Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to build your influence and develop stronger connections with prospects and customers. Small and medium-sized businesses, in particular, can benefit by creating a responsive email list.
However, if you want to succeed with email marketing, you need to follow certain guidelines. In this article, we'll share some powerful tips on building a list, sending valuable content, and measuring your results.
Benefits of Email Marketing
If you have a yoga, massage, reiki, art therapy, or another type of practice, your business depends on building strong, long-term relationships with customers. Otherwise, they are likely to forget about you. There are some key advantages to connecting with clients (and prospective clients) via email.
- Sell products and services. Whether you want more clients for your practice or you have physical products to sell (or both), email is one of the best promotional methods. McKinsey found that email is 40x more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined for acquiring customers.
- Educate your audience. Some potential clients may need more information before they decide to sign up. With email, you can educate your audience and explain the benefits you offer.
- Direct people to your website and other content. When you publish a new blog post, social media post, video, or any type of content, you can use email to send traffic.
- Send coupons and other offers. You can inform subscribers about special offers and discounts. For example, you can email them a coupon for a series of 5 treatments for a special price.
- You can track your results. Email marketing makes it easy to track analytics, which helps you learn more about your clients.
Get Started With Email Marketing
How do get started building an email list for your business or practice? Here are the key steps.
Choose An Email Marketing Software
There are many programs and services to help you automate email tasks. Email marketing services, also known as autoresponders, are very helpful. Some of the most popular include:
- MailChimp - good for SMBS evolving to marketing automation
- ConvertKit - recommended for professional bloggers, authors, and marketers.
- Campaign Monitor - for basic email marketing and newsletters
- HubSpot - for scalable marketing automation
- AWeber - offers a wide-range of tools for small and medium sized businesses
- Constant Contact - best for smaller contact lists
- Drip - Mainly for e-commerce
These and similar services offer a variety of products and plans at different price points. Some, such as MailChimp, offer free plans that let you sample the service.
Plan Your Email Content
Before you build a list, it's good to know what you're actually going to send these people. To connect with subscribers, you need to be consistent about sending them quality content. You can send a formal newsletter that covers your field of expertise. People always like getting information on topics related to health and fitness. Email marketing services include various newsletter templates to help you get set up.
If you're not ready to create a newsletter, you can still send messages that are relevant to your audience. You don't always need a groundbreaking topic. You can send holiday-related content, tips for working out, the latest news about your practice, and anything that's relevant. Even a link to a relevant news story or resource can help. When possible, link to your own content. If you want to link to a news story, for example, you can always publish it on your website or Facebook page first and then link to that page in the email.
Another type of content to consider is e-courses. These are also good to use as opt-in offers, such as "Sign up for our free, 7-part mini-course on relieving back pain."
Start With Existing Contacts
Even if you aren't yet marketing with email, you may have some client email addresses in your database. Import these into your email marketing software. Make sure, however, that you have permission to email these people. When they provided their email, they should have agreed to receive communications from you. If this isn't the case, or you're not sure, start a new list from scratch.
Create an Offer
One of the "tricks" of email marketing is to give people an incentive to sign up for your list. In exchange for their email address, you send people a product, coupon, or gift. If you're trying to get new clients, you might offer a 50% off or two-for-one discount on a service. As mentioned, you can also create a mini-course, which demonstrates your expertise as well as helping the subscriber.
When you have an offer, place it in a prominent position on your website. You can then promote your offer using ads, social media, blog posts, and any other channels or platforms you use.
Test Your Results
One of the biggest advantages of email marketing is that you can test all kinds of variables that help you improve your results over time. Among the metrics you can test:
- Subject lines.
- The Best time to send emails, including hour and day.
- Images, fonts, and layout.
Your email software will have analytics that let you test these and other variables. If this sounds complicated, it's really quite simple to conduct A/B tests, which compare 2 variables. For example, you send half of your subscribers a message with one subject line, the other half using a different subject line, and compare the results.
Email Marketing Practices and Etiquette to Keep in Mind
There are certain guidelines to follow if you want to engage rather than annoy your subscribers. Some of these can even get you into legal trouble if you violate them.
- Only use emails you have personally collected. Don't buy lists, even ones that claim to be targeted or permission-based. These won't be your opt-ins, so you don't have permission to email them.
- Include a visible Unsubscribe link in all your emails. This keeps you in compliance with anti-spam laws. It also helps you maintain the quality of your list, as people who aren't interested can stop receiving messages.
- Be consistent. You can create your own schedule, but it's good to send messages at least weekly, so your subscribers don't forget about you.
- Always have a call to action. This can be a link to your website or an invitation to call your office for an appointment.
- Keep testing. You can often improve open and engagement rates by making small tweaks.
Are you ready to convert prospects into customers with Email Marketing? Want to turn one-time buyers into loyal clients? Weather it's through newsletters, acquisition, retention or promotional emails, done well, Email Marketing is a great tool to help your business grow.
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