of the week!!
According to Direct Marketing Association, for every $1 invested in Email, the return was $40, which makes it one of the most profitable Marketing channels with the Least Investment. You Don’t need an Office, you don’t need Employees, You don’t need to Pay for Expensive Servers – Just Need to Read On….
Heads Up – This blog is divided into three Sections – 1) How to Build your Email list, 2) How to Set up Campaigns and 3) How to Make Money. After reading this article hopefully fellow Rodinhooders can get out and make some quick Bucks
SECTION 1 – HOW TO BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST?
1) Make Your Website an Email Fishing Net – Most web pages today are designed with usability, Navigation & download speed in mind. This is great; however they fail to capture details of your most valuable customer who visited the site. Design your website with a focus to capture Email addresses. Create Email subscription fields on vital touch points on the site across all pages – such as on the Header, Footer of the Page. Consider Including a Welcome pop up that captures Emails
2) Offer Incentive for Users to Sign up – Look at the below screen shot of a famous website. In this example FragranceNet offers a 20% discount for users to sign up. Once the user signs up, he has the potential to become a lifelong customer and ensure repeat visits / purchases. Make sure the sign up experience is not too intrusive
3) Point of Sale – A user who has bought your item Online or at an offline store is of great value. Make sure to capture Email at the Point of Sale. Just because Email marketing is online, you don’t have to restrict yourself to online tactics alone, use your offline resources
4) Social Media – Leverage Social media to generate subscriptions. A well designed Email sign up box can be a great way to generate leads. In addition, Social media users are of greater value – more often than not they also spread the word for you
5) Search Marketing – If you have a little bit of money to spend, you can test paid search to generate Email leads. You pay per the lead you collect and bid the same way you would normally bid in search. Below is a screen shot
6) Create a Barter Market – Go into the market; talk to other companies and strike a Barter deal for sharing Email lists. It’s simple – you let them advertise to your Email customers and they let you do the same. Share Revenue as needed
7) Rent or Purchase a list – If you have money, this is a great option. There are lots of companies from which you can purchase or rent lists. But a word of caution – purchased or rented lists may not have the same quality as an owned Email list. If the quality of your Email is poor, you stand the risk of landing your Email in the Spam folder, or worse get black listed
SECTION 2- HOW TO SET UP CAMPAIGNS AND OPTIMIZE?
1) White List your Email – If you have a large Email list, the first thing you need to do is to White list your account. ESP or Email Service Providers like Yahoo and Gmail need to know that you are a legitimate company and not a spammer. The Email maybe yours, but ESPs need to “open the gate” for you. You can typically work with an Email Management company such as Responsys, SilverPop or MailChimp that can do the work for you (you pay a small fee, still cheapest compared to other paid media tactics). Remember it is very Important that you get White Listed, otherwise your emails will go to the Spam Folder, or worse not get delivered at all
2) Follow Local Regulation – If you are Emailing to a customer in the US, you need to adhere to CANSPAM regulations. CANSPM compliance includes such things as a “message cannot have a misleading subjectline” or labeling appropriately “if it contains adult content” etc. The user should have willingly Opted in to receive Emails. Most western countries have their own regulations. Check local laws for spam regulations. If you are in India there are no laws, or the laws, if at all any in the IT ACT 2000 is very loose
3) Avoid Spam Traps – Once you get white listed, start Emailing your customers. However note that White listing alone does not guarantee Successful Email Delivery. ESPs may work with 3rd party specialist companies (ex Spamhaus) to monitor the quality of your Email. Ex) Using “FREE” too often on your subjectline may trigger a spam trap and your Email may land in the spam folder. All the hard work you put in will simply be lost.
4) How Often Can You Email – There are no strict rules, but in general sending too many Emails will raise the eyebrows of the ESP (Gmail, Yahoo etc). They may think you are a spammer. Most ESP like Yahoo and MSN have a deliverability team who you can talk to, Gmail doesn’t even have one. If the Engagement Rate on your Emails is fairly high, you can send more Emails. The industry Send average is 2 to 3 Emails per week
5) Segment Your List – It is important to send the right offer to the right person at the right time. To do that you can segment (divide) your list. Some of the most popular ways to segment are by Price, Product, Behaviors (click pattern on previous Emails or your website), geography etc. For example, if you have a clothing company, sell warm clothing like woolen Jackets in December to people residing in Shimla
6) Image to Text Ratio – In the past Spammers have tried to scam or infect your PC with virus by sending Emails. ESPs got smart by scanning for words like “Viagra” and sending these Emails to the spam folder. Spammers got smarter by using only visuals (images) so ESPs could not read it. As a result, there are now some best practices around Content. As a general rule of thumb, there should be a good mix of images and text in an Email –around 1/3rd Images and 2/3rd text is most recommended
7) Optimize Your Campaign –You can optimize your Emails based on a number of metrics such as Email Delivery Rate, Open Rate, Click Rate, Conversion Rate etc. Ex, don’t send Emails to anyone in your database who has not opened your Email in six months. If he has not opened in six months, it is highly unlikely that he will open in the future. Keep your list fresh. The tighter your list is, the better your Email deliverability and ROI will be
8) Make it Easy to Unsubscribe – If a user does not want to receive your Email, he will unsubscribe. Don’t make it hard for a user to unsubscribe for two reasons – 1) If he has decided to unsubscribe, he will not buy your product anyways in the future 2) People who Unsubscribe are most likely to hit the “Spam” button within the Email inbox, which can get you black listed. ESPs look at how many people clicked on the spam button. For ex) 1/1000 Emails or more clicked as Spam can get you into trouble with ESPs
SECTION 3- HOW TO MAKE MONEY?
1) Affiliate Marketing – If you have a large enough list, this is one of the most popular ways to make money. Work with an Affiliate, negotiate a deal (usually rev share) and send your Affiliate’s products to your subscribers. You make a profit from their sales. If you follow the principles outlined above (like segmentation and optimization) you should be able to make good money
2) Work with Companies Directly – Segment your list to match the company’s target audience and set up a campaign. You can either send dedicated newsletters on the company’s behalf, or simply sell them banner space within your Newsletter. Do not share the actual Email addresses with the company
3) Sell Your Own products – If you have your own Product line, sell them to your subscribers. Give them an Exclusive Discount they cannot get anywhere else
4) Build Your Own Groupon – Set up a Groupon / Living Social type business model. Partner with offline and online stores and send EXCLUSIVE deals. Brand yourself as “deal of the day” company. Your users will want to get your Emails
5) Sell Your List – This could be risky as once you sell your list you no longer have full control of it. The new owner can potentially bombard your list with his Offers and diminish its value. Weather to Sell or Not depends upon your business objective. If you are out to build a Brand, selling will not work. But if your intention is to make quick money and move on to the next, this might be an option. For ex) If you have a list of 500K users and if you are able to sell an Email at $0.20, you can make a quick $100,000. Easier said than done – but you can take a shot at it now that you know how the Math works.
All the points in this post are the various options available to you as an Email Marketer. You need to pick and choose whats best for you. In general, remember, you don’t need an OFFICE or pay for Expensive servers to Host Your Email List.
Email Marketing can be complicated. But once you understand the rules and play by it, there is good opportunity to make money. Traffic from other Marketing tactics can Decrease or Increase, Advertisers can come or go, but Emails are for you to keep. It’s your Golden Egg laying Duck, don’t abuse it.