Email marketing is one of the most profitable strategies available to the online entrepreneur (and offline business owners, too).
Consider this: About 99% of your website visitors will leave without buying anything from you on their first visit. But by creating a great opt-in offer you can at least get their contact details – and then use email marketing to follow up, build relationships, and turn them into paying customers.
And email marketing is by far the BEST and CHEAPEST way to stay in touch with your customers and build rock-solid relationships with them – so they'll buy from you again and again! (This is called the "lifetime value" of your customers, and it's extremely profitable.)
Email marketing just plain works! Just take a look at these statistics from PostFuture:
- There are now more than 1 BILLION Internet users worldwide – and 90% of them use email.
- 70% of users receive opt-in email from online businesses.
- 82% of online buyers have made at least one purchase in response to an email promotion.
- 32% have made an immediate online purchase in response to an email.
With numbers like these, you can understand why I'm always amazed to hear about a business that STILL has not started to take advantage of email marketing strategies.
If you're stuck for ideas on how to use email marketing to ramp up your profits, here are 10 proven email marketing strategies to get you started …
Email marketing strategy # 1: Develop relationships and establish credibility by offering free information
Sending your subscribers valuable, free information – such as an author eBook – will help them get to know and trust you. Once you've established your credibility, you dramatically increase your chances of converting subscribers into lifelong customers.
You can offer anything from a free report to a free trial version of software … whatever you think your subscribers would like!
Email marketing strategy # 2: Encourage repeat visits by announcing regular specials
Once you've started collecting email addresses, you can send your customers and subscribers regular updates letting them know what your specials are. Sending regular discount offers is a great way to get your customers familiar with you and your site – and turn them into regulars who will buy from you again and again.
Email marketing strategy # 3: Host "Customer Only" events
Suppose you own a restaurant, and you've been collecting your customers' email addresses. You could send each of them an email invitation to an exclusive wine-tasting evening for regular diners only. Rewards like this are one of the best ways to capitalize on the lifetime value of your customers.
If you own an online business, you can set up a special page on your site that is accessible only to customers – and then send them an email telling them how to take advantage of the specials you advertise on that page.
Email marketing strategy # 4: Include promotions in appointment reminders
If you are running a service business, as opposed to a retail business, you can still capitalize on the power of email marketing by sending appointment reminders to your clients.
If you're a karate teacher, for example, you could send your new clients an email three days before their first lesson, reminding them where you are located and when they need to arrive. In that same message, you could include a coupon that offers them 25% off their lessons if they bring a friend to enroll as well!
Email marketing strategy # 5: Follow up with your hottest leads
You can use email to follow up with people you have spoken with personally, but who have not made a purchase. Offer to answer any additional questions they may have, and let them know that you are available to speak with them at their convenience. This can dramatically increase your chances of closing a sale by providing your leads with extra information they're not expecting.
Email marketing strategy # 6: Offer electronic "loyalty coupons"
This is a great way to get your existing customers to buy from you again and again. Simply send each of your customers a coupon that they can print and bring with them into your store or use on your website. It is always a good idea to make your coupons valid for a limited time only to motivate your customers to make a purchase from you as soon as possible.
Email marketing strategy # 7: Send follow-up offers to your customers
Follow-up offers are one of the most powerful ways to build a profitable business. Because they build on the trust you've established to close the initial sale – and turn first-time Buyers into regular customers.
How profitable can follow-up email be? My team once sent our customers a follow-up email introducing them to a product that we thought they might like. The entire process of writing the email and sending it out took about 20 minutes – and the result was a direct profit of $ 74,000!
Email marketing strategy # 8: Encourage "Send to a Friend" referrals
Email is a great way to encourage referrals because it's easy for people to forward messages to their families, friends, and coworkers. Make sure every newsletter, offer, or eBook you send to your subscribers reminds them that they can forward your message to anyone they think might be interested.
You could even run a promotion that gives your existing customers something for free every time they personally refer a new customer to you.
Email marketing strategy # 9: Deliver your product electronically
Suppose you've written a book and you're currently selling paperback copies through your site for $ 29 each. By creating a digital version of your book – which is WAY easier than you're probably thinking – you can simply email it to your customers.
And since you will not have to worry about things like printing costs, warehousing, packaging, and delivery, you can DRAMATICALLY increase your profit margin!
Email marketing strategy # 10: Use email to sell your knowledge and create recurring revenue
If you are an expert on a particular topic – and just about everyone is – then you've got a successful business based on a paid-subscription newsletter waiting to be born.
Of course there are tons of other email marketing strategies you can put to use. And once you realize just how easy it is to use it to drive sales, you'll be thinking of all kinds of new strategies yourself!