Email marketing can be divided into two main styles; bulk email marketing campaigns, and opt-in letters and updates. While both of these methods are dependent on the medium of email to maximize your visibility, both of these methods work in drastically different ways.
Bulk Email Marketing
These types of marketing campaigns usually deal with having to purchase a bulk mailing list from organizations and sending mass emails to the addresses on the list with information that contains excerpts, commercial advertising, newsletters, promotional materials or offers, etc.
However, since you obtained the data from a third-party, your efforts may result in many of the email recipients sending your email blasts directly to their spam folder.
This will result in your credibility being lowered in accordance with the parameters of the email service provider.
Once your credibility is lowered, any promotional materials that you would send to these recipients would automatically be flagged as junk and immediately placed in a junk folder, never to be seen again. Taking this approach to email marketing will not increase your traffic significantly.
Opt-In Email Marketing
While this method will require more time and effort on your part, it has been shown to perform better. If you have an email list stored in an email program like Outlook or Gmail, you don’t really have an email list.
In order to build a professional, legal, and valuable opt-in only email list, you will need to learn how to use an autoresponder. An autoresponder allows you to create an email list where every single person on the list has asked to be on your list, and their information has been verified.
This is extremely important when it comes to driving more traffic to your site.
The first step in building a legitimate email list is to get an autoresponder. Your autoresponder is the key software system that manages your email list for you. It is important that you choose one that is reliable and take the time to learn how to use it as best you can.
There are numerous free and paid autoresponders on the market to choose from, so you’ll need to do your research to determine which one will work best.
Create an Opt-In Form
As soon as you’ve chosen your autoresponder, you’ll need to build an opt-in form so that people can sign up for your email list. While every autoresponder has a slightly different layout and system for creating an opt-in form, they all have the following basic components.
- A custom design tool for web forms. This allows you to change the text, color, size, fonts, and other features.
- A thank you, or confirmation page link. This will provide you with a redirect to a custom thank you page link.
- An “already subscribed” page link. This will redirect anyone who is already subscribed to your email list who fills out your web form.
Create a Web Page to Host Your Opt-in Form
If you don’t have a webpage and don’t know how to build one, you will want to use an autoresponder that will host your web form for you.
While this isn’t always the best option for maximizing your conversions, it is included in the price of your autoresponder. It usually takes a single click to set it up, so you don’t need to understand HTML or coding to get your page up and running.
Choose Single or Double Opt-In
A single opt-in web form is when a subscriber fills out your form and is immediately subscribed to your list. They only have to opt-in once. A double opt-in is when a subscriber must click a link sent to them in an email, after opting-in to your form, to confirm their opt-in.
The two-step process requires them to fill out the opt-in form on your site, and then verify their subscription by clicking a confirmation link in an email. There are benefits and drawback to each method.
The benefits of a single opt-in form are that you’ll get more email subscribers, building your list faster.
However, you may get more fake emails, as well as possibly receiving more spam complaints.
The double opt-in benefits are that you’ll only have subscribers on your list who were committed enough to opt-in twice. The drawback is that you will have a smaller list.
If you choose a double opt-in, you will need to have an extra web page, usually a confirmation page, that asks your subscriber to confirm their information.
Create a Gift of Deliverable
Once someone has opted-in to subscribing to your email list, you’ll need to deliver on your promises. If you promised them a free report or training video, then you need to give it to them right away on the thank you page.
Make it fast and easy for them to access the information you promised. Include a simple link to the download page, or have the autoresponder automatically forward them directly to the page where the content is delivered.
Set Up a Thank You Page
The thank you page that you develop should deliver the gift that you promised for subscribing to your list, along with thanking them and providing instruction for the next steps they should take.
All of the different autoresponders will have a standard thank you page that you can use. However, you will want to create your own custom thank you page.
Test Your System
Once you’ve completed the first steps, it’s time to start testing your system. Go through and sign up for your email list yourself and go through the same steps that your subscribers will have to take.
Make sure that the opt-in form works, check every page and stage of the process to make sure that all the links, buttons, and web pages work correctly before you start sending traffic to your new opt-in page.
Doing this will help you avoid any problems or disappointed subscribers. Nothing will turn people off faster than a broken opt-in form or not delivering what you promised.
Now that you’ve successfully created an email marketing system and tested it, it is now time to send traffic to the page that is housing your opt-in form.
Using Squeeze Pages
A squeeze page is a single web page where someone can opt-in to your email list. They are specially designed to host a web form and don’t usually have any other active links or navigation options on the page.
This is so browsers can either opt-in to your email list or leave the page. By limiting the navigation options, squeeze pages will convert five to 20 times more visitors than if you were to place an opt-in form that is hosted on your blog.
As a general rule of thumb, you should always be linking your squeeze page to every piece of content that you have online.
This includes placing it in your email signature, and every blog post, video, article, and other pieces of content that you create. The more links to your squeeze page, the more traffic you will get.