Email marketing is one of the most widely used methods for internet marketers. This post is aimed at understanding the basics of email marketing and what you need to know to be a successful email marketing professional.
An Overview of The Email Marketing System:
Most people know what email marketing is. Their common knowledge is “email marketing is used for marketing products and services”. This is what most of the people, in general, know about email marketing systems and to a certain extent, their answer is very correct.
A Prerequisite for Email Marketing:
The first obvious thing you would need to have and to start emailing is a list of people to whom you would like to send emails to through your email marketing system. This list of people is called “An Email Marketing List” in the internet marketing world. You must have heard someone say on the internet that “the money is in the list” etc. A list is the people who have agreed to receive emails from you the sender. In other words, they have opted – into your mailing list.
Email Marketing, Do it in a Legal way…
Sending emails to persons who have not agreed to receive emails from the sender is called as SPAMMING.
As per the CAN-SPAM Act, 2003 it is illegal to send spontaneous emails & is a punishable offense.
Most of the new internet marketers don't know this and will start sending promotional emails to whatever email address they could get their hands on. We highly recommend avoiding spamming people as this may result in a legal action being taken against you and will also destroy your online reputation.
Where would you find a List?
The list of people to whom you can send your emails can be built or you can buy it.
Building the list:
List Building is a long-term & continuous activity. You must have seen pop-ups or square boxes on websites which ask for your name and email address for sending free updates or for subscribing to a newsletter. Once you put your name and email address in the box you become a subscriber to that website. When you put your name and email address in the form you are “Opting In” to receive emails from that particular site and the list is called an “Opt-in List”.
Your email address and the name is saved in the database of the system which can send automatic emails to a group of subscribers (i.e. list) at pre-decided intervals. For example, the system can send welcome emails to everyone who subscribes to the list. This system would then send another email after say 3 days from the date the subscriber joined and so on. This system is called an “Autoresponder”.
If you have a website then you can build your own list by creating Opt-In boxes on your websites. Most of the Autoresponder systems available on the internet provide easy to use tools for creating the Opt Inboxes and forms which you can easily insert on your own websites.
Buying An Email Marketing List:
There are various sites selling Opt-in leads for internet marketers. An Opt-in list may consist of 1000's of people or it may contain millions of people. The higher the number of people on the list, the higher it would cost to purchase the list. You can factor in the quality of the list as well.
Opinions differ about the effectiveness on buying email marketing leads, but we recommend to buy the lists only if you trust the site which you are buying email marketing lists from and to make sure the list is targeted towards a specific group of people representing a particular niche.
Let me explain this a little further.
The Opt-in list created for example by the site, wallstreetjournal.com would consist of a financial niche which will represent a group of people who are interested in financial news or topics.
Moreover, a list build on any business opportunity website would consist of a group of people interested in new business opportunities. For better results, we recommend that you should match the interest of the people with what you are promoting through your email marketing campaigns.
Email Marketing & Safe Lists:
Safe lists are the groups of people who have agreed to receive advertisement emails or promotional offers from other people on the list in return for sending their own email marketing emails to other people.
Safe lists are built at websites which offer membership (either free or paid) to people. The memberships of the sites allow the members to send emails to all the members and in return, they have to receive emails from other members.
Now you must be wondering why these people would be sending emails to each other and what is the benefit of that?
Most of these sites have members who are internet marketers who wish to promote their own or affiliate products to others. Opinions differ on the effectiveness of the safe lists but in our opinion, safe lists are effective provided you have a very large safe list. With safe lists, you can start promoting products immediately even if you don't have your own website.
You can promote affiliate links to safe list members and earn handsome commissions. With safe lists, you need not wait to build your own list. Hence, if you don't have a website or your own list it is better to go for safe lists to start promoting your affiliate products and offers.
In summary, we have seen that email marketing requires targeted list building. If you have own website you can start building your own email marketing lists with the help of an Autoresponder system. If you don't have your own website you can start email marketing through safe lists or just buy email addresses from a trusted email list company.