Email Marketing to Build and Leverage a Loyal Following
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience and convert that following into profits. It’s a personal marketing tactic that helps you develop a potentially long term relationship with your followers.
Marketing with email essentially entails sending your list of subscribers valuable information on a regular basis. You might email them weekly or several times a week. We’ll talk about timing and frequency later when we talk about best practices. When you send an email, the ultimate goal is to provide value to your recipient.
That value might come in the form of information including links to additional information and resources. It can also be presented as opportunities like events, products, and services. And you can use email to convert your readers into customers and more. We’ll also look at the various ways that you can monetize your email messages.
However, before you can monetize your list, you have to build it. So let’s start there by talking about what list building entails while we cover some best practices and tips along the way. Then we’ll elaborate on how to follow up with your list.
We’ll share a variety of email marketing approaches and explain how to streamline your email marketing system. Wrapping it up, we’ll provide a list of steps to take in order to build and maximize email list profits.
It All Starts with Your Opt-In
To build an email list you need subscribers. You need people who have said, “Yes, I would like to receive email messages from you.” If you send email messages to people who have not agreed to receive them, that’s considered SPAM and it’s not just an unpleasant thing to do, it’s illegal. The good news is that with a good opt-in system and practices, you’ll be covered ethically and legally.
But first things first, how and why will people sign up for your email messages?
It’s called an opt in offer. This is an offer that is compelling and valuable to your audience. In fact, it is so valuable that they’ll happily exchange their email address to get access to it. Now, some people simply say, “hey, sign up for news and updates.” Others say, “Sign up for my newsletter,” and you can certainly try either of these approaches.
However, you’re more likely to grow a large and loyal list, if you give them something valuable. What’s valuable to your audience? Consider the following:
What problems are they facing and how could you solve them with information? For example, if your parenting audience can’t get their toddlers to go to bed then you could create a short eBook filled with tips and strategies to solve the problem. If your audience is broke and wants to stop struggling, you might show them 100 different ways to save $100 a week.
Research your audience and document their problems. Brainstorm ideas to create an item that helps them solve their problems. Keep in mind that your opt-in can be:
- Print content like a book, workbook, report, checklist, blueprint and so on
- Video content that is delivered to their email inbox
- Training material. You can send them instruction and homework every day for a week or more to help them learn something new.
- You can send a discount on products or services
Here are two different examples of how bloggers and web based business owners have created their list and approached the “opt-in.”
Clinique is giving a discount to people that sign up, and GoodLifeZen.com is giving away a book chapter. Consider your audience and what they would consider valuable. What information or material would motivate them to give you their email address and sign up for your information?
Once you have an idea about the type of opt-in you’d like to use, consider your existing resources. How are you going to create the offer?
For example, will you create the opt-in from scratch or are their existing products that you can modify or brand to suit your audience? Also, will you create the product yourself or outsource the task? For example, if you’re going to give away an eBook, you can hire a ghostwriter to create it for you.
Once your opt-in has been created or you’re on the path to completing it, the next step is to consider how you’re going to get the word out.
How will you tell people about your opt-in offer?