What is email marketing?
Email marketing is a digital marketing channel of sending out commercial messages, typically to customers, individuals or a group of people through emails.
It generally involves sending emails containing advertisements, business request, or solicit sales. It’s also an easy way to build brand awareness or trust from people.
This email marketing tutorial is ultimately for users who plan to or are committed to starting email marketing.
Wait, is email marketing actually still worth it?
Absolutely Yes! With the chatbots, video or artificial intelligence all into the game, many think email marketing is dead, but it’s actually at its prime basing. It’s evident that it beats all the other digital media channels such as SEO, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, social PPC.
Another data study (2017) shows that 85% of adult internet users have emails, showing how relevant and lucrative it’s for your business.
Why should you start email marketing?
Emailing is the most effective and preferred marketing channel by consumers and customers to communicate with the companies. This is backed by a study from MarketingSherpa indicating that; 60% of the survey respondents picked emails to receive promotions and updates from the different businesses and companies. Furthermore, only 20% and 17% chose social media and text messages.
Emails have a better conversion rate than any other marketing channel; people who buy email marketed products spend 138% more than those without email offers. Would you look at that crazy stat? About 99% of consumers check their emails daily; what more could you need to convince that email marketing is ideal for your business?
Email marketing is not as complicated to start as it may seem. I will take you through the steps involved.
First and foremost, you’ll need to pick an email service provider (ESP), a company or software that offers email marketing services. ESP enables marketers to send out large quantities
of emails to addresses on their email lists and have features that will allow them to target and automate.
The email marketing service providers required a monthly subscription. However, for those on budget and those considering just giving this marketing channel a trial, I recommend using the following completely free of charge.
The paid version Email Marketing Providers offer way better services such as sending out campaigns with more extensive email lists.
The above list of free ones also do have paid versions, so one can easily upgrade. There are a ton of them out there. Below are some of the ESPs to consider.
So, after choosing an EPS, you will need to set up your email list in whichever program you selected.
After a short time, you should have collected a couple of emails and now will need to grow your list.
Building an email list/growing your list
To build or effectively grow one’s email list, you’ll need to have an opt-in form where you collect emails from your website or landing page visitors.
To grow an email list requires a lead magnet. A lead magnet refers to bait or an offer you give out to people for free in exchange for their information or email addresses.
Remember guys, gone are the days when one would ask people to subscribe to your email list, why should they? Give them something out for free in exchange for the email. In addition to that, putting opt-in forms on your websites does barely any difference. Take an example of yourself., do you subscribe to opt-in forms on websites? No, in most cases. Then, how can you expect others to do so?
Growing an email list involves giving out an attractive and compelling offer, thus provide a lead magnet of high value for Free to your visitors.
Lead magnets can be offered in the following forms:
- Audio files
- A coupon
- Free trials or samples
- Free templates with valuable info, etc.
- Basic courses
So, what makes an excellent opt-in bribe or lead magnet
Well, knowing that a lead magnet helps convert website visitors into leads, you have to offer quality and compelling opt-in bribes with the following characteristics;
A great example of an effective lead magnet form
The topic or what makes up the lead magnet must correspond with the available content on the pages the viewers/visitors are on. Let your information be specific to your audience.
Valuable and should create noticeable improvement
You have to consider the visitor as a naïve being about the content they’re reading and thus offer them something sensible that will create a change or add knowledge to them regarding the topic.
Yes! It should be simple and yet effective. It should be easy to consume because you’ll bore them with your hundreds of pages filled with content.
Your consumers should be in a position to access their products or offers instantly after submitting their emails. I mean, who hates instant gratification.
Finally, don’t forget to add the call-to-action content within your opt-in page, like your contact info or details of more information.
Opt-in forms are the building blocks of targeted and segmented email lists. I refer to those minor forms at the end of blogs or sidebars that ask for your emails while you crawl on someone’s website or blog. At times, they appear as exit-intent pop-ups when you try exiting a blog or web page.
