Let’s talk about email marketing. Yup, it may not be sexy, but it f*cking works.
It’s one of the most overlooked strategies out there, but it can do AMAZING things for your business, your sales, and your community building.
It always makes me a bit sad that people hate on email marketing so much. They totally ignore it, but it’s one of the biggest drivers of my business results. I’ve earned thousands – and sometimes tens of thousands – in a day, just with the click of a single email. Obviously, a lot of strategy went into it, but it works.
Maybe you're also interested in this: Going Against the Grain – Mindset and Money with Charlotte van ‘t Wout
There are a ton of misconceptions out there.
- “People don’t read emails”
- “That will never work for me”
- “I think newsletters are super annoying”
Well, it’s likely that the newsletters you’ve read weren’t super valuable. You’re also forgetting that you are not your client. YOU might be overwhelmed with emails, but your client isn’t. We want to make sure we reach out to them, and they’re very aware that our brand exists and is there if they need us.
On top of that, there’s another VERY important reason why you should pay attention to email marketing. You might be spending all your time on Instagram and Facebook, but those are not your platforms. Building your business on those platforms is like building a new super fancy house on someone else’s property. You just wouldn’t do it. LinkedIn can burn down. Pinterest can burn down. Facebook can burn down. But at least you’ll still have your email list.
Let’s take a look at how you can start building your email list, and how you can use it to supercharge your business.
Before we get started, let’s chat about ESP – your email service provider. Most of the time, I use ConvertKit. If you want to go check it out, I’ve got an affiliate link you can use (I might get something from it) at www.fastforwardamy.com/convertkit, which gives you a longer trial than normal. Your ESP is where you gather all your email addresses. You might think you can do that with Gmail. I used to think an ESP was something like Gmail as well, but it’s not. Your ESP is where you collect everything together, and send out automated sequences and broadcasts, either to your whole list, or to segmented lists of small groups of people.
If you’re serious about building an email list, you’re going to need an ESP. The really famous example is MailChimp. I loathe MailChimp, but some people like it because it’s free. That’s just me. At the beginning, I thought that spending $30 per month on an ESP was a whole lot of money, but you can’t expect to build an empire if you’re not investing in it either.
How I build my email list is by offering a lead magnet like a free download, or my 10k Roadmap that I’m running at the moment. You might have registered for that through a link on my website, which was a lead magnet. I got your email address, and you get my miniseries!
Once you have your email list, maybe a couple of hundred or a couple of thousand, how can you actually grow your business with it, and see an increase in sales?
#1: Micro conversions
My first tip for you is all about micro conversions – something I learned about from Amy Porterfield, who is amazing. Micro conversions are the little conversions you put in your emails even if you’re not actually pitching or selling something, so that people can get used to actually taking action through your emails.
For me, that’s the PS in my emails. At the bottom of every email, be it an automated email full of value, or something else, I’ll always include a CTA saying “PS – have you seen this? Click here.” It doesn’t really cost anyone anything, but by always including something actionable, I teach people to convert through my emails, so that by the time I actually pitch something, people will click the ‘buy’ button.
If you’re sending out sequences or automations, you can include a PS saying “Every Monday I post about money. Come and look at my highlight here,” or “Here are 5 tips you can find on my Facebook page”. These increase the ‘clickability’ of your email, and make sure people get used to actually reading your email and then performing an action.
You will at some point get over the bump of building an email list, but if you never use it, it will be totally cold. And if you go and pitch to a cold email list no one will open your email or click the links you’ve inserted.
#2: Provide value 80% of the time
If you want people to open your emails, you need to provide value. We’ve tested a bunch of options for the podcast emails, and now every Tuesday, when we send out the podcast announcement email in Dutch and English, a lot of people click the link and go and listen. They know that at 7am on a Tuesday, I will email them with a link to the podcast. People are lazy! Have this in your head for all your marketing. Make it easy for them to take action.
We’ve tested out push emails saying “hey, do you want to go and listen? Click here.” versus “hey, here are three tips about sales, and if you want more tips, go and listen to the full ten tips episode.” We don’t really have hard data on this, but there’s a lot more clicks on the value-packed email. I personally don’t like really pushy emails, so we always make sure to insert value first. Even if we’re promoting something, we make sure it’s value packed.
Try for 80% for value, and 20% pitching. Even pitching people to go listen to a free podcast episode feels pushy. It feels like pitching, even if it’s free. As a general rule of thumb, every email I send out should consist of 80% value, OR out of five emails I send out, four should be packed with value, and one can be a pitch.
My friend and Alfavrouwen business partner Jessica says that only pitching is the equivalent of sending people a newspaper where all the articles are cut out, and what’s left is ads. You wouldn’t even open it!
I always ask myself “how is this piece of content actionable, valuable and abundant for my listener?”, because if I send out emails that are super valuable, people keep wanting to read what you have to say.
- Valuable means you’re providing helpful tips and advice that people actually want.
- Actionable means asking if people can actually do something with the advice you’re sharing. I’m a very action oriented coach, and from the get-go I force my clients to start taking action. Some people say knowledge is power, but actually, action is power. You also want to make sure the information you’re providing is clear.
