These past few months I have been consumed with learning the nuts of bolts of growing my business organically without the use of paid advertising. Along the way, I have learned some really awesome thing that work incredibly well and among them is email marketing. Email marketing according to Wikipedia is this: directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.
Pretty simple, right? Well maybe not for people who have been doing it for awhile, but if you are a newbie like I once was, it is not all clear. So today, we will work through the ins and outs of why and how you should do email marketing.
The Why of Email Marketing
There are lots of ways to grow your business online, so why should I spend money to get an auto-responder and invest time and energy into it?
1. Social Media is Risky
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are awesome and definitely help spread the word of your content, but as much as you may love them, you do not own the platform. Not only can you get banned, blocked, deleted, hacked, and shut down for doing something simple the wrong way, they are not forever. I mean remember back in the day when MySpace was the big thing and everyone had an account? Now it almost non-existent. All the followers you gain on a certain platform are not truly yours, and it is possible to lose them forever, whether that being to having an account shut down or the platform just not being the hot item of the day.
2. Develop a Relationship
With email, you are continually able to send quality content to your list which helps them view you as the expert and come to trust the advice you give them. It also helps you develop a more personal relationship with them because you can share more personal aspects of your life that you wouldn't share across the internet. I personally, as a reader, love when the emails I get are personal and behind the scenes kind of information. It makes me feel special and connect with the person more.
3. Easily Automated
Email marketing doesn't have to be an added burden if you have he right tools. I use GetResponse as my email provider, and I absolutely love them! I sit down every Monday, to write and schedule my emails for the week. Because I already created a personalized newsletter template, this process will take me an hour or less. The results I get are definitely worth my time.
4. It is Yours
The very best thing about your email list is that you own it. No one can take it away from you, and it can't be shut down. It is your personal property to use with responsibly. To see some absolute list dos and don'ts, watch this webinar.
5. Know Your Customer Needs
This is the next best thing about email is that it allows you to see in real time what your subscribers read and don't read. I honestly don't know if this is available in every email provider, but it is in GetResponse. I can actually see the statistics of what newsletter people opened and read and even if they clicked any links. I can also send personalized surveys to them to see what they need. I can further segregate my list from the results I receive. It really is a great tool to stay on top of my game with my target audience.
Creating Your Newsletter
Some people get by with just using a blank template for their newsletters, but in all honesty, that is totally boring. That is just pure opinion, but I love getting beautiful, branded emails. Here are a couple of things to remember when making a newsletter:
- Include a picture of yourself
- Include your name and website name
- Way to contact you
- Little bio on the side
- Branded with your style and color scheme
- Mobile compatible
These are things that I enjoy in the newsletters I read. I have received emails from people who didn't include a picture or bio, and I almost unsubscribed. Why? Because I couldn't remember who that person was, and why they were emailing me. All these things help me to remember who the person is and why I subscribed in the first place.
Now that you have created a beautiful newsletter, let's get started making an email sequence. After someone signs up through your blog or freebie, you will need to make a nice personal welcome email that includes the link to your freebie.
Next you will want to start sending them different emails. These can be past blog posts that you wrote that they might find helpful or just personal emails getting to know you. I really love this blog post on how to make a killer email sequence. It lists the ins and outs of what you should include and how to do it.
How to Build Your Email List
Now that you know all the awesomeness an email list brings, created a beautiful newsletter, and killer email sequence, how in the world do you grow it? Here are some things that I have found super effective in growing my email list.
1. Make a Subscriber Freebie
In all honestly, if you don't give some type of incentive to join your list, your list will remain stagnant. People want to know what kind of value they can expect to receive from you. Why should they trust you with their personal email? In your freebie, you want to make it a showcase of some of your best work. You will also want to make sure it is something your target audience would actually want. Do some keyword research and find out what would be the best possible freebie for your audience. Here are some different types to consider:
2. Sign Up Form on Blog
Technically, you there are three prime places for putting a blog sign up form which are as follows: top, sidebar, and end of post. You can also use an entrance or an exit pop up. I personally like the exit pop up better because I get completely annoyed when I am trying to read this incredible post and pop ups keep coming up. I have even left sites because of it. On the flip side, when a pop up appears when I leave, I am not annoyed by it, and have even signed up with them.
3. Link on Social Media
This is something really cool that I learned from listening to Build Your Tribe. On every social media platform, you are allowed to have at least one link. Instead of that link going to your blog or website, link it to your freebie instead. Of course, you cannot do this without having some way to make a landing page or have an autoresponder. This would be yet another reason I absolutely love my GetResponse. Instead of having to go out and purchase another tool for my business, I can just use my $15/month GetResponse account to make surveys, landing pages, and forms. I can also let GetResponse host my link instead of having to embed it into a site. I sometimes really like this option. The email addresses then go into whatever campaign I designate, and they are able to get their freebie automatically along with the email sequence I create.
4. Facebook Groups
This is a more round about way to get email subscribers, but it works amazingly well. You will need to join groups in niche for this. For me, I find my most engagement through blogging boost groups. These groups allow me to network to meet other people as well as get different people to my blog. If they like what they see, they can subscribe. Typically, I have been getting at least one subscriber a day from doing this, most days I get more, but I normally get at least one, which is awesome. I also come across some really amazing blogs that really help me too that I subscribe to.
What are some ways that you have used email marketing to grow your blog or website?