At Spearhead Multimedia, we’ve been doing email marketing for over 20 years and it continues to hold the top spot for marketing to your best salespeople, your very own customers.
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools for small businesses. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the United States.
This is because email marketing is easy to manage, gives you full control, and allows you to establish direct contact with your customers.
It’s important to understand that a lot of your success with email marketing depends entirely on the email marketing software you choose because they are responsible for making sure that your emails actually get delivered.
If you aren’t careful, then you will end up paying a lot more money for fewer features and terrible deliverability (which causes you to lose even more money).
A good email marketing service enables you to create highly engaging emails. It also allows you to manage your contacts, segment users into groups, and track the performance of your email campaigns.
Most importantly, a good email marketing service ensures that your emails do not end up in the spam folder.
We at Spearhead Multimedia recommend Constant Contact. We’ve been creating successful email campaigns for clients and ourselves since 1999. We have watched them respond to changing trends and customer’s needs. They are a top tier email marketing company and have one of the highest email success rates in the industry.
Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing services in the world. It is also the easiest to use and beginner friendly email marketing service.
You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, email templates, marketing calendar, and more. At Spearhead Multimedia, most of our clients have us help collect and sort their contacts, create branded emails and provide the reporting, all done through Constant Contact.
Your account provides access to easy tracking and reporting, built-in social media sharing tools, free image library, list segmentation, Facebook ads integration, and a powerful eCommerce integration for Shopify stores. We will set up automated opt-in forms on your website to help build your customer list.
Their Email Plus accounts also come with powerful features like email automation, surveys & polls, coupons, online donations, and subject line A/B testing to maximize your open rate.
Constant Contact offers unmatched support with live chat, phone calls, email, community support, and a vast library of helpful resources.
Aside from online training, they also offer in-person live seminars across the United States. This allows small businesses to quickly learn the basics of email marketing and start using it to grow their business like a pro.
For all the reasons above, we rate and exclusively use Constant Contact the best email marketing service for small businesses.
Constant Contact has a 60-day free trial (no credit card required). After that their pricing starts as low as $20/month.
Prepay six or 12 months and save up to 15%. Nonprofit organizations can prepay and save up to 30%.
We’re confident you’ll like Constant Contact Email Marketing. But if you don’t, and you decide to close your account within 30 days of signing up, they’ll refund 100% of your payment. View Terms & Conditions
Are you considering building an email list, but have some doubts about why it is needed? Many business owners and bloggers don’t realize the importance of building an email list when they’re first starting out. Most people usually change their mind when they see the impact email lists can have on someone else’s traffic and revenue. In this article, we will share the top reasons why building an email list is important (with real case studies). We will also show you how to start building your email list – step by step.
In this beginner’s guide, we will cover the following topics:
What is an email list?
Why building an email list is important
Social media vs email marketing
What marketing experts are saying about email marketing
What do you need to start building an email list
How to choose the best email marketing service
How to grow your email list and get more subscribers
Finding new list building strategies and resources
By the end of this article, you should have answers to all your questions about building an email list.
What is an Email List?
An email list is a special list of names and email addresses of people who gave you permission to send them updates and promotions from your business.
You can build your email list inside a marketing software and send bulk email notifications to everyone regarding your blog updates, online store, or other business services.
Why Building an Email List is Important?
According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the USA.
Because email subscribers joined your email list from your website and verified their identity by clicking on a link (double-optin), they are extremely interested in what you have to offer. This is why they are more likely to convert into paying customers.
In our business, email list gets 10 times higher conversions than social media campaigns.
We are partnered with GoZone Wifi to automatically optin your WiFi users and build your list.
This makes sense if you think about the reasons that make email an incredibly powerful communication channel:
1. Email is Personal
Email allows you to land into a user’s inbox. There is no ranking system limiting your reach. It is very direct and personal.
2. Email is Purposeful
To get updates from you, a user fills out a form to signup for your email list and confirm their email address. Someone doing this much work is obviously interested in hearing from you, and they are much more receptive to your message.
3. Email is Targeted
As we mentioned earlier, the user has already shown interest in your product or content. Since you already know what they like, you can deliver them highly relevant offers to get better results. This is called segmentation, and we will cover that later in the article.
4. You Own Your Email List
You do not own Facebook, Twitter, or Google. Your social media campaigns and SEO efforts can go to waste when these platforms change their policies. On the other hand, you own your email list, and it is not influenced by decisions of other businesses.
