A large list of email subscribers is desirable but not always required. Starting out small has its advantages. One reason is that it gives you the opportunity to learn how to fine-tune your email marketing strategy early on.
Pay attention to your list. Give them lots of love. The first place to start in your email list building efforts is to write down the different ways you are using to grow your online subscribers. That could be using a lead magnet (free give away) such as an e-book, e-course or through the purchase of a product.
So what happens when they provide an email? Then what? Do you have an autoresponder system in place? How do you avoid fake sign-ups?
How do you avoid bad emails?
Sometimes, actually quite often, opt-in forms can be fooled with fake email addresses and through bots. The easiest way to block these is by setting up a double opt-in that will require the subscriber to acknowledge a confirmation email.
Automate Your Email List Building
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can keep up with your email list manually. That’s working harder, certainly not working smarter. Automating repetitive tasks is a huge time saver and a smart strategy.
I used an autoresponder early on and thank God I did! I spend one day a week now writing up new a week’s worth of new emails based on my newest blog posts. This keeps my audience engaged and visiting my website often.
Find What Triggers Them
Not everyone will respond to the same thing. So it’s important you offer a variety of ways and products to engage them. Some will respond to a free short report, a contest, a survey or a discount code. Pay attention to what is working and what is not.
I know, it can be overwhelming to think about keeping track of this stuff. I’m as far from an analytical thinker as you can get. Numbers and I just don’t get along!
Gratefully, the autoresponder keeps track of it all for me and shows me how many emails have been sent out, how many were delivered, open rates and click rates all in one simple graph the moment I sign in.
Grow Your Own Email Garden
Don’t waste your money on purchasing email lists. Do you know how many hundreds or thousands of others have already bought that same list? Most of them are outdated and will be unresponsive.
Another reason to avoid purchasing email lists is that you can be held liable for spamming an email that hasn’t opted into having their email address published. Frankly, it’s just not worth it.
Plant lots of seeds (ways to collect emails) and grow your own organic list of emails. That way, you know that the subscriber is truly interested in what you have to offer.
How Well Does Your Garden Grow?
Ok, so we know how important it is to set up and use an opt-in form that will grow your list of subscribers. If you haven’t already set one up, I invite you to sign-up for my free 5 step e-course showing you exactly what to do and how.
Having an opt-in form on your site is an important step but it’s just one step in a larger process. You need to develop many different opt-in forms (that can all lead to the same list) and share it.
Get active on different social media networks like Twitter and Pinterest where you can find and target people who are interested in what you have to offer. I use this popular program to schedule my Pinterest and Instagram posts way ahead of time. It’s worked fabulously to drive tons more traffic to my sites. Apart from paid advertising, building up a social media presence is the best way to drive attention to what you have to offer.
Email Drip Campaign
With an autoresponder system, you can easily set up a series of targeted emails to be sent to your subscribers and customers. You can schedule each one to go out daily, every other day, once a week, twice a month or monthly.
It’s also the best way of announcing a new promotion and building up interest in an upcoming product or service to your new and existing subscribers/customers.
You should also use it to briefly talk about your newest blog post and then include a link so they visit your site to read it. Keeping them revisiting your site is imperative and boosts your Google ranking. You’ve got to keep that traffic flowing! Using an autoresponder to set up and manage your subscriber list is an absolute must.
Talk To Them, Not At Them
When crafting your emails, make it personal. Speak to their pain and address their needs. This will go a long way towards building a bridge of trust. Provide solutions, tips, and ideas that address their challenges.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Now look, there’s no reason why you have to build a responsive mailing list from scratch when there are lots of tools out there. Here are some ways that autoresponders will simplify your life.
Using an autoresponder to set up your email opt-in form also gives you the option of setting up a double or single opt-in. Again, the double opt-in is where your new subscriber must confirm his/her email address. This simple option can show up as either an email asking the subscriber to confirm their subscription or as a CAPTCHA code that pops up. Again, this goes a long way towards weeding out fake emails.
Using Autoresponders are very good at keeping track of who is opening your emails and when. Over time, you’ll get a better idea of which headlines work better than others.
Another great thing they do is allow you automatically set up thank-you responses and automate very specific responses based on your subscriber’s actions. This is a fantastic way to engage your subscribers and make your responses seem very personal to them even though you know it’s all automated.
