Six Ways to Grow a Successful Email List with Email Marketing

six-email-marketing-listEver since I started writing this Skills 2 Money series we’ve talked about key marketing concepts and lead generation. Over the past week the focus was mostly on e-mail marketing and converting leads.

That’s all great and dandy but what good is it, if we’re NOT building a relationship our list and nurturing it at the same time.

Yes…this takes time, effort, and patience. But it’s what we need to do if we want to start getting consumers to pull out their Mastercards, Amex’s, and Visssssa’s to buy our stuff.

If this sound to complicated and time consuming, no worries. When you start your e-mail marketing campaign it will start smoothing out. Sending emails doesn’t have to be complicated. Actually short messages work better on email, so let’s do this.

Fact: According to the Direct Marketing Association email marketing will return $43 per dollar invested. And no other marketing is that effective.

Six Ways to Build Your Email List

Consistent Communication

With so many companies, bloggers, marketers having lists out there, you might not be the only person trying to get in their inbox. Keeping on top of their inbox, keeps you on top of their mind. Next time they need someone in your field, guess who their gonna call first? The person who sent that boring, long email months ago, or the one who’s been giving me great tips, valuable information, and staying in contact with me on a weekly basis?

Pretty up those email

Branding isn’t everything, but it’s something. When I say think of a big Yellow M with and a clown…What are you thinking of? Branding matters (thank you Pamela Wilson). Use images, graphics, colors, logos whatever you got to stay memorable to your prospects. Not only does it build trust, but makes you unique and separate you from the rest.

Be Human

A great way to start building a relationship is by fostering a personal connection. A big reason reason to why people buy Apple(™) products is not because their so good, but because of what they believe in and what they stand for. Offering the latest news, updates, photos, links and personal stories humanizes you and builds trust. But always remind them of your products and services.

Customize it to Their Needs

Not every one of your leads is going to have the same purposes and attitude. Try sending out different messages to a group. For example, ask them: what are you struggling with now? What can I do to help you right now? Hey if you can figure out what their age, sex, and where they live, you can really tailor the message. See the power of email?

Collect the data

A big mistake noobies make is they just send away and don’t analyze. By using a good email service provider, you can get data on how many people opened your email, how many clicked on your links, retweeted, etc…This give you the power to know what people liked and how to keep your list happy.

Grab them Everywhere

That’s right! Anywhere and everywhere you can have your forms is important. Unless getting more leads isn’t your goal. On your website try to make it easy for people to see email forms. Using complementary colors to attract attention to your forms works great.

Don’t forget that it’s not all about the money. These are peoples time and information you’re getting.

They are real people with real names, don’t waste their valuable time, and don’t fill their inboxes with spam.

If they’ve given you permission to contact them, the least you can do is respect that relationship. These are just six ways you can build and nurture a successful email list.

Everyone one of these tips has helped me grow my lists exponentially and I know if you apply these they will do the same for you.

Is there a reason why you haven’t used email marketing? Let me know in the comments.

The Importance of a Company Having their Own Website or Blog

business-bloggingYour website is crucial. I think everyone and specially every company should have a website or a blog.

When you run a business you need a way to get leads someway. Now with social media, blogging, SEO and email marketing(none are affiliate links) you can collect leads for your business.

But your website is where it all counts. Using all these online tools you can direct more people to your website. And that’s what your goal should be, because your site is where a consumer can turn into a customer.

It’s obvious that just having a website going to bring you tons of leads. There’s more to it.

But the point I’m trying to make in this post is that having a presence online is important, here’s why:

  • Scalability: Having a website can double the number of consumers your company can influence.

For example: Say you have a shoe store. How many people can you help at a time? Maybe a couple right? But if you have a website, you can serve as many as you can.

Then if they want to pay for the product they don’t have to wait in line to pay for it. If the company has Facebook connected to it, they can see if any of their friends have purchased anything from the company, and if they have they can ask them any questions. Do you believe in social media now?

  • People expect you to: In these times not having a website is like the biggest mistake. When you’re researching a product you want to buy what’s the first thing you usually do today? I’m going to guess, you “Google it”.

