Once someone signs up for your list, then the real work of building relationships begins.
In a way, getting the sign up is the easy part. It’s what you do with your people after they sign up for your opt-in offer that will determine your success. One of the things I see time and again (and have even been guilty of myself on occasion) is people going to great lengths to build a list, and then never doing anything with it beyond the initial welcome email.
If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating your content upgrades or designing your newsletter, and then gone out and got traffic to it, why are you squandering all that hard work by not emailing your new subscribers on a regular basis? Not to mention the money you’ve spent if you’ve relied on paid traffic to get those subscribers.
For many, it’s not that they don’t want to email it’s that they don’t know what to send, how often to send it, or how to really build a relationship with their audience. Fortunately, relationships aren’t built in a day, so you don’t have to do it all at once.
Here are six things to keep in mind when you start building a relationship with your subscribers.
Five Tips for Building a Relationship with Your Subscribers
Tip #1 – Send them an amazing welcome letter
Your welcome letter is your first chance to make a really good impression in email marketing. Instead of sending the standard “Here’s your download link, thanks for signing up” email, make your first welcome message something your new subscribers will really remember.
Make sure the link to what they opted in for is front and center, but also include information like:
- Your most popular blog posts
- Your social media profile links (so they can follow you)
- An invite to your Facebook group, if you have one. (And if you don’t, why not?)
- A brief section on what they can expect from you (how often will you mail, what will you mail)
- An invitation to contact you with questions, comments, or just to introduce themselves
You can also include an extra bonus in that first email, but I like to leave that for a few days to give them a chance to actually use the information they signed up for.
Tip #2 – Decide how often you will mail
I’ve never been very good at the off-the-cuff email. I like my emails all planned out so I know exactly what I’m doing each day. But you might be better at the daily, more personal email. That all comes down to personal choice and audience preference, but you should have some idea before you get started.
It depends on what your purpose for creating the list is. Are you:
- Sending out a weekly newsletter?
- Offering up a tip of the day?
- Creating a “deals and steals” announcement list
In large part, your mailing frequency will be determined by what you’ve already offered to get them to sign up.
If you’re just creating a general list, then you will want to make sure you have something to say before you push the send button. The key question to ask yourself for everything you send is, “Does this message provide value to my subscribers?” If yes, send it. If not, edit.
Before sending any email, ask yourself “Does this message provide value for my subscribers?”
Tip #3 – Decide what you will share in your emails
As with frequency, the type of content you share will largely depend on what your audience needs, and what you’ve already promised to deliver.
Here are a few ideas to get you started thinking about what types of content to include in your messages:
- New blog posts
- Free and low-cost tools and resources
- Personal stories – successes and struggles
- Links to videos you’ve created for them
- Short tips
- Q and A style messages (because chances are if one person asked, others also want to know)
Mix and match various types of content to see what gets the most engagement.
Your readers are expecting you to be a go-to person in your niche so make sure you are up to speed on new developments in your niche. Above all, don’t let your content get stale. Keep them interested and engaged by providing different formats and relevant information.
Tip #4 – Mind your formatting
Almost nothing will make someone unsubscribe faster than a poorly formatted email. There’s nothing more frustrating that getting an email you look forward to opening only to find that the sender didn’t check it first, and the type is too small, the images are too big, the links are broken… you get the picture, right?
Most autoresponders and mailing list providers offer the ability to send a test email to yourself before you hit the send button.
Use the test, and make sure you check for issues on both your computer and your smart phone. And always click every link in the test to make sure it’s going where you want it to.
Tip #5 – Keep the lines of communication open
Another trap I see people falling into is that they want the list, they want the profits having a mailing list can bring, but they really don’t want to talk to their subscribers. Building relationships is a two-way street, and you can’t be successful if you are the only one doing the talking.
In every message you send, make sure your people know you welcome their comments and feedback. Have a dedicated email address for your subscribers, so they don’t get lost in your main email account, and always answer them back.
Be open about what you expect from your readers, and ask them what they want from you as well. Use tools such as surveys, quizzes, and polls to ask them what they want, and then provide it for them.
Don’t just include contact information in your welcome email; include invitations to your groups, forums, and social media in every message you send.
Building a relationship with your subscribers takes work, but it doesn’t have to be hard unless you make it that way. When a subscriber gives their contact information to you, it’s an act of trust on their part. When you honor that trust, you create a relationship that will provide value to both parties. Be yourself, be open to communication, and deliver the value you promised when they signed up. When you take care of your subscribers, they will take care of you in return.
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