12 Of The Deadliest Mistakes In Email Marketing (FREE Ebook Download)


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12 Of The Deadliest Mistakes In Email Marketing (FREE Ebook Download)

  1. 1. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalHow to Avoid 12 of The Deadliest Business E-mail Mistakes Jing Zhou Search Marketing Local http://SearchMarketingLocal.net 1-877-618-6284 1
  2. 2. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing Local Table of ContentsIntroduction ................................................................................................... 4It’s about reducing costs and increasing profits ............................................. 5But we’ve got people who deal with that… .................................................... 8What benefits can you expect? .................................................................... 10 Reduced marketing costs and higher profits ............................................ 10 Long-term business building ..................................................................... 12The ‘12 deadly sins’ of e-mail marketing! .................................................... 14 1. Keep it on-topic and original ................................................................. 14 2. Give prospects every chance to subscribe….......................................... 15 3. Keep it simple… .................................................................................... 16 4. Let them see what you have to offer… ................................................. 17 5. Everyone hates spam… ......................................................................... 19 6. Help others to help you ........................................................................ 20 7. But they must be useful… ..................................................................... 23 8. You need a landing page ....................................................................... 25 9. Show them the proof ............................................................................ 26 10. Ask them to talk about it… .................................................................. 27 11. Get them to pass the newsletter on ................................................... 28 12. Include an opt-in link .......................................................................... 30Conclusion ................................................................................................... 32 2
  3. 3. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing Local 3
  4. 4. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing Local IntroductionIf you own a successful local business (or even one that has been struggling abit ), you are no doubt always looking for new marketing channels andopportunities. If so and assuming that you’re not actively using e-mailmarketing already, you’re going to learn a great deal to your advantage fromthis short report.If on the other hand you are already using e-mail marketing to promote yourbusiness, then I have a question for you.As far as your current e-mail marketing activities are concerned, have youever assessed just how effective e-mail marketing has been for your businessso far? Indeed, is this a question that you can answer or have you neveractually tried to establish whether what you are doing is as successful andprofitable as it could be?These are important questions because one fact about e-mail marketing thatfar too many business owners miss is that whilst it is quite easy to marketeffectively, it is also very easy to get it wrong. 4
  5. 5. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalIn other words, even if you are using e-mail to market to your prospects andcustomers, you might still be leaving thousands of unclaimed profit dollarssimply because your marketing activities are not as effective or efficient asthey should be.From this guide, you will learn exactly what you should be doing to maximizeyour returns on your e-mail marketing efforts and you will be introduced tomany common mistakes that you might fall victim to from time to time.Avoid these mistakes and your e-mail marketing will become a great dealmore profitable. For this simple reason, take what you read to heart and putit into practice. It’s about reducing costs and increasing profitsIt’s a given in any business that if you can increase incoming revenue at thesame time as reducing marketing costs, you will increase the ultimatebottom-line profit that your business enjoys.The relevance of this is that by using e-mail marketing effectively, you can‘win’ on both sides of this ‘profit boosting’ equation. 5
  6. 6. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalIn other words, used properly, e-mail can reduce your overall marketingcosts by a significant margin whilst also boosting your sales figures at oneand the same time.What is even more important, if you understand the essentials of effective e-mail marketing, you can launch a profitable e-mail campaign in an hour ortwo and start seeing increased sales in around about the same amount oftime.Or to put it another way, you could launch and profit from a successful e-mail marketing campaign in one afternoon as long as you do the whole thingright.But of course, it does not stop here because one of the beauties of e-mailmarketing is that you can send out an e-mail to your prospects andcustomers which generates a steady stream of sales that continues for daysor even weeks.After all, you would not expect every customer to open your incomingmessage immediately or to take a decision on it instantly either. 6
  7. 7. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalFrom this brief description however, you can clearly see the power ofeffective e-mail marketing.However, the watchword throughout is ‘effective’ and without some easy-to-follow guidelines, it is understandably difficult to become an effective e-mail marketing success story.You do after all have a business to run which means that there are amultitude of daily tasks that have to be dealt with without learning newskills. It is consequently understandable in a way if you have not had thechance to master effective e-mail marketing as yet.Even so, despite the fact that it might be understandable that e-mailmarketing has not yet figured too prominently on your business radar, I amconfident that reducing marketing costs whilst increasing profits certainlywill do.Assuming this to be the case, this is a report that you definitely need to keepreading. 7