I research everything before paying a dime. It doesn’t matter what it is. Whenever I come across something new that sounds interesting, I’ll always check the reviews. That goes for vitamin supplements at the local Walmart too. Frankly, it doesn’t matter where I am, I’m whipping out my phone to look it up!
So, when I chose which autoresponder I was going to use to run my entire business back office, you bet I did my homework. All the things I described above, are run from this autoresponder, so I know they work. You can try it 30 days for free here (no credit card required either). Click here for a list of features and more information.
Writing Email Tips
What you put in each of your emails is just as important as the system you’ve set up behind it. Your emails need to have a purpose or intent behind them and encourage them to respond to it. Developing good habits now is the best way to build up your open and click rates.
Attention-Grabbing Email Subject Lines
Your headlines need to create enough curiosity to get them to open it and find out what it’s about. Consider asking a question or making a bold statement. Sometimes, leaving out part of your sentence is enough to get them to open the email and find out more.
Whenever possible, include the subscribers first name. This helps them feel that you are speaking directly to them. Try to also include in the body of the text.
Also, most of us who have worked in the corporate world and hard wired to compose business-like emails with a very professional voice. However, for your personal online business, I would suggest a more casual and friendly voice.
Less Is More
Keep your emails on the shorter side. Most people won’t read long emails anymore. Instead, they’ll simply skip a large portion of your text to get to the main points or just read the headlines.
The best way to avoid this is to keep it short. Highlighting salient points make it easy for them to get the main gist of your message and increases the chances of getting them to click on your links.
Include Your Affiliate Links & Offers
Make sure your link blends in logically within your text so it’s a “no brainer” for them to click on. Tell them what you are offering and sell its benefits leading up to the link itself. Don’t bombard them with links. Remember, you must first give it before you can take it. There’s a life lesson in there too.
Including an unsubscribe option is not just a matter of courtesy but helps you fine-tune your email list, weeding out the ones who are not all that interested in what you have to offer. You want to focus your attention on those that are genuinely interested, don’t you?
Knowing When To Send
Let’s face it, not everyone is available during the same hours of the day. Keep in mind that the internet is a global community. I’m in the USA, but even nationally, time zones differ. Internationally, not all holidays are shared with the USA. Take for instance Thanksgiving Day is big in the US but unheard of in the UK.
Here in the US, big holidays like that are spent with family and friends and not online. If you plan on creating a big marketing campaign, timing is critical.
Also, most people work one or two jobs. It’s important to understand that some days are better than others during the workweek. Based on research, the two best days to send out are Tuesdays and Fridays.
Fridays have the highest open rates of all because people are ready for the weekend and want to relax. By lunchtime, people are checking their emails and forming plans for the weekend.
A large percentage of bloggers and marketers send their emails out on Tuesdays because it also has a high open-rate. This autoresponder has a special timing feature that will send out your email at a perfect time based on your subscriber’s history.
Stay Top of Mind
Keep in contact with your subscribers! I can’t emphasize this more. Don’t just send out promotions. Instead, switch it up. One day could be some great tips and advice with a link to your blog. The next day could be a promotion. Then on the third day, talk about a video or challenge you overcame.
There have been loads of studies done showing that people need to see an ad several times before they actually act on it. Be prepared to advertise your offer multiple times in multiple ways. Don’t just try once or twice and give up. Perseverance pays!
The key is not to overwhelm your readers with a bunch of promotions. I even see big marketers making this mistake. For instance, I get emails from John Crestani and had to unsubscribe from them because it was just one sales pitch after another.
Invite your readers to join your social media networks where you can communicate with them more personally. You can also invite them to webinars, online forums, etc.
You may have heard that Webinars are a great way to boost sales and that’s totally true. However, it’s also a great way to generate referrals since people often share an upcoming online event with their friends and family.
Wrapping It Up
Providing alternatives like these is an effective way to grow a nice big list of subscribers that are targeted to you and what you have to offer them. They are more likely to also be responsive to your website content through the comments section. This captive audience is worth gold to you, so treat it well. When you market to them, they are more than likely to receive it well.
In the meantime, if you’ve found this information valuable won’t you share the love? Pin it to your Pinterest board and/or share it on any social media channel. Doing so encourages me to write more like this.
Your Two Cents
Have any questions? Share your own challenges and accomplishments here to the benefit of all.