In his book Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars, Mitch Meyerson introduces you to 22 innovators who have redefined the developing landscape of online marketing. In this edited excerpt, contributing author and founder of Duct Tape Marketing John Jantsch explains why email is the key to building your online presence and what you should really be using social media for.
There’s a hierarchy in the world of building a total web presence for your business, and mastering things like Facebook and Pinterest fall somewhere far behind getting your email marketing machine oiled and ready for prime time.
One thousand responsive email followers trumps 25,000 Twitter followers every day when it comes to actually promoting the things that make your money. Focus on building a list of email subscribers that want to hear from you, and social media will become a tool set to help you do more of that. While this may sound shocking and hard to hear, you should ditch social media for now and focus on email marketing first.
First things first, you need to have a value-filled ebook that motivates people to hand over their email addresses. If you already have one ready, you’re one step ahead of the game! But if not, get moving and come up with a plan to put together an educational ebook that can carve a path to your lead capture program.
Here are some helpful email marketing tips for a basic email capture plan:
- Choose an email service provider (ESP) such as Constant Contact, GetResponse, AWeber, MailChimp, or Infusionsoft.
- Use your ESP’s form-building tools and place a lead capture form on every page of your website. (Don’t ask for more than name and email at this point.)
- Create an email subscription landing page—a page that describes and promotes your ebook and lists all the benefits of why a viewer might give you their email address.
- Create a series of emails, delivered through your ESP’s autoresponder function, that provides additional information on downloading the ebook.
- Consider using a pop-up form, such as Pippity for WordPress (if you have a WordPress blog) that can be programmed to bring focus to your offer in smart ways.
- Many ESPs have a “tell a friend” function that allows readers to easily email your offer to friends—use it!
- Promote your free ebook in social networks on a regular basis.
Social Media Marketing
Once you’ve got an email list of active followers, it’s time to take a new look at social media. Here are five ways to view your social media activity as a layer of your entire system:
1. Move to email. Email is still the most effective form of marketing and relationship building. It’s a tremendous tool for building the kind of long-term relationship that allows you to convert sales. While many have concluded that the same thing cannot be said for social media relationships, you can and should view your connections in these networks as a way to gain more email relationships.
2. Find your referral champs. By appending your customer data with social media data, either by way of a service, API, or CRM add-on, you can often discover your more active and potentially influential customers and prospects. This information can hide in your standard customer profile because the way people act offline and the way they participate online is often dramatically different. A customer who buys very little from you currently may turn out to be your greatest potential referral champion, but they may go unnoticed and therefore ungroomed without this layer of data.
3. Understand your customers. You need to dig deep and really find out what makes your customers tick on all levels. That means knowing what their interests and hobbies are, what restaurants they love, their favorite music and TV shows, and how much they love coaching their son’s Little League games. You might guess where this is headed: What do people on social media love to do? Talk about what they had for lunch and give reviews of movies like they were a critic. So it just might be important after all to really know your customer.
4. Improve your SEO. Great content isn’t great until somebody reads it, shares it, and links to it. It’s almost like the popular kids in high school, but that’s just the reality of inbound marketing today. It’s not enough to produce lots of content; you’ve got to get people talking about it and bringing attention to it.
5. Build PR muscle. One of my favorite uses of the social media layer is the ability to draw closer to the journalists that cover your industry or community. Today’s journalist relies on social media as a lifeline to real-time information and as a tool for collecting resources; it also makes them much more available through direct communication. By targeting key journalists and using the social layer to build a relationship as a resource, you can quickly enhance your overall chances of media coverage.