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Email Marketing & Sales Funnel Creation

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Posted 27th August 2013 at 08:30 AM by Devin X

[B]Email Marketing Is Required
[/B]
You absolutely need to build email lists in order to make it online. Anyone that tells you otherwise is completely full of shit. Even brick and mortar businesses are moving towards email marketing by necessity so that they can retain their current customer base. In fact, your email lists ARE your customer base. So if you don’t have a list, then you don’t have any customers.

Furthermore! How you build your email lists and how you treat your lists is just as important as building them in the first place. You cannot expect to “churn and burn” your subscribers just so you can bleed them dry. This is the age of conscious Capitalism, which is driven by relationship marketing. I know I’m using a lot of industry buzz words but it’s best that you learn the lingo.

Anyway, the point of building your website and adding content and driving traffic to it, is so people see what you’re doing and subscribe to your email list. Everything else is secondary! If you look around any marketing forums, you’ll see that the number one suggestion veterans give to noobs is that they should begin building their lists immediately.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s because you can’t win without them. The bottom line is that if you want to make a sustainable living through a business in digital marketing, then list building and email marketing will be required of you. Period.

[B]Revealing The Magic Button
[/B]
Have you ever wondered what the “magic button” is for digital marketing? You’ve heard all the gurus talk about pushing a button and making a fortune, right? Well, there’s actually a bit of truth to that. See, when you have a list of tens or hundreds of thousands of email addresses, you can simply send a promotional email to that list and make millions with a push of a button.

The problem is that none of the gurus tell you that this is the only magic button that exists, and no one else will tell you that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to build a list of responsive customers. So you have a long ways before you can get that magic button, but it does exist, in a way. Plus, you can absolutely do this if you set your mind to it.

[B]An Overview Of Email Marketing
[/B]
When it comes to digital marketing, the concept of setting up expectations and maintaining those expectations are one of the fundamentals that you need to master. When it comes to building your list and making money from that list, this fundamental is almost paramount.

You see, the way that many marketers go about list building and email marketing is really ass backwards. They’ll drive traffic to a squeeze page, over promise, under deliver, and then churn and burn their list by constantly sending promotional material. Then they wonder why they only get a 1% open rate and a .062% click through rate.

You’re going to do things differently, and as a result, you’ll do well in terms of profit and reputation. Email addresses are commodities, but you have to remember that there are real people behind those figures, and they’re not completely stupid either.

Remember that you are the one who gets to set their expectations before they opt into your list, so take care in how you do that. It’s a game of trust, where your audience needs to feel somewhat connected to you before they'll buy anything. This is another reason why having a strong brand is important; people have to trust you before they will subscribe to your list or buy anything from you.

I know this concept may seem a bit elementary, but you’d be really surprised how many people around the Warrior Forum will complain about how their list isn’t converting. More often than not, they’re abusing their subscribers and then wondering why they can't sell anything.

So when should you lay out all your expectations, and what exactly should you say to them? First and foremost, in your confirmation email, then periodically through little reminders at the end of subsequent emails.

You should make it very clear to them that you will be sending them emails fairly regularly, you should instruct them to create an email folder specifically for your emails, and when they receive one: they should read it immediately and then archive it in that folder. You should also give them an estimate on how often you’ll be sending these emails, let’s say one every nine days, and then commit to what you tell them.

You’ll also want to explain to them in detail, what information you will be covering with your emails and why they should pay attention. Make sure that the product they receive when they first subscribe is designed to make sure that they open and read the subsequent emails, so leave them hungry for more information, and insist that you are the only resource who has their answers.

That should all be in what’s called a confirmation email. Don’t be afraid to get creative with that one either, since it’s a good time to build more rapport and trust. Some autorepsonders like Get Response, allow you to record a voice greeting in your confirmation email. This confirmation email will be sent after they opt into your list.

If you use a one time offer after someone subscribes to your list, which is recommended, then you’ll make another confirmation email for the people who buy the upsell, and that’s where you’ll thank them for their purchase and encourage their continued engagement as well. Do you know what I’m saying? I hope you’re not getting confused here.

