All of us hate getting spam emails – whether they are the “sexual” ones or the ones about price reductions or whatever.
Yet legitimate email marketing can be very effective for both you as the person sending out the emails and for the person receiving the emails.
How does this work?
Under the paradigm of legitimate email marketing, you only send emails to people who have said “yes, they are interested in getting your emails.” And on each email they get from you, they are given the option of “unsubscribing” – being taken off your email list.
Step 1: You have an email opt-in box on your website. You ask for a name (a first name is enough) and an email address. Often you offer an “irresistible offer” – a freebie that is of interest to your target market. The person signs up.
Step 2: Now here’s the double email opt-in part: Some people give a fake email or a friend’s email just to get the freebie. (It is irresistible, right?)
Then your automatic email marketing system sends an immediate email to the email address given asking for the person to confirm that he or she did indeed sign up to be on this email list. If the person does not wish to be on the list, he or she does nothing.
If the person does indeed wish to be on the list, he or she clicks the confirmation link (sometimes it requires two separate clicks).
Then if a freebie was offered, as soon as the person confirms his/her email address, the person is given the link to immediately download the freebie.
The implications of this double email opt-in system:
A person has said yes to getting emails from you. You now have the email address of someone who was initially interested in what you have to offer.
You can now use this email address – with good judgment – to send follow-up information and offers.
Each time the person gets an email from you, he or she is automatically given the option of unsubscribing. And, yes, there will be people who will unsubscribe because they just wanted the freebie or they are now getting too many emails from all of cyberspace or whatever.
Do not take these unsubscribes personally. You must look at the unsubscribes as people who would never be interested in buying any products or services from you. These are often the people who collect freebies and nothing more.
Using an email marketing service
Could you do a double email opt-in system yourself? Yes, if you can program all the steps. But here’s the rub:
There are several technical steps that email marketing services do in order to “signal” the spam filters that the emails you send out in a batch are legitimate. I’ve read about these steps – and if you are a tech geek you can probably do each of these steps yourself.
If you’re not a tech geek, your emails will have a harder time getting through spam filters than those from an email marketing service because you won’t be using the “secret handshakes” that let spam filters know you’re okay.
In addition, with an email marketing service there are all kinds of list divisions you can do. For example, you can divide your list by product or service bought, event attended, etc.
In terms of limited time resources, I highly recommend using an email marketing service.
Internet marketing ideas using an automated email marketing system
How can you use email marketing to promote your brand, book or business?
Let’s look at some examples:
1. You’re a local restaurant and on rainy days your business drops off substantially. On a rainy morning you send out an email blast to your customers announcing a rainy day special of a free sandwich that day. Of course, when people come in for their free sandwich, they’ll want to buy something to drink and maybe a bag of potato chips and maybe dessert.
2. You decide to start giving in-person seminars on how to get employees to appropriately use Facebook and other social media on company time. You give a seminar [pii_email_b47d29538f12c20da426] at Company X that goes very well. You send out an email to your list talking about the seminar, including a testimonial from the head of Company X. You include in the email what the usual fee for a company seminar is. And then you offer that anyone on the list who schedules the seminar within a certain time period will get a 10% discount off the seminar fee.
3. You sell a $299 information product from your website. It’s a product that a lot of people could use if they only understood the power of the product. You send weekly emails sharing valuable information that the people on your email list can use now. And at the end of each email you gently remind people about this great product – you’re slowly educating your list about the power of the product. After several weeks of seeing what valuable information you share, several of the people on your list may decide to buy your $299 product because they now trust that you will provide $299 worth of value.
4. One of the most important reasons to use email marketing is to send a follow-up thank you when someone does purchase a service or product from you. And, of course, you may take that opportunity to offer a companion service or product, especially if the person is finding the first product or service very helpful.
Writing emails that do not sound like the spam emails
When you use the internet for email marketing, you must learn to write emails that are NOT perceived as spam because your emails have valuable information in them – information that can be very useful to the people receiving your emails.
This is a skill that can be learned over time by paying close attention to emails you get from other businesses and taking note of what you think works or doesn’t work. You can also hire an outside expert to write the emails for you.