Building your list is so important. There’s a lot of hype around social media. Many people start building their Facebook pages and Instagram following before working on their list.
The reality is that social media is what’s called a “rented channel”. Although you have control over what you post and when, you have no control over the platform itself. Think about Facebook. Mark Zuckerburg could decide to shut down Facebook tomorrow or change up the algorithm or remove business pages… now I’m not saying any of this will happen BUT.... there is a reason that “owned media” is more important. Recently Facebook have said that soon they will only show sponsored content from pages in people's newsfeed, making organic reach on Facebook almost impossible. The algorithm on Instagram has changed so often in the last couple of years, making it more difficult for companies to get their posts seen by their target market.
"Owned media” or “owned channels” include your email list, website, blog etc... I’m not saying to stop using social. Not at all. But I just want to make sure you’re focusing your efforts in the right places and reaching lots of people in your target audience, no matter what happens with social in the next couple of weeks, months or years.
Let's talk about stats baby.
Email isn’t sexy, but it is effective. For ten years in a row, email marketing has been generating the highest return on investment for marketers. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates a ROI of $38 and also has the broadest reach. 34% of Americans check their emails throughout the day.
Personalised emails are even more effective. Nearly half of all online US retailers use personalised product recommendations via email.
Email marketing also makes it very easy to do A/B testing by changing different elements in the email such as subject line, the email length and the CTA.
If we compare email marketing to social media and search engine marketing, here is what happens:
90% of emails gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed.
The average click-through rate of an email campaign is around 3% (of total recipients), whereas the average click-through rate from a tweet is around 0.5%.
4.24% of visitors from email marketing buy something as compared to 2.49% of visitors from search engines and 0.59% from social media.
So what do you need to know to build your list and have an effective email campaign?
Let’s start with getting some people on that list.
Use an Email Marketing Service Provider.
You’re going to need to use a email marketing service provider such as Mailchimp or Convertkit to get started. Mailchimp is free for your 1st 1000 subscribers. Personally I use Convertkit. I find it really easy to use and you can really effectively tag and organise your subscribers. As people start coming to your list you should segment them. Did they download your free guide? Did they sign up for your newsletter through your website? Are they from your Facebook group? Check out this handy little post from Hubspot to get more information on email list segmentation.
Turn your website upside-down.
So now that you’re ready to collect some sign ups, start by putting a sign up form on your website. This is very important. In fact placing this at the top of your homepage has been proven to be very effective in collecting leads. You can also add a pop up sign up form. We added ours using a Leadbox from Leadpages. You also may consider creating an upside-down homepage. Sounds weird? There are claims that it is the highest converting homepage design around. Read more about it here.
We're the 1000 best friends that anyone could have.
If you have a Facebook Group, you can add some questions for members to answer before they join. This is a great way to add people to your list. They are joining your group because they’re interested in the kind of content you create, the information and support you provide and ultimately the product or service you are selling. We’ve added lots of subscribers to our list in this way.
Nothing in life is free... except content.
Create an opt in Freebie. This is something you give for free in return for an email address. There are many types of freebies you can create from one page worksheets and videos to booklets and eBooks. These entice people to join your list. You can talk about your freebie in your blog post, you can share it on social media, you can make an ad campaign around it. Share your freebie every way you know how. Even in a blog post about building an email list...
Collaboration across the nation!
Another great way to get people to join your email list is to reach out to potential collaborators. You can do this by posting on social media, saying that you’re looking for people to partner with, accepting guest post submissions on your blog and looking for people to interview. These collaborators are likely to share your content on their pages and in their own groups, which in turn increases your the amount of people who join your community, visit your website and see your Facebook Page. These collaborators may also be interested in your content, and could end up being on your list too.
My whole family is on my mailing list.
Don’t forget about your friends and family. When you’re getting started, reach out to friends and family. Tell them about what you’re doing and ask them if they’d be interested in joining your list. Don’t just write a generic post on Facebook, it’s best to reach out to people individually. Although your friends might not fit your target market exactly, they’re your friends and if they know someone who is interested in your content they’ll be likely to pass it on. It's also a good way of regularly updating your friends and family on where you are in the world and what you are working on!
It's very useful to add a forward-to-a-friend link in your email copy.. Something like “Do you know somebody else who’d benefit from this email? We’d love if you’d forward to a friend.” You can also encourage members of your Facebook group to add their friends by introducing a reward for the person who adds the most people within a certain time frame. But beware, this may reduce the quality of the leads in your Facebook community.
Once you have built an email list you can start sending weekly newsletters.
We will talk about this in our next blog post, which is all about your business’ content strategy. So until then... have a browse of our other blog posts, join our Facebook community, and.... sign up for our newsletter.
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