There are many people within the online world that are really missing out because they are not implementing email marketing within their business. There are also a lot of people that are doing it incorrectly, and another batch of marketers that are simply over investing their energies into email marketing campaigns without having an adequate base of website visitors for it to make sense.
Email marketing has a time and a place in your business, and to truly achieve the best results you need to understand where it fits into your current business.
In this post I am going to be walking you through the top email marketing trends of 2018 and hopefully help you decide where you should be putting your focus, if at all, within the email marketing world.
Importance of Email Marketing to ALL Business
The value of an email marketing campaign is that it allows you to connect with a particular audience over and over again.
Let's think about it in the context of the offline world. If someone comes into your store, and they leave without buying something, you never have the opportunity to connect with these people again. You also have no opportunity to market products to them they were interested in or looking at, and offer valuable or useful information.
By collecting their email address, it gives you the capability to reach out and connect with your audience potentially forever. Notice how I said "potentially". If you don't treat them well, you are not going to be able to capture their attention. People get a TON of email every day and if you are just another "spammer" that is constantly shoving promotions in their face, then you are not going to reap the rewards of having an "email list" in the first place.
For those of you that are new to the Email Marketing space, this is what the fundamental process of email marketing looks like in the context of affiliate marketing.
1. Person Visits Your Website
2. Person Joins Offer in Exchange for Email
3. You Have the Capability to Email This Person and Promote & Build Relationship
4. You Can Potentially Sell & Earn for Lifetime of this Person
That is the process, in a very much simplified form. But the more complex you make things, as with anything in the online business world, typically the less success you will achieve (as you will be in a constant state of overwhelm).
The key to success with any audience, in particular with an email list, is building trust. That is what I would like to discuss next.
Trust is Your First Focus, But How Do You Build That?
Your first focus with your business and your email marketing campaigns in 2018 is trust. Without trust it is impossible to truly have a long-term and engaging in relationship with your list, and without that long-term relationship you are going to generate far less revenue.
There is an old cliché that, it is 6 times easier to keep an existing customer than it is to create a brand new customer. The same goes for email marketing. If you have someones trust, it is much easier to recommend another product and service to that person and generate additional revenue. A single person on your email list through time could equate to $1,000's in revenue....if you treat them well.
The beautiful thing about email marketing is that you have this ongoing contact and communication with your subscribers. These people are HUMANS though, they will respect you if you respect them. Never lose sight of the human element within the online world, sometimes it is easy to forget and to turn your business into a process. Don't.
The best way to gain the respect is to offer value over and over again on ratio of 3:1 minimum. By this I mean, you should be offering at least 3 times the value to your audience for every time you consider promoting anything to them. So every promotional email should be preceded by at least 3 value only emails.
If you do offer this level of value, any product or service you recommend will come across as a "friend" recommendation. They will trust you and your opinion and will buy at a very high rate through your recommendations as a result.
Remember that trust is very easy to break. It can take years to build trust, but in one event you can break all of it. You never want to attempt to take advantage or "sell out" your audience by recommending something that you don't fully believe in. It will not only be obvious, but if people get screwed over as a result of this then you are going to feel the adverse impact on your brand and your bottom line.
Treat every email you send like it will be your last. If you don't, it may be the last email many on your list ever get from you (as they will unsubscribe).
Don't Get Fooled into The "Funnel First Strategy"
There's a lot of misinformation out there in the email space these days. This surrounds the idea of funnels and people are conflating what these really are. People, in particular newbies, view a "funnel" differently than what it really is, email marketing.
There are all sorts of high ticket courses, expensive funnel software programs, and people pushing the idea of "funnel first" (before traffic), and that is a completely backwards approach. You want to take the complete opposite approach. You want to build "traffic first" and then work the other way around.
The funnel first strategy can definitely work but with one big clause. You have to know your niche inside and out. You need to know what sort of traffic converts and you should have a lot of experience with email marketing first before you go funnel first within any niche.
Unfortunately, some people are buying funnel software (usually anywhere from $99 to $249 per month), then you are required to get an autoresponder (to manage email) on top of this which will run you anywhere form $20-$100 per month depending on the service.
Then you are required to someone get traffic. The first place they go, Facebook Ads. Well this may have been a good strategy several years ago when FB ads had very little competition, but you can expect traffic costs to be much higher than they have ever been.
Expect the cost per click to be around $0.50, so for $100 you are going to get around 20 unique visitors to your website where you will need to recoup those costs in order just to break even.
They don't understand their audience, they don't comprehend email marketing, and they certainly are not equipped with the proper foundation to build a sustainable business. Because of this, MOST people that head the funnel first strategy end up losing a great deal of money (typically $1,000's).
And forget about Google Adwords or Bing Ads. They do not allow "funnel software" landing pages, they will simply disapprove any ads that link to pages built using these types of software and if it is a recurring issue they will suspend your account. Not good.
