In the last 24 hours, I’ve seen three different people talking how they’ve lost access to various social media accounts.
One friend hasn’t been able to post on his business page since December, another had their group of 70,000 people closed down due to some member-posted content and hacked Instagram accounts are on the rise.
Ask yourself, if you lost access to your social media accounts tomorrow, what kind of shape would your business be in?
It’s a chilling thought. I know I’d be panicking! But I do have a solid backup plan and that’s my email list. All of my business growth over the last 5 years has come as a result of growing my email list. And I mean all of it.
Social media engagement is just the icing on the cake.
Your email list is tangible real estate that you own. Relying on social media (hello luck marketing!) is like building your house on quicksand.
Building an email list brings certainty to your marketing activities, by making your progress measurable.
When you can measure open rates and replies and track the percentage of sales generated from your email campaigns, what you have is predictability when it comes to your income. Who doesn’t want that?
Following on from Kay’s incredible session last week, I’m making this week all about email marketing. If you’ve been hesitating to get started, or you have a list but you never email them, this week is for you.
Here’s what we’re going to be looking at:
- Choosing the right platform
- Setting up your lead magnet funnel
- Creating relationship building content
- Asking for the sale
- Repurposing everything
What features should your email marketing platform have?
I don’t want this to be a platform comparison post, because I haven’t tried them all and there are plenty of blog posts out there on the internet that go into detail about how the different features stack up.
ActiveCampaign is my weapon of choice by the way.
What I’m more interested in, is telling you which features are the deal breakers and which are the bonuses.
- More than one list or audience
- Able to segment your audience with tags
- Create simple automations based on segmentation
- Easily embed sign up forms
- Drag and drop email design
- Split testing
- Website behaviour & ecommerce tracking
- Facebook audience integration
If you’ve got less than 1000 subscribers, ActiveCampaign and MailerLite are my recommendations.
Setting up your lead magnet funnel
I wasn’t sure whether to drop the l-magnet bomb straight out of the gate, because it’s the kind of term that sounds like it’s got ‘marketing hustle’ written all over it.
If you’ve heard the term but aren’t sure what it means, a lead magnet is free content (usually a download or access to a video) that you give in return for someone’s email. Yes, it’s free, but it’s most certainly a transaction, because no one likes getting more email (well, not always).
A lead magnet is just the first step in creating an automated marketing funnel that will nurture new clients and firmly position you as the expert they need to work with.
The initial investment of time you make to create your lead magnet will repay you many times over. I’ve got high performing lead magnets that have been working well for me for years.
A lead magnet is designed to kickstart building your email list and should be followed by an automated sequence of relationship-nurturing emails and then an offer to buy your services.
And having a robust and engaged email list gives you a solid foundation when it comes to creating highly targeted audiences to use for paid traffic ads, like Facebook and Instagram. (Yes, Facebook as a platform is very much alive and kicking, but we’ll get into that later).
Creating relationship-building content
So, you’ve made your way to someone’s inbox and it’s time to get to know your shiny new subscriber. I say subscriber, but you’re about to start building a relationship with a real human, so you need to really understand what you both want to achieve.
YOU want more business, but you want to be ethical and not salesy.
THEY want to get to know, like and trust you before they buy.
Enter…the Getting To Know You Sequence.
It does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s the email version of a first date, where you deliver value, position yourself as the expert and build trust, BEFORE you even think of selling to them.
Here’s what it should do:
- Tell them about you and your world (what you’ll send them, how they can find you)
- Show that you understand what they are struggling with
- Make it clear how your expertise and approach can uniquely help them
- Lay out the journey that they can take with you
If you create your welcome sequence with a human-first approach and deliver exceptional value, your new subscriber is much more likely to become a buyer.
Don’t Forget to Ask for a Sale
If you’re been providing lots of high-value expert content during the ‘honeymoon phase’ of your relationship with your new subscriber, then it’s time to move into sales mode.
By the way, they won’t be surprised by this. Everyone who hands over their email for a freebie knows that at some point they are going to be sold to.
And if you’ve done your job properly of getting them to know, like and trust you, they are going to be actively looking for ways of taking the relationship further.
At this point, they are ready to see some proof that you know what you’re doing. Video testimonials, case studies, social proof and behind-the-scenes tours are perfect material for Facebook retargeting and emails at the end of your sequence.
All of this content is driving your lovely warm subscriber to some kind of conversion event (sales call, webinar or a link to buy a product) and this is where a lot of small businesses leave their subscribers hanging.
They feel like asking for a sale is pushy. They forget to make the pitch or the call-to-action is weak. But sending people to your contact page isn’t enough.
For most creative businesses, getting your hot prospect on a video is the best way to convert them. If you’ve been showing your face via video on social media or with retargeting ads, they’ll already feel they know you well enough to jump on that call.
Don’t forget to ask for the sale. Your subscribers will be disappointed if you don’t make it easy to buy from you.
For a long time I was reluctant to email my list regularly. I thought it was wasted content because not everyone would open and read it.
Boy, was I wrong. My mistake was in not reusing and repurposing my content properly.
Here’s my weekly workflow…
- Choose a topic for the week.
- On Monday, I introduce it to my Facebook groups and my email list with an interesting story or mindset post.
- I post about my topic daily on social media.
- On Friday, I combine all of my daily social posts into a blog post, which I can send out to my list.
- I round the week off with pinning my blog post to Pinterest.
- I chat about the points covered on Instagram Live, which I then save to Instagram TV..
Total time commitment = 15-20 minutes per day to create daily social posts, 2 emails, one blog post, a live video and some Pinterest content.
Most people, if they make it the first thing they do every morning, can commit to 15 minutes per day. I can promise you that creating small chunks of content daily with significantly grow your audience and your engagement as well as making you super efficient.
This blog post you’re reading? Yep, created it from daily posts over a 5 day period.
I can credit list building and email marketing as the single biggest growth factor for my business.
Social media I can take or leave (though it’s a juicy extra) but without my email list, I’d be lost.
It’s time to get off the fence when it comes to email marketing.