Good ol’ email marketing.
Something I was terribly resistant to for the first 8 years I was in business. Don’t get me wrong, I always had an opt-in form for a lead magnet on my site, and a short follow-up sequence, but that was about it.
I’d send out an email every now and then, but I had zero strategy in place.
All the while I knew that “the money was in the list.”
As cheesy as that saying is, I know first hand that it’s true.
I started shifting my mindset around email marketing in 2016. I’ve told this story a handful of times before so I’ll try to keep this brief.
I had been following Ben Settle for probably a solid year before I signed up for his Email Players newsletter (I’m not a subscriber anymore). I simply watched what he did and consumed his emails.
Ben emails daily.
I decided I was going to step into daily emails (I called them my ‘almost daily emails) and regardless of what happened, I was going to stick with it.
This experiment was really much more about the commitment I made to myself to show up consistently with email marketing.
The type of emails were simple:
A story-based email with one call-to-action (there are other names for these types of emails, but we’ll stick with story-based for simplicity).
Initially I had a lot of people unsubscribing, which is bound to happen when you don’t communicate consistently. People forget who you are and that they even signed up (you’d be surprised at how many people think you added their name to your list… which I’m sure happens, but for the life of me I don’t have the time).
And it was also crickets…
Not a lot happening, but I stuck with it anyway.
By the third month of doing this I had tripled the income for an affiliate product I used and loved.
My calls-to-action varied. One day it might be to a podcast episode, another day it might be an affiliate product, and another time it might be to an article I found helpful.
The purpose of doing this for me was simple:
- I wanted to show myself I could do it
- I wanted to get better at writing (including copywriting, which I really didn’t start studying until last year).
The results and relationships from my email marketing efforts blew me away.
I also fell in love with writing, which I never in a million years thought would happen. I wasn’t a bad writer, I was just indifferent and considered it something that needed to be done.
It’s my happy place. I thoroughly enjoy it and, most importantly, it delivers results.
In my experience, most people that don’t do email marketing don’t do it because they don’t think they’re good at it.
Or know what to say.
Or aren’t a good writer.
Do it anyway.
Practicing it, doing the work, and paying attention to email marketing will absolutely deliver better results than any organic social posting you do.
I said it.
I’m not saying not to do social posting, I’m simply saying that email marketing should be your first priority (or at least a much higher priority if you haven’t been doing it).
Before I get into why I’m doubling down on email marketing and how I’m going to do it, I want to share a few statistics with you.
That being said…
Here’s why I’m doubling-down on email marketing and what I’m going to do.
- First and foremost, I enjoy it.
Social media has become a bit of an exhausting chore. That doesn’t mean I won’t do it and won’t spend time there, I think I’m just feeling a little burned out.
There’s a LOT of noise on social media. I’m tired of the bro-marketing culture or, my new favorite word, “broetry”… where every post starts with a story about their hardships and how they overcame them.
I know there are plenty of social platforms where organic reach and engagement works, but right now, it’s not where I want to spend my time.
In last week’s episode I talked briefly about the hype around Clubhouse. I had another friend reach out and tell me I should be on there, but again, the last thing I feel like doing is spending time on a new platform.
Will that change?
Possibly, but I kind of doubt it (I’m still not on Tik Tok).
Russell Brunson talks about the different types of traffic in his book ‘Traffic Secrets.” Traffic you own, traffic you buy, traffic you control, etc. He mentions that you can “work your way in” or “buy your way in.”
Email marketing fits into the traffic you control.
When you have someone’s email address and you nurture the relationship with your subscribers, you realize you have WAY more control over traffic to your site, products, and services.
I want all of my activity to focus on lead generation, relationship building with those leads, and sales.
I have a couple of activities I do now that don’t necessarily have a direct ROI that I can measure immediately (not to the extent you can with paid traffic or email marketing): my podcast and my Facebook Group.
Even though I can’t capture a name and email address directly through my podcast, it’s also content I publish on my site (SEO value) and creates a connection with the listener. If someone comes to my website to listen to the podcast I have the opportunity to capture their name and email address.
The fact that newsletters are making a comeback (for lack of a better word), is a huge indicator that email marketing is one of the most important marketing channels you can invest your time in.
