Action:

  • Add a new element into your email marketing design.

What do you use to spice up your content? How effective has it been?

Let us know in the comments below.

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3 Potential Changes For Small Business Email Marketing In 2015

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As 2015 fast approaches there is going to be a need to look at what trends will start or will be continued into the New Year. Being ahead of these trends and implementing them in your small business email marketing campaigns is more likely to generate results that will succeed.

So what are the potential changes that will affect your email marketing campaigns?

1. Quality Content Will Require Professional Writers

As brands continuously develop so they become an online resource for potential and current customers, they will need to generate content that matches their customer’s expectations. To match these, you will need to ensure the writing is of the highest possible quality.

Research has shown how professionally written content can improve the leads and the number of sales generated. Currently, it is reported that two-thirds of the writing produced by businesses is done by product managers. Yet, with so many tasks already their responsibility, they have little time to create a well crafted sales message.

Therefore, some forward thinking businesses will outsource the majority of their writing to professional writers. These writers will be able to create content that is high quality and able to deliver results for your business. This will improve the results that your email marketing campaigns achieve.

Also, because you aren’t relying on an individual who has a significant number of responsibilities already, and may place email content low on their priority list, you will ensure your business is always producing new content, on time. This will allow consistency and improve the trust your email contacts will have in your brand.

2. Video Email Marketing

Video is a rich form of communicating with your audience. The human brain is designed to be attracted to moving images and the changing facial expressions that can be produced and used within your videos.

As technology develops and Smartphones and other mobile technology become more advanced, mobile devices will be better able to display rich content. Therefore, your email marketing campaigns will need to include videos within their content. These will need to be short, approximately two to three minutes and contain high quality information to engage your audience.

In addition, you will need to host the video on sharing sites like YouTube, which is the second largest search engine after Google, to gain better reach and attract new audiences for future email campaigns.

3. Email Contacts Are Short-Lived

As more businesses start to develop their digital marketing channels, the amount of content that is online for your target audience is going to reach a critical point. At this critical point, the amount of information available is going to be too much for the customers to read in their limited amount of time.

Therefore, what is going to happen is readers will choose which brands deserve the majority of their attention. To ensure your brand has their attention you will have a limited amount of time to grab it. If you are unable to convince them of your industry authority or expertise, they will either leave your mail unopened or unsubscribe from your email marketing contacts list.

Use valuable information and carefully written content to keep their attention.

Conclusion

Email marketing is a constantly evolving digital marketing channel that can be highly successful if it is employed in the right manner. With the New Year approaching, the latest trends will need to be used in order for your brand to achieve the best results from your email marketing campaigns.

Take Action:

  • Examine the changes that are going to happen above and consider what your brand needs to do to make the most of your 2015 email marketing campaigns.

How successful have your 2014 campaigns been so far? What changes are you going to make for 2015?

Let us know in the comments below.

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New Trends In Holiday Email Marketing For 2014

Image courtesy of photoexplorer at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of photoexplorer at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Christmas is just a couple of months away and as with every winter holiday season the time for giving and receiving is becoming a hot topic for customers.

According to business advisors, shops are starting to stock popular seasonal items, children are writing their present lists and restaurants are taking in Christmas dinner bookings. This all leads to one thing, businesses vying for the attention of consumers and every year new trends appear in this constant battle.

Here are some of the new trends for 2014 which businesses are starting to use.

1. Spreading around the Christmas joy

Unlike with previous years where one day was the major focus, there are 24 potential days for your business to create special offers for customers. These days range from Halloween at the end of October to Martin Luther King Jr. Day in mid-January.

As a result, the average small business will send an estimated 19 promotional emails to each subscriber in October, 22 in November, 28 in December and 19 in January. This is a lot of copy to create for your campaigns and some businesses have turned to different content strategies to make their email marketing tactics unique.

So what content is in some of these emails?

The most common content is suggestions on what gifts consumers should buy for friends and family. However, this typical content strategy will only be highly successful for those brands who have a very loyal following and low competition.

The new trend is for advice emails where small businesses provide tips on anything from ‘how to host the perfect party’ to ‘what to do with unwanted gifts’. These are highly valuable to the reader and receive more interactions.

2. More Consumer Spending

This year, it is expected there will be an 8% increase in the consumers spend on Christmas gifts. This increase is much higher than the inflation rate and therefore provides evidence there is a strong economic recovery happening. What is fuelling this increase in spending? The number of special offer days available for consumers to buy products at a reduced price is one reason.

