Has the idea of email marketing for WordPress left you with puzzling questions? For many business owners, email marketing can seem a bit daunting when they have not had any experience with it. It is actually quite simple when you know exactly what to expect. This email marketing guide will help you become an expert too!
A lot of the same questions run through people’s mind when they begin to explore email marketing. Some of the most common questions are:
- What is email marketing?
- Which email services are compatible with WordPress?
- What is a lead magnet?
- What is email copy?
- Where do I begin?
All of these questions and many more will be answered in this email marketing guide. The world of email marketing has grown into a powerful technique to gain and maintain customers. If you are going to sell anything from your WordPress website, then you definitely will want to use email marketing as one of your main marketing strategies.
We will begin talking about exactly what email marketing is, how you should use it, and how you will find an email marketing service that will work with your WordPress theme.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a digital strategy used to convert prospects into buyers. Once they have bought from you, or visited your site, you will continue to use email marketing to convert them into long-term customers. You can even use lead magnets or a email gate on videos to collect emails. To achieve this, you will send emails to your prospective customers. It really is that simple at the heart of it all.
It becomes a little trickier when you have thousands of customers. This is why it is so important to use an email marketing service that allows you to send multiple emails at once. A service will also allow you to group your customers into different lists commonly called segmenting. And you can even set up autoresponders and keep track of statistics like open rates. There are wonderful services out there that make this all a breeze.
When Should I Use Email Marketing?
You should use email marketing strategies if you have anything to sell online or if you plan on having something to sell in the future. If you already have something to sell, then each email can provide a link to take the customer directly to your product. If you do not have something to sell yet, then you will provide valuable content in the area of your expertise to keep them reading your emails until your product is ready.
For example, if you are writing a book on gardening that you will sell in the future, you may wish to pull bits and pieces out of the book that contain tips that gardeners can use now to share in an email. At the end of the email mention that you will have many more awesome tips in your upcoming book. Also, ask them to keep reading your emails in the meantime to gain some more valuable tips while they wait for the book.
Maybe you are not even sure what you might sell yet, but you just want to drive more people to your page. Email marketing will also work to drive traffic. Just be sure to have compelling copy on your page to keep bringing them back until you have a product ready. You may wish to offer some free or low-cost PDF files to keep them interested and educated on your subject.
Using email marketing to gain more traffic in a brick and mortar store is also a function of email marketing. You can send information about sales or new products and remind your customers to come into the store. Keeping your customers engaged even if you don’t have an eCommerce component is a valuable feature of email marketing.
How Does Email Marketing for WordPress Work?
WordPress has teamed up with many email marketing services to make it easy for you to run email campaigns right through your WordPress account. You simply need a plugin for the service that you choose. Choosing the right email marketing service for your needs is important, but be sure to balance the services provided with the total cost.
For example, if you have around ten-thousand views per month on your WordPress website, then you do not need an email marketing guide for the system that allows for up to five hundred thousand customers. Many offer upgrades as your business builds. This helps keep it cost-effective as you grow your business. So start small and find a service that will grow with you.
How Do I Choose an Email Marketing Service for WordPress?
WordPress makes it easy to compare each email marketing system so that you can easily choose the one that is best for you. On this page you can find a list of all of the plugins for WordPress for email marketing.
You can click on each one to learn more about how they will support your email marketing needs. The first tab is the details tab. This is where you can find:
- List of main features
- List of free add-ons
- Professional add-ons
- Third party add-ons
- Where to find support
- FAQs and more
It is a good idea to see what other people are saying about each email marketing service plugin by visiting the reviews tab. If you do not want to read through tons of reviews, simply scroll down to the bottom to see a graph of the overall ratings. This will give you a good idea of how well it is perceived overall.
Some will have an installation tab. Here you can find quick directions on how to install the plugin, along with how to reach someone for support if you experience any difficulties. If there is not an installation tab, then it likely has an auto-install feature. Do not let the lack of an installation tab keep you from exploring it as a possibility.
