For today’s #AtoZChallenge*, the letter “E” is for Email list.
Okay, a raise of hands—how many websites have you visited in the last 24 hours? How many had a pop-up requesting your name and email address? How many did you fill out?
If you’re like most blog visitors, you hate those annoying pop-ups. But guess what? They’re very effective in capturing and retaining loyal customers. Whatever your business,whenever a visitor to your site fills in those two little spaces, they’re inviting you into their mailbox. Amazon won’t share your buyer’s information with you. Social media outlets might be gone tomorrow, taking your followers with them. But once you’ve set up an email list, you own it. Your subscribers are an asset you’d be foolish not to use.
How to set up an email list
There are many email handling services to choose from—AWeber, Convertkit, GetResponse, and the one I use—MailChimp. Some are paid, some are free until you meet a specific number of subscribers, some are easier to use than others.
Signup to whatever service you choose and place a opt-in box in at least three different places on your blog/website. Why three or more? The conversion rate is better at or above that number. I have mine on the far right column, at the bottom, and at the end of each post. You can also create a landing page, which is even more effective.
Include a CTA—a call to action. Tell them what you want and what you’re willing to do in exchange. Be specific, be exciting, make your new subscriber want to see your next email.
Give them something for free—an excerpt, a .pdf, a preview of your product. I offer a free copy of the first of my short story series, Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien. I invite subscribers into my writing world, they get a free book. Win-win.
What if you don’t have a free book to give away?
Here are some ideas of what you can offer:
- An exclusive book excerpt
- A video
- A webinar
- Previews of an upcoming release
- A behind the scenes look at your scintillating life (!)
- A worksheet
- Favorite tips and tools
- A cheat sheet
- A resource list
- Sales and promos
- A tutorial
- A newsletter
What you want is to make your reader/customer/subscriber feel as if they have the inside scoop on your business. An email list and how you use it is a great way to build relationships and stay connected.
Don’t be “that guy”, the one you never hear from until he has something to sell. Months go by, then you’re spammed with “I have a new product, and you have to buy it.”
Nope, set up a schedule and reach out to your most loyal followers. My newsletter goes out on the 8th of the month. Why that date? Damned if I know, but once I started, I’ve made it a point to stick to that date. If I have a new book scheduled for release, I make sure my subscribers see an excerpt before anyone else. Don’t we all like to get the skinny before anyone else?
Include a final CTA (call to action) at the end of each communication. “Please share this newsletter/excerpt/special offering.” Word of mouth is unbeatable marketing.
Please share this blog post
See, that was easy. Use the buttons on the left to share this post to your followers. And if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, please use the opt-in box on the right to do so. I promise not to spam you or sell your information. Plus, you get to read a fantastic short story!
I’ll see you tomorrow, when I’ll discuss something “F” for the #AtoZChallenge*.
Blessings until then,
*#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in April (except on Sundays). Participants blog every day around a theme of their choosing, in alphabetical order. Throughout the month of April, I’ll share tips, links, and insights I’ve learned in my writing career.