Having Confidence With List Communication
Have you really started trying to build your list? I don’t mean by JVing with shady marketers or joining in some phony giveaway swap. I’m talking about really enticing people to sign up to be tethered to you via email because of what you can do for them.
If not, what’s holding you back? Or if you have tried, but can’t seem to get the ball rolling, do you think it’s something that you’re just not seeing, maybe?
Is it the fact that you don’t know your target audience’s needs? That you have no clue why anyone would want to be ‘bothered’ by you via email?
Maybe you don’t know when to email you list, or how to build a level of trust with them. This issue of the Confidence Class newsletter is going to help you deal with list confidence!
Know Who You’re Talking To
Having an online relationship with your subscribers is extremely important. If you just have a sterile blog where you post content based on keywords you’ve researched, and they’re not engaged in a conversation with you, then you don’t know their needs at all.
All you know is what they’re searching for. That might give you some kind of insight. But let’s take a niche like ‘get your ex back.’
If you had a two-way conversation with your blog readers, for example, then you might know that Sally wants her ex back because she feels worthless like no one else will love her.
You read Sally’s comment and you realize there are others out there in her position, so you tailor one of your blog posts and emails to subscribers to suit her needs to suit all the Sally’s out there.
You teach her self esteem and worth.
Now if you were only by keywords in that niche, you’re probably not going to find one that says, ‘get your ex back because you’re worthless.’ So that engagement with your audience is critical.
When you know your readers, it helps you create list emails that they will respond to. When they respond when you get that click through to your blog, to a product you recommend, etc., it’s proof that the subscriber is saying, ‘You really get me.!’
People need that. They want to be understood. They want to be cared about. They want to be listened to. And they want you to guide them in finding solutions.
This is way different from the stale ‘Sell in every email or you’re leaving money on the table’ advice. Ugh. Take a shower and wash off that grime if that’s the sleazy way you think of your list.
Email subscriptions may just seem like a selling tool to you, but it’s very personal to many people. Allowing you to contact me anytime you want about anything you feel I should know?
Well that’s a privilege.
Once you begin engaging with your blog readers, you’ll feel more confident that you’re going to give them what they want.
How do you engage? Invite them to comment. Invite them to email. Ask questions. Create a community where they can let their guard down.
What to Say in Your Emails
Stage fright is a common problem with list building. You want to have a list. You should have a list. You even signed up to Aweber for your $1 trial but now you sit there staring at the blinking cursor thinking, ‘Alrighty now what am I supposed to say to these people?’
You already found out in the first section some of what you’re supposed to say, but let me help you create a specific plan here:
1. You alert them to any new blogs you create.
This is a big one. You want traffic driven back to your site. Not everything should be inside the email. Create a title, a short snippet of what it’s about, and provide the link that sends them to your blog to read and participate in your community.
2. You let them know about products you release.
Products aren’t generally released daily, but if yours are, let them know about it! I would make sure you have several of these options listed here in an email, though not just selling day after day after day.
3. You offer them solutions in the form of affiliate products.
I normally do this in the form of an implementation review, but sometimes there’s going to be something you hear about from a trusted source maybe it has a scarcity deadline or something so you just want to point them in the right direction.
If you don’t blog the review, link to the product, but make sure you’re still giving additional good insight on it. For instance, maybe you are promoting a healthy weight loss book the sensible kind.
If I were emailing a list today about that, I might include a link to the new Smart Fork I just read about in the news. This fork helps you slow down, vibrating like a cell phone if you’re shoveling food too fast into your mouth.
I would be providing neat news information, maybe giving my personal slant on it, and then linking to a healthy weight loss course that teaches mindful eating. Always be aware of news in your niche.
It greatly helps you be viewed as a leader and sharer even if you’re also promoting something for sale.
4. You share thought-provoking insight with them.
This is where knowing your audience comes into play. And the news, too. You want to change lives regardless of the niche so knowing what they need enables you to deliver on it each and every time you send an email.
5. You invite them to engage with you.
You might think people just naturally participate, but that’s not true at all. You really have to put out the welcome mat for your subscribers and when you do when they realize it’s safe to interact with you they begin letting their guard down, feeling comfortable with you, and developing strong loyalty.
Ask people to email you back. Make sure they know it’s a two-way street. Time consuming? Yes, and very worth it. Very fulfilling, too when people can view you as the go to person in a niche.
