Email marketing rocks. As evidenced by the fact that you’re probably only reading this because you saw it in an email. (Heck, you’ve probably only ever heard of me because of email).
The problem, is that it can be a real chore entertaining your list, providing value, and building a relationship with your end users.
What I really want to do is show you 10 different ways to interact with your list, so you can develop massive goodwill while at the same time actually contributing to society meanwhile making a boatload of sales without pissing anyone off.
Anyway… Here are 10 cool ways to do something awesome for your list…
#1 – Share Blog Posts That Don’t Suck
This one is my favorite. I’ve had a ton of people ask me about this.
“Should I really build a blog? Do I need a blog?” – The answer is absolutely.
Blogging can help you build your brand just like email marketing, and it can basically act as your “Central Hub” so that you can host your blog, and then host everything AROUND your blog.
It houses everything you need. It can promote your social media profiles. It can house all of your squeeze pages and downloads. It can help promote your other online platforms.
It’s also a great medium you can use to share content, teach your end users, develop authority, and drive a boatload of free traffic.
Let your blog be your central hub of authority.
Not to mention you can sell a boatload of products right on your blog. While being cool to your list. And branding yourself as the awesome person that you are.
#2 – Share Videos That Help Your End Users
This is arguably the best way to brand yourself.
It’s really a cool idea. Even if you don’t have any videos – you can always find cool videos to share right?
Surely, you could find some cool videos to share with your list that they would appreciate.
The best litmus test for this is when you find content that kicks ass, and if YOU love the content? I’d be willing to bet that your end users will appreciate the content too.
Also… This is a really cool way to “Siphon” authority – they do all the hard work, and you get the pat on the back! – And you can establish goodwill from your subscribers, all the while building a community by sharing cool stuff.
(Naturally, it’s better if YOU create the awesome content. But even if you find something that you really enjoy, I bet your subscribers will enjoy it too. Because the hidden secret to email marketing and publishing in general, is that you attract likeminded people if you do it right. So if you think it rocks? SHARE IT).
#3 – Share Affiliate Links That Will Prove Valuable
Make no mistake, if you don’t actually make money from your email newsletter, you’ll get discouraged and eventually quit right?
That’s why you should promote affiliate products, but not just ANY affiliate products.
Make sure that the affiliate products you promote don’t suck!
Review them if you can. Make sure that you never promote junk!
In computer science, there’s a phenomenon known as “Garbage In, Garbage Out”, and the same is true with email marketing and list building.
If you provide awesome stuff, you get goodwill, prestige, and respect.
If you provide GARBAGE, well that’s precisely what you’ll get in return.
So make sure the affiliate products you promote to your list are AWESOME, and the best way to figure out if it’s a good match for your list, is if it actually helps them.
(Not to get off on a rant here, but the best way to find out if the products can actually HELP your end users, is by knowing precisely who your end user demographic is. More on that later).
#4 – Give Free Downloads And Free Gifts
We already discussed how a video can be a great giveaway for your list. (And thankfully, you don’t have to create the video yourself).
But what if you WANT TO create something cool for your list?
A tutorial? A collection of answers that your end users frequently ask?
Or maybe you BUY the rights to a product that you can give away for free?
We ALL love to receive free stuff. Your end users and subscribers are no different! – So give them cool stuff. They’ll thank you for it, and be more likely to open and click your emails in the future.
#5 – Do Something Totally Cool! Give Them Stuff For Free That Other People Have To Pay For
Here’s a cool idea. This is a rock solid method to build a community.
What if you have a product that you make “outsiders” pay for, but you give away for FREE to your subscribers?
Do you think they’ll love you MORE, or love you LESS if you give them privileged access to stuff that nobody else gets? :]
It’s kind of like High School. The cool kids get all the benefits. Only, we’re talking about your subscribers.
They are the ultimate “Cool Kids”, so give them the special benefits. (Like FREE stuff and privileged content).
#6 – Surprise Them With Free Webinars, Training and Events
Interact with your list! Teach them stuff. Train them.
Remember that a list isn’t worth squat if they don’t KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
The worst question your end users can EVER ask is, “who is this person?”. So never let that happen.
One of the best ways to TEACH THEM who you are, is by letting them hear your voice.
Can sound scary right? It can be. But remember that if you make them cool training, surprise them with free webinars or training events, you’ll have something that 99.99% of other email marketers never get: an audience who knows you intimately, and THANKS YOU for helping them with their problems.
#7 – Ask Them Engaging Questions! (Gold)
This is arguably the MOST important thing you can ever send to your list; questions.
Ask questions about what trouble they’re having. Ask them questions about how you can help them. Ask them WHY they are not having success. Ask them how it would FEEL to be successful at whatever you’re teaching.
(These questions are universal and work in every niche. It doesn’t matter if you’re a self help guru or if you teach apprentice plumbers. These type questions are gold and can help build a relationship like nothing else).
Simply by asking questions, you’ll be showcasing the notion that you actually CARE about your end users.
I’m on literally HUNDREDS of email newsletters, and I promise you; 99.99% of them do not engage with their list AT ALL.
They only send promotions. 100% promotions. And most of the promotions blatantly suck.
So, why should you ask questions? – Because you’ll prove to your end users that you GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THEM.
While your competitors never bother to engage, you’ll actually be HELPING YOUR END USERS.
And here’s the hidden benefit to this – you’ll have people responding to your questions, BEGGING YOU FOR HELP.
