Being dependent on search engines for traffic and your livelihood is risky. There is no telling when a change in search engine algorithms or other factors might suddenly reduce your web traffic, assuming you ever had a lot of visitors. In addition, as is covered in hot and cold traffic, unless you first build up a relationship with visitors, they are unlikely to perform the desired action on your site. These and other reasons make email marketing something that web marketers strongly recommend. Use the following to start an email newsletter list, attract subscribers to it, retain those subscribers, and effectively monetize web businesses without being totally dependent on search engines.
Start with the right software or service
There are two ingredients that all email marketers need to have long-term success: a website and professional newsletter software. The website gives a marketer a home base to direct traffic to join a newsletter. It also puts them in a position to receive free, targeted search engine traffic if they build a site that has decent content.
Even though there are a lot of ways to run a free email marketing list with various software or services, there is one major problem with going the free route here. At some point, a list will end up outgrowing free software. Then, the marketer will look into switching to a professional service that has a monthly fee. The problem lies with the fact that these professional services will only accept double opt-in subscribers.
Even if the subscribers originally joined through a double opt-in method (see opt-in email marketing), they will have to confirm their email addresses again when switching to a professional service. These professional services are actually very affordable, especially for new email marketers. AWeber is highly recommended for this type of service because of their reliability and the power of their software.
There is also the issue of email spam filters to consider. With increasingly aggressive filtering, many legitimate marketing emails get filtered if nobody takes extra steps to include getting whitelisted with ISPs. Email marketing services like AWeber will take care of this and greatly increase the chance of messages getting through.
Start with a good website
Before concentrating on getting subscribers to an email newsletter, it is necessary to build some credibility by first creating a number of web pages full of the information people want. Some ways to find good topics to write on include keyword tools as well as participating in forums and social networks to see what people are asking about. While the pages should be optimized for on-page SEO, always write for visitors and not search engines.
To build links and natural traffic, use the methods covered in off-page SEO. The trick, especially after recent updates in search engine algorithms, is it build links as naturally as possible. This means using a variety of methods in a way that adds value to the web.
Attracting email newsletter subscribers
With a good site, it becomes easier to attract subscribers, although this is still a challenge. While some people will sign up from simple opt-in boxes offering a newsletter, more active measures are usually needed. Some of these methods include pop-up windows (be careful not to overdo these), networking, videos, contests and various incentives to get people to sign up.
Affiliate marketing list building covers various techniques for encouraging people to sign up for your list in much greater detail.
Squeeze pages, pages designed to encourage people to submit their email addresses, are a very popular method of convincing traffic to join newsletters. To do this, they often offer them something for joining the newsletter. This can be a free e-book download, free software, or even some type of training lesson course. Internet marketers looking for subscribers will invariably employ at least one of these pages on their website or elsewhere, such as after a customer has made a purchase.
Autoresponders are great to use to distribute courses of training lessons, since they can control how often automated emails are sent.
Tips on retaining list subscribers
When a subscriber is offered something free to join a newsletter, some of them will still unsubscribe even if the giveaway item is amazing. However, if they know that there are other benefits to being a member of that list, then they are much more likely to stay. It can be a constant battle to try to keep the attention of subscribers but careful consideration of these things can make a huge difference.
While every niche is different and email marketing efforts need to be tailored accordingly, the real key to keeping subscribers is to figure out what they want and what can be given to them free without costing the marketer too much time or money. The following can help keep subscribers active and engaged.
- Ask subscribers for feedback: People love to be heard, and nobody knows what the readers want more than those receiving the emails. Look for ways for readers to contribute and give feedback. Then, incorporate their ideas into campaigns.
- Offer coaching: Coaching systems that consist of a series of training lessons are one excellent way to retain subscribers on almost any kind of newsletter. People are always in search of more knowledge and experience, so they will typically soak up as much of this information as possible, especially if it doesn’t cost them anything.
- Design for mobile users: With their use continuing to grow, it is vital to keep the size restrictions of mobile devices in mind and design more condensed emails as well as landing pages.
- Remember different email clients: Make sure the emails look good in the major email clients to include Gmail, Hotmail, AOL and Yahoo. In addition, keep in mind that most clients do not download images automatically and design accordingly.
- Be consistent with colors and logo: Build an image by including a logo and a consistent color scheme. People are more likely to engage if they recognize the email.
- Do not get wordy: With so many distractions and things to do, people are not going to spend much time on any one email. Messages need to get their attention with the minimum in words.
- Use the right fonts: The fonts need to match the topic and tone of the message.
- Categorize subscribers and tailor messages: As more people join and interact, it becomes possible to divide email lists into subgroups according to the needs and interests of the subscribers. This will make it practical to send separate, more targeted emails to different subgroups on the list.
- Quality over quantity: People are quickly turned off by too many pesky emails. Concentrate on a smaller number of informative messages. Generally, it’s best to limit emails to no more than once a week. If you post often and notify readers every time you publish something new, which is usually a good idea, combine the articles into a single email.
- Make mails scannable: Everyone is flooded with info nowadays and cannot be bothered to read through all the mails. Make your mails easily scannable with subtitles, etc.
Effectively monetize email marketing newsletters
Revenue is the primary goal of most email marketing, and there are a number of different ways of monetizing. As what gets advertised and even how it is promoted can make a big difference in how much money marketers are able to make from their newsletters, constant experimentation is necessary to find out what works best.
There are two basic ways to make money with websites or newsletter lists. A marketer can produce and sell their own products or services, or they can promote offers for other businesses as an affiliate. Either strategy can be successful, as long as there is a focus on building reader loyalty. Trust is the key to email marketing. When a reader trusts the person that is sending the newsletter mails, they will be more likely to open emails and trust what they have to say about products.
There are also two basic ways that products and services can be promoted on an email newsletter. The first, and easiest way, is to simply place affiliate or payment links directly into emails to send traffic straight to the merchants offer. In some situations, this can be the best way since traffic might be lost otherwise. However, other times it is more effective to send visitors directly to a landing page, which is a page dedicated solely to promoting the product.
Landing pages are designed to sell the customers before they get lost in the merchants’ or other page that might not be sufficiently focused on selling the product. Learn more about how they work in creating landing pages.
Another tactic is not to immediately introduce the product. In this process known as pre-selling, subscribers are first introduced to the problem what is being promoted solves. Only after the reader’s interest has been aroused is the product introduced.
To learn more about email marketing, see HTML email marketing.
Affiliate email marketing and affiliate marketing list building offer tips on attracting subscribers, promoting offers, network policies and other advice targeted to affiliate marketers using email marketing.
Finally, learn different tips to market digital products to make email marketing, as well as promoting products on blogs, etc. more effective.