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3 Ways Your Email List Can Outperform Your Blog

3 ways your email list can outperform your blog - why you need an email list for your online business.

You started a blog but you’re not getting the results you were promised.

Your audience is not engaged.

You never know when they take action on your blog posts or if they ever do.

You know you have little control over whether or not they ever come back to read your stuff.

What if I told you there is a better way to build your connection with your audience?

With email, you have a better measurement of how many people are engaged, opened your emails, and took action on the things you wished they did.

There are three reasons why having an email list is just as important as having a blog, if not more important.

Open and click through rates are more meaningful than pageviews.

This is how your  traffic acquisition goes: you either set up and prepare your website for free or paid traffic. SEO, Pinterest, Facebook ads, promoted pins, guest posting, etc. You get a few thousands visitors per day, some love your content and sign up for your emails. Others flee and never come back. For those who never come back, you don’t know if they just forgot to sign up your emails and freebie or your content got in the eyeballs of the wrong audience.

On the other hand, when you decide to send an email to your subscribers, you’re sending it to a warm audience. These people have read at least one of your blog posts and knows who you are. They have opted in and have given you permission to land in their inbox.

At the end of the day, the vanity metrics are meaningless if those aren’t the people who’s going to go out there and speak highly of your brand, services, and products. There are people who are just interested in the topic you speak about. Then there’s those people who are asking for more from you because of your perspective on the topic.

Not from someone else who talks about the same topic, but from you specifically.

Subscribers are more loyal because they have given you permission to email them.

Think about the last time you subscribed to a YouTube channel. The last time you subscribed to a fashion or beauty magazine. The last time you invited someone to your home for tea. Nope, I’m not kidding about the the tea one. And here’s why.

There’s a difference when someone invites you to send them content and when they visit your blog for content. When people visits your blog for content, they’re looking for information on a problem. Let’s say you have a blog posts that says, “5 Ways to Clean Out Your Closet in less than 30 minutes.”

People click on it. Some read it, love your ideas and then implement it. The others click away from your website and feel that your ideas won’t work for them. But for the people who love your ideas opt in, they are in for a ride with you.

For these people who opt-in, it’s proven that they like your ideas, believe you, and it’s the first step to deepening that trust with them via email.

So what does this have to do with inviting someone to your home for tea?

Well, when you invite someone to your home for tea, it means they’re your friends and generally someone whom you trust. The reality is, no one invites strangers to their homes. And if someone trusts you with their emails, then you are on their good side. They invite you to continue to send more content to their inbox.

And people value their inbox because it’s connected to everything they own online. They won’t risk inviting spam inside if they don’t at least connect with you on some level.

Email sequences helps you generate sales on autopilot.

You can’t possibly make sure your blog stays top of mind and that every person will come back to read more.

But you can follow up with people via email to remind them to check out your new blog posts, products, and services.

In email, there’s something called email autoresponders where you can pre-write a series of emails using your email service provider and have it automatically send out to your list when they subscribe. These autoresponders can be email courses or sales sequences. Write it once and have the same information send out to your new subscribers.

Here are two routes you can take…

Create a blog and hope that people will remember to come back and read it.

Or create an irresistible freebie (oh hey, it’s still free content!) and have people who are truly interested in having their problem solved flock to your sign-up page.

The truth is that whatever content you write on your blog, you can easily repurpose that through email. If you struggle with writing long-form blog content that’s over 1000 words, guess what?

You can write your message through email. With email, you don’t have to worry too much about the length of your content. You can get away with emails that are shorter — as that’s the industry norm.

With email you can see who are reading your emails and who are taking action. This can be clicking on the email that leads them to a worksheet.

Let’s say you decide to create your irresistible freebie to kick off your list building, here’s what you can do.

Do you need a blog to starting collecting subscribers?

Nope!
All you need is a landing page.

If your freebie is compelling enough to solve a real world problem (not one that you think people will need), you’ll have people rolling into your email list on autopilot.

In fact, landing pages convert at a much higher rate for me than any form of content upgrade or opt-in form on a blog.

