There are many voices out there today, each one clambering for our attention. In our home based business, we get bombarded daily with offers that we are told we just can’t refuse! Each one offers their best marketing strategy and/or courses, which if you will just simply buy it; it would literally set you financially free! Ever been there? Well, that’s not what I’m going to do here!! We’re going to be talking about one subject: Email Marketing and email marketing strategies. Clearly there are more marketing strategies than email marketing. The fact is, there are many different marketing strategies out there, and we have many choices, but you have to decide which ones you want to implement. A strategy that has worked well for cheap business mailing lists me and other internet marketers is to start with two, maybe 3 marketing strategies. Get very familiar with those, and make sure they are working for you. Don’t let anything or anyone sidetrack you. Stick to your guns. Once you have those mastered, move on to the next 2 or 3, but don’t abandon the original 2 or 3. There are many marketing strategies, and I’ll name a few, such as: o Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yuwie, Friendfeed, Squidoo, etc o Articles –
Ezine, Articlebase, BetterNetworker, etc o Press Releases – FreepressRelease.com, 24-7pressrelease.com, PRWeb.com o Videos – You Tube, Traffic Geyser, Camtasia, etc o Blogging – WordPress, Blogger, Digg, etc o Forums – Warrior Forum, Google and Yahoo forums, etc o Email – Viral Host, AWeber, List Bandit, List Joe, Viral URL, etc There is a myth floating around out there that I want to address right now, and that is this: There is a common misconception by many people nowadays that the internet is too competitive, and that a newbie [slang word for a newcomer to the internet] cannot possibly hope to succeed running against the big dogs, or the more seasoned internet marketers. Nothing could be further from the truth! There are many ways of making money online and so many opportunities and niches to take advantage of. And the bottom line is this: there are constantly new people coming online, and new people looking for business opportunities. The key is to find something you are interested in, have a passion about, and begin to market in that niche. This is not about niche marketing, and at this juncture I’m not going into how to find your niche and finding the right keywords to market your niche or product. There are plenty of articles and blogs out there about that. You can find plenty of articles and blogs about all the different marketing strategies, but what I’m going to focus on here is email marketing. Email marketing is a key part of any marketing plan, but where that falls in priority for you is totally dependent on what your marketing strategies might be. I’m going to assume that you already have your list [if you don’t contact me, and I will help you with that, or point you in the right direction]. Email marketing lists are important, but maintaining them and keeping them up to date is even more important. In email marketing, your reputation is important, more so online than offline. Both are important, but most of us reading this are trying to build a home based business through an online presence. We build and develop our online reputation through social media engagements, blog posts, press releases, articles, forums, videos and etc. Our reputation actually is created by our readers, and if we continue to supply them with valuable content, our reputation grows. When it comes to building our reputation in social media, it is important to not bombard your friends and followers with just links to your site. Several times throughout the day is okay, but provide valuable content, such as positive quotes, links to videos that can help build their business, etc. A whole article could be written just on this subject, and many have been written. Our online reputation is what makes our email deliverable! That’s right; our reputation is what helps get our emails opened. If our reputation has become tarnished because of some negative posting on a forum or a negative blog, it will definitely affect email deliverability. If people on our list view us negatively, they tend to blacklist us, and now the email goes into the spam box instead of the inbox. That will have a direct impact on your bottom line. Here are 7 tips that will help get your emails delivered. Tip#1: Manage and Maintain Your Online (and Overall) Reputation a) Can’t say enough about this – it is completely within your control! Tip#2: Get Opt-In Permission a) You have to provide options to your subscribers to allow them to change their subscriber preferences. Subscribers have to have the option somewhere in your email to opt-out if they so choose and it should be plainly visible. Tip#3: Recipients Expect Frequent and Valuable Content a) I get some emails on a daily basis, and one even sends between four and six per day. However, I always read them, because invariably they provide good and valuable content. Actually, two or three times a week is sufficient, and there is even some thought out there that once a week is enough. It really depends on your list and your product. b) The bottom line – whatever your frequency, it has to contain relevant and valuable content. If not, they will opt-out or drop it into the spam folder! Tip#4: Use a Recognizable “From” Address a) I’ve received email from online marketers where it was kind of obscure as to where the email was coming from. There are plenty of email providers out there (see list above) so there is no excuse to not have a recognizable “from” address. b) Make sure your subscribers have a way to reach you. If your “from” address in your email is not a reachable address, provide one somewhere in your email. I prefer to provide mine in the signature of my email. Tip#5: Design the Header of Your Email to Deliver Your Message a) This is the first thing they see when they open their mailbox! If you know anything about copywriting, you know that the header is the most important item to getting your email opened and read. This can be the difference between a successful or unsuccessful email campaigns. b) Let’s say you aren’t good at writing headlines – there are plenty of sources out there where you can find someone that is. Go to elance.com, post what you want done and you’ll find someone that can do it for you. Just be sure to check them out thoroughly and get some good verifiable references. For as little as $200 you can get someone to write you a great email campaign with a great header. Tip#6: Spam – Who Defines It a) Does it really matter who defines spam? Absolutely!! What comes to mind when you think of spam? Most times the response I get is “It’s sending unsolicited emails.” Really, is that it???!!! If that’s what