Anyway, the power in having a responsive email list is exceptional. The idea is to build a list of highly targeted prospects using a freemium product, then to deliver great content to them to build trust and reputation.

Once this has been established, you segment that list into buyers. This is done by promoting products and having a second opt in on the thank you page for the buyers to opt into. You’ll then want to eventually segment the buyers into a premium list, where your best customers will go.

Alternatively, you can skip the free list entirely and go right into building a buyers list, but that is generally for product creators and not for affiliates. The idea is to only offer a subscription to people that have bought something from you, which means that your opt in boxes will be on thank you pages and download pages, rather than on squeeze pages and sidebars. Do you know what I’m saying?

There might even be a better way to go about list building, and maybe you’ll be the one to figure it out, but the bottom line is that you need to build lists. There’s no way around it if you want to actually build a sustainable business.

[B]Inbound Marketing[/B]

Inbound Marketing is where people find you through content you’ve generated and come to your web property eager to find something that they want. By the time you read this article, you should have your website all set up, and you should be just starting to produce content in the forms of articles, videos, and maybe even a podcast. If you're not this far with your current web project, then stop, and go do that!

Anyway, once your content is distributed and people start to come to your site, we want them to sign up for your list. You should have already set up an email autoresponder account through a provider like GetResponse, so if you haven’t yet, do it now. Make a list named something like “yoursitefree”, this is where people will go when they opt into your list.

So as you can see in the whiteboard image above, you want to have an opt in box in the sidebar of your website and you want a strong call to action. You’re also going to need something to give to your subscribers when they opt in, and you need something good. Get a ten page pdf report written up and that will do the trick, or better yet, turn that report into an email series for your autoresponder . Again, you can do it yourself or outsource it.

Alternatively, you can buy a report with master resale rights or Private Label Resell Rights, PLR for short. You can then edit or reformat the content and just use some parts as your own free report.

I don’t like PLR content myself, but many of you will be in a rush to see results, and so I aim to please you. I’m too lazy to put an affiliate link in here, so just Google “Master Resale Rights” and you’ll find plenty of resources. Most of them cost less than $10 too, so it’s highly affordable.

I’ll go into this in as much detail as possible so that you don’t get really confused, but now we’re going to talk about configuring a “sales funnel”. The purpose of a sales funnel is to engineer the user experience for your audience to maximize profits. The last parts to your website consist of this sales funnel, which I will now explain below.

When someone opts into your list by the way of your sidebar, we want to take advantage of the opportunity here. The prospect is as hot and ready as they’ll ever be when they opt into a list, so here is where we give them a little more value than they asked for, and make a little bit of money as a result. You’re going to offer an “upsell” or “one time offer” after someone subscribes, but you’re going to do things differently.

Once someone has opted into your list, they will be immediately re-directed to a “sandwich page”. The sandwich page will be a page containing additional content of extraordinary value.

The content here should be related to your one time offer because the sandwich page will do three things: make them happier by giving them more content than you promised them, pre- sell them on the one time offer, and then give them the chance to see the one time offer.

You can either create the one time offer yourself, or purchase and edit a PLR ebook or newsletter series. Sometimes the PLR products come with a sales page and download page. If so, you can simply edit the page to suit your needs. Or, you can simply use the page templates as a guideline while you create the sales page for the one time offer.

Whatever you decide to do, remember to keep it simple. It’s a one time offer and a very small ticket item. You don’t want to spend weeks trying to set this up; a few days at most. You can also put the product up on E-Junkie for $5/month and use them as your payment processor, or integrate PayPal’s ecommerce buttons directly to the sales page. I find the latter to be pretty annoying which is why I would recommend E-Junkie for these simple products.

Anyway, once you configure everything with your autoresponder account, you can automate the process so it’ll look something like this:

1. Someone comes to your site after reading an incredible article you had posted on another blog.

2. They like your brand character and they like what you have to say.

3. They see your opt in box and they sign up for your free report or free email series.

4. They are then met with a “sandwich page” which tells them that their report is being emailed to them now, and that you have more useful info to share with them. This page will act as a buffer and give them more content in the form of a video, informative graphic, or even another article.

