Do You Have A Love/Hate Relationship With E-Mail Marketing?

A lot of entrepreneurs and businesses like the idea of e-mail marketing because of it’s effectiveness. They want to build their list and be able to sell to thousands of people with the click of a button.

Then again, many businesses shy away from e-mail marketing because of other associations they have with it. Maybe you conjured a vision of your own overflowing Inbox and the emotions you feel about it and you don’t want to be “annoying” or “invasive.”

The truth is that neither of these is a complete picture.

In fact, you can’t look at e-mail marketing as if it is a separate thing at all. It’s not.

E-mail marketing is an integral part of a complete Content Marketing strategy. You can’t have one without the other.

If you don’t do it right, it can be a source of frustration. But if you understand how it works and are willing to create the content you need to do it effectively, it can be one of your business’s biggest assets.

Are you ready to embrace it?

The Set Up

I am working with a client right now to set up her opt-in campaign. We created a couple of free gifts. Then we built the e-mail marketing pieces like the opt-in form, confirmation e-mails, and thank you pages. Finally, we wrote a series of e-mails that will be sent to her new subscribers to deliver what they requested, share additional value, build a trusting relationship and eventually sell her products and services.

That’s a lot of stuff to create!

And it’s just the beginning.

Setting up your e-mail marketing system is the first step. You have given your people a reason to check you out and gotten the relationship off on the right foot. But e-mail marketing is a long-term tool, not a quick fix.

Once you have people on your list, you have to communicate with them consistently.

The Relationship

This is the part that often scares businesses off. Effective e-mail marketing requires that you send e-mails to people on a regular basis.

That may seem obvious, but too many people have a list that they never communicate with!

The challenge is that they aren’t always sure what to send, and they don’t want to be annoying. (There’s that word again!)

Sending greetings for every single holiday without any value related to your business – that’s annoying. Sending repetitive sales messages pushing the same thing over and over – definitely annoying. So what do you do?

This is where having a full Content Marketing plan in place makes all the difference.

What do you send in your e-mails? Your content!

If you aren’t creating content like articles or videos on a regular basis, then no wonder you aren’t sure what to send to your list.

This might seem harsh, but if you can’t keep up with a blog, then you shouldn’t be doing e-mail marketing.

Then you are missing out on one of the most effective marketing tools for your business.

Of course, the better way to look at it is to ask “How can I embrace Content Marketing and e-mail marketing for my business?”

There is also a third piece to the e-mail marketing puzzle where you convert your leads into clients using – you guessed it – more content!

What do you think? Are you using e-mail marketing effectively right now? What challenges do you face with it? Leave a comment below.

I teach my Content Marketing strategy (including the conversion step) in the course “Beyond Blogging: An Entrepreneurs Guide To Content Marketing.” It’s short and to-the-point, and a great place to start.

If you’d like more help with a Content Marketing plan specifically for your business, I’d be happy talk to you about it. [email protected]

5 Top Benefits of Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing is a company’s greatest tool for increasing sales in this digital age that we live in. Almost every aspect of a person’s life is at some point connected to the Internet. This is very evident in the amount of social media interaction that is conducted each day.

More and more people are spending their lives online. That’s already a given fact. Therefore, it would be more prudent if companies were to focus their marketing initiatives online as well, since more and more of their customers are accessible there. However, there are still skeptics who insists that the traditional marketing methods are still the best.

Though this may be true. One cannot deny the greater benefits that Internet marketing offers to businesses as we usher in this digital age. Below are 5 great benefits of Internet Marketing:

5 Top Benefits of Internet Marketing

Transcend barriers – This this one of the most obvious advantages Internet marketing offers over the tradition method. With Internet marketing, your business would be able to reach markets that you’re not able to reach before. Just like how you’re able to talk to a person living in Russia with just a click of a button, the same thing applies to marketing your business. Internet Marketing is not bound by geographical limitations since everything is done online. You’ll be able to showcase your products to customers thousands of miles away with Internet marketing. If you want your business to grow, marketing it online is the best decision you’ll ever make.