To build or effectively grow one’s email list, you’ll need to have an opt-in form where you collect emails from your website or landing page visitors. A practical and converting opt-in or lead magnet form should have the following characteristics;
- Keep it simple and short. The opt-in form aims to convince people to offer you their emails, so why make it so long and boring? Keep it short and attractive.
- It should be convincing or persuading. All its content, from texts to graphics, should be eye-catching and persuasive.
- Should focus on a particular solution. Make your headlines to describe the ultimate benefit of the lead magnet clearly.
- An attractive subscription buttons. You should choose a compelling colour for the button, something that stands out on the blog page or your website.
9 Practical Tips To Increase Your Lead Magnet Conversion Rate
Lead magnets have evolved over the years, but there’s one thing that has remained the same – they do work. The higher the value you provide to your prospective customers, the more they’re likely to trust you and your brand. Therefore, taking time to create a lead magnet the right way is a must if you want to build a strong email list, have a loyal audience, attract leads, and ultimately convert those leads into paying customers.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of 9 practical tips you can use to increase the conversion rate of your lead magnet:
1. Keep Your Lead Magnet Targeted
Targeting is crucial if you want your lead magnet to have a high conversion rate. In other words, your magnet should be able to provide very specific answers to the specific questions the customers are asking.
For instance, a free eBook titled, “Your Ultimate Guide to Parenting Children with Autism” is considered more specific than one with the title “Your Guide to Parenting.” While both of them talk about parenting, the former is specific to parents with autistic children. Therefore, using the first eBook as your lead magnet is likely to get you more qualified leads than the second one.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Lead magnets that perform best are those that add value to the people receiving them. This value can be in the form of important information the customer is looking for, a much-needed service, or a solution to a specific problem the customer has.
Defining your target customers is important because it helps you to tailor the content of your offer in a way that appeals to their specific needs. On the other hand, if you have no idea who your target audience is, you’ll most likely end up with a generic lead magnet that doesn’t address anyone in particular or solve any particular problem. That’s a recipe for disaster.
3. Tease Your Prospects With A Glimpse Of The Content In Your Lead Magnet
There’s no better way to get prospects to sign up for your lead magnet than providing them with a glimpse of what they stand to gain from it. You may have a considerable number of web visitors, but not all of them will subscribe to your email list just because you’ve asked them to.
Some people want to know beforehand what they stand to gain when they give you their email addresses. Such unsure visitors can only be persuaded to opt into your email list when you give them a glimpse of all the good things contained in your free offer. So, it’s a good idea to include a description of what your lead magnet is all about on the landing page. You also need to state clearly how your magnet will provide value to your readers.
4. Use Your Best-Performing Content As A Lead Magnet
Do you know that you don’t have to create the free offer you intend to give to your prospects from scratch? Yes, that’s right. Considering that a lot of time and effort goes into making a good lead magnet, it makes sense to give out content that you already have in your content library. However, you can’t just choose any content for this purpose; it has to be one with the highest performance.
This can be anything from a webinar that recorded the highest number of attendees, an eBook that received the highest downloads, a blog post that was read or shared the most, or a video that received the highest number of views.
So take as much time as you need to scroll through your resource library and find that one content that you believe was the best performer. Don’t forget to repurpose the content into a downloadable file first before using it as your lead magnet.
5. Consider Providing A Bundled Package
Another way of improving the effectiveness of your lead magnet is by providing a bundled package. Many businesses are already using lead magnets to lure prospective customers, so you need to step up your game to stand out.
If your competitors are offering only one free resource, raise the stakes higher, and provide a package containing multiple resources in return for their email addresses. As long as all the free resources provide significant value to your visitors, you can expect your bundled package to generate more qualified leads than a single offer.
6. Offer A Lead Magnet In The Form Of Content Upgrades
Content upgrades are simply downloadable versions of the content they’re placed within. Here’s the reasoning behind providing content upgrades – that people who spend their time reading your content do so because they find it useful. Therefore, providing the same content in a more snackable form (i.e. in a PDF version) can be useful for your readers in the future when they want to refer to it.
