Guide To Effective Email Marketing Strategies
Email Marketing is quite possibly the most powerful, flexible, and cost-effective marketing tool available to businesses today. More and more businesses are beginning to realize that effective Email Marketing can:
- Increase Sales
- Increase Brand Awareness
- Build Sales
- Increase Customer Loyalty
- Generate More Leads
- Create More Repeat Business
- Shorten The Sales Cycle
- Reduce Marketing Costs
- Save Time
The problem is that very few businesses are using Email Marketing as well as they could. Successful Email Marketing is more than blasting out an ad to a list and asking them to buy.
This document is designed to help you gain a better understanding of Email Marketing and how you can put it to good use with the TrafficWave.net AutoResponder system.
There is no one “right” way to do Email Marketing. There are many effective options available. The goal of this article is to help you understand some of your options and then decide on the method or methods that will work best for your business.
The right strategy for your business will depend on your objectives, your market (who you sell to), the nature of your business, and your available resources (time, money, and personnel).
Essentially, there are three primary components to a successful Email Marketing campaign:
1) Creating Your Email Letters (Your Campaign)
2) Generating Leads (Getting Subscribers In To Your AutoResponder).
3) Tracking Your Results
If you have any questions while working through this document, feel free to contact our tech support team via your back office at http://www.trafficwave.net/login.html. There, you will find options to contact our tech support team directly and even talk with other Email Marketers about how they use the TrafficWave.net AutoResponder system.
Your training wiki contains detailed step-by-step instructions for setting up an AutoResponder campaign and creating your letters. This article is designed to help you create compelling letters that motivate your prospects in to action.
Here are some key tips to help create effective email marketing strategies:
Be Personal. Use merge fields to insert your prospect’s name in to their messages. Use their name in the subject line. We are all more likely to open an email that is addressed to us personally.
Don’t Be Selfish. Write for your reader; not for yourself. Your prospects requested your information because they were at least initially interested. The goal of your letters is to motivate them to action. You do this by answering the basic question that is on every prospect’s mind:
What’s In It For Me?
Answer that question and you are already on the right track.
Keep It Simple. Use simple and clear words. Any time you can use a 1 or 2 syllable word instead of a 4 or 5 syllable word… do it! (The only exception being if you are targeting a highly educated market such as doctors, scientists, engineers, etc…).
Be Repetitive. Take a good critical look at successful ad campaigns. Look at the direct mail pieces you get in your mailbox. Look at magazine ads. Pay close attention to Television ads. Notice how repetitive they are. Your letters should always serve to constantly remind your prospects what it is that you can do for them. Don’t just repeat the same phrases or the same letters over and over again. Use each letter as a way to reinforce your message with your prospects. Remind them of what you told them in the previous message.
Be Clear. Tell your prospects exactly what your offer is about. List specific benefits they can expect from your product or service. Can your product help them increase sales? Tell them. Can your product help them lose weight? Tell them. Can your product help them save time? Tell them.
Include a Call To Action. You absolutely must tell your prospects what to do to order or get more details on your offer. Don’t just assume that they will know what to do. We have seen ad responses double and triple by simply adding a clear Call To Action to their message. A Call To Action is as simple as:
“Visit me at www.mysite.com to learn more”.
“Call 1-800-555-5555 to speak with a representative now.”. “Email Me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.”.
The point is… TELL your prospects how to take the action you want them to take.
You are using Email Marketing tools because you want to increase your sales while reducing your costs. You are using a powerful tool that allows for instant communication with customers and prospects. The thing to keep in mind is that there are other businesses with the same goals. Your challenge is to cut through the clutter so that your message reaches your intended audience.
The single most effective way to make sure your messages get read is to make sure that your prospects or customers want and expect to hear from you.
Some of the most successful Email Marketing Messages Include:
- Relevant Information
- Special Offers and Discounts
- Updates On Product Development and/or New Services
- Industry Related News
- Credible Reporting Related To Your Area Of Expertise
- Case Studies From Previous Clients
- Testimonials From Satisfied ClientsOther Elements Of Successful Email Marketing Campaigns Include Offers That Give Your Prospects Value Without Hurting Your Profits Such As:
- Free Gifts
- Free Trial Period
- Buy 1 Get 1 Free (and related) Offers
- Bonus Rewards/Loyalty Points
- Flexible Payment Options
- Discount Pricing Based On Timely Response
- Free Advice, Hints, and Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Limited Time Offers (Buy Before Dec 31 and receive a discount)
- Limited Quantity Offers (Only 10 Left At This Price!)
