Your email list is like a list of potential customers, just waiting to buy your product or service. However, you need to know just exactly what to say.
These tips on the power of building your email list will definitely help you create amazing emails and lists that will generate income for years to come.
Video didn’t kill the radio star. Netflix hasn’t closed all the movie theaters. iPads certainly haven’t yet replaced print magazines. I mean, have you been in a supermarket check out line lately?
The best part? Social media has not killed email. For years, people have been clanging the death knell for email marketing, condemning it as an archaic system whose time had come.
Maybe one day it’s time will come. Maybe tweets will eventually take over, or a new social platform (Ello?) will replace email completely.
But for now it remains a vital method of interpersonal communication. When you start a new job, one of the first things your workplace sets you up with is an email account. Often before you even you walk in the door the first day!
Email’s not just a work tool either, it’s everywhere else too. You, your grandma and your kid all probably have Gmail accounts that get checked at least a few times a day.
More than just a way to send Powerpoints to your boss, or baby photos to your great aunt, email’s also a crucial way for you to communicate to your customer base.
If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe the Harvard Business Review, who wrote:
According to our 2012 survey (of) 2,600 workers in the U.S., UK, and South Africa ….(they) use e-mail every day. E-mail is not dead, it’s just evolving. It’s becoming a searchable archive, a manager’s accountability source, a document courier.
And for all the love social media gets, e-mail is still a workers’ most effective collaboration tool. It’s far from perfect: Three-quarters of all e-mail is junk, and we’re wasting lots of time dealing with less important messages. But it remains the mule of the information age—stubborn and strong.”
Stop crossing your fingers hoping that your current marketing style is working.
One of the reasons that email marketing is so crucial to your marketing plan is that it stops the wishing and hoping. All the time and money you spend on SEO, just hoping that your site appears right when your consumer just happens to type in just the right keyword.
Or the way you spend time and maybe even money trying to garner PR mentions in articles. So again that maybe the right customer will just happen across the article you’re quoted in.
And then they still have to find your quote compelling enough to look you up online and finally land them on your website.
That’s a lot of finger crossing. Aren’t your poor fingers tired by now?
Reach Your Customers Whenever You Want
Email marketing doesn’t wish, hope and wait. It reaches out and taps your customer on the shoulder, whenever it wants to.
Ideally the only times it braves that tap is to tell them something unique, informative or money saving. More on that later.
But regardless, once you have their email address, the ball is firmly, completely in your court.
This is why building a list is so key. You don’t have to rely on the whims and caprices of Google to help your customers find their way to you.
You gather their email address and once you have it, begin to talk to them on your terms and your schedule.
How do I Build an Email List?
Building a list is a worthwhile endeavor and potentially a goldmine. Don’t let getting started intimidate you.
Think of it less as building a list of people that you are going to email over and over and more as you slowly charming more and more people to listening to you.
It’s not impossible to go from a list of 50 skeptical people to huge audience who hangs on your every word and opens most of your email, week after week.
You just have to build the list right, from the very start, and then focus on sending them content that will make them fall in love with you.
Pick Your Provider
Find a reputable, affordable way to send your emails. There are too many options to mention here but do a little research on the big guys like AWeber, Mailchimp, Infusionsoft and others.
Pick which one makes the most sense for your needs and sign up.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t try to email hundreds of people from your own home or company ISP. You could find yourself banned for spamming.
Plaster That Opt In Form
Any email service provider will give you an embeddable HTML or a widget of some kind that you can place anywhere you want on your site. Apply liberally.
This opt in form needs to be everywhere, but especially on your front page.
If you’re lucky enough to have someone stumble across your site in the first place, don’t just hope they return (again with the wishing and hoping!) Instead, put a ‘hook’ in them right away.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Ask only the bare minimum if you can. Get their name, email, thanks, hit submit, goodbye.
Studies have shown that for every extra field you require them to fill out – phone number, details about their company – there’s a correlating drop in people filling the form out.
You don’t need all that info to send email to them, so don’t risk losing them by asking for it.
Opt In “Bait”
Though not completely mandatory, giving a little freebie away is a great way to cause visitors to lower their guard and take the time to fill out your Opt in Box.
You know when they offer free drawings at trade shows, with the big shiny gift baskets or gadget giveaways? Same thing.
Photo credit: BrillKids
That prospect probably likes you already or they wouldn’t be at your trade show booth/site in the first place. Just offer them something of value for free. Note the term “of value”.
It could be the one last nudge that tips them over into your Opt In Form.
One Chance to Make a First Impression
Now that you have their email, don’t squander it. Treat it like gold. Make sure the first communication they get from you is well thought out, even if it’s an autoresponder, in fact, especially if its an autoresponder!
Take time to inject your voice and tone and personality to the very first email they receive from you.
Nothing will turn a prospect off more quickly than – after they have been romanced by your sleek site and your smooth promise of freebies – they receive an ugly, robotic “THANK YOU FOR SUBSCRIBING [FIRST NAME]. YOU ARE NOW ON MY LIST.”
Instead, go into the editor of your email provider and change up the boilerplate template they have placed in there.
If possible, add your logo or a graphic or something. Anything to assure your new subscriber know that they really did the right thing.
They signed up for something personal and valuable from you and not just awkward, useless spam.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
That’s the name of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book and it’s a great way to think about how you communicate with your customer, particularly via email. Vaynerchuk says
“There is no sale without the story; no knockout without the setup.”
Think about what you begin to email your customers. If you relentlessly come at them with coupons, sales, product, product, buy kind of messaging, they will unsubscribe.
And probably hate you a little bit for tricking them into signing up in the first place.
However, if you send them two even three emails full of interesting, well written, useful information, they will become intrigued.
For the first few emails, try to only mention your company in passing, maybe in the footer or with a discreet logo.
These are the light ‘jabs’. This way by email number four, when you’re ready to talk to them about ways you can help them, their guard will be down and they will be half in love with you already.
You’ve told them interesting stories and treated them like a friend so far. Why wouldn’t they hear you out when you tell them you have just the thing to solve their problems?
How successful have you been with your email marketing so far? If you haven’t started, what’s stopping you. Tell us about your favorite email tools in the comments below.
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