The Beginner’s Guide To Email Marketing
**This post contains affiliate links. How can I not share with you the tools I use and love?!
Email marketing is often thought of as “building your email list”, that is just one step of the process though.
Email marketing is the process of getting your business visible via email. It’s relationship marketing through your inbox.
As you dig deeper into email marketing and it’s terms, there is the initial funnel of how you attract and grow your email list and the process you take people through as they get to know you and your brand.
If you’ve ever spent hooooours inside of Facebook trying to get noticed and get even a little engagement, email marketing is simply a more passive visibility strategy.
You can pair email marketing and social media for maximum impact, kind of like diapers AND wipes. Sorry I tried to think of a more sophisticated analogy like some fancy wine and cheese…but I don’t know much about wine or cheese!
Uhh, back to email marketing…
Here’s what we’re going to cover in this training:
- Is email marketing even necessary anymore?
- What you need in place before you start building a list
- Stages of expertise and what to focus on (or not) in each area
- 6 steps of email marketing
- Summary of this massive post with your steps for getting started
**Before you get distracted, you may want to pin this post so you can reference it again and again.**
Is Email Marketing Even Necessary? My audience is all on Facebook!
I frequently get asked if email marketing is even still relevant…with Facebook groups and all the other social media platforms these days.
My answer is always YES…they are still relevant.
Here’s why…a long long time ago you could have a Facebook page and those who liked your page actually saw your posts.
I was working in a product based online business at the time and had worked hard to grow our audience to 10,000+. Our sales were the highest they had ever been, consistently around the $15,000-$20,000 range and life was good!
Then one day…Facebook changed their algorithms and we were able to reach about ⅓ of that 10,000 person audience. We had email addresses for our current clients but we hadn’t been proactive about getting email addresses from those we were nurturing and because of that, they stopped seeing us in their feed and the potential client based we had grown…was now getting cold.
My passion in unraveling the mystery in email marketing is to help you leverage this platform in conjunction with social media so that you always have access to your audience, regardless of the new ways Facebook decides to monetize.
Email marketing is a powerful tool for getting yourself out of the time sucking vortex of Facebook groups and focusing on the basics of creating content, serving your clients and planning ahead.
Email Marketing Prerequisites (what you need in place):
Before you get all crazy about saving time being visible via email I want to stop and make sure you have the bare minimum required to be successful leveraging email marketing.
There are 2 criteria you MUST have figured out:
1:: You must know what you sell. What is the tangible outcome that people get after working with you? They start at A and you take them to B…what are those two points of their life or business?
Vague: You’re a copywriter, you know exactly what you sell…your writing! You can write about anything so sometimes you write articles for Dog & Cat Magazine, sometimes you help an insurance company update their brochures and other times you look around wondering how you can be so talented but so so broke.
You want to do email marketing but aren’t even sure who you would create a lead magnet targeting.
Specific: You’re a copywriter. You help entrepreneurs (usually coaches) write persuasive sales copy for their website and sales funnels. You can write ‘about pages’, challenge content and really anything…but you position yourself as an expert on sales copy and let the other work flow naturally to you.
You’re thinking of creating a lead magnet to the effect of, “6-Figure Sales Funnel Copy For Coaches: The Exact Formula I Use + Examples”.
See how those two versions of “knowing what you sell” are different?
2:: Who you serve and what they respond to. This is a perfect pairing with #1 but often as entrepreneurs we skip to the “what we want to offer” stage and ignore market research because “we KNOW” this is needed.
Market research is a few things: knowing who you serve, what they want, the words they use to describe what they want and verifying your offer with paying clients.
The paying part is really important because it validates that you heard your ideal client and created what they wanted in words they responded to. You CAN create something people want but then be so off with the wording that they don’t even know what it is or that they want it.
Uhhh, I know from personal experience!
Just to give you a little insight, people aren’t excited about their lead magnet…they’re excited about their funnel, automation and getting it all in place quickly so they can see results.
