You’ve Got Mail. Who? You!
I’m talking about you. You’re reading the best marketing blogs you can find to ensure your business has the most up-to-date information. Time and time again the recommendation you keep hearing is about having your own “List.” It seems obvious where you should start but somehow it’s all so elusive.
Why is it challenges like email marketing always seem to get put off for another day when we’ll have more time? I’m guilty of it no doubt. Lucky for you I’ve put together some solid first steps to getting your email marketing hustle on blast.
What’s a Mail Chimp? DaFuq?
MailChimp, Contact Monkey, Constant Contact, Aweber, huh!? I know, I know. Where to start? Who to start with? The above four companies represent some of the most popular email management platforms. I’ve used three of the four listed and while they each have their own special features they ultimately all work in a very similar fashion.
If you're new to email marketing and haven’t chosen a platform yet, I’d recommend using MailChimp. It is incredibly easy to understand for a novice who is just approaching email management software and offers a handful of stylish FREE templates. For all you pros out there, it scales easily as well.
Why Can’t I Wait Until Next Year? FAIL!
Why, why, why do I have to learn another platform for my business? I’m on Facebook and Twitter, isn’t that enough? The short answer: no fucking way. While it’s a great marketing hustle to have a robust presence on the key social media platforms, it’s even more important to not take for granted that your access to those fans doesn’t disappear.
The reason marketers extol the virtuousness of having your own “List” is because, quite frankly, that shit is critical. You see anytime Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn see fit they can change the parameters and limit access to your fan base. Totally wrong...right!? I agree, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
This is the reason it is so important to optimize your social platforms with strong focused CTA’s (Calls-To-Action) and convert those Facebook fans and Twitter followers to your list. That way, when Zuck decides to start jacking your peeps again you can tell that fool to chill. Dig?
My People (Really Your People)
Ok, now you’ve picked your email management service and you’ve got you’re “Emotional On-Boarding” in place to really commit to this thing; which brings us to the “now what?” phase of our lesson. There’s a correlation to a big list and more sales but there’s an even bigger correlation between a QUALITY LIST and more sales.
While you may be tempted to buy lists for sale or use cheap tactics to artificially inflate your subscriber base, the calm and cool Email Jedi will take the time to grow their list with credibility. The first place to go is all of your past clients. These people have given your business the thumbs up in the past, now it’s time to clinch that relationship; make it a long-term thing, put a ring on it!
Most accounting software will allow you to export a .csv file of all of your previous contacts. I’d recommend starting there. This first “segment” of your list will be critical so make sure that you keep these contacts identified as “previous clients” so you can send them appropriate emails. Nobody likes not being recognized, so take the time to segment past clients from new leads. It may also be useful to create a list that is exclusively for newsletter subscribers so you can offer opportunities for potential future clients to start learning about your company.
List Building for the Social Set
The second place to start optimizing Email List Conversions is on your social media platforms. Do you Tweet? Now you have one less Tweet to come up with every single day! It reads like this: "Sign-Up here for the @StartupSoiree Newsletter! We’re gonna hook You Up!" These same list-build efforts can be put into place on your Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn profiles as well. A good rule of thumb is to have an email signup in place on every platform your business is active on.
One for the road. Pro Turn-Up Tip
Really wanna get slick with that list-build? Create an offer your ideal lead can’t refuse and then trade it to them, free of charge, for one little email address. This is a technique called “Content Gating” and it works really well. For all of you out there running your website on Wordpress this should be a cinch using one of their plug-ins. We’re using Squarespace at Pixilated and Startup Soiree so our functionality is a little trickier since these features aren't built into the Squarespace platform so we’re using Hubspot.
That’s All Folks!
Now you have the fundamentals in place to start getting your email marketing program in place. Apply these techniques and ideas now and start reaping the benefits of owning your very first “List.” I’ll be back soon with the next part of this series which will go further into what types of content you can fill your email marketing campaigns with.
Until then…….work hard, play harder and take action!
For other great Tips, Tricks & Ideas Follow Me @PatrickRife