In business, for marketing, one of the most important assets you can create after a strong brand is an email marketing list. Most small businesses who might have limited resources for marketing often start by promoting their business for free on social media platforms. However, this approach has some risks. Your account, your followers, even your posts could all suddenly disappear because you DO NOT own them – the platform does.
The biggest advantage of building your email list is that it belongs to you and no-one can take it away from you. You are free to send your list emails as often as you like and to say whatever you like AND you aren’t fighting with the algorithm to get your readers’ attention – AWESOME!
So why don’t business owners build a list?
- The entire process is confusing.
- You struggle to get signups to your list.
- The tech side can be tricky and feels like a foreign language.
- Once you’ve got them on the list you don’t know what to send them.
Teresa Heath-Wareing, a highly accomplished marketer (with at least 16 years marketing experience – could be more!) gives 5 top tips for building your email list.
1) Know Your Customer
It’s important to understand who your customer is and working out who is important. You need to go really deep to find out what makes your customer tick – what they like doing, where their difficulties are and, crucially, how they feel about things. If you can tune into the exact emotions of your ideal client, you can ensure that your content speaks right to the heart of what’s important to them. Then you will capture and retain their attention.
If you aren’t sure, think about one of your current clients and ask yourself the following questions about them. If you don’t know the answers, perhaps its time to try to get to know them a little better:
Where do they shop?
Who do they follow on social media?
What magazines or books do they read?
How do they spend their free time?
Finding out this level of detail takes time, and it necessitates engagement, but it pays for itself when you start to talk about a customer’s situation, their pain points or their desires.
If you are a social media manager, you might ask your customer what they want. They may say they need a social media manager. Great, but that’s not really what they want. What they want is to find more customers or to reduce the time they spend online, so that they can work less and have more time for family or hobbies. That’s the end goal and that’s what you need to resonate with.
You can ask them ‘What If I could wave a magic wand…?’ and find out what their ultimate happy place looks like. Tailor your solution to meet the end goal.
2) Give Them A Reason To Get On Your List
Customers need a compelling reason for them to act and subscribe to your email list. Make it clear upfront what’s in it for them. Use a lead magnet to give them that reason to sign up. A lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for the email address.
Your lead magnet needs to contain something of value and it’s a good idea to keep the content as evergreen as possible, so you don’t have to be continuously updating it.
Create a clear process for moving someone onto your email list. Promote your lead magnet on social media, have an easy-to-download process which includes collecting the minimum amount of information from the customer (e.g. name and email address), thank them for signing up and finally deliver the promised resources using the email address in a timely manner.
Don’t forget – focus on the pain points that your customer has that you can solve. Talk about the feelings they are having now and how life will be different once they have the resources you are offering.
Also, don’t be afraid about giving away too much. Clients who love what you do will be attracted to you even more if you are generous with your knowledge.
3) Troublesome Technology
This can be the tricky part to get right. You will need an email campaign system such as MailerLite, MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit or Kajabi. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the size of your list and indeed, your monthly budget. Shop around to find one that suits you best.
4) Get the Sign Ups
You need to promote the Lead Magnet – it takes effort to get people to sign up. You must promote over and over again if you are only using organic traffic rather than paid.
Places for promoting your lead magnet include:
- Pop ups on websites
- Social media groups (FB and LI)
- Blog posts
- Your own social media accounts
- Paid ads on FB, Instagram or LI
Don’t forget to create a few different visuals for the posts to keep your content looking fresh and interesting.
5) What to email them
You need to actually email people once you have your list. It’s a good idea to have a fortnightly or weekly email going to your subscribers if you can manage it. If not, you could work with a content creator or VA.
Teresa suggests two types of content at least:
Love Letter – This is text only and is informal and chatty, perhaps telling a story or anecdote or giving a bit of personal information. Write as if you are just writing to one person and keep it non-salesy. This is your relationship building email.
Newsletter – This is a more traditional style email, showing the latest developments for your business, explaining new products or services, sharing your wins, awards, testimonials etc. This could contain links to sign up for new services or buy new products.
If you’ve been thinking that it’s time you gave your email list a bit of love and attention, but you aren’t sure where to start or want someone to hand hold you through the entire process, then get in touch with Teresa Heath-Wareing on her website or on Instagram. You can also sign up for her email list building course.