Effective marketing, email or otherwise, boils down to this: Find an audience, figure out what they need or want and then deliver it. Email is one of the best mediums to help you do just that. And it isn’t always about selling them on a product. In fact, that isn’t at all where you want to start.
First you want to build a relationship with your readers. You want them to get to know you. You want to help them out so they start to like you and trust you. Only then will you be able to make an offer and have them pull out their wallet and buy it.
Watch Your Traffic Stats
Pay attention to your website stats. Programs like Google Analytics can give you a lot of information of where you’re readers came from, what page the landed on and where they were on your site when they joined your list. That data along with demographical information will tell you a lot about your audience.
As you start to email your readers, they will reply and get back in touch with you. Pay attention to what they’re saying. And don’t forget to read between the lines. Let’s say you’re in the parenting niche and you noticed that some of your readers are asking for suggestions on being a more patient parent. They complain about being short tempered and freaking out about little things. The real issue may be lack of sleep because the baby or toddler isn’t sleeping through the night.
As another example, one of my friends has a site about cats. To say that her readers are super crazy about cats is an understatement. But she has found that they absolutely do not like anything that is less than warm and fuzzy. For example, the videos of cats being scared by cucumbers. They smell like some specific sort of snake, and if a cat smells them, it will freak out and jump in the air! If my friend posts anything like that, she will get plenty of hate mail. So it pays to know your audience.
Dig deep and see what you can learn about your market. Sometimes what they tell you they want isn’t the real issue.
On the flip side, it can be helpful to ask them for suggestions. Keep the questions open ended if you want a lot to work with.
Or consider having your readers fill out a simple little survey. It’s quick and easy to do with Google forms. You get some good data and you get your readers to interact. Having them contribute builds a sense of community even via email.
Pay Attention to Your Email Stats
Last but not least go back and look at the past emails you’ve sent. Pay attention to open rates, click through rates and unsubscribes. If a large percentage of readers opened the email, that’s a good indication they were interested in the topic. If they clicked links to additional content, that’s even better. If on the other hand you got a lot of unsubscribes, that might be an indication that either the topic was wrong or your language and overall message didn’t click with your audience.
Use all the data and information you get back to learn more about your target audience and connect with them on a deeper level. The more you know about your subscribers, the more effective your email marketing will be.