You’re one of the best online marketers out there, and you’ve landed a new client who’s got a huge problem. They’re an ambitious company with a professional team and a great product. They use only the best material and latest technologies for production. They invest a lot of money into testing before putting a product on the market. They have excellent customer support ready to help clients 24/7. They have a well-designed website and a functional app. But…nobody buys from them, and they’re thinking about spending more on ads. Before advising them to dig deep into their wallet, ask yourself a question: who are the target customers and are they being reached effectively?
Start with this, and build your client an email marketing campaign that will bring in the sales they want.
Some may say that a good product doesn’t need promotion. Well, they’re wrong. In today’s world, where thousands of products appear and disappear from the market in a blink of an eye, it’s utterly important to keep people aware of your services at the least and interested in them at the best. And here is where the good old email marketing steps in. With numerous disputes around, email is still the main channel to let the world know about your business.
The thing is not everyone does it correctly, and often mistakes annoying non-stop messages for deliberately targeted email campaigns. Whatever stage of an email marketing strategy you’re at now, remember – nobody likes spammers constantly attacking the inbox for no apparent reason, if any. And there is a rather effective way to avoid turning into one – it’s called Double Opt-In.
What is Double Opt-In and Why You Need It
Double Opt-In is a feature that lets users, who have signed up to receive emails from you, confirm the subscription. Only after they click on a link included in the confirmation email, their email address is officially added to your contact list, and you can start using it to send automated email campaigns.
By using this added step of confirmation, you reach several goals:
- keep spam traps and invalid addresses out of your contact base;
- avoid money waste on potentially futile campaigns;
- protect your brand reputation;
- demonstrate your subscribers a high level of interest in their preferences.
Moreover, most reputable ESPs require their clients to have Double Opt-In to start using their service, so you’ll have to implement it anyway. If you want an extra layer of protection against bad email addresses, you can also add an email verification API to your signup forms. The API checks new subscribers in real time, ensuring you collect only real and active addresses. Why not do it today and start building a legal and healthy contact base right from the start.
And this is where we move to another milestone of an email marketing campaign done the right way.
A Legal Contact Base Is Your Bread and Butter
The first and the most efficient way to gather email addresses, for a start, is a subscription form on your website. Powered by the above-mentioned Double Opt-In, it’s a proven method that supplies you with only target audience interested in your service. But to make people choose you out of hundreds of other claimants to their time and attention, you need to offer something of value:
- relevant content;
- expert opinion and advice;
- useful stats or infographics;
- free resources: audio or video download, GIFs, images, guides, ebooks.
- free service.
If your posts do stand out among other information, be sure, people would love to receive it and even share it with their friends.
And speaking of sharing, adding a subscription form to your Facebook page is also a good idea: it allows to reach potential subscribers via different channels.
If your email marketing plan presupposes sending regular newsletters, promote a newsletter signup throughout your website. You may add it to the footer of your blog posts or come up with your own solution: just keep the balance and don’t stick it after every paragraph or use ready-to-go email templates that have it One friendly invitation per article is more than enough.
Running giveaway contests or challenges is another option to persuade people to share their contacts. A small cash prize, several free items from the store, quarterly magazine subscription, free shipping, custom gifts or personal workshops – offer something in exchange for an email of a phone number.
Building a contact base is a long-term process that requires much commitment, but the result is worth the effort. No matter how big the temptation to use a bought list may be, remember that it’s like buying a pig in a poke: you never know what’s inside. Moreover, reputable email service providers simply won’t let you send emails to such contacts as they would most probably be blacklisted by the system.
Create a Monthly Plan and Stick to It
Now, when you have decent content and subscribers willing to receive it, it’s time to build a regular schedule and decide how often you’re going to send your campaigns and what type they would be.
If you have an extended subscribe form where people are offered to choose when and how often they would love to hear from you, make sure you take into account their choices. Let’s imagine, your recent subscriber John has agreed to receive a news digest one time a week on Sundays, preferably in the evening. Three newsletters sent on workdays in the morning, when he’s trying to make his way to the office, won’t keep John among your readers for too long.
If your recipients are glad to get in touch more often, it’s a shame not to take advantage of this opportunity. One newsletter per quarter is not enough to remind of your existence. If you can’t come up with an idea for a campaign on your own, there are numerous guides on content ideas to give you some inspiration and help with filling a content calendar.
Instead of Conclusion
Email marketing basic principles are actually very simple: be polite, not annoying and supply value. Remember, your subscribers can easily opt for a more respectful and useful provider.
Asking for permission nowadays isn’t just your choice, but an official requirement by the EU’s GDPR, so complying with it is a must. A good practice is to enable people with a simple and easy unsubscribe option unless you want to deal with spam reports.
And finally, there’s always more to work towards. Having coped with the basics? Move on to advanced segmentation. Mastered dynamic segments? Work on your analytics. Learned to create simple automated email series? Explore dynamic content and go for AMP-powered emails. Try different things and see what fits your audience the most.
About the author: Iuliia Nesterenko is a contributing writer at eSputnik. Her focus is on exploring current digital marketing trends and describing new strategies for email marketers.