So if you’ve been a blogger for even a week I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the importance of list building.
You’ve probably heard that you need to build your list because it’s the best way to ensure your readers stay your readers. That it doesn’t matter how many followers you have on any of your social media account because at the end of the day that platform controls that audience and can take them away or limit your reach at their own discretion. That is true, it’s very true. But focusing solely on getting as many emails as possible without a real plan isn’t going to help you.
So here are a few thing to remember during the list building craze.
It is better to be in front of 10 of the right people instead 100 of the wrong people.
Before I got out of college I did a little field marketing at an insurance company. One of my duties was to help drum up new business. One tactic we used was attending local events or going to public places like flea markets and try to get names and phone numbers of potential people to reach out to. In theory, this sounded like a good idea. My boss would be ecstatic the following Monday when we would come back to the office with 30 lead forms filled out. He was less elated when those forms only resulted in 5 or 6 quotes and even fewer new policies sold.
The problem? We weren’t going to where our target demographic was. We were just going to people, giving them free merchandise in exchange for their phone number and name hoping to turn them into clients. Half the time the numbers would be disconnected. If we actually got ahold of someone and they let us quote their insurance we would be higher in price than their current insurance or they weren’t eligible for our product. It was basically like we were trying to recruit vegans to attend a barbecue cook-off.
List building is the same thing!
You want to get people on your list but not just anyone. Offering a free workout e-course when your blog is really about photography is a waste of time. After that initial email, they have very little reason to open any of your future emails.
Be sure you are getting the right people on your email list.
Some people just will only want your free stuff.
Even if you do target the right audience, some readers will never want to buy your product, pay for your services or even get your emails on regular basis. Sometimes people will sign up for your email list, get the password to your e-library or download your free e-book and then unsubscribe the next time they get an email from you. That’s okay, it happens. Don’t focus on those people. Don’t toss and turn every time you get an unsubscribe notification or log into MailChimp and see your number has gone down, it just means you have to keep being awesome and someday they might realize how kickass your newsletter is or other people will and it won’t matter.
Make a newsletter worth reading
Be as focused on the content as the list. Yes, you are trying to target a certain type of person for your reading list but once you get them on your list give them a reason to stay there. Your newsletter should have a personal feel and provide some information that isn’t found on your website. If the only thing you are sending is links from your blog to your email list then what is the point of subscribing? They can just go to your website and have one less email in their inbox a week. Make them feel like they are a part of a special club by getting your emails. People love feeling special. Share part of your behind the scenes process. Talk about what’s been going on in your life and what you’re excited about.
It takes time
Unless your opt-in freebie is cold hard cash or free professional massages chances are people won’t be falling over themselves to sign up for your email list.
You have to keep providing great content and insight to get people on your list. You have to have a game plan. You need to know what sets you apart from the other people doing the same thing as you. You have to build connections, create real value and work your butt off.
What are some things you do to build your email list? What are some things you won’t do? What is the best piece of advice you’ve received about list building? Do you even list build, bro? Tell me in the comments.