Storified Email Marketing TrainingResources and training to help you implement Storified Email into your business
Let’s Get Started … The Basics and How This Training is Organized
First, take a look at the diagram below. This is what we will be creating as a system to get you customers perfectly aligned with your business that you can continually market your products or services to.
Each section below is broken up into easy to understand, easy to implement chunks of information. If you consume and implement everything on this page you can put together a solid email marketing campaign (AKA funnel) to drive quality leads or customers into your business.
Another thing I would like to do is to introduce you to having a mindset of preeminence. This is crucial for building a bond with your customers. Your customers believe in you and want to have faith that the product or service you provide will improve their life. If you put “them” before anything else, it will come through in your messages and your writing.
This will make your list a powerful asset of your company. Large mailing lists aren’t very useful if the list doesn’t trust you.
Jay Abraham is a world class marketing consultant who gets thousands of dollars per hour for a consultation. He talks in depth about this mindset of preeminence.
I do have additional training to take your email marketing funnel to higher levels. But to be of the right mindset for that information, I’d really like you to consume and at least have the basic structure in place before moving on.
The best thing you can do is “Bookmark” this page so you can return to it easily as you move through the training.
When you are ready, the signup for the insiders club in the right sidebar.
Thanks and lets begin the training with a little mindset foundation on the type of customers we want to attract.
Browse through the toggles below to open more extensive training in each section.
When you are done with the basic training, sign up to the insiders list to get even more information and take your basic email campaign to the next level.
Doing research for your business
Many businesses let this section lapse or believe they know their customer with actually doing any research. This is why many marketing campaigns fail to connect with their ideal customer.
First you want to find out where you customers ‘hang out’ online before we can gain insight into their mindset.
Do a simple Google search for blogs or forums related to your industry or products.
If your in the business of selling photography services like Anita in our example, you’d do a Google search for terms like:
“wedding photography forum”
“choosing wedding photographers forum”
Then filter through customer discussions to gain insight into what they are looking for or problems they have had with wedding photographers.
Another place to look would be wedding planning blogs. Look in the customer comments in the individual posts. These comments will be a valuable source of information into the mind of people who have chosen wedding photographers.
Another great source for information are discussions on Craigslist or Reddit. When doing marketing for a restaurant, I used Reddit extensively to get insight into the mind of restaurant owners.
Assemble all this information into a research folder and we will go on to creating your ideal customer avatar.
Creating Your Basic Customer Avatar
Now it’s time to create your ideal customer avatar.
This is a complete profile of your ideal customer; from their basic demographics to insight into how they think and act.
Give this person a name. Fill in details about their life.
If you’ve been in business for awhile, go and research your best customers. Take the traits that made them excellent customers and build the avatar around them.
This is a process of exclusion as well as a process of inclusion.
If you have customers who you find are difficult to deal with or have traits that make them not your best customers, build your avatar not to include the traits you don’t like.
Remember Anita and Ted from the “Fork in the Road” section. Those are just a surface level avatars I built into a story.
The avatar you need to create is very in-depth. This is what you will look at when creating your sales pages and who you will talk to when selling you products or services.
Creating a story and hook around your business
This is what the other half of the research is for. To create a story and a hook to pull customers into the message of your business.
Think of it this way.
People love stories. Stories about a businesses success. Stories about a businesses struggle to succeed. Stories about businesses helping people. Stories about businesses changing the world.
This was the very motivation behind this site.
Marketing and advertising has always seen pockets of stories buried within the slogans. But, with the rise of the internet coupled with the increasing lack of consumer attention, businesses have started turning to stories to build customer attention.
This is why we need to build a story around your business.
And, not just a story.
But a unique story, different than your competition, which matches with everything your ideal prospect wants in a company.
Let’s talk about hooks.
A hook is something which pulls a customer into your story. It’s usually written within one sentence or something short to be used as a headline to pull the browser to be a reader of your story.
A hook usually contains a juxtaposition. For those who don’t know what this is, I’m going to use a famous headline as an example.
This headline comes from copywriter John Carlton.