5. Email is One-on-One
People read email in the privacy of their inbox. The message is not on a public timeline or newsfeed. They can ask you questions directly in private with confidence. This helps build trust and connection.
6. More People Use Email Several Times a Day
You may have heard that Facebook has 1.4 billion and Twitter has 100 million daily active users. What you have may not have heard, is the number of people using Email every day.
Every internet user has at least one email account. Recent research conducted by Radicati found out that there 3.8 billion active email accounts. That’s half the population of Earth.
This is precisely why every smart business in the world has an email list.
Big name brands learned this lesson a long time ago, and that’s why they spend thousands of dollars on social media campaigns to get people to sign up for their email lists.
They understand that email marketing is the best long-term investment with a much higher return because people will continue to get their message at a very low cost for a longer period of time.
Social Media vs Email Marketing
Now you’re probably thinking, wait a minute. What about social media?
In fact, we have been asked several times isn’t email marketing kind of dead with social media taking over everything?
The best way to answer this question is to look at the information Twitter and Facebook ask you before you create an account:
Yup, it’s an email address.
These companies know that emails are the most direct and reliable way of getting in touch with their customers.
Even if you sign up using your phone number, they will keep asking for your email address to help you find friends, for password recovery options, and most importantly to send you targeted email messages.
Here is a view of the social tab in a typical Gmail user’s inbox.
All these emails are from big social media platforms, so they can engage you with the content on their platform and get you to visit their app or website again.
All social media platforms are building an email list because they are smart business owners. This helps their valuation when selling their business.
While social media is a great way to reach your audience, it’s important to keep in perspective the timely nature of social media platforms.
They come and go.
Not too long ago we had MySpace, FriendFeed, Google Buzz, Plurk and countless others. Most of them are either dead now or irrelevant.
Today we have Facebook and Twitter that are prominent, but not everyone enjoys these platform. Some people prefer Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc.
Basically, your users are all over the place on different platforms. But studies show that at least 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis.
We are not saying that social media is not important. It is, and you should explore every opportunity to reach your audience.
However, you should spend more time and effort into something that guarantees higher results.
What Experts are Saying About Building an Email List?
Don’t take just our word for it, listen to what all top marketing experts are saying about email marketing:
Out of all the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them.
– Neil Patel – Crazy Egg and QuickSprout
Getting an email address is the first critical step to figuring out who my reader is, and hopefully in the future, my customer of some sort.
– Joe Pulizzi – Founder Content Marketing Institute
If you’re not building an email list, you’re making a HUGE mistake.
– Derek Halpern – Founder Social Triggers
Email is the most predictable driver of growth and sales in our business. I prefer email marketing over all other traffic channels. – Syed Balkhi – Founder WPBeginner
Many expert marketers say their biggest mistake was not building an email list when they first started out.
With all the reasons above, we hope that you’re convinced that building an email list is important for all businesses.
Now you might be wondering, how do I build an email list?
This brings us to the next section.
What You Need to Start Building an Email List:
By now, you know why building an email list is so important, and why ignoring it can be a HUGE mistake.
So let’s take a look at what you need to start building your email list.
3 Things You Need to Build an Email List:
A website or blog.
An email marketing service.
High-converting opt-in forms
We can provide all three of these for you.
For the sake of this article, we will only be focusing on the last two items on the list. We’re going to assume you have a website. If you don’t, let’s talk.
Choosing the Best Email Marketing Service
There are tons of email marketing services out there. We recommend Constant Contact, hands down. Often times, beginners use a free company to save money, which is understandable. However, some of these free platforms are not the best. Why?
Some platforms mislabel themselves as “email marketing service” when in reality all they offer is free blog subscription via email. This allows your users to receive an email update every time you publish a new blog post.
But that’s not true email marketing. Here are some of the downsides of using a free blog notification service:
You can’t send out private email newsletters. To send an email, you will have to publish a new blog post, which means that the information you want to share will have to be publicly available first.
You can’t personalize the email message. It will be delivered in the same format often with no branding or personalization.
You can’t categorize subscribers by interests, demographics, or content type.
There is no reporting. You don’t know how many people got the email, what percentage of users opened it, and how many of them clicked on your links.
If you later tried to move to a paid service, your users will have to re-confirm their subscription. Many of them will not do it, and you will end up losing subscribers.
