If you’ve been following our blog lately (which you definitely should!), you know how important we stress having an email list. In order to gather your list, you need to create and utilize a landing or lead page, create an opt-in or freebie, share that opt-in/freebie, give people a reason to stay on your list, and utilize email marketing software to easily plan your strategies.
“Out of all the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them,” —Neil Patel, Crazy Egg and QuickSprout founder
Create an Opt-In
We talked about opt-ins in our recent Email Marketing blog, but let’s go over the basics. Along with opt-ins, you can also use what is called a freebie or a freemium. This is something you are offering of a $250+ value in exchange for a person’s email address. This could be a PDF full of valuable information, a webinar, a video, a training, or a coupon.
To create an opt-in, you need a landing page or a lead page where people can sign up for your email list. Once someone signs up, you want to immediately provide them with the free item.
You can create ads, Facebook ads, and other social media ads out of the opt-in you created. This is another great way to get people on your email list. You don’t see an immediate Return on Investment (ROI) from gathering your email list. But once someone is on your list, they’re that much closer to becoming a paying customer. Remember it’s a long game you are playing with your email marketing strategy.
A landing page is a focused page that invites people to sign up to learn more. They’re great for promoting with a clear call-to-action to get people on your email list. There are several landing page builders you can use including Google Sites, Unbounce, Wix, and Instapage. We often use Leadpages, which is great for advertising and selling products/services.
Grow your List Further — Give People a Reason to Join your Email List
We recommend starting out with one opt-in to figure out how it works and what you want from it. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you should try coming up with three opt-ins or freebies you can rotate to meet the needs of your ideal customer.
When someone is considering submitting their email address, they’re thinking, “What am I going to get from this?” You want to make sure the answer is very clear for your ideal customer. We’ve all got spam emails filling our inboxes to the brim. Often you think you need the information you’re signing up for, but end up with countless messages you’ll never read.
To avoid becoming an annoyance to inboxes everywhere, make sure you are actually providing relevant, valuable information and material. Give people a reason to stay on your list. Once a person has received their opt-in or freebie, you want them to stay active. Engage them with attention grabbing headlines and emails full of great material. Give them a reason to keep opening your emails!
Of course you’ll want to sell through your email list, but you have to consciously find a balance. We recommend the give, give, give, sell model. You can offer coupons, tips, exclusive perks, and more.
There are a lot of marketing technologies you can use to maximize your email list’s potential. After using several, we have stuck with ActiveCampaign for years now. It has flexibility, making it easy for businesses of all types to use its features for their own unique needs.
A step-by-step walkthrough of what you need to set up your account and get ready to send emails
Navigating your account, adding addresses in compliance with email laws, and how to get site tracking set up for your website
Organizing your contacts, adding new contacts, sorting them into segments based on tags
Sending your first campaign and learning about the six types of campaigns you can use
Creating automations and figuring out what you can automate
How to create and automate your sales pipelines
Email is personal, targeted, and purposeful. You have permission to show up in a user’s inbox and communicate with them one-one-one. It really doesn’t matter what kind of business you are in. If you have a website and want visitors to come back as returning customers, then you need to get them on your email list. Mastering the art of email will pay huge dividends for your business in the long run. It is a slow game, but very worth it in the end.
There is a lot to say about what email marketing is and how you can utilize it as a business owner. We went over what email marketing is and why you need it just last week. But what exactly can email marketing do for your business in the long haul?
We’re going to go over some of the many benefits your business will see when effectively running email marketing campaigns. Email marketing is the most reliable and efficient way to reach your audience. Here’s why:
Email Marketing Benefits
Strengthen Customer Relationships
Good quality email marketing that is consistent, relevant, and valuable helps you gain the trust of your audience. Your target market wants to hear from you and know you are thinking about them. Email is the best way to update them and communicate news about your business.
Overtime, your audience will develop a kinship with you. They’ll look forward to seeing you in their inboxes because they want to be in the loop and see what new value you are providing. You want your audience to think of you when a problem arises that you have the solution for.
Expertise and Education
Chances are your audience wants what you have to offer. They want to learn more from you as a trusted authority. Continue to position yourself as an expert through the content you create and share.
Along with updating your customers about company news, promotions, and incoming product, you should also provide some valuable education. Whether you have blogs, videos, podcasts, pamphlets, or exclusive email-only content, your audience will appreciate well-crafted information. When people love your content, they’ll want to see more of it. When they have a question about your area of expertise, they’ll think about you.
Time and Cost Effective
How you spend your time and money as a small business owner is critical. It can be hard knowing where to invest yourself. We want you putting your efforts in the right outlets, and email is one of the best.