I have some blog posts that gets a good number of page views, comments, shares, and engagement. People know it’s helpful as they have said so. But when you expect more subscribers, it doesn’t happen.

Why not?

They love the topic. There is interest. The blog post was helpful.

But they probably don’t have an immediate need to solve the problem so they don’t sign up for your freebie.

But for those people who do sign up for the freebie, they do want their problem solved. These are the people who have an immediate need to use your services, consulting packages, or products. These are the people you want to focus on.

Which comes back to my point. You don’t need to have a blog to collect subscribers. When I started, I felt obligated to give away free information before collecting subscribers, but as I dive into using paid advertising, I realized that if people have a need to solve their pains with the freebie I’m offering, they’ll opt-in regardless if there’s the blog post.

This suddenly made me realize that a blog is a nice-to-have, not a must-have sometimes. When you offer a free blog post, it attracts people who are interested in the topic, but doesn’t always necessarily need a problem solved. And your paid services and products should always target people who need it — hopefully asap. Does this means you should dump your blog?

Well no.

I love writing a blog and building trust through free content, but it doesn’t work as effectively and quickly as you’ll like it sometimes. When I realized that I can spend two hours creating one PDF (be it a workbook, swipe file, or toolkit) and it converts better than a blog post that I spent 5-6 hours on, it really makes me wonder how I should allocate my time.

Final Words

You may feel like if you start an email list, you need to offer many lead magnets at once to build your list. But that’s far from the truth. As long as you know what’s your paid offering and ideal client, all you need is one compelling lead magnet to kick off your list building efforts.

ABOUT JUDY:

Judy helps you with your website and email to get more conversions by writing clear and purposeful copy. She’s obsessed with About pages, sales pages, email sequences, and irresistible freebies as nerdy as that sounds.

Website link: heyjudess.com

5 Examples of Opt-ins You Can Use to Grow Your Email List

5 examples of opt ins to grow your email list - expert tips from top female entrepreneurs - a guest post by Solopreneur Sidekick

A guest post by Louise Henry @ Solopreneur Sidekick

Opt-ins are all the rage lately! And rightly so – they have the capability to grow your email list in a big way and set you up for future income streams. I would consider an opt-in (or lead magnet) an essential for your online business that you should implement asap.

OPT-INS TO GROW YOUR EMAIL LIST

Firstly, what do I mean why I say “opt-in?” Basically, all an opt-in is, is something (usually a digital product) that you give someone in exchange for their email address or “opting in” to your newsletter. In this article I’m going to share with you my best advice for creating a high converting opt-in and show you 5 different examples for inspiration.

Most importantly, focus on an issue your ideal client is facing. I’m sure you could create a fantastic opt-in on a number of topics, but what is your client currently struggling with? It can be tempting to skip a few steps, or want to show how knowledgeable you are. Which is awesome! BUT – what stage is your ideal client at? Are you overwhelming them with the thought of automation when they haven’t even sent a newsletter yet?

Next, think of your opt-in as step 1 of your sales funnel. Think about what needs to happen before they hire you or purchase your product. For example, if you are selling a course on ConvertKit, your ideal client should already have an understanding of email marketing. So there’s your topic for your freebie! Educate them on how important email marketing is for their business, why ConvertKit is a great product and finish the freebie with a call to action leading to your paid service.

Another way to think about it is to answer FAQs with your opt-in. For example, I love to help solopreneurs launch their own brands. But my ideal client, someone who is just about to embark on their entrepreneurial adventure, might not know the fundamentals of branding. So something like, a free email course that walks them through the fundamentals of branding would be a perfect fit. What are the questions that all clients ask before working with you? Or what things do you need to explain to each client prior to work beginning? You should be able to get ideas for your opt-ins from this!

Here are a few, real-life examples for your inspiration:

  • A free email course like Maya Elious of mayaelious.com and her Free 5-Day Personal Branding Course

Why it works: You can lead potential clients through a series, demonstrate your knowledge and help them work through a subject in depth. At the end of the course, you will have built up trust, your audience will feel as though they have got to know you (and your work) and many will want to know more from you.

