Once you’ve built a high quality email list and you are ready to start emailing your fans, you need to think long and hard about what kind of content you are going to send. This is not just a matter of how to write a great email that will get opened and that will get read to the end – it means thinking about a long-term strategy that will gradually build more trust and develop the relationship you have with your audience. It’s about growing your connections and turning those initially cold leads into hot leads who are ready to buy from you.
So how do you go about doing this?
Let’s take a look!
Understanding the Value of Your List
One of the biggest mistakes that many marketers will make when they start sending emails, is to spend too much time marketing and selling and not enough time building that relationship.
A lot of people will write to their subscribers and immediately try to sell something. That might mean that they promote something that they’ve made themselves, or that they recommend an affiliate product. In other cases, they might try to build hype for something that they plan to release in future.
Either way, this is often a quick way to lose followers and to turn off your audience. The problem is that no one likes being sold to at the best of times and certainly not inside their own inbox. If you were to get nothing but marketing messages from a contact, then would you see any good reason to keep opening them? Or would you eventually just stop looking at them?
Not only this, but sending nothing but marketing messages will cheapen the relationship you have with your followers. They will feel as though the only reason you were interested in them signing up was so that they could earn you money.
But on the other hand, if you write messages that actually provide value and that talk to the recipients, then this will be a great way to build trust and to engage your audience further.
And this actually earns you more from a business perspective in the long run.
Let’s say that you use your mailing list to try and sell a digital product that will make you $30. This might work and you might get a 10% conversion rate (which would be amazing). If you have 1,000 subscribers, then that’s $300 – not bad.
But it might also mean that a lot of those subscribers stop paying attention and it might mean that you ‘blew your load’ a little too early!
Instead, focus on delivering value and building the relationship. This way you are increasing the ‘CLV’ – the ‘Customer Lifetime Value’. That means that you are creating customers that really love what you do and that will be likely to buy from you multiple times in the future. It also means you’re creating fans who will likely visit your site on a highly regular basis – and maybe even share your links on their social media pages and elsewhere!
Consider the book 1,000 True Fans. In this classic marketing tome, author Kevin Kelly explains that a brand with 1,000 true fans will always be destined to succeed and it will be almost impossible for it to fail.
So, what is a ‘true’ fan? This is someone who will read every post you share, who will like every one of your Tweets, who will buy whatever products you put out and who will absolutely love your channel and what you do.
How does a true fan ensure that your business is a success? There are numerous ways. For starters, it means that your content will spread exponentially as people share what you’ve written and end up becoming ambassadors and promoters completely free of charge.
At the same time, it will guarantee a source of income. If you have 1,000 people who will buy nearly anything you create, then you will always be able to generate income – as long as you don’t take advantage of their interest.
Think of your first thousand true fans as being a tipping point – a threshold. Once you pass this point, you will find that everything you create in future gains more and more followers and your site begins to grow like wildfire.
This is why building true, loyal fans is far more important than simply focusing on trying to get a few quick sales. Don’t be short-sighted – think about the long term and aim to build relationships that will last.
How to Build Real Relationships
So, you’re aiming for those 1,000 true fans and not trying to get a quick sale.
Now the next question has to be how you are going to go about doing that. How does this shift in objective change the way you work?
The first thing to do is to start writing your messages in a more personal and casual manner. People won’t be won over by your brand if they feel that is completely removed from them. If you try and portray yourself as this big global brand, it will actually just alienate your audience and make them less interested in what you’re doing.
What’s more, is that this can often actually make you appear less professional. This is a big mistake that many small brands will make – trying to appear bigger than they are.
If you are one guy who runs a blog in the evenings and is trying to make some money on the side, then don’t say:
“We’ve been working hard to bring you this project”
Because you know what? People can tell that you are just one guy. And when you pretend to be bigger than you are, it hurts your reputation. It makes you sound like a kid who is trying to pretend they’re a big serious business.
