Whatever online business you are running, it is not enough to just rely on SEO traffic. In fact, it is a very bad idea. Just imagine if SEO algorithm changes and your website loses rankings and ends up somewhere on page 20 or page 45 in SERPs. It doesn’t look cool.
That’s a huge issue for online business, but what can be done about it?
One of the solutions is email marketing. Email marketing acts as a lead magnet for your online business and a decent traffic stabilizer.
My goal in this post is to explain what is email marketing and how does it work.
What is it? Getting Over the Definition
Email marketing is the type of digital marketing that uses email to spread the brand awareness, to promote a product, or to generate a sale.
Probably, you remember shopping on online stores or seeing ads on social media where you found a product or service that caught your attention but were still unsure whether it was worth your money.
Then you see the call to action that said something like this: “Enter you email to find out more about our product/service!”
After you signed up, you’ve received emails with information about the product or service that had caught you eye earlier, as well as other promotional letters (e.g. about the business, other similar goods, etc.).
Here are the main types of emails involved:
Promotional emails are used to talk about the business, promote a certain product or some specific events such as holiday discounts. These emails may also include newsletters. In general, the purpose of promotional emails is to build trust with recipients (customers), but also to generate or increase conversions, after the required level of trust has been established.
Transactional emails are sent after a sale took place. This type of email is sent to confirm the transaction between the customer and the marketer. Normally, these emails are sent on autopilot after any occurred transaction using autoresponder services.
These emails that you received, are part of the email marketing campaign, where transactional emails are the ends of small “battles”, while larger chunk of marketing campaign is ruled by promotional emails. They are used to make sure that a conversion takes place, meaning that a potential customer purchases a certain product or service.
How Does it Work? The Email Marketing Mechanism
Now that you have a basic idea of what email marketing is like, let’s dig a bit deeper.
The email marketing campaign starts with a landing page. Landing page is a simple web page that has a call to action, which usually asks customers to enter their name and email address, so they can get more information about their product or service of interest before they actually buy it.
After customers enter their email addresses through the landing page, business owners or marketers add them to an email list, which lists all the customers that need to be followed up with to generate a conversion (sale).
Once the business owner or marketer receives customer’s email address, he or she can start following up with the customer. The follow-up process is in the form of promotions, extra information about the corresponding product or service, or your personal experience with it. These emails also have calls to action to proceed to the next step, which is a sale.
Once your potential customer has received all the information they needed about the product or service you’re selling, and has made a decision about it, they may proceed to making a purchase.
Why is it Important?
As I already mentioned, it is very difficult to rely solely on SEO to gain and maintain traffic on your website. Search engines often update their SEO algorithms, which leads to significant drop in rankings. Obviously, this results in loss of traffic, and hence loss of profit.
To keep traffic on your website, let alone grow it, you should use email marketing and gain new customers, and retain your existing ones. If you already have decent traffic, email marketing can help you boost your conversion rates, meaning that this way you can turn more of your visitors into customers.
Having that said, it is very important to keep in touch with your customers. If they haven’t bought anything from your site, follow up with them. If the did, still follow up with them. Customers love feeling that they are special. This way, you can generate more and more loyal customers, who will be happy to check out other products that you may be promoting. As a result, your business will start getting in a better financial shape.
How to Get Started – Brief Guide
Before you can start shooting emails to your visitors and potential customers, you must have some sort of landing pages, aka “squeeze pages”. As already explained, this is a small web page that can ask for visitor’s email and it must have a strong call to action.
Landing pages are essential in email marketing because they are the best way to obtain customer’s consent to send them promotional emails and information about products or services that you’re selling.
Here is a sketch of the simplest version of a squeeze page.
Typically, it has a heading, images, text, fields for name and email, and call to action.
Next, you should prepare several versions of your follow up emails (at least 5) that will be sent to your potential customer. It can be extra information about the product or service you’re promoting, testimonials, your personal experience with that product or service, and much more.
Feel free to experiment with your emails. Try different variations of your emails for a corresponding product/service, which may have different text, different images, different calls to action, etc. This way, you can determine which email variation will lead to higher conversion. Then rinse and repeat.
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about manually sending all these emails to all your potential customers; it’s inefficient, counterproductive, and just a pain. You can use autoresponder services, such as GetResponse where you can create all you landing pages and emails, while all the email delivery is fully automated. Other popular autoresponders are MailChimp, AWeber, etc.
Basically, the only work that you should do for your email marketing campaigns is building landing pages and letters corresponding to a specific product or service that you’re promoting. It will also take time and a certain amount of effort, but at least you won’t have to bother manually sending these letters to every single customer you have on your email list.
Some Last Words
Email marketing is a great tool that can help you grow your online business. I strongly recommend using it, since it can help you gain more traffic as well as to retain it. With email marketing, you won’t have to depend solely on traffic generated by SEO, since it appears to be one of the most unstable traffic sources, given numerous algorithm updates in the search engines.
If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave them in the comment sections below. Helping you is my duty here 🙂