The advantages of email:
- Email lets you send information to a wide range of existing and potential customers at a much lower cost than direct mail or printed newsletters.
- E-mail marketing allows you to track your return on investment exactly and is often reported as second only to search marketing as the most effective online marketing tactic.
- The delivery time for an e-mail message is short (i.e., seconds or minutes) as compared to a mailed advertisement (i.e., one or more days).
- E-mail marketing is paper-free (i.e., "green)
- Once you have a large list, you can "rent" your list to 3rd party marketing firms that will mail other offers to people on your list - this can be a significant additional source of revenue for your business.
How to build your email list:
Include an email sign-up box on your web site. Giving away a free report or "how-to" white course is a great incentive for people to subscribe to your list.
You can also collect the email addresses of people that drop-off of your cart page after entering their email address. You can then send them a follow up email offering a discount to complete the sale.
Once a person submits their e-mail address to you they become an opt-in subscriber. Don't just send emails that attempt to sell things but rather offer them information, free reports, and tidbits of news and advice. That way they will be more likely to purchase it as something you recommend to them, not just as something you are selling.
Key points to remember about email:
The sending of unsolicited email is forbidden by law and can involve severe penalties for violators. It is governed by the federal Can Spam Law.
Due to the large amount of spam email, it is getting harder to get legitimate commercial email delivered into people's inbox. Specialty software and service firms have emerged to help business manage their email programs and ensure that their emails are not blocked as spam.
Although it takes time and effort to maintain and grow, a mailing list can end up being the most powerful tool in your internet marketing arsenal.