Q. Does email marketing still work? 

A. Hell yes!

I recently listened to an interview with Copywriter and Marketing Consultant, Ray Edwards, on the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast with Amy Porterfield and was particularly impressed with Ray’s views on the importance of email marketing and good copywriting skills for businesses. I have provided a summary of the discussion below, incorporating my views on the subject.

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Why does Email Marketing Still Work?

Does Email Marketing Still Work?Effective use of email marketing, used in conjunction with social media, builds brand awareness, drives traffic to your website, builds community and increases profits.

Building a nurtured email subscriber list gives you a “push button” audience for your content to reach and to sell your products and services to. However, it’s not just a case of giving away loads of free content and people automatically buy. The content that you email to your audience needs to progress your Subscribers further along your conversion funnel toward a purchasing decision.

What Is The Secret To Making Email Marketing Work For Your Business?

The secret to being able to make email marketing work for your business is good copywriting skills!

The level of impact and subsequent revenue that you will be able to achieve through email marketing is directly tied to your ability write good copy and as a result, great email copy will contribute to the success of your business.

What Is Copywriting?

Copywriting is writing copy for the purpose of marketing or advertising.

Copywriting is all about writing words that persuade people to do something. Businesses use persuasive copy to influence people to buy something from them. The most effective persuasive copy is written in a very conversational and informal way, as we would speak, just cleaned up a little to leave out the ums and ahs.

Being able to write great persuasive copy that adds value to your audience is a skill that takes time, but it is not outside the potential of most people, regardless of whether or not you aced English Literature at school. The good news is that it is a skill that with practice you will be able to refine and get better at over time.

How Much Promotional Content Should I Include In My Email Marketing?

Ray stressed that you need to make sure that your email marketing includes both a value adding and a promotional component. Put another way, your promotional content and content that adds value should not be two different things. Instead, they should be incorporated together within the emails that you send. You don’t want to train your audience to see a difference, otherwise they will switch off whenever they recognise an email from you as promotional and you won’t receive the same level of success in your email marketing.

You can achieve this by including at least one link to valuable content in every email that you send. This will train your readers to expect a link in every email they receive from you and know that whenever they click on a link in one of your emails, they will be rewarded by receiving value.

This will assist you in building your affinity with your audience, which in turn makes them more inclined to click on links that lead to what you are trying to promote to your audience.

I suggest that a minimum of 80% of your email content should be value adding to your audience and a maximum of 20% of your content should be promotional. That means that 80% of the content should educate, entertain or inspire your audience and 20% should be aimed at convincing them to do something that is directly related to the content you have just provided, usually by promoting something you have to offer.

How Much Value Should I Give Away In My Email Marketing?

Your best marketing is your best material, so don’t hold anything back and don’t be afraid to give away your best stuff. For example, you could provide a complete outline of how to do something that is written in such as way that anyone that is smart enough and motivated can take what they have learned and do it straight away.

Ray believes that “people don’t want information, they want transformation” and if the content you provide them with is good and something they have benefited from, they will seek you out to take those lessons learned to the next level as they will realise that they could probably get it done quicker and easier if they had you to help them through the details rather than having to figure it all out themselves.

Therefore the content you share should include really meaty useful information that your audience can either use straight away or something they can picture themselves using, getting an immediate benefit. According to Ray, our brain doesn’t seem to be able to differentiate between and actual experience and a vividly imagined experience, so if you can help your audience vividly imagine what you recommend and getting the benefit from your content, they feel that they have already benefited from it, so their emotional state at that moment reflects the fact that you have just helped them and they are then more open to hear what you have to say about whatever it is you wish to promote to them, because they already know that you will help them.

How Do I Nurture My Email Subscribers Toward The Point Of Purchase?

Whenever you get new email leads, whether it is via a lead magnet opt-in or something else, your need to be ready to nurture those leads immediately. This means either placing them within an email auto-responder sequence or adding them to your regular value adding emails that you send, such as the weekly or monthly update that you send to your subscriber list.

You may add them to both or set up your sequence so that they only get your auto-responder sequence initially that is specific to whatever they opted in for, with them being added to your general list afterward. You can achieve this by automating your systems so that they won’t be tagged to receive your regular updates until once they have completed the initial sequence. This approach can assist in converting your new leads quicker, whilst at the same time preventing your subscribers from getting too many emails from you initially.

emailBy placing them into a targeted auto-responder sequence once someone opts-in to one of your lead magnet opt-ins, you can ensure that you focus on delivering pure value initially, without pressuring your newly found prospects into buying. This approach will assist you in developing affinity and trust. Just make sure that you are still including links in these initial emails so that you can start training your audience to expect value when they click on a link from you.

After a period of delivering pure value, you can then start to promote an opportunity for your audience to do business with you via an additional series of emails that provide both value, as well as a promotional opportunity using the 80/20 balance. Remember to make those emails about them, rather than about you and your offer.

If people don’t purchase from you via your first email sequence, that’s fine. They just aren’t ready at present. That doesn’t mean that they won’t purchase from you in future or refer you to their friends. You will continue to nurture that relationship by delivering them with value-add content on a regular basis that is aimed at moving them further along your conversion funnel.

If you wish to get even more stealth in your use of email marketing and your system allows for it, you can also tag the actions people take within the emails you send them, such as which links they click on, to determine their level of interest in the various products or services you have to offer and then use that information to place them into another auto-responder sequence down the track that promotes either the same or another opportunity.

Remember, it’s no use building an email subscriber list if you don’t put systems in place to promote to that audience and the more targeted you can make those opportunities using the data provided to you via your email marketing system, the better.

How Can I Learn More About Using Email Marketing More Effectively In Conjunction With Social Media?

You can take what you have learned here and take action straight away to more effectively nurture your email Subscribers to the the point of purchase. However, if you would like more help from me directly in a more in depth way, then you can sign up to the Social Media Success online training program, where we have dedicated a full module on how you can harness the power of email marketing in your social media strategy. This includes:

  • Investigating which email marketing system is best for your business,
  • Incorporating lead magnet opt-ins for your email subscriber list,
  • Developing strategies for promoting your lead magnet opt-ins, and
  • Strategies for developing lead nurturing email sequences.

Sign up to the Social Media Success online training program to start learning how to gain more success from your social media and email marketing straight away!