The Money Is In The List (And Clichés Are Boring)
I’m sure you’ve heard and seen the expression: “Money Is In The List”, but is it really the whole truth?
Being more in the paying than the receiving end of that expression now for many years, I am a living example of that it works for some email marketers within the Internet Marketing nice.
I also know an example of someone for whom sending one email every day to a list of 600+ recipients doesn’t generate any income at all.
The 3rd week’s task in John Thornhill’s “Partnership To Success” (P2S) is to set up an autoresponder to make it possible for blog visitors to sign up for …, supposedly, at least for now, get an email when new content is posted on my blog.
Well, not many will do that, right. With all those, hundreds of thousands of articles written on any subject one can possibly think about within my selected topic (Email Marketing), the chance that I can contribute with anything new is about as fat as I would be able to beat Tyson Fury in the boxing ring.
So, therefore, the next step in our (P2S participants) email marketing efforts will be to bribe accidental visitors to our blogs with something the visitor consider worthy enough to give us one of his third rate email addresses in exchange for.
But more about that when the time comes.
Marketing equals communication
To continue this my rant about email marketing, I want to draw the parallels with my long-time work with marketing offline, not in the IM niche.
My understanding is that marketing equals communication and is an essential part of the overall CRM setup.
The marketer/seller communicates something to a potential customer and the success/sale is determined by the extent to which the right message can be delivered to the right person at the right time.
With that in mind, it is easy to figure out that email as a marketing/communication channel is not the first contact between the marketer and a client. And, if it is the first, it is not the most efficient channel (compare with cold calling).
The success rate of email as a communication channel is totally depending on the relationship between two persons (or, in some cases, between a company/organization/brand and a person).
In a good relationship built on trust and common interests, email marketing is probably the most efficient channel och communication. Emails get opened, read and its links clicked.
In a bad relationship, emails get ignored and all efforts spent preparing and sending them are in vain.
Keep in mind that bad email communication can destroy a good supplier-customer relationship but rarely mend a relationship already gone sour because your attempts might not be seen.
Duplex, Simplex, and Broadcast
Good relationship communication should be two-ways. In the Navy, we had systems which allowed for simultaneous two-way communication, i.e allowing the sender and the receiver to speak at the same time. That technology is called “Duplex” and allows for immediate feedback and interruptions. Then, there were systems which allowed only for communication in one direction at a time. (You’ve heard it in old war movies … “over”). That’s “Simplex” technology.
The difference might be subtle, but “Simplex” doesn’t allow interruptions and demands a certain discipline and thoughtfulness in the messages communicated.
Email marketing is, as best, Simplex, something which must be considered when using it. It’s even worse than a radio communication between two persons in Simplex, because email marketing is almost always done as broadcasts, i.e. one to many communication.
Successful marketing leading to long-term relationships should always strive for going from Broadcast to person to person communication (even if, most often, still with simplex technology).
Of course, as your subscriber (which, hopefully, equals customers) base grows, it’s hard to find the time for a person to person communication with everyone and you might have to apply personalization and even Pareto’s Principle on your marketing communication.
Email delivery services
There are a myriad of email (delivery) services online, all promising the best rate of delivery to your clients’ mailboxes.
The two most well known among online marketers are Aweber and GetResponse. In the P2S program, we are encouraged to use Aweber and Aweber is, therefore, providing the code behind the subscription form you can see in the sidebar to the right.
The design of the form is made very easy by just connecting the API from Aweber to Optimize Press, the WordPress Theme and Page-builder plugin powering this blog.
Exactly the easy integration with WP and other apps is maybe the most appreciated feature of the most common email services, a k a autoresponders.
This puts newcomers, without a large customer-base and therefore without incentives for app- and plugin- developers to integrate, at a disadvantage when they try to take a piece of the market.
The deliverability is another advantage for the established email service providers. The algorithms by major email programs like GMail, as doing a more and more through job filtering out (censoring) what, according to their judgment, is spam (or “politically incorrect” content).
MailEngine for WordPress
For many bloggers or small businesses, MailEngine by Teknikforce can be a good alternative to an autoresponder/email service provider.
MailEngine is a plugin for WordPress that allows for using GMail SMTP for sending messages. It also has a built-in spam-tester and a link-rotator for making unique links in each email. I am using it myself on a couple of sites and it really works.
An extra feature is that MailEngine does create a post from each broadcast email, saving time and efforts.
Deliverability of Email and Spam Score
Finally, a few more words about deliverability. As mentioned above, Google’s and other email providers’ spam filters are more and more difficult to pass for Internet Marketing emails.
Since the filters are algorithms, following certain criteria, it is possible to test your sending domain’s spam-score.
As mentioned above, MailEngine provides a built-in check of the content of an email before it is sent.