Why is e-mail marketing popular?
- Can be tracked – You can easily track various e-mail related activities (number of e-mails sent, opened, bounced etc.). Even links in e-mails that users click and products/services sold by clicking such links can be traced without much effort.
- Unlimited Reach – This form of marketing allows you to reach innumerable users that too at the click of a button.
- Cost Effective – As compared with other forms of communication sending e-mails is cheaper. E.g. you can send as many as 10,00,000 (10 lac)e-mails for just Rs. 8000, which comes out to be a mere Rs. 0.008 per e-mail (statistics: www.easysoftindia.com)
- Allows Targeting – It is a form of push marketing that allows audience targeting since you can directly deliver your marketing messages to your potential customers irrespective of whether they want to get your messages or not.
- Data Driven – This form of marketing is data driven and also promotes direct sales of products/ services you are offering to your target audience.
- Builds Loyalty – With the help of promotional e-mails, special offer e-mails, and newsletters, you can build a strong bond with your customers and even instil a feeling of loyalty and trust in them for your products/ services.
Types of e-mail marketing
- Direct Email: Can take the form of promotional messages (e.g. special offers, discounts, rebates etc.) or you can use lists of e-mail addresses rented/purchased from the open market to target your messages.
- Retention Email: Usually take the form of newsletters that carry promotional messages, advertisements, etc. that provide value, benefits and entertainment to readers and also have a long-lasting impact on them.
- Newsletter: You can conduct your e-mail marketing activities by buying advertising space in newsletters created by others so that your advertisement / message can reach their subscribers.
Key parts of an e-mail message
An e-mail message can be divided into different parts each of which has its own significance. We will explore eight important parts of an e-mail message namely:
- Context and design
- Header and footer
- Hosted version
- Image rendering
Increase the CTR of an e-mail campaign
- Day and time: Email delivery day and time depends on the market you are catering to and the end users of your product/ service. This day and time needs to be found out through a hit and trial method. Send your users an e-mail message on different days and times during the day and track their response. After a while, you can analyse this report and come to know what is the best day and time for you to send your e-mail.
- Subject lines: It must be related to the e-mail content, personalized, and changed frequently so it doesn’t lose its effectiveness.
- Format: Plain text based e-mails have higher delivery rate than HTML based e-mails, so don’t always send HTML mailers, try a mix of both.
- Stop spamming: Conform to anti-spamming guidelines to prevent your e-mails from getting blocked by e-mail service providers
- Content: Create copy that is good, relevant to the users and concise. Seek professional help with design if required.
- Links: Must be appropriate, accessible, visible and interspersed with great content.
What is permission marketing?
A means of selling products/ services where likely customers openly agree in advance to receive marketing messages/ads.
e.g. opt-in email ads where online users sign up in advance to get information regarding specific products/ services of their choice.
Permission marketing is very helpful as end users are more receptive to marketing messages and even cost-effective as users are already targeted and identified. e.g. while making a purchase, the user can be asked at that time whether they would like to subscribe to the company newsletter.
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Is Affiliate Marketing worth the time?
Many people create huge affiliate sites using product feeds. The problem with generic well-used feeds is that many other people will have the exact same content. Since Google does not desire to show multiple copies of the same content, most of the affiliate feed sites end up not getting indexed or are quickly removed from the search results if they are indexed.
Some people end up adding RSS or other content to the pages to make them look unique, but Google also employs remote content raters to evaluate sites. If the site looks like it would not have a functional purpose outside of the affiliate program, Google does not want it in their index. The instructions Google gave remote content raters for determining if an affiliate site was useful was “is there a value-added service that would make users want to visit this site instead of the original merchant site?”
People do not usually buy from affiliate banners. A better way to create affiliate sites is to create unique original content with what looks like unbiased reviews. Whether you are affiliate marketing or creating your own merchant site, each unique item or idea should have its own unique page with sufficient unique content on it. If the only difference between items is size or color, then you might run into duplicate content issues (if pages are too similar, then Google may assume they offer little value or are of poor content quality).
Lots of people offer sales letters, but if you create what looks like an original, thoughtful, and honest review, you can send people to the official sites using text links from within the reviews that convert exceptionally well. The less automated your site and SEO techniques are, the greater chance it will do well in the long term.
Many large affiliates also hide the affiliate links to make it harder for people to steal their affiliate commission. Some people think Google hates affiliate marketers. They do not necessarily hate affiliates, but they hate unoriginal or useless content cluttering their search index. Most affiliate marketing sites are thin sites featuring duplicate content.
If you are new to the web and do not have much money to work with, one good way to save money is to sell things to yourself using your own affiliate link. Some merchants may not like this (it may violate some affiliate terms of service. If you can save Rs.500 for ten minutes of work, why not do it?
Since the advent of Facebook, twitter and other social media platforms, many people will have love/hate relationship with Google+. On one hand, you may not be a huge fan of Google+ platform because it’s just another social network to manage. On the other hand, Google tops in the search engine world. Any time you and your business can do something to get into the good books of Google.
Is Google+ worth your time?
In December 2014, Google+ ranked as the 3rd most popular social network in the world. Even today many of their users aren’t active. That doesn’t mean it’s not relevant, because the brand Google has so much power over your business to succeed online. Most importantly Google owns Google+ and hence it wants you to use the social network to expand your online presence.
Google has enticed content developers and business owners to use Google authorship as a way to stand out in search results. It encourages websites to use Rich Snippets & Structured Data.
There’s more to keep up with when it comes to Google, but no matter which platform you use, having a Google+ presence will boost your search engine rankings.
Here are the steps to get your Google+ presence up and running so as to increase your spot in search engine result pages or SERPs.
- Set up your profile – Creating your profile is the first step towards boosting your search rankings. It’s not just enough to create a personal profile but you should also aim to create a profile for your business.
- Complete your profile –This certainly takes some time and effort, because these profiles are extensive. Most importantly this profile will be used by all Google products, so it’s worth the effort. Fill in both your personal and business profiles as soon and complete in all respects. These pages will act as micro-sites for your company and help your presence online.
- Get active – Create segments or circles, add people who are relevant. You can create multiple circles (groups) viz. client circle, vendor circle, industry or vertical based circle. Explore communities that already exist in Google+. There are many active members in smaller Niche communities. By getting involved with these groups online could open up new doors for your business. Posting relevant content consistently on Google+ helps a lot. There is a far greater potential for your content published on Google+ to appear in search engine results.
- Add Google+ to Your Website – Google through its algorithms tries to understand whether the content you are publishing is relevant, has value and interesting. Add share this button to your website, so that your website visitors are able to share your posts on Google+.
Google’s Joan Stewart recommends that your participation on Google+ is part of what it considers when ranking your website in SERPs. He says, if you ignore Google+, then Google will ignore you.
Higher search engine rankings are essential to your inbound marketing success. As soon as you setup your Google+ profile, Google will start indexing your website and related pages.