Maya-Elious-Free-Branding-Course

 

  1. Access to your Facebook group like Heather Crabtree of heathercrabtree.com and her group Savvy Business Owners

Why it works: Not only do you capture their email, but you get another member in your Facebook group too! Why is this so great? That means you have double the chance of building a meaningful connection with your audience.

Heather-Crabtree-Facebook-Group

  1. Free templates, stock photos or other helpful + practical things like Jessica of lovepluscolor.com and her free creative library of templates + worksheets

Why it works: You’re helping your ideal client with something right away. By providing them with a template or worksheet they need, you can make an immediate impact on their business (and they’ll surely thank you for it!)

Love+Colour-Freebies

  1. Access to a free webinar replay or video masterclass like Nesha Woolery of neshawoolery.com

Why it works: You’ve already put in the hours crafting the perfect webinar! Now make it work for you! Offering up the replay is a smart way to do this. Plus, it’s a very personal way for your clients to get to know you. Many marketing pros I admire have started to go with this option (Halley Gray, Sarah Morgen) – and that’s because it converts.

Nesha-Woolery-Free-Video-Class

  1. A free PDF of whatever you’d like! Here’s a fantastic example by Shaina of yourampersandstudio.com

Why it works: You can get laser specific on what your target audience needs, like Shaina has done here with her download “28 Lessons, Resources and “Aha” Moments for the Rising Photographer.” Niche down and offer something totally unique + relevant to your audience!

And remember:

Go above and beyond and make your opt-in really strong. You want to exceed their expectations. You want it to provide a glimpse into what it would be like to work with you! And we know that’s gonna be good.

Grab their attention. Ever noticed that the best marketers use words like “irresistible” – don’t be afraid to spruce it up!

And lastly, remember to tell them what to do next! The last page of your opt-in should include a call to action that tells them exactly how to hire you or buy your product.

I hope this has helped get you thinking about your next opt-in. Good luck and leave your link in the comments once you’re done!

Louise-headshot

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hi, I’m Louise! Your Solopreneur Sidekick. I’m passionate about helping busy solopreneurs make the most of their time so they can focus on building their dream online business. From offering on-demand design & digital marketing services, to writing my best actionable tips & tricks on my blog, I help you focus on what’s important and see the growth you deserve!

FOLLOW ALONG: Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

5 ConvertKit Automation Rules That Save Time + Increase My Revenue

 How I use ConvertKit automation to save time and increase revenue for my online business. Learn these helpful email marketing hacks to make more money from your small business or blog on autopilot!

Raise your hand if you could use a few more hours in your week to work more / sleep more / binge watch Netflix more?

Raises hand.

I don’t know about you, but as a busy solopreneur I’m always looking for ways to save time – because there are always more things on my to-do list (also I really, really enjoy naps). I’ve shared 5 ways to save time on social media + 5 tips to save time creating blog posts and today I’m sharing 5 ConvertKit automation rules that save time AND increase my revenue!

AUTOMATION VS. SCHEDULING

A quick note – something that really bothers me is when people confuse scheduling with automation.

In relation to online marketing – scheduling means you’re doing the work / creating or curating the content and setting it up to publish or be shared at a later time. Scheduling saves time because it reduces context switching, allows you to batch related tasks, and prevents you from having to keep up with #allthethings throughout each day.

Automation, on the other hand, means setting something up once so it’s done automatically over and over again. It’s the best form of set it and forget it (i.e. a busy solopreneur’s favorite thing)!

For example, adding tweets to your Hootsuite publisher is scheduling. Adding tweets to your Edgar library is automation because they get shared over and over again. Similarly, adding pins to your Tailwind queue is scheduling, setting up pins to “loop” on Boardbooster is automation.

Moving on…

WHY AUTOMATE?

It saves time – If I have the choice to manually do something over and over again or set it up once to run on autopilot – I’m probably going to pick autopilot. There are only so many hours in the day and there are a lot of other things I want to do with them #timeismoney

It streamlines workflow – There are probably a ton of “small” things that need to happen on a regular basis to keep your business rolling along, but it’s easy for “small” things to slip through the cracks unless there is a real system in place for getting them done. Automating these little things can not only make your life easier, but it will also ensure that they always get done!

