Email Marketing

girl feeling sad that she has no website traffic

Launch4Life writes about a variety of topics to help small businesses better market their products and services. This collection of posts fall under the category of EMAIL MARKETING.


Is Email List Building Still Relevant?

Is Email List Building Still Relevant?

man using email

You may be wondering if email list building is still an effective marketing strategy to reach your target market? The short answer is yes.

In March 2018, the Radicati Group estimated the number of email accounts worldwide to be 3.8 billion. Even more interesting is the number of consumer and business emails sent per day is more than 281 billion. Wow! That sure is a lot of email.

Smart Phones Rock

No matter the age of your target market, email marketing is still the best method to stay in touch with your customers. Of particular interest, is the increase in mobile users. Of the 1 billion Gmail users, 75% of them are now using smart phones to check their email inbox.

Business professionals can no longer afford to ignore mobile email marketing. If you are not formatting your emails to look good on a smart phone, you are making a big mistake. If your email subscribers have difficulty reading your emails – they will just hit the DELETE button.

Which email would you rather read?

Always remember to check how your
font size displays on mobile.

Email Marketing vs Social Media

You may be wondering how email compares to social media? It turns out that most people consider email to be more important. While you can go a few days without checking Facebook or Twitter, most people are checking their email inbox several times a day.

Did you know recently that Google pulled the plug on Google+, a direct competitor to Facebook? As a result of a security breach, the folks at Google decided it was easier to dump the not so popular platform. For anyone who had developed a large social following, in one fell swoop they will lose a means of communicating with their audience.

This is why we always say that social media platforms are like building a house on rented land. Your access to that audience is only possible as long the platform exists.

The best feature of email marketing is that regardless of which program you use, you own your list of subscribers. You can take that list of contacts and export from one program and import it to another.

Don’t Resist the List

When we first launched our business, we did so much homework. We met with business coaches, devised a marketing plan, completed entrepreneurial courses, attended various marketing workshops and seminars, participated in countless webinars, and read a ton of books.

We learned that building an email list of all your existing and prospective customers is critical to building your business. Sounds like great advice, but who had time for that? Not us.

Instead, we focused all of our time on building the infrastructure of our business. There was so much to do when we were launching. Incorporate our business. Set up a bank account. Build a website. Set up social media platforms. Create all the products and services we planned to market.

Once we realized that resisting the list was hurting our marketing efforts, we called a major timeout. Instead of resisting the list – we embraced the list. We learned all about the different email marketing programs out there to determine which one worked best for us. While I am glad that we finally made the decision to bite the bullet and learn all about email marketing, I just wish we had started earlier.

Building your list should be at the top of your To Do list. Instead of focusing on WHAT products or services you are going to package/sell, it’s better to think about WHO you want to sell to and HOW you’ll communicate with them on a consistent basis. Set a goal to learn the basics of email marketing first and then follow up with a plan on how email marketing can work for you.

For anyone that has already launched your business, it’s imperative to know it’s never too late to build an email list. Start today, right where you are. The important thing is to just – start.

If you’d like some tips on how to build an email list, I encourage you to check out: How To Create a Killer Email List From Thin Air. In this beginner’s guide, internet marketing guru, Neil Patel, provides tips on how to build your email list from scratch.

Launch4Life - Gillian Whitney

By Gillian Whitney

Communications Consultant

Launch4Life

gillian@launch4life.com

Stop Spamming with Your Email List

Stop Spamming with Your Email List

 

If I go to a networking event and collect a bunch of business cards, can I add them manually to my email marketing program? Maybe. It depends on the circumstances. If you asked them if you could put them on your list, YES you may. Ask them to write “yes to email” on the card so you have evidence. If you didn’t ask or you didn’t hear an explicit yes, then NO you may not add them to your email list. Here is the question I am asked a lot, “Surely it is ok to add these people if I have an “unsubscribe” button on the bottom of my email, right?” Not so fast. The front end subscribe is as important or even more important than the unsubscribe button at the back end. Email subscribers must be permission based.

Many people argue that it is ok to add the names now, beg for forgiveness later if they get caught. Doing it the right way from the get go, not only keeps you out of trouble from violating your email program’s terms and conditions, it keeps you out of trouble with the CAN SPAM and CASL laws, and it is the best way to grow your list. The people on it should be the people who are interested in hearing from you. People who want to learn from you. People who will probably buy your products or services down the road, or at the very least refer you to other potential buyers. Your email list should be permission based. So why jeopardize it with subscribers who didn’t give you permission to be added to your list. Some email providers do offer exceptions with the “permission based”.  Some will allow you to add people that are called “implied consent”.  These would be people that you have as customers.  It is ok to add them to your email list, for casual email blasts but I wouldn’t add them to a newsletter list. If they didn’t sign up for the newsletter they may unsubscribe. Besides, why would you want someone on your list that doesn’t want to be.

If you ignore the terms and conditions and you end up with a lot of unsubscribes or accused of SPAMMING, you may get questioned by your email provider and are at risk of having your program suspended or cancelled. In case you are one of those people who are skeptics and would argue I am wrong, I have added a few links at the bottom of this article to add credibility to my advice. Grow it right and your email list will give you golden opportunities to share your message and drive sales.

Hey look, I know it is hard to build that list. You have made the wise decision to have an email program and you want to grow that list. This news is frustrating. I don’t want to have this blog be all about gloom and doom. Below are some tips to help grow the list, the right way.

Ways to get people to subscribe to your list.