Here are some more Email Marketing Statistics from Hubspot:
2. The best ROI for less effort
As someone who runs paid traffic and has invested a lot of time and energy into getting better at paid traffic, I can tell you that email marketing is easier.
I have nothing against hard work or doing the work, but the more you implement email marketing the better you’ll get at it and the better results you’re going to achieve.
Obvious, I know.
But it’s not costing me money to master this skill the way paid traffic costs me money… on a daily basis.
Yes, I pay for my email service provider, but when you have solid offers that solve problems for your customers your emails can make you money (and you can measure exactly what’s working as well).
Every email you send will give you valuable data.
3. Your email list is an asset
Since I’m in a predicting kind of mood these days (my last prediction was that 2021 is going to be the year of the newsletter), I think we’re also going to see a resurgence of opportunities to monetize an email list.
Not that these have ever gone away, but as each new shiny opportunity has come along (social) a lot of people have treated email marketing as kind of the ugly stepchild.
With newsletters we’re starting to see sponsorship opportunities pop up. And why not?
I’ve had podcast sponsorships, which are great, but as the company paying for the sponsorship how much more likely do you think it is that someone will click a link in an email as opposed to remembering to visit a website after listening to a podcast?
Both have value, so don’t misunderstand me.
I simply think we’re going to see increased revenue opportunities via email marketing. I recently saw two newsletter creators do sort of a swap (apologies, I don’t remember what they called it).
At the beginning of each other’s newsletter the ‘guest’ wrote the introduction saying the newsletter owner was letting them write the intro to share their newsletter.
I also think people who are readers and are willing to give you their name and email are going to be a quality subscriber.
How I’m Doubling Down
Well, for starters I’m certainly talking about it more, which keeps me accountable to do it, so there’s that.
I launched my #FtheHustle newsletter 10 weeks ago (GO ME!) and feel like I’ve just barely scratched the surface.
I’m going to tweak some of the content and formatting, have started submitting it to newsletter directories, and will begin publishing it on Medium.
I’m also launching the referral program.
But more on that in another episode.
I’ve also got a second newsletter I’m going to be launching (this month), but will also be sharing more of that with you later.
Everything I’m doing for my newsletter we’ll do for Creativity Published with the Content Creators Planner (we’re at 26 issues with it! Yes, that means we’ve published it for 26 weeks… HALF a year already!).
Going deep with ConvertKit
I purchased Brennan Dunn’s “Mastering ConvertKit” last year and have promised myself I’m going to complete it.
I’m not purchasing another course until I have completed the few I’ve started. This is way more about going deeper with each of the subjects than it is the money I’ve spent.
Back to Mastering ConvertKit…
I know I can be doing much more with ConvertKit than I am. I want to focus on proper segmenting, the customer journey, more advanced automations, and personalization.
It’s a super meaty course, so I’m going to schedule in a block of time weekly to finish it.
Survey my list
I had removed a few thousand subscribers a couple of years ago when I pivoted to my personal brand from The WordPress Chick. I had sent out some surveys in the past, but it’s been a while.
I want to get as clear a picture as possible as to who is on my list and how I can best serve them.
Specific list growth strategies
I really want to keep this as simple as possible, but as one strategy is implemented and begins working, then I’ll implement another strategy
Here’s my plan:
- referral program for the newsletter
- paid lead gen ads
- joint venture opportunities
- more in-post calls-to-action
- giveaway or contest
I think those are enough for this year.
They’re all going to take some focused time and dedication and I’ll share as I do the work (remember: #EverythingIsContent).
New lead magnets
In addition to the newsletter, I’m going to have 3 or 4 other lead magnets on the site that will automatically segment my subscribers.
The lead magnets will be incorporated into relevant content when applicable.
I’m about to release an email course called “Email Marketing Sessions”, which will be delivered via email (I know, duh), but will also have an audio version to accompany the written email (hence the word sessions).
I’ll measure which ones are working, which can be ditched, and which content resonates most with my visitors.
I expect all of this to be a year-long process.
I’d love to have everything in place by the end of the first quarter and then spend the rest of the year testing, tweaking, and improving what’s working.
I have tangible goals for growing my list which shouldn’t be hard to achieve.
Don’t make the same mistake I did.
You may not like doing email marketing or feel like you don’t have the skills to do it.
That’s O.K., do it anyway.
You’ll get better as you go and nothing will give you a better ROI.
Links from this episode