Just to make things clearer, let’s assume that you have a post titled, “Your Ultimate Guide to Parenting Children with Autism” on your blog. What you should do is to create its PDF version, and include a link to it within the same post where your readers can download the file. The PDF version here is what you’ll offer as a lead magnet to your prospects.
It’s important to note that content upgrades are used mostly within blog posts. However, you can also include them within eBooks and other types of content. Using content upgrades often results in a higher conversion rate because they provide more context and convenience to the reader.
7. Offer High-Quality Content Always
Your free offer also has to be of high quality if you want it to perform well. Some businesses don’t invest enough time and effort when creating a lead magnet. Because the offer is free, they see no need to make it special for their prospective customers.
However, offering a half-baked magnet only ends up destroying their brand image and business. As if that’s not enough, most of the leads that such magnets attract usually don’t convert into paying customers in the end.
Because of this, you need to ensure that your content is valuable and of high-quality. Use the following points as a guide when creating content for your prospects:
a) Offer content that’s easy to read and digest.
b) Offer content that has high perceived and actual value, and is relevant to the needs of your prospects.
c) Deliver the exact content resource that you promised in your lead generation form.
d) Deliver your content in a format that your customers can access immediately.
e) Demonstrate your expertise in your content to give your prospects a sense that you know exactly what you’re talking about.
f) Don’t focus on trends to attract prospects because your offer will get outdated faster. Instead, you should make your magnet evergreen so it remains relevant and valuable over time.
8. Offer Appropriate Lead Magnets At Different Stages Of The Buyer’s Journey
This is another point worth paying attention to if you want your offer to convert highly. Certain types of lead magnets are appropriate only at certain stages of the buyer’s journey. What this means is that if you offer a free trial to a prospect who is in the awareness stage or a free eBook to someone in the decision stage, you’re most likely to get a low conversion rate. Why? Simply because these lead magnets aren’t appropriate at these stages.
Let’s discuss the different stages of a buyer’s journey in detail to give you a better understanding of what we’re talking about:
a) The Awareness Stage
This is the stage where prospective customers have just realized that they have a real problem they want to solve or a need they want to fulfill. Many customers here turn to Google to try to find a solution to their problems. Note that your prospects still don’t know you and your brand at this stage, so it won’t be appropriate to ask them to buy anything from you.
Your goal at this stage should, therefore, be to create and increase awareness about your products, services, and brand. Examples of lead magnets that do well at the awareness stage include videos, infographics, blog posts, eBooks, and other downloadable resources such as checklists, templates, tip sheets, and guides.
b) The Consideration Stage
The awareness stage is all about competition. Prospective buyers are through with their search and have a list of brands with products and services they believe can fulfill their needs. However, they haven’t made up their mind yet whether it’s your brand or your competitors’ brands that will satisfy their needs best.
This is a huge opportunity for you to offer content that will help nurture these leads and build a trusting relationship with them. The most suitable types of lead magnets to offer at the consideration stage include Frequently Asked Questions, case studies, webinars, comparison content, white papers, and demo videos.
c) The Decision Stage
Potential customers, at the decision stage, have assessed the several options before them and narrowed down to a few they’re convinced can provide solutions to their problems. They’re now ready to make a decision on which brand to purchase from. This is a good chance for you to convert these leads into long-term paying customers.
You can do so with compelling offers and call-to-actions, as well as the right content. Examples of content types that are recommended at this stage include free estimates/quotes, free trials, free consultations, live demos, coupons, and video testimonials.
9. A/B Test Your Lead Magnet
A/B testing or split testing, in simple terms, is an experiment whereby two different variations of something are compared to find out the one that performs better. This something can be an email copy, a web page, or a landing page. The experiment involves giving one version of whatever you’re testing to one group of users, and another version to a different group at random, and then analyzing the results to see which version comes on top.
When done the right, A/B testing can help you create better content, improve your user engagement, increase your conversion rate, and, ultimately, improve your sales revenues.
