If you’re shaking your head just like I was a couple years ago thinking ’email marketing is dead’, I’d like to tell you a little story about why you still need email marketing in 2021…
If you’ve been hanging around on my email list for more than a couple months, you are probably already familiar with my story of being locked out of Facebook and Instagram (yes… my personal account, not just the business profiles). For some businesses, this might not be a big deal, but for someone like me who runs an agency, this is huge. This means I can’t connect with customers on those platforms (I can’t even reach out to family on them which is nuts!), I can’t get in to client FB pages to edit settings or change cover photos, and although we can still use our third party tool to schedule content for our clients (thank goodness!), we can’t access the pages directly (well I can’t… my team still can) to create or edit ads or existing content etc. It’s devastating for a small business to be cut off of the number ONE tool I use for networking and sharing my message, but I am incredibly fortunate to have started building my email list years ago.
If you’ve been paying attention to what’s happening in the social media world right now, you might also be aware of the social networks closing/banning or disabling accounts for different reasons. Some accounts are shut down because they do pose a threat (I think we might all know who I am referencing here…), but then there are people like myself who are caught in the crossfire. I’ve never posted anything even remotely against the terms of service that Facebook yet, yet… here I am, going on month three of having no access, because their artificial intelligence took something somewhere completely out of context and decided I did something wrong. They don’t care that I have a business to run, a family to connect with, or even that they are losing money on ads I can’t create for my clients. It’s a giant mess!
But I can choose to sit and feel sorry for myself, or I can keep moving forward, even in little steps, to continue to serve my clients in other ways. It’s allowed me to open new doors that I couldn’t see before, and I’ve been able to spend more time focusing on the content I write for these very emails – and for the first time in many years, I am actually getting replies on these emails from people thanking me for sharing a story, or for a new resource we created etc. It’s amazing!
With an email list, you’re delivering content right to your audience’s inbox, rather than posting on social media and hoping they come across it and engage with it. It’s just more personal, and if we want to talk ‘conversion rates’ (ie the subscribers or people form an audience that take a specific booking or purchasing action), there is just no comparison. Once you have someone on your email list opening your emails and hearing from you week after week and month after month, you have a much higher chance of truly becoming the top of mind expert and the go-to in your industry.
So… it’s not just about creating a list in case you may someday get locked out of your businesses’ social media profiles, it’s really the heart and soul of your business. It’s the only data that you actually OWN (your contact list), and as the famous email marketing queen herself Amy Porterfield says “The success of your business is directly tied to the strength of your email list”.
I’ve had many contacts in the last few months following along with my story ask how they can just get started in building their list in case something similar was to ever happen to them, so I’ve compiled my top 5 strategies to building a solid email list – here they are:
1. Encourage current subscribers to share and forward your emails
Include social sharing buttons and a “share with a friend” button in your emails. This way, you will gain access to their connections and expand your contact list.
2. Create a free online tool or offer
Who doesn’t love free stuff? Create an online tool or resource that visitors to your website can opt in to with their email. This is the KEY to turning website and social visitors in to subscribers – it took me many years to find something that people really wanted to download in exchange for their emails – don’t give up!
3. Run a contest on social media
Use your social media channels to host a giveaway in exchange for contact information. Encourage entrants to click through to your website and sign up using their email address.
4. Create a pop-up on your website
No one likes pop-ups (I mean I do… but I’m a marketing nerd… so there’s that…), but they work! Add one to your website asking visitors to subscribe to your email list, you could even offer a discount or free shipping (for product based businesses) for subscribers!
5. Add a CTA (call-to-action) to your social channels
Put the link to subscribe in your Instagram bio or add it to your Facebook page and other social media channels to get your social media followers to be on your email list as well! Don’t stop at your social channels, make sure to add it to your email signature, website sidebars etc.
This silly little tool is the one single item that gets me 5-10 new subscribers each week! It’s called privy – you can check it out here: https://www.privy.com
You can set up different spin to win widgets like the one you see below in the screenshot from my website, or you can program more traditional pop ups. If you’ve got website traffic coming to your website and you just can’t figure out how to get them to ‘convert’ in to a subscriber in the absence of a really great opt-in (free download or ‘lead magnet’ as we call it), then this might work for you too!
My challenge to you today is to consider if email marketing can strengthen your business. If it can (I’m almost certain it would!), feel free to hop on a free coffee chat with me and we can brainstorm some ideas on how to put a plan in action for you. The link is below my signature to grab a spot. Chat soon!
Until next time,