When I first dipped my toes in the internet marketing game, the prevalent catch phrase was, “the money is in the list.” All the gurus were telling us it was the way to internet marketing millions so we all tried to build our lists as big as possible. As a virtual assistant, I advised my clients to put their opt-in box at the top right of the site and create an impressive opt in offer to entice visitors to share their contact information.
Then a few years later, the words “email is dead” started floating around. What?! No, it couldn’t be! But of course email marketing is not dead but alive and well. It has simply evolved as any tactic does (or should) to stay in pace with the needs of our audience. Email is concentrated on providing customer-centric experiences. Our communication should be more personalized and relevant to our readers.
The first thing is to remember that email is just another way to talk to your customers.
The people on your email list have either received a freebie from you, purchased from you, or in some other way “know” you. Speak to them in that manner rather than in a formal nature. Many of them probably joined your list via your social media platforms. If you’ve interacted with them there, and then are formal in your email correspondence, they are likely to think you don’t value them and that they’re just a number.
Here are 9 tips to build a relationship with your list and make it profitable.
1. Don’t Fear the Unsubscribes.
The only way that you will not get unsubscribes to your list is to never send to them. Not everyone will like your personality or writing style. Those that don’t will never follow your recommendations and won’t become customers so it is not a great loss when they unsubscribe.
2. Be yourself.
Let your personality come through to your list. People will buy from you when they feel like you know them and they trust you. Try to be something you’re not and it will come through to your list. You’ll never develop that trust and studies show people by from companies they KNOW, LIKE and TRUST.
3. Be informative.
Make sure that you’re supplying quality information to your list. Even if you’re presenting a product for sale make sure that you’re also supplying information. Define the problem and explain why your product is the solution but also let your subscribers learn something about the topic even if they aren’t interested in the product.
4. Stay on topic.
If your list is about self care that should be the topic of your email. Don’t send marketing tips to your self care list or vice versa. Yes, there may be a few that have interests in both , but the person signed up for a specific topic and you are violating that trust you have worked so hard to create. If your list consists of readers with a variety of interest, use list segmentation so each person receives what they need.
5. Only send one item per email unless it’s a newsletter.
Sending multiple items to your list can be extremely confusing to them and never get you the action you want. Make sure that you have ONE call to action in every email. If given several options most people will do nothing. Never leave your subscriber wondering what you wanted them to do.
6. Always have a reason for emailing your list
This tends to go with number 5. Make sure that there is a reason for the email that you sent. If you have a purpose then people will tend to keep reading. If they have no idea what your reason is for your email then they will quickly stop reading all of your emails.
7. Track what works – check your analytics.
I know I said in the intro that you should concentrate on relationships and not numbers. But paying attention to your analytics is the only way you will know which of your emails work and which don’t. This will allow you to improve your emails to your list. Remember that the primary purpose of your email is to create a click through to a sales page. If it does that it is successful whether you sell a product or not. The sale of the product is dependent on the sales page.
8. Provide a way for list members to contact you.
You are building a relationship and that is based on trust. Let people know who you are and how to reach you. That doesn’t mean you have to give them your cell phone number! You should have a contact form on your website that enables them to send an email or schedule a call with you.
9. Be responsive.
If you receive an email from a subscriber answer it. Nothing is worse than sending an email to a company and not getting a reply. The potential customer loses interest and you miss a sale. Check your email daily (or more often) and reply to customer inquiries. You can easily set it up so your virtual assistant gets replies and responds promptly. Whoever does it, each one should receive prompt attention.
In today’s world of internet business, your credibility is of more importance than ever. Often your online reputation is the only one your potential clients see. Be sure you are scrupulous about maintaining a reputation for quality products or service.