Walmart has a huge department devoted to developing direct mail and emails to send out to their customers every day. Why does Walmart bother? Here’s why…
A few weeks ago, while doing research for posts, I stumbled across some online marketing folks who don’t believe in email marketing.
I almost went all bug-eyed, shouting, “How can you engage in online marketing without building a significant email list?!!”
Good thing I stopped myself.
I gave it some thought and realized that for those who are just getting started in Internet Marketing, and for those who are leaving a ton of money on the table, that’s a pretty flippant remark. It tells no one anything at all and only adds to the confusion.
I started thinking about all the emails I receive from my grocery stores, Walmart, Home Depot, Bank of America, and credit card offers from everybody and his cousin. Even my bills have advertising stuffed in the envelope. …hmmmm
- If there wasn’t a significant return on their investment, mega dollar companies wouldn’t be landing in my mailbox on a regular basis.
- Direct mail and email profits must far outweigh the costs, and I’m talkin’ big returns here, or mega dollar companies wouldn’t go to the trouble and expense to make them a major part of their business plan.
- I looked: Walmart has mailing lists, online and offline, that measure into the millions: 26 million, 35 million, and that was a few years ago. Heaven only knows how heavy their lists are now, especially with their expanded services, each requiring its own snail mail and email list. That’s one hell of an investment.
Conclusion: If there’s money in email marketing for the big boys, there’s money in it for sellers at every stage of growth.
It was time to search for good information. This is what I found:
Emails are a constant reminder
We don’t go around thinking of all the places to shop, we have other things to focus on.
But when we open our inboxes and there’s a special from Walmart, we automatically envision all the things Walmart has to offer. The mental shopping list goes into action, even overdrive.
Do we open a Walmart email and think about going to Target instead? No. We zero in on Walmart and around 20% or more of us are going to click through to the online Walmart store.
Plus, because we see Walmart over and over again, we automatically head to that store when we need something.
We are now on auto-buy.
And your customers will be like that, too – once you learn how to make it happen. Keep going, there are numbers below …
Emails provide a reliable income: here come the stats
When planned emails containing helpful information and offers are sent to your list on a regular basis, you can count on a steady, reliable monthly income.
What? You didn’t know that?
Yep, there are no and’s, if’s, or but’s about it. The bigger your subscriber list, the higher your monthly income. In a manner of speaking…
A short list of super targeted subscribers can land you a very large return, while a huge list of subscribers who aren’t really interested in what you have to offer can land you, well, zero sales. (I talk more about email list value farther down.)
Why is Walmart all over email? Get this:
In a mind-boggling 2018 Opt-in Monster report, we are told that, “People will send and receive 281 billion emails per day in 2018, with an expected 3.8 billion email users worldwide by the end of the year.”
That, “In the US alone, more than 85% of adults send or read email,…”
And that, “Despite the rise of social messaging apps, 78% of teenagers use email, …”
Emails have more clout than social media
Continuing in the same vein, get a load of this from Sourceline Media,
“On average, marketing emails have a click-through rate of 3.57%. Meanwhile, on Facebook, paid ad campaigns and targeted posts possess a 0.07% click-through rate.
Let’s put this in perspective; If you have an audience of 100,000 in social media, you can reasonably expect 70 clicks when you author a new social media post.
By sharing the exact same information with your well-maintained email list of 100,000 people, you can reasonably expect 3,570 clicks…”
REMEMBER: You do not need anywhere near 100,000 to start making money.
Back to Opt-In Monster: in a Mary Fernandez’s May 20, 2018 report, you’ll find an info table stating that 77% of users prefer email “for permission-based promotional messages” over 4% for social media, and 44% of users prefer email for “a deal from a company they know” over 4% of social media users, and a whopping 66% of email users make purchases from email over 20% of social media users.
Nearly all progressive, well – all, successful businesses, local, national, and international – use both email and social media.
Want another one? Because each customer returns a whopping annual $44.25 for each $1 spent, email marketing ROI is listed at 4400%. And that was in 2014!