Purchasing advertisements can break your budget. Although there are a lot of places you can put your excess funds, as a young business you must be cautious. The time and cost involved in direct mailing campaigns, newspaper ads, online ads, and more continues to increase.
Creating an email marketing campaign isn’t very complicated. Once you get the hang of it, it doesn’t take much time, either. You are able to reach a large group of people in an instant through email.
Increase Brand Recognition
The more your audience sees your name and appreciates your content, the bigger your brand becomes. Make sure your emails have your brand image and name. Keep your color palette and logo consistent in the template of your emails. You will build credibility as your name continues to be seen while you provide quality content.
Reach and Grow Your Target Market
Not only are you able to stay in touch with your audience regularly, but you can also reach an even larger group of people through your website opt-ins. You can promote your opt-ins through social media and on your website, on your products and email signature.
We could go on and on about the benefits of email marketing for your business. Make sure you read about what email marketing is and why you need it. You should have all the tools you need to build your email list and start seeing the benefits of email marketing.
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I talk about the importance of email marketing all the time. But what exactly is email marketing? Put simply, it is the process of promoting your business through email. It is a direct marketing strategy that is similar to postal mail, minus the cost of stamps.
Entrepreneurs use email marketing to reach their audience about updates, promotions, and most importantly: to build trust. Ideally, your email list wants to hear from you. The emails might deter a few, but they probably weren’t your ideal customer anyway.
Remember to repel as many as you attract. You won’t win everyone’s hearts. Email marketing is a route to discover dedicated customers and weed out the wishy-washy crowd.
If anyone tells you email marketing is an old, tired method, they probably aren’t utilizing it effectively. When done right, you will see the benefits of this time-proven marketing strategy. Through email marketing, you can reach a larger audience and strengthen your relationship with current customers. This is just one of the many ways to engage with your customers, another effective way is by content marketing Using specific tools along with this such as a content marketing funnel guide will help you to keep track of your customers movements on your site, therefore direct the traffic and end up with a higher conversion rate. But there are many more marketing techniques you can use.
Email is reliable
There have been several recent Facebook and Instagram blackouts. You probably know what I’m talking about. Suddenly this tool we always have on hand wasn’t working, and it was incredibly frustrating! Users couldn’t post new content or see images that had been posted.
(Comment below on this blog post about how the recent blackouts affected you).
These blackouts are a great reminder that social media platforms don’t stand the test of time. They could be gone in an instant. Email, on the other hand, has been around since practically the beginning of the internet. As long as we have the internet, we have email. The same can’t be said about Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
If you only have a Facebook business page, it’s not enough. You could have 10K followers on Facebook, but if Facebook goes down how will you reach them?
Email marketing is the topmost effective resource for eCommerce businesses, driving traffic and communicating with existing and prospective customers. You have the opportunity to engage with your audience, build brand loyalty, and increase sales. Ultimately, email marketing grows your bottom line.
Using email to market is fairly inexpensive and easy to track compared to other traditional marketing approaches. People on your email list want more information on your business because they purposefully allowed you to send them correspondence.
Getting started: Build an Email List
The first step in email marketing is to build an email list. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and again, and again. Email marketing is crucial no matter what business you are in. You need to have an email list.
Before you start inviting all your email contacts, you should know that you can’t add anyone to your business’s email list who doesn’t opt-in. You have to use an email marketing program like Active Campaign and have an opt-in plan.
Active Campaign and other programs allow you to monitor the emails you send out. You can observe how your subscribers respond and interact with your sent emails. This software tracks analytics like open and bounce rates, click-through rates, and conversions.
Aptly titled “opt-ins” are forms of consent given by web users to acknowledge they are interested in your services or products. When users opt-in, they are allowing a business to contact them with more information.
Opt-ins aren’t merely a means of being polite, they are required by law. You also must make it simple for people to opt-out — or unsubscribe — if they want off the list.
You have probably seen a lot of opt-ins. These are the little boxes you can check saying you agree to receive emails. Most websites use them, so if you’ve been online, you’ve likely opted into a lot of email lists. There are more unique ways than just checking a box to get potential customers on your lists.
Opt-in forms come in different shapes and sizes. They can be pop-ups on a homepage or landing pages. It’s much easier to build your list when you are offering something valuable. Your landing pages need to have great copy and conversion that will convert followers into email subscribers.
Take a look at our Email Marketing opt-in where we offer free lead magnet ideas and email subjects. Email marketing is great, but you have to get people to open the emails you send. This opt-in offers ideas for email subjects and headlines. We really want you to have all the tools you need to build an email list and effectively use email marketing strategies.