- Abundance means going above and beyond for your listener, making sure they get the best info from you through your emails. Scarcity, the opposite of abundance, would only be emailing when you want to pitch, for example.
#3: The email sales rate is much higher than social media
It’s kind of crazy, and you might not expect it to be true, but the sales rate on email is SO much higher than on social media. It’s good to use a combination of the two to reinforce it, but I know that for me, when I use swipe-up links on Instagram, they don’t perform as well as my email campaigns – and most people don’t even have the swipe-up function anyway.
Let’s say you've got an Instagram following of a couple of hundred or a couple thousand. You might be thinking “it’s such a hassle to get people to my bio, and the link, and then another link.” I’ve got good news for you! With email, you can reach them with a click of one single button, and you can choose when you reach them – you don’t have to wait until they come online like on Instagram.
The sales rate is much higher in emails, BUT you do need to put in the work to get it there. If people aren’t used to buying from you through email, they won’t. That’s why step one – micro conversions – is so important. I know I can sell out an entire program through email only, because the people who really want to hear from me are on my email list. I use it every single week – it’s like secret sales, almost!
#4: Automations boost your digital or passive income
It all tends to go wrong after you gather email lists and never send anything out to people. You use all this energy getting people to sign up, and then they never hear from you again. The other thing you might not do – and I’m also the worst at this – is cerating automations. That means once a subscriber enters your email list, you can make sure you make them really warm – or even hot – leads, and then pitch them. And all this on autopilot. This is how you can create amazing passive income.
Automations are the real deal. I remember there was a time when I didn’t get it. A fitness coach who was a friend of mine said, “when you set up your email list, you need to make sure you’re got an automation set up to send a sequence to your audience.” I was like what?! Turns out, he was right, and I can teach people not to make my mistake.
Here’s what happens: someone downloads something from you or registers from your newsletter, and you use your resources to turn them into warm leads. Once people ‘walk through your door’, they’re now in your bucket. Now, they enter an automation, like anyone who walks through the door will do. You then decide which room you want that person to go into – or which sequence you want them to go into.
A sequence sends people different emails on different days, making a connection between when the subscriber enters, and them receiving welcoming emails from you chronologically. No matter when someone enters, whether that's Monday, Thursday, or next year, they will all have their own life cycle within your email list, and will all walk through the same doors. You can change that later once they’re through the door. What you don’t want is that people walk through the door and they’re not welcomed: it’s rude!
You can automate almost everything, including your entire welcome series.
- In email 1, you want to introduce yourself, explain why you’re an authority, make it clear how you can help people, and what they can expect from your emails.
- Email 2 could be you explaining something of value, like how to create passive income.
- Email 3 could be you saying ‘these are my three favourite business systems.’
- You can then create a new sequence that comes after that, being like “hey, let’s go to the next level. Are you interested in building your business? If you are, here are three tips. By the way, do you want to do my course? Tomorrow I’ll be back with a proposal for you. Keep an eye out.”
- The next day, I come back with the pitch to my Business Boss course.
Start off with an onboarding, or nurturing sequence. This builds trust and helps people to get to know you. They trust you, and then you can pitch them. You can then leave people in your bucket, and they’ll receive all your other emails, like the ones pushing your podcast or blog.
You might be thinking you can’t do this if you have products. Of course you can! You can do this for any type of business. You’ve probably bought through emails. Don’t be lazy. I get it – I postponed so much of this in the past, but it’s such a huge revenue driver, because it runs itself. It’s not like Instagram where you need to do everything again each day, or where stories disappear after 24 hours.
Automations carry on behind the scenes, and the wheels keep on turning – which is how you can generate passive income. If you’re ready to start building your email list, I recommend you check out my latest free download at www.fastforwardamy.com/startyourlist.
#5: Create waitlists
If you’ve got something new coming up, like a new program or a new product, create a waitlist using a form or a landing page saying ‘do you want to be the first to know about this? Sign up for the waitlist”. You could offer a bonus or a discount for the people who sign up. You want the warm leads, because you need the data. You need to know how many people are interested, and how many people you can count on.
It’s also something you can do if you’re talking about something on social media, and you want to see how much interest there is for what you want to sell. You could put a link for the waitlist on your social media, and you could also send it out to your current email list to create segments. If no one signs up, you know that your idea wasn’t really worth it.
#6: Use forms
My final tip is to use forms. By this, I mean using TypeForm of Google Forms to ask your clients questions. Forms allow you to gather information on your target audience, which in turn you can use to make sure what you’re creating is relevant and what people actually WANT to buy. What I’ve done in the past is to create a waitlist, and when people sign up, they have to fill in a form. I gather all the responses which are all about what people struggle with, which questions they have, and what they want to achieve. I can use this to grow my business and my sales, because I’m always fulfilling my clients’ needs.
Are you ready to take your business up a notch? We’re opening the doors soon to my program The Business Freedom Elevator, and I promise it’s going to be EPIC. It’s a 6 month coaching program where I teach you all about your business – kind of like business school, but all online. Sign up for the waitlist at www.fastforwardamy.com/elevator.
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