Quick question – do you think it will be EASIER or HARDER to sell your subscribers stuff if you know exactly what problems they’re facing?
Will your subscribers like you MORE or like you LESS if you actually take the time to help them on an individual basis? 🙂
Food for thought. (If you like email marketing, this food should taste delicious. 😀 Here – prepare for another).
#8 – Repurpose Your Content According To Their Answers (Platinum)
Here’s where you transcend that of mere email marketing mortals.
When you take the answers you get from asking questions… And FEED THEM BACK to your subscribers.
All of the feedback. All of the objections. All of the fears that your end users have.
Take that data, and FEED IT BACK TO THEM.
You want to talk about delicious feedback loops? I promise, using this information will take you from Email Marketing Novice, to Email Marketing God in short time.
Because suddenly your end users will think “Wow! This person is a GENIUS and they actually give a damn about me! And their knowledge of my intimate problems are unfathomably accurate. They must be a genius, and I’d be a fool not to worship this person!”.
Because remember this – if a certain percentage of your end users share a similar concern, or ask similar questions – odds are other portions of your list feel the same way.
(And remember that knowledge isn’t the most powerful of tools. Knowledge USED WISELY is the most powerful of tools, so use the knowledge that your list provides to you wisely by FEEDING it back to them).
If you can pull this off? You’ll be the number one expert in the eyes of your subscribers. Nobody else will even come close.
Yes. Your subscribers will worship the ground you walk on if you follow these methods, and you’ll have me to thank.
(I can be your secret weapon, if you’re prepared to put in the foot work of actually giving a damn about your end users).
#9 – Plan Joint Ventures, So Your Colleagues Can Help Contribute To Your List
Who says you have to put in all the work?
Why not have one of your colleagues, friends, JV partners, business associates, or heck even complete strangers (as long as they’re cool) give your list free training?
This can be in the form of a Joint Venture, Solo Ad, or maybe you just approach one of your business colleagues and say:
“Hey! I have a list of XYZ subscribers, and they are really interested in ABC training. – If you would provide to my list some free training, I’d be happy to plug your products to them in the future, or maybe we can work out some type of deal where I help YOUR subscribers with something?”.
We call this type of action “Joint Venturing” in the real business world, and if two responsible list owners can help eachother grow, while delivering goodwill, and perhaps DOUBLING the reach of your message, I think it’s a solid plan of implementation, no?
And you’re also HELPING your end users by delivering more value than a happy meal convention. 😀
#10 – Plan Unannounced “Questions And Answer” Sessions
Here’s the big daddy of them all. (Well, arguably).
Plan unannounced Q&A sessions, so you can gather more intelligence about the thoughts of your end users.
This can be in the form of a Google Hangout, a Webinar, or maybe even some type of chat. (Facebook Groups, Twitter Events, there’s more than one way to cook a goose).
The main point is, you’ll be helping your end users, proving that you give a damn about them, and it will put you in a strange position of power, because you’ll be positioning yourself as the “Goto Authority”.
And remember this, if nothing else.
Every time one of your subscribers asks you a question…
You’re psychologically PROVING that you’re an authority.
You’re also developing goodwill, and extracting data from your end users that is otherwise impossible to achieve.
All of this, WITHOUT even selling anything.
So, the next time you do sell something to your subscribers, you’ll have a better idea what they want. You’ll know how you can help them. And they’ll like and respect you 10x more.
Do you realize the power of this information? 😀
Follow These Steps, And Your List Will Last You A Lifetime
I know a lot of people are confused about email marketing, even though I’ve been preaching for years that it rocks.
I’m not saying my word is gospel…
But it’s my honest belief that if you actually give a damn about your end user, that you’ll be in a position to make your email subscribers actually give a damn about you.
And When Your End Users Love You? A Fascinating Thing Will Occur…
They’ll start to unsubscribe from your competitors. You’ll become their “Goto Guy” (Or Gal).
They’ll think you’re awesome. They’ll confide in you. They’ll open your emails, click your links, buy your stuff, and respect you in the long run.
That’s the golden rule.
Remember that 90% of email marketers treat their lists like crap.
(I can show you my “Throw Away” / “Catch All” email address that’s on 100’s of lists for proof that 99.99% of email marketers are complete Jackasses, but you probably already know that).
Why Are 99.99% Of Email Marketers Complete Jackasses?
They never try to help their end users. They don’t give a damn.
They only care about “fast profits”. Little do they know, they’d be much better off treating their lists like gold.
Because that’s what they are. 🙂
They never go out of their way to ask questions, so they can develop methods that actually help their subscribers.
That’s why I hope you put these ideas to work.
So you can finally prove to your list, that you’re different.
And… If you help them?
They’ll help you right right back. And then everyone wins. :]
And cordially yours
Mike “The Best Email List Ever” DeVincent
PS: (How To Move Forward With Breakthrough Expedience)
Maybe you agree with me, and think email marketing is awesome… But you’re not sure how to do all of the technical aspects?
Maybe you can’t find any good giveaways. Maybe you still can’t put up a bunch of squeeze pages. Maybe you still can’t figure out what to say, and when to say it.
Or maybe you just have trouble driving traffic and expanding your newsletter?
Leave them in your dust. (In fact, the dust will have already settled by the time they catch up to you). 😀
Talk later. For real this time.
Mike “Double Tap” DeVincent