It has been proven repeatedly that email marketing far outweighs any other form of turning prospects into buying customers.
Let’s talk a bit more about the value of each subscriber.
Think about it. Say you have a mailing list of 200.
You send out 200 emails a day via an automated emailing system like AWeber (called an autoresponder). That’s 6,000 emails a month, 6,000 opportunities to entertain, surprise, educate, and sell.
Now let’s say you write ho-hum emails and your click through rate is 3.33%.
6,000 emails x 3.33% = 199.8 opportunities to sell the products on your landing page or your affiliate vendor’s landing page.
If your list averages $1 per subscriber per month (John spends $50, Ellen spends $8.95, Tom spends $3.00, Adam & Ivana don’t buy anything this month, and so forth), that’s close to $200 for the month.
Again, the bigger your buyer list, the larger your monthly income.
But there’s more to it than that.
Your prime objective is to increase the value of your lists.
Your most important list is your buyer list, your list of customers who have proven to be those who pull out their wallet for what you have to offer. Your prime objective is to create that ever so valuable buyer list.
Narrow that list down to people who buy all the time, a super-buyer list, and now you’re speaking of a $4 value per subscriber.
200 subscribers x $4 avg per month = $800/mo!! (And guess what – sell big ticket items, and those 200 buyers will net you a lot more.)
Super buyer lists are the type of list vendors such as Walmart strive to build every day. It’s the most precious business asset you will ever have.
RULE: Treat your subscribers like VIP’s, learn their likes and dislikes, give them what they are looking for, and you will be rewarded with more than a job-quitting income.
Perfect for niche targeting
The biggest sales are made when the marekter (you) knows exactly what prospects are looking for, and the easiest way to discover that is through niche marketing.
Whether you specialize in a broad niche, such as health, or micro-niches such as distance runners and tri-athletes, you can pinpoint product needs and desired information to turn prospects into repeat customers.
You want to really know what niche marketing is? It’s friendship marketing. It’s a venue in which you can, in emails, get one-on-one with your prospects, find out what he or she is looking for, then go out and find it for them.
Once your readers recognize that you have their individual best interests at heart, they will buy more from you through your emails than from your web site.
Nothing sells like a friendly email.
With email, you can address each of your readers by their name. You can’t do that in any other medium. People like hearing their name, and like to believe you care about who they are, which is nailed if you personalize your messages.
Successful speakers envision speaking to just one person, and practice looking at their audience in such a way that nearly every attendee feels they’ve received personal attention.
The result? There may be 20,000 in the speaker’s audience, but the message sounds personal to each attendee because it feels as if the person on the stage is speaking just to them.
… And so begins trust and loyalty.
It’s the same in email marketing.
Beyond anything in the world, people crave recognition. In email marketing, you can give it to them.
All they ask is that you recognize the challenges they face and offer solutions. Understand how important a product is for their lifestyle, or their situation, or their problem, and go find it for them.
Example: Let’s say that you’ve chosen Chevy or GMC utility vehicles as your niche. What does your audience need besides the latest info, owner stories, reviews and comparisons, and gorgeous photos? Tools. Tires. Add-ons. Entertaining/Educational/Music CD’s. Camping equipment. Hiking equipment…
Wow. Okay – maybe I’ll start a utility vehicle blog, since the possibilities are endless. All those products can be found on Amazon. Yay! Affiliate marketing!
Bring attention to important pages
Place a link to important articles or posts or landing pages in your emails and you have an excellent chance that your reader will click through.
Running a special, a survey, a sale, a discount or another goody for your customers? Point them where you want them to go. Readers expect emails to contain things to click, and they read with finger poised to do so.
KYC: Know Your Customer
Not sure what your customers are looking for? ASK. You can do this in email marketing. Customers want to be laser targeted. They want to know you are going to present them with purchase opportunities tailored to their needs, wants, and desires instead of a bunch of stuff that holds no interest for them.
Did you know that the first choice for finding deals is in the inbox? People open their email first in the morning before heading for social media. That’s a huge!
