Should you have an email list?
Having an email subscriber list is an excellent tool for the growth of your business. Good quality articles can help build the subscriber list.
There are many email software providers. MailChimp is a favourite as it is free for under 2,000 subscribers. It also has templates (as they most do) for newsletters so you can build your branded email newsletters for your list.
Other email marketing providers people swear by include:
The best one all depends on which you get most comfortable using (email can be deceptively complicated), and that suits your budget.
One thing is for sure, if you are building a list, sending your marketing emails for free using your Gmail or Hotmail account is not going to be sustainable. These accounts are designed for one-to-one email communications, not one to many.
Sending your group marketing emails using your Gmail or Hotmail account is not going to be sustainable.
What to look for in an email provider
What you should be looking for is an email service that makes things clean and easy, is mobile-friendly as almost everyone checks email on phones these days. Almost all will legally and automatically manage your opt-outs (also called unsubscribes) and store your list online.
The option of having a ‘double opt-in‘ is good practice as it ensures that no one can sign up someone else’s account without their permission. It means that the subscriber gets an email asking them to confirm they want to subscribe. You know the drill. If it isn’t the right email address, obviously they can’t confirm, so the double opt-in weeds out some level of time-wasters.
You also want to be able to log into your web-based account and be able to add people, and remove people, yourself.
Many email providers can also help you build your landing page for your subscribers and make a popup window which will improve signups.
Getting people to signup to your list is known as lead capture. Oftentimes, businesses will offer something for free, like an ebook or report, in exchange for the email address.
Since the early days of social media (circa 2003), the mantra has always been ‘give before you get’. Many websites use pop-ups to encourage sign-ups to your email list, it’s good to keep in mind a couple of best practices.
If you run popup windows requesting people sign up, wait for some engagement with your articles before you time them to pop up. Remember they may also impact on your site’s accessibility. The screen readers for visually impaired people and popups don’t play well.
Your signup form could be as simple as an email address, or it could be a form that includes fields like profession, company size, and so on. This data are used to segment the list into groups.
Again, many of the email clients will provide code for you to copy and paste to generate your own sign-up form. If you know how, you can also design and build your own form, or customise a template that is supplied.
After you have captured a lead, you may want to develop a nurturing strategy. This could be some emails you drip to them to build on the relationship. If Jill has used question fields in her signup form, she can send a drip campaign to different groups.
In Jill’s case, this email drip campaign might be:
- Email 1: The Biggest Z Problem
- Email 2: People Affected by Z
- Email 3: The Secret Behind X
- Email 4: Why the world needs more X to fight Z
Nurturing helps build the relationship with your email subscribers because you are giving them quality information at no cost that is clear and easy to understand.
As long as we keep in mind our four elements of trust: authenticity, empathy, quality, and authority, we are building a relationship of trust.
Top Photo by Host Sorter on Unsplash