This week when I was giving support to a potential client by Skype, we’ve discussed Email Lists, obviously.
I questioned why he would want an email list anyway, and the expert marketing manager gasped a bit considering my impertinence. Maybe it was, but this is the most important question you must place at the top of the Email Marketing Best Practices Pile.
Before talking about Deliverability, Sender Reputation, Content Strategy, or even collecting subscribers, you must place this question repeatedly until you’re satisfied with the answer. However, be authentic with yourself and your objectives.
Why do you want an Email List?
Make a list of your primary objectives with your Email List and prioritize the main ones. It would be best if you kept these in a visible place to keep remembering why do you start this in the first place. It’s like a guidance beacon, if you will.
If you want to sell your products to them, then state that on paper. That’s your main goal. There are ways to do that and not be obnoxious or intrusive. That’s strategy, content, intelligence… You keep that in mind: sell products/services to subscribers. It’s doable if you think about that objective from day one.
If your need is about spreading the word out about your or your brand but not selling directly because you’re a blogger, huge B2B company that doesn’t sell online, but needs leads, then write it down.
It’s what will keep you on track.
The Purpose is a Friend of Effectiveness
Ok, now you have your list of Objectives written down and need to make it work. Do you know the concept of a Mantra? It is almost something like a constant pray or words/phrases that you keep repeating until your mind gets used to it. This Objective list is your new Mantra from now on.
Use it with purpose and focus, and it will become the most effective way to accomplish your goals.
Apply it to your initial strategy to collect subscribers and start a conversation with this Email List. If you want to sell them stuff, make sure that these subscribers are really into your niche target. Otherwise, you’re going to collect a lot of people that are not going to be happy with what you have to offer. Remember: it’s better to have fewer but enthusiastic subscribers that would love to purchase whatever you have for them than a massive list with a lot of them clicking the unsubscribe button or, even worse, the SPAM one.
So, the tone of voice, the conversation you’re having with them, from the landing page where they subscribe to the welcome email they get from you, everything needs to be coherent with your main goal.
Depending on your initial strategy, even the auto-responders or drip emails need to have this in mind.
Context and Coherence Sell Stuff
You may not know this at this point, but to have a coherent message between every media you use is key to driving people into buying something. If you have a message getting aired on your site, podcast, advertising and then you use email differently, it will confuse people and make them not trust you. People don’t buy stuff from companies they do not trust or aren’t comfortable with.
So, make sure that you mix purpose and goals into context and coherence to create a winning model.
I hope this helps you with this critical feature that too many times are overrated.
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