I am not the first one or the last one you will see write or hear say that building an email list for your business is important, and the sooner you do this the better.
An email list is important because it allows you to stay connected with your readership base. Email is also the most effective and cost efficient way to directly market to your base.
One of the common ways I see online business owners, including myself, build an email list for their business, is by offering a free eBook giveaway to entice readers to sign up for their emails.
Creating an eBook is on the list of many, and rightfully so. It is an easy way to take what you already know and package it in a valuable offering, either to hand out free or to sell. eBooks are a great way to generate some passive and residual income online.
eBooks are also a good way to start experimenting with making money online without having to own your own website or blog. You can read about how here.
For most, the process to publish an eBook starts from scratch, with just an idea in mind. For some others however, the process can be quicker and easier. If you already have documented work somewhere, published or not, you can leverage what you have and package it into an eBook. Why recreate the wheel?
For example, if you have articles you have written on a specific topic, why not take those and build on them to make a book out of it? If you are a blogger, why not take some of your posts about a specific topic and chronologically arrange them into an eBook? This is exactly what many do.
Many readers ask me whether they should first focus on building content or writing an eBook. This is an interesting question because both are important. You need content to get your website going, and you also need an incentive for your readers to opt into your email list.
One way to do that is to focus on writing quality content for your website. When you have enough of it, package it into an eBook and offer it as a giveaway.
Before you do, make sure you do a spell check, read it out loud and check for context (a book readers different in its context compared to a stand alone blog post or article), run a find / search for words like “blog”, “post”, “article”, etc because you don’t want your eBook to simply be a slapstick of all your blog posts.
Make sure you read your eBook, change the tone where necessary and needed, wordsmith it all around before finalizing it. When done, prepare a table of contents and wallah you’re done.
Go to Elance and get a nice professional looking eBook cover designed for your latest masterpiece.
I’ve published well over 25,000 words on writing, publishing, marketing and profiting from an eBook. You can read about my experience here.
You can also read about my experience with a single stop eBook distribution platform that makes your eBook available for sale on several major publishing platforms here.
Do you have an eBook yet? Why not? What’s stopping you from becoming a self published author? Do you have any questions or concerns about the process?
No, certainly not another “the money is in the list” token email marketing post on Aweber. Don’t worry this is not that. In this post I want to focus on the multiple uses of email autoresponders for various types of businesses.
What I want to demonstrate is that no matter what business you are in, you can and should leverage email marketing to improve your sales, customer satisfaction and overall business results.
Email marketing is the most cost efficient and effective way to promote your business, hone and maintain customer relationships as well as track results to know what is working and what isn’t, something traditional media like TV and radio ads cannot tell you.
When executed manually, email marketing is free because it doesn’t cost money to send an email. However, businesses prefer to use email autoresponders as an email marketing tool because they are cheap, very effective and most of all save businesses gobs of time in executing their email marketing campaigns.
Much of this can be self explanatory, and may be something you already know about. But just in case you don’t, email marketing is the use of people’s email addresses to communicate and build a relationship with them in conjunction with promoting your business at the same time. It is an increasingly popular marketing method because businesses, large and small, are realizing how effective this marketing method is.
Why is it much more effective? Email marketing is the more preferred method of marketing because it is more effective than traditional and social media. A person’s email address is very personal and people guard their emails with their lives. Think about your own email ID. Would you just hand it to anyone just like that? Communicating with someone over email is more personal and repeatedly proven to be much more effective.
An email autoresponder is a tool used by businesses through which they conduct email newsletter marketing. Email autoresponder programs are web based programs that enable businesses to capture customer email addresses electronically or manually, correspond with them seamlessly and automatically, track various statistics such as email open rates, clickthrough rates (readers clicking on links embedded in the email newsletter) and various other analytical attributes.
The business intelligence you get with an email autoresponder is invaluable. You can use the data to split test different approaches and continue to optimize your marketing campaigns to achieve your business objectives. This is particularly important if you are trying to sell through your emails or bring customers and clients in your business.
You can set up email autoresponders to “auto respond” to your customer list, scheduling newsletters way out in advance to go out at a particular time now or in the future. You can also send a broadcast email message to your list anytime you’d like.
So the next time you get an email message from one of the email lists you are subscribed to, it could be a message that was written months and years ago to be scheduled the day you received it. It likely also went out to several others – but it certainly doesn’t look and feel that way does it? Not when it addresses you with your name at least.
You can segregate your email list in various ways so that certain messages only go to certain people, and similarly perform various tasks that allow you to slice and dice the information you have to better target your customers and clients and customize your communication approach and method depending on who you are reaching out to.
