Posts Tagged ‘email’

Your ?master? Email Marketing Plan

Last time, I started off with saying that people shy away from email marketing because they don’t know how to do it. Almost as bad is the lack of an effective plan. In fact, there are so many questions to ask in email marketing before you send out even one issue of your newsletter because of what’s at stake – thousands of dollars in profits, your company’s reputation, customer confidence – that its no surprise to see big companies spending a lot of money just to get email marketing right. So…what does an email marketing plan consist of?
* A strong content base.
* A newsletter template.
* A strategy for acquiring subscribers.
* A publishing schedule.
* An advertising plan.
Let’s look at each individually.

A Strong Content Base.
If you want to gain and maintain subscribers, you must have something valuable to offer. Usually that comes in the form of expert knowledge, unless your business is in providing the latest news about a particular subject, in which case your newsletter can write itself (although if you don’t include any original content, you’ll lose subscribers fast).Email marketing is most successful if you make the commitment to give something valuable to the subscriber first. Everything I’ve said so far about building trust applies here in spades. Make sure you offer something unique and useful to your readers.

Publishing Schedule.
A major debate in email marketing is the question of frequency – how often should you send out your newsletter? Daily? Weekly? Once a month? The truth is, there’s no set formula for this. Instead, the answer lies in your business plan – what you want to achieve from your email marketing, and what sort of relationship you expect to build with your readers. If your newsletter is a “how-to” resource (like this one), you may consider weekly mailings (or twice a week, if possible). The problem then becomes content generation – do you have enough new topics to cover in your next newsletter, and can you write two newsletters in a week? My advice would be not to settle for anything more frequent than a weekly newsletter, and depending on your business model, you might even want to opt for a biweekly or monthly newsletter. On the other hand, some marketers totally ignore such guidelines and publish irregularly , whenever they please (or whenever they have something useful to say). If you’re undecided, you might want to try that approach until you can figure out what’s best for your particular list.

Newsletter Template.
Most email marketers prefer to include the whole newsletter within the email. This however raises a whole set of problems – email deliverability becomes a major issue, as long emails (especially ones that talk about making money) trip spam filters on most email networks. Another problem is how your newsletter is displayed – if you have an HTML formatted newsletter, it might break up or display incorrectly. Worse still is the case with images – many email providers (including GMail) don’t display images by default. Such issues can seriously downgrade the visual impact of your newsletter. And of course, bandwidth becomes an issue if you have a medium to large list. Sending a 100k image-laden, html formatted 1000+ words newsletter to 20,000 is, despite being an exaggerated example, stupid. Third party list management tools can often charge you for high bandwidth, and you don’t want to incur unnecessary costs.

The alternative strategy is to use the emails as a short reminder to the subscriber that a new issue has been posted, and then to post the issue online on your website. This allows you to create a visually appealing, aesthetic newsletter template and by directing subscribers to your website, you’ve already confirmed that they are interested in what you have to say – the click-through rate immediately becomes an important metric for you to gauge how successful your marketing is. No matter which approach you take, keep your template simple and professional – the focus remains on the content, not on the design.

Getting Subscribers.
To make your newsletter worth your time (and for it to help you make money), you need to build your list . Usually this amounts to a flurry of activity and a mad rush for a lot of subscribers when you start off your newsletter, and then it tapers off into a steady stream of new signups. What’s important is to have a definite plan in place for getting subscribers (in other words, traffic to that landing page). It usually means that you’ll be spending some money, unless you happen to partner with other sites in your niche and syndicate your content, or you manage to achieve top search engine rankings (which you SHOULD be doing by now, if you’ve followed this newsletter). If you need to spend money on building your list, consider this – each subscriber has a specific value attached to him/her. This value can be calculated like this:
* The amount of money a subscriber (on average) spends on buying your products during the time he’s on your list.
* The average amount of revenue you get through newsletter advertising per subscriber.

Add those two numbers up (remember, these are averages), and you’ve got the monetary value of each new subscriber. This calculation gives you a ceiling amount you can afford to spend per subscriber. To illustrate, here’s an example – if you earn $15,000 from a list of 3,000 people by promoting just one product in the last three months, then your subscriber value is $5 (15,000/3,000). Of course, this number is for a confirmed subscriber, so if you were running an AdWords campaign with a hypothetical 5% conversion rate on your landing page (good landing pages usually have a conversion rate of over 10%, although it depends on the relevancy of the traffic as well), you can spend at most 25 cents per click – not a bad amount. Your subscriber value can rocket upwards if you use backend sales and market more than one product to your list. Advertising within your newsletter also counts for a lot, and should be able to give you enough “cushion” to allow you to spend money to get subscribers AND turn in a tidy profit.

Advertising Plan.
If you’re running a newsletter, I strongly recommended that you run some from of advertisements in them (your OWN advertising of some sort). As long as what you display is relevant to your readers’ interests, you are bound to profit from the exercise. Also, make sure you map out how frequently you send out purely promotional offers to your list (assuming you take that route). Hitting a list with too many offers too quickly can backfire on you – on the other hand, you can and should send multiple mailings about the same product to ensure a maximum response rate from your list. It’s a tricky balance, but as long as you make sure you focus on providing value first, you’ll do fine.

As I’ve been saying all along, email marketing is serious business with amazing marketing possibilities. Create a specific email template and then map out your email marketing strategies before you start.

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Email Marketing Solutions For Gardening Centers

Email marketing solutions will help your gardening center maintain customer loyalty in a fast paced spring and summer season. And I don't have to tell you about how much competition you are up against! Staying ahead of the competition is VITAL, and email marketing solutions will help you do that by tracking your customers' interests. Email marketing solutions enable you to better understand your customer. You can then send out campaigns that are specific to their interests. This way, you achieve greater loyalty to your store; and with greater loyalty, there are greater profits.

