So you’ve been getting decent traffic. That’s great! Unfortunately, the conversion rate is still low – you have come to realize that simply bringing in more visitors won’t get you anywhere. Your website’s traffic won’t convert itself. You have to guide prospects through the rest of the buying process. How can you go about it? With a staggering ROI of 3800%, email marketing is one of the best options. Social media may appear as a better medium for exposure at times but emails work best when it comes to building connections and nurturing leads over time. Consider this, social media accounts (and accounts for other services) rely on your email address too! Emails have their roots deep in the professional world. Still skeptical? According to Hubspot, 99% of consumers check their email every day! Building your own email lists ensures sustainability. Your social media accounts (or any other source of lead) can get suspended at any time, leaving you in the lurch. Email marketing is far from extinction – in fact, 80% of business professionals believe that email marketing increases customer retention. The theory behind email marketing is simple – You collect email addresses of your potential customer and email them (once in a while) educational, inspirational or promotional content. Balance out these three categories – For instance, don’t send keep on sending them promotional content or they’ll unsubscribe. You have to keep them interested while promoting your services. Word of caution, don’t confuse email marketing with spamming. Lead Magnets Collecting email addresses will be the first hurdle you’ll bump into. Most of the online businesses rely on lead magnets. Avoid buying email lists – they’ll most likely guide you to the spam folder. While collecting email addresses, notify people about your intent. However, prospects need a strong motivation to grant you their permission. This is where lead magnets come in. A lead magnet is anything of value and relevance, used for luring the prospects. Few lead magnet ideas: Ebooks Video Tutorials Courses Samples Podcasts That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Come up with something that’ll attract ‘your’ audience. Think, what might resonates with them? Why shouldn’t you place a ‘buy now’ button instead of getting into the long-term game of email marketing? Well, you’ll have all kinds of visitors. Not all of them will be ready to make the purchase. Collecting email addresses allows you to nurture leads. Also, it’ll help you to bond with your potential customers. Unlike the early days, people aren’t excited to sign up for things anymore. They are constantly bombarded with promotional material. Use unique and tantalizing lead magnets. It should further invoke their interest in your product or services. While offering your lead magnet, clearly state the value being provided and mention the outcomes. For eg, “8 tutorial videos to double your conversion rate in a month”. Opt-In Strategies To convey the perks of your lead magnet and collect email addresses, your website will need an opt-in option. It’ll allow visitors to sign up for your emails. Opt-ins are of two different types: Single Opt-ins: Prospects enter their name and email address. This information gets added to your subscriber’s list. Double Opt-ins: Prospects receive a verification email after submitting their information. This will keep your email list free of false addresses. Also, sometimes people make mistakes while typing, such leads won’t go to waste by using double opt-ins. Sure, it’s tempting to grow your subscriber list as quickly as possible. However, shortcuts can damage your brand identity. You can’t expect a high click-through rate by obtaining email addresses in shady ways. Most websites employ opt-in forms to capture email addresses. Live chat is another great option nowadays. Earlier live chats only served the purpose of customer support. According to Icmi, live chat has overtaken other options as the most preferred channel for customer communication. Running social media ads is another good option to collect email. Although the design and content of the opt-ins do matter, yet their effectiveness depends on the potential of your lead magnet. You can employ the most elaborate opt-in strategy but it’s useless without a compelling bait. Your First Email Marketing Campaign Now that you have a firm grasp on lead magnets and opt-in strategies, take into consideration these guidelines for your first campaign. Your Goals Just as it goes with other marketing tactics, you’ll start by pinpointing your goals. What are you trying to accomplish through your campaign? Do you want to bring in new subscribers or previous recipients who are somewhat inactive now? Lead magnets will depend upon the targeted category. More than that, emails you send out will rely heavily on your goals. Strike a balance between promotional and other content that you see fit for your prospects. Remember, relationship emails are as crucial as one carrying a link to your product. Surprise your potential customers once in a while with free webinars or ebooks – anything relevant to them. Creative Opt-ins Avoid those old rusty signup buttons. A/B test different strategies to find what works best for you. You can go for welcome gates – they’ll show up right as the visitors will come to your site. On the other hand lightbox pop-ups can show up on any page – they’ll temporarily cover the whole screen. Lightbox pop-ups have a high conversion rate even though they can be annoying at times. Lastly, there are exit-intent pop-ups. They come to action as soon as visitors start to leave. Placement and different types of opt-ins are subjective and it’s best to experiment a little for best results. Subject and Email Body Your campaign emails shouldn’t just carry random text with beautiful pictures. High engagement comes with well-plotted content and enticing subject lines. Customize your subject lines and don’t deceive your readers. A study by Return Path found that open rates were 12.5% higher where subject lines contained less than 49 characters, compared to those that were 50 characters or more, while click-through rates were 75% higher for the shorter subject lines. Keep your email body concise and avoid unnecessary fluff at all costs. Give your readers a reason to open the following emails. Audience Segmentation The next step is to customize the content of email for segments of your audience. Not all your subscribers are in the same stage. Few might make a purchase sooner than others. At this point, sending them educational material won’t make sense – since they’ve already done their research. That’s just one out of many cases. So what can you do? Breakdown your subscriber’s list and create multiple segments. You can divide the subscribers based on how often they want to receive emails or based on whether they have made a purchase. This will allow you to send highly specific emails. Final Words By creating quality content – based on buyer personas – you can easily engage with the prospects. You can’t force them into making a decision but email marketing enables you to stay in touch. After the initial set up, email marketing campaigns are easy to maintain. You can start with services like MailChimp, GetResponse, ConstantContact, etc. Lead magnets and opt-ins are two essential pillars of any email marketing campaign. Best of marketers are highly creative with both of these aspects. Any questions or suggestions? Feel free to mention them in the comments.