Before we’d ask a friend or anyone we knew, but now with search engines, Facebook, Twitter we can pretty much the world. Right now small businesses are just beginning to embrace Facebook and Twitter, but don’t be surprised when it turns into a must.

  • It just converts!: This is what it’s all about. When you have a website, you obviously want to educate, engage, and entertain in some cases your visitors, but it really is more about conversion than anything when you have a business.

You might ask, well if I have a Facebook page do I really need a website? Yes, yes you do! Your website is your home, you own it and you can do whatever you please with it. If you want to design your website a certain way you can.

There are some non-believers still out there, but soon they’ll realize how important it is to use these new tools to have a more efficient business. The clock is ticking, and soon it might be to late for them, because by then those who’ve taken advantage of the web have won over their possible customers.

How important is your website to your business? If you don’t have a website or blog, I’m curious to know why not. Leave a comment.

Hot Links Friday: CTAs, Small Businesses on Twitter, and other Meaty Stuff

calls-to-actionIt’s finally here, TGIF the day you’ve been “excitedly” waiting all week. If you’re new here, just to let you know we do these every friday.

Okay, not EVERY friday, but we have since the last two weeks.

It’s a pretty basic series, since I know a lot of you are busy running your cool bizzznesssses, and don’t have the time to be surfing around the web like I do for awesome content.

I bookmark it and save it for Fridays, so you can enjoy.

This week I ran into some great content that would benefit your small business a ton.

First one is actually comes from the blog of a online tool I’m going to start using here and other of my small businesses. If you’re interested in the company it’s SlideDeck.

This Friday’s Hot Links

Six Tips For a Stronger Call to Action

I’ve been guilty of not having strong calls-to-action in my blog. Reading this was a like a refresher and reminder that I need to work on tweaking this site, so-you-my-friend can start doing stuff I want you to do on my blog.

I’m only playing with you.

But the truth is that it’s important to have them, because that’s just the way our brains work. It is proven that calls to action work. See for yourself!.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Can Small Businesses Be Heard On Twitter?

Anytime Gary Vay-ner-chuk speaks I listen. I love this guy, for real how can you not? But I’m not going to talk more about him. Gary makes a great point about small businesses and HOW they are missing the point.

He’s been saying this all along but it seems like people still don’t get social media. My message to them is LISTEN to this post.

Sorry to be so obvious, but no really, go watch this post. If you haven’t used twitter or don’t get it, you might learn a thing or two from Gary.

How To Calculate Lifetime Value – The Infographic

All of you by now probably know how much I love infographics. I don’t know they just work for me. I’m sure they do for some of you. They’re easy to digest and they’re not BORING like this post, written about the same topic.
You can choose boring, long and confusing or cool, fun and engaging?

8 Ways To Use Your Blog To Improve Your Business

Blogging, blogging and more blogging. I know you can’t get enough of it. They talk about it in every corner of the web. But what can you do, it’s what people want and you’re just gonna have to give-to-them.

It’s sad to see that still a big percentage of businesses don’t use a blog to improve their business.

One more Friday that comes to an end. Okay folks, I have to go now.

Get your learning on today, so next week you can tweak (if you have to) a few things to your business. Then see some massive results and hopefully say thank you Wilson for that post you shared with me, it made me a trillion bucks.

Alright, it probably won’t make you a trillion buck, but hey they might improve your conversions, you might connect with new people, who knows I just hope they’re valuable to you.

Don’t forget before you leave to tweet this and join the newsletter to get updates.

Thank you!

Remember, if you have other cool link to share, leave them in the comments as long as they’re not spam.

Converting Consumers into Customers Five Tactics That Work

I must emphasize how important the continuous relationship is with your email list aka leads so you can show credibility and tremendous value.

Every single time you send out a new email this responsibility will restart itself. And by keeping a consistent communication, even in it’s most simple form it will help you stay in the back of their minds.

It will also grow the chances of you being that person they call first when they need your products or services.

