Prerequisites: Affiliate Marketing 101 Course (free!)
Welcome to Day 22, the kickstart of the email marketing course! For the next 7 days, we’re going to walk through all the aspects of email marketing, including setting up your list, writing email copy, and ultimately getting leads!
This is going to be an incredible module, because as an Internet marketer your list IS your business. It’s your foundation.
You can always communicate with your list – your buyers and your prospects. You can mail affiliate products. You can do surveys. You can let people know about updates on your site or new product revisions.
Email is a very powerful medium when you understand it and actually use it correctly!
Email Marketing 101
I have to wholeheartedly disagree. It doesn’t matter what niche or business you’re in, your email list is one of your most valuable assets. In some cases, it’s your ONLY asset!
After talking to clients over the years, there is lots of confusion over what’s the best way to build a list, store a list and market to a list. This tutorial will de-mystify all of that for you!
Before we jump into squeeze pages, landing pages, email copywriting and all of that… We need to talk a little about what you need to start building a list so you have a good foundation :0)
NOTE: Having an ‘email list’ isn’t the same as blasting out an email to 100 contacts in Gmail! That’s bad! There’s a reason why software programs exist to help you manage your email list :0)
What You’ll Need
Email Marketing Software (Required)
Email marketing software is the glue that makes everything work. It’s how you send emails to the folks on your list.
To put it simply, if you’re collecting names and email addresses for the purpose of marketing, you’ve got to be CAN-SPAM compliant… Meaning every email needs to have an unsubscribe link, the email addresses need to be double opt-in, and lots of other stuff.
You CAN’T just collect their email addresses and mail them messages from Gmail!
I know a lot of business owners who think that’s the right thing to do, but it’s not. And really, I don’t know why you would! Email marketing software is super cheap, and it keeps you out of the doghouse in terms of being legal and compliant…
And, it makes sure that when you send an email it actually goes to the subscriber’s email inbox!
So, here’s a roundup of some of the best email marketing platforms out there… Arranged by ‘business complexity.’ A larger business is going to have different needs than someone who is just starting up :0)[note color=”#dddddd”]
Aweber is my favorite out of the email list management tools because it’s cheap, has autoresponders, and has great deliverability rates. It’s awesome for you if you’re just starting out
Besides doing broadcast emails, which are writing one email and sending it, Aweber lets you set up a sequential series of emails that go out at a predetermined time.
So, if you want to build an automated sales funnel, email marketing is going to be right at the heart of it all!
When someone signs up for your newsletter, your free report, or for your download, they’ll be put on an autoresponder that systematically sends out emails every day to them (or as often as you set them up…)
Deliverability is another factor. If you were to email your 200 clients out of Outlook or Gmail, chances are your server will shut you down for a little while. They do that to avoid spam. If you email those same clients from Aweber, your emails are almost guaranteed to get there!
OFFICE AUTO PILOT
If you have a list of 5,000 people or more, or you’re going to be getting into heavy media buying, OfficeAutoPilot is the way to go. They’re by far my favorite of the email list services. It has been built from the ground up for serious Internet businesses only. When we started using them, email marketing was why we switched over. We needed greater control over our data and more competitive email rates, and OAP gave that to us.
In addition, OfficeAutoPilot has:
- An awesome CRM functionality
- Good shopping cart software (so you can sell stuff)
- A membership plugin for WordPress that integrates with said CRM system
- The ability to do direct mail, phone call followups, and task management
- Plus, a ton of other stuff..
The coolest piece of OAP – the dashboard. They’ve got one central dashboard which tells you sales, signups, products, and all that. It’s cool looking.
How To Collect Leads (required)
This is where you’re traffic, your prospects, are going to sign up for your email list. It might be your blog, your landing page, products or services pages… Something.
There needs to be a ‘place’ online that people can sign up, whether that’s your site or a piece of software that helps automate the process…
Once the page is set up and you start collecting leads, we’ll get into managing your list and email copy!
So, let’s start with setting up a place to collect leads…[note color=”#dddddd”]
In order to start collecting leads on your email list, you’ll either need to have your own website on your own domain, or use a piece of software called LeadPages. LeadPages is drag and drop, cut and paste list building pages at its finest.
I honestly put off buying LeadPages forever because I have tons of websites and plugins and themes to help out with list building, but it’s so easy… Pick a template. Fill in a few fields. Hook it to Aweber or whatever you’re using. Hit Publish. They’ve even got Facebook and WordPress integrations so it hooks right into your website.
They’ve got hundreds of great, high converting templates that you can just hook into and start using without any weird set up at all. It’s awesome stuff.
Plus, they’re constantly adding new templates based on what their members want… In fact, you’ll see some really popular marketers putting their pages in LeadPages just because they want to give back!
Your Website (optional)
If you decide to use your own website for collecting leads, you’ll obviously need a domain and web hosting with WordPress installed. Here’s a tutorial if you’re just getting started.
There are a lot of ways of collecting leads on your site or your blog. You can:
- Create landing pages with a plugin like Lead Rocket (these convert really, really well!) or theme like OptimizePress.
- Put a ‘bar’ at the top of every page on your website getting email leads with OptinBar (really cool technology!)
- Add an email collection box in the sidebar of your site, either with the form code that your marketing software gives you or with a plugin like Optin Skin.
- Add a ‘sign up for more’ box at the bottom of your articles, also with Optin Skin.
There are ways to do all this stuff if your a programmer or you know how to design themes, but WordPress is technically a ‘content management system’ or blogging software – not software used to collect leads. So, plugins and themes are used to extend its functionality…
We’ll be talking about lead generation strategies more in a coming lesson. I just wanted to get you started :0)
Again, if you’re just getting started, learn how to set up your own site here![/note]
Once you have your email marketing software and your site set up and integrated, you’re done with this lesson :0)
One thing you’ll hear a lot when it comes to Internet marketing is the term ‘landing pages’ or ‘squeeze pages’. They’re really the cornerstone of your email marketing business.
Basically, landing pages are special kinds of web pages and websites that encourage a prospect to ‘sign up’ for something… That something can be a free download of some kind, a free video, a free trial for a piece of software… Anything.
There are right ways and wrong ways of building squeeze pages, so we’ll be talking about them tomorrow.
Overall, having a landing page will take your conversion rate for your email sign up from 2% to 55% – meaning for every 100 people that see that page 55 sign up!!
You can do a LOT with that kind of traffic on your email list!
Tell us, where are you at with email marketing? Are you set up with Aweber? Do you have an email optin box on your website? Are you actively sending emails to your prospects and customers?