Email marketing has been proven time and again to be a very effective way to engage people with your website or perhaps to get them to buy your product.

What is Email Marketing?

From Wikipedia:

Email marketing is directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send ads, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Email marketing can be done to either sold lists or a current customer database. Broadly, the term is usually used to refer to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and adding advertisements to email messages sent by other companies to their customers.

Famous Bloggers on Email Marketing

Many people argue that email marketing is THE most effective way to engage your users. In fact, here are some quotes from some super famous bloggers about email marketing:

Email marketing is the best sales driver. By far, communicating with loyal subscribers through email will produce tremendous results than facebook and twitter engagements combined. If you want to increase your bottom line and grow your online business, you need to get started with EM.John Chow

One of the biggest mistakes I made as a blogger and business owner was not starting an email list right from the start. An email list is important because it’s the most direct way to communicate and engage with your fans and subscribers. If you are planning to sell something, the list is often the primary money maker.Pat Flynn

If you’re not building an email list, you’re making a HUGE mistake.Derek Halpern

Why Is Email Marketing So Effective?

Wondering why email marketing is so great?

Three reasons:

1). Whereas articles and posts on your actual website or on your social media sites are general and addressed to the whole world, messages that appear in someone’s inbox are much more personal.  This can be taken even further by collecting the subscribers name (first and last) along with other personal information which can then be used in the email to add that personal touch.

2). Email is also much more direct.  Users don’t have to go looking for and find your content, it finds them!  Most users probably aren’t visiting your site multiple times a day, but they probably check their email at least twice a day.  So if you put content on your site, they might miss it or not see it for a few days.  If you email them, they will see the message within a few hours.

3). There also is often the chance for the email subscriber to respond to your email.  By sending out an email to them, you have begun a conversation with them, which they may then wish to continue.  Having a personal conversation about your content or product is really the best way to get people to pay attention to it.  Facebook is counting on personal recommendations on their website being the future of marketing, but really that future is now and internet marketers have been using that technique through email for years.

How Can I Get A Subscribe Form?

Hopefully you are now convinced that a subscribe form is a good thing to have on your website or blog.

Now you just need to pick out some software to use for your form.  A few popular internet marketing tools for subscribe forms are: MailChimp, Aweber, and Constant Contact.  I would recommend looking through the websites for those three forms and deciding which is best for you.

If you want to start out with zero costs and you don’t think you’ll grow your list very fast, Mailchimp is the way to go.  It is free up to 2,000 subscribers (and 12,000 emails per month) and really has everything you need to get started.

If you are going to grow you list to above 2,000 subscribers quickly, you already have that number of email subscribers, or you don’t want the eventual hassle of changing software, then you should consider the other two, Aweber and Constant Contact.  Both of these services end up being cheaper than MailChimp in the long run (for subscriber lists of over 2,000 email addresses).  I would say Aweber is the slightly better software, it does more statistically, and has better form designs. However, it is also slightly more expensive than Constant Contact.

Setting up the form after registering is often pretty simple if you are using one of the three sites listed above. You create a list, then chose the option to create a signup form. From there you just select your options and then copy and paste some code into your website.

Subscribe Box Plugins

If you either don’t want to or aren’t comfortable pasting code into your website, there also are a bunch of subscribe box plugins for WordPress that integrate with your new subscription service (MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact) to easily let you display a subscribe box on your website.

You also might want to use those so that you can use their wide range of features, like choosing specific pages and placement for the forms, having it show using various templates, designs, and using various effects, having a top bar, popup, full screen welcome mat, slide in box, scrolling widget, various triggers, and more!

Lead Magnets

One of the best ways to get people to subscribe to your mailing list is by offering them some kind of reward for doing so. Many people give away free ebooks, articles, or checklists, but you could really give away anything. Giving discounts (like 10% off) or running a contest are other popular ways to get signups.

These sort of offers are referred to as lead magnets. You are attracting users (like a magnet) to become subscribers (or leads).

Autoresponder Series

Perhaps the best email marketing tactic you can use is to setup an autoresponder series.

This basically is a sequence of emails that begin to go out to your users automatically after they signup for your list. Usually, the first email contains the lead magnet. The next few continue to give value to the user while maybe doing some soft selling. Later, you may try a harder sell.

These automatic emails let you share your best content with users and gain their trust while not actually having to do anything.