This is a guest post by Shaun at Ultimate Mailing List.
As I’m sure many of you know, building a mailing list can greatly benefit your business.
Bloggers harp on all the time about how much money you can make if you have enough subscribers, and how great it can be in terms of social proof. While this is true, what’s often left out is what you should do once you have your mailing list up and running.
This means bloggers are left paying their $19-a-month Aweber fees, with no real idea of how they’re going to make that money back.
I want to share with you two great ways to get your email marketing campaigns off the ground.
The first strategy will help you get more subscribers and build your authority in your niche, while the second will help you get more page views and affiliate sales—all in an ethical manner, of course. Both of these methods will also help build stronger relationships with your subscribers, and get them to trust you. This is vitally important, as the better your relationship is with your subscribers, the longer they will stay around.
So, let’s get into the methods shall we?
The short course strategy
The short course method is pretty much what is sounds like: you set up a short course which your website visitor is enrolled in once they sign up to your mailing list. Over the next few days (usually seven, but the course duration can be more or less depending on what you have to offer), your subscribers will be sent a new part of the course. This is done automatically via your autoresponders, so you don’t have to physically be around for your course to be delivered.
What it achieves
Depending on the niche I’m catering to, I often prefer this method to sending out a one-off ebook in exchange for an email address. This is because it achieves a few objectives:
- It helps build up a strong relationship with your customers in a short space of time. While it can take a while for subscribers to fully trust you, if you send them top-quality emails every day for a week, this trust is built up a lot faster.
- A short course can offer higher perceived value then a one-off ebook, meaning you’ll get more subscribers.
- It’ll get people used to opening and interacting with your emails. A subscriber who doesn’t open your emails is pretty much useless, so sending them daily emails (initially) will help them to associate your emails with quality. This’ll mean they’re more likely to open future emails they receive from you.
Why it works
With this approach, each email acts as a reminder.
While ebooks are good, many people tend to read the first chapter, put it down for further reading later on, and never get back to it. With an email course, however, they’re sent a new part every day, so they’re always reminded that they have reading to do. This means they’re more likely to read each part, and they’ll be reminded to go back to any part they miss when a new email comes through.
Another good thing about short courses is that they can quickly help you to establish your authority in your niche. If everyone else in your niche is offering ebooks, and you offer a course—something most other people will likely be charging for—people will look at you more favorably than your competitors, and they’ll be more open to seeing what you have to offer.
You can see an example of this strategy at work here. In the sidebar, a seven-day course is offered to anyone who enters their email address. If collecting email addresses is your primary aim, you may want to make the opt-in box appear at the top of the page, though.
While it’s not essential, it may be a good idea to incorporate this next strategy into your seven-day course, too…
The further interaction strategy
In this strategy, you’re looking to get your subscribers to further interact with you once they finish reading your emails. This is a method that can be applied to your existing email marketing campaigns, and although simple, it can drastically increase your website’s page views, reader loyalty, and more.
With this technique, you send subscribers short- to medium-length emails. In these emails, you will include a guide or something else that’s helpful to the reader, and at the bottom, include a link to more on this subject. The link will lead back to a page on your website, getting you more page views as you point the subscriber in the direction of further assistance. Note that it’s important to not include any ads in these emails.
This strategy can be applied to any email you send out for which you have additional information about the subject on your website. I tend to use it a lot in my autoresponder series, but it can be applied to any email you see fit.
What it achieves
- More page views. As you will include a link back to your website, you will have more people visiting your site.
- More sales. While you’re not selling anything directly in your emails, some of the pages you link to from your emails may promote affiliate products or have ads that you can make money from.
- More visits to your hidden gems. If you have a big website, there are often articles that will be helpful to visitors that they don’t end up seeing. Using this method you can show people about your less-visible but just as helpful articles.
- A higher open rate. If your emails are helpful and genuine, more people will continue to open and interact with them.
Why it works
I’ve been using this method effectively for quite a while now. It has led to me having top-quality open rates and a high percentage of clickthroughs—both are well above the industry average.
This method works because people don’t feel like they’re being sold to. If you constantly sell to people in your emails, your subscriber turnover rate will be very high. While people may open the first few to see what you have to say, after a while they’ll catch wind of your game and start ignoring your messages.
If you’re being helpful to them in every email, however, people are more likely to look forward to your messages and interact with them regularly. On top of that, they can make you sales if you have an affiliate offer or other monetization method in the linked page on your website.
What if you don’t have any extra information on your website?
I’ve often written emails for my autoresponder but not had anything to link back to. So what did I do? Well, I added the email to my autoresponder anyway, as the information was still valuable by itself.
The good thing about this method is it always gives you ideas for new subjects. You may want to make a note of any emails you send that aren’t further documented on your website, and in future, write an article or post about them. You can then go back and add a link to your emails (If they’re in an autoresponder) so any future subscribers will have that further bit of interaction.
Email marketing that works
So there you have it—two ways you can greatly improve your email marketing efforts. Using these methods will help build your authority, get you more subscribers, build up a better relationship with your customers, and get your more sales.
What other methods do you use to effectively build up your mailing list?
Shaun is the owner of Ultimate Mailing List, a site dedicated to help you build a responsive and profitable mailing list. Not sure how to build a list or want more email marketing tips? Then check us out.