In November, there is Black Friday and Cyber Sunday (perfect days for promotional e-mails). In December there will be Cyber Monday, Cyber Tuesday, Free Shipping Day and Super Saturday – again all great days for promotional emails. And after Christmas there will always be the January sales, which can always yield good returns for a well crafted email.

So, unlike with previous years, there are a lot of times where you can send special promotional emails to your email list to gain their interest and provide them with offers available through your website or in store.

3. Small Businesses Have Focus

In the past, the focus has been on larger organisations with their nationwide offers. In 2014, there will be a day set aside to promote buying products from small business. This day is about actively encouraging customers to choose smaller businesses and is supported by business federations and governments.

But don’t just sit back and allow for your customers to find you. Become proactive and create an email campaign that will draw audiences to your website on the Saturday right after Black Friday in November. Start sending out a couple of emails before the day and remind your followers on the day. As the onus on the day will be about buying from small businesses, your website should perform well.

Conclusion

This holiday season is likely to be good for small businesses who are using email marketing to connect with their audience. Using their lists and sending high quality content and promotional emails at the right time, businesses can expect to see a rise in email interactions, website traffic and sales.

Take Action:

  • Plan your seasonal email marketing campaign, sending out emails for all the important dates.
  • Use a mixture of promotional emails and some providing advice for your customers.

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The Best Day To Send Small Business Email Newsletters

Image courtesy of hywards at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of hywards at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Your email list could be the most valuable marketing asset your small business owns. Email marketing is one of the biggest contributors to online sales and is a great platform for relationship building with your audience.

There are a number of different elements to increase the open rate of your small business emails. We’ve discussed some of the more advanced tactics to increase your email marketing success including:

These tips are brilliant for creating a sleek email marketing strategy to drive visitors back to your site and increase interaction with your content. In addition to optimising who receives and how often they receive your emails, you can also optimise when to send your emails.

Optimising Your Sending Time

There have been numerous studies researching the best time and day to send your emails. One study of over one billion sent emails found 7% of all emails were opened between 2pm and 3pm and approximately 28% of all emails were opened between midday and 5pm. The study found very few emails were opened in the morning with only 12% opened between 8am and 12 noon.

The evening was far more productive than the morning with approximately 23.5% off the emails opened between 5pm and midnight. This study however only looked at when the emails were opened and did not identify when they were sent.

An Experian study on the other hand did look into the sending time. The research found the open rates for emails were higher when they were sent in the evening. Those sent between 8pm and midnight had an average unique open rate of 21.7%. It is generally considered this is because the number of emails received at this time is lower and therefore there is less competition.

The same study also found the late evening emails had a slightly higher than average revenue per email.

Which Day Of The Week To Send Your Small Business Email?

Sending your small business email on the right day is also important. It is generally considered Monday and Friday are not the best days for your email to be sent.

This is because Monday receivers are generally recovering from their weekends and are looking to get a head start on their week’s main tasks. Therefore, their focus is away from their inbox. Friday is seen as a bad option because your contacts are likely trying to finish off tasks for the weekend and don’t want to start something new.

Generally, people think that this leaves Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as the main options for sending emails. While these days do receive a higher amount of email traffic and generally 17-18% of emails are opened on these days – research would seem to suggest there is a better option.

Weekend Readers

Data from Harland Clarke suggests emails sent on a Wednesday have an average open rate of 15.6%. In contrast, an email sent on Saturday is likely to be opened by nearly a third of receivers.

Harland Clarke suggests the reason for this is competition. While the majority of emails are sent on a Wednesday (26.9%) only a small proportion are sent on Saturday (5.5%).

Testing When Your Best Send Time Is

However, the best time for your email marketing may be different and the only way to know for sure is to conduct a test. Try doing a split test and send half your list an email on one day and the half on another day. Do this for several weeks and then swap the poor performing day with another day. Repeat the process until you have a day which consistently performs well.

You can also do the same with the timing of your emails.

Take Action:

  • Test when your email marketing campaigns should be sent.
  • Let us know how your testing has gone in the comments.

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What Website Pages Should You Link To From Your Small Business Emails

"Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

“Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Driving traffic to your website is the primary goal of any email marketing campaign. Deciding which web page to direct your audience to from your email can be a difficult decision. There are so many different options available that just one link may not seem enough, but at the same time too many links will seem like spam to your readers.

