At a recent social media marketing conference I attended, I was surprised to hear one particular topic kept coming up over and over again, in almost every session I attended.
It wasn’t Google+. It wasn’t Pinterest. It wasn’t Instagram.
It was email marketing.
Yep. At a major social media marketing conference — where one might assume we’d be focusing on social networking trends — we were talking about how to get more subscribers to our email mailing lists.
Of course, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ got lots of attention, too. But the central message was clear — email is still important, it’s not going away anytime soon, and you need to make sure you’re still giving list-building the attention it deserves.
But we’re always looking for new ways to organically grow our lists, send out great content, and gain the trust of our current subscribers. So here are three quick ways to keep things fresh while you’re refocusing your energies on email marketing.
1. Create a dedicated subscribe page
You already know how important it is to have an opt-in form on your site. But if you need to email a link to a potential subscriber, and you have to go through a verbal game of Twister to describe how to subscribe, that’s not good.
It’s awkward and annoying to have to say to a potential client, “To subscribe to my list, go to my home page and put your name and email address in that little box in the right sidebar. Yes, that’s the one. It’s the box that says ‘Get free stuff here!’”
With a dedicated subscribe page, you can send the person a link to the page, and you’re done. No dancing around, no weird descriptions, no awkwardness.
When you use a dedicated subscribe page, you’ve also got a lot more space to explain all the great benefits people will get when they join your list. Take your time, add a couple of compelling bullet-points, and break out your best copywriting skills.
Once you’ve got a great page published, you can use the link in all kinds of places — on your Twitter profile, Facebook Page bio, business card, or Pinterest pins. The possibilities are endless.
Copyblogger’s subscribe page details the benefits you’ll get with your sign-up, with clear calls to action. It works.
Dedicated subscribe pages mean more subscribers — so create one today, and link to it anytime you want to steer someone toward your mailing list.
2. Send a simple newsletter that features great, useful content
If you don’t have an email service provider and you need a simple way to start a list, consider using TinyLetter.
TinyLetter is a no-fuss, no-hassle way to send newsletters that don’t suck. It’s incredibly easy to get started, and it’s free. You don’t need to mess around with templates, and creating simple subscription forms is a breeze. It’s one of the fastest, easiest ways to start a mailing list — especially if you’re not particularly technical.
Here’s the quickest way to write a newsletter with TinyLetter that’s actually useful:
- Write a quick, concise introduction or welcome message, then add links to your latest blog posts. Entice your subscribers with an excerpt of the post (don’t forget to use compelling headlines), then give them a clear link back to your blog to read the full text of the post.
- Add other resources that are educational, entertaining, or interesting for your audience, like links to other websites or blogs, tools, Pinterest boards, videos, etc.
- Include a short call to action at the end, like a discount on your latest product or an invitation to an upcoming webinar or live event.
TinyLetter is now owned by MailChimp, so when you need more features, it’s easy to upgrade to the traditional MailChimp service (or import your subscribers over to AWeber).
Use TinyLetter to start your list today. Then create simple, easy newsletters that actually say something.
3. Email your list more often
People are a lot less likely to unsubscribe than you think — even when you are sending them lots of email correspondence.
The evidence is surprising on this topic.
Dan Zarella, an analyst who gathers data about online behaviors, reports that your unsubscribe rate is likely to go down significantly if you send more email than you’re currently sending.
As business owners, we’re often unnecessarily overcautious with our list — we’re so busy worrying that people will think we’re pestering them that we actually don’t get in touch with our subscribers often enough.
Your unsubscribe rate is often higher when you only send email once a month. When you’re only publishing a monthly newsletter to your list, your subscribers may forget who you are and how they signed up for your list, and they are more likely to hit that dreaded “unsubscribe” link (or, worse, mark you as spam).
In an interview with Justin Wise, Zarrella said:
When I look at email frequency, I find that the data rests squarely on the side of “more email.” Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but response rates and unsubscribe rates are such that the more email you send to your contacts, the better … and obviously that email needs to be relevant, targeted and wanted.
Pluck up your courage and email your list more often with compelling, useful, sharable content. I know it’s scary, but it’s absolutely worth it.
Got more email marketing tips?
There are tons of ways to freshen up your email marketing strategy and build your relationship with your subscribers — these are just three quick tips.
What other tools, tips and ideas do you have for making your email marketing easier for you and more useful for your readers? Tell us about them in the comments.
Oh, and make sure you sign up for MyCopyblogger, where you’ll receive our free ebook Email Marketing: How to Push Send and Grow Your Business, and thirteen other high-impact ebooks on content marketing, copywriting, SEO, effect headlines, landing pages, and keyword research.
About the Author: Beth Hayden is a blogging coach and Pinterest marketing convert. You can follow her pins at @bethhayden. To learn how to market effectively with Pinterest, download her free report, "5 Stupid Mistakes to Avoid if You Want to Make Money with Pinterest."