Email marketing is one of the most effective methods of communicating directly with your followers, prospects and customers.
There are several ways to monetize a niche market (or small business), and make a living online. After finding your niche, building your online presence (for example a Website / Blog, Facebook page, YouTube channel, Landing page(s), and so on) is important to start with.
But… to make it really happen You need Web Traffic.
One great way to drive targeted traffic to your site(s), page(s), channel(s) and / or offers (for this you don’t need a site) is email marketing.
Most of the successful internet marketers will tell you that email marketing is a very powerful asset to their internet business. It is Probably one of the most important ways to get long term income streams.
So imaging you could build and grow such a powerful traffic source to monetize your niche:
- If you want traffic to a new site or to a new article on one of your existing sites, you can send an email with a link and get clicks almost instantly.
- Or if you want to generate some revenue, you can email your list with a link of one of your own products, an affiliate offer or even an article on your site that is monetized with for example Adsense.
I think you agree that email marketing could be a profitable way to monetize a niche, and that you could use such a great traffic generator for your business as well…
Most people know that building your own email list could be a profitable business model, and a great way to increase web traffic.
A lot of (beginner) internet marketers want to start building their own lists, but end up procrastinating to start this process. I know… I was one of them 🙂
There are some obstacles, mostly mental, to overcome. Oftentimes people don’t know where to start.
Well, in this article you can read about:
- Some important questions to ask yourself regarding your Email Marketing Strategy. For starting and / or improving an email campaign;
- The first steps to consider to make email marketing work for you so you can start building your list. 4 Steps to get started with email marketing.
Email Marketing Strategy Tips: Important Questions to Ask Yourself
Let’s zoom in on one way of setting up a high level email marketing strategy or evaluating your existing strategy.
Email marketing strategy is the way to turn an Idea into real Action. Be aware, that it should always be related to your (online) business goals.
For me, Email marketing strategy begins by exploring the answers to questions visitors might have regarding the Topics(s) on your blog / website, Facebook page, or YouTube channel.
- What do they want to know? What questions might they have? What are their desires / needs / wants / interests / problems?
- What helps them to make decisions? Ask yourself: what would help my subscribers out the most?
- What brings up emotions (excitement, happiness, fear, anger, disgust, sadness, surprise, …)?
What helps me in this process is, to try to answer these questions from a customer satisfaction point of view.
What do I mean?
Well, relate the answers to your niche AND to optimizing key-factors, such as:
- Efficiency (ease of use, appliance, learning, doing the things right,…);
- Effectiveness (doing the right things);
- Value (for money);
- Quality Product / Service (reliability, (high) performance, support, content);
- Time (of delivery product/service, to market, to find answers, etc.).
Try to add value by sharing content, products, services related to these customer satisfaction aspects. Can you help your niche audience to make things easier, cheaper, better performing, or faster? Remember, People like shortcuts.
Always ask “WHY?” (they want to read this content)! That’s a way to get to the real cause. I am a “fan” of using the “5 Why’s“.
This will bring you a step further into creating an email program that pulls people in because it helps them and you.
If you share Information related to the questions and factors mentioned above… chances are that this will help you to gain involvement;
- Emotional (feelings, emotions, like happiness, fear, etc.),
- As well as Behavioral (actions: open, read, click, triggered by, for example curiosity, motivation, emotion, etc.).
Why? Because this is what your audience is looking for.
If you already have followers / subscribers, you could also Ask for feedback. This is invaluable for creating a successful customer-focused online business.
When you are able to think from a customer perspective, listen to, and respond to your subscribers, it becomes easier to create products, write articles/posts, create helpful videos, or writing emails and defining your email marketing campaigns.
These skills are very valuable!
All the previous questions and aspects will help you to come into action.
You have learned more about your audience and (potential) subscribers: You know the topics and boundaries for your email campaign(s) and should be able to create your own action list based on the answers you found.