The best option is to consider two links in every email. This gives your audience flexibility and allows you two touch points to attract readers back to your website.

So what two website pages should you consider? Here is a list of some choices and their advantages and disadvantages.

Home Page

The most common option for small businesses is to include the homepage on their emails. The major problem with the home page is that it isn’t specific enough to give the reader any valuable interaction or you extra information on the customer. Relying on the customer to navigate your site to find something to process them further down the sales paths is wasteful. It is more likely they would look at a few non-specific pages or leave your site.

Contact Us Page

Email marketing is all about getting the audience to interact with you. Therefore, the contact us page sounds like the perfect option. It encourages readers to contact your sales team for them to close the deal.

Though, a contact page serves no real purpose in an email campaign. The contact details for your business can be easily included at the bottom of your email. Anti-spam laws across the world also insist your physical address is included on the email. Readers will not find a contact page enticing and they will only go there if they have a problem.

A Blog Post

One of the best aspects of an email campaign is the ability to deliver useful content to your potential customers. The information should be something which they find valuable and is actionable. That is why extending that information with content from your blog could be a good option.

It is a way to demonstrate your industry authority as well as encouraging audiences to read more of your content. The more they read of your content, the higher the chance they make a final decision about whether they will buy from you.

However, the blog post does little to help you progress the audience down the sales path. Therefore, while the blog post may be highly useful, it is more of a secondary link. It should perhaps be included in the text and used as evidence for statistics.

A Product Page

A product page is probably another highly used option on email campaigns. It certainly would allow for your audience to be pushed down the sales path and allow you to collect some instant revenue from the campaign.

However, if you push your contacts too quickly they may feel pressured into buying a product. This can cause them to unsubscribe, robbing you of a potential lifelong customer.

Landing Page

Creating a landing page and having a precise action upon it, allows you to collect specific information on what currently interests your contacts. This can then help you with list segregation and tailored emails to specifically target groups; increasing conversion rates and the return on investment for your email marketing.

Conclusion

There are several options for links from your email marketing campaigns. Each option is perfect for different audiences and careful thought is needed in what is right for your readers. Selecting the ideal web page can support your business in knowing what your customers want, processing leads and generating revenue.

Take Action:

  • See what links your audience have been clicking through on previous emails.
  • Select a link which you think is best for your audience and add it to your next email marketing campaign.

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Who Should Manage Your Small Business Email Newsletter?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Running a small business email newsletter campaign can be challenging as there are several responsibilities other than simply clicking send for each marketing message. That is why some businesses outsource their email marketing to services which specialise in this style of marketing.

For some, outsourcing is not an option and instead they have to manage the email marketing in-house. There is also the option of going hybrid and having some of the email marketing handled by a service provider and some in-house. Here is a breakdown of each option, their advantages and disadvantages and how you can get the most out of each method to generate your email marketing content.

Fully In-house

In-house development of your email marketing campaign certainly has its benefits. The fact that you have someone on the inside of your business creating and sending out your mail allows you to maintain your brand’s voice and therefore your entire marketing is aligned! This can often be a factor in the long term success of conversions. This method can also offer substantial savings, yet that doesn’t always mean cost effectiveness.

On the other hand, there are problems. Unless you hire someone to maintain your email marketing full time then you are going to be doing the work yourself or have a member of your staff do it who has other responsibilities. This can cause problems in busy times when they don’t have the necessary time to offer proper maintenance of the email list.

This can result in missing email deadlines, something which could lead to the loss of email subscribers.

Another issue is that your staff member may not be the best writer, email designer or have another key skill missing. Any of these can affect the quality of your email and therefore cut your conversion rate down.

If you do go down this path it is important that you do several things to ensure the best quality:

1. Hire someone who has experience in writing sales / brand messaging.

2. Give the individual the time to complete their email marketing responsibilities. This may mean taking them off other responsibilities at email release times.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a good option for those who know that they don’t have the time or expertise to manage their email marketing. Top quality content can be written, delivered and monitored for a price which is suitable for your business. This can allow you and your team to concentrate on what you do best – providing your service to your customers.

Yet there are risks when going down this route. Firstly you have to ensure that the provider is legitimate. If the provider has a bad record online then your emails are going to be sent to spam folders. Also they might be able to send the emails, but they might not be able to write them or capture your brand’s voice.

