To build a high-quality and high-ROI mailing list, you need to nurture and build relationships with your subscribers. This will ensure that your ideal audience stays on your list, tells others about you, and buys from you. Some people will eventually unsubscribe. Don’t worry. Nurture your mailing list and build relationships to keep a steady stream of new subscribers and your loyal subscribers happy with these tips and strategies.
Email Welcome and Newbie Series
The first message delivered to new subscribers sets the tone. It shows you appreciate and value them. It also sets readers’ expectations, and you begin building a relationship, in earnest. Begin by creating a welcome email with your audience’s needs in mind. Explain how being a member benefits them. Since 90 percent of your subscribers will open your welcome email, it’s the best chance you have to strengthen trust in the budding relationship.
- Congratulate and Thank Them – In your welcome email congratulate them for taking the first step to learn more and make meaningful changes. You want them to know that you are behind them all the way and you will help them achieve greater success by sharing what you know. You can help new subscribers feel a connection with you and your business by referring to them (and others) as members… as in “team members,” where everyone is important and works together.
- Deliver Download Incentives – Deliver the link to the download you promised. New subscribers don’t want to read a bunch of stuff before you give them access to their “goodie.” Cut to the chase and provide the link towards the top of the page and again at the bottom in your P.S. The freebie will help to convince them to take other actions.
- Set Expectations – Your welcome email is a good place to mention the benefits of being a member. Tell them approximately, how often they’ll receive emails, what type of emails they’ll get. You’ll sandwich most of the information you include in between the links or calls to action. Don’t bombard new subscribers with too many emails at once. Instead, give them a day or so and start a series of “newbie” emails that are spaced apart. You don’t want them to unsubscribe before they really get started good.
- Be Authentic – Let your personality shine in your emails. If you have a quirky sense of humor, let it show, while still being professional. That’s the key to building relationships. When readers are attracted to your site and join your list, it’s because they’ve seen something they like in the content and/or your tone/style. When you “hide” personality traits, you may unknowingly hide something that would attract even more people to you.
- Provide Clear Directions – Tell members how to accomplish the things you want them to do. For example, if you want them to take a survey, to get to know them better, include that in the directions. If you promised a freebie, explain where to go and how to get it. If you want them to join your online group, tell them where to go and how to join.
- Promote Social Networks – Tell your new subscribers about the social networks you use. Add this email to your “newbie” email series. It’s a good way to educate them and invite them to share a more personal connection with you. The social environment seems more informal. Provide the social links and explain the steps they need to take to like the page and/or join the group.
- Make Email Contact Simple – Don’t hide your contact information in your emails. You want people to be able to hit reply and respond to you. Make it easy for them to ask questions, as well as use the content forms on your website. When you are easy to contact, your audience feels that you really do care and they are important.
While your welcome email is very important, so are the automated emails in the “newbie” series. Take the time to craft a welcome email that covers the most important info that is needed immediately. In your follow-up series, continue to use these 7 tips and ideas to help you build your relationship and trust.
Segmenting Your List
Within every target market, there are sub-segments. The more you can segment your audience the better. Segmentation starts at signup when they want info about a specific topic or solution. For instance, social-media marketing is a subset of a broader niche – marketing. Segmented, or niched down, lists get more opens and clicks because the benefits are very specific to the needs of that subset of subscribers.
- Personal Demographics – Knowing your audience’s demographics can help you segment your list. Some demographics to consider are income, sex, age, gender, location, etc. For B2B audiences, company position, education level, and business type might be helpful.
- Quiz Results – Surveys and quizzes can provide a lot of information as well as fun. For example, if you offer various levels of services or products, you can use a quiz to send them to the right offer. This will segment them based on their answer, and ultimately the type of info or the niche subsection.
- Email Engagement & Behavior – Your subscribers can segment themselves, based on what they click to access. Focus on the people who take action occasionally. Get tougher with people who don’t read or take action. You can remove them from the list, unless they are affiliates, or just set their accounts to “don’t email.” This opens up a spot for someone who actively participates or engages.
- Geography – Use the geo-location demographic if you want to do certain things with people from a specific place. For example, you can target a certain state or city. By focusing certain offers on geography, you can get more responses to local events.
- Purchasing Behavior – When a list member purchases your product, it’s important to move them to a “customer list” or “product list” so they don’t keep getting the same promo to buy something they already have. This helps to move them through to the next level of your sales funnel.
