email marketingIf you have a sign up box on your website that invites people to sign up for your email newsletter, congratulations — you’re a step ahead of many other businesses who are not doing any email marketing at all.

But email marketing is so much more than that.

First of all, you need to make a compelling offer to get people to give you their email addresses.  With the flood of SPAM and the overall increase in email volumes, it’s more important than ever to make sure you set yourself apart from the crowd.  Why should someone sign up for your newsletter unless there is some value in it for them?

One of the strategies to increase your email sign-ups is to offer an ebook.  Now before you worry about writing “War and Peace” consider that an ebook can be 5 pages.  This is assuming you know your audience and are giving them something of value that they want.

For example, a local bike shop we designed a website for wanted to increase their profitable triathlon business using email marketing.  To target that segment of their business, we created a 30-page “Triathlon Guide To the State of New Jersey” (where they are based) that was culled from several online sources.  Using all public domain information and listings, the guide included a simple list of all the triathlon races across the state, along with the type of course, the month it was held and information about where to register.

We turned the document into a PDF file and uploaded it to the website along with a graphic we designed that looked like a little magazine cover with the title on it.  We invited anyone who wanted the free triathlon guide to provide their name and address and the ebook would be sent automatically using an autoresponder.

The bike shop is now sending out targeted email newsletters featuring discounts on triathlon gear, reviews, nutrition, training tips, etc., to an audience that volunteered to be marketed to.  How much more effective is that than taking out a passive newspaper or Yellow Page ad?

Speaking of print ads, the bike shop is taking the idea a step further and actually advertising the free triathlon book in all their print advertising with the deliberate strategy of getting people to signup for the newsletter and voluntarily enter their marketing funnel!

Remember:  email marketing, when done properly, allows you to own your own marketing rather than renting an audience from someone else.