Oh, the dreaded email list. If you’re building any sort of online presence, you’ve probably already realized you need one. (If not…you need one.) The problem I hear most is not about the tech side of setting it up, it’s what to send your list once you’ve got things going. My own plan for what I send my email list has evolved over the past two years as I learned what my audience would open, would click on, and would respond to.
So today I wanted to help you kickstart your oh-so-important list so you’re not gaining subscribers without taking the time to connect with them.
But first up, let’s be clear – you need to be sending email EVERY single week
I know some people will tell you to start small and send an email once a month, but my advice is the exact opposite. If you’re going to put time into building an email list (or any part of your business), then don’t half-ass it. One email per month, or even a handful of emails throughout the month, will not get you the results you’re hoping for. I send at least one email to my list every single week. If there is a webinar or giveaway running, that number goes up to three or four emails. And all my subscribers are put into an email sequence that sends approximately seven emails over the course of 10-20 days. No matter how people join my list, I’m contacting them multiple times each week.
I’ve said this before and I will say it again – people need to get used to hearing from you on a regular basis. If you send one email a month and someone subscribers the day after you send it, they’ll be waiting THIRTY DAYS before they get a single email from you. This is why you get unsubscribes that say, “I never signed up for this list.” Because they joined, they never heard from you, and then they completely forgot who you are.
So how do I get away with sending this much email?
I do my very best to always send emails that are informative, actionable, and cover topics my subscribers are actually interested in. I use ConvertKit to host my email list, which allows me to easily tag users so I can send them email only on the subject they’re interested.
If people join my list and think I’m sending too much email, they can hit that little Unsubscribe button. And they often do. This is a bummer when your list is small, but it’s a good thing to get used to. Those unsubscribers aren’t going to buy your products or hire you. Or maybe they are but they have a crazy inbox at the moment and will keep up with you elsewhere. Either way, unless your entire list disappears, people unsubscribing isn’t your problem.
What can you send your list once a week, EVERY week to keep them connected to you?
1 | Your blog posts
Let’s start out by making this real easy – send your weekly blog posts (or one of your weekly posts) to your list the day before it goes online. People love to get first dibs on whatever extras you’re sharing and it really does make your subscribers feel special. Pick a specific day of the week to send your email so your subscribers know when to expect it.
2 | An extra blog post
This is generally how I run my list. Instead of sending the post I publish on my blog each week, I write a second post that goes out only to my email list. (Yeah, you’ve been missing out on a second post every single week if you’re not on my list! Click here to subscribe >>>) If you’re writing multiple posts on your blog each week, think about saving one of those just for your VIP subscribers.
3 | Your weekly favorites
If you’re hoping to make affiliate income from your blog, sharing a round-up of weekly favorites can be a great way to boost clicks on affiliate links. Double check that you are able to send your affiliate links via email – for some networks like Amazon Associates this is not currently allowed.
4 | An actionable tip
What’s one thing you can share with your audience that they can accomplish in less than 24 hours? One thing they can try or change that will take them a step closer to a goal. I bet you can come up with 10 quick tips for any topic on your blog. Add them into an editorial calendar and you’ve got yourself a year of email.
5 | Behind the scenes
As much as blogging has moved away from being a space for personal thoughts, people still love to hear that stuff. Sharing what you’re working on behind the scenes and how you run your day or your business not only helps to make you look like a real life human (vulnerability for the win!), but helps to build a connection with your audience.
6 | Q + A
This is for those of you with a small- to medium-sized list (under 5k or less). If you ask for questions from thousands of subscribers, your inbox might explode, but if you have a few hundred (or like 20) subscribers, it’s a great way to get to know your audience and gauge what they’re interested in learning about. This helps to position you as an expert and let’s your audience know that you’re open to hearing from and helping them.
7 | Your story
If you’re just starting out, you can use your email list to share parts of your story or personal experience. Do this as a series and then use those emails as part of your automated email sequence when people first join your list. This would work especially well for people in the life coaching or health industry who have a strong personal connection to what they share and teach.
Now, how do you send emails to your list consistently?
Two things that will help tremendously: creating a content calendar just like you would for your blog and writing your emails in advance.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Keep your emails simple and actionable. Be outgoing, friendly, and helpful. Focus on being consistent more than penning an epic novel of an email every week.