Sometimes the best podcast episodes come from your questions! I am thrilled to bring this episode to you that includes me answering questions from the Expand Online community about email list growth, opt-ins, and more!
Have questions you want answered? Book a call with me: http://callwithjaime.com
Join the community let’s continue the conversation!
Let’s get into the questions:
First up there were a few questions about specific software tools.
Four tools I get asked about the most are ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Flodesk, and MailerLite. I recommend most of my clients use ConvertKit. It’s a robust system that’s designed for creatives- a win-win situation. I recommend ConvertKit most often because of the integrations that it has with other tools. Integrations are vital versus the alternative of transferring content manually from one place to the next.
My second recommendation would be ActiveCampaign. This is what I personally use here at Expand Online. I use it because it has more automation and customer relationship management functionality. It’s a great solution but a bit harder to get started with. .
MailerLite and Flodesk- these have fewer integrations from what I can tell on a surface level. So I can’t bring any real concrete information here as to why to use them, but I know that they are very popular and very effective
Whatever tool you decide to use, it’s going to work if you put the effort in to get it organized and understand how it works, or hire somebody for a consult or to set it up for you.
These tools, Email marketing systems (EMS) are extremely powerful. When we use them anywhere beyond the surface level, they are going to have a really positive impact on your business.
Next question: how do I start an email list?
Start by setting up your EMS right. Don’t skimp out on setting the mailing address, from name and email address. Go through the tutorial — you’ll thank me later!
But I know that the real question was how do I get people to start signing up for my email list? Most of my clients, and my top recommendation, is through some kind of freebie. Your freebie can be just about anything. Here are some ideas:
- it can be a downloadable
- it can be an add on to something that you’ve got out there for free- an additional piece
- it can be a quiz
- it can be a challenge
- it can be a virtual summit
You can put just about anything at the front end of your email list building mechanism. Do your best to offer something that is in line with what you are ultimately going to want to sell or invite people to through this email list. If you are creating an online course, get people learning from you as quickly as possible. If your goal is for them to do some kind of live program with you, learning from you plus personal/location related insight. .
We want to get that right off the top so that somebody can make an educated decision as to if they want to invest their energy in learning from you at this free level on your email list or if they’re never going to be able to purchase for whatever reason. There is no need to nurture a non-start!
When we are building an email list and starting to attract people to our list, it is crucial for us to provide them something of value and something of interest. There’s a lot of valuable things, but they’re not always interesting and there are a lot of interesting things, but they’re not always valuable.
It’s a different combination for each of us. The goal is figuring out what it is that you’re best at providing and how you want to provide it.
Next, and I alluded to this a moment ago… how do we nurture subscribers?
Create an outline for your emails so that they follow the same general structure. This creates comfort in the inbox.
- Start with something personal or share something that’s going on with you and your students,
- Share something of value,
- Provide a call to action,
- Sign off and let it be that.
Share something that they can relate to or aspire to, then something that they can take action on, then tell them what we want them to do next.
The call to action might be:
- go check out a Facebook post
- go check out an instagram
- go to a Youtube video
- sign up for a workshop or a demo class
- reply to this email and let me know that you are liking this content or let me know what else you’d like me to share.
Remind your audience that this is a two way communication vehicle. They can reply to any message — we are simply creating opportunity for them to do so. Having a call to action in every one of your emails allows them to make the most of this relationship. That’s how we nurture our subscribers — provide them with value and help them to see themselves in the successes from our studio.
The doozy of a question: how do I use my email list for sales?
It’s HARD to ask for the sale. It’s HARD to put ourselves out there and face silence and rejection. But when we’ve nurtured and created relationships, we are inviting people to take a chance and to take the opportunity to elevate their skills and to explore working with us.
When it comes to asking for sales, I think that based on the type of programs that most of you are offering, it’s actually asking for a consultation.
Music education is so personal. We probably aren’t going to be sending people to a sales page without a conversation. Yes, you will have it in your arsenal but conversations often lead to higher conversions than sales pages alone.
It’s also important for me to talk about the content that helps someone to take action. We’ve talked about this already with respect to nurturing and providing an insane amount of value before asking for the sale.
What type of content that converts someone from merely opening your emails and reading them to clicking a link or clicking a button?
Do something unexpected, do something that helps them feel something. Surprise and delight. Make sure that your emails are really action oriented; give them something to do.
The thing about converting somebody from being on our list to becoming a student or a participant is going to vary widely. It’s a lot of trial and error and there is no one quick answer. You’re going to be far more successful when you send emails consistently and when you create opportunities for people to have a two way conversation with you.
Once your email list is at least 100 maybe 200 people on it — start sending surveys. Not all the time, but one every few months. If you’ve provided value in your emails, your subscribers will be happy to answer your survey — and entice them with a giveaway or drawing.
For me, incentivizing is usually in the form of a strategy or breakthrough call. I like to do free calls — that gets people to act. But it doesn’t even have to be a call. They could get access to a private tutorial video that you have done that you’ve got unlisted on YouTube, they could get access to a cheat sheet or a practice guide or something else that you’ve created as a thank you for participating in the survey.
With our content, remember this, something that you do right now may work right away but it may not. It could work in three months. So don’t give up on an idea just because it didn’t work perfectly right now. Recycle it, do it again another time.
Your email list will return value to you when you are consistent. You have to be giving and you have to want genuine progress for the people who are on your list, whether they give you money or not, because that’s how you are going to continue to grow and be seen as an authority.
And don’t forget — my email list workshop is coming up this Friday, October 1st! Sign up at https://expandonlinenow.com