Tuesday, July 19, 2011
The room was filled with bloggers of all ages. I was giving a presentation at BlogWorld Expo and I had lured these tech-savvy bloggers to my talk on the premise of unveiling the 50-year-old technology that was the hidden profit center of their blog.
What is this 50-year-old technology that I speak of? It's e-mail, and specifically marketing via e-mail. Now I feel like I'm preaching to the choir, but let me explain.
First of all, e-mail is not a new technology, it's not a cool new start-up that is getting a lot of buzz. It predates the Internet we know and love today, and was used by university researchers to share data.
But before you start saying that e-mail is irrelevant in our social media world, let's look at a quick study done by Microsoft and picked up by Mashable, which I believe highlights why it's so important to keep building an e-mail list even if you are building an online presence through social media.
You see, people are using e-mail more than ever. According to the study, 96% of people are either increasing their use of email, or keeping it stable. Only 4% of respondents use email less than they did last year.
People who are active on social media tend to use e-mail even more than other people. Surprising? Maybe, but I think it just means that we are becoming more interconnected and we want to you stay in touch with the people who are providing us with entertainment and value online.
So how do you build your list in this world of social media without defaulting to to 50 year old email techniques?
1. Value firstBuild your list by offering something of value up front, and continuously sending the best quality stuff to people on a regular basis.
2. ExclusivityBe upfront about what's different for people who are on your list, versus people who read your blog, versus people who follow you on Google plus or twitter.
3. Make it easyIt's easy to think that everyone in your target market is on social media, but depending on what type of market you're in e-mail is still going to be the best means of communication. So make it easy for people to sign up via e-mail.
4. Push versus pullE-mail allows for permission based marketing. To top it off, most people are checking their e-mails on a daily basis, versus people who might not even see your message because of the number of friends they have on Facebook and how much activity is taking place.
5. Don't send people awayYour e-mail list should be the biggest ad on your website. Do not send people away from your site by allowing them to click on an ad that makes you pennies. You could be building a long-term relationship with someone after they become a subscriber, and that is worth more than a few cents.
6. Speak to one personIt's easy to start looking at your list as a mass of people, but you need to remember that these are individuals and you should address your e-mails to a single person. That way every person who reads your e-mails feels special.
7. Consistency is keyMake it easy for yourself to remain consistent with your publishing schedule. Don't try to pack too much into your e-mails but rather attempt to deliver the most value in the most succinct and easy to absorb way possible.
8. Ask for what you wantAsk people to share your e-mails or your free gifts with their friends and family. Your content is new to people who have yet to discover you, even though you might be tired of talking about it. You have new fans that have yet to discover you.
Let's do it!Keep on building your list, because e-mail is here to stay. There are plenty of ways to differentiate your list from those of your competitors and most of the advice comes down to being a good listener and treating your people like gold.
Leave a comment below and let me know what one tip resonated with you the most!
About the AuthorNathalie Lussier is an online business triple threat, she combines marketing with web design and technology. Find out more about building your list by watching her free list building webinar here, and you'll also receive her free weekly Getting Techy With It newsletter.