Email is where it’s at for businesses.
Apart from in-person chats, email is THE best way to communicate with your customers.
That’s according to Cork-based digital marketing gurus Frank Prendergast and Marci Cornett, who work with small businesses and solopreneurs to help them to attract their dream customers online.
Here, Frank and Marci explain why you should really get cracking on that email list ASAP:
“Email puts you in direct communication with your customers. No fussy algorithm involved,” says Frank.
“A 2019 study shows that the return on investment of email is 4200%, and that’s only increasing. As for email conversion rates vs. social media’s? An impressive 6.05% vs. 1.9%. And since a lot of Irish businesses have yet to maximise the value of their email list, you’ll be ahead of the game if you do.
So here’s how to build a thriving email list:
1. Choose an email service provider.
There are loads to choose from. We like MailerLite, but Mailchimp is also a user-friendly option.
Setup does require some tech know-how, so do yourself a favour and hire a specialist to look after this.
2. Craft your enticing free offer.
You have to earn a subscriber’s trust, convincing them you’ll be worth their inbox’s real estate.
The most common way to do this is to offer something of value for free in exchange for their email address.
The form your offer takes depends on your business, but options include how-to guides, webinars, mini-courses, checklists, quizzes, and discount codes (which we usually don’t recommend, because they tend to attract bargain hunters instead of engaged community members).
3. Grow your list.
Put your email opt-in form everywhere.
Scatter it throughout your website so it’s always within easy reach. Splash links to the form all over your social media, both in your bio and in post updates that create some hoopla about your appealing free offer.
You could also run Facebook ads to specific audiences who are likely to engage.
4. Automate your welcome sequence.
So you’ve put in the hard work of getting a new subscriber, but when you finally get around to sending your next email…six weeks (or months) later… your new subscriber is like, “I’m sorry, who? Unsubscribe.”
You, my friend, need an automated welcome sequence.
This is a series of between five and seven emails that automatically roll out to new subscribers in the days/weeks after they join your list.
In these emails, you’ll introduce who you are (and why they should care), and give examples about how you can fit into and improve their lives.
5. Keep emailing your list.
We often horrify our clients by suggesting they email at least once a week.
But you don’t just reach out to your friend when you want to borrow a fab piece from her wardrobe or you need a childminder for the night (well, hopefully you don’t).
So you shouldn’t email your list only when you have something to sell.
You can offer value in an email whether it’s through a learning point, a personal story your reader can relate to, or something funny to make them smile.
Keep the conversation going.
Then when you do want to highlight an offer, your readers will be open to hearing about it, because they’ve come to know, trust, and like you.
Frank and Marci are a married couple based in Cork City who love helping small businesses and solopreneurs grow online. Sign up for their friendly and fun emails to get their free guide on ‘3 Writing Tips for Attracting More Dream Customers’.