Building An Engaged Email List in 2019

Adapted from an article published on the Kartra Blog by Genesis Digital

Every few months or so, there’s another “in-the-know” blogger announcing to the world that email is dead.

Except, they’re wrong. Email marketing is far from dead.

In fact, building a list of actively engaged email subscribers can be one of the most effective lead generation methods and revenue builders.

But there’s a catch.

Building an engaged list isn’t a walk in the park — many marketers lament that it is much trickier than they expected. To help you avoid the pitfalls, we’re breaking down some of the most effective email marketing best practices.

When it’s all said and done, you’ll see a list of loyal, engaged customers; and it will just keep growing!

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.

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Generating leads and building your list

Adding value with an email list is pretty much impossible to do if said list doesn’t exist.

To get started, you’ll need to understand what your customer relationships are like, and tailor the following solutions to your audience in pursuit of something simple: Their email address.

Passively capture emails on your existing platforms

Chances are, you already have some kind of content built for your business. This can include a website, online store, social media pages, or anything else that a potential customer might see associated with your brand.

You can use your existing presence as a means to start gathering email addresses in a few different ways. One powerful method is to use “triggered” responses, where a customer’s email address is required to do something, like place an order. Another is to offer a “lead magnet,” something valuable like a PDF doc of info, in exchange for a user’s email address.

Don’t knock the old-fashioned newsletter sign-up

Sometimes, getting straight to the point is worthwhile. People who explicitly sign up for your email content are probably more inclined to read it, meaning that your subscriber list will show more engagement once emails go out.

Including a very simple mailing list signup call-to-action on a landing page — a feature that increase leads by up to 55% — can be a great way of getting your email content front and center, while generating the intrigued audience for it at the same time.

Use social media as a funnel

If somebody follows your brand on social media, there’s a strong chance they’ll be interested in your emails, too.

Facebook knows this; you can set your business page’s call to action button to a “Sign up for email” option by default. Your social media presence can act as a springboard onto your email content for the people who are interested; in other words, exactly the kind of people you want to send emails to.

Using your social media tools as a funnel for emails doesn’t need to be difficult. Email signup can be accomplished through landing page links on your posts, to even asking your followers to sign up directly. They’re more inclined to do so than you might think!

Making your list valuable to you and your subscribers

Once you’ve cultivated a growing list of subscribers, it’s time to start sending them something.

This begs the question: Send them what?

Answer: Something that’s important to both you, and your subscribers.

Central to customer relationship management is knowing that your customers, and potential customers, have all the power. If you’re sending them something they don’t care about, engagement will go down, or worse: They’ll unsubscribe from you completely. That’s why your email content needs to be the right thing, at the right time.

For example, if you’re selling a copywriting course for business owners, don’t send them random emails about cool news articles. Send them content they WANT to receive, that you’re also passionate about: stuff like, the worst subject lines you’ve ever seen, or how not to write a headline. Stuff that teaches your list something new while teasing them with your product, intriguing them to buy.  

Send email at the right times

There is a lot of attention paid to timing emails in marketing circles, and understandably so. You’ll typically hear advice suggesting mornings and evenings during the week, when workers wake up and check their email to start the day. However, the truth is, the best time to send your emails is when your subscribers will open them.

They might be similar to many other people, and open their email in the morning. But if you’re marketing towards night shift workers, vampires, or freelancers, you might find through experimentation that your open and click through rates increase when emails are sent at a different time of day.

If you use Kartra to send your emails, Kartra will actually use your real-life data and tell you the best day of the week and time of day to send for your list to see higher conversions.

Always make it worthwhile

Email that doesn’t contain anything important will either not get opened or will produce no clicks. Even worse, subscribers that continually get email with nothing they like or want inside of it will start to ignore what they get in the future, or worst of all: They’ll opt out of emails entirely and report you for spam.

Some emails to consider are welcome emails that congratulate your new lead for joining your list, welcoming them to the family, and pointing them in the right direction for important links like customer support, your blog, your sales page, etc.

Another good email method is to take any pre-written blog posts you have and break them out into a series of soap-opera style emails, each one teaching your email list something new, and getting them excited for the next email.

Segment your subscribers

An important step to take both during and after the list building process is segmentation. While you can do this manually, Kartra can actually do this for you, based on automated tags for things like whether they visited a page, watched a video, purchased a product, etc. You can also segment your list in Kartra based on levels of engagement and lead scores.

Once you’ve segmented your list into smaller, more precise groups, you can send different campaigns based on things like where they signed up and other characteristics. Send your more loyal subscribers bonus coupons, and people who watched a particular video, more content that’s related that they might be interested in.

Email marketing isn’t dead. It’s just changing.

And the best way to adapt to the changing times is with a marketing platform that helps maximize your email sends and conversion rates. Kartra not only has one of the highest email deliverability rates on the market, but we help you BUILD your list with built-in opt-in forms, we help you organize and segment your lists with detailed lead profiles, and we help you send beautiful and personalized emails, complete with dynamic variables, glorious templates, and intelligent split testing.

It’s less work for you, but more results. If that isn’t a win-win, we don’t know what is.

