Using E-Mail Lists to Your Advantage

When I worked one-on-one with a start-up here in Dallas with their social media, I was exposed to a true mailing list with thousands of subscribers (quite literally 30k!). It shocked me how many people were subscribed. I wondered what the point was to subscribe to a newsletter and personally never did so myself. So, I began subscribing to various businesses and what I learned was that a newsletter grants you direct access to your potential consumer immediately and when you are not utilizing that consumer base, you’re losing huge amounts of money.

Why You Need a Newsletter

If you own any kind of retail or product based shop (graphic design included), you are dealing with potential consumers, actual consumers, and past consumers on a daily basis. You may keep up with them through various means of communication (i.e. social media, blog post comments, etc), but a newsletter speaks to them in the most direct way possible: straight to their inbox.

Think of a newsletter more than where you place incentives to purchase your product right now; instead, realize that it is a sales funnel to ultimately your projected future sales. You need a newsletter to culminate all those types of consumers into one place without being too market-y (on social media) or too pushy (with direct comments on your blog posts or DMs). And no, Facebook groups are not an acceptable way to culminate your followers/fan base/consumer base.

Content to Share in a Newsletter

Like I previously mentioned, a newsletter is not just a place to send out a coupon code to incentivize a purchase today. Instead, it’s a way to communicate multiple things to various types of consumers. People join newsletters because they’re interested in a service you offer, but just aren’t ready yet to buy. Or, they really admire your business for what it is, but don’t necessarily want to purchase your service. Seriously, there could be a ton of different reasons. So, why are you only focusing on a select group of individuals by only sending out coupons?

Yes, a coupon code could persuade a potential consumer to purchase today, but it’s not going to move a person who is admiring your business any step closer to becoming a consumer. You know what might? By sharing your knowledge about your service and showing that you’re an expert in your field, for example. Writing posts about the reasoning why you offer a service or even writing up a quick DYI blog post that relates to your products could inevitable make someone believe that they need your service in their near future. When is the last time a company made you believe you needed their product (something you’ve previously never thought about before) in the next few months?

Figuring Out Where To Start

I think the easiest place to start is by creating a Mailchimp account. Mailchimp (and no, I’m not sponsored) is widely used by many businesses to automate and send mass e-mails to their subscribers. There are plugins for both Squarespace and WordPress to integrate pop-ups and subscriber buttons all over your site for easy access for a potential subbie. With the right placement of your subbie buttons, you can quite literally see your subscribers boost from 1-2 a month to several (I’ve seen it happen for MD over the past month by adding multiple places to subscribe to the site).

Although it can get some getting used to, Mailchimp offers many, many features 100% for free. Quick tip: you don’t need to pay to automate every single e-mail for you, especially at a beginning stage. There are many tutorials out there on how to use Mailchimp all for your viewing pleasure, but I wouldn’t mind doing a group screenshare to go over the basics for a few people if interested. If you are, just go here and let me know!

What are some ways you use newsletters to build your business?