Once you have designed and activated your opt-ins, you can share them on your social media platforms. Although social media isn’t as secure as email, it is an incredible tool when it’s working. Give people as many opportunities as possible to opt-in.
Create an Email Marketing Campaign
Once you have your email list, it’s now time to use it. With your email marketing software (like Active Campaign), you can customize the content of your email with the subscriber’s name. You can even send out birthday emails and other personalized content. You have the ability to keep separate lists to send out different promotions and offers based on the audience.
For example, our audience ranges from long-time rural agriculturalists to budding side hustlers. Of course, there can be overlap occasionally. But most often a message we want to communicate to our ag-oriented clients is going to be very different from what we send to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Each email you write isn’t going to resonate with every single subscriber. Break down your list into segments and create different sets of emails for the different groups in your audience.
Once you’ve honed in on who you’re speaking to, you can create sales funnels to guide your followers into purchasing from you.
Give, Give, Give, Sell
When someone agrees to be on your email list, you should be providing them with value from the very start. Opt-ins can be useful and educational. Once you have an email list you should continue to provide your audience with more value. For every selling email, there should be about three giving emails that benefit readers.
Answers to FAQs, quotes from blog posts, and creative surveys can add value for subscribers.
In every communication with your audience — from emails to Facebook posts to in-person seminars — tell them what you want. You can use CTAs to ask people to attend an event, purchase a product, read an email, or subscribe to your social media platforms. It’s OK to be repetitive since most people aren’t paying very close attention to every email headline or the content within. It takes at least seven times for an internet user to catch the message you’re putting out.
It sounds simple enough, yet is often forgotten. Every final draft of your emails and posts needs to be checked for CTAs. First, do you have them? Second, are they effective?
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Small business owners are constantly making choices in their journey. It’s inevitable along the way you will make some mistakes. I’ve made plenty and I see other people making preventable mistakes on a regular basis. As we roll out KRose Small Business Accelerator, I wanted to talk about three of the mistakes I see small business owners make so you can avoid them.
I hear and see this a lot in my journey. I’m guilty of it all the time. It’s so easy with social media to compare our start with someone who has been in business for a long time. The real you is not an accident. Where you’re at, what you’re doing is on purpose and there is a plan for you in your journey. If you get caught up in the comparison game, you’re never going to be satisfied. You’ll always be disappointed. I want to let you know it’s completely OK to unfollow someone on Instagram, unfriend someone on Facebook or unsubscribe from an email list if it is causing you internal doubt. I struggle with this too. I’ll see people on social media and ask myself why am I not at that point? Why is my business not making that kind of money? Why do I not have the same time freedom as them? But then I’ll find out they started their business 12 years ago and I have to remember I’m only 3 years in, I shouldn’t be at the same level they’re at. They’ve been hustling for 12 years. I want to remind you comparison is the thief of joy. If you struggle with comparison it will really hinder your business. If you find yourself comparing I give you permission to unfriend, unfollow, unsubscribe.
They use bad social media practices
Cold messaging. I don’t know why this is still a common practice. If you send someone a message and you haven’t talked to them in years, they’re not going to want to purchase from you. It is so important to stay up-to-date on social media practices. If you feel slimy doing it, don’t do it. People will purchase from you because they like you and want to do business with you. I’m not sure if you’re overwhelmed with social media, but it can be very overwhelming. I’m blessed with an incredible, expanding team. (You will see in June we are getting some new team members!) But I still spend 10-15 hours a week learning social media practices. The Instagram game just changed. If you’re on Instagram and haven’t joined Acceleration Nation, I highly recommend it. I’ve been studying Instagram’s evolvement this week and we’re going to completely change our plan for June.
They stop educating themselves
I listen to about 3-4 hours of podcasts 7 days a week and watch probably 2 webinars a week. If you’re going to be a small business owner in this changing world you either have to do what I do and spend hours watching webinars, listening to podcasts, and reading books. Or you can find someone you trust to listen to their research of the changes. You need to be up to date. Find someone who is teaching and can educate you. If you don’t have time because you are working a 9-5 and hustling your business in your free time, it’s OK! If you’re thinking, “3-4 podcasts a day? I don’t have time for that.” That’s OK! But find somebody who is doing those things and listen to them.
It is my mission to help small business owners succeed. Part of reaching success is overcoming avoiding the pitfalls that might slow you down along the way. Remember to sign up for our brand new membership website KRose Small Business Accelerator and become part of the Acceleration Nation!
Are you working tirelessly on your marketing strategy and not seeing the results you want? Let me tell you, you are not alone. I’ve definitely been there. Fortunately, over the course of running my business, I have learned some of the reasons marketing efforts don’t work the way you want them to. Here are my words of advice on how to fix your marketing strategy and see real results.
