WHAT THE ONLINE GURUS DON’T TELL YOU ABOUT EMAIL MARKETING

You know it. I know it. There is a lot of information out there when it comes to email marketing, list building and sales funnels. Everyone seems to be saying the same thing – which isn’t surprising considering many online entrepreneurs learnt from the same couple of people or from people who learnt from those people and so on.

There is an epidemic out there of misinformation which can make even the most astute business owner confused about what you “should” be doing when it comes to email marketing.

There are a lot of well-meaning educators and course creators out there who, yes, some of which have had significant success. But many only understand the online course creation or membership world.

They just don’t understand how to translate these strategies into real life business. Or even online businesses that are selling things other than digital products. How could they? They haven’t had the experience or education to know the difference.

If you provide services digitally or in person or if you sell products in a physical store or online, the way you market your business and use email marketing specifically should be different than those online educators.

And we need to understand that distinction.

In this blog, I’m sharing some of the most common things those online gurus teach and how it is only part of the picture.

Take this as your permission to think outside of the box of what everyone seems to be teaching and instead think about it through the lens about what you know about your industry, business and audience.

 

Then add a dash of real email marketing magic to it.

 

GURUS SAY: YOU NEED TO GROW YOUR LIST

What they don’t tell you:

Yes, you need to grow your list but by more than you think!

Here’s the facts – not everyone will buy from you. Shocker, I know.

If you have a smaller list, chances are that those people who signed up are those who know you best and have built a deeper relationship with your brand in other ways. Therefore, these people are more likely to convert.

However, as you add list building activities like opt-in incentives, advertising and Pinterest, the quality of your list drops.

Online marketing statistics show this will be around 0.5-2% of our list buying any particular promotion we do. So, for every 100 people, 0.5-2 will buy.

Of course, this is a number you need to start tracking for yourself because as soon as you know how well you convert you subscribers you can do some quick marketing maths to figure out exactly how many subscribers you need to reach your sales targets.

If you are interested, I break this down into more detail in this blog post: Does Email List Size Matter?

 

GURUS SAY: YOU NEED A LEAD MAGNET

What they don’t tell you:

When starting (or even later), your “newsletter” CAN be your lead magnet. If you know you are sending valuable content to your email list every week or fortnight – why not share that as a reason for your subscriber to sign up.

Don’t just say “subscribe to my newsletter”. Say “Join the <quirky name> community and get regular doses of inspiration, tips & tricks and the occasional treat”.

You can get started with what you have right now and add to it later. It’s more important that you make a start than wait for months (or years) before you come up with the perfect opt in incentive.

 

GURUS SAY: YOU NEED A SALES FUNNEL

What they don’t tell you:

A Sales Funnel is not exclusively advertising + opt in incentive + series of pushy emails.

Sales funnels have been around a lot longer than the internet and instead represent a process any member of your audience goes through from Awareness to Interest to Consideration to Purchase to Advocacy.

So, the answer is yes, you do need a sales funnel, but it does not have to be done in the exact way many of these experts teach.

In fact, all you need is a means of getting traffic and eyeballs on your offer and then a way for your interested audience member to take the next step. That could be as simple as a contact form or a phone call.

Email, of course, can play a vital role in this mix as you can automate this middle step and give your new subscriber what they need to make an informed decision.

However, this decision might not come within that first week of signing up. It could take them 2 years! And that’s okay if that’s what they need.

GURUS SAY: YOU NEED TO CREATE CONTENT EVERY WEEK

What they don’t tell you:

You can repurpose content!

Yes, if you can produce an amazing blog post or video or podcast episode every single week then go for it. But if you are like me and are limited on time that is just not achievable.

Instead, I choose to focus on creating quality and mostly “timeless” blogs.

That way I can repurpose and share them time and time again. All my new subscribers are given the best of tour of my content, so they don’t miss out of the good stuff shared in the past.

And I’m constantly referring evergreen content back to my subscribers to really ensure it sinks in.

 

GURUS SAY: YOU NEED TO EMAIL CONSISTENTLY

What they don’t tell you:

This one I actually disagree with.

Yes, you need to be emailing your list often. At a minimum, once a month so your subscriber remembers that they signed up to your list in the first place.

But sending an email because you “have to send an email” can sometimes mean that it feels forced and not your greatest work.

Instead, I say challenge yourself and think ahead about content you can create. But, if you miss a week because you had a lot of stuff going on, don’t beat yourself up about it.

This is also less important because of the next bit of advice…

 

GURUS SAY: EMAIL MARKETING IS ALL SALES FUNNELS AND NEWSLETTERS

What they don’t tell you:

There is so much more to it than these two things! After someone signs up your email list and receives their welcome series, that doesn’t mean all they should get from you are your weekly newsletters.

Instead, this should just be the beginning.

Once someone is in your email database there are a tonne of different ways you can serve them through automation.

Automation means that if your subscriber does something, then your email system takes some sort of action.

The simplest example of this is if subscriber completes this form, then they receive this email.

But it can extend much further to if they click links, visit certain web pages, abandon carts, buy something, book in, don’t buy for a while or complete working with you. Each of these, and more, can trigger a series of events that are tailored to meet your subscribers needs exactly where they are at in that moment of time.

By adding in these automations, the pressure is then off to be emailing your list all of the time as you know those subscribers who are actively engaging with you are being looked after.

You can even use email beyond just marketing and into providing customer service and automating common administrative or business tasks.

 

GURUS SAY: PERSONALISE YOUR EMAILS

What they don’t tell you:

Personalisation goes way beyond using someone’s first name in the opener.

Yes, email is a mass marketing medium. But every email doesn’t have to go to everybody.