Any of these problems occurring could mean your contacts question your professionalism, and you may lose subscribers and conversions.

Yet this method can offer a vital component to the marketing, statistics. Statistics allow you to fine-tune your marketing and find out what’s successful and what isn’t. If you don’t know how to monitor your email statistics this might be a good option.

To make outsourcing work, ensure the following:

1. You see examples of work for previous clients of the outsourcing company.

2. You are put into contact with previous clients to speak to them about how they found the service.

3. You add yourself onto the subscriber list to make sure emails are being delivered properly. Sometimes it is best to add you and three or four of your team members as well.

Hybrid Service

Having a hybrid service may be your best option. This is where you are outsourcing what you cannot do and completing the tasks which you are able to manage. You might want to outsource the sending and analysis of the results or the content writing.

This method can be more expensive than that of in-house email marketing, but it can offer you more control while maintaining high standards. Ensure however that you have an effective workflow when you have different individuals working on the various elements of the email campaign to guarantee meeting deadlines.

Conclusion

Email marketing is one of the most effective online marketing methods. It is also a massive undertaking for anyone, let alone a small business team that may be pressed for time. Ensure you are doing the best for your business and consider the options above to make your small business email marketing a success.

Take Action:

  • Make a decision on whether you want to have your small business email managed in-house, out of house or by mixing the two options.

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How To Use Current Events From LinkedIn To Create Email Content

Group of people conversingUsing current events in your marketing mix is an excellent method of developing content which will resonate with your audience. Current events are more likely to attract the attention of your audience and encourage them to read your emails.

‘Events’ don’t have to be about the latest news. It could be covering the most recent trends or the latest problems which your target audience are experiencing at the time.

Discovering what the current issues, trends or news is in your industry are, can be difficult in this fast moving world.

However there is an excellent tool out there which can support your content generation: LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is one of the best places to find content because part of the social media platform is essentially like a forum where users discuss what issues are affecting them. By joining these groups you can discover what is currently affecting their lives.

You may also be able to get some ideas for your content through direct messaging or through shared articles.

From there you could make a list of topics and do research on how you can solve those problems.

Quoting

If you are particularly social in the groups which you are a member of, you could contact those who have made interesting comments and request permission to use their words in your content. This could be particularly useful as a quoted comment in your content has more authority than if you simply write the text as if it is all from you.

This is also another method of marketing your brand and perhaps having more signatories to your email newsletter and perhaps someone else who is willing to share your newsletter across their social media profiles because you have mentioned them.

Research

Another benefit of finding topics for discussion through LinkedIn is that the audience have probably already completed a lot of research for you. You should take what the group say with a pinch of salt, but there is a chance they would have shared articles or news items which back up what they say – therefore you can spend less time in researching the topic and give your content more authority.

You should include links to this research in your email marketing so your readers can see where you have collected the information from.

The Content

This style of email newsletter suits businesses which like to give very informative and highly valuable content. Essentially, the newsletter is a demonstration of your skills and expertise, offering a preview of the support or solutions you can provide your customers.

In your email you should ensure a story is told. There should be a set up of the problem, the solution and an idea which the audience can action themselves.

Make sure your audience can share the content socially with social media buttons and there is a link to either similar content on your blog or a related blog.

Further Benefits

If you post old versions of your email newsletters online, you can benefit additionally from the content because it is likely people will be using search engines to find articles on the topic you have written about. A good email should have a keyword density which can be easily indexed by the search engines on your website.

Conclusion

LinkedIn can be a fantastic resource for reaching out to your customer base, as long as you use the information it provides to its full potential. The information it can provide is reliable, timely and relevant to your audience and therefore they will enjoy reading and interacting with your email content.

Take Action:

  • Have a look on LinkedIn and use some of the conversations you read for your next email newsletter

Do you use social media for conversation generation?

Let us know in the comments below.

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When Should You Remove Subscribers From Your Email List?

A picture of an email sign

How long until you delete old mailing contacts

The question is often asked of when you should remove members off your email marketing list. It is an interesting question.

Email marketing lists are sometimes viewed with pride by the number of addresses you have. This has at times led to business leaders going out and buying email lists. There are many articles out there that will advise against this. A bought list can ruin your marketing opportunity as your mail will get reported as spam, be blocked and essentially your reputation will be hurt.

Although old subscribers are unlikely to report your mail as spam – they are a potential problem. Having too many contacts on your database can slow down the delivery rate of your emails to those who are interested in hearing from you and generally no matter which service you use – more email recipients will often mean more money.