“Amazing Secret Discovered By One-Legged Golfer Adds 50 Yards To Your Drives, Eliminates Hooks and Slices… And Can Slash Up To 10 Strokes From Your Game Almost Overnight!”
The juxtaposition is the fact that you would never expect a one legged golfer to play golf, let alone a brilliant game of golf.
A great hook will make the read pause for a moment and say,” ah, what was that?” It’s almost a disbelief in what they are reading to bring them in a tell them how what they read could be true.
A great story lead with a powerful hook is something every business needs to employ.
Setting Up Your Email Service
Now it’s time to setup your email marketing service.
You may ask why you even need one.
First, it gives you a place to hold and manage all of your subscribers.
Second, it’s software automatically adds subscribers, day or night, without you having to do any work.
Third, it allows you to automate delivery of emails for any time, any day, or even triggered by a certain event triggered by your email reader. (This is where we get into segmenting)
For this I recommend Get Response.
There are many services out there, but Get Response has the best plan for the money. And, it allows the easiest segmentation right in house without the use of add on third party software.
It’s easy to set up and has a bunch of ‘how To’ videos to walk you through every step of the setup process.
You will need to setup a couple things to begin setting up your email campaign.
- Set up a campaign. This will be your main business list. as you expand you can setup different list under different campaigns, but just start out simple and have one campaign.
- You will need to create a signup form to put on your website or Facebook page. Get Response can integrate seamlessly with a bunch of services like Facebook or Twitter.
- You will need a customer ‘Thank You’ page to send subscribers to after they confirm their subscription. Get Response can provide you with a stock page, but I don’t recommend it. This is the best opportunity you have to connect with your customer. They proved they want to hear more from you by signing up to your list. Take the opportunity to make them an initial special offer just for signing up.
- You will also need to insert your postal address into your profile. I recommend and actual physical address rather than a post office box. This will add credibility to your online presence.
- Finally, you will need to setup whether you want double opt-in or single. Double opt-in gives you a little more security for being in compliance of the CAN-SPAM Act. Although many argue it greatly decreases the amount of list opt-in. The choice is purely yours to make. To change this you will need to go to the Settings Button next to your current campaign. Then go to your Permission tab.
You can also import any contacts you already have by going to the ‘Add Contacts’ button at the top of your dashboard.
Just click on the affiliate link below to go to Get Response and signup for your account.
Next, we’ll move onto setting up your signup page or what some people call your squeeze page. I’m not real fond of the squeeze page terminology, but if you’ve been around the web I’m sure you have heard it called this.
Landing Page and Website Creation
In this section we will go through setting up a landing page. This will be the page you will funnel traffic to from various advertising campaigns around the web. You never want to send that traffic to a general website home page. Home pages are designed to be a gateway to your website. They will disperse traffic and potentially send people away with getting any connection from them.
The best thing is to design a page on your site designed specifically to secure an email signup. We’ll go through getting subscribers in the next section, but first we”l help you set up a basic website if you don’t already have one.
First thing you will need is a hosting provider. The one I use for all my customers and my own sites is Hostgator.
You can got to their page by following this link : Hostgator.com.
They have a hosting plan called a Hatchling Plan for around $6 to $7 per month. This is all you will really need to get started.
They may try to upgrade you to a business class account, but the extra bells and whistles will be wasted while you just get up and running. As your company grows and you online needs grow, you can always upgrade later. For now keep it short and simple.
The platform we will be using to host a website will be WordPress. WordPress itself is a free web platform, but to you will need a theme to give a basic structure to your website.
Hostgator offers a wordpress hosting deal which is supposed to be customized just to host wordpress sites.
To find out how to install wordpress after you purchased your hosting, I give a detailed step by step explanation on this page here. WordPress setup.
I haven’t had any experience with this, but I’ve heard it isn’t worth the extra outlay of cash.
There are a couple different sources I use for my themes. I steer away from free themes. The code is usually bad and they are not very customizable.
Studio Press by Copyblogger media is one of the theme services I use. Their code is very well written so their websites load really fast. They have a two their system to their sites. The first that needed to be installed is their parent theme (Genesis Framework). Then you can use either one of their free child themes or get a customized child theme for about $45.