- Spending Behavior – Segmenting by spending behavior is very helpful. Let’s say you offered a high-priced product and some people bought it. Move them to the product list and put them on a price-based list, such as “systems,” for people who make high-priced purchases.
- Their Place in The Buying Cycle – Every customer has a general buying cycle, it goes something like this. Awareness, assessment of competition, alleviation of risk, decision making, and then finally achievement of results, based on the purchase decision. If you know where your audience member is in this cycle, it’s easier to ascertain what type of content to offer, for example a downsell of the item or a similar more affordable product.
- Behavior on Your Website – You can segment your audience by their behavior on your website. Offer various opportunities to your website visitors, including freebie offers, low-cost options, and more. Each choice they make can move them to the right list, if your autoresponder has this option.
- Personal Interests – Knowing your audience’s personal interests can help you provide more relevant solutions as well as meaningful, related, stories and examples. Ask them to check a box identifying an interest, which will trigger them to be added to a specific autoresponder based on the interest selected. Ensure that these interests are related to your niche.
Segment your list using your autoresponder’s technology. Some allow you to build one big list and use tags to segment your list, based on how users sign up, what they buy, as well as other behaviors. Some autoresponders require you to create a list for each scenario and use different methods to get them on the list. However, you do your segmentation; get the best technology you can afford. Some of the best choices are aMember.com, AWeber.com, Drip.com, and Convertkit.com.
Choose Automation Wisely
Automation is an excellent way to ensure that you achieve more. Email automation can be the determining factor between making a steady stream of income and not making an income at all.
Using trusted software like Leadpages.net, aMember.com, Drip.com, AWeber.com, and/or Convertkit.com will help you automate a lot of things. This enables you to focus on creating products, services, and other solutions. Let’s look at some things you can automate.
- Email Marketing – Being able to send personalized email messages to new sign-ups is a must-have. If you don’t use reputable autoresponder software, you could get into trouble for spam, due to the anti-spam laws. With the right email marketing software, you can set up autoresponder series; automatically share the content of your blogs, share information on new sales, and much more.
- Data Capture & View Analytics – Good autoresponder software will also capture data that can be used to study analytics. You’ll know who reads and clicks through your email links, and who buys what. This information can help guide your future decisions and is very important to have on hand.
- Landing Pages – Landing page software can collect email addresses for marketing purposes, among other things. Using automated landing pages from software like Leadpages.net can help increase signups. Some email software offers landing page functionality. You can even create landing pages using your website, or HTML. However, the more landing pages you have and the more offers you have the more sign ups you’re going to get.
- Lead Generation – Use a combination of freebies, landing pages, and email autoresponders to give you huge lead generation potential. Automate any part of this process that you can because it’s much simpler than doing it by hand.
- Customer Relationship Management – The more customers you have, the more important it is for you to select and utilize help desk software. Since email is not always reliable because it can get filtered out of the inbox, it’s important to set up a help desk system for customers. Here they can submit a ticket and be assured that their submitted ticket is received and they can check on the status at any time.Many ticket systems also provide a customizable FAQ section where customers (and others) can quickly find the answers they need without submitting a ticket and waiting for a reply. The FAQ empowers customers and enables them to find answers and solutions, using the option that is best for them.
Automate these parts of your business for more efficiency. Setup takes time, but, you won’t need to work so hard to get leads, prospects, and customers. They will come to you.
Send Emails Regularly
Sending regular emails is essential to nurture your lists and building relationships with your members. Many people build email lists and seldom send email because they fear members will unsubscribe. However, sending value-filled emails on a regular basis gets readers accustomed to your schedule and become more active, which includes buying.
- Emails Establish Reputation – When your audience gets regular emails it helps you establish a trusting relationship. They grow to expect and look forward to your emails when you send messages on a regular basis. The more types of emails you send to them the better. You can use a combination of autoresponder series emails, trending email blasts, educational posts, reminders to read blog posts, paid solutions, and more.
- Make More Sales – The more regularly you email your list with relevant offers the more sales you’ll make. Sales are your personal goal. However, to get the sale, you have to meet your audience’s needs. When you send the right message at the right time, it’s easier to meet their needs and your own. Keep emails going out regularly so you don’t miss an opportunity to fill their needs and make a profit.
