How to build your email list and actually use it!
I feel that many of you feel overwhelmed when you think about email marketing. I totally get it and I want to help. It's another platform that seems less important than other things you have going on. If you can barely stay on top of your social media and blog content, then how the hell are you going to stay on top of a newsletter too? What do you even write about? Why is it important?
If you had any of these thoughts, then I will do my best to explain.
Why do you need an email list?
If Instagram and Facebook were to disappear altogether tomorrow, what would you be left with to connect with your community? If you said nothing, then you need to start building your list. We need to remember that social media and other platforms are not owned by us. We are just users of the platform who are connected with other users. I follow Alex Beadon who recently LOST her YouTube channel that she had for 6 years with millions of views and 30,000 followers. She was devastated and it's all due to an account that it was linked to that got deleted because it wasn't being used. Long story short - she lost all the work she put into it because she doesn't own the YouTube subscriber list. I hope she gets it sorted out. Email lists, on the other hand, are 100% owned by YOU. Although your lists are hosted on 3rd party email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, ConvertKit, MailerLite etc. you can always export your list to an excel sheet to make sure you have all the data. So, do you have an email list, how are you growing it? This brings us to our next point...
How do you get email list subscribers?
There are a number of ways to collect subscribers. The law states that someone has to opt-in to your list, you can not add them without their permission. They can not be "spammed" with your emails unless they have signed up for it. The best way, in my opinion, is to provide some sort of value in return for an email address - an opt-in incentive. An opt-in incentive is something that is attractive enough to entice a potential subscriber to sign up for your list. In return for signing up, they are usually rewarded with something. It's important to always consider who your ideal client/reader is so that you can create incentives that attract the right people. Here are some examples of opt-in incentives for a number of businesses.
- a discount code for their first purchase on your website
- a free digital download
- free access to an exclusive members area on your website filled with resources
- a seasonal or monthly graphic - desktop graphic or phone background graphic
- free worksheet
- an email course (follow up with 3 - 5 emails with lessons on a subject)
- an email challenge
- a checklist
- a template that can be edited
- a free Ebook
- access to an exclusive Facebook group
You get the point... provide something of value for your ideal client and they won't hesitate to sign up. Set up a simple automation in your email marketing platform so when they sign up to a list, they get an email immediately with their freebie. Use dropbox links for downloads and it's super easy to set up.
What to write about in your Newsletter?
Now that you have them signed up for your email list... what's next? You need to interact with them. I feel this varies from industry to industry but the idea is to connect with your readers and convey your brand message. Rather than sending your most recent products or sales, provide value on a regular basis or heartwarming stories about your brand and the people you work with. Use your email list to tell the story about your brand. Creating a connection with your readers will make them more likely to buy from you, whatever it is you're offering. Here are a few ideas you could write about in your newsletter that don't involve selling.
- Highlight a team member
- Interview someone in the industry or relevant to your target market
- 5 quick tips about a topic your ideal client is interested in
- Share the story of your brand or a specific product
- A tutorial for anything
- Highlight someone you admire in the industry
- Make a top 10 list of podcasts, books, articles, blogs
- Talk about a myth or misconception in your industry (that you product aims to solve)
- Brand updates and company changes and improvements
- A free gift or offer
- Ask for feedback or send a poll
Perhaps the most important thing to think about when sending out a newsletter is the subject line! A great subject line is the key to getting someone to click on your email and open it and read it. I found a great article that has some awesome subject line ideas.
I know this only scratches the surface of what email marketing is and how you can use it right away for your business. The goal of this blog post is to get you thinking about how you can utilize your list for your business and see the importance of having one. Even if you have 15 people on your list, remember they are 15 people who saw value in something you said and want to hear from you. Don't leave them hanging. Send an email out once a month and although I suggest nurturing your relationship with the reader through value first, you can sprinkle in some promotional tid bits here and there too. Direct the readers to your recent blog post or your online shop.
What other questions do you have about email marketing? How can I help you to get your list started? Let me know in the comments.
You can also contact me for a one-on-one strategy session, I would love to chat about how you can build and use your email list.