Introduction to Email Marketing

Email Marketing: It's power and pitfalls

There are many virtues to email marketing. It is simply broadcasting a sales message to a list of email addresses. There is a mantra among the gurus out there who will all tell you that the real power is in the list. This is unequivocally true.

Then the gurus will painstakingly outline how they go about building their lists giving you tips and advice along the way. Of course they will charge you anywhere from $47 to $197 to $30,000 for the privilege of learning that there is great power in building an email list, which I just told you for free.

What they don't tell you is that it can take years to build up a decent sized list. What is a decent sized list? Some gurus boast of having 25,000 names and strut around with their chests puffed out. To me, having owned a direct mail business for years, this is barely a test number that most serious mailers would scoff at. Yet some marketers are very proud of a list of 1500 names.

Then. all-too-often, these email list owners proceed to spam you day in and day out as if your very survival depended on receiving incessant daily offers from them. I am on a list of some over zealous woman who sometimes sends me two or three emails a day. Then, if I don't answer, she sends another email saying she is puzzled that I have let her offer go by unheeded. It went unheeded because it went into the junk mail trash bin. The only reason I haven’t zapped her is that her tenacity amazes and amuses me.

There's no magic to building a list. You have a squeeze page on your Website or blog that pops out with an invitation to sign up for a free newsletter or some other enticement such as a free ebook. Naturally you will promise not to sell or trade names and assure that you hate spam.

Most list builders merely ask for a first name and email address thinking that people are reluctant to give more information. Well, I'm here to tell you that you should collect as much information as possible; it doesn't all have to be mandatory. This information will be invaluable in your marketing efforts.

Try to get snail mail addresses too by offering to send something in the mail. Try to get birthday info so you can send them a birthday card and cement that all-important personal relationship. Try to find out their interests regarding home business.

You should even try to get their mobile phone number, but that is a whole different discussion that we will deal with under Mobile Marketing.

Why is email marketing so powerful?

Assuming you have an opt-in list, and that's the only kind you should consider using, it means that you have a targeted audience of people who are interested in what you have to offer. Indeed, they have asked to receive the information. What could be better than that? They have pre-qualified themselves so to speak.

Let's face it. There is no other method of advertising that is as inexpensive as email marketing, which makes it very attractive. But, beware of the pitfalls.

Presumably you have established some kind of rapport with these people by sending them newsletters and free stuff so that they have confidence in you as some kind of authority. Accordingly, they are more apt to listen to you when you make a recommendation and act on it.

A good sized list can generate incredible sales revenue over and over and over again. Just make certain that you do not ever abuse the list. You will lose credibility, and you will lose your people as they can opt out at any moment. Keep them engaged respectfully just as you would want to be treated, not hammered to death with offer after offer on a daily basis.

I would say, unless there is something extremely urgent, do not contact your list members more than once a week. Otherwise they will get tired of hearing from you, tune you out, or merely unsubscribe because you have become a nuisance.

Next, we will talk about the science of list building: listology