Having an email list is crucial to your business. Especially if you’re selling stuff! These contacts could be your bread and butter! That being said, are you nurturing your leads? Are you building a positive relationship with them?
Stay tuned, and we’ll talk about how to make an email list happy. When they’re happy, you’re happy, because they’re responding to you. And being the savvy business person you are, you’re always looking for ways to improve your subscriber list, right?
Let’s talk about a few important things first, then go on to the do’s and don’ts, OK? If you want to skip ahead, just click on the “content” box below.
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What Benefits Do You Get From An Email List?
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think “Email Marketing”? Do you think SPAM? I hope not because this could be an important marketing tool for you.
And as an affiliate marketer, you can help your email list subscribers have an enjoyable experience who look forward to opening your emails.
“…the use of email to promote products and/or services. But a better email marketing definition is the use of email to develop relationships with potential customers and/or clients.”
Can you see the two main points there?
- To promote products and services.
- To build relationships.
So the biggest benefit to you is the ability to promote your products, or your services, to people who have opted to join your list. And if you nurture your list and do things to build trusting relationships with your contacts, they’ll happily purchase what you recommend to them.
Now, there are some people who build their lists in a deceptive manner, such as buying email subscribers, but you should really collect email addresses from people who have given you permission to contact them.
Using honest strategies will not only help reduce your unsubscribe rate but help you build the trust you need from them.
How Do You Start Building Your Email List?
If you are new to email marketing, this can be an intimidating thought. But don’t let it be! With some simple strategy tips, you can start to feel at ease with your decision.
There are some important things you need to consider when you start your email list:
#1: Tell Your Readers Exactly What They’ll Be Receiving
People have become very cautious with whom they’ll share their email addresses with. The usually need to know that they are getting something of value in exchange for opting on your list.
So if you have a pop-up form or a sign-up form in your sidebar, that’s simply asking for their email address, it probably won’t work.
People want special offers, free courses, or valuable insider information. So this is what you need to offer them!
Be very clear about what they are getting. No one will trust you with vague information. They want to know exactly what to expect from your incoming emails, just like in the image below:
Subsequent emails should tell your readers if and when other emails will arrive, and what they will contain. This way they can expect it, instead of deleting all those surprise, annoying emails that plug up their inboxes.
#2: Make Sure Your Emails Offer Value
When building your email list, the hope is that they’ll stick around. Having many unsubscribers gets you nowhere. That’s why value is key!
You see, getting your visitor to sign up is just the beginning of your list management. Now you have to make sure they want to stay.
The best way to do that is to provide valuable, enticing offers or information that they look forward to receiving.
Keep giving them free value until you feel uncomfortable.
Then you know you’re truly providing the value you should be, haha. And this, in turn, will keep your subscribers wanting for more. They’ll be sure to stick around.
What’s valuable you ask? This will differ from niche to niche, but the two common denominators are:
- Help your readers solve a particular problem.
- Help your readers achieve their goals.
#3: Don’t Offer Irrelevant Offers
Have you ever visited a website offering you a solution to your problem and your screen is suddenly covered with a pop-up offer for something else? It’s not only distracting, but it’s also totally irrelevant.
Your visitors are usually impatient. They’re looking for something specific, and if they don’t find it fairly quickly, or are distracted by an unwanted pop-up, they move on to the next search result.
Not only did you lose out on the chance of growing your email list, but it also results in a high website bounce rate.
If you have one general opt-in offer, but it doesn’t apply to every blog you write, try something different. How about a permanent ad in your sidebar, or perhaps something sticky at the top of your page, like the Hello Bar.
For more detailed steps to starting your email list, please read my article “How To Create An Email Marketing Campaign. A Beginner’s Guide“.
9 Tips To Make Your List Happy
1. Always Seek Permission
A happy list is one that wants to be there. Always ask for permission before adding anyone to your email list. After all, that’s what a signup form is for, right? You ask for their email address in exchange for something. If they opt-in, that’s their permission.
This is how you earn the right to enter someone’s inbox. If you haven’t been invited, you have no right to be there.
You can be doubly sure they want to hear from you by initiating a double opt-in procedure. This means that the first email they receive is a confirmation email. This action helps to weed out those “iffy” subscribers who aren’t really serious.
Many subscribers like this method because it shows you’re putting in the extra effort as well as proving to them that you’re not sending spam.
The last thing you want is people reporting your email as spam. Too many reports can hurt your reputation as well as email deliverability.
Take Action: Make sure your email marketing service offers both single and double opt-ins.
2. Offer Valuable Information
The first valuable offer you should be included with the opt-in form. This is your “bribe” to get them to give you their email address.
It needs to be of great value, something incredible. People are becoming very savvy these days, and also wary. They won’t give up their personal information without a good reason.
The second area of value is your future emails to all the subscribers on your list. Like I said above, you’ll know you’re sending enough value when you start feeling uncomfortable, lol. You’ll be wondering why you’re not selling this information instead.
This is how you convince your subscribers to stick around!