Post more frequently
Customers come to me often explaining they are posting on social media all the time, but still not getting traction. You might be posting products for sale on Facebook and Instagram multiple times a day. You might even feel like you are posting too much. If you feel this way, I want to reassure you that you most likely are not posting enough. The reason you think you are over posting is because you look at your own business’s Instagram and Facebook pages all the time and you think everybody is doing the same, seeing every single post you make. Think about how many people like your Facebook page. We’ll hypothetically say it’s 5,000 people. Only a small percentage, perhaps 500, actually see every post, and they are likely making an effort to do so. Studies have shown that someone has to see your posts 20 times or more before they are willing to purchase anything. So if only 500 out of 5,000 people see your posts and it takes a customer 20 times before they pull the trigger, how many times do you actually need to post about something in order to get traction? The answer is: a lot. Yes, you are going to repel some people. But these are not your ideal customers and that is a very important detail to remember. Your ideal customer wants to see what you are posting. So don’t be afraid to scare some people off, because you’ll be attracting your ideal customer in the same process. Even if you choose to use an instagram followers app to help increase your following, you may find that this could be the answer you’ve been looking for. With this being said, it is still important to keep your content on top form.
KRose customers still come to me asking, “Do you have any free workshops or webinars coming up?” I feel like I constantly post about these. Even “lifers” of mine don’t always know all that KRose Marketing and Consulting has to offer. They might see some posts, open emails and check out our website, but they still don’t know when I will be hosting my next live training. I can’t be afraid to post about free workshops and webinars multiple times because out of the 20 times I post about it, only a few people are seeing and processing this information. They are scrolling through their feeds and might skim some of our posts or miss them completely. Even if they have seen and processed the information, a few reminders never hurt. It’s perfectly fine, in fact it’s necessary to post many times about your products and services.
Ask for testimonials
Now that you understand you are not over posting, and are likely under posting, it doesn’t mean you can just randomly post without any thought process or strategy. Static Facebook and Instagram pages are not enough to draw in paying customers. You need testimonials. We use testimonials on both the KRose Marketing Website, on our Facebook page and on Instagram. I can talk about my services from sunrise to sunset, but it is so much better when one of my customers can say something like, “Karoline has changed my business for the better. Working with the KRose team has helped my marketing because of X, Y and Z.”
If you are working with a new product, have a new store, or are just starting your business, you might be wondering how you are going to obtain these testimonials in the first place. You can’t expect people to spontaneously write a testimonial for you. Reach out to friends who have worked with you, or give out free trial samples of your product to testers and ask them to write you a testimonial in return.
Use email marketing efficiently
We’ve talked a lot about this before, but many of you don’t know where to start and/or you aren’t consistently sending emails. There are two types of email marketing we use at KRose. We do what is called a five email series, which I’ll talk more about at the end of the month in our free email sales funnel group that was offered to those who participated in the 21 day challenge. Anytime someone opts in to something of ours, we warm them up with five emails. We also use static campaigns. If you are on the KRose Marketing email list, you get an email every Tuesday and Thursday, consistently every week. Even if you aren’t opening and reading those emails, you still see my name in your inbox twice a week, which is priceless. It creates brand recognition. You know who I am because you see those emails.
It is awesome to know, like and trust someone online. When people want to invest money with you, it is great if you can work with influencers in person. I recommend finding people in your zone of genius and get in-person with them. For example, I’m going to be a speaker at YALP, which is the Young Ag Leadership Conference in Montana. This is a great opportunity for us to “belly up” to some of the ag leaders in Montana and it’s ideal for my area of expertise. I know agriculture, leadership and marketing in agriculture. Being in person and answering questions will allow attendees to grow to know, like and trust me because I’m there at the event. But this opportunity didn’t just fall into my lap. We had to work to get me there. Don’t wait for these types of opportunities to find you. Seek them out because bellying up and getting in-person is crucial for success.
I highly recommend Facebook ads, but with a disclaimer. Don’t try to drive cold traffic (people who have never heard of you) to your business and ask them to buy a high price point product from you. From a marketing standpoint, this doesn’t make sense and is an impractical method to use. You need to warm people up. First, get people on your email list and give them something free. Instead of trying to attract people who don’t know you to buy $200-400 products/services, try to introduce yourself and what you have to offer. Provide useful information before you try to sell. Then, when you do present your services and products, it is much easier for a person to want to invest money in you.