This is why we ALWAYS recommend using a professional email marketing service, like Constant Contact, right from the beginning.
Yes, they cost a little bit of money, but they are an investment in your business which pays huge returns.
The benefit of professional email marketing services are:
You can send private mass emails to your subscribers.
You can see subscriber activity and group your subscribers based on actions they take.
You can run A/B split tests to see which email subject line, content, and offers work best with your subscribers.
With reporting tools, you can see which country you have the most subscribers from. You can adjust your time zone preferences, and send emails at the right time.
Last, but definitely the most important, you can see the email addresses of all your subscribers.
There are hundreds of professional email marketing services available.
For small businesses, we recommend using Constant Contact because they are one of the largest email marketing services in the world.
They offer a 30-day free trial. This gives you plenty of time to set up and start seeing the results. At the end of 30 days, your email list would likely be paying for itself (cost $20 / month). Start your free trial.
Once you have signed up with Constant Contact, the next step is to add opt-in forms to your website to allow your users to subscribe.
Growing Your Email List and Getting More Subscribers
Did you know that more than 70% of visitors abandoning your website will never return? It’s true, just look in your Google Analytics and look at the percentage of new vs returning visitors.
That’s why you need to convert every website visitor into an email subscriber before they leave, so you can send them relevant messages to bring them back.
An average internet user spends just a few seconds looking at a website. This gives you very little time to engage them. If your email sign up forms are not noticeable, then users will leave without ever subscribing to your website.
The biggest mistake that we see beginners make is not strategically placing high-converting opt-in forms.
Constant Contact provides you with codes to embed in your theme, we handle that for you.
This is why we recommend our users to use OptinMonster. It is the most powerful conversion optimization software that helps you convert abandoning website visitors into subscribers and customers.
Instead of adding boring sign up forms to your sidebar, you can easily create high-converting opt-in forms like lightbox popups, floating header and footer bars, slide-in scroll boxes, fullscreen welcome mat, inline forms, and more.
But what makes OptinMonster really powerful is the behavior automation and personalization features. OptinMonster allows you to automatically show different opt-in forms based on where the user is coming from, which page they are visiting, and what they are doing on your website.
For example, the Exit-Intent® feature track your users’ mouse behavior and show them a targeted opt-in form at the precise moment they are about to leave. This helps you convert abandoning visitors into subscribers.
Nicolas Gagne, a small business owner, combined Constant Contact with a single exit-intent optin to grow his email list by 500%. This helped him triple his revenue from his online store (see the full case study).
Get started with OptinMonster today — Use the coupon WPB10 to get 10% off.
Note:OptinMonster was started by WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, because he wanted to get more email subscribers, faster. It helped us increase our email signups by 600%. Due to popular request, we released this tool for the public, and currently, it’s the most recommended lead generation software in the market.
List Building Strategies and Resources
Having the right tools is crucial, but knowing how to use them properly is what makes the most difference.
In your email marketing strategy, the most important thing you should plan out is segmentation.
What is email list segmentation?
Email list segmentation is the process of grouping your subscribers, so you can better personalize your emails based on interest.
It helps you get higher open rates and click-through rates. This definitive guide to email marketing has all the information you need to segment your email list like a pro.
If you want to start growing your email list quickly, we have a system that incorporates your wifi network to optin users coming into your brick and mortar business.
We can create your optin forms and place them on your website, blog and social network accounts.
Content Upgrades are the highest converting opt-in forms. It’s a technique where you offer bonus content at the end of your popular blog posts. These usually convert 5 times higher than a regular opt-in. Here are some content upgrade ideas that you should check out. We will work with you to help choose what’s best and set them up for you.
There are a lot of different ways to capture email leads, we can create lead captures using Optin Monster and Constant Contact.
It does not matter what kind of business you run, what kind of website you have, or what industry you are in.
If you have a website, and you want to turn your visitors into returning customers, then you need to get them in your email list.
We hope this article helped you understand why building an email list is important and helped you get started on the right foot.
A recent television commercial for Esurance introduces viewers to Beatrice, a gray-haired woman with oversized glasses and an unfashionable scarf who is identified as an “offline over-sharer.” Beatrice brags to two friends that she saves 15 percent in 15 minutes on her car insurance– as well as “a ton of time” posting her vacation photos on her “wall” rather than mailing them. She actually has taped snapshots all over her living room wall.