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ConvertKit Pricing – How To Save On Email Automation Software Costs

If you are looking for ConvertKit pricing, you are in the right place.  The table below shows how much ConvertKit costs and the ConvertKit price plan.

As you can see the entry-level product for $29 per month allows you to have up to 1,000 email subscribers, be able to send unlimited emails per month.  What you also get is access to all ConvertKit features for the one monthly price.

Convertkit Pricing Table, Convertkit cost

Quick disclaimer – this review does contain affiliate links to products that I recommend. I only recommend products that I have used and that I think could be beneficial to your business. I receive a small commission if you click on any of the links and sign up for the product or service, but that doesn’t increase the price and may sometimes include special discounts.

There are higher levels available for people with larger email lists, but it is one of the more affordable email autoresponders.

ConvertKit also has a concierge service to help with migration of larger lists.

Click here for a ConvertKit free trial

 

Convertkit pricing

Why Buy ConvertKit?

Having an email list is one of the most important assets any business can have. If you talk to any successful entrepreneur they will say that their email list is their most important asset.

If you are looking to build an email list, you need the best software to manage those emails and ensure they receive the correct email at the right time.  Setting up automated email sequences can allow your business to run on autopilot.

With ConvertKit you have powerful email sequence builders to ensure you keep in regular contact with your email list, automatically.

ConvertKit is designed to automate the management of your email subscribers and it does an excellent job.

Once you have collected your email subscribers, you can segment them within ConvertKit and add them to specific email sequences depending on their interests.

You can segment your email list according to their actions. If they open specific emails, click links or make a purchase, they can be added to or removed from a particular sequence.

Once set up, you can correspond with your subscribers on autopilot.

What is included in the ConvertKit pricing?

For those of you that haven’t heard of ConvertKit, it is an email automation software tools designed specifically for online businesses that use email for marketing and sales.

If you are in the early stages of building your email list and you don’t want an email automation tool that is overly complicated, ConvertKit is an excellent choice. I used it to manage my email list when I was just getting started. I didnt want to spend a fortune and I wanted something that was easy to use.

convertkit features, convertkit whats included

Click here for a ConvertKit free trial

What Else Do You Need To Buy?

In order to capture email subscribers, you also need landing page software. This will allow you to design pages specifically aimed at capturing visitors email addresses. If you want to save some money while you build your income, ConvertKit does include a basic landing page builder. 

If you prefer to use a dedicated landing page software tool, I recommend Leadpages.  It costs $37 per month (or $25 per month if paid annually) and is one of the easiest page design tools I have used.

Click here for a Leadpages free trial

Kartra – A fully integrated marketing software suite

If you are serious about building an online business and just want to learn one software tool, I recommend Kartra.  This is what I currently use to run my marketing.  It is a little more expensive than ConvertKit and Leadpages at $79 per month (annual payment) or $99 per month (pay monthly), but it is literally the only piece of software you need. Please visit my Kartra page to learn more.  The page is designed using Kartra so you can get a feel for what it can do.

ConvertKit Pricing – Conclusion

So to summarize, if you are on a limited budget and looking for a great piece of software to manage your email list, ConvertKit at $29 per month is priced competitively against other email automation tools.

It also has the advantage that it is very easy to use. Because it was designed from the ground up to manage email lists, it does the job very well.

It doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles of other email automation tools, but that can be a good thing if you don’t have a lot of time to learn a new product.

If you are just embarking on building your email list, I recommend you try ConvertKit.

Click here for a ConvertKit free trial

Bonus – ConvertKit Guide to Migrating from another Email Provider

courtesy of ConvertKit

Switching email providers is a pain, and we want to alleviate as much of that pain as possible so you can move over to ConvertKit seamlessly and quickly.

To start you off on the right foot, here’s a quick checklist, showing the steps you need to take.

ConvertKit’s Quick Migration Checklist

  • Map your funnels.
  • Replicate the subscriber forms and sources.
  • Copy sequences. (other platforms may call “campaigns”)
  • Match sequences to forms and tags.
  • Replicate any automations (product purchases, etc).
  • Replicate tags in CK to match lists/tags in old provider.
  • Create new segments in CK.
  • Switch blog forms and subscriber sources to CK forms.
  • Import subscribers to match tags in CK.
  • Send broadcast!

Let’s cover each one individually, and then we’ll also point out some of the main ways ConvertKit features differ from other providers. Reading this is also a great way to understand the core functions of the feature set, and how to get started in the best way.

Mapping the Funnel

We start here because understanding the funnel subscribers go through is what we are re-creating in the big picture. You may not think you even have a funnel, but you do. Here’s what we mean:

Basic Opt-in Funnel

  • A subscriber opts-in through the sidebar form or landing page opt-in
    • Optional “thank you” page.
  • Receives confirmation email.
    • Optional content upgrade via file or URL link.
  • Begins follow-up sequence (also optional).
  • Added to Newsletter segment.

