Know why? A not so little thing happened back in 2019 when Facebook and Instagram went radio silent for 14 hours. Poof…gone….just like that…..as if Zucks and the Winklevoss’ never even imagined it. They had to rely on Twitter to relay information to their users. Can you say wtf?! That right there is the number one reason to have an email list. It’s yours. To have and to hold from this day forward. No one can take it from you. The only way to lose it is to actually, manually destroy it. And, you can reach out to your people as many times as you’d like – regardless of whether they ever set foot on your website or social channels ever again. Or if a social channel goes down for a day or forever! Even still, if you’re not nurturing your list regularly and not giving people what they signed up for, your list isn’t worth shit. You can’t blow off your list for weeks or months and then show up one day asking for money like some drunk relative.
You could, but they won’t buy from you. You’ve got to be present and consistently good enough that you don’t look like a dick just popping up out of nowhere with “an offer they can’t refuse”.
Statistically speaking, email is growing and expected to keep going up. We send 102 trillion emails every year. 126.7 trillion is the expectation by 2022. Gmail alone has 1.5 billion active users worldwide and the average email subscriber receives 13 commercial emails a day.
Despite this data being a couple of years old, you can still see how email comes out on top. (Graphic for OptinMonster)
The Power of Building Relationships With Email Marketing
As a word nerd and writer of awesome words I am passionate about the quality (and realness) of the words I put out there on the interwebs. I don’t like things to suck or feel forced or icky. I want the right words in front of the right people. Who doesn’t, right?!
Building relationships is key to getting clients and ultimately making money in your business, because people do business with other people they know, like and trust. Email marketing helps you gain credibility to nurture those relationships with valuable and helpful content.
There is also power in brand recognition and brand sharing. When people know you + love your content, naturally they want to share it with their friends. They forward emails of value! They tell people to join your list too!
Be a Guest Who Doesn’t Forget to Wipe Their Shoes
You were invited to someone’s inbox and frankly, they probably get a metric shit ton of pitches, offers, advice and ads every day.
While you put time and effort into making your emails special and valuable, chances are it might look like every other email your reader receives. Being invited into someone’s inbox is like being a guest in their home for dinner. If they ask you to take your shoes off, you do it. It’s the same with email marketing, so do the shoe thing! And bring a bottle of wine while you’re at it.
After that, you have to follow through on your promises.
Don’t inundate them with daily emails if you said you’d email once a week.
Lead with VALUE (that’s the wine) before pitching them your latest and greatest.
Ask them what they want and need before you do pitch them.
Create strong Calls-to-Action to encourage them to engage further with your content.
Be consistent in what you send them.
Ways to Keep Engagement
Personalize your emails! – Using someone’s name in the subject line, greeting and even within the email is the best way to not make a subscriber feel like just a number.
Create teasers and curiosity gaps (without being sleazy of course) – The curiosity gap is a theory and practice popularized by Upworthy that leverages the reader’s curiosity to make them click through from an irresistible headline to the actual content. By creating a curiosity gap, you’re teasing your reader with a hint of what’s to come, without giving all the answers away via Wordstream
NEVER USE ALL CAPS – This one should be self-explanatory. It’s just all yelly in someone’s inbox and it comes across as desperate annnnd will get deleted quickly in most cases.
Don’t waste people’s time – Unlike money, time is something you cannot get back. Be respectful of the time and space you have in their daily inbox perusing. Be remembered as the person who gets to the point and packs those few words with massive value. Being too wordy is like a showing to a potluck with no dish to pass and 5 hungry kids.
CTA’s that aren’t leading to click bait – You know how you see an article that sounds interesting and you land on a slide show “listicle” dripping with ads? Don’t do that. Calls-to-Action should be straight to the point or have the reader curious to learn more. Don’t be a dick and link to an offer if they think they’re getting a tip sheet or a blog post.
Email in the Age of ‘Rona (or “tough” times)
If 2020 has taught me anything it’s that we all need to expect the unexpected. I got nothin on my Bingo Card, you?
Right now, more than ever, your audience is captivated by online content. A lot of people have no choice due to stay-at-home orders, furloughs and illness. In 2020 it has been safer to not venture out into the big scary world and that’s good news for you as an online business owner.
Now is the time to communicate and KEEP communicating with your audience, consistently. The pandemic is relevant news, so it’s important to at least acknowledge its existence – without it having to be all gloom and doom, all the time. I mean, you’re no global health expert, so it’s not as though people are turning to you for advice, but they are still looking for your guidance as a leader in your industry.
Remember: A leader is empathetic. Showing your audience some empathy in these tough times (and all the time really) is important to reassuring them that you’re not going anywhere.
p.s. if you have questions about email marketing, drop them in the comments or feel free to slide into my DM’s over on facebook.