Do you have a mailing list?
If not, I can’t stress enough how important it is to start one NOW!
A few weeks ago Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp all just stopped working. It was only a 6 hour ‘blip’ but for some businesses who rely on these platforms solely for their marketing, it felt like a lot longer. And it raised the question of what to do when you don’t have access to your clients!
Remember, you don’t own the information on social media so this will happen again and most of the time your message just gets lost in the constant flow of information bombarding people’s news feeds.
The benefits of having your own list
Almost everyone has an email address (or five) these days and most of those people log on and check their emails multiple times each day. If you have someone’s email address, you have access to that inbox whenever you want it. Your message will land straight in front of your customer without being lost somewhere in the far reaches of the social media interweb.
• once your email is in their inbox they can save it to read later
• Social media limits your reach so not everyone will see it
• Emails can be personalised and are delivered straight to everyone
• People on your list have chosen to be there
• Email newsletters can improve your SEO by driving visitors back to your website to read new content
How to manage your mailing list
Whatever way you choose to manage a mailing list, I simply recommend that you don’t do it manually. Keeping a list on your PC in Excel or Outlook Contacts might seem like a good idea, but that information can quickly go out of date and isn’t the easiest to manage. Personally, I use Mailerlite for my business and recommend it to my clients too. And here’s why:
- it’s free up to 1000 subscribers and 12000 emails per month
- it allows you to give access to other people, so your PA or colleagues can all help manage your list
- subscribe/unsubscribe options are standard
- the templates are simple and all ready for you to use
- your email is sent to every recipient separately (so no more ‘To’ field disasters!!)
- your message can be personalised with your recipient’s name
- reports let you see which campaigns work and which don’t
- you can group your subscribers based on their interests
There are other online options out there but they all cost money from the start and include AWeber (from £16pm) and Active Campaign (from USD $15pm).
How do I get people to sign up?
The easiest way to begin with is to ask people! You could add your existing contacts too but send an initial email to them to ask if they want to stay on your list or not.
Once you have your list up and running, it can be a good idea to offer subscribers something that they can only get by signing up to your list. It doesn’t have to be huge, but a 10% discount off their first order, a free e-book, or offer some tips that you have are all good to start with.
You can also include signup boxes on your website and in your blog posts to make it easy for people to subscribe.
Whatever method you choose, let your subscribers know what to expect when they sign up then they should stick around! If you’re going to send out a weekly email it’s best to let them know so they don’t feel bombarded. And remember to make your content interesting or useful (and preferably both!) to be successful.