My first go at this was just focused on lead magnets, haha, and it didn’t do so well!
What To Focus On (And Ignore):
When it comes to email marketing, once you have your foundations in place, the next three things you need are, an email marketing system, a way to create landing pages and content.
1:: Email marketing system that includes the ability to send automated emails (like Get Response, ActiveCampaign, Aweber, Convert Kit, etc).
Who am I excluding here? The free version of MailChimp because it doesn’t allow you to send automated emails.
You also don’t want to use email systems like yahoo, gmail or hotmail. Those are great for personal emails but when you’re emailing for business each mass email needs to include the option to unsubscribe.
When your audience receives email from you through this email system, your return address will be gmail (or whatever you use) but the system will put that unsubscribe option at the bottom of each email and will also give you statistics on delivery.
The U.S. and Canada have laws around “spam” (you’re not sending spam I assume!) but Canada passed something more recently that implies they’re serious about enforcement. You can check that out here. The summary of it is that if you’re emailing someone in Canada you need to have proof they choose to receive the email (if they opted in themselves, that is the easiest) and you need to give them the option to stop receiving the email.
When it comes choosing your first email marketing system, don’t get distracted by the advanced functions. The platforms I’ve mentioned above allow you to grow into the system, so that means you learn to use its basic features and when you’re ready you can stay on the same email system but add more functions.
You need the email system to send emails, give you statistics and allow you to setup automated email series that deliver when someone signs up for your lead magnet. Seriously, don’t get distracted with features you’ll use, “when your business takes off” or when you hit $xxxxx revenue.
I personally use Get Response. Here is a quick rundown of why I think it’s a great option for getting started with…
- The price + functionality. When you have less than 1,000 subscribers you get email PLUS landing pages for $15 a month. These are two awesome features because you can stick with one system and just add content…and you have an email marketing plan. This combined functionality means you aren’t worrying about integration or other tech stuff, it’s all done for you.
- Customer support. They have chat support available 24/7, so when you’re stuck or have a question, rather than spending hours trying to figure it out or digging through the resource section…you can just ask a person!
- It’s really easy to use. The email and landing page functions don’t require you to know code, they are simply drag and drop builders. So even the most non-techy person, can create something that is pretty and functional.
- You can grow into it. They have the basic package but also allow you to upgrade to include more automated email funnels and tagging. You can also add webinars to your monthly package for a complete marketing system that is already all connected, saving you hooours of time!
2:: A way to make landing pages.
A “landing page” is any page that is able to accept someone’s contact information and integrates with your email system to automatically add them to a list.
There are a few different ways you can create a landing page:
- A plugin. The WordPress theme, Divi, has a plugin that allows you to create a page on your website and then integrate the email opt in with that page. The divi theme is really awesome and only costs like $100…so you get an easy website builder PLUS you can create your own landing pages (with statistics). — So super cost effective!
- An email/landing page integrated system. This is a system like Get Response that includes both an email and landing page builder for easy integration. This is a great option for for the non-techy person who doesn’t want to worry about the the little pieces.
- A stand alone landing page creator. These are systems that only focus on giving you the functionality to create a landing page. LeadPages is an example of this type of system. It’s an excellent platform for building landing pages and is very user friendly.
Your landing page can have a wide range of looks. The key elements of a great landing page are that it only gives your audience one choice, opt in or leave and it also has a clear call to action and place to take action.
Your landing page is what you track your conversion rates from. Basically you want to know how many people visit the page and how many of those people actually choose to sign up. If this number isn’t in the 20%-40%+ range, you need to tweak how you’re placing and promoting the page or the actual words on the page to get it in that range.
The content aspect of your email marketing will be best explained in the following 6-step system.
The 6 Stages Of Email Marketing
There are six areas I teach in my Automation On Autopilot program. This is a complete system for each step you need to get started with for income and audience building.
Once you get it in place and tested you can put it on autopilot while you focus on other areas of your business.