When one friend counters that she saves more than that in half that time (presumably from Esurance), Beatrice is miffed. “I unfriend you,” she blurts out. ” That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works,” groans her friend, before the narrator introduces Esurance and the company’s slogan: “Welcome to the modern world.” Get it? Though 28 million people over 55 already subscribe to Facebook and boomers buy twice as much online as younger adults, according to Forrester Research, cranky, befuddled Beatrice can’t fathom social media. Responding to complaints about the spot, Ellen Hall, a blogger for Esurance (which vows in its mission statement to make “people’s lives a little better– by valuing our customers”), wrote in a post that the ad’s intent “is to show that it can be difficult to keep pace with technology these days (no matter your age).”. Negative stereotypes. But the company’s underlying message is that your elders are idiots, so buy our product to be cool and not like them. The campaign amounts to a self-inflicted wound, given that consumers over 50 buy nearly five times as many new cars (which require insurance) than does the prized 18-to-34 demographic. Chuck Schroeder, 71, founder of Senior Creative People, a consulting firm that specializes in communicating with mature consumers, worries that many advertisers depict older adults as decrepit Luddites “still looking at their VCR flashing ’12,’ on and off.”. As an example, he cites Taco Bell’s new spokes-codgers, Harold and Lenny, who evoke Statler and Waldorf, the grumpy Muppets in the theater balcony. ” Today they’re eating Waffle Tacos, tomorrow they’re loitering,” warns Taco Bell’s schlubby pitchman. Of course, he sits on a park bench and wears a hearing aid. Meanwhile, attractive millennials eat “next-generation” breakfast sandwiches nearby. Restaurant industry analyst Technomic Inc. estimates that nearly 1 out of 5 of the fast food chain’s regular customers are 55 and older, but never mind them. Brainwashed by the culture. Taco Bell and Esurance are outliers; far more advertisers commit sins of omission, ignoring the 50-plus demographic. “Older people are kind of written off by advertisers, as if these people are not important and don’t buy anything,” says Dilip V. Jeste, associate dean for healthy aging and senior care at the University of California, San Diego. “It’s unfortunate that older people themselves buy into it.”. The 50-plus market that many advertisers ignore or insult is not big: It is enormous. According to a Nielsen study, by 2017 boomers will control 70 percent of the country’s disposable income. From 2007 to 2010– tough economic times– retirees were one of the few demographic groups to experience stable or rising incomes. Nearly 60 percent of homeowners over 65 are not weighed down by mortgages, compared with just 11 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds. And boomers account for 80 percent of America’s luxury travel spending. While boomers and the “greatest generation” watch more live television than younger viewers, many older adults unsurprisingly tune out ads; more than half of older adults surveyed by the advertising firm GlynnDevins do not believe ads portray them as “people to be respected.”. Paltry marketing budgets aimed at older consumers reinforce the perception that aging consumers lack value. The Nielsen study revealed that “less than 5 percent of advertising dollars” target adults ages 35 to 64, and cites age 49 as the “cut-off,” when many marketers stop courting customers. When boomers reached middle age, says Lori Bitter, president of The Business of Aging, a consulting firm in Alameda, Calif., advertisers decided “they weren’t relevant.”. Call it the Ponce de León Effect– the obsessive search for a fountain of youthful consumers. Bitter, who characterized the lack of respect for older buyers as “bizarre,” recently advised a major company in the packaged-goods industry. The company had copious data proving that its customer base is between 47 and 70. Nevertheless, Bitter’s client worried that targeting that market would make its brand look old. “We are a youth- and beauty-focused culture,” Bitter says. “We sort of culturally brainwash ourselves.”. Brazen ageism. Nearly two-thirds of companies, according to a 2005 survey, “had no specific plans for targeting boomers or 50-plus consumers in their product development, marketing or advertising.”. Aside from entrenched societal ageism, reasons for this include outdated assumptions that older consumers are cheap and so brand-loyal that they are immune to advertising. And many agencies have no place for older creative talents. In 2012, Ad Age asked Nancee Martin, director of talent for TBWA Worldwide, to assess job opportunities for older copywriters. She was dismissive. “There’s a commonly held conception that to be a creative, you need to know what’s hot, what music is cool, what website is all the rage– and with age you become less aware of those things.”. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median age of advertising employees is 39.3– about three years younger than all workers. But many creatives at big ad agencies feel career prospects waning by their mid-30s. Rob Baiocco, 50, cofounder of the Baiocco and Maldari Connection, recalls working on the coveted Captain Morgan rum account in his 30s while an executive creative director at Grey Advertising, but “then I got a little bit older. Some of the people that were looking at the brand probably thought, ‘You know, let’s get some younger guys.’” Baiocco sensed pressure and resigned the account. Big agencies, he says, often force out aging creatives or assign them “less sexy” accounts like pharmaceuticals. Boomers spend– and change brands. Agencies often associate success with award-winning spots that sway young people, says Bob Hoffman, author of 101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising. “Nobody in the advertising business and very few people in the marketing business ever built a career on successfully talking to 60-year-olds.”. Despite the youth worship at many ad agencies, Ken Dychtwald, CEO of the consulting firm Age Wave, believes many marketers live in the past. Lifetime brand loyalty “was once a reality, but now it’s just a myth,” he says. Previous generations often selected a brand between the ages of 15 and 25 and never switched. That became the target age for advertisers. But that has changed. A study in 2007 found that 70 percent of boomers would change home appliance brands and slightly more would switch clothing preferences. Brent Bouchez, 56, cofounder of the ad agency Bouchez Page, calls boomers “brand-promiscuous.”. A 2014 survey by Adroit Digital found most millennials had roughly the same level of brand loyalty as their parents. In fact, the survey found that 24 percent of respondents expressed more brand loyalty than their parents. Nielsen’s study, a collaboration with the ad agency BoomAgers, debunks the myth that older people are tightwads. Boomers, it says, “were born into a post-war culture of affluence and optimism.” With no firsthand experience of the Great Depression, boomers have always spent freely and are not stopping now. “Boomers make the most money and spend what they make,” concludes the study.
A tale of two vodkas. Some innovative companies, including Apple, understand that. Boomers account for 41 percent of people who buy Apple computers, notes Nielsen, and commercials for the iPad reflect this. Its campaign stars the device and a diverse supporting cast using it. “There was a baby and there was a 70-year-old man,” says Lori Bitter, pointing out an admirable strategy that “doesn’t disown anyone.” The message “is timeless and ageless.”. Older adults might want to be youthful, “but they don’t want to be like young people,” Bob Hoffman says. “People over 50 have their own idea about what being youthful is– and it’s not like being Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber.”. Brent Bouchez concurs. He offers two liquor ads as neat examples of strategies that attract or repel the more than 1 of 4 vodka drinkers over 55. Ketel One’s “Tonight” ad shows attractive twentysomethings at a party– plenty of carousing and bro hugs set to a rocking soundtrack. “Beautiful ad,” he allows. But older viewers, he bets, “don’t want to go to that party.”. Grey Goose, on the other hand, invited a broader range of consumers to its 60-second party. Its “Discerning Taste: Oysters” commercial is set on a sailboat. Close-ups show hedonistic vignettes– legs intertwined, massages, the cracking of lobster, the clinking of icy glasses. “You get glimpses of people; I can’t tell you how old they are,” Bouchez says. “The 50-year-old goes, ‘Man, that’s my life now,’ and the 25-year-old often says, ‘OK, that may not be my life, but I want to get there.’ You can target older and bring younger along. Whereas, if you target younger, you probably won’t bring older along.”. Several recent campaigns actually venerate aging. To celebrate Cole Haan’s birthday last year, the shoe company commissioned glamorous portraits featuring icons born in 1928, when the company was founded. Dodge followed suit to mark its 100th year in business, with an online commercial that offers snippets of unconventional wisdom from centenarians. The ad uses the tagline, “You learn a lot in 100 years.”. Swiffer’s sell. Chuck Schroeder of Senior Creative People praises the popular “Swiffer Effect” campaign, which follows a couple in their 90s, Lee and Morty Kaufman, as they clean their tidy Valley Stream, N.Y., house. The advertisers, says Schroeder, “are not making fun of Morty and his wife; they’re living with Morty and his wife.” A spokeswoman for Swiffer, Elizabeth Ming, says the ad resonates with Americans of all ages because many consumers “aspire” to have a similar loving, enduring relationship. Schroeder sees the Swiffer ad campaign as evidence that older consumers may be starting to get the respect they deserve. He predicts more companies will decide that “they have to sell stuff to the people who have the money to buy– and that is going to be the major overhaul in what we see.”.
From our marketing partner at: http://boomermediaagency.com