Welcome to another episode of the Simplify Your Sales podcast! Today’s episode topic? Getting started with that dang email list!
Now if you’ve been around the online sales world for a while– or even the craft fair circuit– you KNOW that you’re supposed to be building an email list– it’s one of those things that keeps popping up over and over and over again. Heck, even Etsy encourages you to do it!
But beyond the advice to “grow your email list,” you’ve got NOTHING to go off of.
No one tells you HOW to grow the list, WHERE to grow the list, or WHY growing the list is even important in the first place (sure, you know it supposedly can help you “make sales,” but HOW?!?!?!)
I remember feeling EXACTLY the same way as you– I had heard just how important having that email list was, but nobody ever seemed to have a step-by-step process to get things up and running. It was like that lousy “take better photos” advice– it’s fine advice, but it does absolutely NOTHING for you.
If you have had “grow your email list” on your business to-do list for longer than you care to remember, then today’s episode is for YOU because I’m going to give you those “next steps” that everyone seems to leave out, but that are critical to you actually growing your email list into the powerful marketing tool that it is!
First things first though, we’ve gotta make sure we’re all on the same page about this. Because if you still don’t understand why email is so important to growing your business, you’re obviously going to have a hard time wanting to put in the work and get started, which I totally understand. I ALWAYS need people to explain the “why” to me, which is why I’m explaining it to you here today 🙂
Right now you’re probably feeling a bit harried– which I totally get, so thanks for making the time to listen to this podcast episode!– and the idea of adding ANOTHER thing to your marketing plate may seem completely impossible.
So if you’re thinking that you don’t have the energy or the willpower or the flat-out desire– hey, I’m all about honesty here– to start and grow an email list, listen up to WHY it’s a pretty dang important thing to you biz:
3.57% more people click through promotional links in email vs. social media
The average order value on your email list is 3x higher than that of social media
Your email is 5x more likely to be seen in an email inbox vs. social media
And from my own PERSONAL experience, email is HANDS DOWN the #1 way I am able to make sales in my business. Hands down. Yes, I have a Facebook group with over 13,500 members. Yes, I have a Facebook business page. But my email list– of not even 10,000 subscribers– trust me, I’m not some internet “guru” with 100,000+ subscribers to boast about– that *tiny* list earns me THOUSANDS of dollars EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH.
And I’ll NEVER be able to say that about my Facebook page or group or my sorely neglected Instagram account that I haven’t touched in over a year, although I get why that one isn’t working for me, haha.
Because yes, there are a million different things I *could* be working on my business at any given moment, but it’s my EMAIL LIST that actually moves the needle forward in my business.
And right now, if you’re posting to *crickets* on social media and getting only a handful of views and (if you’re lucky!) a sale or two, it’s time to shift gears and focus on a strategy that actually is DESIGNED to make you sales.
Email marketing is where the DOLLARS are. If you can get people to join your list, you can sell to them EFFORTLESSLY and in a very “hands off” sort of way that doesn’t involve you showing up live and pitching them some product on camera that you feel EXTREMELY self-conscious about.
Alright, so that’s the WHY.
But what about the HOW? As in, how does one even get started with email marketing?!
Today I’m going to share 3 “get started” steps for you so you can actually TAKE ACTION towards building that dang email list that everyone keeps hounding you about. 😉
If you’re imagining tediously having to CC people in on an email from your business gmail account, I promise it’s MUCH easier (and more legal!) than that.
You’re going to start by picking an email service provider.
An email service provider is essentially a platform that allows you to collect emails, keep your email list organized, and actually SEND out your emails (both manually and automated)!
You absolutely MUST use an email service provider for email marketing. You CANNOT send marketing emails from your own inbox because:
It’s against the law
There’s a much EASIER and more efficient way to do things (hello, automation!)
I personally use ConvertKit for *my* email marketing– and while it’s good, it’s not the most visual email marketing platform out there especially if you sell a lot of e-commerce goods. For digital products, totally– it’s top notch. But a lot of my Mastermind Your Marketing students use Mailchimp or MailerLite and love them. I actually started out with Mailchimp when I ran my LittleHighbury Etsy shop.