Stage 1: Lead Magnet
Stage 2: Landing & Thank You Page
Stage 3: Automated Email Series
Stage 4: Placement & Promotion
Stage 5: Regular Communication Plan
Stage 1: Tripwire
Before you start on these 6 steps you want to consider what the entire picture will look like.
This is what a funnel is, the process you lead people through as they get to know you and your offerings. This is simply a process of working backwards from one specific offer to a few steps before that offer that you can invite your audience in from.
So for example, if you have a 3 month coaching package and that’s all you offer, you want to consider why people hire you for that offer. What do they want, what do they need, what are their specific objectives. Then decide what they need right before they work with you.
If you’re a copywriter, you want to think about what types of content will someone want who is interested in great copy? Maybe a list of headlines, scripts, formulas for writing a great sales page, etc.
Your lead magnet is the first step in your funnel but in reality, working backwards is really the first step.
Let’s dig into each of these 6 areas…
This is the first piece of value you give to grow your audience. It is most often a PDF but could also be a challenge, a webinar, a video series, a checklist or an audio recording.
Literally, all it has to be is of value to your audience.
You create this piece of value based on the wants and needs of your audience and the need you solve. It’s important to make your lead magnet specific to who you want to attract so that those who aren’t your ideal clients aren’t interested.
For example, if you help people run Facebook ads and sell digital products about running Facebook ads and you created a lead magnet, which of these do you think would attract the right group of people?
Option 1: 15 Questions To Truly Know Your Ideal Client
Option 2: 15 Questions To Figure Out Your Ideal Client So Your Facebook Ads Are Spot On
Option 2 is more specific on WHO this is for. Everyone needs ideal client work but not everyone is going to be attracted to running Facebook ads.
Other names for a lead magnet are freemium, freebie and opt in. They’re all the same thing…just by a different name.
There are two landing pages, the opt in page and the thank you page. Your opt in page is the initial page people see when they give you their email address in exchange for your lead magnet. The thank you page pops up immediately after only to those who sign up for your lead magnet.
We talked about the opt in page above in the must have elements section. If you’ve been skimming…go back and check out that section.
In regards to your Thank You page…this is an opportunity to start building a relationship with this new friend!
I love to have a very short welcome video on the thank you page so they can see my face, hear my voice and invite them to take another step with me…to join my Facebook group.
The Thank You page is a great place to put a video, invite them to your Facebook group (if you have one) or simply deliver your lead magnet with an instant download.
Automated Email Series
Once someone has signed up to receive your lead magnet, it will trigger in your automated email system for them to receive a series of emails you’ve set up.
Your goal with these emails is to provide value, build a relationship and establish yourself as an authority.
Some people call these emails a “sales funnel” because they’re selling something inside of that automated email series. That doesn’t always feel good though and can be somewhat intimidating as you start to question if you need to hire someone who writes better or what the heck to even say!
When you’re just getting started with email marketing, it’s okay for this email series to be about the three areas I mentioned above: value, relationships and authority.
You can do anything you want in these emails, you can offer a call with you, sell a small product, invite them to your Facebook group or simply provide value and then invite them into a group coaching program you run a few times a year.
There isn’t any “right” way to do these. You MUST convey value, build a relationship and build your authority though…well and stay on topic for how you want to be known. Have you noticed I think these three areas are key?! Lol
A big question I get (in addition to what to include in each email) is how frequently to send them. Again, there is no right or wrong answer here but I do include a suggestion below.
Here is an overview of what those emails might include:
Email 1: (Delivered: immediately, day 0) deliver your lead magnet & invite them to your Facebook group (if you have one).
Email 2: (Delivered: day 1) Check in and see if they’ve had a chance to look at your lead magnet yet. Link up to it again and then give them a nugget of value from it that they can feel good about even if they don’t look at it.
Email 3: (Delivered: day 4) Introduce yourself and your background but just like everything you’ve read about writing an “about page” make sure this content focuses on your reader, how you can help them and relating to them.
