E-Mail Marketing 101

If you aren’t using e-mail marketing as part of your online business strategy then you are missing out on one of the most potentially lucrative and effective ways to market your company and promote your website. E-mail marketing might seem a little ‘old hat’ in a world where everyone is saying e-mail is dead and that social networking is the new king – but that’s to ignore some simple facts. Simple facts like push notifications on phones that mean people are notified in their pockets on the train when you e-mail them, simple facts like the fact that you need an e-mail address to even set up most social media accounts, and simple facts like the fact that 800 billion e-mails are sent every day. That’s over 26x the population of Earth. Still think e-mail marketing is a waste of time?

How to Collect E-mails

So how do you get involved in this e-mail marketing game? Well it’s quite simple really – all you need to do is to learn a little PHP (or steal/buy some) and to write a short e-book. Using your PHP you are going to write a form on your front page that asks people to sign up right there and then. You want this to be the first thing that people see when they visit your page and the first thing they do. You’ll also write a PHP script that e-mails everyone stored in your database whenever you want to send out a message to them all.

Next you need to have something to offer people in exchange for their precious contact details. An e-book is absolutely ideal for this, because it gives someone something free which is a great incentive, but doesn’t cost you anything to produce and give away.

You’ll likely find it surprising just how quickly how many people sign up (and how much spam you get unless you get a good filter in place). Otherwise you can also offer something like vouchers and special offers as part of the e-mails, or you can just promise to make the best darn newsletters in the world.

How to Market

Now you want to send out e-mails to promote your website and your products. Don’t do this too regularly and certainly make sure that you have something valuable to say in each message. If you aren’t saying anything useful then quite simply people will catch on and they won’t open your future messages. Think about the e-book they signed up for, or why they were at your site, and give them some really decent free content. Only then should you link back to your site, get them on your side because they will be a powerful ally if ever you want to promote a new e-book for sale.

At the same time you need to make sure your e-mails get read. To do this you should think about your subject line. Try to make this something that sounds as though it was written to them personally and not sent out en-masse and try to make sure that it sounds ‘human’ and not like a bot or a marketing guru. In other words keep it fairly brief and abbreviated and to the point. Think about how you write to people, you’ll tend to just include a brief summary of the e-mail, sometimes even in one word.

People also like to help and they like to feel important, so if you want their advice then you should ask for it in the subject heading. It will be sure to catch their eye if you write ‘I need your help,’ or ‘want to publish some of your articles’.

This post was written by John Russell. John writes about topics like web hosting, website and email marketing and technology.

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