With over 3.7 billion email users worldwide, and forecasts that this figure is expected to grow to over 4.1 billion in the next few years, here’s the truth. As a creator, without a strategy for building an email list, you’re prepped to fail!
Quick question: What’s your email marketing strategy? This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth: As a content marketer, without an email marketing strategy, a strategy for building an email list, you’re prepped to fail.
You know what is incredibly frustrating? And terribly annoying?
Spending hours, sometimes days or in extreme cases weeks, creating the perfect email. Crafting, tweaking, designing, perfecting and turning it into a beautiful work of art.
You then click ‘send’ with aplomb!
Only to be brought down to earth, when you look at your stats…
- 8.9% of your email list opened your email. Only just!
- 6.5% of your list have unsubscribed. Ouch 🙁
- Barely 0.25% clicked your links.
To make matters worse, not too long ago, another ransomware cyber attack struck some of the world’s biggest companies. Major firms in the US, UK, Russia, France and Germany are among those left in chaos as a result of the new ‘Petya’ attack.
It appears to have largely begun in Ukraine before spreading throughout the world.
This is the last thing content marketers need right now. Because following this new deadly ransomware cyber attack, people are now quite cautious about opening their emails. This is not surprising, as the virus is spread through email attachments.
Email as a form of communication is under threat! And the rumours of the death of email are circulating.
Is Email Dead? Or Is It Still Alive And Kicking?
Although some people have become more careful about which email attachments to open, most people still open their emails. The truth of the matter is that it will take more than a deadly virus to completely kill email as a form of communication.
Email is more resilient and is more entrenched in our way of life than most people care to admit.
The Radicati Email Market Study, 2017-2021 states that there are currently over 3.7 billion email users worldwide, and forecasts that this figure is expected to grow to over 4.1 billion in the next few years. According to Jeff Goins, “That means email outnumbers all the users on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and every other social media channel combined. That makes it the world’s largest social network. If you haven’t tapped into the power of email marketing, then you’re missing out on an incredible opportunity to engage with the people who want to hear from you.”
The Radicati report also brings out the following interesting facts about email:
- Consumer email use continues to grow worldwide, as more people gain access to the Internet on a worldwide basis. Email remains a key component of the online experience, as email accounts are required for any form of online activity ranging from signing up to social networking sites (e.g. Facebook and Twitter), accessing chat or instant messaging services, online shopping or any other type of online activity.
- The total worldwide email traffic, including both Business and Consumer emails, was estimated to be over 269 billion emails/day in 2017, growing to over 319.6 billion emails/day by the end of 2021.
A study by Harvard Business Review, found email is still an important part of many people’s work lives, with the average person spending up to 50% of their time in the inbox.
The study goes further to say, “Periodically you may hear digital hipsters claim that e-mail is dead. Don’t believe them. People still spend half their workday dealing with it, they trust it, and overall they’re satisfied with it… E-mail is not dead, it’s just evolving. It’s becoming a searchable archive, a manager’s accountability source, a document courier. And for all the love social media get, e-mail is still workers’ most effective collaboration tool. It’s far from perfect: Three-quarters of all e-mail is junk, and we’re wasting lots of time dealing with less important messages. But it remains the mule of the information age—stubborn and strong.”
However, to get the most from your email list, you need an email marketing strategy that works. By ’email marketing’ I mean the use of email to develop relationships with your audience, potential customers or clients.
Email Marketing Strategy: How do you get your subscribers to open your email?
Email isn’t dead.
It’s alive and kicking! It remains the #1 way to sell your products and services online. As a general rule, you don’t start to see the benefits until you have at least 1,000 subscribers on your list. That’s because statistically, an average of 1% of your subscribers will buy from you. Plus, you can expect to make an average of $1 for every person on your list, every month. So the more people you have on your list, the better.
Obviously, the more people who open those emails, and click the links, the more sales you will make. So how do you get your email subscribers to open your email and click the links in your email? What’s your email marketing strategy?
Email marketing tips:
Here are 8 sneaky but legitimate ways to build trust with your email subscribers. You can call it my number 1 email marketing strategy ?
#1. Send them flowers and chocolates. “What?” I hear you screaming. Relax and hear me out! Here is what I mean: Go the extra mile. Give them extra-ordinary value. Make them feel valued. Check out this great blog post: “8 Ways to Get Your Subscribers to Love Your Emails” at Successful Blogging where Meera Kothand makes the following practical and very useful suggestions:
- Turn your top blog posts into a free report or checklist
- Convert your most shared post into a slide deck or infographic.
- Take your most asked questions and answer them in a video
- Use an existing guide and turn it into an audio file
- Shoot a video to motivate and inspire your readers
#2. Avoid spam complaints with frequent, consistent mailings. Surprising as it sounds, mailing more often can actually reduce spam complaints.
#3. Give your audience an unusually great reason to opt-in and stay in. Work harder than other marketers in your niche to create lead magnets of unusual value. Then give them fantastic reason to remain on your list. Don’t take it for granted that anybody is interested in reading your next email. Give them a reason to want to read it.