Another theme I really like is Divi by Elegant Themes; which is the exact theme you are looking at now. This website is my first experience with DIVI, but as of right now it is the easiest and most customizable theme I’ve ever worked with. You don’t need to be a computer programer to get a site totally customized to what you want. Everything is a series of check boxes or drag and drop styling. It’s by far the easiest I’ve ever used.
The last theme I’ve used in the past is Thesis. It’s a really good theme, but it’s not as easily customizable as the rest. Thesis uses a series of customizable hooks; kind of like shortcakes to tweak the site how you want it. The up side to this theme is that it is clean and loads quickly so it’s a Google favorite. Fast loading websites is something Google likes and will reward for.
Collecting Subscribers to Your Email List
One thing you will need to do is collect subscribers.
Not only just email addresses, but subscribers which are most likely to buy what you are selling.
This is why creating an avatar for your ideal customer is absolutely necessary.
In your copy for the email signup page, talk to your avatar as if you were just sitting around having a conversation.
It’s best not to make it sound like one of those flashy radio ads that seem to scream out the company message.
Or break into that monotone local tv ad voice that screams inauthentic from a mile away.
Be conversational and tell your prospect what you have to offer them. What benefit do they get for signing up to your list. Just be a real person that is talking to another person about their problem.
As a side note.
Ultimately you want to sell them your product or service, but initially you just want them on your list. Concentrate on one goal at a time.
Subscribers will cost your business money. Concentrate on signing up only those you can help and people who want hear from you.
There is also the issue of what you want to give your customers who signup to your list.
It really depends on your business. In the case of Anita in our Tale of Two Businesses, the obvious would be to offer some sort of discount coupon on the purchase of a photo session.
But lets not jump to conclusions that all the prospects who come to the page want to buy what she is selling yet; no need for a discount.
So, what would be the next best solution?
This is what segments average business marketing from the exceptional.
It really depends where traffic is coming from. Now I’ve created a page here telling all about segmenting your list and offering different things to different people.
Now, once you figure out what to offer, it’s time to get down to business and write out the page or copy for the side bar opt-in.
This is where stories first come into our system.
Now you can hire a copy writer to create signup page copy, but to get anything of real quality, you will need to spend quite a bit of money. Good copy is not cheap.
You can probably do this yourself with just a little study into the basics of copywriting. You may need to rewrite it a couple of times; testing a tweaking along the way. But, it’s not impossible to create something pretty good on your own.
I’ve created a little summarization on what I believe to be the key points to good copywriting.
You can check it all out on this copywriting basics page.
Now once you have your signup page copy written, it’s time to pair it up with an email service and start getting some leads.
I use a company called get response. I’ve tried several and for what they offer for the price and the ease of use of their service, they are the best option.
I run through several options for email lists and break it all down on why they are the best on this page here.
The last thing is setting up a page on your website and start sending traffic.
Setting Up Your Email Sequence
Ok, this is where the fun begins. Now we’re going to start selling your business to your prospective customer through a series of emails.
Each email will build on the previous one to create a story which pulls the prospect in.
Typically we begin with about eight to ten emails space to be delivered everyday or every other day. Feel free to expand from there. I’ve heard on email sequences of up to a year long.
As long as you have a story to tell, keep telling it to your prospects through email.
Just start with about eight to ten and keep adding them on the end from there.
There are several different types of stories you can tell. So, I’m going to run down a couple of general scenarios to get you headed in the right direction.
First, you can tell a story about how a customer used your product or service to achieve a goal or make their life better.
A transformational story. Let the reader really know the pain and suffering the prospect went through before finding you.
Tell them how they went about implementing your product or service, then give them the glorious end result. The more intense the struggle or emotions behind the struggle, the more the reader will connect to your story.
You’ll pull them in.
The other type of story which works real well is a story behind yourself.
Did you have a struggle?
Did you find a solution and now you want to share it with the world.
Basically, you learned or invented something to solve a problem you had, and now you want to help others by sharing it with them.
As you tell the story you will want to address the character traits you discovered by creating your customer avatar.