Basic Product Funnel

  • Someone buys your product.
  • They are given a “buyer” tag.
    • Optional follow-up sequence.
  • Added to “buyer” segment

Basic Content Upgrade Funnel

  • A subscriber opts in to your content upgrade form to get free content.
    • Optional “thank you” page.
  • The subscriber receives a confirmation email.
  • A content upgrade provided to the subscriber via file or URL link.
    • Optional follow-up sequence.
  • Added to Newsletter segment.

Basically, each new subscriber or customer goes through a specific funnel, and we need to know what they are.

To help clarify the funnels ConvertKit created a spreadsheet that lays everything out. If you want to speed up your migration, fill out this sheet with each form and subscriber source on your site. Click here to view.

This is a public Google Sheet, so you need to make a copy for your funnels.

The next step is diving into the main point of entry for any new subscriber. Forms.

Forms

Forms are the lifeblood of your ConvertKit account. Each new subscriber will come through a form and can be organized there for sequences, broadcasts, or sales pitches. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll use forms to describe landing pages too, since they operate the same way.

A common misconception of forms is you need to use an automation rule to add subscribers to your imported Newsletter tag. That’s not the case. You can create a segment that gathers subscribers in all applicable forms and tags. For a more in-depth explanation of segments, click here.

For each subscriber source funnel, you will create a specific form to start readers on their journey.

Replicating Forms and Sources

You can replicate your brand colors and calls to action for the form, but there are some style limitations.

Our forms look great and convert well, but they are not custom forms, just like the forms you were using with your old provider were not “out-of-the-box”. If you want a lot of style options (fonts, colors, icons) and layouts, you’re best off using a lead gen form builder like SumoMe, Thrive Leads, or Optin Monster.

Let’s talk about these services, since many people use them! You still need to create a form to “catch” the subscribers in ConvertKit. What you don’t need to worry about when connecting with a lead-generating service is the designed content of the ConvertKit form. Colors and text don’t matter, that’s what Optin Monster is for. You only need to match the fields (first name, email) in the ConvertKit form with the fields you’re requesting with the service.

Quick note: you don’t necessarily need to create specific forms to connect with the lead gen service. If they are going through the same funnel that is set up with another form, you can use it here too.

Next, in forms are the settings, and it’s just a quick overview. You can connect a sequence to a form directly in the settings by selecting it from the drop-down menu. Most of the time, we choose to make it mandatory for new subscribers. You can also start a sequence on a specific date if you like, more on that here.

There is a default “Thank You” page in ConvertKit, but we highly recommend using a page on your own site to stay consistent. This can be selected as the Success Redirect URL in the form’s main settings.

If you have a single email welcome message or content upgrade, it will be delivered through an Incentive Email. This is a great way to grow your list and deliver specific upgrades to posts and pages. Once a reader clicks the Confirm Subscription button, the upgrade can be delivered one of two ways.

1. File Download: We simply upload the file in the action box below the email text. Easy!

2. Success URL: Click on the URL button next to the upload file option. The option will flip and we will paste the URL there. A great option for existing content you want to keep leveraging.!

Let’s move on to Sequences.

Sequences

Whatever (MailChimp) automations, (Aweber) autoresponders, or (Infusionsoft) campaigns you have, it’s almost always a matter of copy and paste. The process is not hard but can be tedious depending on the number of sequences that need to be migrated.

A couple of things to take note of.

  1. ConvertKit schedules sequences based on days since the last email. MailChimp and Aweber do the same, just match the schedules.
  2. The ConvertKit email template and editor can handle header images, inline images, and hyperlinks. What it doesn’t handle well (nor plans to), are heavily styled templates that include different tables and sidebars.

We find that emails deliver better and have higher engagement when they are written like emails to friends, not when they look like mini-web pages. A more in-depth explanation is here.

Match sequences to forms and sources.

Once the sequences are migrated, they can be connected to forms in the settings, or to other tags and sequences with automation rules. For example:

  • Reader subscribes to form, starts a sequence.
  • A person buys a product on Gumroad, starts a sequence specifically for buyers.
  • A reader in your pitch sequence buys the product, and is taken off the pitch sequence and added to the buyer sequence.

Automations

Automations are how you keep subscribers moving through the different sections of their journey. A few examples are:

  • A subscriber buys a product (on Gumroad, Shopify, Teachable) and has a “buyer” tag added.
  • A subscriber clicks the “Buy Now” link trigger, has an “Interest” tag added.
  • A subscriber completes one sequence, is added to a new sequence.

If you’re coming from MailChimp or Aweber, you probably don’t have any, and that’s one reason you’re coming to ConvertKit!

Replicate Old Lists as Tags in ConvertKit

Each list in your old provider will become a tag in ConvertKit. We simply copy the old list name to the new tag, export the data, and import to the matching tag in ConvertKit. That’s all!

Of course, that’s easy for 5 lists or tags. The more lists, the more tedious and time consuming the process becomes. If you can consolidate your tags, this is the time to do it!

Create Subscriber Segments

We referenced this in the form process, but subscriber organization works much different on ConvertKit than other services. ConvertKit is a subscriber-focused system, while MailChimp and Aweber (along with most others), are list based systems. For a more in-depth explanation of segments, click here.