Conversely, admitting you are one person and talking to your audience as human beings is going to help you to become more likeable and relatable for your audience. As a result, they will be more likely to want to help you to grow.
Another pointer is that if you use a more personal narrative in your emails, they are more likely to make it into the primary inbox. Use the recipient’s name by using the feature in your Autoresponder and write in a way that sounds like a regular letter. You know what makes a great subject line? ‘Hi’!
Also important, is to think about what an email is and how you can take advantage of the unique benefits of having one.
You know what email is for? Communication. And you know what communication is? Two way!
In other words, if you can ask your recipients to message you back after they have received your correspondence then you will open up a communication that will let them feel as though you’re a real, approachable person. This will massively increase the trust, as well as helping your audience to feel as though you really value them.
So when you write your next email, why not include a message at the end asking your readers to respond with their ideas? Ask for suggestions as to what you should do on your blog or site next and maybe even ask for contributions or for help!
Doing this gets your audience involved in a big way and it will mean that they feel much more attached to your content and more like they are a part of your brand.
And of course, what is just as important is that you then actually look out for these messages and then you respond to them. Suddenly, you have a two-way line of communication with some of your readers and that means that you can actually start to develop a real relationship. This way, you can get your audience to feel as though they actually know you. They’ll be far more likely to look out for your future messages and they’ll feel like an important part of your brand and the movement that you are promoting.
This takes time and it does mean that you’re now working even harder to not only send emails but also respond to the messages you get from fans and subscribers. But while this might seem like extra work, this is the kind of extra effort that will set you apart and help your site to grow at a much faster rate than the competition.
Things Not to Do
So that is how you go about building a relationship with your audience that is much more powerful and useful than the usual ‘sending lots of marketing messages’.
But if you’re going to make the very most from this, then it is just as important that you consider the things that you must not do. And there are a lot of mistakes that email marketers will make that can end up completely destroying all the good work they’ve put in.
Here are some things you should avoid doing…
Forgetting Your Account
One of the most obvious mistakes that a lot of marketers make is to go weeks or months without ever sending an email. This is a great way to fall off of your readers’ radars and to make them far less interested in what you’re doing. It will make you seem less professional and ultimately, it will lose you subscribers. When your remaining list sees a message from you months later, there’s a good chance they’ll be offended or upset by it – as though you were cold messaging them!
So be consistent and don’t let your mailing list turn into a ghost town.
Similarly though, it’s also a mistake to send too many emails, which can quickly lead to your subscribers becoming irritated by your messages and wanting to unsubscribe. If you inundate your audience with messages then you are taking advantage of the relationship and of the trust and you will quickly get yourself black listed!
Likewise, try not to overdo it in terms of your content. Don’t send messages that are too long for instance or that contain too many large images. These will take a long time to read through and might even clog up your recipients’ inboxes.
Selling Things You Don’t Believe In
Eventually, there will come a time that you try and sell something from your blog. After all, this is a business proposition ad your objective is to try and make a living from your brand.
And this is fine. People recognize this and they don’t mind being sold to – as long as you appear to really believe in what you’re promoting. What’s more, is that once your item has sold, it is highly important that it actually be good enough to be worth the money. If someone buys something on your recommendation and it is low quality or it doesn’t work… well then how likely do you think they will be to buy from you next time?
Breaking the Trust
There are many other ways that you can end up breaking the trust that you have build with your subscribers. An obvious example is if you pass on their email addresses to someone else. While it won’t be easy for your subscribers to find you are the culprit, if they do then it can completely destroy your brand – and it’s pretty obvious if they sign up to your list and they suddenly start getting lots more messages. So don’t risk it!
Okay, so there you have it: that’s how you go about building trust with your audience and getting them to feel that they are a true part of your brand.
The key thing to recognize here is that the relationship you are building is much more important than the direct sales you make. Think in the long term and focus on growing your engagement more than growing your profits and your numbers. Do this and you will create true fans that can help your business to explode!