Healthy email lists are critical to your success! I’m in the business of providing information and helping people grow, and the only real way for me to do that effectively is by email. My email list is my number one avenue to sell online, because my entire business is online. I don’t have a brick and mortar store to sell classes and information out of, so my email list is like my golden ticket to communicate with my class subscribers and help them even further.
I’m going to be straightforward here. There are no shortcuts to developing an email list. Sure, you can do it fast – but it doesn’t happen overnight, and you’re going to need to put in some effort here. I know, it’s tempting to “buy a list” of people but I’m going to caution you against doing that because you know what? It’s probably not your targeted audience anyway.
Create a Targeted Freebie
About 4 months ago, I offered a free webinar to learn about repurposing content into different forms of materials for social media and creating spins off of already-published content. It was a huge success! What I had to focus on though was what my targeted audience was. When I first started discussing who would benefit from repurposing content, I thought to myself, “Everyone!”. But I dug deeper and realized, hey, not everyone is blogging for a living or even in the business of writing or marketing. So I had to really hone in on who that audience really was. A responsive and engaged list only comes from people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. So you’ll want to focus on complete targeting from all angles in your demographic selection.
Yes, in full disclosure, I took out Facebook ads to distribute my class information, and yes, I spent some money. But what I got out of it? Super results.
I collect a first name and email address generally. Right now I have everything so streamlined on my site that my blog signups go directly to my email list distribution service, along with my class sign-ups. That’s really all the information you need. The rest you can derive from transactions when you download everything into your QuickBooks or other financial software as necessary.
Manage Your Email List
Keeping a clean list is necessary in my opinion. I don’t keep non-readers on my list for reporting and financial purposes. When they sign up they get a ton of free stuff but if they’re not opening my emails there’s really no point, right? And sometimes it’s not about you… it’s about their time and whether or not they’re in the right mindset or point in life to receive your information.
Improve Subject Lines
The subject lines of your email messages should be clear, short and to the point. Use keywords, but don’t try to trick the recipient. You want the subject line to be clear about what’s inside and that they don’t want to miss it.
Your email subject lines and messages should express urgency to your subscribers. A call-to-action is how I get high open rates. Why should they open your email? What’s the urgency? Is there a pending end date? Do they need to know this information right away before everyone else? Do they need to do something different that will impact their business?
Use Current Events
Fun or even seldom-recognized national holidays are a blogger’s dream. They’re fun, you can develop themes around them, and hold contests. I used this a lot to build one of my business webinars. I kept it more professional but it was really fun to see what kind of office humor people came up with for ice cream flavor titles for National Ice Cream Day.
Engage with Your Subscribers
It took me a while to remember that I wasn’t just a broadcaster in broadcast mode. People can respond to your emails, too. And as a blogger, it’s always fun when they comment or reply back to your emails, especially when you ask them a question and ask them for their opinion. Engaging allowed me to let them know I’m an actual human and allowed me to establish trust. From that, my webinars got shared and my free resources went viral.
Send Surveys and Polls
Polls and surveys have allowed me to collect information along the way, too. A simple “enter your email to cast your vote” works amazing. Me, I love to see the results of the polls and share them with my class audience. Super fun!
Always, always inform your audience about your other stronger social media channels that they can use to help themselves. Use those channels and create “Facebook only” or “Twitter only” redemptions or promotions.
Most importantly, share. Give them your best stuff. Be authentic and share your struggles like I have in the past and what got you to the point you are at.