Hello SOTGC community,
This is Part four in our four-part series about shaping up your content. Read Part one (blogging) here, Part two (images) here, and Part three (social media) here.
Did you know that 66 percent of consumers have made a purchase because they received an email about it? Did you know that email marketing has a return on investment of 4,300 percent? But what does all that mean for you? Are mailing lists helpful for those of us who aren’t Groupon or J. Crew? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!
If I’ve convinced you but you’re not sure where or how to start, these tips will get you pointed in the right direction.
- Choose Your Newsletter Host
There are many, many options when it comes to newsletter hosting, varying greatly in price point and accessibility. Personally, I use MailChimp (known for its user-friendly interface). You can also check out Mad Mimi, Tiny Letter, or Ontraport, which is good for heavy-duty, online retail.
- Create an Enticing Reason to Join Your Newsletter List
Very few people will invite you into their inbox out of the goodness of their heart; most of them need to be lured and enticed. In marketing terms, we call this an opt-in, and it can take the form of a one-time discount, a free ebook, a checklist, a series of short videos, or the recording of a webinar. Just make sure your opt-in relates to the work you do and the services you offer, otherwise you’ll be appealing to the wrong people!
- Make it Easy to Join Your List
It should be obvious to your readers that you have a list and how they can join it. You can make this easier by posting your sign up box in multiple places – below your header, in your sidebar, in the footer, on your About page, and in the signature of your emails.
You might also want to try a pop-up. Yes, some might find them annoying, but they’re also incredibly effective. Opt-in Monster gives you the option to make your pop-up IP-sensitive, so once someone has closed it, they won’t see it again till they use a new IP or clean out their cookies.
- Decide What to Include in Your Newsletter
In a perfect world, we’d all be creating content unique to our newsletter subscribers – but that’s a lot of work! It’s completely acceptable to copy and paste every blog post you write into your newsletter and send that to your subscribers. You can make them feel a bit more special by including a few personal tidbits or sharing some tips or insights you haven’t shared elsewhere.
If you’re not blogging, you can use your newsletter to beta test new products, offer discounts, host sales, or just develop a deeper, more engaged relationship with your readers.
- Decide How Often to Send Your Newsletter
Most of us are afraid that we’ll send our newsletters too often, leading to unsubscribes and disgruntled emails. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on how devoted your subscribers are, what type of content you’re sending them, and how often they expect to hear from you. A good rule of thumb: No more than once a week, no less than once a month. You can read more about navigating your newsletter schedule here and here.
Examples of people who are doing amazing things with their newsletters:
Blogging Consultant Regina Anaejionu
Regina earns six figures a year, mostly from info products, most of which she sells to her list. She is incredibly generous with her subscribers, regularly sending them super useful ebooks and discounts on all of her offerings.
Lifestyle Design Coach Katie Lee
Katie is spending much of 2015 writing a book. She made the bold decision to put her blog on hiatus for three months and exclusively publish to her list. Clever, right? It’ll help her save time and build her list in preparation for her book launch.
Self-Development Website Best Kept Self
Rather than weekly emails, this sweet website sends out two minute “video pep talks” every Monday morning. These videos tie into blog posts and offerings on the site and they stand out in a sea of “X tips for Y” free ebooks.
Do you have a newsletter? How are you enticing people to join your list, and how are you interacting with them once they’ve joined? Tell me all about it in the comments!
P.S. Before you do any of this, you’ve made sure your website is mobile responsive, right?
P.S.S. This post first appeared on my blog a while back, but I fluffed it up and made sure to freshen it up just for you!
If you want to make sure you don’t miss any posts in this series, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll send them directly to your inbox!