What is your marketing strategy for business?
Build 65000 Twitters followers? Get 10,000 likes on Facebook?
Forget social media for audience building, it’s hard work.
There is something much easier than that and you use it every day. Email.
I’m not that fond of email, it slows me down and distracts me. I can’t stand it when people use email as an excuse to not talk to me in person. For this reason, it’s easy to assume that this is the same for everyone, therefore you might neglect it from any marketing efforts, thinking people don’t want your emails.
Email is the simplest and best communication tool for you to reach potential customers.
Email subscribers are easy to acquire, easy to engage with, and easy to lead onto the next phase of your sales funnel. This funnel, when refined, will ultimately drive more money into your business.
Let’s be honest, not all visitors of your amazing website are ready to buy anything from you. But they might be ready to share their email address with you in exchange for something. After all you might send them something good and if you don’t, well unsubscribing these days is easy, thankfully.
If I write a good article that gets shared (fingers crossed), a few people may visit my site and read the article. They might enjoy the article, but soon after reading they will forget me. They may never return to my site again. It’s sad, but the wealth of information online, unfortunately makes this reality. This is a missed opportunity.
Nathan Barry, a designer turned successful author and marketer, has a great example of something you can put at the bottom of your articles to entice a new reader to part with their email address.
It’s just a simple form to collect their email address, but the main part is that is about the reader, the email address is just the mechanism of the receiver receiving, the by product is that Nathan can now email them essentially whenever he wants.
But why just use simple Email?
Email is unlike any other communication means. It is on the reader’s own terms, they have the opportunity to ignore it, to read it in full later, or get curious and have a quick scan read now.
Think about your own inbox. When you receive any email, it sits right between conversations with people very familiar to you. Messages from family/friends, colleagues and generally people you are interested in hearing from.
As long the sender has your permission to send you stuff and doesn’t annoy you, and as long as they write things you are interested in, you will allow them to engage with you. You will get used to seeing emails from this person just like you are used seeing emails from your friends and family.
You have the opportunity to become a familiar in the inbox of your future customers. If you keep giving them good content, they will actually look forward to emails from you – this is exciting!
When you decide to announce the launch of your SaaS product, your new book or your shiny training course, you’ll have an audience who already know what you are all about. They will care about what you are doing. By now, they might trust you and will consider buying from you. Not through trickery but through real value. Real value builds trust. Combine trust with a product helps them succeed or make/save money and you will make sales.
Engaging with your audience is simple, but it is easy to make mistakes and start sounding over markety. Avoid stuff like this:-
“Save time and money with my fantastic product, you’ll be biting my arm off to have it”
Bad marketing is easy to write because all bad marketing is what we notice everywhere.
Great marketing goes unnoticed because it is honest, transparent and real.
Drip is a fantastic simple email list management tool. The have a great article on how to maximize the number of emails that get opened and getting results once they are opened – Email marketing best practices. Bonus points if you notice the email catpures boxes on their blog – they know what they are doing
Who owns your social network list?
The social network does, and can chop and change it and decide what you can and can’t do at any time.
An email list has a great quality, it is essentially just a text based list and because of this it’s yours.
It isn’t Facebook’s, LinkedIn’s or Twitter’s. It isn’t at the mercy of their terms and conditions. If you choose to use a different mailing list provider, just export your list and import it into the new tool.
When you move on to pastures new
Should you choose to start a new project, as long as it some way connected to the original project (the connection could be YOU), you will never ever have to start again from scratch. You have an audience that you can tell about the new project, some of them will be interested in the new project, some won’t – that’s ok, at least you won’t be starting from zero.
The big guys in email marketing often site their email list as one of the biggest assets in their business. You can do the same, just start building your list today, there is no looking back.
Social media must be good for something
It is, it is fantastic for getting lost in and wasting away the day. It is good for paid advertising should you go down that route and it is good for having quick interactions and public conversations.
It is also great for other people to share your content, a good article retweeted by one of the big hitters in your industry, may lead to some links that send some valuable juice to your website. The spike of traffic is also enjoyable, but that’s not the long term gain from it.
Social media can be a good channel to try to get people onto the list in the first place, but it definitely not a wise idea to try and use it to market to them. It will cost you a fortune (in either time or money or both).
The problem is that when you send something to your Twitter followers, for 90% of your followers it is lost in the noise. You can mitigate this by posting it multiple times at different times of day, but then what about the people that did see it? want to annoy them by posting again?
If you are putting stuff out on Twitter, you can eventually (and naturally) build an audience and clearly this isn’t a bad thing. Just don’t make it your priority to build the audience that way. It has less power than you think when it comes to selling your products.
Are you sold yet?
Email sounds archaic, but it will serve you well. Trust me, it is the best tool for the job. Don’t write it off just because you don’t like using it in your day job.
Ignore building you social media following, it is not worth the effort.
Build your email list.
Engage honestly and clearly with your audience.
Provide real value.
You will build trust.
People buy things from people they trust.
But they dont buy them for the sake of it, the buy them because they know it’s a wise investment. Be that wise investment, but start by building that list.
If you want some ideas on how exactly to start building that list, drop me an email and I’ll be happy to help.