comes to mind, then you definitely need to familiarize yourself with what spam really is!! It can mean the difference between getting your email opened (delivered) or not. b) CAN-SPAM laws were created and enforced by the FTC [Federal Trade Commission]. What is CAN-SPAM? The acronym CAN-SPAM derives from the bill’s full name: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003. c) ISP (Internet Service Providers), as well as the FTC have a large part in determining what is or is not spam. ISPs do not rely on CAN-SPAM to define spam. Their contention is that spam is first and foremost defined and determined by the user. If, for example, a user determines the email is spam by putting it in their spam folder, or in their blocked senders list, or just simply not opening it, then the ISPs consider it spam – whether or not it adheres to each and every rule of CAN-SPAM. d) Stay current on the CAN-SPAM rules and make sure that every email campaign complies and adheres to those rules. Be sure that your email recipients can opt-out easily. Remind your email recipients of the email address they should use to request information or if they have any questions. Tip#7: Relevance and Continuity a) When the potential client and/or email recipient clicks on your PPC ad or a link that you provided in your email, it is imperative that what you had in your email and/or ad is where the link goes to. For example, if you are advertising something about weight loss, make sure that when they get to your site, you are actually promoting weight loss, and not something irrelevant – like, let’s say skiing!! Remember….it’s your reputation. If it doesn’t connect or is irrelevant, it could make the customer want to consider future ads irrelevant and they will avoid clicking on them. b) When that happens too often, search engine algorithms will then label your ads as irrelevant, suppressing the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and PPC conversions. SEM is only relevant if you have a website The last thing I want to cover (and certainly not the least) is search engine marketing. Search engine marketing can and does have a great impact on your online reputation, i.e., your email deliverability. What is search engine marketing? Glad you asked!! Search engine marketing is the performance of marketing or advertising your web site through search engines, like Google, Yahoo or Bing. Search engine marketing (SEM) may consist of one or more of the following components: · Pay Per Click (PPC) – On the right side of the page you will see little boxes or ads, and those are what are considered PPC [Pay Per Click]. Every time you click on those, the advertiser pays Google, Yahoo or Bing (the amount depends what search engine you are using). You bid the amount you are willing to pay per click. The more you bid, the more likely your ad will appear higher in the search engine results. Google AdWords has implemented an additional aspect. Your ads will rank based on the relevancy or importance that Google places on your site, which is very difficult to manipulate. · Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Google, Yahoo and Bing [formerly MSN] crawl through content of your article, blog, website, etc., and look for valuable and relevant content. SEO is what gets you in the top 10 positions on the left side of the page when it is opened up. It is referred to as generic listings. · Pay For Inclusion (PFI) – What is PFI?It is a search engine marketing technique that involves paying for a Web site listing in a Web directory, for example Yahoo Directory [not same as Yahoo Search] or Verizon’s SuperPages. The bottom line is you are paying to be included in a Web directory. In addition to search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing, various other directories also exist on the web. These directories can either be general in nature or can be related to a specific topic. You can get free listings in some online directories, like DMOZ. However most directories now charge for a listing. Yahoo describes its directory as: Subject-based directory listing websites in a wide range of topics, from arts, entertainment, and society and culture, to science, education, and health. So is Search Engine Marketing Important? It really depends on whether you decide to make search engine marketing a part of your marketing and advertising strategy. If you don’t have a Web site or ever plan to have one for your business, you certainly wouldn’t need search engine marketing. But in today’s business climate, it’s hard to imagine anyone not wanting or having a website, as nearly all business are expected to have a website and most do. Search engine marketing is used as a means to get traffic to your website. This again can be done through your emails with links to your website, or through SEO, PPC, or PFI. This then should ideally lead to getting new customers and adding to your home business revenues. When compared to other means of advertising and marketing, search engine marketing can be very cost effective. For instance, you could implement some SEO techniques on your own. Organic search rankings are free, so if you can move yourself up in the rankings, your traffic should increase, which, in turn, should increase your home business revenues. In the same way, PPC can be very cost effective. Since you can set limits on how much you’ll pay per click and how much you’ll pay per day. By doing that, it’s fairly easy to keep your costs in line. As previously mentioned, some Web directories like DMOZ allow free listings, while others can cost as little as $25 – $30 per year. In closing, it is vital to your success to keep your lists up-to-date so that you can optimize your response rates, your conversions, and your overall email campaign performance. With all the spammers and fraudulent email senders out there, it has created a lot of mistrust. So I can’t stress enough how important it is to consistently update your email list, review your list often to establish which email recipients haven’t opened or clicked through for the last six months. Make them another compelling offer, and if they still don’t open them, you might want to try one more time, but then take them off your list. To your success in getting your email opened! As a real estate investor, father, and business owner, I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart, and have successfully started and sold several businesses over the years. I have even started some businesses that have failed; so I know both ends of the spectrum! I have tried several different MLM companies, and was able to build a good organization with them, but it seemed that the leaders always left for some other ‘newest and latest’ business opportunity. In one case, our up line even kept the money that was supposed to pass on down to us!!