What are mailing lists all about, and how does it work?
You have just launched your coaching website (yay!). But now what?
(Or maybe your website has been live for a while, but you’re still like “Okay, and now what?”)
It may seem that nothing is happening on your website, but are you sure? It could be that things are happening, you just don’t know it. It’s very likely that you’ve had visitors who have had an interest, but weren’t quite ready to contact you.
What to do with these people? → Keep in touch with them!
Being able to send information straight to someone’s inbox is one of the best ways you can be visible to your potential clients (as opposed to on social media, where only a fraction of your followers actually see your posts in their feed, due to the algorithms).
What’s great about keeping in touch with visitors per email:
- Is an opportunity to build a closer relationship with potential and current clients
- Over time it strengthens the feeling of trust and credibility
- It makes them remember you when they are ready to invest in services like yours
- It allows you to grow and sustain your online business in the long term
You get the best results when, after they have subscribed, you send them regular emails with information that is truly valuable to them, be it blog posts, events you are organizing or simply exclusive value emails only for your subscribers:
Now you’re probably asking yourself:
How do I collect emails and create a mailing list?
First you have to choose an email marketing service.
This kind of service will give you tools to:
- Set up a subscription form on your website
- Store your collected email addresses in your mailing list
- Provide nice templates you can use to send emails to your subscribers
- Track who has opened and clicked links in your emails
Why can’t you just send emails from your regular email account?
Sending bulk emails from e.g. Gmail will usually result in many of your emails going to spam… One of the things an email marketing provider ensures is that your emails are sent out to your subscribers in small intervals, so that they are not considered bulky spam emails by the spam check systems (because you’re not going to send spammy stuff, right?).
With an email marketing provider your mailing list is automatically always up to date. You don’t have to manually update it with new people subscribing, and your emails will comply with GDPR rules in terms of footer content, and the mandatory “unsubscribe” link.
Also, if you send emails to a bunch of people from your normal email account, you won’t be able to track opening rates and other statistics, which are super helpful, so that you know which topics have been most popular, and can therefore adapt the topics of your future emails to what your subscribers are most interested in.
Which email service to choose?
There are tons of options out there: ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, ConvertKit, MailerLite, AWeber…. Anyone new at this gets overwhelmed and usually has no idea of which one to choose.
I’ll make it easy for you 🙂 If you’re brand new and don’t want to invest too much money yet, Mailchimp is the one most people go for. It’s one of the most popular ones because, mostly because it’s free for up to 2000 subscribers, and has all the basic functions you need (as you get more advanced, and might want to switch to another one later. It’s not too complicated to move your subscribers over to another email marketing provider).
What to think of with regards to the design of your signup box and newsletter?
As far as layout goes, consistency is key. Your emails and optin form should match the style of your website, so make sure you use your brand’s fonts and colours. Also, since about half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, you’re going to want to make sure your emails are mobile-friendly.
Where to place your signup boxes?
Ideally you put the signup form or a link to the signup form on every page of your website, not just the homepage because it will increase your chances of getting conversions. Everything you need to know about newsletter signup boxes on your coaching website is this blog post: How to increase conversion rates with signup boxes (including a FB Live video) and in my Newsletter & Signup Box Course.
You can also collect email addresses through your social media networks. You can do this by setting up a separate page on your website with your signup form, and add the link to that page on all social media sites you own, including promoting your freebie offer in your social posts regularly.
Besides from the online way of collecting email addresses, don’t forget to get email addresses from people you meet in person! When you attend networking events or meet people for appointments, ask potential clients if they have interest in joining your email list 🙂
How do you best communicate with subscribers?
Here the relevant steps, and things to to think about:
- How to make people want to leave their email address in the first place:
- Offer them something for free, usually called a freebie or lead magnet (e.g. a pdf with 10 tips)
- What information to collect:
- I recommend you collect their first name and their email, that way you can personalize the greetings in the email. Avoid asking for too much additional info, as the goal is to get their email address, not to annoy them with more questions than absolutely necessary.
- What to say in your welcome email:
- Write a welcoming personal message that creates a connection. Make this new relationship count, make it memorable.
- How often to stay in touch with your subscribers:
- Be realistic about your commitment. Consistency and quality is better than quantity. It’s better to write 1 email per month and manage to stick to it, rather than once a week for a while, and then suddenly nothing at all (because you find out it’s too much to manage). This happens to basically every new business owner, so try to avoid this trap 🙂
- What to write about in the emails/newsletters to your subscribers:
- Anything that provides some small solutions to your ideal clients’ problem. The most important thing is that your emails bring true value. More about this below:
What can you write about in your newsletters?
- Pieces of free advice – take inspiration from what you help people with every day
- Inform them of upcoming webinars, events or Facebook lives that you may organize
- Share your newest video or blog post with helpful tips
- Share the answers to popular FAQs
- Share successful client stories
Of course you also want to convert your subscribers into coaching clients, so some promotional emails are totally okay too once you have established more trust with your subscriber. Still, be careful not to make too many of your emails about selling your services – keep a good balance, so that subscribers who are not interested in your offer right now, still want to remain on your mailing list in spite of receiving some promo emails.
Also know that people can be on your mailing list for a very long time before they invest. Sometimes they have the interest and intention, but it’s not the right time for them. As we all know, life is sometimes unpredictable, so plans, projects and priorities keep changing. Some of my clients had been on my mailing list for over 3 years before it was the perfect time for them to get a website and contact me to work with them 🙂
How to get started?
Are you ready to build your list and set up your subscription process?
And if you want to give it a try on your own, remember you can still always join my online community Web Design for Coaches. There you can get feedback in a safe environment and ask techy questions.