With your landing pages and forms set up and optimized, thank you pages created, welcome messages written and automated, and understanding of best tips for engaging subscribers, it’s now time…
…to start growing your list.
Your list should be growing, even if only a few subscribers a day.
A growing list is a clear signal that you have an active, healthy blog or website that can or is making money.
Like many of the success steps that I have outlined prior, there are a variety of methods and techniques to grow your list.
On page 1 of this Email Marketing for Beginners guide, we discussed offering your readers an incentive in exchange for their email address is the most common and effective strategy to build an email list.
Incentives (most often referred to as Lead Magnets or bait) come in a variety of forms.
Some examples include:
All of these types of lead magnets are perfect incentives to exchange for your readers email address.
However, some will be much more effective than others depending on what type of business you have.
Any type of Lead Magnet you create needs to have the following characteristics, it should be something that:
An effective Lead Magnet doesn’t ask for too much information on the opt-in form.
Once you receive an email address you can always segment your reader further in your welcome sequence.
Offering lead magnets to your readers will be the single largest factor in how fast your list grows.
Additionally, this will have a huge impact on your sales because when readers exchange their email address for your solution, they are showing their interest in that specific topic.
When they do this, it allows you to engage them with an automation series that can lead to a paid solution…
…your paid solution ;)
In Success Step 7 we talked about when you do email marketing, you’re going to have people who unsubscribe or stop engaging with your emails :(
What was relevant to your subscriber when they subscribed may not be relevant to them or used anymore. Interests change, emails change, needs change, and life changes.
While I don’t want you to take unsubscribes personally, I do want you to take hygiene personally…
…your list hygiene that is.
Keeping your email list clean means you want to keep those who are engaging on it and remove those who are not.
Doing so will improve the deliverability of your emails.
When people on your list stop engaging with your emails for 90 days or more, we call this a cold subscriber.
1. Your subscriber can go cold because s/he has become disinterested in your emails.
When your subscribers stop opening, reading, scrolling through, and clicking your emails, algorithms will assume your emails are not wanted because they are not being opened or interacted with.
When algorithms think engagement has stopped, they stop sending your emails to your subscribers inbox and start sending them to the junk or spam folders.
2. Your subscriber can go cold because they never see your emails to begin with because a specific algorithm is too sensitive.
Algorithms make mistakes and sometimes emails that are wanted, end up in the junk or spam folders anyway and subscribers forget about them.
Because of this, you never know which subscribers genuinely “went cold”.
You work hard to build your list and don’t want to just delete them until you know for sure that they don’t want to hear from you anymore.
This is when we send a reengagement or win back email campaign.
After sending a reengagement campaign, if a subscriber still doesn’t respond or interact, we consider them a dead subscriber and remove them from the list.
Doing this will decrease your list size and the cost of your email marketing, since most platforms charge based on the amount of subscribers.
It will also make your engagement percentages higher and improve deliverability.
Improved deliverability ensures that more of your emails get to your subscribers and less end up in junk or spam.
We’ve covered a lot in this email marketing for beginners guide that will help you be successful.
To wrap up this guide, I want to share with you mistakes that will cause you to fail with email marketing and how to avoid them.
I can’t emphasize enough how big of a mistake this is.
You can buy large, targeted email lists for a variety of costs ($0.10 up to $10 per email) and taking this shortcut will do nothing more than waste your time and money.
After acquiring your new list, you will upload it into your email marketing service.
Then you will start sending emails.
Because none of these people know who you are, how you got their email address, or why you are sending to them, it is likely that a large amount of them will unsubscribe and complain.
When this happens, the email address you send from will be flagged by your email marketing service and email service providers.
After that you’ll maybe get one or two more chances before getting marked as a spammer where the remainder of your emails won’t see the light of day (aka the inbox) and will consistently end up in the SPAM or Junk email folders.
Continue down this route and the email you send from (not to mention your corresponding URL) will get blacklisted and in time you will get kicked off of the email marketing service you are using.
*ADVICE if you already purchased a list and you’re frustrated as to where to go from here.
I suggest emailing the subscribers on the list you bought and send them a ton of value along with a lead magnet that invites them to join your list through a separate double opt-in form.
Just prepare to explain to people how you obtained their email address and have reasonable expectations for your results (which will likely be fair to none).
This kind of goes along with buying a list.
Often those who buy a list will immediately start emailing them to recoup the cost of purchasing it.
It consists of the sender literally “blasting” the list with sales promotions until those subscribers unsubscribe, complain, or the sender gets blocked.
Spray and pray involves no personalization or segmenting, which is a very short term strategy that will yield short term and minimal results.
This is pretty self explanatory and as was mentioned earlier, most legitimate email marketing services have this built in.
Not sending with a service that is CANSPAM/GDPR compliant is a quick way to get moved to SPAM, blocked, blacklisted, and possibly fined (up to $46,500 per email in violation).
A key part of following this compliance is having a valid physical address and offering your subscribers a way to unsubscribe in every email sent.
Any email sent without an unsubscribe option for the recipient or unsubscribe code for the email service will almost indefinitely end up in SPAM.
The final and sure fire way to end up in the SPAM folder is to send mass email from a free email account.
The most basic way to show legitimacy as an email sender is to have yourname @yourbusiness.com.
Anyone, *cough* SPAMMERS *cough* can easily create a free email account, buy a list, and SPAM the list until they get blocked. Then they rinse and repeat.
As a result, email service providers caught on to this and if you try doing that today, your emails won’t have a snowballs chance in heck of making it to the inbox.
If you only take away one thing from this entire guide it would be this…
…email marketing is used to:
A huge mistake I see people make often is always “selling” to their subscribers.
A great analogy I have learned, from legend Ryan Deiss, compares email marketing to dating.
It states that “you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on a first date”.
You go on many dates, get to know each other, then meet parents, then talk about marriage, then look at rings and then you pop the question (or something to that effect).
It takes time to build up to a marriage proposal.
Email marketing is no different.
The rule of thumb I typically try to follow is send 3 types of value to 1 type of promotional/sales content.
You started a website or a business because you are passionate about improving your life and the lives of others.
When you begin building your list it can be challenging to know what to send, when to send, and how often (luckily, we’ve discussed that at length in this guide!).
Many businesses build a list and are afraid to send too often because they worry about people unsubscribing. You now know that this is a natural occurrence and it’s ok.
After all, if you’re afraid to send to your subscribers, what is the point of building your list?
I would strongly encourage you to send to your list at least one time per week or at a minimum of 2 times per month.
If you don’t send often enough, you won’t give your subscribers enough chances to engage with you and they won’t remember your content or products when they have a problem that you could solve.
Sending is a double edge sword and you’ll never please everyone, but remember, people subscribe to your list because they like you, what you have, and they want to hear from you.
I’ve read many articles and studies that all conclude: as long as you are sending value to your subscribers, sending more is better than sending less.
Keep in mind if you don’t send very often in the beginning and you want to increase your sending frequency, ease into it.
If you’ve only been sending 1x/month, don’t just start sending 2x/week out of the blue.
Gradually increase the amount of emails you send per month, then per week, then per day (as long as your subscribers are receptive to it).
I hope you’ve found this email marketing for beginners guide helpful and will refer to it as often as you need in the future.
If you know of someone else who could benefit from the content in it, please don’t hesitate to share it with them.
Please also check out the other content and resources I offer on my site.
I have a lot more I share here and on social media to help you navigate the ins and outs of email marketing so you can maximize your return when using it.
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