Email Marketing is your Secret Weapon

In the world of developing technologies and artificial intelligence, people have started believing that email marketing is no longer effective. They think that social media and chatbots have taken over marketing and are able to do it much more effectively due to their specifically designed algorithms. This belief comes from the assumption that people don’t use their email anymore which, in fact, is not entirely true. According to research, email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing tools. In the US alone, over 86 percent of the population uses email on a regular basis. With such a huge audience, you can rely on email marketing to increase click-through rates, brand awareness, and sales.

What is email marketing?
Email marketing is the use of emails to promote a service or product offered by a business. It encourages customer loyalty by promising things like updates, discounts, gift cards, and coupons. The best part about email marketing is that it establishes a direct link between a business and the end-user. This form of interaction results in an increased sense of familiarity and trust to develop between the two parties which assure mutual benefit; the customers are getting products and services tailored to their exact needs and the brand experiencing higher sales.

Email marketing benefits for affiliates

Successful affiliate marketing involves the use of email marketing. A priority of most affiliate marketers will make sure that they have an extensive but clean email list at their disposal so that opportunities for advertisement are enhanced.

The main benefits of having such a tool are:

Global Reach
There’s really no marketing method as good as being able to send a message to thousands of people all over the world in an instant. Geographical boundaries are pretty much non-existent in today’s world. Someone 20,000 miles away can read your material and buy your product online in a matter of minutes.

Cost-Effectiveness
As far as cost-effectiveness goes, email marketing is one of the best tools that an affiliate can use.

With none of the traditional marketing costs such as, printing, postage, buying ads, magazine articles, media, etc., email marketing is a top choice for a lot of businesses. With smart automated software now available (mentioned below), it is easy to track your results and tweak your campaign where needed.

Note: There are many businesses that will gladly pay for email lists. However, this is something you do not want to do because your audience will not want their information shared. The fast cash you might get now will cost you a lot down the road.

Precise Marketing
Through email marketing, affiliates are able to target the exact market that the business should be advertised to. The direct link that is established through email marketing will ensure marketing is effective, the business grows, and that the changing needs and wants of the customers are catered to.

Impulse buyers are another great reason to have an email list. The more they become familiar with your content and offers, the more likely they are to buy what you are selling in one or two clicks. This is where you can get really creative with your call-to-action sequence.

Easy to measure
Through email marketing, affiliates will be able to measure the success of their advertisement by looking over click-through rates and hot spots via maps provided by Google Analytics. It will help them optimize the emails further by fixing errors and molding content.

Easy to set up
Website plug-ins and specific email marketing platforms such as GetResponse provide areas where user input automatically adds their information to your list and can generate specific email campaigns.

A Ready-2-Receive audience
When you have an email list of people who are engaged most of the time with your content, you have direct and instant contact with them. In an age of SPAM, email marketing is the only medium where the target market has signed up to receive your material. This is a huge advantage, and as you grow your list, your business will experience stronger organic growth.

Generates pay-it-forward leads
You can encourage the email recipient to forward your email to friends and family members and to share it on social media platforms.  When someone gets a good deal of information they think has value, they often think of how it may help their family and friends. As humans, most of us like helping others. You can get creative and offer incentives for them to do this.

6 Email Marketing tips

When an email marketing campaign is planned and executed correctly, it is highly effective.

Marketers have to be particular about the following 6 aspects:

Adding human elements
People don’t like communicating with businesses because it is an entity. Instead, emails that are signed by individuals within a corporation add a human aspect to marketing and therefore make it more successful. The more personal your emails are, the better your response rate will be.

Keeping the subject line short and concise
Your subject line is what’s going to persuade your potential client to open the email. If it is extremely long and technical, the chances are that the viewer will mark it as a spam email, or perhaps decide that it’s not that important right now and skip it. You need to ensure that your subject lines are short and attractive so that viewers are more inclined to open the message.

Keep subject line relevant
If your subject line is not related to the product, service, or update you want to promote, then you are severely diminishing the success of your email campaign. People will feel like they have been misled and may opt-out of the subscription. Thus, it would help if you always stayed relevant to what you are advertising. Even a small annoyance is enough to lose some customers.

Avoid Information overload
According to research, the average reading time per email is 11 seconds, and less than half of people read for more than 18 seconds. If you have vast amounts of technical or explanatory information, you will lose the interest of the reader. Instead, create a short email that leaves the viewer wanting more –it will urge them to click on the links provided.

Have a well-placed call to action
Call to action is one thing that you must incorporate into your emails because of their persuasive value. Their placement is something that could profoundly increase their effect or diminish it greatly. More often than not, they are better placed right at the top or at the end of the email. If you have more than one, then you should arrange them in accordance with your content.

Make email messages Mobile-friendly
Emails are now opened three times more often on a mobile device than on a desktop computer. Google is testing its mobile-first initiative because of the shift toward mobile devices. There are special tools available that allow email marketers to test and monitor emails to improve their ROI

Overview of 6 mass email marketing tools

MailerLite
MailerLite is one of the easiest platforms for email marketing. If you are not ready to have a paid service, they are the best as they offer 1000 subscribers for free, and their service provider allows you to create forms, you can embed a code or you can also use their plugin create the forms in their site, and directly integrate them into your site.  My site uses this service.

