Step up your email marketing in 5 steps | #take5

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few months, you’ll probably be bored to death of hearing four letters, GDPR… Anyone else feel a bit sick every time they see / hear it? I think it’s slightly ironic that a legislation intended to minimise unwanted emails has resulted in my inbox being bombarded with more emails than ever...

Well, the good news is, the day this podcast is going up (25th May) is the day that the new legislation is in place and as a result, all the talk surrounding GDPR is hopefully mostly done. The masses of ‘heres our new privacy policy’ and ‘re-opt into our email list’ emails should be behind us…

A large part of the impact GDPR has had on small business’, has been in terms of email marketing. Email lists had to be deleted or adjusted to suit the new legislation, which has tight governance concerning the consent which people give before opting into receiving emails.

Since all this conversation has arisen surrounding email marketing, I figured what better time to talk about what effective email marketing looks like? Now we’re GDPR squeaky clean and ready to jump back into the world of newsletters and emails, let’s walk through 5 ways you can step up your email marketing…

Prefer to listen rather than read? Tune into this content via my podcast…

VALUE IT

The way we perceive something has a huge impact on the way we treat it. I truly believe that if you’re looking to build longevity in your digital marketing, email marketing is the way to go.

Building an audience on social media (whether it be Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn), as effective as it is, is on borrowed space. What you post is put through either algorithms or filters and you don’t have full control over the way your following perceives what you put out.

But when you build an email list and use it to promote and share, that space is yours and you have full control over the content that your audience receives from you. It’s a no brainer that when wanting to build a digital strategy which will stand the test of time, growing an email list is the right choice.

So that’s a simple but vital step #1, value it.

FIND A FORMAT & STICK TO IT

I don’t know about you but email marketing has always been something I’ve struggled to stay consistent with. For a long time I had a list and was sending out sporadic emails as and when I had something to share, but there was no structure or rhythm to the campaigns I was sending out. Very random and not very intentional.

One of my business intentions this year was to get hold of my email marketing by figuring out and sticking to an effective plan. 5 months in, a good bit of putting it off and it feels like I’ve found what works. Personally, my structure is a weekly email, touching on a digital marketing / entrepreneurial topic which is on my mind and relevant for my ideal audience. It’s somewhere between a newsletter and a blog…

Adding structure to our platforms we use, truly empowers us to share remarkable content regularly, whilst not making us feel like we have to re-invent the wheel every time we log onto Mailchimp.

When finding a format or structure for your email marketing, consider what’s best for both you and your audience. Would they prefer a weekly digest or monthly newsletter? Would they have an interest in your business as a whole or just your specific offerings?

Then ask yourself; is this a schedule I can keep up? Do I have enough new content to put into this format?

CREATE EXPECTANCY

This tip is true for most platforms but I’ve found it to be fundamental to growing an email list - create expectancy surrounding the content you’ll be sharing, both with your current and future audience.

If there’s one thing that GDPR has shown us, its that we’re becoming increasingly picky about people we want showing up in our inbox’s. I think out of all the ‘re-subscribe’ emails I’ve received and I’ve probably opted in to 2 email lists. And those 2 are lists which serve me with consistent and expected content.

Particularly when giving their email address away, people want to know exactly what they’re getting in return.

Give people a concrete reason to join your list, so once you’ve taken on tip #2 and decided on a format - share that with the world! When we’re transparent about what we’re sharing, the tables turn from ‘please join my mailing list’ to people genuinely wanting to receive whatever it is you’re giving out. The more open we are about what people are going to receive & when, the more anticipation you’re going to create surrounding those emails.

I share the theme of #TheWeekly on my Instagram stories each week, showing those who aren’t on my list exactly what I’m sharing and hopefully, compelling them to want in.

So that’s number 3, create expectancy with your current and future audience. But how do we make people excited about our emails? Moving onto point #4, make it unique.

MAKE IT UNIQUE

When considering the content you want to put into your emails, the logical answer is to share your recent blogs / videos / offerings etc. It’s traditionally the way that many of us have used email marketing, but when it comes to giving people a reason to join your list, we need to make something different about your emails.

If what you’re sharing on your emails can be found elsewhere, there’s little to no reason for people to opt in. But if you’re sending out emails which have an element of exclusivity to them, people will be compelled to join your list. Because otherwise they’re missing out, and if you’re sharing content which is genuinely interesting and value-adding for them, they’ll want to be in the know.

I personally did this by cutting down on my blogs and instead sharing blog type content within my email. Have a look at the content you’re currently creating and consider shifting some of that into email marketing. We put incredible amounts of time and effort into our content, so why not elevate it and give it the value it deserves?

SERVE, SERVE, SERVE, SELL

Let’s get real here, for product and service based business’, the long term goal of our email marketing is to have a list who are ready and waiting to receive any offerings we have. But if we jump straight in and use our emails as a constant sales pitch, people are very quickly going to stop opening your emails or worse, unsubscribe.

Going back to what I mentioned earlier, we’re becoming increasingly picky about the emails we want to opt in for, so as marketers we need to ensure the emails we’re sending are what people want to receive.

Thinking of your ideal audience, consider how you can share content which is value-adding, relevant and genuinely engaging for them. When planning your emails, follow the format of serving before you sell and prioritise nurturing and growing your list over promoting to it.

THAT'S IT!

So there we have it, 5 ways for you to step up your email marketing game and continue to grow and nurture a list, despite the recent GDPR changes.

alice-benham

alice-benham