 

  1. If you are a guest speaker at an event, pass around a sheet that clearly asks, “Would you like me to stay in touch, join my email list”.  Have the meeting and date at the top of the sheet. They can add their names. Totally voluntary. You have clear evidence that they gave you permission.
  2. Add a subscribe button to your website. Add a subscribe button to your Facebook Business Page. Blog articles or Ads, or Social Media posts can encourage people to subscribe to your list.
  3. Put a subscribe button on your tablet or mobile phone. When you are at meetings you can suggest they subscribe. Hand them your tablet or mobile, so they can sign up right on the spot.
  4. You got those business cards. Send them a personal email reminding them how they met you and invite them to join your list and have a link in the email for them to sign up. That is not spamming. By the way, great place to let them know about your “lead magnet”.

Links to learn how to keep you business email program out of trouble. Know your audience and what is expected of you.  Forewarned is forearmed.

 

Save these links for later reference.

 

Definition of SPAM: https://www.spamhaus.org/consumer/definition/

Here is iContacts SPAM policy: https://www.icontact.com/legal/anti-spam-policy

Here is Constant Contacts SPAM Policy: https://www.constantcontact.com/legal/anti-spam

Here is Infusionsoft’s SPAM policy: https://www.infusionsoft.com/legal/aup

Here is MailChimp’s SPAM policy:  https://kb.mailchimp.com/accounts/compliance-tips/the-importance-of-permission AND https://kb.mailchimp.com/accounts/compliance-tips/terms-of-use-and-anti-spam-requirements 

NOTE:  Both Infusionsoft and MailChimp takes SPAM so seriously that they are already adhering to CASL (Canada’s Laws) and require you ALWAYS have EXPLICIT permission and proof. By the way, new rules are coming out for dealing with Europe. Important to know if you have International Clients.

Regarding Governing Agencies: 

CAN-SPAM ACT (USA)

 https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/statutes/controlling-assault-non-solicited-pornography-marketing-act-2003-can-spam-act

FCC (USA)

Regulations about mobile communications (texting and SPAM) that are now also extending to regulations on commercial email:  https://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/canspam.pdf

CASL (Canada)

https://kb.mailchimp.com/accounts/compliance-tips/about-the-canada-anti-spam-law-casl

NOTE: CASL also applies to Americans who send emails to Canadians – law permits only EXPLICIT permission based emails.

 

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist

Launch4Life

janet@launch4life.com

Don’t Resist the List: Why Email Marketing Is Critical

Don’t Resist the List: Why Email Marketing Is Critical

Before Launch4Life first launched we did our homework.  We met with business coaches, devised a marketing plan, completed entrepreneurial courses, attended various marketing workshops and seminars, participated in countless webinars, and read a ton of books. One thing we repeatedly learned was the directive – “Thou Shalt Build a List”.  More specifically, we learned that building an email list of all your existing and prospective customers is critical to building a business.

Sounds like great advice, but who had time for that?  Not us.  After all, we needed to focus all our time on building the infrastructure of our business. There was so much to do when we were launching.  Incorporate our business.  Set up a bank account.  Build a website.  Set up social media platforms.  Create all the products and services we planned to market.  And if that wasn’t enough, there were all the computer programs we needed to learn to support our business.  Just connecting our Google Calendar with an online payment program was enough to give us a week-long migraine!  So the idea of building a list was destined to remain at the bottom of our To Do pile.

Unfortunately, we soon discovered that it does not pay to resist the list.  Unlike in the Kevin Costner film, “Field of Dreams” where we hear “If You Build It, They Will Come”, in the business world that’s not always true.  When you launch a business without a list – they won’t automatically come – because you failed to implement the best way to get the word out.

Just like us, too many business professionals waste time – resisting the list.  They build their business only to discover they don’t have a reliable system in place for communicating with customers.  Despite the popularity of social media to market your business, an email list is still the most reliable method to engage with your contacts on an ongoing basis.

Here’s why building a list is so important. Say you have tons of business cards you’ve collected of potential prospects, if you don’t have an email marketing system to add them to, those contacts are worthless.  And, when you begin to learn how to effectively participate in email marketing, you will soon discover there are rules in place that could get your business into hot water.  There is a fine line between sending out bulk emails and spamming customers.  Most importantly, the standard email programs that most of us use for business, such as Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo, are not appropriate for mass correspondence.

Once we realized that resisting the list was hurting our marketing efforts, we called a major timeout.  Instead of resisting the list – we embraced the list.  We learned all about the different email marketing programs out there to determine which one worked best for us.  While I am glad that we finally made the decision to bite the bullet and learn all about email marketing, I just wish we had started earlier.

If I could go back in my time machine I would heed the advice – building a list is critical in launching your business.  I now believe building your list should be at the top of your To Do list.  Instead of focusing on WHAT products or services you are going to package/sell, it might be better to think about WHO you want to sell to and HOW you’ll communicate with them on a consistent basis.  Set a goal to learn the basics of email marketing first and then follow up with a plan on how email marketing can work for you.

For anyone that has already launched your business, it’s imperative to know that it’s never too late to build a list.  You can start today.  So don’t resist the list.  Instead, just start where you are right now and begin.

If you find you need help building your email list, know that the Launch4Life team can help.  Whether you’re in need of an overview on how to get started, need to formulate an entire email marketing strategy, or just need advice on the various email providers, reach out to us for help.

We can provide you with a free 30 minute coaching session to help you get started.

By Gillian Whitney

Communications Consultant

Launch4Life

gillian@launch4life.com

©2019 LAUNCH4LIFE