And then this is kind of Step 1b: Because once you’ve signed up for your email service provider, your first job– yep, before you EVER write an email– is to learn how to USE your email service provider. I promise you will be 1 BAJILLION times LESS stressed when you start gaining subscribers and sending emails if you actually know how to use your email service provider. So with whatever ESP you choose, find their knowledge base tutorial videos or articles and dive in and make sure you’ve got a basic understanding of where to find things and how things work within. At a very minimal level, you need to know how to:
Add email subscribers
Set up a form or a landing page
Send an email
Things like automations, sales sequences, custom coding, and all the bells and whistles are *nice* things to know, but you don’t need to know them to hit the ground running. Just learn the basics.
You’ll also want to become familiar with your country’s anti-spam email laws– to keep everything 100% legal! 🙂
Things like clearly identifying yourself as the sender, including a link to unsubscribe in every email, and making sure you have permission to email your contacts (as opposed to just adding them yourself without them “opting in”) will ensure that you stay out of any legal trouble. I know it can seem intimidating to first start out, but trust me when I say that your email service provider will walk you through all of this– and if you have any questions, you can always reach out to their customer support team.
If you are an internationally based business outside of the USA, where I’m based, you’ll want to make sure you take into account any country-specific requirements that you may need to have in order.
One of the first questions that comes up when dipping your toes into email marketing for the first time (besides “how am I ever going to figure this tech stuff out?!?!” 😉 is the inevitable “How do I actually get people to join my email list?”
If you’ve tried email marketing in the past, but weren’t able to gain many (or any) subscribers, it may be because you simply asked people to “Sign up for my newsletter” without giving them any real incentive to do so. It’s not you that’s the problem– it’s your offer.
And luckily, that’s easily fixed! 🙂
Let me introduce you to your game changer: a little somethin’ somethin’ called a LEAD MAGNET– which is essentially an AWESOME FREEBIE that you create in order to provide VALUE (and a “quick win”) to your audience in exchange for their name and email address.
Call it a bribe if you will, but know that it’s not only completely ethical, but it’s also completely effective!
Now, as straightforward as it sounds, there’s a *little* bit of thought that needs to go into this– namely, what kind of free resource can you offer potential subscribers that will entice them to leave their email addresses?
We’ve already discounted the whole “Sign up for my newsletter to hear about my sales!” theory– it doesn’t work because it’s a dime a dozen.
Instead, I want you to think– REALLY THINK– about who your audience is and what they’re struggling with. If you’re like “I don’t know who my people are, Morgan! I just want ANYONE that will buy!”, then put this episode on pause and head back to Episode 3 of this podcast because I’m going to teach you how to nail down your audience and craft your messaging in a way that attracts YOUR PEOPLE who are ready to buy.
Alright, so now that you’ve got your dream customer in mind– you know WHO your ideal audience is– it’s time to craft a freebie that actually interests THEM. Not all freebies are created equal!
So let’s take a look at some examples of what this might entail:
Let’s say you own a shop that sells digital planners.
And let’s say that your ideal “dream customer” is a stay at home mom (age 25-35) who has 3 young children at home and feels like her life is pure chaos all day everyday. Now, obviously when you go through the dream customer exercise in episode 3, your dream customer description will be MUCH more thorough and well thought out–by the end of it, you should feel like you really KNOW this person– because the more you know about them, the more clear you’ll be able to be on your marketing, your products, basically ALL of your business.
But for the purpose of our example and saving time, we’re just going to use this quick n dirty version.
Alright, so once you have your dream customer in mind, I want you to answer the following questions:
What daily problems or challenges does she struggle with? What things keep her up at night?
In our example, this dream customer probably:
Feels like life is chaotic all day everyday and she’s constantly chasing naked kids around
Her house is constantly a mess and she doesn’t have time to clean
Feels like nothing is in its place and she has no idea what is going on on any given day
Struggles to plan out her day, let alone her week
Feels like she is flying by the seat of her pants and it’s all going to blow up in any given moment.
Now, she may have additional struggles– maybe financial stressors or marital issues– and you can definitely list those down as well, but try not to get *too* bogged down by how you’re going to solve all of these problems– because you’re not. You just need to solve ONE of these challenges.
So with that in mind, now ask yourself: What freebie can I create that would help provide a QUICK WIN solution to one (or more) of her challenges?
