While social media continues to set entrepreneurs into a frenzy about how to work around the latest algorithm, there’s one algorithm free zone that you may not have given much thought - your mailing list.
Mailing lists consistently outperform social media marketing to yield an ROI of $38 for every $1 spent on email marketing. If you can’t trace revenue back to your mailing list, then it’s time to take a closer look and see if you’ve been making these mistakes with your list.
You’ve been silent
Your mailing list subscribers have the potential to represent the most engaged members of your community - but you have to actually talk to them.
Kleneice and I have surveyed hundreds of entrepreneurs since we opened the doors to Humble & Whole and a common error we've noticed is that small business owners are building mailing lists and then abandoning their community because of inconsistency or simply not knowing what to send.
While there’s no magic number when it comes to how often your subscribers should hear from you, it’s best to decide on a frequency that feels manageable to you. If you’re trying to balance a full plate, then sending out weekly emails may not be feasible.
Creating opt-ins that don’t relate to your core offer
When we started building our mailing list, we weren’t strategic about the opt-ins or lead magnets we created. We created lead magnets related to content planning, branding, entrepreneur overwhelm, etc. Our goal was to grow our list quickly and create a resource library for our subscribers.
The problem with not being strategic about those early opt-ins we created is that we attracted people to our mailing list who weren’t interested in our actual products and services.
We would wonder why our conversion rate from our list was small when we announced our availability to take on more clients.
Once we created opt-ins that mirrored our offers, we actually received inquiries and booked clients apart from those availability announcement emails.
When you take the time to create opt-ins that are actually related to your products and services, you are creating a community that will be interested in learning more about how you can serve them.
It may be tempting, but don’t create opt-ins just for the sake of growing your list.
Create opt-ins that serve as the gateway for your tribe to learn more about what you have to offer.
We promise it’s worth it.
Not promoting your lead magnets on social media
We’ve noticed that most online entrepreneurs do a great job of advertising their lead magnets on their websites. But when it comes to social media, not so much.
Your content upgrades don’t just belong on your website.
Just as you would promote a blog post, it’s perfectly acceptable to promote your content upgrades on social media.
Lumping all of your subscribers together.
When it comes to generating a profit from your mailing list, the key factor is segmentation. In fact, 77% of email marketing ROI comes from segmentation practices.
But what exactly is email list segmentation and how does it yield such a high ROI?
When you introduce segmentation to your list, you’re essentially grouping your list into categories that are significant to your business.
There are truly dozens of ways you could segment your list, and based on your email provider, it could be as simple as creating tags like we do in Drip or creating groups in MailChimp.
A few ways that we segment our list at H&W is:
Most engaged (based on open + click rates)
Past customers and clients
According to opt-in
Segmentation yields a high ROI because you’re basically tailoring the content you send to your subscribers based on their characteristics.
Not pruning your list.
Because you’re paying for your mailing list, it’s essential that you actually pay for people who want to hear from you.
Even with the best-intentioned offers and content upgrades, there are going to be people on your list who have no intention of buying from you.
These days, it’s easy to get overloaded with email. Think about your own inbox. Chances are, there are a few newsletters you haven’t read in weeks or months.
Everyone isn’t going to turn into a raving fan, and that’s ok.
What’s not ok is letting your list swell with unengaged subscribers.
At least once per quarter, you should unsubscribe inactive people from your list. This not only has the potential to save money but also could boost your engagement metrics (open + click rates).
Last week, Kleneice and I didn’t think twice about removing 900 people from our mailing list. We hadn’t done a cleanup in months, and we just didn’t see the point in keeping 900 inactive people on our list.
We only want interested, engaged people on our list, and we understand that our revenue isn’t tied to having thousands of subscribers. Engagement and genuine interest matter so much more than that.
Relying on high leverage events to grow
Unfortunately, we’ve encountered some entrepreneurs who were relying on high leverage events like webinars and massive giveaways to grow their mailing list.
There’s nothing wrong with using the occasional webinar or collaboration to grow your list, but relying on those events or placing all your eggs in this basket creates a challenging situation in your business.
Successful webinars and collaborations take careful + intentional planning to yield the best results.
You don’t want to face the pressure of consistent high leverage events just to grow your list.
Your mailing list is an essential part of your business.
There’s no algorithm to work around. It’s yours.
And it has the potential to generate a significant ROI. Your mailing list can do the heavy lifting for you and help you build trust and generate sales consistently.
Having trouble generating revenue from your mailing list?
Contact us and let's have a chat about creating an email marketing strategy that works for your business.