With so many ways to connect with our audience, does email matter any more? Why grow your email list?
Yes. Yes it does. In fact, many businesses who did well through the pandemic did so because they had a robust email list they had curated, cleaned and kept feeding. They were able to reach out to their customers, not necessarily to sell, but simply to stay in touch and to be of service.
Another great to grow your email list … According to an eMarketer study, the median email marketing ROI is 122%. Wha? That is not a typo. And that is four times higher than any other digital marketing channel.
NEED MORE? There are a lot more impressive stats, but I think these two facts are most important — an email list is “owned” media not rented such as social media. And emails are not subject to fickle algorithms — you know if your message got through.
HOW TO GROW YOUR EMAIL LIST
Even if you don’t have a list yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t start now. But, you ask, how do I create and grow it?
There are a few ways — you can collect them at networking events and tradeshows but … right now that’s not too viable. You can buy a list, but I don’t recommend that (too many old, irrelevant names). And you can put a Call to Action to subscribe on your website (which I highly recommend), but it could be hit or miss.
Here is a surefire way to get new email subscribers while we are living and working online … Give something to get something.
Think about it – what was the last thing you gave your email for?
For me, it was for a free download on creative ways to score sourdough bread. As soon as I did, I got another email saying “Thanks! And here is the information you requested.” In about a week they followed up with me, sending me more scoring techniques via their newsletters. We now have a relationship and at some point, I expect they will try to sell me something, and that I will buy something!
In marketing speak, that “free thing” you give away could be called an email optin, a lead magnet or a lead generator, but let’s just call it what it is — a freebie.
With so many email service providers now offering easy ways to create a step-by-step freebie page for you, you can begin to grow your email list with a good offer.
As I mentioned, create a simple free bit of information your customer wants. Some ideas…
Five Summer Recipes
Tips for Entertaining Outdoors
Three Best Linen Looks for Summer
Great Activities to do with your Family
Five of our Favorite Books or Resources
You get the idea!
Design this using canva or another easy online design app. Put that in the media file of your email system. For the sake of this explanation, let’s just say it’s Mailchimp, but it could be Convertkit, AWeber, Flodesk, or something else.
In Mailchimp create a landing page that promotes the offer and has a space for the person’s email and first name. Once created you will get a url for it that you can promote on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media.The person fills out their name and their email. That email will go to your Mailchimp account automatically that then triggers another action and the person is sent the download.
Still with me? Sounds more complicated than it is and every email provider has prompts to walk you through this.
Pro tip: Rather than just send a download, I always send an email so I can add a little note, maybe a testimonial, or share a blog link for further information.
After they receive the email with the free download they requested, I send a welcome email so expectations are clear — they are now on my email list and will receive more from me soon..
I can geek out on this subject a lot more, and plan to in followup newsletters and blogs. For now, I hope this gets you started on your way to the beginning of a lot of very beautiful e-friendships with lifelong customers.
CONTENT MARKETING: Pro Tips
When you DO start to send newsletters or emails regularly:
DO have the emails come from you personally (not info@ or hello@). It can be a proxy email but as long as it looks like it’s coming from you, that’s good. Why? When done like this, they get better opens. And, it’s person-to-person not brand-to-person.
DO write it in your own voice. Be yourself, be natural.
DO set it up so you send an automatic welcome email when someone subscribes to your newsletter. At the moment, only 57% of companies send a welcome email. Why so low? Perhaps if they knew that welcome emails have a 4X open rate and 3X transaction rate they might send one!
Part Two: Build Trust and Affinity with Newsletters