Thursday, March 25, 2010

How To Get Repeat Online Buyers

There are several types of internet marketing. Doing good SEO or PPC helps attract traffic, but what can be done to keep online business repeating? The answer is lead capture through email marketing.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is doing internet marketing through email. This usually starts with a sign-up form to get an email address (and permission) from your lead. Using this address well can help communicate with your customers to build rapport and educate them about your various products and/or services.
But just having an email address and spamming your contacts is not the best way to increase sales. So how can you build business through email marketing? Here are 5 email marketing tips to use to help build repeat business.

1) Always use an opt-in form

Getting an email address can be easy. Make sure you do have permission to start sending information before you put them on your email list. There are a few reasons to do this. For one, it tends to upset many people when they start getting email they didn’t request.
In addition to this, in many countries there are laws regarding sending unwarranted emails to addresses, and not doing opt-ins is breaking these laws. Double opt-ins (the request to be put on the email list is confirmed through a response to an initial email) are not yet required, but that’s an option to be aware of, and can protect you from being accused of spamming.

2) Do more than just sell

Once you have your opt-in permission, a good way to get people to opt-out or to put you in their spam folder is to start a hard sell immediately. Having the ability to send email is a very personal thing. By doing only sales, you become purely commercial and are often ignored before your mails are even read.
Give your list and readers valuable information that they can actually use so they have reasons to open and read the emails you send. If you can establish more of a connection with your readers, the trust factor gets raised and they’ll more readily look at anything you might offer that costs money. Do this and the occasional sales promotion you mention to them will be looked at more closely than it would otherwise.

3) Build both text and HTML emails

Not everyone has HTML capability in their emails. For these users, sending out only HTML versions of your emails can result in a very messy email. It’s always a good idea to make a text version of your email as well as an HTML version. This way users who read only the text versions can still get your full message without losing your style in unreadable code. Most ways that email messages are sent to lists have the option to build both a text and an HTML version of your emails; do both.

4) Put important links multiple times

When you have a link that you want your readers to see, don’t just put it once. Put it down two or more times, depending on the length of your message. At least near the beginning and end. By doing this your readers will see the link and have more motivation to visit it.
This has been tested multiple times and has been shown to increase link visitation frequency from email messages. Whether this is for a sale you’re running or for a page with valuable information, it will help increase the click through rate from your message.

5) Try using an email messaging tool

Trying to build an email list and sending out large quantities of email can be done manually, but it’s a lot of work. To save time and effort you can use one of the existing services that help people organize and maintain email lists. Two popular ones include Constant Contact and Aweber.
Aweber has the added benefit of being an autoresponder which allows you to write emails that get sent to every user in a specified order, as well as having the capability Constant Contact does to send out broadcast messages to every user simultaneously at a specific time and date. Using tools like this can save valuable time and effort, but will cost a bit of money.
Putting together a solid email marketing campaign will keep repeated communication with your customers so they’re more aware of you and don’t forget about you. Making it something they want to read will help build the relationship and help increase the rate of sales for things you may offer to your list. Do all this, follow these tips, and a good, solid email list has a great chance for multiple sales from several members on your list, for years to come.
This guest post is by Eric Gesinski who does Tulsa website design and internet marketing, including email marketing.

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