The TL,DR version is that you can create segments that combine tags and forms to target subscribers. Here are a few examples:

  • A Newsletter segment includes blog forms, imported subscriber tags, and buyer tags (if you want).
  • A Buyer segment includes any forms or tags for subscribers who have purchased from you.
  • A Student segment includes all the tags from people who have bought Teachable courses.
  • A Member segment includes all the tags from people who are a part of your membership community.

Because of segments, you don’t have to create a ton of automation rules to move form subscribers to tags, or click a bunch of tags and forms when it’s time to send a broadcast. They’re just in a segment!

Think of segments as different buckets that forms, landing pages, and tags are dropped into. Here’s a quick visual sketch of the idea.

Of course, in ConvertKit you are not charged for duplicate subscribers, because they literally don’t exist. You don’t have people on multiple lists, each one exists as a subscriber with different tags, forms of entry, and sequences completed. But they are still just one person.

Switch blog forms and subscriber sources to CK forms

Now you will go to each form on your blog and switch it to the new ConvertKit form. Do the same for each source with a lead gen tool (LeadPages, Optin Monster, SumoMe). If you’re simply using WordPress and ConvertKit forms, please read this KB article. You can find the instructions for other services we integrate within the KB as well.

This is where your funnel map is very useful. Simply go down the list and start checking them off!

Subscriber Import

This is the last step, even though it’s fairly easy. The reason we wait until the end to import is so we don’t miss anyone in the process of switching everything.

For example, a reader opts in at the sidebar form, receives a free workout schedule (incentive), and begins the free weekly workout sequence. We need to have that in place before switching the web form from the old provider to ConvertKit.

Switching the web forms to ConvertKit is essentially turning off the subscriber flow to your old provider. Now we know the lists are accurate and it’s safe to import them to ConvertKit.

Click here for a ConvertKit free trial

Welcome Email Examples – What Makes A Good Welcome Email?

If you are serious about growing your email subscriber list, you need to know what makes a good welcome email. In this article you will see some of the best welcome email examples from leading online marketers.

You have spent time, blood, sweat and maybe some money building your email list. So you need to welcome your subscribers aboard and keep them interested?

Rather than share my experience on the subject, I thought you would be more interested in seeing how the real experts do it. People who have built large lists and who really provide value and creativity in what they send to their audience.

I am not talking about people who immediately try to sell you something. That is definitely not what I recommend and is more than likely to result in people reaching for the unsubscribe link.

The real winners are people who take time to learn about what their audience is interested in and provide them with relevant information.

One of the first things I did, when I was setting up my business, was to subscribe to email lists of many of the respected leaders in my field. People like Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Ramit Sethi and Amy Porterfield.

My reasoning?

I wanted to see what they would send me, what they would ask or offer me, so I could learn from them. After all, they all have large lists and a devoted audience, so they must be doing something right.

I encourage you to do the same. Take note of the regularity of their emails, their length, and content. Study the language they use. In the best cases, it is very conversational and personal. You feel like you are hearing from a friend.

Learning what is relevant to your audience

It is very important to learn something about your subscribers very early on.
• Where are they in their business development?
• What interests them?
• How can you help them?

Knowing this information will allow you to only send them information that is relevant to them.

Welcome email examples, pat flynn

Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income does this in his first email to new subscribers as follows:

In order for me to send you emails that make sense for you, I need you to start by clicking on the ONE answer to the following question that best suits you:

Which of the following best describes your online business activity? Click on the ONE answer that best describes you:

• I don’t have an online business yet.
• I have an online business, but I’m stuck between $0-$500 per month.
• I have an online business that is generating more than $500 per month.

Click on one of the above, and you’ll be taken to a landing page with more information about that particular segment and what you can look forward to.

Also, there’s a question for you to answer there, as well.

From then on, I’ll happily send you more emails that best suit you.

Thanks so much, and if you’ve read this far…go back up and let me know which answer best fits you! 🙂

Cheers,

Pat

This is just an excerpt from Pat’s intro email. If you want to read the rest, I suggest you sign up to Pat’s email list at www.smartpassiveincome.com. You will learn a lot.

This should give you the idea what you need to do. The questions you need to ask may be different, depending on the type of business you have. Pat will take the responses people click on and use them to place his subscribers into groups so they only receive information from him that is relevant to their stage in their business.

Give Something Away for Free

It is likely that you used some form of giveaway to get someone to sign up for your email list. Even so, giving them something else after they sign up is a nice extra touch.

Welcome email example, John lee Dumas, JLD

John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur of Fire does this particularly well:

Heyo! Super stoked you’re fired up and ready to rock with not only the Fire Nation Newsletter, but also the 3 gifts I have for you!

But first up: make sure you add us to your Safe Senders List – that way you won’t miss any of the value-packed emails we have in store for you!

And if you use Gmail and we landed in promotions, drag us into your primary tab, please!… like this:
image

Alright, let’s get to it – your 3 gifts!

1. 11 Habits of successful entrepreneurs

Plus, how to make them habits!

2. $500 Question

Top entrepreneurs answer the $500 question…

3. EOFire Resources guide

Every resource you need to IGNITE your entrepreneurial journey!

