Email marketing is a process. Just like any other campaign or project, it takes some strategizing to come up with what works for you and your business. But while developing an action plan may take some time, once it’s done, you’ll have a strategy in place for future successes.
But developing an email marketing strategy in only 5 steps? It takes more steps than that to write a blog post, right? Well, ultimately, the process will take as long as you allow it to. Fortunately, if you follow the guidelines here, you’ll have a strategy in place and ready to put into action. And more than that, it will be a compelling email marketing strategy.
Commit to implementing it
The first step to any successful strategy is to commit to the plan. Email marketing is not a race. There’s no finish line. Marketing yourself and your business through email takes time and dedication. Unless you’re using paid methods, it may take weeks or even months before you see the results of your efforts paying off. So take heart and just commit to a solid email marketing campaign – your subscribers can tell the difference between quality messages and thoughtless, rushed messages.
Offer a free gift that will set up the entire process
Your compelling free offer is the jumping off point for your email marketing campaign. While you can build a list without giving something out for free, it is much easier, targeted and faster if you do. Without a free offer, why would anyone want to optin to yet another list? So, once you have a compelling free offer completed, your lead capture page or optin form should clearly describe the offer and why they should optin to get it. In other words, what else do they get for giving you their email address?
Compose a compelling thank you email
Your thank you email is sent immediately after a subscriber opts in for the free gift. In it, there should be a link to download their gift, but even more than that, you are going to set up your future correspondence. If you’ve also promised a newsletter on your optin form, then discuss how often they’ll get receive it and what they should expect to see in it. In other words, tempt them! This email is crucial for setting the expectation that you will meet with them again. It’s a business partnership where you are helping, teaching and coaching them in this niche.
Use the power of stories
Though you’ve gotten the optin and they’re enjoying your compelling free offer, the next emails you send will be a crucial time in your relationship with your new subscriber. And this is where I hear from many clients, panicking about what to do next. Keep this tip top of mind whenever fear creeps in – Tell them a story. No, not a “I used this product and it worked great for me,” worthless story, but a story that captivates and applies to your message.
Here is an example… Let’s use the free offer of The Top 10 Things to Look for in a Virtual Assistant. This is for someone with a virtual assistant business. After the thank you email, the next thing on their agenda is to sell their new subscriber on the idea of using their services for a VA. A compelling story might be one using a client as an example and how they were so frustrated and spending time on tasks that were not making them any money. They were losing money on other stuff because they were so stretched for time. Many business owners can relate to this dilemma, it’s a story, but it’s effective in letting the subscriber know, I know how you feel and here’s how I can help.
In the next email, tell another story about something else – maybe pass along a tip because it saved you hours and you think it can help your subscriber too.
Give, give, give
Though there is the notion that you can make a lot of money from your email list, every savvy business owner knows that it’s the relationship with your list that makes you money. It’s not the list itself, it’s each subscriber that feels compelled to purchase something because you recommended it and they trust your opinion.
A solid email marketing strategy takes the guess work out of what you should send to your subscribers. Have a commitment in place and a plan of action. That will make planning your follow-up emails much easier.
And don’t forget to edit your follow-up messages every once in a while – make sure all the information is still relevant.