Your 4 Step Guide to Building a More Responsive Email List | By Jeannette Koczela (Updated)

Young Woman Sitting in Front of a Computer and LaughingFor the past several years I have been building email lists. I used to wonder why everyone thought they were so valuable. That's because my lists were not very responsive and those people hardly ever bought anything from me. Gradually I discovered several reasons that may have been responsible and when I changed what I was doing, suddenly, sales began to happen.

As I refined my approach to email marketing, the sales grew and now I am delighted to look at my email and regularly find several sales have come in. Now I'd like to share some of the changes I made with you so you can build a more responsive list and get more sales.

First of all why build an email list?

You want to build a list so you have an audience - people to build a relationship with that want to hear from you and want what you have to offer. A list is also a way for you to give them a free taste of your service, so you can attract your ideal clients. Then you can keep in touch with your audience through your newsletter or ezine and ideally an auto-response series of emails that you set up.

It's up to you to take the responsibility for building your list. That's where your leads will come from and in due course, your clients/customers. It's been said, "You can make a million dollars for every 10,000 people on your list, if you know what you're doing." Obviously this depends on what you're selling, and how qualified your list is!

Here is Your Step-by-Step Guide with Valuable Tips on Email Marketing:

1) How to get people on your list

You start this process by having an opt-in page (or email sign-up form). Your opt-in is an ongoing list builder, and you need to always be doing activities that also drive new people to your site.

On this opt-in page you offer a gift for signing up with you. Your gift will be unique to you and your visitors will give you their email address in exchange for it. They are also saying yes to receiving more from you, including your marketing messages, which you will give them in your email series and newsletters.

The wording you put on that page will attract the kind of clients you desire. Your compelling message converts these people to your list. And it also determines the responsiveness of your list. You only want subscribers who love hearing from you and then it's your job to nurture that relationship.

Editor's Note: In order to be "GDPR" compliant (a legal requirement if you email anyone from Europe - which with the internet is always possible), be sure to clearly state what people will be receiving from you if they sign-up, and use a professional emailing service to allow people to unsubscribe easily. There is much more to GDPR that just email permissions, so do your research!

2) How to keep people on your list

You want to keep people on your list so you can deepen relationships. When you first meet someone, you don't expect him or her to ask you for something. You expect them to get to know you first. The same is true in today's online marketing world. You want to give your subscribers time to get to know you.

Some of the things that you want to convey to your audience include what kind of person you are, how much you care about them and what you can do for them. This is how you build the "know, like and trust" factor into the relationship.

First show them what kind of person you are by giving them helpful gifts. Your generosity will win their interest in you. The gifts you give them will show how you care about them. And these gifts will plant the seeds for what you can do for them. In this way you develop their knowledge, likeability and trust in you.

3) How your gifts build the "Know, Like and Trust" factor

The first gift is what you advertise on your opt-in page. These days, it isn't enough for your visitors to give you their email in exchange for your newsletter. They want more. So the best thing you can do is give them gifts right away. This can be one very juicy gift, or it could be a combination of a report, a checklist, an audio, a video or an article.

Then, it's great to follow-up with your new subscribers with a series of emails that you set up on an autoresponder. This is the best way to follow-up with your new subscribers so they want to stay on your list.

Here's one way to Use Auto-responders:

  • The first email will be a thank-you for subscribing and link to download your freebies you promised on your opt-in page.
  • Then for the next two weeks you could send out an email every 4-5 days that does not mention any of your paid products.
  • In each email you deliver great content.
  • You can discuss one or more of the challenges that your particular target market has - but give no links to any products. For example, you can give them a video tip, an article or blog post, an audio, a webinar that you teach or something they can download.

Use different media types in your emails so they get used to interacting with you in different ways. Each email they receive with more goodies will increase the quantity of information you give them. This also increases their level of commitment to you.

Think of it as a courtship because as you know, in a courtship, the wooer brings gifts at regular intervals to wow their recipient.

4) How to promote your paid services

Only now that you have established a relationship in which you make your subscribers awed at the amount of free information and gifts you have given them, are you in a position to tell them about your paid services. I've heard it once described as, "Earning your hall pass".

Remember in high school when you wanted to do something out of the normal routine and you had to go to the principal's office and get a hall pass, so you wouldn't be accosted by a teacher demanding to know what you were doing? Well, this is a similar situation in that you have to do something special to get the reward. And that reward is to be able to market to your audience.

The best place for that is your newsletter. The reason why it's the best place is because it's not just an email sales pitch. Your newsletter is filled with more great content, some things of interest like news in your industry, and then something about one of your products. This way it comes across as you being helpful once again to help them through the problem your product and/or service addresses.

Common Sections of a Newsletter are:

  1. A Welcome/Introduction - which can be something pertinent to the reader or a personal note.
  2. Featured Article - more great content, which can have a link to a product that solves a problem
  3. Spotlight - this is a good place to spotlight a client with their testimonial about you. If you are an organization, you can spotlight one of your members.
  4. News - this can be news about upcoming events you are doing, industry news that your audience would want to know about, or even your own product launches.
  5. About you - some ezine owners have a section that gives a brief bio about themselves with their social media links, and contact information.  Some also include their schedule if they travel or have or attend events.
  6. Links - You can also have a separate section just for social media links, and contact information.
  7. Recommendations - is another optional section where you recommend products. I've seen solopreneurs recommend one of their own products but I think that's overkill and I have found that many subscribers prefer recommendations of other people's products. I recommend events, webinars, and products that I am an affiliate for, and my subscribers have told me that they appreciate those tips.

Wrap-up

If you follow these 4 steps for email/newsletter marketing you will be able to build your list faster, have higher-quality subscribers, and better lead-conversion rates from your list. It's a great way to build relationships and the preferred way in today's techno-savvy market. And remember - it's an ongoing process.

You will always have people just starting out on your list and people who have been on it for years. To all of them you need to keep giving great information, great content, and show that you not only care about them, but also appreciate their commitment to you by being on your list.

Jeannette Koczela Jeadshot
Contributing Author: Jeannette Koczela is the founder of the International Association of Professional Life Coaches. For more tips and support for your life coaching business, visit our Facebook Page or Become a member of the IAPLC.

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