Enjoy your free gifts, and I’ll catch you on the flip side!

JLD

You will also notice that JLD asks his subscribers to perform a couple of actions so they will see subsequent emails from him, rather than them heading for the spam folder.

Again, I encourage you to visit www.eofire.com and sign up to John’s list. He gives a lot of valuable content away for free to his members.

Welcome email example, michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt takes a similar approach by offering something free to follow on from the ebook he gave you for signing up, but rather than offering something to download, he offers the opportunity to take a free test:

Since you downloaded my Achieve What Matters in 2017 ebook, I thought you might be interested in another free resource — the LifeScore™ Assessment. It’s easy to take online, and you’ll have your results in 10 minutes or less.

The LifeScore™ is designed to answer this question: If your life were a game, how would you score?

Games give us an effective way to size up our progress, but life is usually messier than that. And yet, we need a way to monitor how we’re doing in different areas of life. After all: “What you don’t measure, you can’t improve.”

So if you’re trying to determine what you want in 2017, get clear on your next steps by discovering your unique LifeScore™ now.

Warmly,

Michael

I don’t know if Michael or his team have access to the results of the test, but if they do, it will provide them with valuable information about their subscribers so they can send them relevant information.

Again, I recommend that you visit Michael’s site at www.michaelhyatt.com and subscribe to his email list. When you first visit the site, you will notice that he uses a “welcome gate”. This page only appears the first time you visit and offers you the opportunity to subscribe in exchange for a free download. I discuss this in more detail in my article:

Building an email list from scratch

You can also view my welcome gate by clicking here: www.silentearning.com/welcome. This is a great way to attract new subscribers.

This page was put together in Leadpages. If you want to learn how to do this, it is explained in detail in the ebook that you can sign up to download on this welcome page. Alternatively, you can check out my blog article:

How I combine WordPress and Leadpages – The Best of Both Worlds

The Follow Up

So you have your subscriber and you have introduced yourself to them. You have maybe given them something for free and asked some questions about them. What do you do next?

If you work like most leading online marketers, you add them to an email sequence. This may sound a bit impersonal, but it isn’t really. Especially if you continue to be light-hearted and conversational in the emails you put together.

If you don’t know what an email sequence is, it is a series of pre-written emails that are sent out at set time intervals to your subscribers. The emails are designed to follow on from each other. Sometimes, they can even form a mini-course.

I recommend sending out sequence emails once a week and try to avoid actively selling. I have worked in sales and sales management for many years and the market is definitely moving more towards nurturing rather than selling these days. There is no harm in promoting a product by giving it a glowing endorsement based on personal experience, but it is best when combined with some valuable information that is related closely to that product.

Setting up an email sequence is relatively easy to do with modern email automation software. Products such as ConvertKit, MailChimp or Drip are all built to do just this. I recommend ConvertKit if you are just starting to build your list. It is very powerful and simple to use and is free for the first 100 subscribers, so you can get acquainted with it without breaking the bank. If you want to try ConvertKit out, click here

The Storybook Approach

Some people leverage the Storybook Approach to sending emails. This works a bit like a soap opera or mini-series, where each email reveals what is coming in the next email, to keep the audience’s attention throughout the email sequence.

Andre Chaperon does this particularly well:

Here’s a taster of what I’ll be sending you over the next 10 days to help you “level up” your email chops…

* Better Email: Part 2 of 5 (Email #2)
* Better Email: Part 3 of 5 (Email #3)
* Better Email: Part 4 of 5 (Email #4)
* Better Email: Part 5 of 5 (Email #5)
* My “Evil” Experiment: Part 1 of 2 (Email #6)
* My “Evil” Experiment: Part 2 of 2 (Email #7)
* Business.com (Email #8)
* Superhero Email (Email #9)
* Make Someone Hungry: Part 1 of 2 (Email #10)

You don’t want to missing the “evil experiment” or the Superhero Email. Just saying.

Plus there’s more.

Lot’s more.

But more about that later.

Anyhoo…

Tomorrow we get started on how you can seriously “LEVEL UP” your email marketing. Big time.

This can also be treated as a mini-course, but whichever way you see it, it can be a great way to keep your audience wanting more. At the end of each email, Andre tries to leave a taster of what is to come in the next ‘episode’.

If you want to learn more about Andre and his emailing techniques, you can visit:

https://andrechaperon.com

You can also read an article about how Andre developed this method on Entrepreneurs Journey with Yaro Starek.

Summary

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to interact with your email subscribers to get them interested and to keep them wanting more. Your email list is probably your more important asset and if you can convert them into ‘raving fans,’ they may just help your business succeed.

Resources

ConvertKit Resource Page – click here

Drip Resource Page – click here

What is the First Email You Should Send a New Subscriber (Learn From The Experts)

You have spent time, blood, sweat and maybe some money building your email list. So what do you do to welcome your subscribers aboard and keep them interested? What is the first email you should send to a new subscriber?

Rather than just sharing my experience on the subject, I thought you would be more interested in seeing how the experts do it. I have carried out considerable research into people who have built large lists to understand who really provides value and creativity in what they send to their audience.

