As a blogger or a writer or anyone whose work depends on reaching an audience, having an email list is an essential part of the job.
Not only is it important for sharing your work and driving traffic to your website or for making sales, if you offer products, but it also helps create a relationship and a connection between you and your audience.
People who subscribe to your list are most likely the hardcore fans, ones who are genuinely interested in what you have to say, and they voluntarily signed up to receive more of what you have to offer.
To make it worth their while, there are a few things you should pay attention to in order to ensure quality of your emails and more interaction from your subscribers.
6 tips for a powerful email list:
- Choose an efficient email marketing service
- Make it easy for visitors to subscribe to your list
- Add value to your emails
- Send out emails consistently
- Do not spam your subscribers
- Write an attention-grabbing subject line
1. Choose an efficient email marketing service
Having a decent service will make your life easier in reaching your audience, sending them appealing and organized looking emails, having access to stats to be able to target the right people and provide them with the material that they are actually interested in.
There are plenty of services available for you to choose from. Some of the popular examples out there are: Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Constant Contact, Mad Mimi, GetResponse, and AWeber.
Mailchimp is one of the best and most reliable FREE services out there, and it is also compatible with WordPress with a built-in widget (it is the one I’m using, too!)
Mailchimp has a user-friendly interface and it provides you with in-depth stats and analytics to know your subscribers better and offers you ways to learn what you can do to enhance their experience.
Some of the stats you get to learn are things like the type of interaction you get on your emails, subscriber locations and how often they open your emails, helps you create different categories/groups of subscribers and target them with different campaigns, and to top it all off, it offers you a free plan up until 2000 subscribers.
The only downside I found with Mailchimp is that there is no customer service available for the free plan. So, if you need help with something you will need to search through their knowledge base.
And if you’re on WordPress, their customer care have actually been helpful when I had questions about the service at first.
You can read more about some of the other email marketing services in this article and learn more details about their different features and the plans they offer.
2. Make it easy for visitors to subscribe to your list
In order to have a powerful list, you need to have subscribers on that list first. So how do you build this list?
You should use every opportunity you get to make people subscribe to your list. People shouldn’t spend too much time looking for a way to subscribe.
In fact, no one will try to search for a way to subscribe, if it is not right there, front and center, asking them to do it, 99% of the time, they won’t even bother.
So make sure you have the following on your website:
- Set up a dedicated page on your website where people can go to sign up.
- Create a pop-up form asking your visitors to sign up when they are about to close the page or when they have spent a certain amount of time on your website.
- Ask them to subscribe at the end of every blog post you publish by adding a small subscription box or by adding a link to your subscription form.
Make subscribing to your list an easy, simple, and quick task, and make sure you tell people why they should subscribe to encourage them to do it.
3. Add value to your emails
The reason people bother to subscribe to your email list is because they want to receive more. So if all you send out in your emails is a link to redirect them to your new blog post, then how is subscribing to your list any different from simply following your blog?
People on your email list should have access to something different: more information, more tips, better discounts, first access to a product, free products, etc..
Whatever it is that you offer through your website, your email list subscribers should have more. So make sure to look at every email you send out and think, “how does this add more value for my subscribers than my non-subscribers?”
4. Send out emails consistently
If you promise weekly emails, then make sure you send out weekly emails. And I will have to admit that I have personally fallen short to keep that promise the past two weeks due to some technical problems (such as my laptop crashing for a week) and other life-just-got-in-the-way kind of reasons.
However, apart from this recent hiccup, I always make sure to have an email sent out every week. Your subscribers need to know that you will deliver what you promise them.
One more reason to send emails consistently is that you don’t want your subscribers to forget about you.
If you send emails and then stop for a month or so and then start sending emails inconsistently, you will lose that connection which you have built with your subscribers and they could lose interest in your emails all-together because they will have forgotten about you.
Real life example:
I remember I once signed up to a financial advisor’s email list that promised a 7-day free course on a certain topic. I was interested in this topic and I signed up expecting I will be receiving an email every day for 7 days that will cover the subject.
But what happened was that I received the first email and then received the second one about 3-weeks later and then the 3rd one a week after that, it was so weird and got me puzzled. Of course by the time I received the second email, I had completely forgot about this course and already lost interest.
I eventually unsubscribed from their list because I was no longer interested in the subject; they failed to provide what I needed at the time they were supposed to provide it.
5. Do not spam your subscribers
There is the sending-consistently-to-not-be-forgotten-about, and then there is the sending-too-many-emails they will want to forget about you.
While your email list subscribers are mostly your loyal audience, they still have the option to unsubscribe from your list at any given moment.
And the reason most people would go through this step is if they feel like they are receiving too many emails from you. I know this is the number one reason why I would unsubscribe from a list.
If you promise your subscribers a 7-day email course, then sending an email every day that is part of this course they subscribed to get is okay and acceptable.
But if you send out an email every day, unannounced and unasked for, to ask people to check your new blog post, buy your new product, enroll in your course, or send emails with affiliate links and ask them to go buy this or that, this is called spamming.
And most people will feel that you are distracting them from probably more important and more useful emails that they have in their inbox. And so they will end up unsubscribing from your list.
If you want to have people buy your product or visit your website, flooding them with emails will not make that happen.
Instead, if you want them to buy a product, you can send out one email to announce that a product is in the works, another when it is available for purchase, and maybe one more as a reminder email that this product is now available.
Make sure that there is a space of a few days between one email and the other, and within this email make sure you explain why this is a good product and how it will benefit them.
If what you want is just for them to visit your website to read your new posts, then an email once a week to send a recap of what has been published on your website is enough.
It is also a good idea if you mention clearly from the start, in the sign up form, how many emails you will send out or how often your subscribers will be hearing from you, be it daily, twice a week, weekly, or monthly, so they would have an idea and know what to expect before signing up.
6. Write an attention-grabbing subject
Before sending your email, you should put in mind this one final thought: Why would someone open this email?
Every website asks their visitors to subscribe to their mailing list and most people have their inboxes full of those mailing lists emails. You know this is true because you are probably also subscribed to a good number of other websites yourself.
So if you don’t know how to grab your subscribers attention to your email, it will get lost in the piles of other emails of product offers and newsletters in their inbox.
When writing the subject line of your email, make sure it is as descriptive and as short as possible. In 4 or 5 words you will have to attract this person’s attention.
The way to do this is if you know what your subscribers actually need or what they may be interested in learning or buying.
If it’s an offer make sure it says so, if there is a discount/sale mention it, if it is information that will help them achieve something or learn to do something then make sure they know what they will learn in the subject line.
As easy and effortless as it is to press on an email to read it, but even this task requires you to push people to do it, because when there are dozens of other emails that require the same simple task, it becomes competitive for you and daunting for the reader.
So they will only open the email they feel has a potential to benefit them and be worth the little time they probably dedicated to check their emails.
Till next week, happy days!
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