Level up your email marketing skills.

The first goal of any email list is to attract subscribers, but what you do next – after your audience commits to subscribe – is key. Do you leverage, or do you squander?

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The first email you send a new subscriber provides your business an amazing trust-building opportunity. Rather than regret adding their email to yet another list, new subscribers should feel rewarded after reading their first e-mail from you. How do you do that? Offer them something of value and ask nothing of them in return. The best way to do this is with content. Discounts require them to take action and spend more money, right out of the gate, and can make subscribers feel resentful. Give them valuable information, though, and they’re yours forever.

Ok, if I’m giving my subscribers valuable content, I should do it a lot because you can never have too much of a good thing, right? Wrong. You got them to subscribe, you hooked them again and again with valuable content, and then, suddenly, they unsubscribe! Why? The worst thing you can do to a new subscriber is inundate them with offers and sales pitches. If a customer gets too many emails from you in the beginning, they may feel overwhelmed or taken advantage of and just end up unsubscribing. Worse, if they’re really peeved, they’ll send you right to spam, and you know how detrimental that can be to your business.

In the case of email, slow and steady wins the race. You want to remain at the top of their mind but you don’t want to become so ever-present that you just become white noise. Many have found that the happy medium lies in the weekly newsletter. It allows you to keep in touch without imposing an overwhelming amount of contact. Remember, too many calls-to-action can start to make people feel like you’re assigning them tasks rather than providing opportunities.

Content Marketing

Active Campaign provides 128 Ways to Optimize Your Email Marketing Campaign, and includes great information on how to get people to opt-in in the first place, and what to do once they’re on the list. If you don’t have time to wade through all 128, here are a few of the highlights to ensure new subscribers open your emails, read them through, and keep coming back for more…

  • E-mail subject line should contain a strong call to action
  • Welcome each new subscriber with a personalized email that addresses them by name
  • Make E-mail messages stand out in the preview pane
  • Make content easy to scan
  • Make sure your e-mails are worth reading. All content should be valuable and offer your subscribers valuable information or really great deals on the products or services they’re already interested in
  • Make unsubscribing obvious and easy. Yes, it’s sad to lose subscribers, but it’s much better than getting spammed because you made it difficult for people to unsubscribe
  • Always include a link to the web version
  • Keep it short and sweet
  • Be on time, every time

Another great guide for email marketing decorum is Hubspot’s article, 9 Critical Components for Optimized Marketing Emails. It digs deep into a few key areas to give you an even richer understanding of some of the nuance of email marketing.

All this seems like a lot of work and management, but there are services available to automate your emails, provide you analytics to best optimize your efforts and gauge things like click-thru rates. Automation allows you to really improve the quality of your emails and use them to build business, rather than just shooting from the hip, and hoping spaghetti sticks to the wall.

Mailchimp is just one of many email-automation service providers, but it has made our lives and the lives of our clients so much easier. In fact, it provides so much automation, you might have to pick up a new hobby to fill all the free time you suddenly have. Want even more time that that? Hire an agency (like us) to manage your newsletter content and you won’t even ever have to login to your email service. Now, that sounds like Timothy Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek!

Remember, if your customers didn’t want to hear from you, they wouldn’t have signed up, but it’s up to you to do something with that opportunity. Let us help you leverage subscribers and grow your business!

Photo Credit: Gavin Whitner