I am not talking about people who immediately try to sell you something. That is definitely not what I recommend and is more than likely to result in people reaching for the unsubscribe link.

The real winners are people who take time to learn about what their audience is interested in and provide them with relevant information.

Signing up for other people’s emails – Learn from the Experts

One of the first things I did, when I was setting up my online business, was to subscribe to email lists of many of the respected leaders in my field. People like Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Ramit Sethi and Amy Porterfield.

My reasoning?

I wanted to see what they would send me, what they would ask or offer me, so I could learn from them. After all, they all have large lists and a devoted audience, so they must be doing something right.

I encourage you to do the same. Take note of the regularity of their emails, their length, and the content. Study the language they use. In the best cases, it is very conversational and personal. You feel like you are hearing from a friend.

Learning what is relevant to your audience

It is very important to learn something about your subscribers very early on.

  • Where are they in their business development?
  • What interests them?
  • How can you help them?

Knowing this information will allow you to only send them information that is relevant to them.

Pat Flynn, Smart Passive Incom

Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income does this in his first email to new subscribers as follows:

In order for me to send you emails that make sense for you, I need you to start by clicking on the ONE answer to the following question that best suits you:

Which of the following best describes your online business activity?

Click on the ONE answer that best describes you:
• I don’t have an online business yet.
• I have an online business, but I’m stuck between $0-$500 per month.
• I have an online business that is generating more than $500 per month.

Click on one of the above, and you’ll be taken to a landing page with more information about that particular segment and what you can look forward to. Also, there’s a question for you to answer there, as well.

From then on, I’ll happily send you more emails that best suit you.

Thanks so much, and if you’ve read this far…go back up and let me know which answer best fits you! 🙂
Cheers,
Pat

This is just an excerpt from Pat’s intro email. If you want to read the rest, I suggest you sign up to Pat’s email list at www.smartpassiveincome.com. You will learn a lot.

This should give you the idea what you need to do. The questions you need to ask may be different, depending on the type of business you have. Pat will take the responses people click on and use them to place his subscribers into groups so they only receive information from him that is relevant to their stage in their business.

Give Something Away for Free

It is likely that you used some form of a giveaway to get someone to sign up for your email list. Even so, giving them something else after they sign up is a nice extra touch.

John Lee Dumas, EOFire

John Lee Dumas of “Entrepreneur of Fire” does this particularly well:

Heyo! Super stoked you’re fired up and ready to rock with not only the Fire Nation Newsletter, but also the 3 gifts I have for you!
But first up: make sure you add us to your Safe Senders List – that way you won’t miss any of the value-packed emails we have in store for you!
And if you use Gmail and we landed in promotions, drag us into your primary tab, please!… like this:
image

Alright, let’s get to it – your 3 gifts!

1. 11 Habits of successful entrepreneurs
Plus, how to make them habits!

2. $500 Question
Top entrepreneurs answer the $500 question…

3. EOFire Resources guid
Every resource you need to IGNITE your entrepreneurial journey!

Enjoy your free gifts, and I’ll catch you on the flip side!
JLD

You will also notice that JLD asks his subscribers to perform a couple of actions so they will see subsequent emails from him, rather than them heading for the spam folder.

Again, I encourage you to visit www.eofire.com and sign up to John’s list. He gives a lot of valuable content away for free to his members.

 

Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt takes a similar approach by offering something free to follow on from the ebook he gave you for signing up.  Rather than offering something to download, he offers the opportunity to take a free test:

Since you downloaded my Achieve What Matters in 2017 ebook, I thought you might be interested in another free resource — the LifeScore Assessment. It’s easy to take online, and you’ll have your results in 10 minutes or less.

The LifeScore is designed to answer this question: If your life were a game, how would you score?

Games give us an effective way to size up our progress, but life is usually messier than that. And yet, we need a way to monitor how we’re doing in different areas of life. After all: “What you don’t measure, you can’t improve.”

So if you’re trying to determine what you want in 2017, get clear on your next steps by discovering your unique LifeScore now.

Warmly,
Michael

I don’t know if Michael or his team have access to the results of the test, but if they do, it will provide them with valuable information about their subscribers so they can send them relevant information.

Again, I recommend that you visit Michael’s site at www.michaelhyatt.com and subscribe to his email list. When you first visit the site, you will notice that he uses a “welcome gate”. This page only appears the first time you visit and offers you the opportunity to subscribe in exchange for a free download. I discuss this in more detail in my article:

Building an email list from scratch

You can also view my welcome gate by clicking here. This is a great way to attract new subscribers.

The Follow Up

So you have your subscriber and you have introduced yourself to them. You have maybe given them something for free and asked some questions about them. What do you do next?

If you work like most leading online marketers, you add them to an email sequence. This may sound a bit impersonal, but it isn’t really. Especially if you continue to be light-hearted and conversational in the emails you put together.

If you don’t know what an email sequence is, it is a series of pre-written emails that are sent out at set time intervals to your subscribers. The emails are designed to follow on from each other. Sometimes, they can even form a mini-course.