  8. 8. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing Local But we’ve got people who deal with that…From my experience of dealing with a lot local business owners, I know thatan increasingly large number of local businesses do have ‘people’ that theyrely on to deal with anything to do with computers related.For example, many business owners have used local website designers tocreate an attractive site for them and they may have someone on the staffwho deals with minor technical problems as well.Granted, these people undoubtedly know their business but to a largeextent, that is the exact point. They know their business and unfortunately,their business is nothing to do with direct response marketing on theinternet.Asking a web designer (as one example) about running an effective e-mailmarketing campaign is a little bit like asking a hospital cleaner their adviceabout brain surgery.They are kind-of involved in the same business but the differences betweenthe two roles are far greater (and a lot more important, especially if you arebooked in for brain surgery) than the similarities. 8
  9. 9. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalWhilst there are of course exceptions, effective online marketing is notsomething with which most designers or IT people are familiar.They do not get involved in the mechanics of online marketing every day andthey have no need to keep up with all of the latest and most effectivemarketing developments either.In short, these are not the people to guide your e-mail marketing efforts.Nevertheless, without the most appropriate guidance, it is extremely easy tomake some basic, fundamental errors that can seriously damage theeffectiveness of your e-mail marketing efforts.A large portion of this report focuses on highlighting many of these errorsand providing straightforward, expert solutions. 9
  10. 10. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing Local What benefits can you expect?Once you put in place a system for efficient and effective e-mail marketingand overcome any mistakes you might currently be making, there are severalbenefits that your business should start to enjoy almost immediately.The first major benefit has already been hinted at but it is not the only one.Reduced marketing costs and higher profitsWhen you market effectively using e-mail, themost obvious benefit is that you almost instantlyreduce your marketing costs.To begin with, sending information about yourproducts or services to your prospects andcustomers using e-mail costs almost nothing.There are no postal or delivery charges involved in getting your informationto the prospect or customer nor do you need to print flyers with theassociated printing and material costs involved. 10
  11. 11. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalInstead, you create digital documents which can be delivered instantly via e-mail so the only cost is the labor charge incurred by someone having tocreate the document and pressing a button to deliver it.From your customer’s point of view, this information is delivered almostinstantly and directly. You send it knowing that it will be in their hands withinthe next 30 seconds to a minute.This suggests that you have mastered e-mail marketing. This simple fact willalmost always enhance the image, reputation and credibility of your businessfar more powerfully than you might ever imagine.It makes it appear like your business is on the cutting edge of technologyeven though (in truth) there is nothing particularly high-tech about e-mailmarketing.Nevertheless, because utilizing e-mail marketing as opposed to more old-fashioned marketing channels improves the reputation and credibility ofyour business, it also tends to increase sales as well.Hence, as was suggested previously, effective e-mail marketing reduces yourcosts whilst also increasing your income. 11
  12. 12. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalIt therefore increases the all-important bottom-line profits, all with little orno extra work or effort involved.Long-term business buildingIt has long been accepted by experienced online marketing professionalsthat building a mailing list is one of the most effective ways of laying strongfoundations for any business that wants to remain profitable in the longterm.This happens because once a prospect becomes a customer after buyingfrom you, the fact that you can almost instantaneously provide all of theservices they need makes it very easy for you to retain their loyalty.Compare for example a situation where a customer has a service query thattakes a week to respond to by snail mail or where you reply to the samequery within 15 minutes by e-mail. It doesn’t take a genius to work outwhich of these two customers would be the happier.Happy customers are almost always your most profitable customers (as theybuy from you time after time) and they are the most likely to recommendyour products or services to others as well. 12
  13. 13. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalThus, a mailing list of responsive,happy customers is an asset fromwhich you can generate profitsalmost at will.For example, if you have a specialoffer available and a list of customers who have bought exactly the samekind of products in the past, you can generate sales and profits simply bysending information about your new offer to them.All of these benefits do however rely on the fact that your e-mail marketingefforts must be both efficient and effective.You therefore need to avoid the common mistakes that you will begin toread of in the next chapter. 13