Action Plan: Translate the Answers to Actions
Find the answers to the questions above.
- What Action(s) should I perform to fulfill my subscribers desires / needs / wants / interests…?
Use the gathered information as input source for your “email marketing action plan” and Define:
- Your niche Audience;
- Multiple give-aways / lead magnets to encourage visitors to sign up for your email opt-in (multiple flows / email lists);
- Where to embed your lead opportunities throughout your site, (landing) page, channel…;
- Specific actions based on the 4 steps to get started with list building (see below, give-away, tooling, pages, lists, and auto-responder series);
- The Ratio email content versus email promotion. Remember to provide personalized quality content to build a relationship with your prospects and customers;
- Your Email marketing campaign(s): Turn email campaign ideas into email campaign goals, and follow up sequence(s): Combine images, video, text (content), offers (promotion), and the right Call-to-Action.
The results of this approach will help you to encourage your subscribers / recipients to be active and engaged. Eventually you start building your list(s) and growing your internet based business…
Next, let’s look at the steps needed to get started with email marketing.
Below you find four steps to start building your list.
4 Steps to Get Started with Email Marketing
These four steps are needed to define your email marketing process, set up an email marketing campaign, and finally build your list(s):
Step 1: Create Something to Give Away
What is going to make someone sign up for an email opt-in? A great way to encourage visitors to do exactly that, is to decide on something to give away for free.
Create a product (aka a lead magnet, hook, give-away, free gift, or freebie) that you could sell, but instead you give it away.
You can decide to produce / do it yourself or to outsource it (Fiverr, Upwork, etc.).
Giving something away in return for an email address is a very important part of list building.
A good example is an ebook. After signing up, subscribers will receive an ebook, about a particular topic. This could be about the product you want to sell later, or about other niche topics.
Depending on the niche some examples could be ebooks about relationship advice, how to market a product, ideas to make a great website, and millions of other options.
All your content needs to help them. You can add some affiliate offers that of course will genuinely help them but also make you some money.
Besides ebooks, there are other great opportunities that could Add Value for your niche audience, such as: Software, Reports, Audio / Video courses, eCourses (email courses), Check lists, Discounts / Coupons, etc.
Basically, just make sure you deliver Serious Value with your freebie.
Your sales “funnel” starts here….
Step 2: Choose and Sign up for an Email service provider
Probably the most important component of your email marketing process is an email service provider, because it allows you to automate the process.
There are lots of email service providers (a.k.a. autoresponder service / tool / platform, email marketing service, lead capture system, etc.) available to support the actual email marketing process, in order to collect subscribers, define an email marketing campaign, and set up a follow-up autoresponder series.
Some of the most popular email service providers are: Aweber, GetResponse, MailChimp, Infusionsoft,…
They all have their pro’s and cons, but I believe that All of them are good options, and they will do the job for you.
If you are Serious about starting an online business, or… if you want to start and grow a Serious web business, you need an autoresponder service.
When you decide on which service / provider to use, be aware to check out:
- User Friendliness,
- Robustness / Reliability,
- Value for money (are there interesting extra features?),
- Service and Support.
Choose what fits you the best!
What autoresponder service I use?
I have been using SendLane since last year.
Well, at the time I decided to go fulltime into email marketing and learn all the ins and outs, I checked out:
- Aweber – I had some problems with opening aweber-links in my browser (it was fixed after upgrading to Windows 10 though). Besides a redesign and some drag ’n drop functionality they didn’t add a lot of new interesting features, the last couple of years.
- GetResponse – Last year’s DDoS attack made me doubtful. It was just before my decision, so it was the wrong time for me to go with this provider…
- Infusionsoft – A lot of great features (too much for me at that moment), and “a little bit” too complex… I think it’s great for product owners. As a licensed partner, I know Sarah Staar is using this tool.