I recommend sending out sequence emails once a week and try to avoid actively selling. I have worked in sales and sales management for many years and the market is definitely moving more towards nurturing rather than selling these days. There is no harm in promoting a product by giving it a glowing endorsement based on personal experience, but it is best when combined with some valuable information that is related closely to that product.

Setting up an email sequence is relatively easy to do with modern email automation software. Products such as ConvertKit, Mailchimp or Drip are all built to do just this. I recommend Drip if you are just starting to build your list. It is very powerful and simple to use and is free for the first 100 subscribers, so you can get acquainted with it without breaking the bank. If you want to try Drip out, click here

The Storybook Approach

Some people leverage the Storybook Approach to sending emails. This works a bit like a soap opera or mini-series, where each email reveals what is coming in the next email, to keep the audience’s attention throughout the email sequence.

Andre Chaperon does this particularly well:

Here’s a taster of what I’ll be sending you over the next 10 days to help you “level up” your email chops…
* Better Email: Part 2 of 5 (Email #2)
* Better Email: Part 3 of 5 (Email #3)
* Better Email: Part 4 of 5 (Email #4)
* Better Email: Part 5 of 5 (Email #5)
* My “Evil” Experiment: Part 1 of 2 (Email #6)
* My “Evil” Experiment: Part 2 of 2 (Email #7)
* Business.com (Email #8)
* Superhero Email (Email #9)
* Make Someone Hungry: Part 1 of 2 (Email #10)
You don’t want to miss the “evil experiment” or the Superhero Email. Just saying.
Plus there’s more.
Lot’s more.

But more about that later.

Anyhoo…

Tomorrow we get started on how you can seriously “LEVEL UP” your email marketing. Big time.

This can also be treated like a mini-course, but whichever way you see it, it can be a great way to keep your audience wanting more. At the end of each email, Andre tries to leave a taster of what is to come in the next ‘episode’.

If you want to learn more about Andre and his emailing techniques, you can visit: https://andrechaperon.com

Summary

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to interact with your email subscribers to get them interested and to keep them wanting more. Your email list is probably your more important asset and if you can convert them into ‘raving fans,’ they may just help your business succeed.

Useful Resources

ConvertKit article: 3 Strategies for your first email sequence

Video from Pat Flynn: Pet Peeves That Turn People Away

How to Build an Email List

In this article you will learn how to build an email list, using tips and techniques from leading online marketers.

Why Build an Email List

If you speak to most successful online marketers, the thing most of them wished they had done sooner, is built their email subscriber list.

Why is that?

There are a number of reasons, but the main reason is that it gives you an audience. A group of people who want to hear from you and have an interest in what you have to say.

Building an email list is one of the first things you should do when setting up an online business.  Watch, next time a big affiliate promotion comes out. Who are the people selling the most? The people with the big list of email subscribers.

A  list of email subscribers also puts you in a strong position to sell a product promotion or
new course.  If you have taken the time to profile your subscribers, you will also know what they are most likely to be interested in.

Email is still one of the most effective ways to communicate and share things with your audience, no matter what line of business you are in.  It is a way to make your audience ‘sticky’ so you can communicate with them directly whenever you have something interesting to say or sell.

However, when you are just starting out you have to build your email subscriber list from scratch. This may seem a bit daunting so it is a good idea to learn from others.

Learning From the Experts

When I first set up my online business, I was not an expert. I am still not, so I have had to learn techniques for building an email list from others. Learning from people who have built big lists is a good start.

Try visiting their websites and seeing how they get you to join their subscriber list.

In almost all cases they offer their visitors something of value if they sign up. This is referred to as a “Leadmagnet”. It may be an ebook, a mini-course or a set of tips that are designed to be of help to their audience. Its aim is to give visitors to the site a reason to leave their email address.

I’m subscribed to a number of internet marketing gurus’ email lists. People like: Pat Flynn, Ramit Sethi, John Lee Dumas, Amy Porterfield and Neil Patel. As well as giving me access to some really good material, it also lets me see how they are interacting with their subscribers, which allows me to learn their email marketing messages first hand. They are professionals who know exactly what to write to keep our interest. Delivering value is a big part of it. I actually often look forward to receiving many of their emails.

Ways to Drive Traffic

This is a whole topic in itself and is probably the most difficult part of building a list. Bryan Harris of Videofruit.com has built a list of over 120,000 subscribers and has a number of novel and proven methods to generate traffic.

Take a listen to his podcast interview with Chris Ducker

Bryan Harris, Building an Email List, Chris Ducker

YoupreneurFM 191:  Crazy Simple Email Marketing Tactics to Implement today

Combining Your Marketing to Generate Email Subscribers and Build an Email List

It is a good idea to combine growing your list with other activities, particularly what you are doing on social media or through links and offers in your blog posts. Visitors to your Facebook or Twitter page or your website can be greeted with an offer of additional content in exchange for signing up as a subscriber. Adding a link to download an ebook you have written, from within a relevant blog post can also be very effective.