  14. 14. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing Local The ‘12 Deadly Sins’ of E-mail Marketing!In this chapter, I am going to detail common mistakes that I have seen localbusiness owners make over and over again.You must do whatever you can to eradicate or avoid these mistakes if youwant to optimize your e-mail marketing results and profitability.1. Keep it on-topic and originalFrom the very beginning of your relationship with a new prospect, it is vitalthat everything you present them with is on-topic and original.They need valuable content from the off because if you don’t provide it, thenyour nascent relationship with them will never get off the ground.To begin with, you have to convince the prospect to subscribe to yourmailing list from your website. If the information on the page where youfeature your subscription form is irrelevant, boring or completely unoriginal,they will not subscribe in the first place.However, even if they get past the first stage, the content of your outgoinge-mail messages must also satisfy the same criteria. 14
  15. 15. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalIf for example they open the first one or two messages to find informationthat is completely irrelevant to their business or totally unrelated to theinformation they expected to receive from what they read on yoursubscription page, you can be certain that they won’t open too many moremessages.The simple solution to this is to make sure that everything you supply to yourprospects or customers is bang-on-target relevant, useful and up-to-date.The page that they sign up for should focus on one particular topic and as itis this topic that has encouraged them to subscribe, everything that you sendthereafter must focus on the same topic. If they subscribe to get moreinformation about blue widgets, you send information about blue widgets asan example.2. Give prospects every chance to subscribe…If you want prospects to subscribe to your mailing list (and you mostdefinitely do), you must make it as easy as possible for them to do so.The quickest and simplest way of doing this is to make sure that there is anattractive list subscription form on every page of your website. 15
  16. 16. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalIf however you feature your sign up form on a single hard-to-find pageburied deep somewhere in the bowels of your website, well, guess what?You are not going to have many prospects subscribing to your list which is asgood as leaving money on the table.Fortunately, the solution to this problem is as simple as it probably appears.Make sure that you have an attractive signup form on every page, preferablyin the top left-hand corner because statistically, this is the first place on anywebpage that a visitor looks at.3. Keep it simple…To an extent, the amount of information that you would like to collect fromyour new prospect will depend on your business and the products or servicesthat you supply to customers.For example, if you need to deliver products physically, you need theirdelivery address whilst having a contact telephone number would also bevaluable in this situation.Even so, although this information will eventually be needed, keep the initialsubscription process as simple as possible. 16
  17. 17. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalBy doing so, you encourage more visitors to become prospects bysubscribing. If on the other hand you ask for their name, e-mail address,postal address, telephone number and so on, you will naturally dissuademany visitors from subscribing.To begin with and as a way of starting the ball rolling, ask for nothing morethan a first name and e-mail address.Once you have this information, you can ask for everything else you needlater as and when it becomes necessary.For example, you don’t need the delivery address until you actually need todeliver something.Consequently, collecting this information can wait, particularly when askingfor it at the beginning is likely to throw away a lot of potential business.4. Let them see what you have to offer…When you are trying to encourage visitors toyour site to subscribe to your list, it is common 17
  18. 18. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing Localto offer some form of ‘free gift’ as an incentive to do so.As a way of staying in contact with prospects and customers, manybusinesses publish regular newsletters that would in the past have beendelivered by postal mail.Nowadays however, e-mail is the perfect Method of delivering a digitalversion of your newsletter to your prospects and customers. Manybusinesses therefore use this as the incentive with which they try toencourage (some would say ‘bribe’) visitors to sign up.Perhaps not surprisingly, if you offer a free newsletter subscription, many ofyour site visitors probably want to see whether it is worth reading beforemaking their decision about subscribing to get it.You should therefore feature a back issue of your newsletter on yourwebsite so that the visitor has something to base this decision on.You should obviously make certain that the newsletter edition that ispublished on your site is one of the better ones and that it showcases yourbusiness in the best light. 18
  19. 19. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalRemember, this newsletter sample is there to sell your service and ittherefore makes sense to the certain that you present the visitor with yourmost effective digital ‘sales person’ (i.e. a top quality past edition).5. Everyone hates spam…It’s an inevitable fact of modern online life that if you have an e-mailaccount, you have a spam problem to a greater or lesser extent.Anyone who subscribes to your list has exactly the same problem and youcan be totally certain that they do not want to exacerbate the problem anymore than is absolutely necessary.In other words, everyone who is considering subscribing to your list is alsoconsidering the security implications of doing so.You must therefore put their mind at rest by stating clearly andunequivocally that you respect their privacy and that you will not give awaytheir e-mail contact information to anyone else.It also makes sense to have a Privacy Policy page on your site to which youcan refer your visitor should they have any further privacy worries orconcerns. 19
