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I have a dirty little secret. I’ve been hiding behind it for the last few years, and I’m not proud of it. However, it’s been a growth phase for me and I want to work towards being more transparent with my community. The truth is…
I hate email newsletters.
For the last few years, in my personal business, I have felt that – maybe I’m not so alone in this? – email marketing wouldn’t work for me because:
- I won’t stand-out from all the other content
- I’m just too busy to send emails consistently
- No one cares about my ideas (I’m not important)
- Email marketing was best for big companies
- My contacts already know I’d love to serve them
Did you nod your head while you thought about your own coaching business? Putting yourself out there so much is difficult…but it’s also quite necessary to achieve the success we truly desire.
So I knew I had to conquer this stupid fear for it would continue hold me back.
We All Learn From Each Other
The Facebook algorithm change last year really hurt a lot of small businesses. Just as I started to put my heart and soul into sharing thought-provoking snippets with my audience poof! I had no reach.
I got another lesson while writing for a business coach. My message, she said, was unique, and I had an obligation to share my thoughts. People needed my expertise.
Others would love to learn from me.
In other words, you need to work on pouring out your message into your email newsletters. Make them something your audience will want to read, that they will find useful and can learn from.
If you’re in real estate, discuss all-natural cleaning solutions. If you’re a life coach, tell me three ways to practice gratitude when I’m angry, etc.
Don’t give your people a corporate overview all about you; give them a raw, unedited, personal piece of you that will keep them asking for more.
Give them solutions and pointers to make their lives better. Give them my soul-focused advice just like I do when a friend calls to chat.
Bonus points if, in a sales email, you can show them in a targeted way the pain that you solve:
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How Email Marketing Really Works to Convert Clients
In addition to your monthly “soul nugget,” you need to think of your email marketing as a series of sales funnels. They each have the same goal: to convert a reader into a buyer.
However, you can’t just go around like a robot saying, Buy from me (meep meep beep) The purpose of email marketing is to:
- Draw a reader a little closer, then wham!
- Keep them connected & in your world
- Make them aware of you and what you do
- Tell them what problems you’re solving
Think of your audience as shy neighbors. A monthly soul nugget (just a general staying in touch newsletter) is a fresh-baked pie sitting on the window sill wafting love out into the world.
The smell of pie and a cup of tea might be free, but to get a piece of the pie, they have to buy it from you.
Let’s think a little bigger to make sure you can absolutely touch more people (like I’ve learned to do over the last six crazy months!):
- For audiences you don’t know well (a cold email marketing list) you might have to bake several pies to see which ones they’ll like best. These are contacts from a webinar and/or guest blogging, etc.
- For growing your audience, you may have to give key influencers (those on Facebook with lots of likes) a free slice of pie here and there. Building in lower cost programs to let them try you out isn’t a bad idea.
- For people who don’t like pie (when you’re pitching the wrong offer to the wrong audience) you might have to mix up your media (videos, books, webinars, etc.) We all learn differently, after all.
- If you’re baking pies but no one is stopping by, you probably need to do some list-building and/or improve your calls to action in the emails
And some people just won’t like pie. That’s ok too. You can’t please everyone. This does not mean you should start baking a gluten-free, low-sugar pie just to try to make them like pie, ok?
Top 10 Tips on Email Marketing
Having written dozens of email marketing campaigns, let’s now delve into 10 pointers that will help you:
Treat your list like a community & connect with them personally.
If you are a health coach, decide who you want to serve, and then strive to pull as many of those targeted clients onto your email marketing list as possible.
List-building might seem like any email is a good idea, but the truth is that you aren’t just gathering emails. You are trying to create your own little world where you can engage with others who love you, and your work.
Ask anyone who isn’t participating to politely move-on.
Email marketing with organizations like Mail Chimp and Constant Contact also rely on algorithms behind the scenes to rate your list.
People who don’t open your emails probably don’t belong on your list. Don’t be afraid to weed them out and leave behind a laser-targeted community.
Daniel Iny recently reported that when he did this his open rates shot through the roof, his spam count went down, and he got a lot more click-throughs.
Hitting send is more important than perfection.
If you ever feel stuck by how perfect you need to get your email marketing before hitting send, you might want to consider that getting it done matters far more than getting it perfect.
Hit send and move on with your life; you can always correct mistakes next time. I was given feedback a few months ago that people did not know who I am and that I needed to include picture so myself – wowza! did that sting.
Find the right mix of emails to send / month.
How many emails should you send per month? Recent research indicates that too many emails (2 per week) created a complacent audience and lowered your click-through rates. (Hubspot found that 16 to 30 emails / month had the highest open and CTRs…but I think that’s crazy for coaches to even consider so I don’t recommend it until you have a staff of at least 10!)
However, 1 / month wasn’t enough to keep some businesses front of mind. The answer is to find your own sweet spot. You can also name your email newsletter something awesome like, “Weekly ?” so that community members know when to expect your emails.
Opt-ins are all about great headlines.
I see so many business owners struggle to create the best-ever opt in to build their email marketing list. And I truly wish I could help them see that all that effort isn’t always as necessary as a catchy, easy-to-read headline & design.
The best opt-ins have the best headlines. Get people interested with a must-read title, and remember you can always put something else up later when you have more time to develop a fancy PDF of your latest work.
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Put your opt-in box on everything – even that!
Those two little bars, email and name, should go on everything you do. Likewise, linking to a solid landing page with your free offer should get you lots of sign-ups. When you author a guest blog, make sure it links to your landing page, etc.
Build in list-building challenges once a year.
If you need to get a bigger audience, take a month to challenge yourself to build your list. The 30-Day List Building Challenge will teach you everything you need to know.
If you join the Facebook community, a group of talented women can answer questions and hold your hand through getting started, as well.
Test your links regularly to make sure the opt-in works.
Bad or broken links can cost you dearly by lost email sign-ups. Check yours every month or so to make sure your email opt-in works, the sales page isn’t 404ing, and that the process is correctly triggering add-ons to your marketing list (i.e. the process is seamless.)
Set-up solid analytics to monitor your email marketing.
To know what email marketing tactics work, and which do not, you need to set-up good analytics. You can do this via Google by using your sales/landing page.
You’ll want to track your goal conversion to see how many people came to your page versus how many signed-up for your free offer.
While some coaches recommend spreadsheets for this, just looking them over once a week during your list-building efforts should be enough awareness for the average bear.
Write in a voice that’s true to you.
Your email marketing is a glimpse into your world and what it’s like to work with you. Use language and mediums that are the same style of coaching you’re asking people to pay for so that they get to experience who you are.
Additional Email Marketing Stats You Need to Know
As you progress in your email marketing and list building, you should be most concerned with your goal conversions (people joining your email marketing list) and your email open rates (how many people read your emails.)
Click through rates are how many people clicked on what you told them to (See my new video, etc.) Depending on your goals at any given moment, this may or may not be important to you.
For example, if you are launching a new coaching program, you need high click-throughs from your email to your sales page.
Don’t get too wrapped up in those numbers; focus more on the goal you actually want to accomplish and then troubleshoot what is, or is not, working for you.
Also, in a heart-centered professional services business, remember that you may need to have people in your world for a few years before they buy from you. Therefore, let them just hang out and get to know you. Eventually, they’ll see how great you are and buy something!
Elspeth Misiaszek uses her writing and online marketing skills to help vegan businesses, coaches and entrepreneurs increase sales on their websites and blogs. Is it SEO? Get our FREE blogging resource today.