Instead, you should be identifying different groups of subscribers right from the beginning. This could be subscriber characteristics like their industry, stage of parenting they are in or their location. Or, it could be their level of understanding of the topic that you teach. Or, it could be who has purchased what vs who has not.

Once you have identified these groups you can then send emails tailored specifically to different subscriber needs. And communicate with them on a deeper level.

With some email providers, you can even have different content showing to different people within the same email!

Heck, you can even use your email marketing statistics to see who your most engaged subscribers are and then contact them personally.

Email is the most personal of “mass” marketing tactics and this is one of the key reasons why it converts the best.

 

CONCLUSION

These are just a few of the common teachings out there and I am sure there are many more.

This is not meant as a criticism of any particular “guru”. Instead, it’s about providing awareness that because they are digital product and online marketing experts, their voices become the loudest and their results appear the highest in Google searches.

However, their tactics don’t fit every single business out there exactly. And if you try to cookie cutter your way to success – especially if you have a different business model – it’s just not going to work.

There are many good things we can learn about email marketing online, but it does need to be taken with a pinch of critical thinking and a big dash of seeing how it applies to your unique business. 

More of an audio listener? Check out this related podcast episode!

How to Improve Your List Building Strategy

Ever found yourself frustrated with a stagnant email list, wondering why people aren't subscribing despite your best efforts? I get it.

Firstly, you have to understand that you’ll have this natural growth right at the beginning of your email marketing journey - and that it’s normal to have things stagnate after that.

Second, a lot of your initial list growth will come from your existing audience, whether that’s on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or people you know within your networks.

So, you might get that rapid increase, but at some point, you might exhaust that audience if you aren’t proactively growing elsewhere.

In this ultimate list building guide, I’ll share my best list building strategy that’ll supercharge your list growth massively.

Whether you are a business owner, course creator or service provider, email marketing has the potential to free you from the busy, get sales and create more space in your life!

Here is everything you need to know about how to improve your list building strategy.

 

 

TIP 1 - GIVE PEOPLE A REASON TO SIGN UP

Let's start by understanding the importance of giving your audience a compelling reason to join your email list - people value their email addresses so they're not just going to give it away for free.

In my Lead Magnet Magic course, I teach students that to grow their email list quickly, they must provide an irresistible opt-in. By doing this, you can establish a fair value exchange, overall increasing conversion rates and attracting a more targeted audience.

So, forget the generic "subscribe to my newsletter" pitch; entice your audience with exclusive updates or a lead magnet that truly adds value to their business or daily lives.

>> Click here to check out Lead Magnet Magic

 

 

Tip 2 - Check Your Stats

Before you scale up your advertising efforts, take a deep dive into your lead page and overall site-wide stats.

A 50-60% signup rate for dedicated lead pages and 1-3% of website visitors for general signups are the benchmarks.

If you're falling short, it's time to focus on improving your conversion strategies!

Checkout episode number 21 of my Easy Email Marketing Podcast, 7 things you need for a high converting lead page if you’re stuck for ideas.

 

 

Tip 3 - Make Your Signup Obvious on Your Website

Ensure your signup options are impossible to miss across your website.

Consider using floating bars, popups, or banners to capture your audience's attention and make it crystal clear and easy for them to subscribe.

 

 

Tip 4 - Make Your Lead Magnet Prominent on Your Socials

Leverage your social media platforms by consistently featuring your lead magnet.

From updating Facebook and Instagram graphics to pinned posts to CTA’s, remind your audience regularly about the benefits of joining your email list.

 

 

Tip 5 - Leverage Your Content

Whether it's blog posts, YouTube videos, or podcasts, seamlessly integrate mentions of your lead magnet.

Use dynamic ads during podcast episodes, share insights within your content, and always provide a direct link to your signup page.

 

 

Tip 6 - Mention Your Email List Often

Consistent promotion is the key. Incorporate mentions of your email list into your regular social media posts.

Consider using tools like ManyChat to automate sign-ups directly through Instagram comments.

 

 

Tip 7 - Add Event-Style Lead Magnets to your List Building Strategy

Enhance your lead magnet offerings with limited-time events, such as webinars, challenges, or giveaways.

In my List Building Boost course, I teach you how to create these types of opt-ins – the one’s that majorly convert!

You’ll also need to create a sense of urgency to attract new subscribers and diversify your audience.

At the end of the day, it’ll be refreshing for your audience to find different ways to interact with you, rather than just through a PDF or Word Document.

 

 

Tip 8 - Use Ads Strategically

Once you've optimised your existing strategies, you can delve into paid advertising.

It's crucial to understand your conversion value before investing heavily in ads to ensure a positive return on investment.

Ads can be a great way to grow your list quickly, especially if you don't want to spend a tonne of time being active on socials et cetera. 

 

 

Tip 9 - Participate in Bundles or Swaps

Collaborate with businesses or influencers for bundle promotions or swaps.

Consider formalising agreements where you promote each other's lead magnets to tap into new audiences.

 

 

Tip 10 - Get Active with Guest Speaking

Explore opportunities to speak at summits, contribute to courses, or appear on podcasts.

Guest speaking not only broadens your reach but also establishes trust with new audiences, making them more likely to subscribe.

 

In essence, improving your list building strategy involves a multi-faceted approach. From optimising your website and social media presence to collaborations and guest speaking, these 10 tips have hopefully provided you with insightful methods of how to get more email subscribers.

 

And of course, this list building guide wouldn't be complete without mentioning my exclusive lead magnet - my collection of 80+ fill-in-the-blank email ideas. If you ever find yourself struggling with what to share with your list, be sure to head over to yaelkeon.com/ideas to grab yourself a copy – or fill in the form down below!

 

Happy emailing!

 

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