So, establish a brand. Which is establishing a long term business and as you start to scale your traffic, integrate a game plan for email marketing. You can leverage many of the autoresponder platforms (which allow you to create squeeze pages on your site) for less than $50 per month when you are ready.
That is the ideal approach. Once you have conversion data and truly comprehend your niche, you can get crafty and start testing "funnel second" strategies. If you are new to the online world you can expect to shell out several $1,000's (and likely lose all of it) to the monthly software fees and advertising spend.
Data Segmentation is Going to Continue to Improve
All email subscribers are not equal and they should not be treated the same. There are many action-based software tools out there that you can leverage to segment your lists based on the behaviours of your email list. Many of the top autoresponders are really focusing on the simplification of this segmentation and building it directly into their services.
For example, here are some common "list segmentations" that are very useful in streamlining your marketing and sales processes.
- On click, add to new list
- On purchase of an item, add to new list
- On view of a particular page, add to a different list
- On actionable behaviour add to a different list
Actions and behaviours can be ways to organize your customers and your email list so that you can personalize and offer them a much more relevant and customized experience. Understanding data and the tools in which you can get more sophisticated with your email lists is going to continue to advance in the year ahead.
I actually anticipate the fall out of some of the longest standing autoresponder companies. If they don't keep up to the segmentation needs of email marketers, they are going to lose ground to the newcomers to email technology world (some of them are offering brilliant services).
Delivery Rates. They Need to Get Better.
Most autoresponders boast a 99% delivery rate, but they are actually boasting a "send" rate. I know firsthand that these data points are far from accurate and these companies are no different from some budget hosting companies claiming 99.9% server uptime. We know all to well that they are going down much more frequently than that.
In recent years, many of the more reputable players in the email marketing space have moved away from allowing certain types of traffic. This includes "opportunity", "investments", and "weight loss" and of course anything related to prescription drugs, gambling, and adult content (which haven't been allowed for obvious reasons).
The reason? These types of audiences get caught by spam filters on email clients (gmail, yahoo, hotmail, aol, etc), and worse yet, it can lead to the blacklisting of the IP's that the emails are being sent from. This results is a poor delivery rate by the autoresponder company, and as an email marketers, less emails reaching your subscribers. Unfortunately this is happening with a lot of frequency and it is not getting reported ethically back to you, the customer.
So the quality of service you choose and what sort of businesses they allow to use their services will determine your own delivery rate. The same as "shared hosting"...if you are on an email server with another customer that is breaking the rules and triggering spam filters, your email delivery rates are going to suffer as a result.
In 2018, you are going to see a much greater focus on delivery rates as well as companies out there ranking sites with REAL data on how good/poor their delivery rates actually are. There needs to be more accountability and there will be.
Know What You Are Doing! (+ a Month of Live Classes)
Please, before you build a list understand what you are doing. Too many people get an autoresponder, get a form on their website, and then hope and pray someone will join it. Then when they have a subscriber list, they throw spam and constant promotions and them (and ultimately don't experience any success as a result)
There are many things that you need to understand if you ever plan on building a successful list.
- How to create a high converting squeeze page
- Creating relevant pitches
- Proper positioning of forms on your page
- Whether or not to use pop-ups/unders, slide overs, or static opt-ins
- Maximizing your revenue through a quality thank you page
- Maximizing your first revenue
- How to properly set-up a follow- up sequence
- Keys to building trust with your list
- When are the best days and hours to send email
- How to segment and properly manage lists
- The Value to Sale Ratio
- How to make a proper email pitch
- Utilizing broad cast emails
- Time sensitivity, and integrating bonuses
And this is just brushing the surface!
It is one of the most common confusions I get these days with newcomers to this business, people are so concerned about when they will be building a list, but they don't realize that a list won't matter if they don't have a brand, they don't have a source of traffic, and they don't full comprehend their audience and the idiosyncrasies that make them "tick" (and convert).
We actually have a month of training through March, 2018 that I want to recommend to you on email marketing. All Premium members can attend and this is going to cover everything from the basics, to the much more sophisticated elements of creating successful email marketing campaigns.
Live Class #1: Email Marketing 2018: 1st Steps to List Building (Replay)
Live Class #2: Email Marketing 2018: Sending Your Blog Posts (Replay)
Live Class #3: Email Marketing 2018: Opt-in Strategies (Register Here)
Live Class #4: Coming Soon..
If you have ever been interested in email marketing and wanted to leverage EMAIL as a way to create a long term and sustainable income (which it absolutely will), then you will definitely want to attend the March 2018 events. There are going to be 4 live classes in total on this topic and over 4 full hours of training (plus Q & A periods each week).
I hope you have found my 2018 email marketing strategies & trends insightful. Many of you are likely more than ready to get rolling with email marketing campaigns and this is foundational knowledge that ALL affiliate and internet marketers should have in their repertoire.
And of course if you have any questions about anything I have covered here or the email marketing space in general, please leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.