The support tab will take you to a forum that is set up just for that plugin. Here you can browse other people’s questions or ask your own. You can also use a search bar to see if your question has been asked and answered in the past, so you do not have to wait for replies.
The development tab contains technical information. If you understand code and would like to check it out, you can do that here. You can also view the changes log which contains information about past updates. If you scroll almost to the bottom of the page, you can see how many active installations there are.
Tips for Choosing an Email Marketing Service
- If the description boasts that a certain number of customers use their platform, then check with the number of active installations. If the number of active installations is thousands less then what they advertise, then look more deeply into the reviews. It could be that a large number originally tried it but then switched to a different service. Sometimes they switch because their company grew and they needed a larger platform, but sometimes it is because it turned out not to live up to its description.
- More features do not always equal the best functionality. Sometimes having too many features just gets frustrating. Be sure that you will be using the features listed, or look for a simpler plugin.
- Most plugins have an intuitive interface, meaning that it is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Go near the bottom of the description tab of each plugin to see photos of the plugin to see if it looks user-friendly to you. If it looks confusing to you, keep looking. You may find one that clicks with you right away.
- One of the main features that you want to look for is an email builder with a drag and drop feature. This will save you precious time and will take some of the guesswork out of getting started.
- Look to see if customizable email templates are available. These are not necessary, but they will save you time. If you are not quite sure what to say or how to format it, then templates will be a lifesaver.
- An autoresponder option will make replying to emails a breeze. This allows you to send emails confirming certain actions. For example, when they sign up on your opt-in form to receive emails, an autoresponder can send an immediate thank you confirmation email to them so they know that their information went through properly.
- Finally, you will want to see if opt-in forms are available or if you need a separate plugin. The opt-in form is what your prospects will use to sign-up to receive your emails. It used to be that this was often a separate plugin, but now many providers are including it on their platform. This makes it much easier because you can do everything in one place.
How to Begin Building Your Email List
Once you have an email marketing service provider and have downloaded their WordPress plugin to your WordPress dashboard, it is time to start building that email list. The best ways to build your list are to use opt-in forms and lead magnets. Lead magnets are part of a strategy of lead generation that will build your list.
Collecting Information Using Opt-in Forms
Opt-in forms are how you collect people’s information. Often, these will pop up as soon as you go to a website. Because they may not know anything about your website yet, they may not want to simply sign-up right away. You may have to entice them a bit. The easiest way to do this is in the form of a question.
Your opt-in form can include luring questions such as, “Do you want to be the first to know about….?” or “Can we deliver great coupons to you at the beginning of each month?”. Obviously, you must fulfill this promise, so make sure that it is relevant to your business and that will follow through.
If you say you will offer coupons each month, do not send them every day or your potential may be turned off. Send them at the beginning of each month, like you offered, to gain trust with them.
You also want to make the opt-in attractive without being so fancy or wordy that it is difficult to look at. One luring question, one statement asking them to complete the information and the form to fill out is all that is necessary here.
Be sure that your opt-in matches your branding. You want to have a consistent look flowing from your website to your opt-in page to your actual emails. This consistency shows professionalism.
This consistency shows professionalism.
You will also want to schedule an email to be sent out to the prospective customer to let them know that their email is confirmed. You may choose to do this as a thank you email instead. Either way, be sure that it sends automatically so they know that they are in. This saves you from receiving extra emails asking if they are on your list or not.
As soon as you get your opt-in form set up, take it for a test run. Go to your site and put your information in the opt-in form. Then be sure that your information was collected and is available to you. Also, go to your email to be sure that the confirmation or thank you email that you scheduled to confirm the submission was sent to you.
Using Lead Magnets to Grow Your Email List and Your Business
Some people need a little more enticement than just a pretty opt-in page. This is where lead magnets come in. Lead magnets attract potential customers with a free or inexpensive offer. This has to be something that they will find valuable and worthy of giving you their email address. No one wants more spam in their inbox, so you must prove yourself to them.
Some examples of simple lead magnets are free printables, templates, checklists and infographics. More sophisticated lead magnets may include ebooks, webinars or masterminds. These lead magnets can serve two purposes.
