Everyone has email, and yes we are BOMBARDED with spammy “send me your money” emails every day, all day long. In fact, if you talk to your average person they will tell you “that they never open those emails” … but they do.
Email marketing is still the easiest and most influential way to connect with engaged people. That is people that are interested in what you have to offer.
Creating your LIST should be a priority and if you are (like most people) interested in leveraging your time and energy you need to have a minimum of 400 engaged people on your list in order to create a profitable one to many project.
Step One: Clarity
There are a lot of people out there, and they all want different things. Your challenge is to connect with people that want what you offer. That means, you need to be VERY CLEAR on what you offer. Entrepreneurs are wild and wonderful people and often distracted by the next shiny thing, so right now, before you do anything else you need to make a commitment to yourself to stick to the program for a minimum of 90 days. 90 days is a great period of time to give your idea “a shot”. It’s 1/4 of the year, and it is long enough to see what is working and what isn’t, and most importantly, it’s not too long that the wild and creative entrepreneur inside you will get bored or distracted and walk away.
I know this to be true, because in addition to describing thousands of other brilliant people with fantastic ideas… I have just described myself.
Being creative and self expressed is wonderful and exciting and running a business doesn’t always water that plant. A 90 day “challenge” is a great way to jump start your online idea and figure out your direction.
The key here is CLARITY. Knowing exactly what you have to offer, will help you connect with the people who will be interested.
Step Two: Destination
Now that you know what you want to offer, it’s time to decide on the results that you want to see in 90 days. Listen, you wouldn’t go on vacation without picking a destination, so why would you spend any less amount of thought on your business idea? Think about it. Knowing what you offer helps connect with people that are looking for that solution, but to what end? Why are you even making the offer? What is your destination.
What is your business or life going to look like in 90 days?
Well, since this blog post is about email marketing, let’s make this simple. In 90 days you will have an email list of 1000 people who are interested in what you have to offer.
How does that sound? Studies show, that if you have a list of 1000 people how are interested in your offer, about 10% will register in a live webinar in your offer, and of the 10% that are interested, 3% will make a purchase if you offer.
So, I’m telling you that to help you understand why it’s SO IMPORTANT to build a list. Your Focus and Clarity is important too! I KNOW you’re talented and unique and there are so many things that you can offer and do really well… but you need to pick one. With laser focus decide which one thing offers other people the most valuable transformation or solves the most painful problem… and choose.
Step Three: Planning
Now you know WHAT you are offering, and you know your destination (create a list of 1000 engaged people interested in what I offer) It’s time for you to map our your plan.
Take out a piece of paper and start in the middle with the words: Landing Page
A Landing Page is one way to collect emails from people that are interested in what you offer. I think you’ve all seen them, they look like a website, they tell you about something and provide the “form” to enter in your name and email. There is usually some kind of promise (or payment) for entering your information, like a free ebook, or sample or access to a video.
Now, think about the different ways that you can connect with people to bring them to your landing page: Facebook, Linked-in, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat. Perhaps podcasts, blog posts and more. There are A LOT of ways to connect, it all depends on your offer. Your offer dictates where your ideal customer “hangs out”. It seems like everyone “hangs out” at least a bit online, whether they are watching the news, videos or on social media. The people you want to connect with are there.
Sometimes you need to make phone calls, perhaps have a home demonstration or visit clubs and organizations and have “talks” or offer instructional seminars.
Looking at your piece of paper write the first 5 ideas that come to your head about how to drive traffic to your landing page to connect with your potential list. NOW, write 5 more.
Each one of those ideas is a sub-project. That means they need to be quickly researched for viability and then if they pass, Yes, I see potential clients here, they need to be implemented. That implementation has it’s own learning curve. On your landing page piece of paper, circle ONE viable method for connecting with your clients. YOU ONLY HAVE 90 DAYS. At the end of 90 days you can tweak your methods, but for now, you’re going to pick 1 way. On a separate pieces of paper, you are going to write the steps for using that method to drive traffic to your landing page. Your research can be as easy as googling: “How do I ….” and as different as seeing how someone else does it and taking screen shots and trying to emulate their process. (that’s called creating a swipe file, and it’s a great way to come up with templates, but never steal someone else’s stuff)
*Important note* at this time, Facebook & Linked in actually have a “lead generation” ads, which allows advertisers the ability to collect information from interested individuals right from their advertising. In both cases this isn’t an organic feature, but a paid advertising feature. AND in the case of Linked -in you need to have a website with valid business address in order to create your business listing.