- Stay on Their Minds – As you participate in activities, events, and create new products, email your list about what you are doing and how it can benefit them. If you participate in a webinar, notify them of the date and time so they can learn from you and others. If you sponsor a local event, let them know and invite them to meet you there. The more active you are, the more you’ll stay on their minds.
- They Want to Hear from You – Send emails 3-5 times a week and your audience won’t forget you. Include valuable emails that educate, inform, engage, and compel them to take action. Share your thoughts on related news, trends, and theories. Subscribers want to know where you stand and what your experience has been. Tell them.
- Connect with Your Audience – When you send an email to a list segment, picture an audience member that you’re writing to. Mention something that you have in common or ask what they think about something. This helps you connect on a deeper, more personal, level. The more connected you all feel, the more loyal you’ll all be.
- Teach Them – A great thing to do in email is to teach your audience about their pain points. Provide statistics, causes, concerns, and solutions. Sometimes you must rub a little salt in a wound to drive people to take action and by teaching them, you show you understand, are an expert, and can help them.
Sending emails regularly is important. However, regularly sending information that resonates with them is more important. Ensure each email has a purpose and goal that meets your needs, as well as those of your audience.
As you email your list, build relationships by encouraging 2-way conversations. You can build good relationships through email messages. The key is to communicate effectively by giving them something interesting to think and talk about. These strategies and tips can help you start very informative and beneficial conversations.
- Use a Good Reply Email Address – A good “reply to” email address encourages engagement and interaction, as well as identifies you (your business) as the sender. For example, “ask-us@YourDomainName.something” and “help@ Here” are both friendly and encourage them to reply. All of these things add up to building more trust, confidence, and more sales. Avoid “do-not-reply” addresses because that type implies that you don’t care what they need, want, or think.
- Be Open and Sociable – In the emails, you want to come across as open and sociable. Talk as if you’re speaking to a good friend and only one person is reading the message. This means you need to use singular pronouns, “you” and “I.” Personalize emails and make them friendly. Ask open-ended, topic-related questions. Invite them to respond, or visit your Facebook Group for more lengthy replies. You want them to turn to you for advice when they have a problem or need to talk to an expert they trust.
- Share Behind the Scenes Info – Share behind the scenes information. Make them feel like special friends by sharing exclusive “insider” information about what you’re considering, planning and doing. You help members. Give them a chance to help you. That’s what friends do – they help and cheer each other on.
- Inform Them About Events – When you host or participate in an event, always notify your list members, before you do any official promoting. Your members expect and deserve to get insider information about you and your projects. How would you feel if your daughter sent her wedding announcement to the newspaper before she let you know? You’d feel hurt, unimportant, disrespected, sad, mad, and maybe angry. Don’t do that to your subscribers. Make them your top-priority to be their top-priority.
Email should be a conversation, not a one-way message. Envision list members as friends who understand you, want to share things with you, and want to support you. Talk to them. Show them that you are one of them. Remind them that you want to help them and see them succeed.
Educate, Inform, and Sell
To build solid, long-term relationships with subscribers, it’s important that you don’t sound like a used-car salesman. You also don’t want to give the impression that money is more important than your members are. To keep everybody happy, stick to the 3 to 1 rule. This means you send an info-based email 3 days in a row and on the 4th day, you send 1 promo-based email.
- Know Their Buying Cycle Stage – The type of email you send depends on where the subscriber is in the buying cycle. Should you give more information about their problem? Should you ask them how they like their purchase? Each of these gives you an opportunity to suggest/promote something to help them. Send appropriate messages based on the action they just made or walked away from.
- Add Value – All of the content you send, including emails, should provide valuable information, including the premium products. If you’re not sure about the quality, value, or relevance of the offer, it doesn’t belong on your promo list. Only recommend high-quality items that have a good reputation and meet your subscribers’ wants and needs.
- Spice Up Transactional Emails – One quick way to boost your income is to use the transactional emails such as thank you, welcome, shipping confirmations, invoices, and more. To do this, add a cross-sell or upsell at the bottom of the document. A nice, “Thank You for your business, here’s a gift,” always works well.
- Repurpose Content for Your List – The great thing about content is that it can all be repurposed, reformatted, and reorganized for other uses. Updating an older blog post can become the reason to send an email. Just link back to the blog post, which now has updated content and a new opt-in that promotes your private, inner circle paid membership.