ConvertKit
ConvertKit is one of the most successful platforms for email marketing. This service provider allows you to market directly to bloggers and podcasters. The automated email sending process is one that ensures maximum convenience.

ConvertKit also has conditional tags which are a far more efficient method of managing subscribers and run automated tasks. If subscribers are VIP, they will get an additional tag full of information like discounts and such. The tag system is really powerful because you can tag subscribers based on how they interact with your email message. For example, you can tag them based on whether or not they have clicked on a specific link in the email. This allows you to fine-tune future emails to that person. You can even send emails again to those people who haven’t opened it.

GetResponse
Get Response is one of the most popular email marketing tools and has been around for more than 15 years. It assists you with creating attractive looking emails, landing pages that increase conversion rates, and personalized target market lists in order to encourage brand growth. Additionally, their automated process ensures that you can track your progress at all times.

They have a 30 day free trial (no credit card required) on all packages including the Email – $15/mth, The Pro – $49/mth, and The Max – $165/mth.

They have a feature called Perfect Timing, where they claim gets your emails to the top of the pile – every time. According to their website, this can increase your open rates (OR) by as much as 23%, and your click-rate (CTR) by 20% It does this by running real-time analysis across hundreds of thousands of email accounts where it tracks opens and clicks. From there it can predict the “optimal delivery hour of the day” for each of your contacts. Basically, it’s a time slot when your subscribers are most likely to open your email based on historical activity.

AWeber
AWeber is one of the easier-to-use auto-responders on the market. It lets you control everything from messages, opt-in forms, reporting, and analytics. This allows you to better understand your subscriber’s activity. You have the option to decide between three types of subscription emails; automated, broadcast, and blog broadcast. Depending on the market you want to target, you can alternate between the three. They will even assist you in making subscription forms to facilitate interaction between businesses and customers. AWeber also has tag functionality, similar to that of ConvertKit.

Something to watch out for is that AWeber users are charged on a ‘total’ subscriber basis which includes subscribers and un-subscribers. So even if a subscriber has unsubscribed from your list, it also counts toward your total. They also count duplicate subscribers where one of your subscribers may be on multiple lists.  Naturally, you can reduce the impact of this by regularly “pruning,” but this can be tedious.

ConstantContact
According to ConstantContact’s website:

“98.4% of consumers check their email daily.  Business Insider (2015).

Email marketing is the most effective tool for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention1 – and delivers a $38-for-$1 return on investment.2 “

It’s main features include:

  • Drag and drop editing made easy
  • Email marketing automation
  • e-commerce email marketing tools
  • Contact list management
  • Real-time email tracking tools
  • Include polls and surveys in your emails

They have a 60-day free marketing trial too. ( no credit card required). The free trial comes fully equipped and includes, unlimited emails, easy editing, action blocks, sign-up tools, mobile/social capabilities, and real-time reporting. Product support is available via phone or chat.

MailChimp
MailChimp is used by many marketers. Apparently, they send about 6 billion emails a week and have more than 175 million customers.

Many people like it because they can do a fair amount with the free plan. This includes the ability to send 12,000 emails a month to 2,000 subscribers, reporting, list management, and utilize its mobile features. The automation features that are included in the Pro and Grow plans are also included in the free plan.

This platform helps you create attractive emails, landing pages, postcards, ads, forms, and surveys for your business. It enables you to use email by designing customized campaigns to a specific target market through an automated, hassle-free, process. You can optimize your content after tracking the success and failure of your email and altering them accordingly.

It also allows you to integrate with over 300 apps and services to improve its effectiveness.

Email vs Social Media Marketing

Who’s winning the race?

Verdict: Email marketing … Here’s why
Even though no one can deny the importance of social media to the majority of businesses nowadays, the two are quite different, and statistics still favor email marketing by quite a margin.

Quick Facts:
With both mediums having over 3 Billion users, email marketing is still ahead by about 10% in this area.

3 X more marketers use email marketing for promotions.

3 X the conversion rate compared to social media.

The ROI of email marketing can yield as much as $38 or more for every $1 spent.

Wrapping it up

Email marketing is a very valuable tool for affiliate marketers, even with social media use growing every day.  It is a sound strategy to use both of these for your online marketing. The two work hand-in-hand very well and will help you increase your sales significantly.

Example:  Use social media to drive traffic to your website and then use the power of an email marketing tool, such as an auto-responder to convert these customers into subscribers.

I hope you found this post informative and that it helps you get a general picture of the power of Email marketing. I always like to get feedback from readers, so please share your experiences using email marketing and social media, and of course, any comments you may have about this post. Together we can all help each other.

Stronger together!

Ready to learn more about how you can become knowledgeable about the affiliate marketing online business click here!

References

Read about the history of email marketing on Wikipedia

1. Gigaom Research Report: Workhorses and Dark Horses – Digital Tactics for Customer Acquisition (2014) 
2. Direct Marketing Association (2015).

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