If you’ve ever heard the old adage, “It takes a village to raise a child,” then you have some idea of what it takes to run a successful and quality email marketing campaign that generates results in your business. You may have also heard the old adage, “The money is in the list.”
In this day and age, the “list” is your email list. Email marketing has exploded over the last several years, and if your business isn’t building a responsive and engaged email readership, you are merely chasing the competition instead of leading the pack. Here are 7 strategies you can begin implementing right away to begin building an email list that engages your readers and garners results.
Build Your List
The first step in successful email marketing is building your list. The best way to get started is by driving traffic to your newsletter subscriber form. This form can be placed on things like landing pages and opt-in pages, or by running contests and giveaways, and essentially placing the link to your opt-in form with a call to action everywhere you can think of.
This includes your social channels, at the end of all of your blog posts, in your bio if you do any guest blogging, and as a signature to every email you send.
Never Buy a List
Buying a list is a waste of your marketing budget. Always make sure you are building your list through an opt-in, where subscribers ask to be on your list and give you permission to email them.
This is called permission-based marketing, and it’s important. Anything else is just spam.
Engage Your List
As you build and grow your list, it’s important to engage your list and email them regularly. Opinions vary on what “regularly” looks like, but it largely depends on how well you know your audience, and yourself.
Regularly could mean once a month is what works best for you and your readers, or it could be once a week. Whatever sort of schedule you choose, it’s important to be consistent with it. That doesn’t mean you can’t email your list more often if the occasion warrants it, but you should have a plan in place for how often you will email them on a regular basis.
If you allow your list to grow cold and stale, when you do finally decide to send them an email they will unsubscribe and/or flag you for spam, because more often than not, they have forgotten they subscribed to your list in the first place.
If you want to know how best to design your monthly/weekly/daily email newsletter, we got you covered. Read more here.
Nurture Your List
Along with regular emailing your list to keep yourself top of mind, you should carefully nurture your list as well, to the best of your ability. Most email marketing platforms allow you to segment your list based on behaviors and open rates.
So by sitting down once a week or once a month and reviewing the emails you’ve sent out, reviewing your open rates, your unsubscribe rates, and how often a subscriber clicks your links, you can glean valuable information to help you market to them more effectively.
If you know you have subscribers that never even open your emails, you can make the decision to move them to a “cold” list that you try to revive every once in awhile with a new offer, or you can choose to remove them completely, because you pay for every subscriber on your list and there is no ROI there if they aren’t even opening your email.
Be Protective of Your List
Building and cultivating an engaged email audience is hard work. But the pay off can be gold, provided you treat your list well and remember that there are people on the other side of every email.
This means you should be protective of those people, and don’t send them offers for things you yourself haven’t tried or used, or recommend anyone else’s products that you yourself don’t have experience with and trust in.
If your email list can’t trust you to send them offers that are valuable and relevant to them, they will simply unsubscribe. Then you lose any opportunity to market to them in the future.
Give Your List Extreme Value
No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important to make yourself and your offerings insanely valuable to your list. That may look different for everyone, but some evergreen ways to keep email recipients happy is to regularly offer them valuable and free content.
Maybe you send them a notice about a lengthy blog post, or maybe you offer them a free PDF that solves some kind of problem you know they need help with. Other ways to offer value is to send your list free templates or perhaps an audio download giving them information to help them overcome some hurdle you know they may face.
Know Your List
The best way to offer value to your email list is to know them, inside and out. Know why they subscribed to your list in the first place, what problems they are facing, what pain points they may have, and what they are looking for from you and your business.
Once you know them, you can then get to the work of giving them exactly what they want or need. And when you give them exactly what they want or need, you are recruiting customers and clients for life, because they trust you and what you have to offer them.
Never Spam Your List
It’s easy (especially when you’re new to email marketing) to get caught up in sending your email list a ton of offers and sales pitches. But it’s important to always remember there are people on the other side of every email, and no one likes to be “sold” to. People like to feel valued and important, not like they are merely lining your pockets.
So make sure that whatever content schedule you come up with is a good mix of sales and promotions, blended with value and useful content or information. Not every email has to sell something, and depending on your market, you may get better results if every email doesn’t try to pitch something.
Sometimes it’s better to send a simple email to update your list on something cool going on in the community or your company, or a holiday email wishing them well. You can run contests or giveaways, or send an email asking for feedback on something.
At the end of the day, value the people on your list and they will value you. And when they value you, they are much more likely to buy from you and recommend your product and services to their friends. We call that the ultimate win-win.