Because it’s yours! You built it and they came to you because they chose to. Whereas, your audience on social media, who are owned by the platform, are likely built around family, friends, competitors and people who exchanged a like for a like. That audience can also be taken from you at any time, without warning!
You’ve heard the horror stories of accounts being hacked, pages being shut down, etc. Well, they’re true. You’ve also heard how difficult, sorry impossible, it is to actually talk to anyone at these places – especially Facebook, they rarely even communicate with police forces so you’re way down their priority list – and because the social media platforms are free, you really have very little recourse should your account ‘disappear’.
This is why you need to build an audience away from social media. And one of the best ways is a newsletter list.
1. Make your offer enticing
‘Sign up to my newsletter here‘.
No, you’re alright thanks. Why would I? Tell me why I should, what’s in it for me?
We’re very reluctant to just hand over our email address when, in the past, it’s been the route to receiving spam. So tell your potential subscribers why they would benefit from signing up.
Maybe you’ll regularly share tips to help them overcome their pain points?
Maybe it’s the only way people get discount codes from you?
2. Make the sign up process easy
If you’re in the UK you don’t need double opt-in. It’s not a legal requirement and it’s utterly pointless – it’s a bit Cbeebies patronising too in my opinion. ‘Thanks for your email address, but are you sure you wanted to give me it, or was it a mistake? Click this second, maybe third, button to confirm you’re not stupid’
If someone is interested in signing up because you have something they want, then let them have it asap. Don’t give them extra unnecessary work to do. You might lose them.
If you’re using a piece of software like Mailchimp, you can see where people have signed up from, including their location too sometimes, so you’re good to turn that double opt-in rubbish off as your GDPR requirement is covered.
3. Make the sign up form simple
You only need their email address really, don’t you? I do recommend you get their first name too so you can personalise emails, but that’s it. Stop there! You don’t need them to confirm they want to receive your emails via email – yes, I’ve actually seen that a lot! You don’t need to put GDPR questions on there, again, these people are adults, they don’t need you to bend down in front of them asking ‘are you sure you know what you’re doing?‘
You also don’t need their address. That’s just weird and completely off putting. What are you going to do with it? Pop round and ask ‘Uh, I noticed you unsubscribed, can we talk about it?‘
4. Make the sign up page less busy
Does the sign up page also link to lots of other things, like your blog? Get rid of any extra noise and just make the main thing the main thing.
You want them to give you their email address, you can distract them once they’ve signed up with your cleverly placed Thank You For Signing Up page. Here’s a video on how to do that using Mailchimp.
5. Find a cure
We all feel so much better when we have a resolution, an explanation or a clear path, don’t we? Let’s give that to your customers.
Think about your customer’s pain points and address them in a free download, in exchange for their email address.
For example, many of my clients come to me for help with writing their newsletters so I created this free download, How To Write Newsletter Subject Headings That Get Opened, and in exchange I get their email address.
6. Keep telling people
Keep reminding people you have a newsletter list / free download, in fact tell them at least once a week via social media and give them the sign up link.
Also, add a sign up form to your website. I am not a fan of pop up boxes, so was reluctant to add one to my website, but it’s the biggest convertor!
If you need any help with Mailchimp or email marketing, I’ll be here.