If this sounds somewhat confusing and overwhelming right now, a quick read about email marketing and email autoresponders can further help explain this marketing method and the program used to execute it.
Why am I writing about this today? Because understanding how email autoresponders work and its various applications can help you tremendously with your business. It will not only help you make more money, but more importantly automate the customer relationship and marketing aspects for you, saving you tons of valuable time in the process.
Whether you are solely operating online, offline or a combination of both, email marketing utilizing email autoresponders will enable your business to flourish. That is exactly what this website is about, to help you expedite wealth building without adding much incremental demand on your day to day life.
Here are just a handful of ways email autoresponders can be used in a variety of businesses. I have personally used these methods in the businesses that I am involved with.
Freelancers – Freelancers like tax accountants and wealth managers can leverage email autoresponders by scheduling out email distributions during critical times of the year such as tax deadlines.
They can also use the system to pre schedule value added messages such as tax saving and wealth management tips on a monthly or quarterly basis. Wealth managers can send out quarterly reminders to rebalance portfolios to their email list. The possibilities are endless.
Niche sites – If you own niche sites and have either your own or affiliate products to sell, you can use an email autoresponder series to automatically engage with your readership as they subscribe to your email list. I use email autoresponders to promote various affiliate products and my own ebooks on several niche sites that I own. Here is an example:
Sales – If you are in sales and you want to gather customer feedback to see how you are doing and what you should do to improve your business, you can send out an email blast with a link to a survey, or simply ask the survey questions within the email blast itself. Want to know what products and services your clients want? Send an email to the entire list and find out. This is exactly how I obtain feedback from my readership.
E-commerce websites – Keep your customers in the loop of new product launches, special offers, discounts and important company news. Use your email list to send out coupons, or seasonal reminders relevant to your business. I heavily used an email autoresponder when I was operating my e-commerce business.
Blogging – The use of email autoresponders is very much prevalent in the blogging industry. Many internet marketing bloggers will tell you that the “money is in the list”. In other words, in order to make money, you need an audience to sell to. An email autoresponder is a great way to seamlessly build an email list of potential customers and clients. This is how I use email autoresponders on my blog:
Brick and Mortar Businesses – This is where I see email autoresponders way too underutilized. I have done several consulting engagements for small local businesses and one of the quickest ways I add value is by setting them up on email autoresponders to start building their email list.
For example, hair cut salons can set up the system so that it automatically emails male clients to come in each month for a hair cut, or it can help dentists send out bi annual reminders for teeth cleaning. My dentist sends me a postcard. Can you imagine the time and resources, not to mention the cost, it takes to do that for each and every patient? God forbid the temp forgets? A computer certainly wouldn’t.
An oil change garage can send out automated emails every three months reminding folks to come in for an oil change. People have busy lives, both consumers and service providers/business owners. Why not leverage technology to better streamline everyone’s lives and operate more efficiently?
I also use an email autoresponder in my Dry Cleaning business, for example, having automated reminders going out to each customer right before winter to remind them to bring in their jackets and blankets. Similarly, one message at the end of winter to remind them to do the same before they stash the winter stuff away in a box.
Personal – Heck, you can leverage email autoresponders to send out an email to your entire list / email database wishing them a Happy New Year! Saves the manual process of having to remember who to send what to.
The beauty of email autoresponders is that it automatically plugs in the name of the person you are sending it to. So although one pre scheduled autoresponder email may go out to 10,000 people, each of those will feel you had sent it to them individually. How thoughtful. It’s magic 🙂
As you can see, there are many uses of email autoresponders, and this post merely scratches the surface. There is so much you can do with an effective email newsletter system, all within your fingertips and without incurring significant costs.
Aside from tremendous cost savings, there are several other advantages to using email autoresponders. You save a ton of time in marketing your business, you stay fully organized and for website owners you diversify your traffic resources.
Search engines are fickle and can turn their backs on your at any time. With an email newsletter system, you can ensure a certain amount of repeat traffic coming straight from your email list.
And perhaps the biggest advantages of all are that you get to build an email database or list of all your customers and gather business intelligence to understand what they like and dislike, and how they interact with your emails.
People guard their email addresses closer than anything else today. When you have someone’s email ID, you can develop a closer and more effective personal relationship with them. You can also ensure that you can stay in touch with them, with or without the existence of your business, website or search engines.