Also a group of people with inactive accounts or who simply delete everything in their email inbox will distort your statistics. This will make it harder for you to determine whether or not your campaigns are working.

So to save costs and be more efficient in your email campaigns you should enforce a strict removal policy. But the question is open as to how long you should wait until you remove someone from your mailing list.

There are many points of view on this but there are probably a few key activities (or lack thereof) which should be good indicators to show when you should do this:

1. They’ve requested it

Sometimes people don’t realise that they can simply click on an unsubscribe button on your email to remove their names from your emailing list or something has gone wrong before and it didn’t work.

Therefore, if someone does send you an email requesting that you remove them from your list – the person in charge of the list should do so immediately.

2. You’ve been in regular contact with them before

Sometimes client – business relationships do not work out. There can be many reasons for this and neither party may be at fault. However, if this does happen it is highly unlikely that your old client is likely to want to hear from you on a regular basis. Therefore the best option would be to remove them from your mailing list. If they do want to keep in contact they can always re-subscribe.

3. They regularly bounce

If you have people on your email list who regularly soft bounce the emails you are sending them it could be an indication they are not looking in their email account anymore. This is not a wonder, 17% of Americans create a new email address every 6 months – therefore if they’re regularly bouncing it might be they have moved on from that address.

4. They hard bounce

Hard bounces are impossible to turn around. If you find that an email address is hard bouncing the emails you are sending, it is best that you cut your losses and delete the contact from your email list.

5. After a year of not opening your email

If you have been sending content regularly to an email address and they are not opening your email for a significant amount of time, then you should consider deleting them from the email list.

Not opening your email is a sign they are no longer interested in what you have to offer. The amount of time which passes before this happens is open for debate depending on your industry and how many emails you send out to your list.

However, the general rule of thumb is about one year.

Conclusion

Your email list is not about how many contacts you have on the list, but the quality of those contacts. By having a list of highly engaged contacts you can ensure the financial efficiency and strong reputation of your brand in your email marketing campaigns.

Take Action:

  • Come up with a group of reasons to delete contacts from your email list.
  • Go through your list and see if any contacts should be removed.

When do you remove subscribers from your emailing list?

Let us know in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How to Define Your Sales Process To Create A Great Auto-Responder Series

Developing a cooperative method between your sales and marketing team can increase your revenue by up to 20%, whereas those without proper alignment can see a decrease of up to 4%.

Consumers frequently buy products and services from an email campaign and an auto-responder series is a good method of making sure that you are sending the messages to your mailing list.

However, an auto-responder series which is too pushy is likely to deter customers from making a purchase and lead to an increase in spam reports, unsubscribers and a poorer brand image.

Therefore aligning your autoresponder series with that of your sales process is essential if you wish to maximise your revenue from the campaign.

Step One – Define the Stages in the Sales Process

The first step is to make a list of all the stages you have in your sales process, right from when you meet the potential client to when you close the sale and even after sales treatment.

You should identify exactly what is said at each stage in order to complete the sale of your product or service. The hope being that you can then mirror this in the auto-responder series.

Step Two – Create a brief outline of what actions the lead needs to take in order to move onto the next stage of the sales process

In the real world, you should know the signs of when a consumer is ready to talk to you more about the next stage in the sales process. If you do it too early or too late, you could lose the customer and they could either not buy the product or go to a competitor.

The behaviours you are looking for are those who are clicking through to see more content, completing a form or another action.

Step Three – Link the actions in step two with the content you create

Consumers like to read content they find valuable and informative. The content you provide also needs to be relevant to the action you wish them to complete.

Stories are pretty effective when it comes to email marketing. Think of interesting customer stories where your product or service has supported their life or given them joy.

Another idea is to give advice on a related matter. For instance, if you are a decorator – you could create content that would describe the best colour schemes for certain rooms, as long as the content has value and interest to the reader and directs them to a relevant action that will set in motion the next stage.

An additional consideration is to make sure that the content is ‘evergreen’ – in other words, despite the day, month or year it is sent – it will be relevant and accurate. This means you are not constantly changing the message just because circumstances are slightly different.

Once you have done this – create the content.

Step Four – Consider the frequency

Email marketing and real life sales are different when it comes down to the time frame you have. Email marketing can take weeks or months to be successful – whereas often in the physical world, you have a single shot.

