When I write about email marketing I often assume that people are familiar with some of the “well-known” email marketing facts. But then I receive questions from my subscribers and realize that perhaps not everybody is in fact on the same page about the generic and more specific things that email marketing can accomplish for you.
After all, I’ve been using it for some time, but only recently began analyzing why I do what I do and what works and how to make it work better.
When I talk about the email marketing facts here’s what I mean.
Just recently I heard somebody ask me, “You know how many of your emails I have opened?”
“You can find out what links I clicked?”
“You know what time I opened these emails?”
These might sound unusual, but they are not at all uncommon. Online teachers continue relying heavily on their regular email account to connect with their students (or even potential students).
I’ve had people ask me the value of email marketing and why in the world having an automated responder would be superior to responding to an email manually (especially when people are just starting out).
So I thought I would write a post listing 5 important email marketing facts, and how sending emails through an email marketing service is different from sending out a Gmail or Yahoo blast.
I have to give you a disclaimer that when I started out as an online teacher in 2010, I was doing the same thing that some online teachers are still doing: copying and pasting emails into gmail groups.
But even when I did enroll with the email marketing service (I used aweber at the time), I found that I wasn’t using it to its fullest capacity, not realizing the benefits that such simple functions as automation and segmentation for instance can bring.
Email marketing can do amazing things for your online business, and like me 6 years ago, you may not realize it fully. When you do, you can engage with your audience better, serve them more effectively and sell the products they need, not the ones you think they need.
So let’s look at all the cool things email marketing does for my online business (and can do for you).
Can #email #marketing help #online #teachers work smarter? Absolutely. Not many use it to its fullest capacity though. Check out this post for tips and ideas.Click To Tweet
Email Marketing Fact 1It collects emails into lists, segments and groups.
This seems so easy to put emails together, until you spend a few days copying and pasting them from your spreadsheet into Gmail. Then, depending on the number of people you’re sending your email, they’re this huge group, and you don’t know what they do, what kind of content they would enjoy and how you could serve them better.
Unlike Gmail, an email marketing service (I recommend using the easiest one – Mailchimp) allows you to set up a form on your website and people will be signing up and confirming subscription of their own accord. You can add a “group” slot and ask a specific question, for instance, you want to know if this person prefers podcasts or videos, and then you’ll be sending the right kind of content to that person.
You can also segment your lists, based on whether or not the person is interested in your content. Those who have been very active will be more likely to purchase from you once you create an offer, as opposed to those who hardly ever read your emails.
Email Marketing Fact 2It can help you schedule your emails for later.
Let’s say you plan on taking a trip, but you want to continue sending emails and even selling something. You can schedule emails for while you’re gone, and Mailchimp can help you decide when would be the best time to send each email.
Another benefit is you can send some emails over the weekend. Unless you want to automate them (see below), you can have limited time offers available that specific weekend only.
When people join your list or after they buy something, you can segment them into a group and then follow up with them by offering another product/service/type of lessons.
Email Marketing Fact 3It can create automated sequences that work when I don't have to.
Welcome series are great, and generally subscribers expect to receive some welcome emails when they join your list. You can create 1-, 3-, and 5-email sequences where you share the most valuable content you have.
Examples may be:
- Lists of helpful resources
- Tips and ideas on a specific topic.
- Worksheets to help your students organize their learning better.
Make sure that your series is 1 theme, which means all the emails in the series are connected to each other. Some prefer to write them in one go.
It’s different for different people, but when you have to take a break from writing, be sure to read your previous emails before you resume. to achieve better continuity.
PRO tip 1: Add a P.S. with a preview of what’s to come in the next email.
PRO tip 2: Use Google docs to create a lengthy document, and Canva for worksheets and checklists.
PRO resource:A thorough post on creating an awesome welcome series by Meera Kothand.
Email Marketing Fact 4It can give you ideas about your subscribers (very helpful for launches).
This is one of the features I particularly like about email marketing services. It gives you some background on your audience, customers and subscribers. Whenever somebody buys a product/service from me, I go back into their “history” to see how long they have been my subscriber, what content they seemed to like most of all, and what campaign prompted them to buy from me.
This also helps me resolve some technical issues, for instance, somebody doesn’t think they received my email, but my history shows that they have opened it, so I let them know which one it was and when exactly (time) they opened it. Sometimes people don’t read emails carefully, so having the history available for each subscriber is helpful.
Ready to use email to offer new programs to your clients? I’ve included a few templates into my workshop From One to Infinity.
Email Marketing Fact 5It can help you target an offer specifically at those who open your emails.
I can be on some email lists for a long time and not open the emails as often as I would like. But then one headline will force me to stop, drop everything and read. After that I’m hooked.
When I’m the writer, such change in a subscriber’s behavior is key to knowing what exactly they need. When I see that a person started opening my emails after a specific blog post, I know what offers might be of interest to them.
It doesn’t mean of course that I track everyone down, but I do study my statistics to see how well a certain campaign was received.
After I know what prompts people to open my emails more, I will change my following emails and send offers specifically to those who keep opening my campaigns. Knowing how many people open emails is important to project possible outcomes, i.e. sales or further subscriptions.
I hope this post was helpful to you!
If you wish to learn more about email marketing, here are a couple of posts you might enjoy:
- How to Simplify Email Communication With Your Subscribers
- How to Tone Down Paternalistic or Salesy Language in your Newsletters
- How to Write Unforgettable Emails that Inspire Change
- Take my free email course to help you set up your email marketing system.
What about you: are you using email marketing in your online teaching business? What has worked for you?
The post was updated in April, 2021
Great post, Lena. All of these facts are 100% and make email marketing a very powerful tool that completely trumps social media, youtube and any other form of promotion.
I’d also like to add #6 – it can help you to develop a closer relationship with your audience. If your audience has a direct line to you, then you can ask questions and listen to their feedback. You can learn a lot from your audience if they feel connected to you.
This is true, Sam! Thanks for this. There’s definitely so much to learn from people who follow you, read your materials and give you feedback about your books and courses.