Cheaper costs – The cost for marketing your business online is significantly cheaper compared to traditional means. Since everything is digital, launching a marketing campaign, designing a product pamphlets, disseminating it through various social media platforms is just a matter of pointing and clicking. In addition to that, the manpower needed and the cost involved to maintain that manpower is significantly lower. Through Internet marketing, companies can sell their wares directly to their customers. This eliminates the need for retail outlets to pay retail costs just to showcase and sell their product.

Ease of Data Gathering – To be able to effectively market your products to people, you must first identify which niche your business caters to. You must identify the type of customers that has a higher demand for your product. To do that, you must gather pertinent customer data and what better place to do that than the Internet. Online data gathering has never been so easy. With the advent of online data forms, data gathering not only takes a shorter amount of time, but also makes it easier to find people who are willing to answer your data gathering questionnaires.

A personalized sales experience – We’ve all been customers before. As customers we always want to feel that we’re the sole focus of the company as we transition to making that buying decision. We want them to treat us like we’re the most important customer in the world. In the physical world, we can probably address 2-3 customers at a time; not enough to make a significant impact in the overall sales experience of the customer. With Internet marketing, however, we can personalize a customer’s sales experience easily. Since every transaction is done through a web browser, we’re able to create certain programs or plug-ins that would recommend the best products to your customers. In addition to that, we can also show our customers similar products that might be of interest to them. Overall, this creates a sense of importance to the customer; that the company went out of their way to give them a fantastic sales experience.

Better customer interaction – Marketing your products and interacting with all your customers has never been this easy with Internet marketing. Because you’re able to reach your customers far and wide, you’ll be able to interact with them even after the sales process ends. The beauty of this whole thing is that you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home or office. You can reach your customers 24/7. You can ask them how they’re enjoying their product, what other potential products they might need or maybe provide them some after sales support if their encountering any problems in using your product. This all comes down to making your customers feel that they’ve dealt with a real human being instead of some big corporate machine that’s only interested in their money.

So there you have it. These are the 5 Top Benefits of Internet Marketing. We hope that we’ve convinced you in taking the Internet marketing route to grow and expand your business.

How to Make Internet Marketing an Effective Tool For Lead Generation

Internet marketing, also known as online or inbound marketing, is how many businesses reach new prospects and stay connected with their current customers. By using the Internet (and its ancillary branches, such as email and social media) to market their business, they are able to get their message out to people across the globe in a fraction of the time it would take using more “traditional” methods. Because people are increasingly spending a lot of their time online, it’s important to know how to use Internet marketing methods in the most effective way possible. Here are some tips and techniques you can use to take full advantage of this type of marketing.


Social Media Marketing

One thing people have always had in common is the desire to stay connected. Today, tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow people to connect immediately with friends and family as well as the world at large. Social media marketing is very important for businesses because it helps them nurture their current customer base while also giving them the opportunity to make contact with new customers.

Whether you want to leverage your online presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any of the many social media platforms out there, the aim is the same: giving your customers the chance to connect with your business on a more personalized level via a two-way interaction. You may utilize your social media accounts to promote your business,; however, your primary goal should be to establish a conversation with customers and prospects to find out how you can better solve their problems and deliver what they are looking for. Professional internet marketers agree that selling on these platforms should be minimized; the focus is on engagement, creating interest and curiosity. Continual and overused sales pitches will likely have the reverse effect, and posts will be ignored.