Ask them to provide their opinions via blog comments. Share your story and then say, ‘Do you have a story like this?’
People want that connection but if you let them, they’ll lurk and never really have that formidable bond with you that makes a list so successful.
6. You share other people’s insight with them.
Stop thinking you have to be so stingy with your subscribers. It’s not all about YOU it’s about your SUBSCRIBERS.
You need to be willing to share other people’s insight with them and I’m not talking about affiliate products. I’m talking about insightful things you hear in conversations with others in your niche other leaders or participants.
I’m talking about other people’s blog posts. Now if you have commentary on that other person’s blog post, feel free to post your own blog post and link to theirs from yours. In your email, link to your blog. Or link straight to their blog.
But you should have bookmarked several blogs in your niche other leaders you admire and you should be forming relationships with them, too as a gatherer of knowledge to better your own understanding in your niche.
You’re never done learning. And your list will love it when you share good finds.
7. You share personal stories.
Personal stories can relate to the niche topic or not. I do both. Now obviously the relevant stuff will impact your list if I’m running a diet list and I lose 50 pounds and went through some emotions with that, it’d be a good thing to share.
But even if it’s not relevant if you want to build a rapport with your list on another level of trusted friend (which you should), then you can share bits and pieces of YOU. I’ve shared if I was feeling sick, if my son got in a wreck, etc. I’m being human.
You might be saying, ‘But I don’t care about other people’s personal lives, so they won’t care about mine.’
Well MY list converts at around 25-30% – can you say the same?
YES, there will be some people who don’t care but as long as that’s not ALL you’re emailing them about you should have enough value that they’ll accept that piece of who you are.
And the rest? Well it’s what will bond them to you.
When to Email Your List
Invasion of personal space is going to affect people in different ways and email inboxes are personal space to many people.
I started out listening to the regular email advice don’t leave money on the table (ie: sell in every email), email only every 3rd day all that kind of baloney that makes your list seem robotic and sterile instead of like a community of sorts.
I say, email your list as often as you want to! Don’t pull something out of your backside just so you can queue up an email to send and have your name in front of people.
That’s never a good idea.
But if you have something to share, share it! I email almost every single day. There are days when I don’t get everything done that I wanted to email about, so I just hold off until the next day.
Or, if I’m sick or something’s up maybe I’m at my daughter’s school play or whatever I might skip a day.
But I have many people on my list who say they look forward to my daily emails. That it’s like checking in with a friend. It’s a welcomed break from work.
However some people unsubscribe because of that, too!
Only recently did I realize I had the option of creating a weekly digest list for those people. Why hadn’t I thought of that? No clue. But I heard about it from John Chow, implemented it that second, and had a handful of people switch over to the weekly digest and those are people who may have one day left my list had they not had that option.
Now, in every email I send, there’s a PS at the bottom that alerts them to the weekly digest option. It’s a nice convenience to provide to people.
So email when you want to when your stuff is ready when you have something to share.
Why Should Your List Trust You?
Trust with a list is so important it’s the #1 reason I opt OUT of someone’s list if they don’t live up to my expectations. It isn’t email frequency or the value of what they have to say it’s trust.
Where do most email marketers do wrong?
They’re dirty, filthy spammers and they may not even know it.
Some people think that their email list is to be used for some promo free for all. Throw a bunch of crap against the wall and see what sticks.
I was so disheartened to find a really good product owner just resort to emailing not once, but 3-4 times a day tons of affiliate promotions (JV emails probably) and the stuff that was being promoted?
If this list owner didn’t care enough about me to even know what he was promoting, then I would never give him the chance to sell to me again including his own stuff.
It wasn’t the frequency but that was absurd 3-4 times a day, come on! It was the promos no value at all.
I knew why he was promoting. He’d had a big launch and the exchange the ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ deal was for him to email his list within a certain timeframe.
He had so many takers on his promo offer that he had to cram 3-4 solo emails in each day.
This is known as the ‘churn and burn.’ You just throw so much stuff at your list and make as much money off of it as you can before it dies out.
Is that really how you want to build your business online?
Of course not. So rule #1 never push anything or anyONE on your list that you wouldn’t send your dear old grandmother to.
Now what about this whole ‘leaving money on the table’ issue versus are you selling ENOUGH in your emails? It’s okay to always have something to promote or sell.
It’s the why and how that matters.
