Having a list means you have a bigger responsibility than the average marketer who simply pays for cold traffic to be sent to their offers. A subscriber is leaning on you – trust you – to get them to the place they want to be within their niche.
There are many things you can send your list and ways to wow them right off the bat, but the one thing you have to make sure you do is care for them day after day on a consistent basis.
How Often Should You Email Your List?
This is a big sticking point among marketers who are set in their ways. Some have strict guidelines on mailing three times a week, or once a week – while others see great success mailing daily.
The truth of the matter is, the frequency of your mailings should depend on several criteria.
First, make sure you have something to say. Never feel like you have to get an email out just because the slate is clear for the day and you feel like you’re missing out on a money making opportunity if you stay silent.
Second, understand that as long as you’re meeting the question of “what’s in it for me?” then your audience will generally be pleased to get a communication, regardless of how often your emails go out.
Imagine opening your inbox every day and finding something beneficial to you. You wouldn’t mind that at all, would you? Keep your emails brief and personalize them so that you’re building bonds along the way.
Understand that you can’t please everyone all of the time. No matter how often or infrequently you email your list, you’re bound to have a couple of people who complain. Some will say a daily email is intrusive, while others worry and email you to tell you how much they miss your emails when a day goes by without communication.
Consider creating a weekly digest for your list. A weekly digest is simply a summary of all of the emails you sent out earlier in the week, only your subscriber gets one simple email they can scroll through.
Not everyone wants a weekly digest because it means they miss out on sales and discount coupons, but some will appreciate it. This is an easy way to accommodate all of your subscribers.
As for specifics, such as, “How often should you promote to your list,” let it come naturally to you. If you have something you feel is of value to your subscribers, share it – even if it’s on a daily basis. Just make sure you share valuable insight that’s free, too.
What Types of Things Should You Share?
Your emails should provide benefits to your readers each and every time you hit send. Benefits vary from subscriber to subscriber – they’ll all have different needs and preferences.
You can do a mix of the following types of shares, but also make sure that you survey your list periodically to find out what they need most – and pay attention to the response you get from your emails as a method of alerting you to their needs, too.
New blog posts should always be shared via your email list. Don’t expect people to come back to the blog on their own. Alert them whenever you have a new blog post. Share a short blurb about what it’s about (or a teaser of sorts) and get them to click through to read the entire post.
Links to news within your niche can be sent out to your subscribers. Don’t worry so much about sharing your audience with other bloggers or sites. You being the guide who shares valuable content is a wonderful label to have, so if breaking news comes out and you don’t have time to blog about it, just whip up a little commentary and send them a link to another site.
Your list will also appreciate getting links about products they might find useful. Whether it’s a tangible item or a digital one, your subscribers love knowing when new products are released, or when sales take place on existing ones.
Free tools can be sent out as a link. Subscribers who can’t always afford to invest in every new shiny object will enjoy getting notified whenever there’s a free and comparable product they can use.
An even better way to alert them to a free tool is for you to make a quick tutorial or how to video on how to use the freebie. This won’t always work for every tool, but for those it will work with, it’s considered going above and beyond.
Tips embedded within the email itself are always good shares. Don’t think you always have to send people to your blog. If you have a few quick tips you want to send out in an email, go for it.
Along with all of your glowing successes, make sure you include some mindset issues that you struggle with. Subscribers love knowing they’re not alone when it comes to accomplishing goals after several trying fails.
There are some marketers who do nothing but send out offer after offer – never building a relationship with their readers. That’s one approach you can take, but it’s also known as the “churn and burn” method – where you squeeze everything you can out of a few mailings because you know no one will trust you later on.
Make Sure You’re Formatting Your Emails Correctly!
Believe it or not, simple formatting issues cause many people to click the unsubscribe button. That’s a shame, because no matter how wonderful your messages are, some people dislike errors coming into their inbox.
First of all, should you use plain text or HTML formatted text where you can add images and specify the style of your emails a bit more? It’s up to you, but you might be surprised at what people think.
While marketers often love the look of their own emails more when they’re made with HTML and include banners and images, many subscribers abhor that and wish marketers would use simple, plain text.
Plain text is easier for your reader to scroll through to find the good information they want – the details most relevant to them. Also HTML (even with the most experienced marketer) can have mistakes.