One of the additional features of your TrafficWave.net AutoResponder is the ability to send out quick offers to prospects and customers.
Retailers may need to dispose of distressed, discounted, or discontinued inventory. By broadcasting this special offer out to clients, the retailer can get instant response at the click of their mouse button. By sending out a “last- minute” special offer, they can quickly dispose of this excess inventory.
Service businesses can send a quick broadcast out to try and fill last-minute holes in their service schedule.
Service businesses can also broadcast out timely reminders when service is due on a car, air-conditioner, pest control treatment, pool maintenance, etc…
Resellers can send out quick broadcasts to let clients and prospects know about special pricing offers that have time sensitivity such as “this week only” or “buy before 11AM” or “We just found out that there are 10 items left at this price.”
Imagine the power of being able to be the first to let your market know about these special limited offers before your competition can get their mail pieces ready!
Build credibility with birthday greetings. By collecting your prospects’ and clients’ birthdates, you can send them birthday greetings. This helps you build credibility and keeps you fresh in the customers’ minds.
Once you have your letters set up, you need someone to send them to. You need prospects … people that are interested in your offer. There are many ways to collect prospect information for your offers.
- Adding a subscription form to your web site.
- Collecting Email Addresses from existing customers
- Ask them for their business card and get their permission to add their email address to your database for follow-up.
- If you have a brick and mortar store use the “fish bowl” approach like restaurants do to collect business cards. Just be sure to let them know that when they drop their card in the bowl they will be added to your list.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a great way to target visitors and attract the best quality prospects to your site. They can then fill out the subscription form and be added to your list of prospects.
- Ezine Advertising or Solo Ads can be an effective way of building your list as well. Your ad should offer free information or a free report that is related to your offer. People will give you their contact information in exchange for relevant information and you end up with targeted prospects for your offer.
- Subscription forms at trade shows are another great method for building your prospect list.
- Use your Email Signature line to invite prospects to request more information at your web site where they can subscribe using your subscription form.
- If you don’t have a web site, use TrafficWave.net’s Hosted Capture Pages. These Hosted Capture Pages can be customized with your offer and anyone that fills out the form on your Hosted Capture Page will be subscribed to your AutoResponder.
- Participate in Link Exchanges with reputable business and web sites related to your offer.
- Participate in relevant discussion forums. Many allow you to add a brief “signature” to your profile that is automatically added to any contributions you make to the forum. Remember to write and conduct yourself in a professional manner in these forums and you will build your credibility along with your lists.The Member Discussion Forum in your back office has many more tips and ideas for how you can generate leads.
Tracking results is one of the most critical yet overlooked elements of successful Email Marketing. It is very important that you track your results to know exactly what is working and what is not.
Most businesses are running multiple advertising campaigns. If you don’t track your results, you have no way of knowing which campaigns are producing the results.
Let’s assume you are running ten different ad campaigns. You are most likely getting some results and you are excited about that. But now it’s time to renew the advertising (which means you are going to spend more time and/or money). Which campaigns are working? Which campaign was a bust?
If you knew which campaigns were working, you could take money away from the ineffective campaigns and redirect that money to the productive campaigns. This not only saves you from wasting precious advertising dollars but also helps you focus your advertising dollars where the best return is.
Even if you are running free ad campaigns, your time is valuable. How much time are you willing to spend each day on free ad resources that are worth exactly what you paid?
Start By Tracking Where Subscribers Come From.
Your TrafficWave.net AutoResponders include the ability to create Hosted Capture Pages.
A Hosted Capture Page is a simple one-page ad that promotes your offer and includes a form that prospects can fill out to request your information. You can select a Hosted Capture Page template and customize it with your own headline, sub-headline and ad copy. You can decide what information your form will ask for and even if the information is optional or required.