Email marketing solutions comes equipped with a tracking feature that is able to chart your clients' "opens", "clicks" and "forwards". Within your email marketing campaign, part of your design will be established so that when you send out a campaign, they will be able to click on a promotion that they feel is appropriate to their needs. You can then track which clients are clicking the different promotions you have offered. What's more is, email marketing solutions has a feature that allows you to export this data (who clicked, what they clicked on, and when) into a file that can be used to create a new email marketing solutions campaign geared to this refined list.

What this means for you is that email marketing solutions automatically segments your customer base to help you better target your client's wants and needs. By offering these people who have showed interest some discounts and promotions, you will receive a greater number of people consistently returning to your store. Their loyalty will increase when you personalize your emails to them.

Another promotion you can offer your top clients is a special invitation to a "Garden Party" in their honor. You can use your email marketing solutions to track your email campaigns and figure out who these top customers are. Then, just use your email marketing solutions to automatically send out a personalized invitation, and make your customers feel special. You can even include family activities in your event, allowing your customers to share their love of gardening with their whole families.

So, how exactly do you decide who is a preferred client? Having segmented your clients, you can now cross reference the people who are clicking on your promotions, with those that have actually come in to your garden center to purchase your products. Another great feature of email marketing solutions is the tracking of "forwards". This important tracking mechanism indicates which of your clients are promoting your store for you. Sending out an invite to these people will make them understand how much you appreciate their business and effort in telling their friends about your center.

By tracking your preferred clients you will be able to better serve their needs and make them feel valued as a customer. Having a greater amount of loyal customers will translate into consistent growth in sales. In the quick spring and summer season, you don't want to only service "annuals"... you want to make sure you've got "perennials."

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Email Marketing is a Practice You Should be Doing

Email marketing is one of the top marketing methods available online today. With 999 people out of 1,000 not buying the first time they see your website or affiliate link and won’t buy until they have seen the offer more than 5 times, email marketing will allow you to stay in contact with these people and will allow them to see your opportunity numerous times.

Email marketing is easy to set-up and only requires a few things. You will need to purchase an autoresponder service, these make everything automatic and you can change the emails that are to be sent out very easily.

Then you must use a squeeze page, this is where the visitors will enter there name and email address. Once they sign up there email address will go directly into your autoresponder. It’s a matter of driving as much traffic to your squeeze page as possible and get as many names and emails into your autoresponder.

Now you have these names they will be part of your money list for as long as they stay subscribed. On top of having your daily, weekly or monthly email going out to your subscribers you can also send out a random broadcast email with the next big program or maybe you want to give your list something of value for free. This is why email marketing can be so great, you have access to there inbox and lets face it people check there inbox at least once per day.

If done correctly email marketing can be the greatest marketing strategy around. Email marketing is very inexpensive as it doesn’t cost to send and read emails. Your only cost is the autoresponder service which you will find is very cheap. Email marketing also allows you to build a relationship with your list and convert those that were not real keen to buy first time around.

Email marketing is an internet marketing practice that you should be doing if you want to become a success online. Email marketing is a long term strategy that will generate a lot of back end sales and return buyers. Don’t be left behind without a list.

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Email Marketing Solutions and Sporting Goods Retailers

Email marketing solutions is transforming traditional paper advertising done by Sporting Good stores from black and white flyers into more environmentally friendly email flyers, which ultimately ends up being cheaper and more effective. Email marketing solutions is helping Sporting Good stores go "green"!

Athletic Department Store flyer advertising is not cost effective and the trend is that sporting conglomerates are changing their marketing strategy toward greener pastures. What these companies have discovered is that paper and print is no longer necessary, and the transition from print to email marketing solutions begins now.

The way this works is simple: You, as a Sporting Department store manager, will allow customers to sign up for your in-house specials through email, having had them sign-up for it at a previous visit or through other promotions. This process is quick, easy and since most people are willing to share their email address with organizations they know, it's not the least bit intrusive.

Not only are you removing the clutter of flyers being sent to people's home, saving money on print and advertising, and speaking the language of modern day social concerns, but more importantly you have directly targeted your audience. Furthermore, this is an audience of customers who have previously purchased items from your store, or have been directly interested in your promotions, which makes them excellent leads completely ripe for future purchases.

By tracking these variables you can determine things like: Do your customers open their email more often at night or during the day? Which links do they click on? Do they forward their emails to their friends? This lets you know a little bit more about the people who you contact. It will also set up criteria for your next email campaign. If your customers are overwhelmingly opening emails during the day, the likelihood is that they have chosen to read emails at work. If your clients are opening their emails at night, chances are they are reading their emails at home.

You can use that information to segment your list off into two groups: those that open their emails at work, and those that open their emails at home, sending out two different campaigns now at two different times. Within those, you now have two differing marketing strategies: one to express attitudes of business, or an 'at work' mentality; and another for family or the home. The tone has changed. One simple statistic has helped you create bull's-eye targeted campaigns.

So let's break it down.

Email marketing solutions removes thousands of pounds of paper used for print ads, saving on the cost of print, and the energy expended through recycling, and the paper used on trees. It's not like information in flyers can't be easily recreated through creative email marketing solutions templates or customized campaigns. The only difference is that rather than hoping the paper flyers land in the hands of your customers, you know that they have landed in your customer's inbox, because most email marketing solutions software solutions give you real-time reporting and tracking. Having your message delivered efficiently to customers' inboxes with almost no energy expended is critically different than the hopes and prayers that come with traditional print ads.

Managing a sporting goods store is hard work, and email marketing solutions makes it easy by targeting your customers, speaking their green language by being more environmentally friendly, and keeping your costs down.

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