If done correctly, email marketing can be your most effective online tool for generating sales and leads. In this video, Eric Spellmann shows you what he’s learned over 15 years of successfully managing his own email campaigns. His tips, tricks, and insights will get you on the fast path to online marketing success!
Note from Eric: Below, you will find a word-for-word transcript of this video. I provide this as an aid for the hearing-impaired and for those who might just want to read it rather than watch the video. This conversational style is not reflective of how I write. Be nice! Hey guys I am Eric Spellmann and today’s topic is going to be about Successful Email Marketing. Now people, I’ve been doing this for 15 years. And yes, as I tell everybody, I get more return on my email marketing campaigns than all my other advertising put together. So let me tell you my secrets and what I’ve learned over 15 years.
First of all, let’s understand why it’s even effective. I mean, I know from experience that it works but let me share with you what some other people are saying. The neat thing about email marketing is that it can be easily tracked.
Unlike some other channels where you’re hoping it’s working you don’t know how many people you’re reaching! But with email you can tell. The computer tracks everything!
One of the neat things that I discovered from a fact’s standpoint is that The Direct Marketing Association did a study of everyone doing email marketing campaigns and they discovered that on average for every $1 you spend on an email marketing campaign, on average, people are getting $57 in return! That’s amazing. There’s hardly any other channel out there that can say that.
The neat thing about an email marketing campaign is that it can generate a lot of things for you, depending on what your goal is. Now remember we talked about this before, the goals of your website, the goals of your online marketing, whether you want it to generate sales.
And an email marketing campaign can generate sales! In other words let’s say you are a retailer and you put some actual products in the email so that people can click on those products and are then re-directed right to that point where they click on the shopping cart.
They don’t have to search on your site for that product and are actually taken straight there by clicking on those items in the email. I have a lot of retail customers who are using email to sell tons of products, but it’s got to be done right.
Leads. This is one of the biggest ones of all. And in fact, truth be told, that’s why I do my email marketing campaigns. I get leads out of it, and can I tell you I get tons of leads. After every email that I send out, it’s like the phones light up like Christmas trees and my email inbox gets filled up with people asking questions. That’s the goal. That’s why I do it. So, an effective email marketing campaign can generate lots and lots of leads if that’s what your business is looking for.
One of the big things that you’re also going to get regardless of whether you’re generating leads or sales is Branding. I have a lot of people who I spoke to, maybe the Rotary Group four years ago. And yet they hear from me every week. And they’ve heard from me 52 times a year for four years!
And so four years later I get a random call from them saying “Hey Eric I want a website.” Now do you think they remembered that I spoke to them four years ago? Not at all. But, they kept hearing from me every single week after that. And that way when they thought “I need a website. Who am I going to use?” I was the first name that came to their mind and it was the email that did it.
So what are the rules? Because trust me, if you’re going to do this you don’t want to be called a Spammer. Rule number 1, and this is the BIGGEST one of all. Your list must be opt-in! In other words, people must CHOOSE to receive something from you.
Whatever you do, do not go out and buy email lists; that is illegal. And if you start sending it to people, they can actually sue you. Congress passed the “Can-Spam” act which basically makes that illegal.
Folks, I’ve been doing this for 15 years. I’ve got tens of thousands of people on my email list but I added them one at a time, as I spoke to them, as I invited them to join my list, as I invited them to receive what I am sending. I earned every single one of those legitimately. And you need to do that also, there is no shortcut on this folks.
Choose the appropriate audience. In other words you don’t necessarily want it to just go out to everybody. In fact, I proved this just recently when I divided my list between one for people looking for computer tips and help and one for online marketing. I realized I had two different groups reading one newsletter. And so I created two based on that, so that I could reach the right group.
Make sure you send it appropriately, the right amount of frequency. Trust me, you don’t want to send something every day. Unless you’re a restaurant and the deal is so incredible that you can get away with it. But most people can’t do that. I choose to send mine once a week. But folks I tested this, I figured it out, I discovered what my audience wanted.
So sometimes I would send it once a month and I had people writing back “Hey send us more, send us more!” One time I did it twice a week, but I started to see the number of un-subscriptions increase. So I backed it off and over time I figured out that the perfect amount of emails that people want to receive from me based on MY content was once a week. So I don’t break that rule or my customers will punish me.
Content. You have to choose the appropriate content. Know your audience; know what you are sending them. Now, unless you’re a restaurant you need to have some sort of actual content in there, in other words something useful.
Most people subscribe to your newsletter because of the content you send; a good example: this one! The reason you are watching this, the reason you read my newsletters is because you want to learn something about online marketing.
What I’ve discovered, is that at least in my business, I try to do 80% content, something actually useful. We’re not talking about sales; we’re not talking infomercial. Something actually useful that they say “You know what, I want to receive another one of those, and another one. I want to stay on the list.”
So 80% of what I do is content and then about 20% is advertising. Now with a restaurant, you can go to 100% advertising. In other words, if you send something out once a week, maybe on Tuesdays saying “Hey today is a buy one get one. Show up today. Print this ad, bring it in.”
Restaurants and food groups can get away with that because it just works. But most of the rest of us, we need to actually have some content in there. So don’t think that you’re just going to get away with putting a big ad and emailing that out, because people will un-subscribe from your newsletter in droves!
You need a good call to action. Your email newsletter can’t just be informative, it can’t just be useful. There needs to be some sort of call to action. And you hear it every single time I give my video. And on every single email I put a lot of links. Links back to my site, on the newsletter. And so, that is my call to action. I want people to go to my website. And so you figure out what you want. Normally it’s going to be you want them to go to your website. In the case of a restaurant, you may want them to print out the coupon and bring it in.
So who are the main providers out there? Basically there’s two. My favourite is MailChimp. And in fact that’s what I use on a regular basis. And you can find them at mailchimp.com.
One of the reason I love them to death is basically you can start up and totally use them for free. You can add up to 2000 subscribers and send it six times a month and it costs you nothing! I love them. Now I send to a lot more people than that and a lot more frequently, so I do pay them. But, starting out, it is great because it costs you zero!
Constant Contact is another good one. And I have a lot of friends who use it. And you hear a lot of advertising for them. They’re very good. I just don’t have a lot of experience with them to give you more opinion on it, but they’re really good. Those are the two main ones that I would recommend.
There’s so much more to email marketing that I can go on for 3 hours on the mistakes not to be made and maybe I’ll make another video on that. But this has given you enough to get started.
Go to mailchimp.com, go to constantcontact.com or if you want to jump start this give me a call, shoot me an email and I’ll be able to tell you some of my experiences and how they might help your business. I am Eric Spellmann with Spellmann and Associates, the leader in website design and online marketing. I’ll see you in cyberspace!