Of course, you can also be stronger about promoting to your leads. Here are five simple tactics I’ve used:

Constant Contact

What I mean by constant contact is regularly sharing content is crucial, also when you decide to share as well. If you establish the expectation that you’ll post every Monday and Friday (I’ll be doing here soon), you better do that. I’ve learned for a lot of well know online marketers, that consistency will keep you on the “top of their mind”.

Everyone Likes NEW

Your a freelancer, right? Well, prove that you’ve been freelancing, actually working with new clients, project, or your own stuff by posting about it or sharing it to your list. It’s very good for proof and testimonials. Share “new” news.

Who Doesn’t Like a Good Deal?

Including promotions and special offers works great. A good way people get motivated to buy something is by saving on the purchase (why do you think every store has a sale?). Scarcity also works like a charm, For example: Sunday sale only, you have 24 hours to buy, and special ends today. You’ve heard them all, they work, that’s why companies still use them.

Organize your Email List

If you’re using a tool like Mailchimp (affiliate link), you can figure out which prospects are responding to your campaign. Then you can create a better follow-up list, compared to people just receiving your emails.

Divide your Email List

What you can do when you first get the lead, is to ask simple questions to help you better divide the list for a better follow up. For example, once you know that this person is interested in this certain thing, you can customize it so their updates consist of that type of information, instead of them just receiving other junk that might make them run away.

There you have them, these five tactics have helped me convert more leads into sales. By the way if you’re new to this blog, this is one of a series of post called the Skills 2 Money. The series is very useful if you’re a freelancer, but I think anyone that’s looking to leverage the web will benefit from it also. If you missed the last post about the series, you can find it here.

Final thoughts

If you’ve been a regular reader, I’m trying to make this series better for you. I can only get better if I can get some feedback from you guys.

What do you think so far about the Skill 2 Money series? Is it useful, what other topics do you really want to hear about? I’m all ears.

Leave a comment!

Self-Hosted vs. Hosted Blog for a Business The Biggest Mistake…

That’s a question that many small business owners starting a blog email me a lot.

The simple answer to that question is; “YES”. But I don’t recommended it.

In this post I’m going to share with you the biggest blogging mistakes I and many other successful bloggers have made in the past so you can avoid them.

I know this topic has been repeated a million times, but obviously some people still need to understand why it’s not beneficial.

When I first started blogging one of the mistakes I made was beginning my blog on WordPress.com, as opposed to WordPress.org.

This involves hosting your blog for free on the WordPress site, rather than owning your domain and self-hosting to have more power over it.

I got rid of it because it was to ugly and the content wasn’t even close to what I put out today. You need to remember that content is king, and that’s something you should always keep in mind.

A big problem with not hosting your own domain is that you don’t have that much power over the customization of how your site looks. Plus your domain name looks pretty ugly as well.

For example, http://www.wilsonusman.wordpress.com Vs. http://wilsonusman.com. Which looks more professional?

Additionally, when I was looking around the blogosphere I found others using the same template that I was using and that just made it extremely boring to look at–no way to stand out and be original.

You look at my design today, it’s exactly what I want and I can change it tomorrow if I want easily.

WordPress.org Vs. WordPress.com and Blogger.com

WordPress is a website software you can use very easily and fast to  create a good-looking and fully-featured website or blog.

You install it on your host, and using this recommended hosting service (affiliate link)  it will provide a 1-click WordPress installation to make the process simple.

WordPress is by far the most popular blog tool and publishing platform, also known as a CMS (content management system).

  • You’ll get all the flexibility that you want.
  • Now there are more than 200,000 plugins created that extend your website. (ability to add Google Maps easily, create surveys and polls, add social buttons with a press of a button)
  • If you want to sell whatever you want or have advertising on your site you can.
  • You’ll have reliable web hosting company can provide 24/7 technical support and an uptime guarantee for self-hosted business blogging.

Some might consider paying as a con, but I don’t believe that to be the case. Come on, you’re running a business here, or aren’t you?

If you’re serious a few buck a month aren’t going to hurt you. As they say in business, “you need to spend money to make money”.

Okay so you want to get all this moving, but you’re stuck because you have to web skills. I get it. I want to help you get your small business blog moving along, with a legit hosting service. Hit me up, send me an email. I’d be glad to help you set it up.