Find what works and stick to it
I run into this issue with small business owners and entrepreneurs in general – me included. We come up with hundreds of ideas a day. Sometimes I’ll wake up with a great new idea for starting a new business or offering a new service. If you have the small business owner and entrepreneur mind like me, we’re probably in the same boat. Ideas flood to you all the time, which is great. It makes you unique and creative. But we can’t do a million things at once, even if all of the million ideas are golden, it’s impossible to accomplish them all. Find what works best for you and stick to it. You can’t start small fires all over and keep them constantly burning. Start a big bonfire, instead, and keep stoking it. Hone in on your area of genius and work at perfecting and improving it.
If you are desperate to make money, you are not going to make money. I understand there are bills to pay. As a business owner, I write payroll checks every month. I understand the urge and the pressure to make money. But if you are only doing something to make money, you need to find an alternative route. People can see desperation. Your customers can tell if you are only in your business to make money. Signs of this include continually posting what you have for sale instead of giving or asking for feedback on social media. You might get upset and offended when “competitors” pop up in the market place. In reality, there is room for everyone. If you are in a desperate need of income, take a step back and ask what you are passionate about that can still help you make a living without being desperate. I talk about how you can live where you want and work for yourself on the Off-Farm Income Podcast. Income is a necessity, I get it. There are families to feed, but if you appear in despair, people want to look away. It makes them uncomfortable. If you go into an interview absolutely desperate for a job, you are going to interview differently than if you are not desperate. When you are marketing your products, do so like you are meant to be there with 100 percent confidence because that reflects in how your business operates. Running a business requires investment physically, mentally and financially. We know one of the most stressful parts of running a business is deciding what to invest in and with which companies. Check out Our Favorite Tools we can’t live without. We want to make this process as easy on you as possible. We believe in you and want to help you succeed. Like KRose Marketing on Facebook, it’s the place we come together to share our questions, provide answers, insight and tips, while supporting each other on our entrepreneurial journeys.
I am passionate about helping small business owners take their business to the next level. Today, I’m going to walk you through some steps to get started with email marketing. We often talk about what an email list is and why you need one, but I want to walk you through the actual process.
When we create email lists, we need to have an opt-in, which is an action we want people to take to join your list. They need to physically signup for your email list. It’s illegal for you to take emails from customers who are interacting with you on a personal or business list and hand enter them into your email list. You actually have to provide a place for them to fill in their own email address and sign up themselves.
Now let’s discuss the basics. Let’s pretend you have absolutely no email contacts and you’re starting at the very bottom.
Pick an email list server that you want to use. If you’re using Microsoft Office 365, you may want to use one which features an exchange monitoring feature. But, we currently recommend two different programs, Active Campaign is what we personally use. There are many other options out there, so if you use a different option that’s perfectly okay. These are just the two we recommend. Once you have chosen your server and created an account, design a place for your followers to opt-in. You can place the opt-in on your Facebook business page or on your website (we recommend both).
Now the tough part. Most people don’t love to just give you their email addresses. I wake up in the morning with 50 or 60 new emails. It’s crazy how many places I’ve opted into emails for. When you place an opt-in on your Facebook page or your website, you’re going to gather a few emails, but it might not be as many emails as you’d like. What you need to do is create something that you can exchange for someone’s email address. We call this a lead magnet or freemium. Give something away to your customers in exchange for that email address. If you can’t think of any opt-in ideas, hop over to the KRose Marketing Facebook page for help. We can even create a poll and ask your customers what they would find value in. The best way to start is with a downloadable PDF. We can create a downloadable PDF that your customers can get in exchange for your email address.
In order utilize an opt-in, you have to have a landing page. We use Leadpages to give away our free information in exchange for email addresses. An opt-in page can also be created on most websites. For example, let’s say you have a freebie for “5 Ways to Hydrate After the Gym,” you need a lead page for people to fill out their information to receive the downloadable PDF. All of this is automated, so figure out your system, set it up and let it do the rest of the work.
Once you have one free giveaway and your email system, you should start to collect emails quickly. You want to be able to reach your customers. If they sign up on your website instead of through a download, we recommend having a welcome email. Keep it simple and simply say, “Welcome to my email list, thanks for voluntarily signing up.” Let them know what you’re all about, who you are, the best way to contact you and what they’ll get out of your email list.
The beauty of an email list is the people on it are also on your team and they trust you. It doesn’t matter if you send one email per month or one email per day, just remain consistent.
You absolutely need to have an opt-in opportunity on your Facebook page and website that automatically goes to an email system. It’s so important to create something of value that you can give your customers in exchange for their email address. Now it’s time to start writing emails.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, that’s OK. Email marketing is a completely different type of marketing. It’s not like social media because you are only reaching the people who are interested in what you have to say. The people on your email list are the people that want to know what you’re saying.
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