We recently received an email from a subscriber who was asking us why we thought email marketing was still worth doing, outside of the B2B space, because most people he knew weren’t bothering to read their emails (I’m paraphrasing… and I do see the irony that this question was asked via email).
This question really got us thinking and I decided it would probably be most helpful if we created a blog post and answered:
Why we think email marketing is the most important marketing channel in your business.
I’d say it’s safe to say that I’m an email “convert.”
From the day I started my business in 2008, I knew I was supposed to grow my email list. I just didn’t know what I was supposed to do with that list (beyond sending emails). The how, what, and, most importantly, why completely eluded me. Regardless of my ignorance, I added an opt-in box to my site to capture names and email addresses in exchange for a lead magnet (we’ll address this further on… so many lead magnets, so little time).
After who knows how many years I had built up an email list of subscribers who expected free content from me and many times, were offended when I finally did make an offer (note: those people will probably never buy from you. Be thankful when they unsubscribe). Eventually, I removed those subscribers. What did I do with the remainder of that list?
I started emailing.
As in, almost daily.
That’s what I called my email marketing at the time. My “almost daily” emails. I had been following a marketer who sent daily emails for over a year. His business model was simple: send a daily email promoting his premium newsletter (a physical newsletter)…Every. Single. Day.
Sometimes he offered a course or a book he had written, but every day he sent out an email with one call to action.
When I started this process, I had one goal: simply to stick with it and get better at writing emails.
Initially, it was crickets…
But within a month, I was getting responses to my emails (people loved them), and things were starting to happen. By month 3, I had tripled sales for an affiliate product I used and recommended.
Recently, I sent an email and generated sales of over 10,000.
With three emails.
Needless to say, email marketing works.
At one time or another, you’ve probably heard someone say, “email marketing is dead.”
In fact, you’ve probably heard or read that every type of marketing is dead at one time or another (whether it’s email, webinars, blog posts, specific platforms, etc.).
I once did a live stream titled “Nothing is dead, and everything works.”
Because it’s true.
Most marketing strategies and platforms work when you are consistent, test things, engage, and stick with it (and by stick with it, I mean longer than a few months. At least a year is probably a good length of time to determine if something has the potential).
Why You Should Focus on Email Marketing
Your email list is an asset.
That’s not to say that you don’t treat the people on your list like people, but a database of engaged subscribers is an asset. Especially when you know how to sell them solutions to their problems because you’ve developed a relationship with them.
Email is one of the marketing channels that allows you to track quite a bit of data that allows you to improve what you send when you send it, and how you send it (newsletter? broadcast email? sequence?).
How about a 27 million dollar payday?
That’s the “estimated” sale price that the newsletter, The Hustle, was purchased for from HubSpot (is estimated at that price point because the final sale price was never published).
The Hustle was very deliberate in how it grew, keeping its list “clean” (removing bad emails, unengaged subscribers, etc.) and building its own custom referral program.
The point in sharing this is that The Hustle is a newsletter.
Sent via email.
Don’t tell me email marketing doesn’t work.
How to do email marketing
I thought about being a bit of a smart ass here and leaving that as the complete answer because there is no shortage of free or paid courses on email marketing, strategy, copy, subject lines, and training.
However, nothing will get you results faster than jumping in and doing it.
I would start by paying attention to the types of emails YOU open and read.
Don’t overthink this… you’re a human being. Pay attention to how those emails make you feel.
If you haven’t been emailing your list (or are just getting started), treat your email list the same way you would treat someone new you just met. You’d get to know them.
You’d ease into things.
The basics of starting email marketing are to have a lead magnet (something you offer for free in exchange for a name and email address) with a follow-up sequence that delivers the lead magnet and starts the relationship-building process.
Again, don’t overthink this.
You do not need a massive follow-up sequence with conditional logic (if they do this, then do that). All of that is going to be completely overwhelming if you’re not doing anything at all now, OR you’re just getting started.
Talk (er, write), to your subscribers the way you would want to be talked to.
My two favorite types of emails are broadcast emails (a story-style email with one call-to-action) and a newsletter. If that’s all you ever did, you’d be further along than most (and making more sales).
If you have an e-commerce business, putting time and attention into your purchase follow-up sequences can greatly impact your bottom line (this is true for digital products as well).
We make money every single month with our follow-up sequences (abandoned carts, upsells, one-time coupons, etc.). We created these when we launched the Content Creators Planner, and then we revisited them and re-wrote them a year and a half later.
Better copy, better conversions.
If I haven’t convinced you that email marketing is the most important marketing channel in your business, maybe Hubspot can. This list is from their post, “The Ultimate List of Email Marketing Stats for 2020.”
And on that note… I need to go finish the Creativity Published Newsletter.