How often do you create email marketing campaigns for your clients, or get contacted by new clients with that as the first task they assign you?

If like me you are doing more email marketing campaigns than ever, you may be wondering why there’s been such surge over the last 6-12 months?

For the simple reason that every small business owner, entrepreneur, life coach, consultant, manager, freelancer etc, is getting hit with the benefits of email marketing from every website or business forum they visit, every social media channel they use, and of course through face-to-face networking where they may be exchanging marketing tactics.

But it’s also clear why.

It’s the one marketing tool available to everyone that costs very little and yet has the power to make a difference to their service or product.

Research carried out (found via Copyblogger) relating to email marketing suggest that:

  • 8 out of 10 consumers claim to receive marketing messages alongside personal emails on a daily basis.
  • 70% of us make use of a coupon or discount we learned about from email.
  • Over half of us say that receiving special offers is the top reason for subscribing to an email list from a business.

So when one of your clients next need a marketing email sent out, or indeed you have your own subscriber list that you distribute to, refer to this guide to ensure you’re making it work as hard as it possibly can:

1. Include Autoresponders.

First impressions count, this is very much the case with email marketing. So make sure you have autoresponders in place at the beginning of any campaign. This allows you to set it up and pretty much forget about it safe in the knowledge that the subscribers are being well looked after.

2. Be personal.

Within your auroresponder sequence make sure you’re personable and friendly – as obvious as that sounds, often autoresponders can be very … automated.

Thank them for providing their details, express that you hope they enjoy the content / information you’re providing them with, and let them know they can get in touch or leave comments whenever they like – whichever is applicable. This will help to build that all important trust factor early on.

3. Don’t forget to ask them to white list you.

There will always be times where SPAM filters stop your email marketing efforts, so upfront don’t forget to ask them to add your email address to their list of safe senders.

Depending on what marketing emails you have scheduled to dispatch, you may want to send this one in a plain text format as it is less likely to get blocked.

4. Watch out for SPAM filters, but don’t obsess.

Your email provider should flag parts of your content that are considered more ‘spammy’ than others.

It’s important not to get hung up on them though, as you do need a degree of persuasive talking to get your subscribers to do what you want them to (and often that’s the type of content that is classed as SPAM). So to alleviate that slightly you could decide to keep your email short and sweet and use a sales landing page instead – directing your subscribers through to it. As long as you provide a strong call to action i.e. ‘Click Here’ and explain how it will benefit them if they do, then you should still get a high click-through rate.

But what about those clients that are new to email marketing and have yet to build up their subscriber database?  What do you recommend to help them grow their list?

I had this predicament for a client, so I spent some time researching what the best methods are for increasing subscriber numbers.

And here are expert tips to help increase subscriber numbers:

1. Use testimonials on your sign-up page.

This shows that they’re not the first person to sign up.

Don’t leave testimonials to the testimonials page alone where few people are likely to look. Flaunt them where it matters most – at the point of them making the decision to hand over their personal details.

2. Lure them with exclusivity.

Social proof is the buzz word these days and it’s essentially all about groups. People want to be part of a group. Sticking together with like-minded people. So create a message that entices new people in with the promise of being part of an exclusive group – they get added benefit of being part of that group, rather than just sitting on the side-lines.

3. Use social media.

Ask your existing subscribers to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. Your best marketing will be those subscribers who already are on your database and are happy to be there for the valuable content you’re providing.

And of course share it yourself too. Whatever your product or service is, you will be able to provide valuable, shareable content.

4. A strong direct call to action.

Don’t tiptoe around when you want people to subscribe or take action. Tell them exactly what you want them to do. Direct strong words subconsciously exude to the reader that they are doing the right thing by listening and acting.

I particularly like the following example:

Why not join the Army?

Versus a more obvious approach:

I want YOU for the Army

And here’s an example on a more ‘small business’ level that will relate better:

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Versus a more obvious approach:

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If you have others, share your techniques that have helped increase your clients (or your own) subscriber list? We’d love to hear!