Having your emails sent out too frequently will lessen the willingness of the customers to stay subscribed to your service and eventually buy a product from you. A good idea would be once every two weeks – you certainly don’t want to send out a message more than once a week.

Step Five – Determine who to send your emails too

You need to make sure that you are regularly maintaining your mailing list – to ensure that you are sending out the emails to the right people.

An email to the wrong person not only lessens your statistics in terms of open rate, click throughs and conversions – but it could increase your unsubscriber rate and spam reports.

Therefore, ensure that the action the lead has taken on your website is sufficient for them to be placed on your auto-responder series.

Step Six – Implement auto-responder series

Once you have made all your decisions – start implementing the process. Place your content in branded email format and start the series with those who you think are ready to read the material. Ensuring that the people who are ready for the message are the only ones that will receive it will improve your open rate and conversions.

Take Action:

Use the above six step solution to define your sales process and create an auto-responder series that will sell your products / services.

Conclusion

Aligning your sales process and email marketing is a good, clean method of increasing revenue.

An auto-responder series can save you time in creating material and manually sending the information. Yet marketers should be keen to keep the series related to their sales process and the content relevant and valuable to their audience for the foreseeable future.

Do you use an auto-responder series in your business?

Let us know how it performs in the comments below!

 

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3 Ways To Convert Social Media Followers To Email Subscribers

 

Social Media Like Image

Your email and social media campaigns can support each other.

13% of all leads in 2013 were generated through Email marketing, making it the third most effective sales channel.

Social Media on the other hand only contributes to about 1% of all online sales, making it one of the worst sale channels.

Yet by combining the two you can drive consumers to sign up to your emailing list that will generate leads.

So what methods can you utilize that will entice your target audience to join the others that already receive your regular emails?

Connect The Two With A Simple Sign Up Form

No matter what size your business is, having a simple email sign-up form that is integrated with your social media channel, will make it easy for those consumers who have already invested interest in your business to sign up.

On your Twitter profile, having a small URL that links directly to a simple sign up form is all that you can really manage due to the limited space. Perhaps something as simple as:

“Receive weekly tips from mywebsite.com”.

This only takes up 38 out of your 160 limit and therefore you have plenty of space left for other content.

You can also invite people to sign up through regular tweets.

With Google+ you’ll have to take the same approach as it currently doesn’t support another method.

With Facebook, you can use a tab at the top of your fan page that will automatically send users to a simple sign up form. You will need to have an image and a good call to action in the tab to entice people.

There are many different apps that can connect your page to the sign up form. To install one of these apps to your Facebook fan page, visit the top right app banner and click on the drop-down menu.

Click on the ‘+’ sign and select ‘Find More Apps’.

You can then search for an app that will allow you to integrate your email sign up form with your Facebook page. Remember to follow the step-by-step instructions for a flawless integration.

Take Action:

  • Connect your social media profiles with your email list sign up form.

Connect Your Emails To Social Media

One of the things that social media is very adept at doing is generating traffic. Connecting your emails to social media in two ways can generate traffic to visit your latest release.

Consumers who see how valuable your emails can be to their everyday life will encourage them to sign up to regularly receive the emails. You can share your emails in the following methods:

    • By sharing a web copy of your newsletter over social media channels.
    • By including social share buttons on your emails.

You’ll need to create interesting lines to capture attention of the audience. A good method is to quote part of the email that users will find interesting.

Take Action:

  • Include social media links on your email.
  • Identify key quotes from your email to share on social media.
  • Share the web copy of your email through social media channels.

Provide Incentives

Providing an incentive to signing up to your email list can be particularly powerful.

The incentive could be something simple as offering a discount on their first order, or a free gift card for signing up.

You don’t even need to have a financial reward at the end of the campaign. Other companies offer a free ebook or report to be delivered after the visitor has provided their details.

Therefore if you have any premium content you can connect the three up – offer snippets of the content in a social media update, that will send them to a signup form promising them a full copy once they have signed up. Then deliver the book once you’ve received their details.

Take Action:

  • Offer an incentive over social media to generate traffic to your sign up forms.

Conclusion

Social media can generate significant amounts of traffic to your website; utilize this by directing viewers to your email sign up form.

Then you can present your products and services to your customers through an effective sales channel.

What methods do you use to drive social media followers to your email lists?

Let us know in the comments below.

 
Image courtesy of smarnad / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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