By Gem Stoned
Ah marketing — the vast, ever-evolving, oh-so-important business necessity. There are many forms of marketing, including the most widely known viral and social media marketing strategies, as well as the-frequently-understood SEO marketing strategy.
Today, we’re going to focus on yet another strategy: email marketing. Believe it or not, email marketing is still a very relevant, effective method of marketing and advertising.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is one of many digital marketing strategies, and it has been around forever. It is the process of sending email campaigns to customers that then convert to sales. Email campaigns can include information on new products and services, current sales and promotions or other exciting news and upcoming events for your business.
This information is often (but not always) compiled into a newsletter or flyer that has clickable links leading to the promoted product or service sent out at strategic times and dates. Other times, it can be an update or general message from the company, a free promotion or one-of-a-kind offer, etc.
It’s important to note that an effective email marketing strategy (your “big picture” take on email marketing) has a well-rounded and balanced ratio of individual promotional email campaigns, free offers and genuine general messages. Basically, you don’t want to be too salesy. This helps to avoid being seen as spam.
Email marketing campaigns are easy to set up and track using email marketing services. These services allow you to import your mailing list and send out mass emails using customizable campaign templates. Once you’ve set up a successful campaign, you can then replicate it and tweak it by running A/B testing on your campaign to see what converts better.
Do you get more opens when you change the subject line? Do you get more clicks if you change your copy? Do you see better results with or without a link? Better conversions with a video instead of a photo? You can ask yourself all these questions and more during A/B testing.
Why should independent content creators be using email marketing?
Many content creators rely on social media as their main — and oftentimes, only — means of marketing and advertising. While social media marketing is a powerful and effective marketing strategy, it also has a lot of downsides, especially for those who produce adult content.
The best thing about email marketing is that you own your list and control who sees it, rather than social media platforms and their algorithms. With email marketing, unless you’re being spammy or using a platform that discriminates against sex workers (like Mail Chimp), the chances of your target audience seeing your ads and campaigns are much higher because they’re going directly to their inbox.
Getting your list together
You will need to compile your list of emails, which does take a bit of effort — but it’s definitely worth the work!
There are several ways to compile an email list. You can simply ask your members for their emails, and then compiling an excel sheet that can be imported into CRM (customer relationship management) services like YNOTMail, Hubspot or Tidio. You can also build your list through your WordPress blog and member site by using plugins like Hustle or Optinmonster.
Email marketing campaigns can be very powerful when used properly in addition to social media and SEO marketing campaigns. It may be overwhelming to add a new thing to your growing list of tasks, but email campaigns are pretty easy to put together and then replicate for future campaigns.
When using a mailing service for your email campaigns, you have an ample amount of statistics that you can use to aid you in making future decisions for your business as well as future email campaigns. The services allow you to set up targeted campaigns and then track who opened them and clicked through to any links that may have been included in the email. This helps you to make more informed business decisions, as well as helps maintain your mailing list.
For example if you notice that a person on your list hasn’t opened an email after four campaigns, then you can send out a new campaign targeted specifically to that person — and to anyone else who hasn’t opened in a while and to try to get them to re-engage with you. If they still don’t open, then remove them from your list.
This helps keep your email list to only those who engage with your campaigns and helps you avoid being marked as spam. If they come back and resubscribe, then that is great — but don’t keep them actively subscribed in hopes of them one day opening as it will only hurt you in the long run.
6 quick tips to keep in mind for building an email marketing campaign:
- No design is the best design. This one is hard for me because I love pretty and cool designs but the simpler the template the better.
- Tell a story. Captivate your audience with a story! Storytelling is great for sales and marketing.
- Include video. Everyone loves video! instead of going all out making elaborate email templates channel that creativity into a high converting video for your email campaign.
- Use content proven to convert. Hint: What’s your best converting social media campaign? Turn it into an email!
- Categorize your list. Use tags: Paying Customer/Prospective Customer, type of content preferred, platforms they follow you on, etc
- Scrub your list! Look at your stats, and if someone hasn’t opened your emails and hasn’t responded to a re-engagement campaign, get rid of them. This helps you avoid being flagged as spam.
I’ve personally seen an increase in sales and support from my members since utilizing email marketing. Implementing A/B testing with my campaigns and making sure to remove those from my list who do not engage was what really started to make a difference for me.
At first, it may seem counterintuitive, the whole scrubbing thing. Your list will continue to grow from new traffic discovering your blog, member site, podcast or offers though.
Psst. Have you searched my name on Pornhub yet today? pic.twitter.com/p7udumIqk8
— Gem Thinks Black Lives Matter Stoned ✊🏼✊🏽✊🏿 (@Gem_Stoned) August 7, 2020
Header image via Pexels here.