#4. Know your most wanted response (MWR) and ask for a “sale” in every e-mail. If you don’t know it, how can you elicit the desired behavior? Use only one MWR per email. The confused customer will never buy.
#5. Craft subject lines that grab your audience by the eyeballs. Without a good subject line, the content of the email doesn’t matter. Write your subject lines so that they are personal, fulfill anticipation, and arouse curiosity.
#6. Use headline templates and techniques, but not headline formatting. Avoid making your e-mail look like an ad. Send emails that look like they were sent by a friend. You want your emails to look like those of a friend, not like sales fliers or newspaper ads.
#7. Use a post scriptum (PS) that summarizes the main benefit and provides a link. Adding a PS line to your messages can substantially contribute to their effectiveness. Research shows that 79 percent of recipients read the P.S. line first, so make sure you use if for either a call to action or simply to attract attention.
#8. Have a reputable email service provider, who will store your email addresses and send out emails for you. And there are many of them including MailChimp, MailerLite, AWeber, ConvertKit, InfusionSoft and many others. We recommend:
- AWeber: AWeber is an email solution for small business marketers who don’t have a lot of time to spend on their email marketing campaigns. AWeber works really hard to live up to their claim of being the best solution for time-strapped email marketers. One of the greatest ways they do this is by offering 700+ templates. This huge library of templates means you’re pretty unlikely to have to do much customization. They also offer up to four split tests at one time! Their pricing plans start at $19/mo for up to 500 contacts. AWeber has a 30 day FREE trial which you can access by clicking here.
- Mailerlite which we use for this Blog. It has a “forever free” plan. Under their forever free plan, Mailerlite will allow you to send an unlimited amount of email campaigns to up to 1,000 subscribers every month for free. Furthermore, with Mailerlite, you enjoy full access to all features, including landing pages, automation with their forever free plan. You can also easily upgrade as your subscriber list grows.
- MailChimp which we use for our other Blog. When you’re starting out and your budget is tight, MailChimp can be very useful. They allow you to send up to 12,000 emails a month, to up to 2,000 subscribers, all for free. MailChimp is easy to use. Setting up opt-in forms and emails is a breeze.
How to instantly increase your open rate [How to do email marketing]
Used properly, the little-known email marketing strategy (the secret of email re-send) will help you instantly and significantly increase your open rates! And it’s incredibly easy to set up. Whether you use MailChimp, MailerLite, AWeber, ConvertKit, InfusionSoft, or another email service provider, most email marketing programs offer the option to send an email to a segment of your list who did not open an email.
Simply create a segment that matches the following campaign activity:
- Everyone who received your last email; and
- Who did not open the email
You then need to manually re-schedule the same campaign to this segment, preferably using a different email subject.
This is how it works with MailChimp:
First, click on the list you want to segment. Next click on “Manage Contacts”. This should bring up a drop-down menu. From the drop-down menu, click on “Segments”.
Next click on “Create Segment”.
Finally, create a new segment based on the campaign activity relating to the particular email which you wish to resend. The segment should match the following:
- Campaign activity >> Was sent >> The email in question
- Campaign activity >> Did not open >> The email in question
You then auto updated the segment and you’re good to go!
With MailerLite, it’s super easy because it’s all automated!
Here’s how it works with MailerLite:
Auto Resend campaign can be created in the same way as a regular campaign. Log into your account. On your dashboard, click on “Create New Campaign” and select the Auto Resend.
Next decide how you want to send the second email. You have 3 options to choose from:
- Email subject. Resend your second campaign with a changed Subject. This one is the easiest option.
- Email subject and personal message. Add a personal message above your second campaign body. You can change the subject and also add a text message on top of the copy of the first email. The final version of your captain looks like the email was forwarded. his one is really effective! You can write a message like “…I’m just forwarding you this email as you might have missed it…”. It can look really personal and encourage your subscribers to read the content.
- Email subject and email content. Make one small change, or change your second campaign content fully. So you can change not only the subject but also the content. This can be useful if you are informing subscribers about the duration of an event (e.g. Only 4 days left to…).
Choose the option you want and you’re ready to create your content!
Select which subscribers will receive the Auto Resend campaign – those that did not open the first email or those that did not click on a single link.
Finally, you need to specify the time when the second email will be sent.
I suggest sending the second email at least 36 hours after the first email was sent. This gives people time to open and reduces the chance that they get a duplicate email.
The amazing thing about MailerLite is that under their their forever free plan (free for your first 1,000 subscribers), you enjoy full access to all their features, including landing pages, automation, A/B split testing and of course auto resend! You can also easily upgrade as your subscriber list grows.
Our article on why you need an email list.
Recommended for you:
More email marketing strategy: How to condition your subscribers to click your email links
How are you conditioning your tribe? Every email you send is conditioning your audience. The question is: How are you conditioning them? Here are some strategies to help you condition your email subscribers to click your email links:
#1. Treat each e-mail like a miniature sales letter. Be very clear what the call to action is for that particular e-mail. Get your email subscribers in the habit of clicking on your links. To do this, you need to condition them to expect to click a link on every email you send. If you don’t have anything useful to link to, simply link to valuable content elsewhere which they will find useful.
