I’ve been blogging for a year and a half now and grew LadyBossBlogger.com to over 100K followers across all my social media channels…
However, once I got there, I realized that followers are great, but emails are better.
WAAAAY BETTER. ?
I wish I had spent more time amassing emails v.s. followers, which is what I am working on now (if you can’t tell from the sign up box above, so sign up if you’d like ?).
At first, especially when you’re starting out, followers seem so glorious.
And before I dive into the tool you’ll need to turn your social media followers into subscribers, I’ll be talking about;
- WHY it’s so crucial to do so
- WHAT tool you’ll need to build your email list
- HOW to get people to sign up for your email list
- Then HOW to build and run successful email campaigns
With social media, you are at the mercy of the dreaded algorithms and your followers aren’t your own!
What if Facebook shuts down tomorrow, how would you ever get in contact with your followers again if you don’t have an alternative method?
Every single time algorithms change (and they change an awful lot) it has NEVER been for the benefit of my brand or blog, which makes sense because companies usually change their algorithms to feature more of their friends activities online, not brands.
Also there is literally no such thing as ‘organic reach’ anymore.
I currently have over 60K LadyBossBlogger Fans on Facebook and you know what my “organic reach” is? 5 people. ?
Ok maybe sometimes I can reach 10 people organically… ? LOL!
Now, I’m not complaining because I love that social media sites are catering to better user experience through algorithm changes, and I do reach a whole bunch more people once I share it, but that’s an additional step that busy bloggers don’t always have time for!
I currently have 30K Elaine Rau Fans on Facebook and at least my reach is higher there… for now.
As your followers grow, your reach ironically shrinks, especially on business pages.
Everything now is pay to play. If you want your posts to actually be seen, you pay.
The only way to have control over when your audience sees your posts (and if they see them at all) is via email.
Pretty much everyone I know checks their email at least once if not two or three times a day. It is the best way to reach people besides texting or direct messaging them.
I started off using MailChimp, but quickly converted to ConvertKit.
ConvertKit is literally built BY bloggers FOR bloggers. So all the features (that I didn’t even know I needed until I needed them) were all available to me!
Click the picture below to check out all their features.
I felt so behind when I finally signed up, but it is never too late. I’ve talked to so many bloggers who also wished they had started growing their email list earlier, so just get over the fact that you should have started earlier. The point is simply to start. But don’t just start on ANY email marketing platform.
I can’t stress this enough: YOUR EMAIL LIST IS LITERALLY YOUR BIGGEST ASSET and ConvertKit is the #1 tool that will help you build it.
I think of it like this, if you pay for it, you own it. ?
You don’t pay Facebook or Instagram or Twitter to have an account with them, therefore they own your information and your account. Same thing applies to owning your domain name as a blogger, you must purchase the domain in order to own your website, otherwise they own your website.
I have friends in the event industry who have built massive followings over the course of years and years of hard work, and now all they do is send out email invitations to the thousands of people on their lists who then simply purchase their tickets and attend their events!
It doesn’t matter if your audience is full of baby boomers, generation X, Y, or Z – everyone checks their emails.
So I’ve talked about;
- WHY it’s so crucial to have an email list
- WHAT tool you’ll need to build your email list
- Now let’s talk about HOW to get people to sign up for your email list!
You can either use an OPT-IN FORM on your site or a LANDING PAGE, both of which can be created using ConvertKit. Below is my OPT-IN example.
Include your opt-in form in your blog posts, on your sidebar, as a pop-up, anywhere you’d like! Just make sure people can easily access it!
I used to include them waaaaaaay below at the very bottom of every post and that was the only place my opt-in would appear… yea, don’t do that. ? MAKE IT EASY for the people visiting your website to continue hearing from you via email!
A good idea to make people WANT TO sign up to receive your emails would be to offer them a FREE GIFT!
When you click below (it will take you to a LANDING PAGE I created using ConvertKit) where you can grab my FREE DOWNLOAD:
A landing page is great if you don’t have a lot of traffic on your site already, it enables you to go find people who may be interested in your content by posting the link to your landing page on various social media outlets.
Your freebie will also help define your audience as you build your list. What I mean by that is this: take my freebie above as an example, I’m prequalifying the people who click by saying “TO SELL ON YOUR BLOG” meaning more than likely if you don’t have a blog, you won’t click it, therefore I am filling my list with bloggers who may be interested in other blogging content I create.
With my opt-in, I’m prequalifying them through their interests, they must either be an entrepreneur or want to learn about entrepreneurial things, therefore they will more likely open the emails I send them!
Recap: An opt-in can only be used on your site, a landing page allows you to collect emails elsewhere.
