Email marketing still proves to be an essential component in your online marketing efforts! Studies have shown that when done right, email marketing is still extremely effective and can be associated with a very high return on investment (ROI). Watch this Daily Brown Bag to learn about email marketing, how to grow your email subscriber list, and HubSpot’s position on email marketing. You’ll also the top three most effective ways to collect email subscriber addresses and tips on how to best reach your prospects and your current customers via email marketing.

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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today, we’re going to be talking about email marketing. I’m Chad Hill, and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

Yeah, good morning, Chad. Welcome to the Brown Bag. You know, folks in our white label SEO program are primarily interested in selling search engine optimization. That’s what the program is focused on. That’s what people are buying -- their small business customers. But email marketing has a critical role to play here, Chad. It’s kind of subtle and it takes a lot of convincing, but, if you really think this through, it starts to become obvious.

When we talk to our SEO resellers in our four o’clock sessions and in our webinars, they’re constantly talking about wanting to not only acquire new customers but retain the ones they have. The retention around search engine optimization comes down to return on investment -- and this is where email marketing plays a critical role, working in combination with an SEO strategy.

Email marketing, when done right, is still as effective as ever.

Email marketing, when done right, is still extremely effective. We’ve got some data here to back up that statement. According to the Direct Marketing Association, the ROI (return on investment) from email marketing is $40 for every dollar spent. That’s a very high number.

However, HubSpot believes otherwise when it comes to your email subscriber list.

According to HubSpot, you also really have to maintain this activity because your email subscriber list actually degrades by 22% each year.

HubSpot’s Reasoning Is That People:

  • Change jobs,

  • Abandon accounts, and

  • Unsubscribe.

So nurturing and growing your subscriber list needs to be an ongoing and necessary part of your digital marketing maintenance. And that’s where it starts to fit very well within SEO strategy.

So what if you are just starting (or restarting) an email marketing strategy?

Now, some folks we hear -- again, when we’re talking to white label SEO resellers -- “Well, my clients are small business, and they’re just starting out. They don’t have a list. How can they even get into email marketing? They just want to get their rankings up.”

Again, we highly advise that you fold that SEO discussion into a broader digital marketing strategy discussion, where email marketing is definitely a part of it. So you’re relaunching their site or you’re tuning their site for SEO, but you’re also talking about how to build a great subscriber list.

Top Three Most Effective Ways To Collect Email Subscriber Addresses:

Here, we can look to Marketing Sherpa. They’ve talked about a lot of great techniques that can be quite effective. The three most effective ways to collect email subscriber address from their research are:

1. Registration upon purchasing a product (this practice works particularly well for ecommerce-oriented websites)

2. Registration pages just all over your website

Particularly with some sort of offer that gets people to want more.

3. Online events, such as webinars, which can be very effective particularly in the software space, maybe less so for ecommerce.

This leads to the broader question -- again, addressing our SEO resellers, who are so focused on rankings -- when it comes down to keeping clients, it’s return on investment and this is where email nurture can really help. What are some of the things they should be doing?

Reaching your prospects & your current customers:

Great question, Adam. We’ve hit this topic so many times and email continues to be that channel that people tend to under-emphasize because people tend to think it’s something that’s sort of old. Yet, it is still new, and we hear all of these stats about how much time people spend on mobile devices.

One of the places they’re spending that time is in their email inbox, so they’re checking their email more frequently. Email is still probably the most surefire way of getting a message delivered to your prospects or your current customers.

Other ways to grow your email subscriber list:

Given that the business and the white label SEO services we provide are very heavily content-oriented. I want to talk a bit about how to use your content to grow your marketing list.

Provide Good, Relevant & Targeted Content.

You should start at providing good, relevant content. It is a little bit like “what comes first, the chicken or the egg” here, because, you know, the question is, how do you spread that content virally? How do youget the content out to people who actually read if you don’t have a list? If you don’t have that content, how are you going to get someone interested enough in your service to actually subscribe?

So you do need to take a leap of faith and start investing in content. I can give you a couple of examples of times where we’ve created content and then be able to use either paid advertising to drive people to download eBooks and white papers, and then allow us to engage in that discussion. A lot of it is just to nurture and see if we can get more discussions with other people. Sometimes it can even become leads down the road. That’s a really strong way to start.

Don’t dish out the same email & content to everyone.

I think the other one is to not really dish out the same content and emails to everybody. You want to actually allow people to subscribe or tailor the type of content you’re sending them. So if you have different types of services that you offer, if you have customers who are very interested in websites, or customers who are very interested in SEO, you might want to actually record that information in your email contact list, so that you know what kind of emails to send to each group of people. Obviously, the more relevant the information is that you’re sending someone, they may be more likely to forward it onto somebody else, who then subscribes. So that’s a critical part as well.

At the end of each piece of content, have an email opt-in option.

Another one is, in that content you’re creating, you always want to ask for that email address after they read it. Now you can put the gate on the content and say you must enter a form in order to download my content and you probably want to save that for the bigger, hero pieces that you do that you really put a lot of effort into. On the blog posts, on videos like the one we’re doing now, those are the kind of places that you might want to interject at the end to hey, “If you’re interested in this service or this content, please subscribe to our email list so you can stay informed.” That’s a very simple one to do.

Give something away for FREE.

Another one that is out there, of course, is giving stuff away for FREE. Any type of contest you offer -- it’s a great way to harvest email addresses and ultimately be able to engage in a longer discussion.

Put an overlay on your site.

And then this last one is my favorite one, which is really to think about ways to improve the conversion rate of your website. So there are a ton of technologies out there with this exit intent -- things like Picreel, Bounce Exchange, things like SumoMe. These services are awesome because they can actually improve the conversion of your website by one or two percentage points, which is huge -- especially in paid programs -- to start to see true ROI on your investment, and, of course, for SEO as well. Adam, these are some great examples to get your email marketing going again in 2015.

Takeaways: Why Email Marketing Is So CRITICAL

Fitting into the broader context, this is why email marketing is so critical to white label SEO resellers. Of course, we know our community is laser-focused on rankings, that’s what they outsource us to do -- sort of achieve better rankings. But, the bigger resellers, these companies that are growing to over $1 million in annual revenue, understand the name of the game is retention.

As those SEO resellers start to realize retention is really important for further growth, they start to look to integrating their search engine optimization with other digital marketing channels, just as you’ve laid out, which leads to an extraordinarily positive return on investment for their small business client. This is where email marketing, as the stats prove, email marketing is still a critical component in being a successful SEO reseller.