A house-cleaning with small children cheat-sheet
How to create a successful schedule as a stay at home mom PDF guide
How to get started micro-planning out your days 5 day email course challenge
The idea here is that your lead magnet freebie is enticing enough and hits on their pain points enough that they feel like they absolutely NEED your freebie to help them through their struggle. If your lead magnet doesn’t exert that feeling, it will not work. So you need to be REALLY clear and understand what your audience really is needing.
If you already have an audience, just not an email list, you can send out a survey to them via social media giving them different options and asking which one they would prefer and why. This is GOLD insight and will help you craft the best possible freebie out there for mega email list growth.
Ah, now onto the tech– the part that scares everyone and their dog away from using email marketing in their business.
Now, remember back in step 1, I had you become familiar with your platform? This is why. If you’ve already gotten familiar, this step won’t be hard!
If, however, you jumped the gun and got excited (which we all do from time to time), you’ll need to learn how to set up a form on your landing page.
Now, if “landing page” is a brand new term to you, let me break it down: A landing page is simply a page on your website that is 100% dedicated to collecting emails. There’s no top bar navigation or links to blog posts or anything else. It is just ONE page where you can send someone so that they can leave their name + email in exchange for the freebie.
Here are some examples of landing pages from e-commerce sellers:
You’ll need to create the landing page– which can usually be done through your email service provider, and do a test email to make sure that when someone leaves their name and email address, that the freebie is delivered to their inbox. Again, there are SO many tutorials within your ESP database and even just googling “how to send a freebie with Mailchimp” or whoever you’re using will give you really complete instructions on how to get that all done.
Now’s NOT the time to get shy 😉 you’ve put all that hard work into creating your freebie and getting familiar with your ESP– so let’s see some action!
You’re going to want to take the URL of your landing page– the web address– and share that sucker EVERYWHERE:
In your Etsy shop announcement
In your individual Etsy listing descriptions
In your Etsy snippets/conversations
In your website header
In your website sidebar
In your evergreen content
In your Pinterest profile description
As a pin shared on a recurring basis
In all your social media profiles and recurring posts
Bonus points if you take this awesome freebie and share it with your other business friends that have audiences it might resonate with as well!
Now that you’ve got people on your email list (hooray!), you’re probably wondering “okayyyyy…so what do I actually SAY to them– and when?!”
And while that’s a whole new topic for a whole new podcast, my best advice if you’re just getting started? Just begin and write like you’re talking to a friend who is interested in your business!
And before you make excuses as to why you haven’t sent an email to your 15 subscribers yet, remember– there’s no “magic number” you have to reach before you’re magically granted “permission” to email your list. Your email list is only valuable if you have a relationship with these people– and you can’t have a relationship with people you never talk to!
You’re going to want to start out by creating a welcome email that welcomes them to your email list. Sometimes this is the email that includes the freebie, and sometimes it’s one additional email that is strictly to “welcome” them to your tribe.
Of course that’s not the ONLY email you’re going to want to send to your list– or what a waste of time + energy, right?!
Inside my signature Etsy marketing program, Mastermind Your Marketing, we talk ALL about what emails to send to your people and you’re given the templates, examples, subject line ideas– ALL OF IT! We actually encourage you to create a welcome email SEQUENCE that effortlessly sells your products over a 2 week period– on 100% autopilot, I might add. Every single email subscriber you gain goes through this sequence and is, essentially, given the opportunity and encouragement to purchase your products in a non-salesly or sleazy way. I would HIGHLY encourage you set something like that up in your own business, or join us inside Mastermind Your Marketing and let us help you set it up!
Okay, so just a quick recap of what we talked about today:
Step 1: Pick an email service provider
Step 2: Create your lead magnet
Step 3: Create a landing page for your lead magnet
Step 4: Promote that lead magnet
Step 5: Begin sending emails!
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Simplify Your Sales podcast and I hope you found it INSANELY valuable! If you loved what you learned today, I would appreciate it from the bottom of my heart if you popped over to the Simplify Your Sales podcast over on iTunes and left it a review so that more people can see this podcast.
Now normally I’d say “See you next week same time, same place for another episode!” but it’s summer break time over here so we’re putting a pause on the podcast for the next 4 weeks and will pick things up again on Tuesday, August 18th, same time, same place, and same great, actionable content.
I’ll see you then!
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