When you start to grow your business, or even incorporate digital marketing to help grow your physical location or in-person services, you’re going to hear all about email marketing.
Email marketing is essentially using email newsletters and sales updates to let people know how they can buy from or work with you. To get people on your email list, you need to have an opt-in form on your website, or some sort of opt-in (which is just a fancy name for a resource that, well, encourages people to opt-in).
But there’s something we are seeing a lot of lately: businesses assuming that their newsletter or opt-in is WORTH someone’s email. If you’re not getting people to sign up for your email list, it might be because you’re just not making it worth their time.
These aren’t the old days of the internet
Latasha here, and I’m honestly sick of these email marketing pros acting like a simple opt-in form is enough to build your list and sell millions of dollars worth of product. The truth is: People get free stuff off the internet all the time. In fact, I’m betting all of us have that folder in our email somewhere that says “Read later,” full of crap you’ve opted in to and then never implemented.
People are onto themselves, and they don’t just give away their email and name all willy-nilly nowadays. We’re also burnt out on spam, and we know we’re not going to do a damn thing with half the freebies, PDFs, and “email challenges” we sign up for. We’re just looking for a quick hit and then — if you’re like me – you hit “Unsubscribe” as fast as possible.
While this isn’t true for everyone (unlike some digital marketers out there, I understand that my word is not the end-all-be-all of your marketing strategy), I do think you should ask yourself:
Is this content WORTH their email address?
Sorry, but just because you say “Join my newsletter!” doesn’t mean everyone wants to join your newsletter. So… how can you actually get more subscribers and keep them opening your emails in the future?
Email Tip #1: Make them an offer they can’t refuse
There’s some work that goes into this, I’m not gonna lie. And sometimes, it is trial and error. But I will tell you what doesn’t work: Asking for someone’s email address and name without earning it. So take a minute and ask yourself:
- What is one question I get asked all the time that I’m sick of answering? Can I create an email series, video training, or PDF that explains this answer in depth?
- What is one thing I hate about my industry or that I don’t do anymore because I realized it’s just not right? What can I create to share via email that would help people see this problem for what it is?
- Is there a templatized version of a service I offer that I can give to people to give them a taste of what I do — and make my offers more accessible?
- Is there something I want to teach people, and that could be easily taught in a PDF or a video tutorial?
When you think about these questions, you’ll probably realize there are a TON of things you want to say to people, or that you’re sick of repeating. Your email list is the place to send people to get that information — without wasting your time OR theirs.
Create the resource that hits home for people, and let them know how they can get it… Ya know, by signing up for your email!
Email Tip #2: Don’t just send a delivery / subscription message and bounce
I may be the outlier here, but if I opt in to someone’s email list and I just get a “confirm your subscription” email and nothing else, I’m hitting “Unsubscribe” ASAP. Why? Because I know I’m going to forget what I signed up for by next week. I’ll get an email from this person or brand in the future and think, “When the F did I sign up for this? SPAM.”
Now, I don’t say this to scare you. I’ve asked around and I’m definitely the odd one out. However, I think this is a cautionary tale because your brand’s first impression via email is SO important. You want people to immediately get a whiff of what makes you awesome.
That’s why, when you sign up for our newsletter, you get an email that looks like this:
What does this do? Well, it verifies you signed up properly and then it shows you whether or not you still want to be on the list. You see exactly what you’re going to get.
Now, if this was for a freebie opt-in, like our content planning spreadsheet, you’d get another email that had the link (or PDF) to the spreadsheet, quickly followed by this email. You are immediately notified and welcomed into the fold.
On our own list, you get four more emails that show you how to improve your own copy and content, how to work with us, and other fun things. We don’t just drop the confirmation email and run. We stick around. Start a conversation. And people keep opening our emails because they know exactly what they’ll get from us.
Email Tip #3: Entice them at the start.
Recently, one of our awesome clients asked us to update the calls to action on her freebie opt-ins. Essentially, she has a huge library of freebies to help build her list, but she realized the templated copy of “Download your FREE [insert resource]!” and a name/email form just wasn’t getting people excited.
She has amazing freebies — we know because we’ve used them ourselves! — but the opt-in form or sign-up form just isn’t drawing the eye or hitting home. So we went opt-in by opt-in, and made sure that we hit:
- A pain point using language her audience used
- How the freebie would help them overcome that pain point
So instead of “Download your FREE website checklist!” one of her freebie opt-in forms said, “Feel like your website is missing something, but don’t know what? Cover all the bases and launch your site with confidence! Download our FREE website checklist here.”
Combined with the right design, this can draw the eye, hit on the biggest problem, and offer a solution that people feel like you made just for them. And then you get their email address!
Email Tip #4: Give it away. For free. Really.
The last point I want to make is something that, quite honestly, pisses off my clients sometimes. I don’t care. You can take it or leave it. Here it is: If you want to build your email list, give it away for free.
What is “it,” you ask? Well, it can be anything that’s relevant to your business. I’ve given away my content planning spreadsheet which is literally the only tool I use to plan people’s content. They think it’s rocket science, but really, it’s a 5-column spreadsheet I created in like 11 minutes.
For you, it might be your super-secret branding formula.
Or maybe it’s your 10-minute exercise to a more sculpted butt.
Some of my clients have offered a free discovery call that they’d normally charge hundreds for.
Others have offered a templatized version of their biggest money-maker.
Whatever it is, and whatever you started brainstorming in Email Tip #1… just think about going big. I know people think they have to charge for every damn idea they’ve ever had, but there’s a reason you’re reading this, and it’s probably because you’re struggling to get people on your list or build your business.
Maybe it’s because you’re not giving enough. Maybe it’s because your surface-level opt-ins are free on Google and don’t require an email address. Just sayin.