Different Ways To A/B Test Your Lead Magnet
A/B testing is very important if you want to know whether your lead magnets are working for your business or not. Here are a few A/B testing ideas worth trying:
a) Test Landing Page Designs
A landing page is a stand-alone page where you direct prospective clients and ask them to opt-into your email list in order to receive your free offer. Before you conduct an A/B test, you’ll need to create two unique designs of your lead magnet’s landing page first, and then give one design to one group of prospects and another design to the second group.
Analyze the performance of each landing page design in terms of traffic, conversions, clicks, etc. to know the one that performs better between the two. Go a step further and try to find out why one design performs better than the other before deciding to use it.
b) Stand-Alone Content Vs. Bundles Package
You can also test to see if a bundled package converts better than a single content resource.
c) Test Different Types Of Lead Magnets
If, for instance, you’ve been using mainly eBooks as your lead magnets, you could try offering other kinds of content such as infographics, videos, and checklists to see how your audience responds to them. Just makes sure you provide the right type of content at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
d) Test The Size Of Your Discount
Lastly, if you’re giving a discount to your audience, try offering two different amounts to see which one leads to higher conversions.
These are some of the tips and strategies that different marketers use to boost the effectiveness of their lead magnets. Feel free to try them out until you find what works for you.
How to Stop Your Emails from Going to the Recipient’s Spam Folder
Though email marketers always want their messages to go to the recipient’s inbox, this is not always the case. Since email service providers are continuously modifying their spam filter rules, it’s becoming harder to improve the effectiveness of an email campaign. When you send emails, it may go to one of three different places: the inbox, the spam folder or somewhere else (i.e., missing).
You can’t possibly control the emails that go missing somewhere into the cyberspace (don’t worry, as the percentage of these emails is minimal). However, you can certainly increase the rate of email inbox deliverability by making sure your emails don’t go to the spam folder.
Given below are some useful tips that you can use to stop your email messages from landing into the spam or junk folder.
Make Sure Your IP Address is not Black-listed
Many times, the email messages you send go to the junk or spam folder because your IP address is on blacklists. If you are using the services of a third-party email provider, it becomes impossible to verify all the IP addresses.
However, there’s one thing you can do; send yourself a test email message. Now take out the IP information from the header section of your email. Go and check that IP address to make sure it’s not black-listed.
Don’t of Capital Letters, Punctuation Marks & Symbols Excessively
One of the most important tips to increase your email inbox deliverability is to avoid excessive use of capital letters, punctuation marks and symbols in the messages. Emails containing capitals and symbols ($, &, #, @) can immediately raise red flags sending them right to the recipient’s junk folder.
Avoid Using Too Many Images
An email message that contains many images can immediately alert the email firewalls. Even when you use images in your email, don’t forget to accompany them with some text. The fewer images you use, the better the quality score of your message will be.
Be Careful with Referral Links
Your emails can go to the spam folder even when they contain multiple referral links. The good idea is to cloak the referral links that you include in the body of the message. The best piece of advice for email marketing, however, is to reduce the number of referral links to just one.
Don’t Use Risky or Spam Phrases
Your emails won’t go to the recipient’s inbox if its subject or the body contains spam keywords or phrases. It is important that you keep yourself abreast of the words or phrases that are considered to be spam. Any email which contains spam keywords in high proportion will go to the spam folder.
Examples of Spam Keywords: free, guaranteed, opportunity, profit, affordable, approved, credit, free web hosting, easy money, direct marketing, earning potential, credit card, great deals, make money online, tremendous savings, etc.
Attachments are a Complete No-No
Emails containing attachments look suspicious to email firewalls. It is because spam email messages carry virulent attachments. To increase the inbox deliverability of your messages, you should completely stop using any attachments.
Since email marketing is one of the most powerful means of online advertising, you should always make sure that your messages are safe from landing into the spam folder. By following the tips mentioned above, you can immediately reduce the number of emails going to junk or spam folder and increase the email inbox deliverability. Start taking action right now to make your email marketing efforts bring results you can be happy with.
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