First of all, the potential customer must give you their email address to receive the free or inexpensive product. Secondly, that free or inexpensive product can be part of a larger offer that will entice them to purchase something much more expensive at a later time.
When your offers provide enough value to the customer then they will expect that you will follow-up with them.
For example, the ebook could be just one chapter that you pull out from an entire book. At the conclusion of the ebook, you can offer the entire book at regular cost. A mastermind that meets just once for free can have an offer at the end that invites the participants to join in a six-month mastermind that meets twice per month for a fee.
You will use email marketing to follow up on these offers. If you have an email scheduler, you can schedule an email to go out several days after they receive their free or inexpensive offer to follow up and offer the next level product. Be sure to have a deadline included and then send a reminder email about the deadline.
If your products provide enough value to the customer, they will not see this as being pushy. They will expect that you will follow-up with them.
Writing Email Copy That is Compelling
Now that your customer is all signed-up for your email, it is time to start delivering. You must provide enough value in your emails to keep them subscribed. Writing compelling email copy is essential to keep them opening up those emails.
First of all, what is email copy? Also known as email copywriting, email copy is simply the words that are contained in your email subject line as well as the body of your email.
For your email copy to entice your readers, you want to be sure to put in the personal touches first. For example, use their name where you can. Email templates allow for a name to be populated into certain parts of your email. Use the first name only so it doesn’t sound too formal.
Be sure that your subject line refers to what you have written in your email. If these do not align, then people will think that you are just trying to bait them with the subject line. Consider asking a question in your subject line to get their curiosity flowing. If they do not find the subject line alluring, then they may not open the email.
Write your email as if you are only speaking to one person. Each customer wants to feel like the most important customer, so approach each email in a friendly manner, speaking only to them. Use a conversational tone and keep paragraphs to only a few sentences for easier readability.
Add images to your email that will enhance what you are trying to accomplish with that email. Also, be sure that the image will work on all devices. Most WordPress themes offer previews for different types of devices so you can see if the image works on all of them.
Tips to Get People to Open Your Email
- Use interesting subject lines that will catch their attention.
- Consider short subject lines, six to ten words, so that the whole line is visible on mobile devices.
- Use first names in the subject line when possible to personalize your email.
- Avoid using promotional words like “deal” and “free” because the spam filter may flag the email and send it to a promotional folder.
- Avoid sending email after midnight and before nine in the morning. Most people open their email to a very full inbox in the morning, and you do not want yours to get lost among them all.
- Some people do not check their email after work hours, so later afternoon email may also get a higher open rate.
- To avoid having your customer mark your email as spam, be sure that your wording is clear and avoid flashy extras in the subject line.
- Be sure that your sender name is your company name or one that they will recognize as you so it is not mistaken for spam.
- Keep the body of the email short enough that they will open the next email from you. If it takes too long to read, they will assume that all of your emails will be too long to read.
- They cannot open your email if they do not see it, so include directions for adding you to their contact list in the first email that you send to them.
Using Email Segmentation to Reach the Right Audience
Depending on what it is that you are selling, you may have to divide your whole audience into smaller groups to target their needs. The “right” audience contains only the people who fall into a certain category. By segmenting your list into smaller groups, you can create more personalized email experiences for your customers.
For example, a life coach who specializes in parenting, entrepreneurship and cultivating a healthy lifestyle will not send emails about parenting to people who signed up because they are interested in entrepreneurship. Sure, they may be some crossover there, but you do not want to offend someone who does not belong in both groups. Someone who is focusing on being an entrepreneur because they are unable to have a family certainly does not want emails with parenting tips.
You can also segment your email list by where the customers are in the buying process.
You can also segment your email list by where the customers are in the buying process. If you offer different tiers of services, be sure to match the email to the correct tier. If the customer has not made any purchases yet, you do not want to offer him the most expensive option first. Tier down and offer an introductory offer instead. Once they purchase in any tier, they can move up to the next.
This type of segmenting helps to take the pressure off of the purchaser. It meets them where they are and helps to provide value at the appropriate price point.
