Email marketing has existed for almost as long as the internet itself, but for years it has been done improperly and today is still done improperly by most companies. In this article we’re going to discuss how email marketing really should be utilized and how you can improve your lead generation by properly using email marketing.
What Email Marketing Is / Isn’t
Email marketing consists of having an opt in form on your website to capture the name and email address of your website visitors to keep in contact with them. Many websites lose as much as 60% of their website visitors because they aren’t ready to buy that product/service at a given time, can’t find the information they were looking for, or just don’t have the time to allocate to surfing the website at this given point in time. Email marketing helps with these problems by keeping in touch with this visitor over time and sending them targeted emails to send them back to your website.
Email marketing is not the process of spamming or sending out unwanted emails. Spamming is sending out email marketing materials to people who never opted in to your email marketing campaign. This would be related to buying lists of email addresses from data companies. This type of email marketing can hurt your brand and image and do much more harm than good.
How Do I Get Setup For Email Marketing?
Getting setup for email marketing is fairly easy, especially when working with a company such as The Marketing Masters that can assist with setting up the campaign.
The first step is to find an email marketing software or service to utilize in managing the list and sending the emails. Depending in your type of server you use, there are several open-source solutions available to manage email lists and send out emails for free. The only problem is that they often aren’t very user friendly and are best suited for people with a high level of experience in email marketing.
There are also several free and paid services that are geared towards having a developer set them up and then are user friendly enough for business owners and website owners to utilize in sending emails.
Once the software is setup, a web developer needs to integrate the opt in form into your website in the proper places. This can be in a Lightbox popup, in the sidebar, on the homepage, or in other areas of the website.
You will also need a web designer to design/develop a branded email marketing template to be used during the campaign. This template, similar to a website layout, will allow you to plug in your content and send out the same branded email template each time you send a newsletter.
What Are The Main Benefits Of Email Marketing For Lead Generation?
Email marketing helps lead generation in two main ways:
First of all it allows website owners to stay in touch with visitors that would otherwise leave the website and never return. As mentioned earlier, the vast majority of website visitors on most websites leave the website for various reasons and never return. By capturing their email before they leave, you can keep in touch with them and remind them that you’re there.
For example, what if you find a really cool website that sells great t-shirts but it’s winter and you don’t want to buy them until spring? In this case, the website could keep in touch with that prospect through email marketing. Or what if you own an accounting firm and someone finds you in July but doesn’t need to do their taxes until next April? With email marketing you could send a friendly monthly newsletter to remind them that you’re there and provide them with helpful tips throughout the year.
Secondly it allows website owners to stay in touch with visitors that aren’t in the right stage of the buying process. Many businesses have very long, complex buying processes, especially if they offer an expensive or a very targeted product/service. What if a construction company is looking for a new $600,000 excavator but they don’t have the budget right now to purchase it? Or what if a technology company is looking for a machining product to be used in manufacturing their new phones but they won’t need it until the phone concepts are completed? In both of these cases, prospects have found your website but aren’t at the right stage in the buying process, so by capturing their emails and keeping in touch you could stay fresh on their minds for when they are at the right stage of the buying process. Email marketing can also help expedite a buying process by sending targeted information to these prospects to help them in their decision making process.
Does Email Marketing Work?
Yes it does. We just posted a great case study mentioning a 200% increase due to proper email marketing. When done properly, email marketing can be a fantastic tool for any business or website to use in staying in touch with visitors and for lead generation/nurturing. However it’s important to make sure you setup your campaign properly to avoid any technological, legal, or branding issues as email marketing done improperly can truly be a disaster.