  20. 20. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalThis is simple professionalism so it is surprising how many businesses do notfeature such a page on their site. It is even more so when there are freePrivacy Policy page generators to be found on many websites including thisone.People want to know that it is safe to subscribe to your list before they doso. Make sure that you put their mind at rest if you want to attract as manylist subscribers as possible.6. Help others to help youOne way that you can increase the profitability of your e-mail marketingactivities is to expand your subscriber base in any way you can. One veryeffective tactic for doing this is to leverage your local business contacts.To explain, in the same way that you are building a mailing list of prospectsand customers, there will be hundreds of other local business owners doingexactly the same.Every one of these businesses is building up a valuable asset in exactly thesame way as you are, a database of subscriber information from which theycan make money in the same way that you can from your own list. 20
  21. 21. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalThere is therefore a tremendous opportunity open to you (and to them) toexpand your mutual businesses as long as you are not in direct competitionwith them.An example will make clear how this kind of arrangement might work.Say that you running a plumbing business. Because of the services that youprovide, you will come into contact with customers who need additionalhousehold services such as electricians, painters and decorators, windowcleaners and the like.If therefore you can get together with a like-minded local painting anddecorating company owner, it is a simple matter of sending informationabout their services to your list subscribers in return for which they do thesame to their list members on your behalf.There is no breach of confidentiality concerns here because you sendinformation to your list members whilst they do the same to theirs.However, you are both introducing a complementary service that some ofyour prospects and customers will need from time to time.From this simple arrangement, it is nevertheless likely that you will expandyour prospect and customers whilst they will do the same. 21
  22. 22. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalThis simple form of joint-venture partnership can be extremely effective forexpanding your business without having to spend any money on advertisingor external market promotion.All you do instead is leverage the existing assets of other business owners inreturn for which you allow them to do the same with your assets. 22
  23. 23. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing Local7. But they must be useful…As highlighted earlier, one strategy that many businesses adopt forexpanding their list is to give away a free newsletter to encourage people tosubscribe.This is all very well and can be extremely effective, as can giving away otherforms of ‘freebies’ like product samples.It is however extremely important to appreciate that if you are going to giveanything away for free, it must be something that is valuable and usablefrom the perspective of your prospects and customers.As examples, your newsletter must contain top-quality information orcontent of value whereas the free gifts must be stuff that they can use aswell.The point is that you cannot afford to give anything away for free if the freematerials or goods are of no use, do not achieve anything or are useless.If you do this, you will find masses of list members unsubscribing which canruin weeks or even months of hard work in one fell swoop. 23
  24. 24. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalThe simple answer here is, you know what your prospects and customerswant or need.If therefore you are going to supply anything to them for free, be absolutelycertain that doing so will improve your relationship with them or don’t do it.People love free stuff, but free garbage has no value to anyone. 24
  25. 25. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing Local8. You need a landing pageIn addition to having a list subscription form on every page of your site, youshould also have a page on your site which does nothing else other thanencourage the visitor to sign up for your list.This is known as a landing page, a page that features a powerful headline, afew (bullet pointed) benefits of becoming a list subscriber and a signup formabove which there is a strong call to action.This should remind the subscriber of the main benefit of subscribing to yourlist before telling them that they need to add their first name and e-mailaddress to the form below before clicking the ‘Subscribe’ button.The importance of having a landing page in addition to a subscription formon every other page of your site is that whereas other pages feature contentthat distracts from the subscription form, a landing page is 100% focused onthis form alone.This is therefore the page at which you would point some of your externalpromotional activities when you are focused on building your mailing listrather than on other aspects of your business. 25
  26. 26. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalMany local businesses do not feature a landing page on their site and theytherefore miss out on hundreds of potential subscribers.Whereas a subscription form on a ‘standard’ web page will attract some newlist signups, landing page conversion (success) rates are usually 3, 4 or even 5times higher.9. Show them the proofWhether it is on a product or service sales page or on the landing page ofyour site, visitors want to see social proof that what you claim is the truth.The best form of social proof is a raft of testimonials from satisfiedcustomers who are willing to go public with their endorsement.The more testimonials you can add to your sales and landing pages, themore money and subscribers your site will pop into your ‘bank’, 24/7.On the basis that you have plenty of satisfied customers, don’t be hesitantabout asking some of them to help you by providing testimonials. 26