By promoting this Hosted Capture Page, you can begin attracting targeted prospects to your offer. When they fill out the subscription form, they are added to your list.
Each Hosted Capture Page you create will track the number of times someone fills out the form to request your information.
Let’s say you have an AutoResponder campaign set up to promote your best widgets. You have your letters set up and ready to go.
Now let’s say that you are going to be running five different online ad campaigns in an effort to generate targeted leads for your widgets:
1) Google Ad Words
2) Banner Ads with a particular banner ad network.
3) A Link Exchange
4) Ezine Advertising
5) An Online Classified Ad
You would create 5 different Hosted Capture Pages for your widgets AutoResponder. Each of the 5 different Hosted Capture Pages all funnel subscribers to your widgets AutoResponder. Since each Lead Capture Page counts the number of times someone fills out the form, you can watch and see which of the 5 campaigns you are running is the most effective.
You can set up as many Hosted Capture Pages for your AutoResponder as you like. For example, if you were running ads in 5 different ezines, you could create a Hosted Capture Page for each of those ezines. When you add search engines, create new Hosted Capture Pages for those campaigns as well.
Then Track Individual Letter Results
Your TrafficWave.net account includes an AdTracker URL system that allows you to track virtually any online advertising you are running. If for some reason you were not promoting your AutoResponder but wanted to send prospects to a particular page, you could create an AdTracker URL that will instantly redirect visitors to your actual web site and add “1” to your AdTracker count.
The way to use the AdTracker URL in your AutoResponder letters is to create a unique AdTracker URL for each of your letters. If your AutoResponder has 7 letters, you would create 7 unique AdTracker URL’s.
Let’s say that your letters are trying to get your readers to visit www.mysite.com.
You could just enter “www.mysite.com” in to your letters. You would probably get results but you wouldn’t know which letter they are responding to.
Letter 1 would use the 1st AdTracker URL.
Letter 2 would use the 2nd AdTracker
URL. Letter 3 would use the 3rd AdTracker URL. And so on…
As your subscribers receive your letters, they click the AdTracker URL in the letter. This is what is known as a “click-through” (someone clicks the link to go through to your web site). Each time someone clicks the AdTracker URL in any letter or ad, your system keeps track.
As your letters begin going out, you can log in to your TrafficWave.net back office and quickly see which letters are giving you the best results. You will most likely see most of the responses coming from your first letter.
The mistake many businesses make is to simply run an ad and then hope for the best. You are now set up to no longer “hope” for the best but to create the best possible results you can.
You are armed with great information.
Your Hosted Capture Pages tell you which ad campaigns are getting results. Your AdTracker URL’s tell you which letters are getting the best responses.
You may or may not like the results you are getting.
If you do… then it’s time to start ramping up your campaigns and going bigger.
If not… (and don’t be surprised… even the big advertising companies go through it), then it’s time to start pulling your ads apart and testing for better results.
Improving results could be as simple as changing your headline.
It could be a matter of changing your Call To Action line.
Double check to make sure your headline is compelling and creates interest.
Double check that your Call To Action is clear and tells prospects EXACTLY what to do.
Check your copy. The only reason for any particular line in any letter or ad is to get the reader to read the next line.
Become detached. Read your ads and letters as if you have never heard of your offer or your business before. Would you be compelled to request more information?
Don’t get caught up in whether you like the ad or not. Frankly, it doesn’t matter if we like our ad copy. If our readers aren’t responding, then it’s got to be the copy. So don’t get personal about it and start making and testing changes.
Change ONE thing about your ads or letters that are not working for you and let them run for a while longer to see if the results improve.
If you follow these guidelines, you will have given yourself the best possible chance of benefiting from your Email Marketing campaigns.
Depending on your level of experience, background, and available time, you may see results quickly or it may take a little time and patience as you work out exactly which methods work best for your particular business.
The time and effort you spend developing an effective Email Marketing campaign will pay off for years to come and give you a definite advantage over your competition.
Your TrafficWave.net Back Office is located at http://www.trafficwave.net/login.html There you will find detailed step-by-step setup instructions and a variety of articles and tips to help you learn your new Email Marketing tools.
You will also find links to our online support team as well as our Discussion Forum where you can get tips and ideas from other established users in our system.