— March 15, 2018
Is social media dead in terms of marketing your small business? The power and profit for businesses have always been in the email list.
Now with Facebook and Instagram’s new algorithms, you may have to rely even more on your ability to maintain an email list of quality subscribers who are genuinely interested in your business. A few weeks ago, Facebook announced an update that sent many business owners into a frenzy. Facebook business pages would be getting less shine on news feeds and the type of content you add to your page could face more scrutiny as well.
In other words, if users aren’t actively engaging with your content, you’d probably be better off paying for Facebook ads to get your messages seen.
If you don’t want to ‘pay to play’ often, you need to start working on your email list where you’ll have free range to push whatever content you want and get to know your audience on a more personal level.
Here are a few simple ways to maintain an engaged email list to boost your business.
Regularly Survey Subscribers
Your subscriber’s opinion is crucial. To keep them engaged enough to open and respond to your emails, you need to make sure you’re serving them well.
Instead of just guessing what they need, ask them. You can do this via surveys or even get a few people on the phone.
I set up phone calls with about 15-20 of my email subscribers last year and I offered everyone a $ 5 gift card. The $ 100 investment was well worth it because I got to learn about their biggest obstacles and how I could better serve them.
I created a market research survey that get’s automatically sent to new subscribers so I can learn more about them and their needs. You can create a free survey to link to with Survey Monkey.
I’d also recommend updating your survey every now and then and even sending it out to your subscribers if you need additional feedback. You don’t always have to offer an incentive like I did because if your survey is short and to the point, some people will just take it to help you out.
Adjust Your Content Based on the Data
You should always be collecting data and insight from subscribers but once you get it, start analyzing and making some changes. My email newsletters have changed a ton since I started sending them in 2015 and it’s for the better.
You want to improve the user experience and that could mean doing things like:
- Making the content in your emails shorter and more direct
- Upgrading to a different email marketing platform
- Personalizing the email with each subscriber’s first name
- Including more links back to your website and to trusted resources
- Asking open-ended questions to spark conversation
- Inserting custom graphics
- Inviting subscribers to interact with your business on social media
Of course, you should make sure your audience is interested in some of these changes before making them. Ultimately, it is really trial and error.
If you have multiple opt-ins on your site, one of the best things you can do is segment your list so you know which people are interested in certain topics so you can better serve them. Sending people relevant content will help you keep their interest.
Get Rid of Cold Subscribers
Be sure to clean out your list at least once every six months. Eliminate email addresses that tend to bounce back since that’s a sign they may no longer be active.
Also, reach out to cold subscribers before deleting them for good. A cold subscriber is generally someone who hasn’t opened any of your emails in a few months. In other words, they are just taking up dead space on your list.
I like to reach out to cold subscribers and ask them if they still want to receive my emails before deleting them for good. I do this just to make sure I’m not deleting anyone who is still interested in hearing from me and could potentially be a customer in the future.
Maintaining a clean and engaged email list is a must if you want to successfully market your business to your target audience.
Use these 3 simple tips to keep your list fresh and increase conversions.