Even with the advent of social media, digital newspapers, smart phones, and tablets, targeted email marketing is still the most effective form of marketing online. We shouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon, so in the meantime, it would be a shame to pass-up email marketing as a revenue source. To help you capitalize on it as a blogger, I put together this resource kit that lists everything you need to get up and running with your own targeted email list and campaign except……..
Let’s face it; people aren’t going to join your mailing list because they think you’re a swell person. You see, people have been programmed to be automatically suspicious and reluctant to give out any personal information; including their email address. So, for them to give a total stranger their email address, it would be going against what they think is the safe choice, and if you want them to do that then you have to motivate them. The best way to do that is to give them something for free. EBooks work great; templates too, short reports as well, and even software. Creating a free product to giveaway is out of the scope of this email marketing kit, but it is something you will need to do before you will see any decent amount of opt-ins.
Email Marketing List Management Services
The first thing you need is a way to manage your list and automated bulk mailings. There are third-party services that can do this for you. Some people call them autoresponder services, but today’s services handle a lot more than just managing your autoresponder. Most of them handle list management, web forms, multiple lists, social media sharing, free scripts, and more. Nearly all of them have a free option that is limited to a certain number of subscribers, which can range from 200 to 2000 depending on the service and fluctuating terms. If you are just starting out, then build up your list until you max out your limit, and then upgrade to a paid plan as you go.
- Mail Chimp
- Campaign Monitor
- Email Brain
- Stream Send
- Benchmark Email
- Get Response
- Constant Contact
- Graphic Mail
Squeeze Page Resources
Now that you have an email list, you need a place to put your web form (a.k.a opt-in form) so you can collect email addresses. Most marketers use squeeze pages. They are called squeeze pages because the only objective on the page is to get the user’s email address. If done correctly, there should be no other traffic leaks on the page, just the opt-in form. So you are virtually “squeezing” them through this one hole; the opt-in form. In this group I will break the resources down into sub-groups because squeeze pages have a few different elements.
Squeeze Page Templates (Free)
These are templates available at no cost throughout the web. As a blog owner, you have a couple options for how you want to implement the squeeze page: you can do it as a separate HTML page or directory apart from your blog and then just link to it from the blog, or you can use a theme that was made especially for creating squeeze pages with your blogging platform (such as WordPress, for example). These free templates are for squeeze pages that are separate from the blog and have their own HTML page and/or directory on your domain. You will see a lot of people on the web refer to landing and sales pages as squeeze pages; they are NOT the same thing. Squeeze pages use different tactics and designs than landing and sales pages do. So don’t use landing page templates for squeeze pages, your results will suffer for it if you do.
- Free Squeeze Page Templates from Fresh Squeeze
- CashRevelations 12 Free Squeeze Page Template Pack
- Cashrev No:1 – Free Video Squeeze Page
- Free WordPress Squeeze Page Theme From Andy Phillips
- Free Video Squeeze Page Template by Albert Hallado
- 3 Free Squeeze Page Templates by Tellman Knudson and Shawn Casey
- Multiple Free Squeeze Page Templates from Leslie
- 24 Free Squeeze Page Templates
- Free Squeeze Page Templates By Richard Legg
- Free Squeeze Page Template by PluginSqueeze
- Three Free Video Squeeze Page Templates
- Free Squeeze Page Templates Pack
- Free Squeeze Page Template by Ryan Deiss
- Free Squeeze Page Generator by Robert Puddy
Squeeze Page Templates (Paid)
The following squeeze page templates are not free, and can be considered premium templates. They are also meant to be separate from your blog on their own separate HTML page. The premium templates have a lot of quality graphics, custom scripts, and other features that you wouldn’t likely find on any free template.
Squeeze Page Themes for WordPress
Some blog owners want to create their squeeze pages from within the WordPress dashboard. For that you can use special themes designed to facilitate the creation of squeeze pages and other marketing template pages right inside WordPress.
Squeeze Page Education
Okay, once you get the squeeze page architecture up, it is time for the copy and overall design (i.e. where to place things, above the fold or under the fold, etc.). The following articles and blog posts are some of the best written on the art of squeeze page design and copywriting; I suggest you read all of it.
- 7 Steps to a Squeeze Page That Works
- Copywriting Makeover: How I Optimized The Onward Studios Squeeze Page
- Tips on Writing Great Copy for Squeeze Pages and Sales Pages
- Creating Hyper-responsive Marketing Without Hype
- Anatomy of a High Converting Squeeze Page
Autoresponder Marketing Resources
When you setup your squeeze page, don’t start collecting emails until you have at least a month’s worth of messages in the autoresponder queue ready to go out. Why? Well, unless you keep in contact regularly, email addresses tend to go stale and inactive after a sustained period of no contact from you. So, once they join your list, you want them to be getting emails from you right away and on a regular basis. Writing the autoresponder series is an underground religion and lost art, but it is something that you can do pretty effectively if you learn how. Of course I would say to outsource it to a copywriter, most definitely, but not everyone has that option financially; especially if they are new to web marketing to begin with. Here is a nice repository of autoresponder tips.
- Meet the Lazy Marketer’s Best Friend: The Email Autoresponder
- 4 Types of AutoResponder Series and The One You Should Absolutely Avoid
- How to Write a Super-Sized Autoresponder Series
- How to Build an Affiliate Autoresponder Sequence without “Burning” a List
WordPress Email Marketing Related Plug-Ins
WordPress is great for so many things, and such is the case when it comes to email marketing. Nearly every day I see another email marketing related plug-in being released. Here are some of the best ones that you may want to have a look at.
- Popup Domination (This is an extremely powerful and effective tool to use, but be careful not to overuse it)
- WP Autoresponder And Newsletter Plugin
- Benchmark Email WP Plugin
- MailChimp WordPress Plugin
- Newsletter Plugin for WP (Boost Opt-in Rate)
- Opt-in Pop for WordPress
- Viper Bar
- Aweber Web Form Plugin for WP
Email Marketing Blogs to Learn From
Email marketing isn’t at all new; neither is blogging. Therefore, many blogs have popped up over the years in the email marketing genre, and I suggest you read them regularly and add them to your RSS reader. I placed the RSS feed of each one next to the blog name for you.
- Adventures in Email Marketing (RSS)
- Email Experience (RSS)
- Email Marketing Reports (RSS)
- Retail Email (RSS)
- Social Email Marketing (RSS)
- Email Fail: Case Studies of Failed Email Campaigns (RSS)
There you go; you have everything you would need to get rolling on your own mailing list. I will expand this as often as possible, so check back for more resources when you get a chance. Good luck!