It’s no secret that one thing you need to have for your business is an email list. It will certainly add to the amount of work that you have to take care of every week, but if you want to build stronger relationships with your community a great way to do so is through an email list. Even better? Those people on your list are obviously the ones that are most likely to buy from you the next time you launch a new product or service. Who doesn’t want that benefit, right?
One of the problems, though, is that after you create an email list you can often be left uncertain of the best way to utilize the new platform. People struggle with trying to nail down what sort of content to send, how often to email their list, and how to convert their subscribers to sales. Unfortunately, that usually leads to not sending anything at all or only emailing randomly.
Regardless of which spectrum you find yourself on, here are the 3 best ways to start putting your list to better use so you can see those great benefits!
BUILD A LIST OF PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WANT MORE FROM YOU
When you’re building a list for your blog or business you may be tempted to try out not so awesome tactics to grow your list fast. You might find yourself participating in giveaway after giveaway or signing up every single person who emails you. However, here’s the thing: if the people don’t want to be on your list or are there for ulterior motives, they’re not the kind of subscribers you want. Those people aren’t going to care what you have to say and likely won’t even bother opening your emails.
So, instead of trying to grow your list to hundreds or thousands of subscribers in such a short time, invest the time it takes to build a list of people who actually want to hear from you. You want to have subscribers that are eager to open your emails because at the end of the day, they’re much more likely to buy from you! While I agree that building your list the right way can certainly take time and be frustrating to see the numbers grow slowly, you’re helping yourself in the long run.
If you’re working on building your list the right way but people just aren’t signing up, make sure you’re providing valuable, original content not just on your blog but also in your newsletter. It’ll take longer to build your numbers if people get unoriginal content or just a copy of your blog posts because even when you do get subscribers, they won’t want to stick around for content they can find elsewhere.
ASK A QUESTION TO GET TO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
I know one of the biggest struggles when it comes to having an email list isn’t necessarily the up-keep or getting people on that list (though that’s a big one, too); it’s figuring out what to send to your subscribers. People are always amazed that I’m writing to my email list on topics that they relate so much to. Let me tell you, it’s not just a coincidence. Getting to know your audience is a great way to help you figure out what things you can write about to your list as well as on your blog.
There are lots of great times to ask subscribers a question to get to know them better. My all time favorite spot is in my Welcome email. I use this automated email to send along details of what the new subscriber can expect to get from me (aka what sort of content, when the email will arrive) and deliver my free opt-in incentive. However, I also ask them to respond with the biggest struggle that’s holding them back with their blog / business. While not everyone takes the time to respond, the ones who do usually give answers that lead me into email or blog post ideas. The people who respond also get to start building a connection with me from the get go because for those who respond? Well, I go out of my way to try to make sure I’m responding to as many of them as I can!
Regardless of what you’re niche is, you can be asking your subscribers a question, and they don’t just have to be in your Welcome email. Instead of just signing off your emails and hoping that people take the time to respond and let you know their thoughts, leave a little note at the bottom of your email that includes a call to action. Encourage them to respond with their biggest takeaways or related thoughts on the topic! Again, not everyone will respond, but you’ll learn that those who do not only help you plan your content but also are the most engaged part of your community.
TEST YOUR PRODUCT / COURSE IDEAS
Tell me: have you ever just launched a product, service, or course idea and then realized no one was interested? You did all of this work, tried to get it in front of the right people, but you still heard crickets? (Don’t worry, that was me last year!) It doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something wrong with the idea. Instead, it might be because your audience just doesn’t need help on that topic! Instead of putting a whole lot of work into something only to realize that it’s not the right fit for your audience, use your email list to test your new ideas before bringing them to life.
If you’ve been following Amanda’s blog for any amount of time, you know that she recommends you gauge interest before just diving in, and I have to second that. While you can obviously do this on your blog and social media, as I mentioned before your email list will contain the people most likely to buy from you which means it’s a great place to start asking for opinions on your new ideas.
There are two ways to do this! First, you can write a few emails on one topic (ex: branding) and gauge how the campaigns performed. Did they get a lot of click throughs if you included links? Did they get any responses from your subscribers? What was the open rate like? You want to be careful if you do this method because people may get bored with you talking about the same topic for a few weeks in a row. The other method you can try is including a note at the end of your email about your interest in creating a new list. You can ask your subscribers to opt-in on a specific landing page or respond with their opinions / if the idea will help them. While you don’t have to only ask your subscribers, they’re a great place to start before you move forward with your ideas.
Lots of people have email lists that are just sitting on the sidelines collecting dust while they dedicate all of their time to their blog and social media platforms. If this is you, I challenge you to implement just 1 of the steps above to start getting to know your list community even better in 2016.
Need more help with your email list now that you’re ready to start putting it to better use? Click the box below to grab a free workbook that includes a worksheet set to help you create a plan for your list as well as 7 different ways explained on how you can grow your list!
This is a guest post from Kory Woodard. Kory Woodard is a full-time business owner and blogger, and most of the time she can be found dreaming up new ideas to help passionate women follow their dreams. The rest of the time she’s spending time with her husband and puppy, enjoying life!