It increases sales opportunities – Most people don’t have time to be consistently promoting their products / services, consistently following up with leads, or consistently sending sales pitches. Except everyone does, IF you use automation! There are a lot of different things you can automate in your online business, but in this post I want to specifically talk about how I use email automation to save time AND increase my revenue!

Free guide to creating irresistible email opt-in freebies

EMAIL AUTOMATION WITH CONVERTKIT

Since last Fall, I’ve used ConvertKit as my email marketing service (you can reach why I switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit in this post) – it’s not a perfect system but it makes a lot of things really easy to do – including automation! I have over 50 different automation rules set up (mostly because I have a lot of different opt-in forms), but here are a few examples of automations that not only save time, but also increase my revenue on autopilot!

Opt-in to free resource >> Add to email sequence

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 6.05.13 PM copy

When people download my free stock photos, they automatically get added to an email sequence that introduces them to the Styled Stock Society (paid membership) and invites them to join. Over 15% of people who receive these emails click through to learn more about the Styled Stock Society and over 10% end up becoming members – all because I set up a simple email sequence that works on autopilot!

I have similar sequences set up for any opt-ins that related to paid products – for example, if someone downloads my Ultimate Guide to Hashtags, they get added to an email sequence that eventually introduces them to my Instagram course. They keyword there is eventually – if someone is new-to-me, they’re likely to purchase a paid course right away. I think it’s important to provide a lot of value through free content before earning the right to sell to someone (I have a free Instagram course, free Instagram challenge, 6 value-packed blog posts, and have held several free Instagram webinars).

If you have any sort of evergreen product / course / membership program – having an email sequence in place is SO important if you want to make consistent sales!

Opt-in to free resource >> Add interest tag

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Your email list is only good if it’s targeted – you can have 5,000 people on your list who opted in because they wanted free stock photos, but if you are trying to sell them mindset coaching, I’m guessing that not many people on that list are going to sign up! To keep track of who is interested in what on my email list, I have several rules set up to auto tag subscribers when opt-in to various lead magnets. Since ConvertKit is subscriber-based and not list-based (like Mailchimp), this is an easy way to filter my subscribers based on interest so I can share relevant content with them.

Click a link >> Add interest tag

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 6.05.13 PM

 

Another way I use automation rules to determine subscriber interests is by setting up “link triggers” so that when someone clicks on a link in an email, a tag is automatically added. In this example, anyone who clicked on a link to my Glam Your Glam sales page in an email gets tagged because (I assume) clicking on that link indicates they are potentially interested in the course. From there, I might decide to send anyone who is tagged with a particular product interest a special offer or I might add them to a different email sequence. It’s another layer of targeting that can be particularly helpful during a launch period when I don’t want to annoy everyone with sales emails.

Purchase a product >> Remove from funnel

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Speaking of not annoying people with emails, I also set up automations so that when someone makes a purchase as a result of an email sequence, they get removed from the sequence so that they don’t continue to get sales emails. In this example, anyone who enrolls in Glam Your ‘Gram is removed from my Instagram funnel so I don’t continue to pitch them the course. ConvertKit easily integrates with Teachable (where I host my courses) and SendOwl (what I use for digital products / memberships) so it’s easy to automatically tag customers as well!

Opt-in to a free / low-priced offer >> Offer a paid upgrade

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Last but not least, I also use automation to offer “upsells” to any offer where there are multiple price points. For example, when someone joins my free Instagram challenge, they receive a welcome email that also reminds them that they can upgrade for a small fee to get immediate access to all 14 challenge lessons right away. Approximately 5% who join the free challenge decide to upgrade to the FAST TRACK version, so that’s a nice little revenue stream that works on autopilot!

So those are just a few automation rules that I have set up to save time and drive more revenue, but there are so many other possibilities! Here’s a screenshot of some of the other possible combinations you can set up using ConvertKit:

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 6.03.51 PM

I’d love to hear how you’re using automation to save time in your business, and if you have any questions about ConvertKit automation – let me know in the comments! 

Free guide to creating irresistible email opt-in freebies

 

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