Step Four – Use Best Practices
Learning and implementing email communication best practices will be the determining factor in whether or not your list-building efforts are successful.
As your list grows, you have to take the necessary steps to keep people subscribed. You don’t want them to subscribe; then, after a day or two – or even a month or a year later – unsubscribe. You want them for the long-term.
That means you have to “treat your list like gold,” as all the successful marketers will tell you.
Consumers talk, and the Internet is a busy, active world. Word will spread and the way you treat your subscribers will come up in conversations around the web.
People are all different and what annoys one person may not annoy another. So you have do be smart about your communication process.
Many people think that frequency of communication is one of the most important factors – primarily because they don’t like to receive emails EVERY DAY! To accommodate that group, it would be wise to give them the option to sign up for a weekly digest option so that they can stay connected with you, but keep their email inbox uncluttered.
Frequency of your emails can be whatever you want it to be. You have to find a balance that works. If you do not email often enough, your list will forget who you are and why you’re contacting them, which can also be a problem.You may choose once-a-day or twice a week. It all depends on the “personality” of your list and the purpose of your mailings.
These factors are critical in addition to what you promised when they initially chose to “opt-in” to your list. Keep your word – do what you told them you were going to do.
Two Types of E-mails
There are basically two kinds of emails – broadcast emails and follow-up emails. It is important to understand the difference between the two.
Broadcast emails are one-time emails that are scheduled for a specific time. That means if you have one scheduled to go out tomorrow and someone becomes a subscriber a week from today, they will not receive that particular broadcast e-mail. These are usually time-sensitive e-mails or announcements, e.g. a book release, or invitation to an event or webinar. Do not use a broadcast if the message you are sending is something you want all of your subscribers to get.
Follow-up emails are usually a series of emails. For example, if you promise a 7-day course, you would create seven follow-up emails that would be scheduled once-a-day for seven days.
One of the problems you can run into when you do a mix of broadcast and follow-up emails is that your subscribers may hear from you more than once-a-day or twice a week (or whatever you have promised). Receiving more emails than expected – especially if it happens frequently – may anger a significant number and cause them to unsubscribe.
• DO NOT EVER email just to send something out. Only send emails when you have something important to say – something that they will want to know about and that will be of value to them.
• NEVER sell or rent your list to others unless you have strict guidelines about how the list will be used.
Some marketers build up a big list and then provide access to it for a fee. (SOLO ads) If you choose to go this route, it is your reputation that is on the line if the marketer convinces them to buy something shoddy. In their minds, you will have recommended the product when you gave the marketer access to their email.
Other subscribers may simply be angry with you for sharing their email and allowing someone to contact them without their permission. So – be careful! Be very selective if you allow solo ads to be dispersed to your audience. You should let your readers know that you are allowing this; but, also let them know that you are not personally endorsing the products being promoted.
When promoting your own products, you have to present them in a way that provides value and does not come across as a spam. Even if they signed up for and appreciated your initial free giveaway, if you start flooding them with offers all the time, and providing very little true value, they will view you as spamming them. If they begin to view you that way, subscribers will start to leave you in droves – and never return. Even worse, they will not only leave, they will also warn others to stay away. Any time you name is mentioned, they will say, “That person spammed me with offers all the time, so I unsubscribed.” That is not a reputation you want to establish.
Building a list from scratch is primarily about sharing value. But, it is also about driving traffic to your site, building relationships, and treating all visitors in a way that helps you retain them as loyal subscribers and potentially high converters when the time comes.