Last week, I was on LinkedIn just browsing through my feed, groups, hashtags I follow, etc. In the course of a single hour, I saw no fewer than eight different people inviting others to sign up for their “FREE” email newsletter.
As the owner of a company who offers both social media marketing and email marketing services, I get it. You’re putting some combination of time, expertise, and, of course, money into your weekly/biweekly/monthly/quarterly email newsletters.
But ask yourself: When is the last time anyone wanted another email in their inbox?
On a daily basis, I personally receive anywhere from 15-20 emails. Of those emails, I’ll read and respond to the client or team communications. Virtually everything else is quickly banished to the trash. These tend to include newsletters, promotional offers, even event updates.
It’s not that I don’t think there could be something of value in them. On slower days, I’ll usually read a newsletter or two like the Morning Brew or theSkimm. And I always learn something of value. But those days tend to be few and far between.
So, am I suggesting that we abandon email marketing altogether? Absolutely not.
What I am suggesting is that we interact with each individual person on an individual level, instead of throwing out a boilerplate call to action on social media. The best strategy for going about this is through creating an email automation.
The vast majority of the companies we’ve sat down with either A) don’t have any type of email newsletter in place, let alone an automation, or B) use MailChimp or Constant Contact. Unfortunately, for those who don’t have to explore a wide variety of email platforms for their job, MailChimp and Constant Contact are the low-hanging fruit.
MailChimp is free (with limitations). Constant Contact has the best advertising. It makes sense that people would choose these two platforms.
But by doing so, users are missing out on key features that are useful for developing purpose-driven email campaigns. That’s where automations come into play.
Automations act as “the choose your own adventure” of email marketing.
Lesser known email marketing platforms, such as ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit, enable users to create lengthy automations that enable businesses to treat each contact as an individual person.
For instance, someone could receive an email today. Maybe they click a link. Because they did so, they’ll go down one path. Now, let’s say a different person receives the same email, but didn’t even open it. That person would head down a completely separate path. Automations act as “the choose your own adventure” of email marketing.
However, this is for when someone is already signed up as subscribed contact in your database. What about collecting new emails?
These are the three sources we recommend:
Friends/Family: I’m dead serious about this. If you’re a small business, keep in mind everyone starts somewhere. Literally, 100% of the business owners we’ve spoken to have said that they receive the majority of their business through referrals.
Business Colleagues/Prospects/Clients: These are the people who are most likely to be directly impacted by the content that you’re sharing, regardless of whether it’s designed to educate or sell.
Ad Subscribers: And now, we’re full circle. Instead of the simplistic “sign up for my FREE newsletter post”, entice others to actually want to subscribe through copy that illustrates the value they’ll gain (not what you want). Not only that, putting a few bucks behind an ad can go a long way in allowing you to target those who you think would benefit the most from your content.
When it comes to email marketing, there is no set path for your contacts. But the path isn’t set for how to promote it either.
To set up your first email automation or to advertise your campaigns across social media, send us a message.