Do you know what blogs are great for? Generating leads. I’m going to tell you like a friend…do NOT ignore list building like I did. Your blog, business, or whatever you are trying to accomplish online will not grow without it. I know it sounds complicated with all of the pasting codes, creating forms, and writing emails, but you can get this done fairly easily and there are services available to help you make it simple.
I ignored the idea for years, and you know what happened with my blogs? Big fat NOTHING.
What You’re Going To Need
Well, you kind of need a reason to want to generate a following. Even if you’re just blogging, building that Facebook page, or opening that Shopify store for a hobby, you need a way to capture the email address of people who are interested in what you’re doing. You don’t necessarily have to have a blog or website to generate leads. Most email marketing services make it easy to add a sign up form to Facebook or other social media profile. Here’s the bare minimum:
- Somewhere to slap a form. A blog, website, Facebook page…something
- Email marketing service
- An incentive helps a lot. This usually consists of a free ebook
Which Email Marketing Company Should I Use?
Also referred to as autoresponders, the most popular ones that I’ve heard of are:
There are many more out there, but I’ll tell you what I know about these four which in a couple cases isn’t a lot.
Aweber is the industry standard and the majority of pro bloggers use this service to handle their email marketing and they swear by it. I have used it in the past rather begrudgingly and I wrote a review a couple years ago. I had no complaints about the service at all. I just couldn’t justify the cost of the service when I wasn’t seeing any results. I’ve since learned some things and I’m going to share them with you, so hopefully you can avoid wasting time and money and seeing no results.
I don’t know much about GetResponse. Email marketing services can sometimes have issues with affiliate links. They have to protect their reputations as not to be rejected by email services in relation to spamming or they have no service to sell. I recently read about a marketer who got thumped by Aweber. They basically shut down his account and devastated his business. He was basically forced to go with GetResponse. So, here’s a tip for you…don’t put direct affiliate links in your email marketing campaigns. Create a page on your website or a blog post about the service and put your link there. Then link to that page in your campaigns.
This is the service I use currently. I went with Mailchimp because it was free. After seeing no results with Aweber, I was done paying for services trying to build my list and seeing ZERO results. So when I picked up to try again, I went free. Also, should I decide to move to a paid service with another company, I can export my lists and then upload them to the new service. I lose nothing. Mailchimp’s interface is simple and easy to use. They are well-documented, and if what I want to accomplish isn’t readily apparent, I can Google it…which brings me to a sidenote…
That is the honest truth.
I have a client who has Constant Contact. I logged into her account once to grab some links, and that’s about all I know about it. I was able to get in there and get what I needed easily, so I can only assume it’s that easy to set up your lists, forms, etc. I’m sorry I don’t know more.
Let’s see if we can find a good review. After doing a little Googling, I found the general consensus to be around 3.5 out of 5 stars. This was the most comprehensive review I came across. <<= This looks to be a great place to do your comparison research which gives me an idea!
Email Marketing Services Comparison ChartFour popular email marketing services compared.
|SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATION|
If you’d like to see more details, here you go.
Your Incentive and The Trick I Use
When you slap that sign up form on your website, it helps if you give people an incentive to hand over their email address. I realize that you might feel that the content on your site is incentive enough, and it might be, but it always helps to not be a tightwad. Surely you have something lying around, and if you don’t, you can throw something together real quick. Even if it’s nothing more than your 5 best posts or maybe a series you’ve done. It’s nothing to open Google Docs, copy and paste your content, and export it as a PDF. Boom, instant ebook!
Need a few more ideas?
- How about a list of tools you use to run your blog
- A pack of PLR articles related to your niche – Google “PLR” if you don’t know what it is
- Do you have freelancers doing amazing things for you through Fiverr? I’m sure they’d fancy a share
- A free WordPress theme download
- A list of plugins you find useful or maybe one available for download
- A book or list of anything related to your niche/market
- Your personal list of recommendations related to your market
Get creative. Think outside the box. There’s value in everything.
So, What’s My Trick?
Now, I’m sure this idea is not exclusive to me, but I was thinking one day. I was thinking about my Kindle publishing stuff, and it occurred to me: Here I have all of these templates, tools, graphics, and marketing knowledge, why not zip it all in a folder as my incentive instead of some dumb ebook no one wants?
What I did:
- Put everything pertaining to that market that I could share into a folder
- Uploaded it to my Google Drive – an even better idea!
- Grabbed the link to the folder
- Set up my autoresponder (Mailchimp) to send out the link when someone signs up
Then, as time goes on and I find new things or old things are no longer relevant, I can update the contents of the folder! So it’s something that is useful for an ongoing amount of time and not something that rots away in a dark corner of someone’s hard drive!
I got excited. I wrote a book about it. I tripled my email list in a week!
I haven’t looked back since and have gone on to build several email marketing lists this year. I implemented the same trick for this site, but it’s been a bit more difficult to find things to put in the folder.
I plan to test out some different methods of getting more opt ins like the Hello Bar and maybe a pop-up plugin. Of course, I’ll be reporting on that.
What Else Can I Say?
- It doesn’t seem relevant to what you’re doing
- You don’t know how – Google is your freaking friend!
- You don’t know how it’s beneficial
- You don’t know how, where, why….
You will be sorry you didn’t begin building your list from the very beginning! I am living proof, I’ve read it many times from others as well. Here’s a quote from Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income blog:
[BONUS] Mailchimp/WordPress Tutorial
I’ve written a rather extensive tutorial on how to integrate Mailchimp with WordPress on my other site that centers around my publishing interests. So if you’re using those 2 services together like me, find out how to do it here!