We all make mistakes.
And I’ve made a few big ones along the way, so I’m going to be completely transparent and tell you all about what I did and what I wish I had done differently.
I started building my email list for KerrieLegend.com back in February 2017. I put out my first initial course called “100+ Ways to Re-Purpose Your Content”. It really took off, and I grew my email list substantially to 40k+ just by being present on Pinterest with my course. Since then, my email list has grown another 20k or so with a combination of both authors and bloggers being my target market.
Now, you’re probably saying, “60k. That’s a big list, Kerrie. Doesn’t really sound like you actually did anything wrong.” Oh, but I did. Let’s examine for a moment what I did wrong so you can do it right – from the start!
- When people signed up for my list in the beginning, I wasn’t segmenting my email list. I have an audience of both bloggers as well as authors, and I wish I had allowed my audience to separate themselves into either an Author or Blogger category. What I did right, though, was add tracking features so I knew where my signups were coming from; just not what classification of person they were. So going forward, this is going to be something I’ll focus on asking my signups as they come in. Lesson learned: I don’t care how “small” you think you are – something you write or offer could really take off like it did for me and you could have a ton of data that is mixed together. It’s not the end of the world, it just could have been done better.
- I didn’t use something like Ontraport right away. I regret doing this. Although I’ve been able to show bloggers that you can achieve a similar result using MailChimp, Ontraport gives so much better data analysis than MailChimp ever has, and allowed me to create a membership platform, something that came in handy when offering things that only people who paid for access or provided an email address should be able to access. Gated access to stuff that you’ve created is really the way to go while keeping your readers and subscribers happy. Lesson learned: I should have used this from the get-go instead of later on in the game. Sometimes higher-priced blogging tools are well worth the cost.
- I didn’t have a sales funnel at the beginning. I had email signups, but I didn’t stay “current” in my email subscribers’ inboxes. Why? Honestly, I had become bombarded with emails from other marketers that just seemed… well, scammy. Endless emails – like sometimes 2-3 per day if they were hosting an event. I’m just not that “into” email, so I hesitated with streaming emails into the inboxes of my users. I wanted to find that happy mix of promotion as well as adding value to their lives. I sure as heck didn’t want to annoy them. So I created a rule. Either my subscribers were going to get something out of me or something valuable, or there wasn’t going to be an email. And it took a while to really put together some amazing content while adding value. It didn’t happen overnight. Lesson learned: find a happy balance – don’t overwhelm your readers, but don’t be so shy to not set up an email funnel. You’re potentially missing out on some big sales.
So those were my three biggest mistakes as I grew my email list. You can learn from my own mistakes so you don’t repeat them yourself. It’s not necessarily costly mistakes that I’ve made; it’s lost opportunity, which to me is costly from a time to earnings perspective.
I encourage you to look into some of these things and evaluate your own setup. If you’re missing 1, 2 or even 3 of these things (segmentation, software, sales funnel), come talk to me and see how I can help. Or, you can try to DIY it, too. As long as it all gets done and is done well (high quality, value-add), that’s all that matters, really.
Take care, my friends!
Also published on Medium.