This email is important for the authority building process as it gives them some insight into who you are, what you’ve accomplished and why you’re passionate about your business.
Email 4: (Delivered: day 7) So the person signed up for your lead magnet, what is the next bit of information they need? This is a great place to give them more value around that next step. Maybe it’s a blog post you wrote or a video…but connect them to that next step and convey that you have more to offer than just the first bit of value.
Email 5: (Delivered: day 10) I like to give more value here. Especially if you’re going to sell soon, you want to continue to add value around that initial topic and take them deeper.
You can literally set this automation up for as long as you want. You can include sales emails, your best blog posts and anything else you deliver as value to your audience.
List Building: Placement & Promotion
This is one of my favorite areas of email marketing, the part where you build the list and tell the world about what you do…it’s visibility baby! List building can be broken down into, placement and promotion.
Training’s like webinars and challenges are amazing for list building as well…but not something we’ll focus on for your initial automated funnel as those have their own funnels.
This is where you place your lead magnet so it gets seen when people are checking you out. A few places could be on your main social media platforms for example, in the sidebar of your blog and on your home page.
This is how you actively promote your lead magnet. Some examples of this are in promo threads in groups, at the end of value posts that tie into your lead magnet and at the end of a guest post.
Regular Email Communication
This step and the actual working backwards to figure out your lead magnet are the most frequently ill-planned steps of most people’s automated email funnel. Don’t let that be you!
All of these pieces build on to the next. It’s not enough to get your clients great results, have an amazing lead magnet and a great email series experience…you must also remember to email your list regularly.
Otherwise they forget who the heck you are and why they joined your email list in the first place!
So how do you do this?
You create a plan, a system for being consistent.
You take the guess work out of it so that you can sit down and know exactly when it’s going out and the structure of how you communicate.
Email marketing can seem dull at first…you’re building a list of people who can feel like statistics.
100, 500…they are faceless and usually don’t hit that reply button to communicate directly with you.
BUT when you have a mechanism in place to both build your audience AND you income…it picks up in excitement a little bit!
A tripwire is a low priced offer that is a natural next step from your lead magnet. You can offer it on the Thank You page when someone first joins your list or you can integrate it into your email series.
When I say “low priced” it basically just needs to be a no-brainer purchase.
It could be a $7, $14, $27…it really just depends on what your lead magnet was and the amount of value you’re providing.
Keep in mind though that even if you’re providing MASSIVE value…it’s still early in the relationship and people need time to know and trust you. Keep it low enough that the purchase isn’t about you but rather about the urgency of their current needs.
I didn’t include this further up in the steps because while it’s exciting, it isn’t something you need to get done when you setup your first email marketing funnel.
It doesn’t have to be an advanced technique though!
A good measurement is to run 100-200 people to your landing page and see what your conversion rate is.
If it’s in the 20%-40% range…go ahead and create a tripwire! Otherwise I would focus on getting the lead magnet converting better first.
Getting Started: Your Action Steps
I know this is a lot of information…and since you’re down here I’m assuming you read it and I’m just going to go ahead and assume you LOVED it too!
Here is a summary and some steps for getting started, in order!
1:: Know who you serve and what you sell
2:: Get your email marketing system integrated with your landing page system
3:: Work backwards to determine your lead magnet subject
4:: Create lead magnet and landing pages
5:: Write automated email series
6:: Place and promote your lead magnet
7:: Create a plan for staying in touch with your list
8:: After you’ve tested your conversion rate…create a tripwire product and make money that can pay for you to run more ads and build your audience more quickly!
I was serious about the whole “Beginner’s Guide To Email Marketing” thing and I hope you have a better understanding of email marketing and the initial automated funnel.
Comment below and let me know what you learned or what stood out to you! If you have questions I haven’t answered, include those below too!
If you have an audience who would benefit from this content, be sure to share it with them and pin it to your Pinterest board for future reference!