Take Action: Prepare in advance what you want to offer. A detailed e-book? A how-to webinar? Free tools?
3. Sound Conversational
I’m sure you’ve heard it before when learning to write your content. Write like you’re talking to your friend, over coffee? Well, it’s the same for your emails.
People like to talk to other people, not machines. If your tone is conversational, your readers will be more responsive to you. They’ll feel like they’re listening to a person, and not a word creating app that doesn’t care about them.
Take Action: Can I share a recent experience with you? I had opted into a mailing list and started receiving a flurry of emails with an obnoxious tone.
I’m hoping they were just trying to get a point across but would use all capital letters, too frequently, in my opinion. I felt like I was being yelled at! When I didn’t respond right away, I received another, in all caps again!
Needless to say, I unsubscribed.
Surely I’m not the only person who would find this annoying? So please, always watch the tone you use to express your ideas. It’s all about making your subscriber feel like the most important person in the world.
4. Is It Scannable?
Use the same strategies to write your emails as you write your website blogs. People are in a hurry and love to scan their emails.
Just as the average person reads only about 20% to 28% of the text in your blog, they’ll be doing the same with your emails.
If you want them to stay, make their reading easier.
- Use bold headlines, so they know what the email is about, quickly.
- Use subheadings to break up your content.
- Keep your email to one message only.
- Get your point across with as little text as possible.
- Use images to make it visually appealing.
- Make sure your call to action button is noticeable.
- Don’t use many links, it’s distracting.
Take Action: Write out the above check-list and have it handy every time you write a new email.
5. Represent Your Brand
It’s important to be consistent with your business’s logo, tagline, colour scheme and anything else you’ve designed for your website material. This also includes your emails and promotional material.
If you start sending out emails with inconsistent themes, your readers will become confused. They’ll start to wonder if these communications are coming from different brands, which can affect their decisions to purchase.
So remember, consistency is key!
As your business grows, and you gain more authority in your niche, you want your brand to be recognized as the go-to place for expertise.
Take Action: Apply a consistent theme to all your emails. Your branding should apply to everything!
6. Tell Them It’s From You
How many times have you deleted an unopened email because you didn’t recognize who it was from? Did you think it was spam? Did you worry about viruses?
This is exactly why you need to ensure the “from” field of your email is easily recognizable to your subscriber.
Make sure they can read your name, your business name, or see your business brand in the “from” field. This will inevitably increase your open rate too, which is what we all strive for.
Take Action: When you’ve finished writing and designing your email, make sure to check and recheck everything. Is the “from” field easily recognizable? Will they know the email is from you?
7. Do You Know What Your Readers Want?
Sending your subscriber what they want to read is very important if you want to keep them. This also allows you to increase the value, which in turn creates trust. But how can you know what they really want to read?
A good deal of email marketing services offers additional features like creating polls or surveys, etc. This is a great way to find out your reader’s questions, fears, and desires.
You can ask anything you need to determine what it is they’re most interest in. Once you’ve got that figured out, you can offer some insanely relevant content to keep your readers happy and engaged.
Take Action: If you don’t have an email marketing service yet, look for one that offers these kinds of extras.
8. Clean Your List
Make sure your mailing list is up to date and accurate. A good deal of email services will count each subscriber on your list, even if they’ve never opened any emails.
Some services still count your unsubscribed contacts towards your total amount for billing. So reviewing your list at scheduled times can help reduce any unwanted names.
This might make you happier than your subscribers, LOL.
If you have chosen to personalize your emails with added information like birthday greetings, etc., you’ll want to make sure all your data is correctly updated.
No one wants to receive a “Happy Birthday Frank” when it’s sent to Francine, and it’s not her birthday, lol.
Take Action: Review your email list once a month to make sure everything is correct. Ensure each contact has the correct name, gender, birthdate, and anything other information you requested.
9. Email Preference Center
If you have a niche that offers a variety of interests, you may want to consider setting up a subscription preference center.
This feature allows your subscribers to manage their own subscription preferences. So instead of them unsubscribing altogether, they choose the type of information they want to receive.
This keeps them happy and keeps them on your list.
Take Action: A good deal of email services offer this feature for you to use. This may be another consideration when choosing the right service for your business.
9 Don’ts That Make Your List Unhappy
1. Mass Email Strategy
We all know how busy you are and totally understand the temptation to send a mass email to everyone on your list. But don’t do it! Your subscribers have the expectation that they’ll receive information specific to their interests.
Don’t worry, you can segment your list. Breaking down your list into groups according to interest, age, past purchasing behaviour, etc., is easy to do and will ensure you target the right material to the right person.
Did you know that personalized emails convert 6X higher? That’s certainly worth segmenting your list.
Personalized interests can make a drastic difference to your bottom line.
Your subscribers will appreciate the time you take to share what they are interested in. And this, in turn, will build trust between you.
Take Action: Don’t mass email. Segment your email list according to their interests. Most, if not all email services off this feature.
2. Irrelevant Content
When you get visitors to your site, it’s because they’re looking for a specific answer to their question. Whether it’s to learn how to do something or looking for a certain product.