Being there to greet them, in the inbox, with what they are looking for is about as good as it gets.
Build trust – build loyalty
People buy from those they trust, and are loyal to those who care about the quality of the products and information being presented. Walmart is fully aware of this, and banks on it. Literally.
Are you going to give your best friend odd, trashy things? Yes, you are, if that’s what your friend is looking for to create his or her recycled products line.
And because your friend knows you will be bringing him exactly what he is looking for, he trusts you. Someone else comes along and he will say, “No, Joe takes care of that for me.” That’s loyalty. Two powerful, ruling emotions – trust and loyalty.
Want to turn your email prospects into repeat, buying customers? Treat them like your friend – in emails.
Build enthusiasm for a product
Email is the only venue where you can be certain your message will be seen. Create a good subject line and get right to your offer, or weave a good story or provide useful information. Whatever your style, there it sits for the reader to see.
And because of that, you can write your subject lines and content in such a way as to build toward a big push on an offer, persuading the fence sitters to jump on your offer with each targeted email you write.
You can add scarcity and deadlines. You can promo the living daylights out of features, upsells, bonuses, and freebies knowing your build up will be seen every single day.
Try that with social media.
Track your campaign in real time
When you are using an autoresponder, you can keep track of how your campaign is doing in real time through the analysis reports.
See an email that isn’t being opened? Re-adjust the subject line.
See that your click through rate isn’t performing? Go back in and tweak your content.
As long as your opt-in form is open for business, new people will be entering your pipeline to see your new version.
If you’re running a campaign for a specific product and your emails are not performing, write some better ones and extend your campaign time. You can do that even when you have set scarcity deadlines. Reviving a scarcity product is done all the time in email marketing by experienced marketers, catching even more buyers who have been sitting on the fence.
Recoup advertising costs
Fear of advertising expense keeps people from placing ads all the time. They are afraid of watching their hard-earned money spin down the drain.
And rightfully so – if you don’t know what you’re doing, if you haven’t studied the right way to run and test ads, stay away until you have.
For those who know what they are doing, running ads is a no-brainer. Create an ad in a few formats, see which ones reap results, stop running the ones that don’t produce, recuperate the ad expense by selling product in emails.
Even Walmart, with all the products it has to offer on its site, looks to email advertising as a prime income source that covers ad expenses.
But wait! There’s more…
You can control the exact local time an email is delivered.
If you have an eCommerce store, you can send emails based on the reader’s purchase patterns.
When you personalize your emails, you can add your reader’s name anywhere in the subject line or content that makes the message more personal.
Today’s deal directly affects the time it’s taking you to write your emails. Before you scroll to the bottom, read exactly how you can apply this software to cut your creative and writing time in half, giving you the ability to write a series of 8 or 10 emails (or more) in record time. Why, I’m using it right now to write to you! Can’t tell, can ya’?
blah blah, blah blah …
So there you go, John. I clicked on the offer when I found it in my inbox, and you know I don’t waste time doing any work I can compact to give me more free time.
You can send subscribers directly to a vendor’s sales funnel, or to your own funnel for your own product, or to a landing page that outlines benefits and has a big fat link button to the vendor’s funnel.
You can use email to educate and inform. Email education series are very popular. You can provide solution oriented information along with the perfect product.
In fact, there are so many things you can do with email that I’d have to keep going until you are bored to death with my reveals.
Email is so profitable and so flexible that trying to build your online business without an email list as part of your income plan is like buying half a boat – it’s hard to stay afloat.
…And that’s why Walmart keeps building its mailings lists into the mega millions, both list-wise and sales-wise.
P.S. Unless you want to get all fancy-schmancy with stuff you don’t need, costs for automated email services like AWeber have a 30-day free trial and can run as little as $15 per month. Take my word for it – DON’T GO WITH A FREE SERVICE. You’ll end up crying in the shower.
Additional Sources for 2018
Circus barker courtesy of openclipart.com, The Art of Caricaturing by Mitchell Smith, 1941 Frederick J. Drake & Co. – stated as Public Domain by Archive.org