Before you can get started using email for relationship building, you have to learn how to build your lists properly. That starts with attracting the right people to the right list. If you cast too wide a net you’ll get a lot of uninterested and unresponsive people on your list. So, when it comes to email marketing, size and quality matter. Yes, of course bigger lists are better, but only if the quality of the subscribers is high as well.
1. Plan Ahead – Think through how you’ll not only grow your list but exactly who you want on your lists. Identity your target audience, specifically and clearly write down the information on paper so you can follow it. Develop customer personas that can help you build a list full of members who want to hear what you have to say and for whom you can add value.
2. Set Subscriber Expectations – Let subscribers know exactly what you’ll be sending them, when and how often. The clearer you can be, the more you’ll weed through people who don’t want that information and only build a list full of people who want the information. There is no need to reason to trick people into signing up. You want only the people who want to be there.
3. Give Them Something Valuable – When creating your free give-a-way, focus on a very narrow and specific audience. You want to give them something that truly adds value to their lives and even solves one of their main pain points. You want the offer to be so specific that only people who belong on your list will want to sign up for it.
4. Make Signing Up Simple – Avoid asking for too much information up front. At the most, ask for a first name, industry and an email address. You can make it even simpler by only collecting an email address. This will encourage people to sign up who want the information you’re offering fast. In addition, don’t make them wait for the promised information.
5. Value Their Privacy – Make sure they know up front that you will not give or sell their information to third parties. You can put a privacy notice right on your sign up form by adding a hyper link to it. Make sure that notice opens in a new window so they’re not taken away from the task of signing up.
6. Monitor Your Stats – While email is a wonderful tool that can be fully automated, physically monitor your email stats at least weekly. You can get a lot of insight into what’s happening with your lists by looking at the analytics.
7. Cross Promote – Once people have joined your email list as a subscriber, be sure to let them know where else they can locate you on the web. It should be easy for them to connect with you in multiple places. Believe it or not, this will increase trust as they get to know you and your brand outside of the email inbox.
Finally, only send content of value to your list. Yes, you’re going to promote your products and services to them. But, you’re also going to inform, educate and engage with them so that you can build strong and lasting relationships of value.
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