Email marketing has a special place in my heart; what seems like a million years ago I was bringing the not-for-profit I worked for into the new era by implementing an email marketing program, back when it was much more complicated to do so. The rise of efficient email providers makes creating smart email funnels easy and economical. And even with the rise of social media, the need to connect with customers in their inbox is still as important as ever. Email isn’t dead; it’s still an incredibly effective way to stay in touch, to communicate your value and offer, and to convert and nurture raving fans.
Getting started with email, or taking your efforts to the next level doesn’t have to be complicated. But consider the following Do’s and Don’ts when you are planning your tactics.
DO … Communicate Regularly
This may sound like a no-brainer but years working with clients to create email campaigns has taught me that it’s worth saying aloud: dropping out of communication with your list for an extended length of time puts you at risk of being forgotten. That’s right; extended absences from their inboxes mean when you do pop in to say “hey” they may just say “and who is this?” People forget; they forget about you, they forget about that urge that encouraged them to sign up in the first place. A consistent presence in their inbox, and in their consciousness, means you build toward familiarity. An extended absence, undoes all of that.
DON’T … Email Just to Email
That said, you shouldn’t send an email simply to have a presence in their inbox. You may set a target for yourself – I am going to send an email every week. And you may show up on the weekly with some pretty valuable information. But you might also enter panic mode each week because you have to send your newsletter (you just have to) but you have nothing to say. This causes you to scramble for some content, and to send a disingenuous email that fails to hit the mark. Your relationship with your email list is one characterized by value exchange. It is a transaction, just like the passing of money for product. They are giving you their email address (the currency) and you are providing them something of value in return. Would you deliver a sub-par product that you threw together in 20 minutes just before shipping it off? Consider your email strategy as important too.
DO … Follow the Rules
You do have to take your presence in someone’s inbox as a very serious privilege. It is an entry you are given when you have their permission, and only when you have their permission. Our regulations in Canada are governed by CASL – the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. The biggest takeaway from this legislation is that you need express permission from a person before you can email them. This permission needs to be recorded. This is where using an email provider like Mail Chimp or Convert Kit* makes your efforts easy and seamless. These programs capture email addresses from forms embedded on your website (or that pop-up). They employ a double-opt-in procedure too, where subscribers are asked to go to their email inbox and confirm they really did want to sign up for your list.
CASL also requires that you include legitimate contact information (address) at the bottom of all emails, along with an unsubscribe feature.
DON’T … Think Bigger is Better
I get it. Big numbers are fun. They make you feel accomplished. When the thousandth or the ten thousandth person becomes a subscriber, that’s a big deal! The problem is with looking at the number of people on your list as the only metric that matters. You don’t really just need bodies in the room; you need engaged people who really care what you have to say. That’s often the problem with bait like contests; people are excited to sign up to potentially receive what you’re giving away. But they may actually not be the right kind of reader, the one who is going to stick around, read what you have to say and actually potentially take action on it. When I was working with clients, I had to push back on this a lot. It’s not the size of your list that matters, it’s the degree of their engagement. You can make money from a few very excited, connected to the message people more easily than thousands who just don’t care.
Email marketing is an important part of your marketing mix and not to be overlooked. Learning these Do’s and Don’ts will help you to be more effective with your efforts.
We are all about email marketing right now in the Village, our exclusive members-only zone. Our members have access to group coaching, what we call our “challenges” and this month’s focus is on setting up an email marketing funnel. Each week they are given a new task, and some bite-sized info so that at the end of the challenge they have a brand new skill or tool for their business. Learn more about the Village.
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