There are many other ways to segment your lists as well. For example, all new subscribers may be on the same list. If you run a home decorating company, then your lists may be segmented by the style of home décor that each person prefers.
You may also segment your lists according to open rate versus inactivity. Perhaps have a special offer for those who open your emails the most frequently. A reminder email is great for someone who has not been actively engaging with your emails. Maybe they forgot about it or lost it in their email pile.
Finally, if you are offering more than one type of lead magnet, then you will want an email group for each lead magnet to be sure that you are targeting what it was that they opted in for in the first place. Always remember that providing value that is related to the lead magnet is of utmost importance.
Using Email Marketing for WordPress Templates
Using an email template saves you time and also gives your brand a cohesive look when you use the same template each time. Once you have chosen one, simply change the subject line and the body of the email.
Many email marketing services provide templates. If you choose a service that does not provide templates, you still have options. If you search “free email templates” on the internet, you will find lots of different templates available. You can also purchase them if you do not find a free one that you like. Just be sure that they are compatible with your email service as well as your WordPress theme.
Another advantage of using a template is that you do not have to know HTML. You can simply use plain text, and you will not have to worry about adding any commands to make your email fancy. Choose a template that matches your brand and be confident in simply typing in the body. Remember, the value of what you are sending them is more important than having a lot of bells and whistles.
Using Email Marketing for WordPress Automation
Email automation is a very powerful tool for email marketing. Using autoresponders, you can have emails scheduled to automatically send to customers who have completed certain tasks. Some of these may include joining your list, leaving items in a cart, buying a product or downloading a file.
By targeting the email directly to the task they completed, they are receiving a valuable and pertinent email rather than something that feels like spam. You will develop trust with your customers when you send the right email at the right time.
Analyzing Your Email Successes
Your email marketing service should provide you with data so you can track the success of your emails. Track your open rates to see how many people may be reading your email. If the rates are low, consider revising your subject lines.
Then, check the click-through rates to see if they are taking any action based on your email. Are they going to your site or making a purchase? If not, check to be sure that you gave them the option of clicking to go outside of the email. At the very least, they should have the option of clicking to go to your website.
You will always have some people who unsubscribe, so do not take this information personally, but do analyze it to find ways to keep these potential customers. Consider what you first offered to get them to sign-up. If it was an offer, did you deliver that offer? Maybe they were on the wrong list and got a different offer? If it was the promise of content based around a specific topic, have you been sticking to that topic? Take time to figure out what could be out of sync.
Taking a few minutes each month to take a good look at your statistics will help steer you in the right direction for the following month. Be sure to review your email segmentation as well to see if people need to be switched from one group to another.
Taking the Plunge
Now it is time to take the plunge and begin using email marketing for WordPress to your advantage. Here is a quick summary of all of the steps so you can get started right away. Be sure to refer back to the lists of tips above as you create your email campaigns.
Quick Start Guide for Email Marketing for WordPress
- Choose an email marketing service that has a compatible plugin for WordPress.
- Create an opt-in page to collect email addresses.
- Create a strong lead magnet to encourage more sign-ups.
- Draft your first welcome email and schedule it to go out within a few minutes of signing up. If you are not using a scheduler, then you can do this after collecting addresses.
- Begin brainstorming how and when you will deliver your email marketing.
- Choose an email campaign to go with a product that you would like to sell.
- Schedule the emails for the campaign as well as auto-responders.
- Follow up with prospects.
- Look at your statistics each month to analyze areas for possible improvement or to move customers to a new, more appropriate list.
Are You Experiencing Email Marketing Jitters?
It can be daunting to read about something new to you, but email marketing is really easy once you get the hang of it. If you have specific questions about how certain email marketing services will perform, search the WordPress support forums. WordPress has many forum threads you can search for answers.
Once you choose your email marketing service, visit their specific support page on WordPress to get quick answers to questions while you are working with it. Also, be sure to write down the contact information if they have a direct line that you can call or email. This information can be found by searching the name in the plugins section and clicking on the support tab.