The truth about all of this is that you need to get down to the nitty gritty. You can’t stop at saying: I’m going to advertise on Facebook. You need to write down the steps. Creating an ad on any platform requires forethought. You will need to know a bit about your ideal client, their age, their geographic location, whether they are female or male and most importantly… what they like. Facebook has a great way of allowing you to connect with people that “like” certain things. So, if you are offering something like a personal trainer service, you might be interested in connecting with people that are connected with Weight Watchers.
Final Step –> The Systems
Back to your email marketing. (I bet you thought I forgot)
The bulk of this post seemed to have little to do with creating your list and more to do with, what you have to offer, and who would be interested and how are you going to find them. AND I had to put that information there, because without understanding the who, what and why, you won’t be able to connect and there are no email systems that can pull people out of the vapor into your list.
Systems are the software and apps that we use to automate our work. For instance, I am using WordPress right now for this website and it allows me to create posts and even earn money with advertisements and Yes, I can create “landing pages”. In List collecting you’ll be looking for and documenting systems for collecting emails and contacts, for sending out autoresponders or scheduling emails (drip marketing). You will be setting up systems for integrating your landing page and email marketing.
Here is the list that I suggest. This isn’t a comparison post, where I tell you the pros and cons, because let me tell you, if it’s out there… I’ve tried it. I think I’ve tried every shiny new email marketing item there is, some of them work really well, and others not so much. Some of them work really well but they are really expensive and then there are others that don’t have as many bells and whistles and are very affordable.
If you are starting today, I suggest Mail Chimp. Mail chimp is actually free up to Up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. That means that You can email you 2000 subscribers 4 times… for free. I have a love hate relationship with Mailchimp because while the things it offers are AMAZING… there are some things it doesn’t offer. If you have a little money in your budget, consider Sendlane. Sendlane does everything that Mailchimp does (except send your list updates from an RSS) AND it has lovely landing page templates.
I use Mailchimp for my projects where clients have subscribed to blog posts, so they will automatically get updated whenever I post.
I use Sendlane when I want to create a landing page that invites the visitor to take action and enter into an offer.
Sendlane’s minimum offer is $25.00 a month for up to 1000 contacts with unlimited emails. So, if you’re just getting started, I would suggest MAILCHIMP, because it’s free, and you can use that $25.00 you saved for your Facebook or linked in advertising budget.
Always have something to offer
The final piece to starting your list is: always have something to offer.
THE MASTER KEY to all successful list building campaigns is the ability to connect with your ideal clients or customers in a way to teaches them that you solve their painful problem. Sometimes they don’t even know it’s the problem, so your advertising campaign may be geared towards education. Teach them why you or your product will help them overcome something they struggle to overcome. AND offer your help. Offer your help in a 10 page ebook, or 5 minute video. Start your relationship by offering valuable information or services for free. EXCEPT it’s not free is it?
It’s not free because they are paying for the information with their name and email address.
Each person values their email address differently. Some people protect it as if it had a real cash value, while others not so much. However, in all cases, each person DOES have a sense that it is valuable. At the very least, they don’t want their inbox cluttered with junk and at the most only want hand selected content delivered.
Create an offer that is so valuable, so engaging and authentic and genuine that people will find it hard to resist. Create an irresistible offer. The easiest way to do that is to offer something that is very valuable for free. Like an ebook, workbook, video or online course that solves a problem.
Each of these options do several things for you, First, they invite people interested in your offer into your list, Second, it starts a relationship and Finally, these people will either recognize your value and think… “WOW, I got that for free, I wonder how much more I’ll receive when I pay” and then it’s up to YOU to DELIVER.
BE VALUABLE. BE GENUINE. BE AUTHENTIC.
I hope this post helped!