What is the most important thing to know about getting started in business? Any seasoned blogger will tell you the same thing… Start an email list ASAP!
Why? Well, because…
...it’s a way to build trust,
...it’s a way to build relationships, and
...it’s a way to prove authority.
Your followers don’t know you. They have only met you through your writings. Yet, they are following your blog, reading your stories, and signing up for your mailing list. They need to know that you are going to do what you say you are going to do.
You need to be personable with your mail recipients. By letting them know about your ups and downs you are presenting yourself as human. You need your followers and they need you. Get to know them better by simply asking them to reply to a question in your newsletter. And, don’t forget to answer them in a timely manner.
Your peeps look up to you because you are writing what they are interested in. You need to continue to send out informative pieces that will keep you on their radar. You need to become the ‘go-to person’ in your topic of choice.
This all adds up to new customers and new business. That sounds easy enough, right? Not exactly.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is targeting consumers through electronic mail, according to Techopedia. What that boils down to is, email marketing is a form of advertising.
So which comes first, the blog or the email list or the business? Well, they kind of need to happen around the same time. You don’t have to have a huge email list to start your business and you don’t need a large following before you start your email marketing system. You just need to do it.
Advantages of Email Marketing
You are providing awareness to your topic or cause. By sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter, you are keeping your business on your follower’s minds. You may be giving them information that they may have not even thought about.
Your marketing program is easily shared from one consumer to another by forwarding an email or passing it along through social media. If you added any additional information, via pdf or another document, you are increasing interest to an even larger audience.
You can easily measure your progress by the number of email subscribers on your list and over any amount of time. Statistical data is available with any platform you choose and will provide you with all the information you need. Now don’t go comparing your email list with anyone else because everyone grows at a different pace.
Email marketing is truly cost effective. How does free or low cost sound to you? Many platforms are offered and some are free, some are low-cost, and some even offer a trial period. When your cost is dependent on the number of email subscribers, the cost is quite minimal per person. You cannot buy advertising that inexpensive anywhere else.
There are many more advantages but for now, these will do. Let’s move on.
Email Marketing Strategies
Studies have been done on strategic email marketing so I’ll not bore you with too many details. I’ll just mention a few…
You are able to personalize your emails on any of the platforms. This is impressive to the recipient (and also to you when you realize how easy it is to do) and it makes the newsletter more personable. Remember when I mentioned that earlier? By greeting your follower by name, they may be more inclined to respond to your email, or offer, or course.
An important strategy is to make your emails, or newsletters, mobile friendly. More and more people are checking their email on their phones. If they are having trouble reading your email with said phone, they will probably just delete it. You don’t want that, do you?
Time of delivery is also important. If you know who your audience is, you will be able to judge when the best day of the week and time of day to send out your emails.
Moving right along we are going to tackle the most important part of the post…
Email Marketing Platforms
You could easily do it all by yourself by sending out your newsletter to multiple recipients (like we used to do in the old days) but why should you when there are so many options. Here are the top seven options I found by just googling ‘email marketing platforms’...
But keep this in mind, take your time in choosing which platform you are going to use. Also, these are not the only available platforms out there. I only picked out the top ones according to WPBeginner.
Decide what you are wanting to accomplish with your list. What is your goal? What is your why? What is your aim? These are the questions that are important to you.
And these are the questions you need to list out and compare each platform you look at. How many subscribers are you starting with? How fast do you believe you will grow? How technologically challenged are you? How creative are you or need to be? What is your budget? Is it a task you can contract out? Is the email server compatible with your website? Does the email platform integrate well with your website?
There’s more. Should you choose an opt-in? Or a sidebar sign-up? Right side or left side? Below the post or within the post? Or a lead page? A header at the top of your page? A floating sign-in? How obnoxious do you want to be? (Just kidding with that last one, just trying to make a point.) Although, you do need to put it out there at least 2-4 times in one post or newsletter.
I looked up each one and read through their sites. I looked at where they were located, customer service (email, phone, and/or chat), whether they were mobile friendly, their tutorial presence on YouTube, how they integrate with other apps and sites, and… drum roll please… price.
Email Marketing Platform Pricing
Price varies widely from one platform to another but is generally dependent on the number of email subscribers you have. Some offer a free trial for 30- or 60-days. Some offer limited services with the lower cost tiers while others are offering many other services, including webinar options. Unless you already have an extensive subscriber list, you are able to join at the lowest price and the cost will increase as your email list grows.
Not what you wanted to hear? I know, sorry. Next to free, the lowest starting point is $9 for 500 subscribers. And pricing can actually increase into the hundreds. Just remember to keep all your questions handy while you are comparing the sites.
In A Nutshell
By growing your email list, you are building a solid foundation that you can utilize to increase your business. Trust, relationships, and authority are needed to solidify your connection with those in cyberland.
There are many advantages for email marketing, including awareness, share power, measurability, and cost effectiveness. Strategies are dependent on how the message performs on a cell phone or tablet, the time of day that the information is sent, and you must personalize the letter, ‘Hi Lois’ sounds much better ‘Dear Unnamed Blogger’. Which greeting would you pick?
Let’s not forget the types. So many to choose from. But if you have any other questions, please reply in the comments below and I’ll see if I can help you.
The next move is completely up to you. You can go over the questions and write the answers down so you will be able to hone in on the email marketing platform that suits you the best. I use MailChimp for a lot of reasons, but as I said, we are all different.
Now… go forth and prosper!!!!!
Lois Sacks resides in SE Kansas with her supportive, retired hubby and their spoiled-rotten Mr Cat. As a Pinterest Manager and Freelance Writer for hire, she helps others with their business so they don’t have to. You can usually find her on Pinterest or her website. Check out the Pinterest Checklist she has.