Trying to grow your email list? Read on…
With every blog post, I was trying to please Penny.
She was one of my earliest subscribers, back in 2006 when I started to build an email list. She was also a friend I highly respected and who I wanted to think well of me. I didn’t want to share anything in my blog and newsletter that wasn’t relevant to her so I wrote about topics that were generally appealing. I trod gently, kept between the lines.
But as my focus on self-employment became clearer and my passion for authentic marketing and heart-centred business grew, I became more targeted and specific in the wisdom I shared.
One day, Penny and I were having lunch and she mentioned, “You know, I’m not really finding your blogs all that interesting these days. They’re all about business and I don’t want to run a business.”
I smiled. She’d said it so beautifully. Penny wasn’t my niche. She wasn’t one of my Tribe. She wasn’t going to spend money with me and it was a relief to see I’d stopped making her interest the benchmark of my blog success.
Fans versus Customers
Are you trying to appeal to everyone in your blog posts, videos and social media interactions? How well is that leading to happy paying clients?
Unanimity is impossible unless you are willing to be invisible. “It’s not for you” is easy to say and incredibly difficult to do. You don’t have much choice, though, not if you want your work to matter – Seth Godin
My blogging philosophy is this:
It’s better to have 100 loyal subscribers than 1,000 who delete your message each time they see your name. You can run a profitable business with a relatively small list. Quality trumps quantity when it comes to list size.
And as long as a subscriber finds most of your posts relevant, they’ll stay subscribed. They’ll forgive the odd curve ball if most of your content is right on target for them.
So, consider celebrating each unsubscriber. When you get notified that someone has left your list or unfollowed you on social media, wish them well. Be proud that you spoke with a bold enough voice. Say, “Yes! I was visible. I shared a point of view. I didn’t apologise for being in business.” Don’t be afraid of being Marmite – express yourself so authentically that people will either love you and want to pay for your services, or leave.
Help them leave
Once you’ve decided to look forward to unsubscriptions, clear up the practical side by using professional software to manage your email list. I use AWeber (that’s an affiliate link) which makes it easy for people to opt out without having to awkwardly email you and ask you to please stop emailing them. (If you have recommendations for other mailing list software, please add them in the Comments section below.)
With a professional approach, you’re then practising permission marketing. When you make it easy for people to unsubscribe, you can assume that your list consists only of those who actively want to hear from you – and will likely want to pay you one day soon.
Over to you
Have you been holding back your authentic voice, for fear of people unsubscribing? Are you staying vanilla when really you’re chocolate chip or cherry? Are you pretending you’re not selling something? Leave a comment, let us know…
How to blog to get clients
Eager to know how to blog for a niche audience that are hungry for your paid offerings? Stay tuned for the launch of the How to Blog to Get Clients masterclass, coming soon.
And if you want to find out more about newsletters, professional list management and permission marketing, turn to Chapter 6 of Turn Your Passion to Profit: a step-by-step guide to getting your business off the ground. (Haven’t yet got your copy? Click here > > )
© Corrina Gordon-Barnes 2013