What ends up happening, is you’re trying to add cute emojis or images and all your subscriber sees is confusing HTML code among the additional text you put in the message.
A better way to do this is to use plain text for your emails, and save the embedded images for the blog posts that you drive your subscribers to. That way there are no blatant errors and your email retains a clean appearance.
When you create your email to a list of subscribers, you have the ability to use introductions such as:
This inserts the name of your subscriber into the first line of text, personalizing the message more. However, some subscribers will use fake names – but there’s nothing you can do about that.
Make sure whenever you format your email that you don’t copy and paste into your email autoresponder from a Word file. Word tends to include all sorts of odd characters, so your list will end up seeing a hard-to-read message.
The best thing you can do to ensure proper formatting is to keep it simple and send yourself a test message before blasting out an email to your entire list of subscribers. That way, you’ll see what everyone else will see and have an opportunity to correct any issues beforehand.
2-Way Communication Issues
One of the ways you have to be careful when handling your new subscribers and those on your list for the long term is by allowing them access to two-way communication with you.
Yes, you may be thinking, “Well they signed up for my list, so they should expect my emails,” but what they honestly expect is to get signed up to someone’s list who genuinely cares about their needs.
That’s what it all boils down to. And that means a give and take of time and email communication. They may simply need further explanation about something you emailed them about.
Asking questions that haven’t been discussed will be a big reason why your subscribers might get in touch with you. Or maybe you’ve discussed them on your blog, but they don’t know where.
In those cases, you can point them in the right direction. However, keep in mind that questions coming in provides you with a slew of potential blog topics, so always welcome the emails from your subscribers.
Problem issues with products they purchase from you or on behalf of your recommendation might be another reason why a subscriber would want to email you. Sometimes they buy from someone else, but email you about it.
If you don’t know anything about the product, it’s okay to explain that and redirect the email to the right person. But if you are aware, then this is a good way to go above and beyond – providing support for someone else’s product.
Advice on which direction to take is another reason why your readers will want to contact you directly. They may be stuck between two paths and just want someone more knowledgeable to offer insight into what to choose.
Some subscribers just want someone to bounce ideas off of, such as which domain name to buy, which facial cleaner to use, or how much survival food to store. Rather than spend hours scouring the ‘net, they reach out to you to ask someone they trust.
Keep in mind that some of your subscribers will want someone to just listen to them. They may have been through a lot and are so grateful for finally finding someone they trust, that they’ll email you to blurt out everything they’ve been through.
Make sure you invite your readers to email you back and tell them exactly how to reach you. Should they use an email address – or a contact form on your blog? You can use Contact Form 7 to let them use your blog.
Remember, many subscribers will be embarrassed to post publically. So if they have a question or comment about a blog post, they might send you an email directly just because they’re shy.
Will you have people who abuse the situation and email you all of the time for every little thing? Yes. Just as many marketers abuse the email autoresponder system. But that doesn’t mean you shut down all communication from everyone.
You’ll learn how to gently steer subscribers like this away from a heavy reliance on you and into a place where feel comfortable helping themselves a bit and only contacting you periodically.
Keep the Surprises Coming
You always want to continue wowing your audience. Whether it’s with free gifts from time to time or a series of awe-inspiring blog posts. Stay up to date within your niche and maintain an effort to please your audience.
Sometimes this means putting yourself out of your comfort zone. That might mean opening up about something you struggle with in your niche. It could also mean beginning to teach your subscribers in a new media format.
For example, if all you’ve ever done to date is blog and email in text, you can begin offering videos to your list. Create video blogs, unboxing reviews and more. This allows them to suddenly see and hear you and put a face to the name they’ve learned to trust for so long.
On down the road, if you haven’t ever tried it, create a podcast they can listen to on the go. Many people love to absorb information while doing other tasks, such as washing dishes or driving.
Keep an eye on technology and trends and surprise your audience by using tools that enhance their experience with you. Yes, it will put you out of your comfort zone – and it may not be perfect – but all that will matter is that you’re doing this because you care, and that kind of mindset shines through.
Handling your audience with care comes easy for some. For others, it’s an on-going quest to check in and think about the way their actions will be viewed by those who they entrusted with their contact information. As long as you take care of your customers, they’ll reward you with monetary profits for years to come.