I recently listened to an excellent podcast on Social Media Examiner where social media expert, Amy Porterfield was talking to Michael Stelzner about what has been working for her in attracting and signing up new subscribers. Here is the link in case you want to listen:

Building your email list, Facebook Live, Amy Porterfield, Social Media Examiner
List Building: How to grow your email list your Facebook Live, Amy Porterfield

List Building: How to Grow Your Email List Using Facebook Live

Amy has found that one of the best ways to grow an email list is through blog posts that offer a content upgrade.

First write a blog post, with valuable information that people will want to share; for instance, a post in which you list seven ways to do something.

Then inside that blog post, include a content upgrade (a freebie) that readers can get after they click a button and give
you their name and email address.

They get the freebie and you get a new subscriber. It’s a win-win for both sides.

What you do with them when you have them on your list, we will discuss later in the article.

What to Give Your Subscribers to Keep Them Wanting More

Pat Flynn from Smart Passive income uses different ebook giveaways to get people to subscribe to his email list. The big advantage with this is that he learns something about the subscriber from the content they have been attracted to.

He then follows this up with an email that asks where the subscriber is in the cycle of building his or her online business, so Pat can follow up with relevant content in subsequent emails.

You may say, “When I have spent so much time writing an ebook, why should I give it away?” You do this because this is your first impression on that subscriber. If they get something of high value when they sign up, they are more likely to read your follow up emails and become “true fans”.

Remember that your giveaway is one of the first and best opportunities to leave a long lasting, unforgettable impression that could also help exponentially and virally grow your list.

Pat Flynn, Smart Passive Income.

Landing Pages

Using landing pages to drive subscriber traffic, can be very effective, especially when combined with advertising. Traditionally, a business would use a website as its main online presence. They would try to bring traffic to that site through SEO and Google ads. The downside of this approach is that the web pages aren’t always optimized for the people who would click those ad links. The pages may not have a way to get people to subscribe either.

Instead, it was hoped that they would find the content so compelling and relevant, that they would be compelled to pick up the phone and call a salesperson – not very likely. I know, because this is what my company did for many years. More recently we have been using landing pages linked to specific ad wording. A visitor will click on a link and will be taken to a landing page that is very specific to that ad. The landing page will offer them something relevant, if they subscribe, and also have information that matches the ad description.

This can work with Facebook, Google or Linked in ads. In certain markets Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest can also be used to drive traffic to landing pages.

Here is another technique from Bryan Harris of www.videofruit.com. Bryan is an avid tester of different methods and has built a proven process for using landing pages to build an email list. He uses something called an “upside down home page”, which is basically a landing page that either replaces the home page or opens ahead of it like a welcome page.

Here is my welcome page which uses this technique:  www.silentearning.com/welcome

Bryan uses and recommends Leadpages as a landing page tool and so do I. They have recently launched a series of “Drag and Drop” landing page templates that allow you to customize a landing page to get the exact look and functionality you need. The templates are designed to look like web pages so they can easily be integrated into an existing website or blog. If you want to try Leadpages out, click here.

Automated Email Sequences and Courses

Once you have people signed up on your email list, you need to have a way to effectively communicate with your subscribers. Using a series of follow up emails in a “Course” or “Sequence” is a great way to keep your subscribers engaged. It can also help you further profile them to make sure you send them relevant content.

One of the easiest ways to lose a subscriber is to send them content that isn’t relevant to them. They may have signed up to receive a specific content upgrade, but now you have their attention, you need to keep their interest.

Here are some example steps:

  • A subscriber who downloaded an ebook will receive a follow-up email asking them some questions to profile what they may be interested in. They indicate their preference by clicking
a link in the email.
  • Based on which link they click, there are placed in a “bucket” within the email marketing tool.
  • Within that bucket, you can set up a series of emails that provide the Subscribers with content that is of most interest to them.

These emails are sent out at regular intervals and may include links to blog posts, courses or software tools. If you sign up to Pat Flynn’s email subscriber list, you will see these techniques in action.

I recommend sending out sequence emails once a week and try to avoid actively selling. I have worked in sales and sales management for many years and the market is definitely moving more towards nurturing than selling these days.

There is no harm in promoting a product by giving it a glowing endorsement based on personal experience, but it is best when combined with some valuable information that is related closely to that product.

I recommend ConvertKit if you are just starting to build your list. It is very powerful and is free for the first 100 subscribers, so you can get acquainted with it without breaking the back. If you want a complete package that includes a landing page builder and a host of other modules, check out Kartra.

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can also take a look at my blog article:  How to Engage with your Email List

Building a “True Fan Base

Kevin Kelly, coined the phrase “1,000 true fans” to define the number of dedicated followers someone needed to be able to make a living in the music business or as an author. Although the theory has been cross-analyzed many times, it can still be applied
to building an email list of subscribers.

Building that core of dedicated subscribers who trust what you tell them and who look forward to receiving your content is invaluable.

To do this your content must be both interesting and valuable every time.
Again, the easiest way to learn how to do this is to sign up as a subscriber to someone who is already delivering valuable content in your space. Read their emails and follow some of the links.

This will give you an excellent insight into what makes
a good email and a good email sequence. It will also tell you when and how to promote a product or service so that you stand a better chance of making a sale and keeping your subscriber happy.