Mobile Marketing

Similar to social media marketing is mobile marketing. More often than not, your customers and prospects will be connecting with your business through their smartphones or tablets instead of their computers. It is much easier to check websites or social media on the go rather than to sit down at a computer, so it is essential your marketing approach is mobile-friendly. This means having your website transferrable from desktop to mobile without glitches, as well as utilizing apps or creating your own. Internet advertising also includes banner ads on relevant websites and SMS (short message service),or text message marketing. In the case of text messaging, the protocol requirement is for customers to opt in to an automated system by texting a reply or shortcode. Once the customer has opted in, text message specials or important product and service updates are welcomed.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Marketing – Visibility Marketing

When a person is looking online for something similar to fit their needs, they enter search terms in a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. If your website or page isn’t optimized for search engines, your page ranking may be so low that no one will find you – or you may not even show up at all! In order to be “found”, your website needs to be visible to all of the major search engines. The way you make this happen is by SEO marketing, which utilizes specific tools (such as keywords, link building, and relevant content, to name just a few) to increase visibility and elevate page ranking. At 1st Straw, we refer to SEO as “visibility marketing”, because every technique used is designed to make your website more visible to search engines. Improving your SEO marketing strategies will help get your business at the top of the search list instead of lost in all the other website links. Do this by thinking about what customers will search for instead of using typical words and phrases. The key to great SEO marketing is to think like a customer, and to create your keywords, build your links, and craft your content accordingly.

E-Mail Marketing

For many of us, our first thought at the words “email marketing” brings to mind the annoying “junk” or “spam” messages that land in our inbox each day. This is a prime example of email marketing done wrong. The purpose of email marketing is to maintain contact with your customers and prospects. Effectively done, it can be a powerful tool to generate more leads for your business.

You’ll want to design your email content to be compelling and relevant to your recipients. You can craft an online newsletter that’s distributed on a regular basis (e.g., monthly or semi-monthly). A successful email campaign has a clear objective, includes an “opt in” technique, and gets through the junk/spam filters so that it can actually be read. Be sure to use an email marketing provider that allows you to track your results so that you know who is opening your email and clicking through to your website or other links.

Internet marketing is a significant marketing channel that can reap measurable results. Use these strategies to step up your inbound marketing game and improve your online presence. The end result is more leads to convert into sales!

Free Online Marketing Solutions

Today, it is not just enough to have a web presence in the form of a professional website that gives details about your business. To get the best returns for your business, you will also need to play a huge role in marketing your business services or products. Fortunately, apart from opening business avenues, the internet has also brought in very good marketing solutions that any business can incorporate to reach out to the masses and the target audience. When you have the right tools, it is actually even possible to enjoy free online marketing.

Content marketing

It is marketing that is done by sharing media and content publishing to acquire customers. It can be done on a business blog where you make regular posts, photos, videos, case studies, infographics, podcasts and webinars among others. Content marketing focuses on customer, viewer or reader communication as compared to direct selling. When you make the right choices with your content marketing, you easily create business awareness and readers start considering the services or products that you have for them. It is also an approach that can fetch you direct sales when you have a good SEO strategy. WordPress is a great platform you can use to market your content for free.

Social media marketing

Let’s face it social platforms have become part of everyday living for millions of people. Social media marketing is a process used to gain web traffic or attention using the popular social sites. The fact that a large percent of internet users must access their social profiles helps business in passing their messages across fast and effectively. When it comes to social media marketing, there is the advantage of having your content shared across the board fast and easy hence you. When you have plenty of social activities around the brand you rank high and this works in promoting your business. There are very good tools you can use to get the most from your social media marketing efforts.

Search engine marketing

This kind of marketing focuses on main areas which are search engine optimization and pay per click. There are so many search engines that you can use to submit your website with a purpose to market it. With the right use of keywords and phrases, then your visibility is improved on the search engines and this ranks you higher. You can also get into PPC advertising programs where you get placement on search engines at a small fee for every click generated from the program.

Email marketing

This is marketing that is done via email and it has been around for years and even though it is not as popular as social media marketing is now, it still does work well for any business when it is executed carefully. Basically, this is where you make a product or service awareness through email. You can send product offers, customer newsletters and coupons to help them take advantage of what you have. An email marketing campaign that is packaged well can fetch you excellent results.