  27. 27. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalAt the very least, ask them for two or three lines of endorsement, although ifyou can get them to agree to add a photo to the testimonial, it becomes farmore believable.This is even truer if you can convince a few of your satisfied customers toprovide video testimonial materials that you can publish on your sales andlanding pages.10. Ask them to talk about it…If you have satisfied customers who are willing to provideyou with testimonials for publication on your website,have you ever thought about asking them to spread theword about your products and services to other peoplethat might need the kind of things that you supply?You might for example have a business where your customers tend tosocialize with others whose interests also correspond with your businessactivities.For instance, if you ran a dog grooming parlor, many of your customers willbe friendly with other dog owners. In this case, something as simple as giving 27
  28. 28. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing Localthem a few of your business cards and asking them to pass them roundmight work.A similar concept applies in e-mail marketing terms as well.Why not ask your subscribers to pass on information about your list toothers who might have similar interests, encouraging them to visit yourlanding page to subscribe to your list themselves?As long as the content and information that you are currently supplying toyour subscribers keeps them happy, there is no logical reason why theywouldn’t be willing to do this for you.They are after all helping a friend out by pointing them in the direction of atop-quality service or product range.11. Get them to pass your newsletter onAnother way of harnessing the viral power of list building is to ask yourcurrent list members to pass on your newsletter to others that they knowwould be interested in the contents. 28
  29. 29. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalAllow them to print it out as well so that they can pass on hard copies as andwhen appropriate.You can then take this concept one stage further still by making yournewsletter and its contents available to others outside your mailing list in asmany different ways as you can.For example, the first thing that you should do is make printed copiesavailable so that you don’t restrict your marketing activities to those who areactive net users.This is important because some of the people who pick up printed copies arelikely to be e-mail users even though they are not particularly active. Thereare not after all many people nowadays in developed Western nations whodo not have an e-mail address.Hence, these people could be good mailing list prospects even though theyhave not come across your list previously.In addition, you can contact other newsletter publishers to offer them yourarticles for inclusion in their own newsletters as long as they agree to includeyour landing page URL alongside your content. 29
  30. 30. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalThere are even professional online newsletter publishers who are always onthe hunt for fresh new newsletters and content.You can therefore extend the reach of your newsletter by a significantmargin by contacting these people so that they can issue your newsletter totheir subscribers.The important thing to understand is that a quality newsletter is a valuableasset which you can distribute in many different ways to attract new listsubscribers who want to receive a regular copy as easily and conveniently aspossible. The more widely you distribute your newsletter, the more likelythis is to happen.12. Include an opt-in linkThere is little sense in making lots of effort to ensure that your newslettergets distributed as widely as possible if it does not contain a link from whichpeople can subscribe to your mailing list.You must therefore make sure that the newsletter features the URL of yourlanding page. The text surrounding the link must make it crystal clear thatthis is the link from which the reader can obtain their own copy of yournewsletter completely free and explain the benefits of doing so. 30
  31. 31. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalAgain, this is one of those factors that sound so obvious but it is one thatmany local business owners miss.They are therefore missing out on dozens of new subscribers who could haveput hundreds of dollars of profit in their bank account. 31
  32. 32. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalConclusionI have seen local business owners make all of the e-mail marketing mistakesthat you have read of in this guide, so trust me, they happen.Perhaps you already know this because you recognize some mistakes fromthis ‘collection of horrors’ that you have made yourself in the past. That’sfine, these things happen.But as long as the mistakes remain in the past and you make sure that youre-mail marketing is as efficient and effective as possible in the future, you’rewell on your way to maximizing your e-mail marketing profits.There is nothing very complicated and difficult about optimizing your e-mailmarketing efforts. Indeed, a lot of the information in this guide might seemlike common sense if you have any experience of marketing on the net.There are however millions of local business owners who are not so au faitwith e-mail and online marketing success. If you follow the guidance in thismanner, this could be about to change. 32
  33. 33. Copyright © 2010 Jing Zhou, Search Marketing LocalSearch Marketing Local Is Your #1 Resource For Local SearchMarketing Services. Local Small Business rely on SearchMarketing Local for all their Local Business MarketingServices. Using Google Places and SEO to secure First Pagelistings in the Search Engines.http://SearchMarketingLocal.netIf you’re looking for a professional company to help you with that, schedule your FREE 15minute consultation today -- with no obligation whatsoever.All you need to do is contact us on the number below to setup an appointment suitablefor you. We promise your time will be well invested.Call 1-877-618-6284 to arrange your free 15 minute no obligation consultation. Call Us Now At 1-877-618-6284 33