I personally use Aweber, a very user friendly system that you can get for only $20 per month. It is the cheapest and the most effective email marketing tool I have utilized in my businesses. If you don’t know much about email autoresponders and what they can do for you, I highly encourage checking Aweber’s website out and going through the material. It can be an eye opening experience.
So as promised, not a token post on creating an email newsletter with Aweber. That said, is there a need for one? What information would you like to read more about? I am an affiliate of Aweber and would be happy to answer any questions if you are contemplating using it in your business.
What are some other uses of email autoresponders? How are you using email marketing in your business? If you aren’t, why?
In this post I want to go over how to get more clicks to increase visitor opt ins, conversions, sales and the number of subscribers to your website, blog or newsletter.
Regardless of the business you are in, you always want more traffic entering your conversion funnel so that you can convert more of it into customers, clients, readers, etc. How do you do this non-invasively is often the key challenge.
Some readers have asked me in the past how I am able to convert my readers into subscribers, and while there are several conversion techniques you can employ to increase subscribership, I want to discuss one specific way that has been very effective for me.
I am not a fan of flash screens and pop up opt-in boxes that attempt to get the visitors of a website or blog to sign up to an offer in exchange for their name and email address as soon as they arrive on a website.
Although these tools are effective in acquiring new subscribers or potential customers from a statistical perspective, I personally don’t like their invasive nature, and strongly feel that while you can acquire new email addresses, you may be alienating your existing readership base by providing a less pleasant experience than what they are used to.
There is no definitive answer to whether or not you should be using these tools. The use of such tools really comes down to your objective, marketing style and personal beliefs. Are you aiming to acquire more email addresses or subscribers who are truly fans? Or are you aiming for a better user experience? Neither answer is necessarily wrong.
For example, if you own a static website and feel that your existing readership is no longer “monetizable”, you may decide to implement a pop up opt-in program to acquire “fresh” email addresses that may potentially convert into paying customers. After all, making money from your web property is one of your goals of being online – an important one.
At the same time, if you are blogging and intend to build a real community, or if you are a hobbyist blogger, you may want to consider the implications to your existing readers and new visitors.
If you want to increase your readership, how do you do this without offending a loyal, existing reader who takes objection to the invasiveness of pop ups and flash screens?
I am constantly looking for ways to grow my blog’s readership, and I’ve always secretly wondered what a pop up tool would do to my subscribership. But because I personally don’t prefer using such tools, I haven’t implemented one.
Few months ago however I came across a tool that I felt demonstrated a good balance between attracting a new reader’s attention to increase the chances of opting in to an offer and at the same time doesn’t come off as too invasive.
I am referring to the Hello Bar that you see on top of the page. Adding this bar allows you to include a short message like the one you see on mine, followed by a clickable button that takes the reader to your conversion page. Mine looks as follows:
I like several things about the Hello Bar. It allows for absolutely painless and seamless integration. It literally took me 5 minutes. I also like the fact that it is that it is not too invasive in my opinion. Readers can click a tab on the bar (this tab is movable) to shut down the bar.
The Hello Bar also has some nice analytics built into it, including an automated periodic email update informing you how your conversions are performing, and whether you are trending upward or downward over time.
But most important of all is the tool’s unprecedented effectiveness. I personally have never experienced any online tool that has resulted in such a dramatic improvement in my click through, opt in and subscriber conversion rates.
Here is a snapshot of how the Hello Bar tool compares with some of the other methods by which I attempt to increase my blog’s subscribers.
-yes, I know!
As you can see, nothing is even close to the effectiveness of the Hello Bar, including my free report which I feel is one of the most valuable contributions I can share with anyone right now from my own experience. So if you are wondering how to get more clicks to your conversion funnels, you might want to consider using a tool like this.
The Hello Bar has a free and a paid version. If you are relatively new to the space and want to give it a shot, try the free version as it gives you the full flavor of what the tool can do for you. You get a limited amount of clicks to your free version, after which the bar stops appearing on your website or blog until the next period when you get a fresh set of free clicks.
The only difference between a free and paid version is that you will not run out of clicks to your bar with the paid version. I started out by trying the free version just to observe what it does for my online business. I was pleased with what I saw and decided to purchase the full subscription plan.
It’s important to try different things to see what works best for your business. This is one of those things that I tried and has worked really well. I just implemented it on my authority website and will be measuring performance shortly.
If you’d like to try out the free version, I am an affiliate of Hello Bar and would be happy to answer any questions before you even get it, during or after.
What are your thoughts on using tools like this? What’s working well for you today in terms of conversions and opt ins? Why would you, or wouldn’t use a tool like Hello Bar?