Eventually A colleague recommended SendLane. Besides the standard functionality (like creating Autoresponders, Campaigns, Broadcasts), What really convinced me was:
- The easy to use user-interface, and their video tutorials for all modules and functions (combined with good support)
- The Landing Pages Generator to easily create opt-in pages, video pages, countdown timer pages, and thank you pages.
- As well as The automation tool for advanced users, which allow you to create automation based on users behavior.
Step 3: Create a Squeeze Page and Thank-you Page
Create a page (a Squeeze page, Opt-in form, or Landing page) – dedicated to your Give-away, and for people to sign up.
A squeeze page is essentially a page with the sole purpose of obtaining information from a visitor. The most common is an email address, of course.
It’s a short sales webpage with less than one paragraph of text, or, more than likely, just a few bullet points. Below the text, include an image, your signature and a box for visitors to enter a name and email address.
It’s critical that you create a squeeze page to build your list(s). Only a sidebar opt-in on your blog / site isn’t enough.
With a Squeeze page you provide an opportunity for your subscribers to pass a link to a page with Your Offer, to their friends.
Try to keep the distractions minimal, and attempt to build the strongest case for your give-away, or newsletter, using a few words.
You can either build a Squeeze page on your (WordPress) website / blog, or just a standalone page. You can also use OptimizePress, Leadpages, or other software services, which allow you to create squeeze pages.
I use WordPress, as well as SendLane for my Squeeze and Thank-you pages; it only takes around 5-10 minutes, and it saves me a lot of money.
Why? As I mentioned before, it’s included in my autoresponder service, I don’t have to buy / subscribe to an extra service!
Remember it is Not necessary to have a website / blog to utilize email marketing. But be aware, it probably increases your authority when you own a website / blog.
Jimmy Kim (creator Build My List) teaches how to build squeeze pages, without having a website, and building profitable email lists.
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Create a Thank You page
A good way to build subscriber rapports is to send new subscribers to a “thank you” page. This page should contain unadvertised bonuses, such as reports, video content, audio, etc., as well as affiliate products related to the free gift which they may be interested in.
These unexpected benefits for simply subscribing will encourage your new subscribers to pay you back via promotion.
Using any email provider, you can send a visitor to a thank you page. You can either use the provider’s default thank you page. Like the squeeze page, I use WordPress / SendLane to thank new subscribers for opting in and let them know that I will email their freebie instantly.
Step 4: Set Up your Email List and Add an AutoResponder Series
After choosing your email service provider, you create and manage a list in the autoresponder.
Next, you set up an automatic email series with your autoresponder to keep prospects and customers engaged and making repeat purchases.
When someone joins your list, your new subscribers will be send several emails from you on a predetermined rate automatically. This is the moment when they’re going to be most receptive to your emails and you can impress them by providing Value.
Not everybody is doing this, but I recommend you to take the time to set this up. This is true automated marketing; for me one of the key autoresponder benefits.
You can also set-up other responses, for verifying that the email was received, for reminding of the opt-in, and for unsubscribing.
Email marketing is another way to drive web traffic for monetizing a niche market.
Email is not going away in the wave of social media. In some sense, everyone is connected to their email at all times. Spam filters have certainly made it harder, but these features have been designed to get rid of bulk mail that is not properly targeted.
With the right focus, intentional (newsletter) sign-ups, and a legitimately compelling product, email marketing can build a following for a website (page, channel) and begin earning you income in the World of the Internet.
The above article doesn’t cover all the ins and outs of how to build a list, but… in this article I shared:
- Important questions to ask yourself for starting / improving your Email Marketing Strategy;
- And 4 Steps to get started with email marketing.
This information and finding answers to the questions, could help you to define your “email marketing action plan”; just a action based plan with the right steps to make email marketing work for you.
And remember, the most important part of the process is to just get started. Don’t worry if your first effort isn’t a home run. Chances are it won’t be. But you’ll learn a lot more from actually taking action on these strategies than you ever will by simply reading about them.
Learn more about generating Web Traffic…
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