I wish I could tell you that this was an obvious one. However, I’ll never forget when an acquaintance came to me asking if I would “sell” my followers over to their list. The first thing that popped into my head was: “Why do they need email subscribers like that?”.
First of all, selling your email list is illegal. So I’m glad we got that out of the way. The second thing is that people ignore building up their future client or audience list.
Here is a perfect example. It’s 2 a.m. and you’re fast asleep. Sally is surfing the web and because she’s in California it’s only 11 p.m. for her. She finds your Instagram or Twitter profile and is loving your social media pages. She clicks the link in your bio (because of course your website link is there-duh!). She’s loving your products/services/ect. but maybe she’s not an instant buyer.
But OH NO! There isn’t a “stay connected” or “subscribe today” opt-in for her to type in her email address. If Sally really loves your brand, she might bookmark your site. However, most people don’t. You wake up in the morning as the roosters sing their song (or maybe that’s just your weird alarm app you downloaded). You have a new product that’s coming out and your only plan is social media. What about Sally? How can you get in contact with Sally? What if Sally isn’t on the ‘gram or with her “twitter peeps” and misses your announcement that you put out to social media?
Some people tell me that email is becoming extinct. Yeah right. The minute Zara tells me that they are having a sale, my fingers are already moving at 50 mph. Guess how I found out? Through email. Remember that email is not the most important but it is what I call a “connection layer”. There are 7 levels of interaction and one of them is through email marketing. It’s another layer to the experience of the current or potential customer/visitor/audience participant.
Where can you start?
MailChimp and MadMimi are free. Mailchimp is my favorite for small brands with small budgets.
I’ve also used the free plan from Benchmark for other brands I’ve worked with. However, Benchmark has a BIG con. They don’t allow you to add subscribers yourself. They have to use the opt-in link or box that you place on your site or social media pages. This is big issue for those of us who have friends or network buddies who are just like, “add me to your list”. However, if you’re a brand that doesn’t have those worries, then check out Benchmark.
Other great ones with premium plans? Constant Contact, Aweber, Campaigner, and Vertical Response are other companies that you can check out that offer trials but are paid plans afterwards.
Here are my quick tips for your email list & building subscribers:
1. Promote people to subscribe via your social media pages with a graphic. If your brand doesn’t have a website yet, use the website link space to place your sign-up link for email subscribers. This is a great way to send people somewhere so that they can be added as someone interested in your brand. When your brand launches, you’ll have a nice platform of interest established.
2. Give your email subscribers first pick or choice for events and so forth. This gives people who haven’t signed up a reason to sign up even more! Another huge thing is to offer a “freebie” as a gift for joining your email list. Take a previous or old blog post and turn it into an e-book. (I’ll be doing a blog post/video on this soon for just our Business Babes!)
3. Don’t oversend! Sending emails all day will turn your subscribers into unsubscribers! If you are an online boutique, send daily sales. However, don’t send an email every day if you have nothing to say. Also, get creative with what you send. Everything doesn’t always have to be about BUY BUY BUY! Maybe send some inspiration one day. Highlight another business or someone who motivates you another day. Then, spend 1-2 days out of the week discussing your products and what you have for people. The worst thing to do is to oversell yourself out of a business. People don’t want to be forced to buy something. Make it fun!
(Originally written for BusinessBabesOnline.com)