#2. Don’t send your posts in an email. When I first started blogging, I was sending my entire blog post by email to my list. My optin forms had this message: “And you don’t have to visit my blog to stay up-to-date! Instead, you will get updates via email. Whenever I have a special offer or new book or post fresh content, I will send you an email.” This was great for the people on my list. However, from a business point of view, I was harming myself. There are at least two downsides to this:
- My email subscribers were not visiting my blog, and
- When I wanted to make a sale, my email subscribers did not click on the link
One of my online mentors, Michael Hyatt, experienced the same thing, and had to change his marketing strategy, because it was hurting his business. He explained the rationale for the change in a blog post . According to him:
As a reader, this might not seem immediately important. But as an online marketer, it’s critical. If people don’t click, they don’t buy. And if I don’t get buyers for my signature products, I can’t continue to provide resources like my blog, podcast, and ebooks for free.
Instead, I want to train people to click, so I can raise my overall conversion percentage (percent of people who take action). The early results tell us it’s working. We’re getting more clickthroughs now than a month ago.
#3. Always use a clear call to action. And you need to make your call to action very obvious. Here are some examples that I use regularly:
- “Register now”
- “Register here”
- “Click here”
- “Grab it here”
- “Click this link”
- “Click the link below”
- “Click below”
Still on the subject of getting your subscribers to open your emails. Ramsay of Blog Tyrant has written a simple but very helpful checklist. You need to follow the checklist when sending out an email or email newsletter to your list to ensure you get the most out of the exercise. Check it out here. You’d be glad you did!
Email Marketing Benefits
If you’re blogger, writer, content marketer or other online entrepreneur and you’re not building an email list, you’re selling yourself short. The reality is you don’t have a real online business if you aren’t growing a list of email subscribers! You need an email marketing strategy fast!
If there is one thing that business, content, and conversion rate experts agree upon, it is that building an email list is critical and vital.
Do you have an email marketing strategy? Want to know how to do email marketing? Need help building your email list?
I’ve got just the tool for you. It’s my free report 20 Ways To acre at Inbox Magic which you can download right here.
If you need any further help with email marketing, check out these 6 resources:
- How To Build Your Email List Fast – 42 Actionable Strategies You Can Use Right Now
- 15 of the Best Email Marketing Campaign Examples You’ve Ever Seen
- A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Email Marketing – Kissmetrics Blog
- How to Quickly Build Your Email List of Active Subscribers
- 41 Tips to Help You Get 10,000 Email Subscribers for Your List
- [Revealed] The 16 Top Email Marketing Best Practices for Beginners
Question: Do you have an email marketing strategy? What methods are using to build trust with your email subscribers? You can leave a comment.
Join The Conversation
These are some really very important and well researched points. Email marketing is an integral part of success of any website or blog now a days.
Pedro Okoro says
Thanks for joining the conversation. Delighted you found the blog post useful.
Couple of things to add, there is such a thing as too frequent. I had to insist at a previous company a ‘digest’ of the content they would produce would not only result in more click but fewer unsubs. They didn’t believe me, did an A/B test in Mailchimp, and now they implement a ‘digest’/compilation email every week.
I’ve put that into practise everywhere I go, using Mailchimp I have the registration form indicate weekly/monthly emails so that they have control over the frequency of the emails. I would advise anyone looking to distribute content (for example blogs and similar) to do the same.
Lastly, I’m surprised you missed out one of the great functions of Mailchimp, the seamless mail merging when it comes to things like names and details. Seeing one’s name in an email title, or meta, is really catching and improves open rates.
Pedro Okoro says
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your perspective. The blog post wasn’t a comparison of different email service providers, and so I couldn’t have gone into the various pros and cons of using MailChimp, Mailerlite, AWebber, etc. I was only showing how using re-send can dramatically increase your open rates.
The Gypsy Gurl says
Hi, everyone of your posts is like a tutorial for me, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one too, and yes I learned a lot too. ❤
Pedro Okoro says
Hey Gypsy Gurl,
Oh wow! Delighted you love our blog. Thank you so much for your kind words. They are music to our ears 🙂
Wow! so much information in here to digest. My blog is only about a month old and I don’t even know how to build an email list (but I’ve downloaded your free resource – thank you!)
Thanks for sharing all of this valuable information.
Pedro Okoro says
Really nice to see you here. But most of all, super delighted to know that you found the blog post valuable 🙂
Good luck with your blogging.
Mukulika Sengupta says
Absolutely love the post! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
Pedro Okoro says
Oh wow! Delighted to know that you love the post 🙂 Thanks for stopping by too!
Doug Paulson says
Excellent email marketing post! I really liked the part about the ‘Call to Action’. Many people don’t do this and are missing out. Thanks for a very informative post Pedro!
Pedro Okoro says
Really glad to have been able to connect with you earlier. And many thanks for returning the favor and visiting us here at Astute Copy Blogging. Glad you found this blog post informative.
Let’s stay in touch 🙂