If they choose to opt-in to your email list, it’s because they want to continue receiving information about that same interest.
Just like segmentation, sending relevant material is vital to a happy list.
If you start sending them emails about something entirely different, they’ll most likely want to opt-out. They probably already get too many emails in their inbox, so unsubscribing from irrelevant email lists is desirable.
Take Action: Ensure that the emails you send to each segmented list are relevant information. The more targeted you are, the more engaged your subscribers will be.
3. Too Frequent
I don’t think anyone’s ever said “I don’t get enough emails”, haha.
It’s likely your subscribers get bombarded with emails every day. And if you’re a frequent e-mailer, they’ve most likely skipped some. Or worse, they’ve become “emotionally unsubscribed“.
This means you not only have those that opt-out because they’re annoyed, but you may have many who are inactive and just taking up space towards your list count with your service provider.
Statistics vary from one niche to another. You need to find what works for your business, but without overdoing it. Some say once a month is fine. Others say once a week.
Whatever you choose, try to keep it to the same day and time. When your email is expected, it’ll be received with anticipation.
Take Action: Test your frequency from one month to the next to see how it impacts certain metrics like open rates, etc. Once you find the perfect schedule for the best ROI (return on investment), you know how to move forward.
4. Unsolicited Email
Are you sure you have permission from everyone on your list?
You’re an awesome business person, so I’m sure you do, lol. But for those of you who may have wanted a kick start to your list, and are considering buying an email list, please don’t.
Personally, I hate being spammed by all those emails I haven’t opted into, and I’m sure you do too. So please don’t do it to anyone else.
Take Action: Create your email list the honest way. It will pay off in the end!
5. Bad Subject Lines
When is the last time you excitedly opened an email because the subject line was so interesting? But then be disappointed because the content was entirely different?
That’s called “click bait”, and is so maddening.
Always have your subject line represent the content in the email. If it’s misleading, or offensive, you’ll only end up with a large exodus from your list.
Take Action: Write your subject line with a clear indication of what your content will be about. You don’t have to trick someone to open your email.
You can come up with a catchy phrase that will encourage your reader to open your email, delivering all that valuable information to keep them happy.
6. Bad Email Design
Check and recheck. There’s nothing more irritating than receiving an email delivering the wrong prices or the wrong product. Or click on a link that brings your reader to the wrong landing page on your website.
Not only is that embarrassing for you, but your impatient subscriber will lose their trust in you and bounce right off your list.
Remember the checklist I mentioned earlier? Add this step to it.
Take Action: Before sending an email, always re-check your information to see if it’s accurate. And recheck your links too!
7. Not Responsive
Most everyone has a mobile device these days. And according to statistics, two-thirds of all emails are opened on a smartphone or tablet.
Things to ensure your email can fit on a tiny screen are:
- Keep your subject line short
- Keep your text short
- Keep your call to action button above the fold (meaning your reader doesn’t have to scroll down to find it)
- Don’t clump your links together. Readers will be using their fingers to maneuver
Take Action: Make sure your email service provider has email templates that are mobile responsive.
8. Stuck In A Rut
Do you have a go-to email that you continually use? Always sending out the same style of email? That sounds awfully boring for your readers. Spice up their inbox instead.
It can still be relevant, but something unexpected.
Every now and again send something out of the ordinary. Things like:
- An invitation to an upcoming sale
- Links to fun articles from your blog
- A letter from the CEO (you, lol) thanking your customers
- A survey or feedback about something specific
- A new ebook or whitepaper
- Holiday specials
Take Action: Think outside the box and come up with some unique emails. Check out your competition to see what they’re doing. Then you do it better!
9. Too Much Focus On You
Always put the focus on your audience, not you. After all, they’re the ones contributing to your success.
Make them feel important. Use their suggestions for future blog ideas. Allow them to voice their opinions in surveys and polls, then address what you can.
If you continue to be a positive resource for them, providing valuable content and caring what they say, they will be happy to engage with you. It builds trusting relationships which can be mutually beneficial.
They get what they need, and you get a loyal customer.
Take Action: Put all the focus on your subscriber and give them the ability to engage with you. If they feel they are being heard, they will remain loyal, and you’ll have a better idea of what they’re needing in future emails.
We interrupt this blog with a very funny, irrelevant video…
Your email list is a driving factor towards your success, and keeping it happy is vital. It takes some extra work to keep it healthy, but the time invested will be worth it.
Your ultimate goal is to nurture those subscriber relationships and build trust. Once that trust is established, you’ll have loyal fans and customers. Put yourself in their shoes! Keep things interesting and keep them engaged.
If they sense you’re having fun, they will too.
I hope this article gave you many ideas to implement on your email list. Your success is important to me.
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We have over one million members getting expert help in all areas of online marketing. They must be doing something right, eh? And I’ll be there to help you each step of the way.
How is your email doing? Have you given it a check-up lately? Let me know your thoughts on this blog. And if you have any questions, please leave them below. I’d love to hear from you.