The customer will be drawn into the story deeper and deeper depending on the similarities they have with the main character of your story.
When the main character solves their problem using the solution you provide, the reader will see themselves doing the same.
The old axiom of show don’t tell is what is going on in the mind of the prospect reading your story.
Most people will not do something you tell them to do, even if it is to their benefit.
But, if you show them an example of someone who solved the same problem they have with your solution, they’ll bite.
The next thing you want to do is to create cliffhangers within your story and to link each email your going to send. This will build anticipation to receive your next message.
And, strategically placed at intervals throughout the email, will keep the reader pulled along through the entire message.
An example of a cliffhanger could be, “ Tomorrow, I’ll show you this free simple technique which will take you five minutes to implement that helped so and so out of a jam.”
Make it interesting enough for them to look forward to getting that next message.
The last thing you want to do in every message is to put a call to action at the end of the note.
Start out casually mentioning what you have in the first email of the sequence then build the intensity and pressure in the last couple emails.
You don’t have to sound like your screaming, but push the urgency to contact you right away because the sooner they get started, the better off they will be.
Next we will start getting traffic to our sale funnel.
Getting Traffic to Your Subscriber Form
Now that we’ve done all the hard work of setting up our sales funnel, it’s time to get some traffic to it and bring in some customers.
There are several ways to get traffic to your sales funnel, but the fastest and most consistent is by paying for it.
By this I mean buying ads on sites like Facebook, Bing or Google. Now, to get a good education on buying traffic you could spend years learning the craft.
But, I’m going to give you enough of and education to at least get the ball rolling.
First thing to keep in mind with paid traffic is to not let it get out of hand until you know your numbers and everything you did in your funnel will work.
By this I mean, set your spending limit as modest while you test. In the same token you need to know your numbers.
Roughly saying, if you spend $.50 per click and it takes you 10 clicks for someone to sign up for you auto responder (we’ll call it a newsletter for now) and one out of every 10 people who sign up for your auto responder became a customer; then it cost you $50 to gain that customer.
You need to know that each customer will spend at least $50 with you company to break even. Oh, I almost forgot, you need to take into account the cost associated with each purchase.
The customer might need to spend at least $75 or $100 with your business just to truly break even on that ad.
This is just a rough example, but you can see how easy it is to let the numbers slip away from you.
It’s kind of like going to a casino watching those numbers click in, but remember advertising company is dipping into your checking account every time those clicks come in.
The other thing you really need to watch out for is the platform you are using to advertise on matches the customer mindset when they click on your ad.
This is a little difficult to explain thoroughly, but I’ll give it a try.
Let’s say you are targeting business owners to provide financial service consulting. You go to Facebook and place a targeted ad aimed at business owners that fit your avatar.
You start the campaigning start getting some clicks, but none are converting to customers.
The problem could be that the business owners you are targeting are on that platform for a completely different purpose.
Maybe that business person is on Facebook to relax for the evening and unwind. The last thing on their mind is to research business ideas.
The chance of them to engage into your offer when they are not in business mode is slim.
Now, putting a campaign together on Google would probably be more profitable. Google search or even a remarketing campaign on their network would meet people when they are in a specific business state of mind.
These guidelines should be enough to at least get you started on your way to driving traffic to your site.
If you’d like even more traffic ideas or even more information to get your campaign running better, sign up for the newsletter in the right side column of this page.
That is the place I like to share some of my best information and keep everyone informed on changes as they happen in internet marketing.
To me, it’s more like a community of friends I can send a quick note to if I see something that is working well or if I see things going in a different direction than before.
It’s easiest for me to just drop you a quick email to keep you up to date.
Read them if you want.
Ignore them if you’re too busy.
But, that is how it’s easiest for me to keep you on the cutting edge.
“The marketing advise Kevin gave me was right on target. Our sales had fallen a little flat and I always blamed it on the economy. He showed me ways I can get the business energized ... even while being in a recession.”
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“The marketing advise Kevin gave me was right on target. Our sales had fallen a little flat and I always blamed it on the economy. He showed me ways I can get the business energized ... even while being in a recession.”