Frequently Asked Questions About Email Marketing

Frequently asked questions about email marketing

If you are just getting started with email marketing or want to improve your results, no doubt you have a few questions. In this post, you will discover some of the best questions about email marketing that are asked on quora.com and find out the best way to answer them.

I'm keeping most of the questions as written, even if not grammatically perfect. Since this is quite a long post, the questions are listed below and then the answer is linked further down the post.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a method to follow up with your customers and prospects via email. Email marketing is different from spamming because the prospect has to opt in and request the email newsletter. A spam message, which is illegal under the Can-Spam act is where the company purchases an email list and blasts it out to thousands of people in hopes that someone is interested in the product.

Because true opt in email marketing is permission based, it can have a high return on investment. Most studies put the figure at around 40 to 1 or 4000% ROI.

How to do email marketing?

Email marketing should be done with planning and dedication. You and your marketing partners need to plan out exactly what you are going to say and how you are going to say it.

Some common types of newsletter content that you can send include: thank you emails, announcements, blog posts, company news, industry news, sales pitches, seminar and webinar invitations.

What is the best email marketing software?

This question comes up a lot on Quora under many different titles. Some of these titles include:

What are the best digital marketing tools? (seo, email, social, mobile ...)

Which email marketing service is the best?

The answer varies on what your business does and what you are trying to accomplish. I personally like ActiveCampaign and Constant Contact but there are hundreds if not thousands of companies out there all competing for your business. Those are great places to start. Click here to see a comparison of the two services.

If neither one of those work for you, the best thing to do is to look at your competitor's website and opt in to their list. Most likely, whatever works for them will work for you too.

Remember though, it's not about the software. At the end of the day, it's really about having a compelling message send to an interested audience that you communicate with consistently. Almost any program out there can handle this requirement.

What is the step by step procedure to start email marketing?

This one is way too long to answer in a blog post. However, I have a step by step training that you can subscribe to and get the answer to this. You will get one step a day over the course of 30 days. 

Click here to subscribe

What is the best email marketing blog?

I would like to think that this one is. 🙂

Additionally, most email marketing software companies like Constant Contact, ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp, Get Response, Emma, Hubspot and others maintain a blog and have great tips that you can use no matter what provider you are using. I get emails and read blog posts from almost all of them.

What are the best practices of email marketing?

There are a lot of them. Enough for a whole seminar in fact.

The biggest ones are:

  1. Build your list legitimately with people that want to be there
  2. Create quality content
  3. Email your list consistently while providing value
  4. Don't be afraid to ask for the sale, but also don't make everything you send sales focused.

What is the value of email marketing?

Numerous studies put the value at about 4000%. In other words for every dollar spent, $40 comes back. I've seen some at $38, some at $42. Still a very high ROI no matter how you see it.

Does this mean if you are sending junk mail to your list of 10 people that you are going to make 4000%? No of course not! This is for established marketers that email their customers consistently. 

How can one use Gmail for email marketing?

I've seen this mistake every so often with people new to email marketing that are too cheap to pay for software. The short answer is don't do it! It's not compliant with the Can-Spam act and it's not designed for email newsletters. 

Does email marketing work?

Absolutely, it works. That's why it's being used from anyone from mom and pop shops to the big companies like Amazon. Like anything else, it's not guaranteed. You still need to have quality content and be mailing out to your list consistently.

Is email marketing dead?

I've heard this question numerous times both online and in person. They think that just because there's Facebook and texting out there that email marketing is dead.

However, what's the ONE activity that EVERYONE online does every day, typically multiple times a day? Check their email! Until that goes away, email marketing won't be going anywhere.

What is the best software for email marketing analytics?

It depends what kind of analytics you need. For most people, you just want to check the open rate and click rates and see who your most active subscribers are. This type of thing can be accomplished with almost any email marketing software out there.

For website activity, you can also use a free analytics tool like Google Analytics.

If you want to have fancier analytics and are willing to pay for it, you might want to invest in an analytics and optimization tool like Litmus.

How much does email marketing software cost?

It depends on the company. Most services use a tiered system where you pay based on the number of contacts on your email list. For example, ActiveCampaign starts at $9 a month for 500 contacts and this type of pricing is fairly typical.

Most email marketing services have multiple tiers with additional functionality offered as you move up the packages. 

Additionally, you may find that you need to have someone help you create the campaigns. I have a package called Mr. Leads Concierge that starts at $249 a month.

Do short or long emails convert better?

It really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. You should have one call to action in your emails. The days of sending a monthly newsletter with 10 articles are gone. If you are going to send a long email, it should be a story that gets the user closer to the click.

Does building an email list improve SEO?

Having and leveraging an email list can help with your rankings in an indirect way with a couple of factors. First of all, Google looks at the bounce rate and the dwell rate. These are fancy ways of saying "how long your user stayed on your website." Being able to send targeted traffic to your website from your email list will certainly help since these users will typically be the most engaged.

Additionally, Google and other search engines also look at how often your content is shared on social media. Again, by having an email list, it will improve your traffic, which in turn will get you more shares on social media.

What is the best way to build an email list?

There are lots of different methods that you can utilize to build your email list. These include: having a sign up sheet, a form on your website, calling your customers, using pay per click ads and many others. The best way really depends on your particular situation and your resources.

Want to learn 60 Ways To Build an Email List? 

Click here to download the free PDF report 

How often should I email my list?

How often can you create value for your list? Most small business owners actually don't send enough email. Like the saying goes "out of sight means out of mind."

If you can create enough valuable content, several times a week, even every day can work. If the content is pitch after pitch with no real value, even once a month will get ignored.

How can I improve my open rates?

By far the best way to have a good open rate is to have a clean list. Do your prospects know, like and trust you? Are they expecting to hear from you? Are you setting expectations when they sign up? 

After that, it comes down to testing. Have a good subject line and body copy. 

What's the best time of the day to send email?

There's no right and wrong time of day, but certainly the time of day can affect your open rates. This one typically comes down to testing your market. In the following infographic from Kissmetrics, you can see the different average responses based on time of day. The graphic is clickable if you want to zoom in and read it better.

email open rates

What is a spam filter and how does it work?

Gmail and Yahoo Mail are getting more and more aggressive in the battle against spam. If your message isn't good, by their standards, it will end up in the spam box and never get seen. While there are no hard rules in the battle against spam, here are a few things that they are looking at.

Is the message entirely image with no text?

Are other people on your list opening your emails or sending in spam complaints?

Are you using one of the "spam trigger words"?

Luckily, most email marketing software programs like Constant Contact have a test that you can use to see if it passes the spam check.

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