E-mail marketing is one of numerous options (videos, articles, blogging, social media) to get started marketing online. The appeal of email marketing is that the content creation requirement is much lower than for blogging, articles or videos. A catchy title, and clear value proposition and a call to action and email marketing begins generating traffic to your website. How to write good email copy is beyond the scope of this post. Here we consider the question… who do I send my emails to?
Number one – Do not spam. Always send your messages only to people who have opted-into the list and make it clear how to unsubscribe. So where does that leave the brand new person with no opt-in list to send to?
Fortunately there are several existing lists with tens of thousands of subscribers that you can start emailing (with permission) as early as today. Three of these are found at ListJoe.com, ViralHosts.com and ViralURL.com. The rest of this article gives you an introduction to what to expect and how to maximize your return from these services.
First, set up a SEPARATE, email account to use with either Viral URL, Viral Hosts or List Joe. In order to send email to their lists of tens of thousands of subscribers, you have to agree to receive about 30-50 emails per day yourself. You don’t want all these messages mixed with your personal mail. The email you set up can be a free email from Gmail or an email account associated with your domain name. For example, if your main email address is andreakropp @ thisismydomain.com then you could set up andrea.kropp@thisismydomain or andrea-kropp @ thisismydomain.com. Take the 10 minutes to set up a separate email address or you will hate yourself later.
ListJoe, Viral Hosts and Viral URL are free to use, but you’ll get the best return on your time if you accept the one-time offer to upgrade your account. As a free member you have to click on other people’s emails to earn credits to be able to send your own message. Clicking on other people’s messages is a great way to study ad copy and capture pages, but you don’t want to be forced to do it. The upgrade offer was $97 per year when I did it. It is only presented to you at this price once, so decide from this post whether you intend to do it or not. With an upgraded membership you can send 3,000 emails every 3 days and you don’t have to read anybody else’s. (Again, I encourage you to study the ad copy and landing pages among what you receive, but who wants to spend half a day clicking for credits?)
Built into the systems are analytic packages that allow you to A/B test different messages. This is a great way to control for the time of day your message is sent. If you queue 3000 messages you can split those 1500/1500. When you come back a few days later the system will report how many opens each of your versions had so you can determine which is better. You should only test one of three things at a time – subject, body and link URL. The science of A/B testing is a whole series of posts itself.
Another nice feature is that the system will save your past messages. If you write a winner you can simply log in every three days and send that winner over and over with about 10 minutes of effort. They’ll even send you a reminder message when it’s time to email again.
It is important to understand that the open rates for Viral URL, Viral Hosts and List Joe are higher than traditional email marketing because of the incentive to earn credits. These companies correctly advertise high delivery rates and high click-through rates (CTR). You just need to understand that many people are clicking on the link in your message just to get credits for themselves. For this reason having a video that starts playing automatically is probably the best way to capture the attention of someone who was just clicking for credits.
Depending on the quality of your email copy and the quality of your landing pages you can expect about 2 to 5 opt-ins per 3000 emails sent. (This is based on my personal experience so I encourage you to try to do better!) At an average of 3 people per mailing every 3 days across the year that amounts to 3* 365/3 = 365 leads. The $97 dollars is well worth it when you can generate leads at 97/365 = 27 cents each. No pay-per-click campaign will ever be that cheap. And, you’ll learn an awful lot about what ad copy and what capture pages are effective should you want to engage in pay-per-click later. That’s it for this getting started article.