In his book Launch, Jeff Walker refers to your email list as your “license to print money”. Do you think he’s right?
Jeff shares the story of how he needed to come up with 90K in just a few days for a deposit on a new house. How did he do it? By coming up with an irresistible offer for his email list and then sending them a strategic series of emails about it.
Now, we aren’t all going to be making 90K from our lists right off the bat, but I wholeheartedly believe your email list is the backbone of your success and your revenue as a blogger. In today’s blogging world, not having a list simply isn’t an option.
To help you get started on the right path, avoid common pitfalls, and become a true pro at email marketing in no time, I’ve brought in a special guest to chat with you today. Raise your glass and say “hey girl!” to my good friend Meera.
Interview With An Expert: Email List Marketing with Meera Kothand
Meera Kothand is a certified email marketing expert and has become my go-to gal for all things “email list”. To celebrate the doors opening for her signature program, Email Lists Simplified, Meera agreed to let me pick her brain about email list strategy, including her top tips for choosing a platform, making money with your list, and more. Enjoy these nuggets of wisdom from one of the best!
Q1. Let’s get right to it: Meera, what’s the #1 mistake you see bloggers making when it comes to email lists?
The biggest mistake I see bloggers making is that they wait for a magic number of subscribers before deciding to take email marketing seriously. They don’t think beyond growing their email list.
They’re more concerned with growing their list and don’t consider how they’re going to engage with their list, build trust, or profit from their email list. They don’t realize that their success is not defined by the size of their list.
Because if you don’t know how to engage your subscribers, you lose the people you painstakingly worked to entice with your opt-in freebie, social media strategy, or landing page. You lose out on hundreds or thousands of dollars if you don’t know how to monetize your list.
If you don’t know how to inch your subscriber forward every single day with your email content and if you don’t know how to get your emails opened, read and clicked, it doesn’t matter how big your list is.
Email is more than list building. You need a coherent, holistic strategy to be successful at it.
Q2. Do you have any tips on choosing a platform for your email list, and any platforms you strongly recommend (or recommend staying away from)?
My main tip is to choose a platform you’re comfortable with and that will grow with your business. Having a growth mindset is everything when choosing a platform. Think about where your business will be 6 months to a year from now, and choose a platform that will help you get there.
Think also about how you want to use your email list. I knew when I started that I wanted to offer content upgrades and email courses. I chose ConvertKit as a result of that. I also liked the ease of use of the platform.
Your email system is one you will be using regularly. So pick something that you can see yourself using everyday without stress. There are limitations with any platform. In the end it boils down to how you use it to grow you business rather than what you actually use.
Q3. What are your top strategies for growing an email list from scratch as a beginner?
Firstly, start with a solid opt-in and promote it on a landing page. I talk about this more in a question below.
Secondly, I would also have at minimum a welcome email and 3-5 emails in a welcome email series so that subscribers start getting emails from you as soon as they opt-in.
Thirdly, think about what you want your subscribers to experience by being on your list. What kind of emails will you send? Thinking through on this question in particular will save you the stress and headache of managing your list as you go forward in your business. It will give your direction to the type of content you should send and how you engage with your subscribers.
Lastly, use email together with Pinterest. This was a game changer in my list growth. One of the biggest mistakes I made was not getting on Pinterest soon enough. It was a good 6 months after I launched my blog that I started to take Pinterest seriously.
I now get most of my traffic and subscribers from Pinterest. I also get emails almost every other day from readers who found my content and email course through Pinterest. If I had to start over, I would focus on Pinterest together with the other strategies I tried to grow my list.
Q4. What makes a good, compelling opt-in freebie/lead magnet? Are there types of lead magnets that outperform others?
A good, compelling opt-in freebie is one that has the potential to not only grow your list but turn subscribers into buyers as well. It ties in with your content and overall blog strategy and helps to boost your authority in your topic. It makes it very clear to your readers how exactly you can help them and why you are the right person.
Opt-ins that usually outperform others are quick to consume by the reader. They aren’t necessarily 30-pages long and don’t have to take months to do. They are also promoted on a landing page. A landing page is a distraction free page with no links.
Consider the words that people use to describe their problems and use these words on your landing page. Most high-converting opt-ins give people what they want vs what they need. There is a subtle difference between these but knowing it will help to skyrocket your conversions.
Q5. Talk to us about unsubscribes. Do you have any advice for the people who are heartbroken over them?
Rejoice with every unsubscribe, especially if you know you are consistently delivering value. You can’t be for everyone and that’s ok. There are people who say they love my emails but I get unsubscribes with every email I send too. This is part and parcel of a healthy list. You will lose and gain people – especially during launches or promotions.
The people who appreciate your work – your tribe – will stay through a few launch emails even if they don’t intend to buy. I’ve done the same. I’ve stayed on several people’s lists even though I didn’t intend to buy their product during a launch. Care more about the people who stick around with you than the people who have unsubscribed.
Q6. Can you tell us about your favorite ways to make money with an email list?
Having an evergreen funnel is one of my favorite ways. Send people a dedicated series of emails with hard and soft pitches of a product that’s aligned to the topic of the freebie they just opted in to. Selling affiliate products via a funnel is another one of my favorite ways to make money.
Q7. Finally, can you share with us a few tips for increasing the open rates of our emails? I know it’s so important to get those emails opened!
I’ll let you in on a secret. I’ll give a couple of tips on getting your emails opened, but the one thing that trumps all strategies is trust.
One study states that your name is the number #1 thing that gets readers opening your emails. If your emails are associated with positive emotions – that could be anything you want your subscribers to feel such as being entertained, enlightened, inspired, or motivated – they will open your emails. Once you’re able to attach desired emotions to your name, you’ve won more than half the battle.
After trust, your subject line is responsible for your open rate. Include either a curiosity or benefit in your subject line. Be specific in any numbers you state and ask questions. These are a few ways to increase your open rates.
Thank you so much for all of your insights, Meera! Any last words of wisdom for my readers?
Yes: Approach list building with a different mindset. I was very stressed when my first opt-in failed. If I could start over, I’d give myself more grace and have more patience. I’d also give my opt-ins more time to gain traction before deciding if the are hits or misses. The connection you build with your list trumps anything. Believe in the trust you build with your list.
Itching to dive in deeper?
Don’t miss Meera’s Email Lists Simplified program – doors close this Friday, November 3 and won’t reopen until sometime in 2018. If you’re struggling with your email list, but realize how important it is for your blog and business (hint: crucial!) you owe it so yourself to see what the course is all about.
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