- Poke the Dragon – Sometimes blunt, descriptive reminders of situations and pain points can prompt people to take action. Simply write an email that educates readers about a strong pain point and the associated problem. You can also mention how to solve that one problem with an offer.
- Show Enthusiasm – When you are trying to get people to buy something, don’t apologize for sending a promotional email. Instead, tell them the benefits, as well as why you wish you had access to it earlier. Example, “I wish I had this “Mom’s In Business” system when I started my business! I could have spent so much more time with the kids, when they were little. Check it out. I can’t wait to find out if you are as excited about it as I am.” Enthusiasm is catching.
Some people say you should send three informative emails for every one promotional email. However, depending on how you do it and your niche, there is nothing wrong with including some kind of “resource” in every email. You just don’t want to make a product the focus of too many emails. As long as the “resource” you share is related to the informational or educational content provided, you should be good to go.
Make it Mobile Friendly
Good communication is crucial to nurturing your list, building relationships, and providing solutions. Any time someone can’t access your content; there is a breakdown in communication that throws everyone into a tizzy. To make communication better and more reliable, your emails, shopping cart, and website must be responsive to a variety of devices, including mobiles, PCs, and desktops. If you’re not sure what needs to change, begin by putting yourself in your readers shoes and look at each area on a variety of devices. Here are a few things you’ll want to check.
- Address and Subject – Think about how your email subscribers see your messages on their various devices. Do some research using online tools or a mobile device to find out what your people can see. Can they see your name for the return address? How much of your subject line do they see? Knowing this can help you create better subject lines and return addresses that help build trust.
- Snippet Text – This is also called the pre-header. On some devices, this text often shows up before the email is even opened. Put something interesting here that makes them want to click through.
- Obvious CTA – People sometimes need a little extra push to make a purchase, click through, or take any action. Your CTA should be very clear, obvious, and in some cases big enough to draw attention. It depends if you’re using text-based emails or HTML based emails on how you do it but draw attention to the CTA, so it won’t be missed.
- Responsive Templates – Various email autoresponders offer responsive templates for their email messages. If you use text, you can be sure it will work on any device. The problems come in when images aren’t compressed and responsive. This also crosses over to your website and your shopping cart. Use technology and templates that are responsive and follow their instructions for preparing images.
Today, “mobile-friendly” isn’t enough. Your entire business should be accessible and responsive, adjusting automatically to meet your needs as well as your potential customers’ needs. With help from the right technology, you can keep the lines of communications open to everyone.
Now that you know how to nurture your list and build relationships, go ahead and get started. If you have a list, but neglected to email members, you can start over right now by sending a new welcome message. Let them know what you plan to do with the list going forward, offer a special freebie, and start over by nurturing your list and building relationships.
In this article, we covered:
- Welcoming Subscribers – Remember it’s about them, not you. Congratulate them and be excited for them for the great choice they made to be part of your community.
- Segmenting Your List – Remember segmenting can start from the moment they sign up, and continue based on your autoresponder software’s ability and based your subscribers’ behavior.
- Choosing Automation Wisely – Don’t get carried away with too much automation that looks like a robot is talking. You want to engage with them, show them you relate to them, and not do everything automatically without getting to know them more.
- Sending Emails Regularly – You don’t have to do it daily, but the fact is if your information is useful, compelling, informative, and something your audience wants to know about you can’t send too much email.
- Encouraging Conversations – Bring them to your social groups, invite them to join your inner circle ask them to respond to a question by hitting reply. Show them you’re a real person.
- Educating, Informing, & Selling – You can and should include a CTA in every single email you send, but some of your emails will be particularly promotional and that’s okay as long as you don’t do it too often. They want you to help them solve their problems so you make every effort to do that, without appearing to be insincere.
- Making it Mobile Friendly – The best term to use is responsive. No matter what device your reader is using to consume your email messages your email, website, blog, shopping cart and more should all be responsive and work without issues.
Put everything in place to nurture your list the moment someone signs up. Use technology to its full advantage and set up an autoresponder series for each freebie, product, and service you offer. Add in plenty of conversational messages that ask for a response either by reply or by going to a Facebook Group to discuss things. Before you know it, your email subscribers will truly feel like a special member and will be more likely to respond to your CTAs.