Now, let’s talk about the secret to successful email marketing campaigns!
You must know your audience really really well.
Then help them solve the problems they have… when they need it.
Knowing your audience will help you:
- Send timely emails and make a profit by selling a timely service or product
- Have your emails opened because your topics are appealing and interesting
- Find sponsors for your blog and other ventures because you have a defined audience they want to tap into
The more defined your audience, the more valuable your blog!
And as I mentioned earlier, you can create the audience you want by creating the right opt-ins and freebies.
Honestly, I had no idea what I was even doing when I started LadyBossBlogger.com. All I knew was that I wanted to highlight women in business so that I could LEARN FROM THEM, so I featured them via interview and allowed them to guest post on my site, and in so doing I garnered a massive following of female entrepreneurs and others desiring to learn about entrepreneurship.
My audience consisted of people who were just like me, seeking out information online on how to become a business woman and I just happened to create that platform where all the information was centralized, making it easy for them to access the content they wanted.
Now, even though I know my audience is 100% female entrepreneurs, there are TONS of topics under the umbrella of “entrepreneurship”. And I posted on all of them until one topic emerged above the rest: SOCIAL MEDIA. People in my audience were specifically interested in INSTAGRAM.
How did I figure this out?
By emailing my blog posts out to my subscribers and seeing the response. The only way to truly test how well your content is doing on your blog is by emailing them out to your audience and getting their feedback.
Take this email that I sent from my ConvertKit account as an example. ?
I knew my audience really liked my social media posts, so I compiled a bunch I had recently done about Instagram into one email and gave it a catchy subject line.
Note: 80% of your audience will open up an email if they like your subject line. So make sure it’s catchy!
Now, notice that my email isn’t very fancy. I’ve come to the conclusion after lots of testing, that SIMPLE EMAILS DO BETTER. Also, you want to include more of YOU in the email, better content and LESS FLUFF.
In the email I talked briefly about my personal life and my travels to Asia, included a call to action to have people email me to ask about how to find your “Instagram Drafts Folder”, which you can click the blog post below to learn how to access it.
Now back to emails.
The best emails are the ones that have ONE call to action OR are centered around ONE subject.
Also offer your audience a way to solve their problems in the subject line.
- Problem: Can’t master Instagram ?
- Solution: Read my blog posts ?
I didn’t think I had the best open rates, but by doing a quick search on Google for “What is a good email open rate” I found that “Across all industries, the average open rate for the second quarter of 2016 was 25%“. Regardless, I’m still trying to get it higher, I know bloggers who say they are at 40%!
Practice makes perfect!
And all we can do is continue trying right?
Also, ConvertKit allows you test two subject lines with their A/B testing function.
Take advantage of this function to continue learning how to improve your open and click rates. Exactly a month later I sent out the email below.
If you notice every single link I have in my email is trackable so I can see exactly what people are clicking, who is opening up my emails, and a whole bunch of other information by clicking on the right side panel!
That is incredibly valuable information you wouldn’t have had without an email marketing service.
I was literally operating BLIND before ConvertKit!
NO DATA = NO WAY OF IMPROVING.
The pink link above was a link to my interview on the Huffington Post which got 27 clicks, LadyBossBlogger got 10 clicks and the link to the actual article got 296 clicks!
This time around, I got a little higher open rate AND click rate AND fewer unsubscribers!
Don’t worry about people who unsubscribe, you will always get a handful of them and that is fine, if they don’t want to be on your list, they probably won’t be buying anything from you down the line either – so let them go!
Just focus on obtaining more subscribers every single day!
Also if you notice on the bottom right hand corner on all the pictures above, there is a button that says “Resend To Unopens”.
This is my FAVORITE ConvertKit feature as it is a very rare email marketing feature!
You won’t notice the resend button on the picture below because I have already sent it to the people who haven’t opened it.
This was the first email I sent off resulting in only a 23% open rate.
So I sent it again bumped up my open rate to a cumulative score of 27.6%!
I also changed the title in to see if it would be more appealing.
I barely skimmed the surface of the complexities of email marketing, but as I mentioned, start collecting emails TODAY and use an email marketing scheduler SO YOU CAN TRACK YOUR PROGRESS.
NO DATA = NO WAY TO LEARN HOW TO GROW!
In conclusion, use social media to drive people to your blog THEN CONVERT THEM INTO AN ‘ACTUAL FOLLOWER’ by subscribing to your emails lists.
If you have any questions about email marketing, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be glad to answer any questions you may have!
If you loved this post, please share on your social platforms and PIN the pic below!
<3 Elaine Rau
*Disclosure: There are some affiliate links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
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