5. The bottom of the sandwich page has another call to action. This link will re-direct to a “one time offer” also called an OTO or Upsell.

6. If the subscriber clicks the link, they’ll see a small sales page for a $7 or $9 product. This makes for a fairly easy impulse purchase. Since you provided them with extra content in the sandwich page, and they freely chose to take a look at what you have next, they’re more apt to keep going.

7. The bottom of this sales page will have a “buy now” button and a “no thanks, take me back to XYZ site” button. The subscriber will either buy the upsell, or say no and goes back to your authority site.

This model is effective because it’s pretty casual, yet takes advantage of their impulsive behavior. Since they were ready to give you their email address and opt into your list, they are more than likely ready to make more of an investment right then and there. The extra free content in the sandwich page also makes their experience that much better, since most marketers skip that step and go right into a one time offer.

Plus, even if they choose not to buy the one time offer, they were given more useful content than they anticipated, and shouldn’t feel insulted by the offer. If you didn’t use a sandwich page and skipped directly to the one time offer, then that could end up sabotaging the fledgling customer relationship. You know what I’m saying?

Alternatively, there is another way to go about this process which doesn’t involve technical skills, payment processing, or simple product creation. So I have you covered in case you want to try something easier, although it’s not my number one recommendation.

In the alternative solution, you’re going to keep the sales funnel simple. You’re going to offer the free email newsletter or free ebook, but you’re also going to place an affiliate link at the bottom of the thank you/confirmation/welcome email that your autoresponcder will send them once they’ve opted into your list.

This can easily be done through your settings within your autoresponder provider. Again, you want to be stealthy and casual with your recommendation. The first objective of the thank you/confirmation/welcome email is to greet your new subscriber and set the expectations, like we’ve discussed earlier.

Then, all you have to do is customize the page with a personal recommendation, give a strong call to action, and then insert an affiliate link at the end of the email. Make sure to use a plugin like PrettyLinksLite to make the affiliate link look like a part of your website.

You can also place one or two affiliate links within the email newsletter or ebook that you give to your subscribers when they opt into your list. This can easily be done and will work quite well as long as you are being genuinely helpful, deliver value, and recommend products that will be relevant to them.

As you can see, there are a few ways that you can go about setting up your sales funnel. The bottom line is that you need to configure a sales funnel so that you can begin monetizing your website as quickly as possible without hurting yourself or your brand.

[B]Writing The Newsletter
[/B]
Now that you have an idea of what email marketing is about, and how to integrate it into your article marketing efforts, it’s time to actually do it. You need to have an arsenal of emails that will go out automatically to your subscribers. They need to be content rich, and they need to have relevant affiliate offers in them every so often.

So how do you go about doing this? You can recycle your articles into your autoresponder series easily by changing the title and using the best parts. Emails will be shorter than articles, but should be concentrated and full of substance. You also need to time your autoresponder and avoid using the same intervals, lest your subscribers get used to the same day and ignore your emails as a result.

I'd recommend that you never send more than two emails per week, and always have a teaser at the end of each email that tells them what the next email will be about. If you’re promoting a product, make the promotion only part of the email and not all of the email. I’d suggest having the promotional material at the bottom of the email right before you give the teaser.

If your freemium is in the form of an email series, then I’d recommend sending the first set of emails on days 1, 3, 7, 9, and 13. Going back to the part about setting expectations, let them know how often they’ll be getting the mail for the duration of the course.

At the end of the series, let them know that you plan to send them more information every week or so. By that time, they should trust you, and you should have promoted one or two products and made some money as a result.

Finally, remember that people will generally remember who you are even if you don’t send them an email for about a month. You don’t want to send them emails more than three times a week because that is too cumbersome on them...they’ll stop following you, and may even unsubscribe. Respect your list because it is your number one asset in this industry. You should now have a good understanding of what email marketing is, and how to use it to grow your web project.

Be sure to check out my blog, [URL="http://www.devondudeman.com/"][B]Devon Dudeman [/B][/URL]and get to know me. Let me show you how to become healthy, wealthy, and wise.
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