This week’s How To Guide is on a subject close to our hearts – email! Newsletters or emails have faded in and out of fashion over the years as a tool for marketing but in fact they have become more and more used and popular in that time. Despite the rise of social media, about 91% of all emails are opened on a mobile which pretty much guarantees that your recipient will at least see and receive your email even if they choose to delete and leave it unread. This is a powerful number if you consider the algorithm of social media platforms that leave you will little or no control over who might see your content.
It is also worth noting that you don’t, and never will, own the data on your social channels. Even if you have a huge following, you would have no say if that social channel changed its algorithm, functions or even closed down forever. In contrast, your email list is yours. It is an asset to your business and specific toy our business. In the event of a social media platform closing down (unlikely as that is) you would still be able to communicate with all those subscribers to your email.
However, it can be difficult to get people to sign up in the first place. Post GDPR, many of us are weary and fearful of emailing as a marketing tool and there are many who have decided to give up together. I think this is a mistake. With a few simple rules, you can safely and easily invite your audience to hear from you by email giving you a productive communication path to sell and build brand.
So…how do you get people to sign up to your email? Surely folks are fed up of being pressured into giving their email away at all opportunities – right? I don’t think so. You are not a big corporate business that your audience might feel cynical about. Your audience are already fans of your business and small and independent business have the opportunity to build authentic and enthusiastic relationships with their customers. Inviting them to take the next step to subscribe should be the next easy step for your audience to take. Here are 3 top ideas to help you build your list in an authentic way that builds relationships and trust.
- Think about how and when you ask them to subscribe. All too often we visit websites these days and a pop up invitation appears within a split second of arriving on a site. Frustrating at the least and certainly not welcome. Most people will simply click away to carry on their search or even click off the website all together. Position your email invitation carefully. If you are setting up a pop up, give them time to browse and look your website first before you ask. Check out your analytics and see what the average session time is on your website (i.e. how long, on average, any given time on the website is) and make sure you ask just before that time is up. Alternatively, set it up to pop up just as people are leaving your site so that even if they haven’t bought or taken action today, they can stay in touch for the next time.
- Give people a strong reason to sign up. Sounds obvious but often invitations to sign feels like something that is better for the company than you the subscriber. Examples might be that you ask a series of questions about their needs on your website and then offer to give them the perfect answer if they sign up. Alternatively, create your list as an exclusive club or VIP sign up – make them feel that they are joining something exclusive. You need to let people know what they will get when they sign up and why it will make them special e.g. be the first to hear about latest products or services or regular discounts coming through.
- Finally, offer them an immediate return on their investment in your business. Remember they have paid you a huge compliment by signing up so why not give them an immediate treat as a thank you? By setting up automations within Mailchimp for example, you can immediately send them a discount code, VIP invitation to a Facebook group or perhaps a free download with top tips, a recipe or another example of your skills or services. Remember this offer must be authentic and not just for the sake of it – add real value to your subscribers lives and you will get results.
I hope that these have given you some food for thought and ideas. It would be fabulous if you could share your ideas or ask your questions in the Facebook Group too so that we can all benefit from each other’s wisdom!