Getting started in email marketing is actually easier than you may think, and probably less expensive than you think.
Here is all that you need to get started in email marketing:
- Email marketing software or service – this is nothing more than a way to store all the email addresses that you get, plus send your emails out, plus keep track of who unsubscribes. Good software will have reporting features too.
- A way to get leads – the email marketing software can be used to create a form that people will fill out with their name and email address. You will need to put this form somewhere, whether on your website, or your facebook page.
- A way to tell people about your list and direct them to your form. This could be a blog following facebook friends, a twitter list, organic or paid search traffic.
That’s IT! Some people run their entire businesses with just those three things.
So let’s talk about it:
Email marketing software: an industry leader and favorite of many is Aweber.com . Aweber does all the work for you and while your list is small and starting out you get to try it for a very low monthly fee.
Back in the old days, we used to gather the list ourselves and bulk send out the emails ourselves. That could take days to send out one email if you had a large email list. True, you weren’t putting in every address by hand but it would really tie up computer resources.
These days, that’s not a great idea anymore because of the way the spam laws have evolved. If you are using an opt-in email service like Aweber, there is proof that the people on your list actually signed up for your list and you aren’t spamming them.
The proof comes in the way of the opt in link. Someone who had access to that persons email had to click on that link, and it wasn’t you.
Free email marketing software options: yes, there are some free email marketing software options, although I recommend an online service. There are even some free online services. For example, mailchimp.com will allow you to send out a large amount of emails per month and maintain a rather large list for free, but there are some ‘catches’, as mailchimp calls them.
One big catch is the lack of an autoresponder. An autoresponder can be your best friend, in that you can set it up to automatically greet your new subscribers and send them a new email each day, or each few days. These emails can direct these new subscribers where ever you want them to go.
Another catch is the footer advertisement that mailchimp puts on the bottom of each email you send out. I know one marketer who had a large lively list, who used this free service, and then had some of his subscribers get upset because they thought the advertisement on the bottom was part of the newsletter, and they followed it and bought the product and then weren’t happy with the product.
Let’s move on to “a way to get leads”: this should normally be in the form of a web form. It’s a simple thing that people can put their name and email address in and then your email service does the rest.
And lastly, “a way to tell people about your list and direct them to your form”: This is critical. If no one knows about your list, they aren’t going to sign up. And this is not a one-time-only thing either.
You’ll need a way to constantly and continuously get your list in front of new eyeballs if you want it to grow.
You could make informative YouTube videos and direct people to your form that way.
You could put the form on whatever website you already have running.
You could try your hand at pay-per-click marketing to the form page and try to entice people to sign up with a giveaway.
You could give something free away in a forum related to your niche and ask people to sign up when they download your free thing.
You could even sell something, and in the selling process, ask people to sign up for your list.
OR… you could do all of these with Aweber. Imagine how fast and how large your email marketing list would grow.
Just remember, if you are paying for the email marketing list, you will want to figure out how to monetize it as soon as possible – which means you want to figure out how to make some money without losing your subscribers.
It’s a balance and an art, but a very worthwhile endeavor. So get started in email marketing today!