For example, I might email you about something that is time sensitive. Or maybe I’ll email you about a new product I have out that I know is something my subscribers have been asking for.
If it’s a product for someone else, then you can almost bet I’ve personally bought it and am implementing it myself and showing you a review never just a blind sales push. Ever unless that’s fully disclosed, which is very rare.
I think I did that once recently when everyone was telling me about a Squidoo tool and I bought it for later use, but I disclosed that I hadn’t had a chance to use it but wanted to let my readers know because it was a dimesale (increasing in price).
That kind of promotion is doing your subscribers a favor.
Is it okay to email out without selling anything?
Don’t believe the lies that it’s not. Forget cash all the time. Share and be a good provider and the loyalty will build between you and your list and they will send others to you, they will buy from you without hesitation (bad sales copy be damned), and they will stick with you for the long haul.
How to Make Communications a Two-Way Street
This is the part of my job that I LOVE. It might not be for everybody, but it’s how I have the strong bonds with my list that I do.
I mentioned before that you want to invite people to email you back. I mean this. And when they do? You take TIME out of your day to reply. Not a 2 sentence, irritated reply a thoughtful, helpful reply.
You listen to their stories even when they apologize for making a 2 page email and you acknowledge what their fears or complaints or needs are and then you guide.
I can’t tell you how many of my subscribers have taken me up on this invitation and become so much more than a name on a list to me.
When you take this genuine approach with people (and mean it), it benefits your business, too.
They buy from you your products and others.
They promote for you they know they can trust YOU to take care of THEIR list.
They share your stuff all over social media for you.
They comment and participate and make you look like you know what you’re doing.
The two-way communication you provide, if you actually follow through, is priceless.
Your reputation will soar as someone who is one of the rare marketers who actually takes time to respond to others.
How do you manage this time?
You stay tuned into your business. I respond to emails all the time if I checked in 2-3 times a day, I’d be overwhelmed.
But between each task, I go into email, respond to the ones that are there, and go back to work.
You get faster, too.
Handling Unsubscribe Comments
Confession time: I used to BAWL over unsubscribes. Oh geez even writing that makes me want to vomit.
Now? Only a few make me tear up.
The fact is not everyone’s going to like you get over it.
Not everyone is going to feel like you’re valuable to them get over that, too.
Some unsubscribes are going to be complete jerks like you didn’t even realize could possible exist.
Those used to make me cry a LONG time ago. Now? I look at them and think, ‘What a miserable human being. Glad I’m not like that!’ And I go on having a great day, continuing to reach the ones who are grateful for my help.
The only times you should ever worry about unsubscribes are:
1. If the reason is valid and you’re in the wrong.
2. If your numbers are headed the wrong way.
A time when I tend to worry or tear up is when a long-time subscriber suddenly leaves and he or she says it’s not a health issue or change in career paths but ME.
When this happens you need to look at your business and ask yourself if you’re adhering to the right path you want to be on. Have you changed in a way that’s not good?
I’m not saying you want to stay stagnant just for an occasional subscriber here and there. But if several people say, ‘Hey you’re starting to promote a bunch of crap,’ ask yourself if what they’re saying has any truth to it and if it does, knock it off!
On the second issue numbers dwindling well this happened to me not too long ago.
Thankfully I caught it and put an end to it immediately. But I saw that my numbers weren’t growing, they were decreasing for a few weeks and it made me nervous.
If this happens, start digging.
Look at your emails from when the numbers began losing momentum, or falling. What are you doing differently than you were before that started happening?
Look at the items IN those emails. For me, I noticed I had become a churner. I was churning out reviews many at a time, I was churning out PLR left and right my blog posts were short and sweet.
Nah that’s not what my list wanted. They liked it before I’d gotten so busy when my blog posts were well thought out and motivating. When I wasn’t touting a huge PLR discount every single day. When I thoroughly implemented and reviewed ONE product from start to finish rather than flitting all over the place like a butterfly on crack.
So I went back to my roots.
Day 1? Numbers rise, opt outs virtually non existent. Has climbed ever since and I couldn’t be happier.
It fulfills me more now, too because meeting the needs of people is what I love about this business.
When I was churning and flitting, I wasn’t happy I was just busy.
Luckily, my LIST of subscribers grounded me again and brought me back to my roots.
Oh and sales?
Way up. The old motto ‘treat your list like gold’ was created for a reason.