A lot of Internet professionals, marketers, and business owners will tell you the same thing time and time again: you’ve gotta build a list.
So you do.
You start collecting some emails, things are going swell, but there’s a problem …
You don’t really know what to do with your list.
For some – they don’t want to come across as overly promotional so they refrain from sending out sales letters. For others – they’re not sure what to include with the newsletter.
I don’t know what situation you’re in but I know that if you have a list and you’re not using it you really are missing out on some prime opportunities for your business and projects.
Need some ideas?
Find a Schedule that Works
There’s debate as to what times are the best for emailing your list but it’ll really come down to the type of community and subscriber you’ve gained.
Generally it’ll fall into one of these routines:
I’m going ahead and recommending that you send out a newsletter once a week.
I say this because it gives your subscribers enough time between each email to take action on the content you’re providing. You’re not overloading them. Likewise, it’ll give you enough time to craft the email without feeling too rushed.
Of course – I would highly recommend you send out situational emails such as during a holiday or sales event. This is a prime time to capture the buzz and interest surrounding these times which generally has people ready to buy.
What to Include
Every industry and niche is going to be different in terms of content.
- B2B will include more industry-related content
- Newsletters to customers may have more promotional items (like coupons)
- Bloggers may focus more on keeping subscribers updated with new posts
I’m assuming you’re an affiliate that operates a niche/authority website, built a list, and most likely either relies completely on affiliate income or does a combination with affiliate, advertising, and selling an information product.
To go ahead and give you something to use:
- Do a regular (i.e. weekly) update of the content you’ve added to the site
- Do exclusive content (occasionally) for your subscribers that isn’t found on the site
- Do promotional emails for when there is a new product launch
- Do product/service reviews if you’ve found something you really like and want to share
- Do a series of emails helping individuals through a particular process (e.g. website setup)
- Do a thank you and link to a downloadable freebie (not just upon first sign up, either)
- Do a contest or giveaway
Always remember that you can use polls and direct contact to gather feedback about your email newsletter – this way you know exactly what people want in their inbox.
If you’ve built the list you’ve already done a lot of the hard work but then, again, you may not have the motivation to keep it updated.
When you’re tired of your email list you could consider:
- Selling it (though I wouldn’t recommend it)
- Siphon people to your social profiles (like a fan page)
- Switch it to a monthly or quarterly newsletter (less work)
- Keep building it (and use it as a selling point if you flip the website)
I’ve built many sites and have built many lists. I’ll admit that I’ve neglected lists I’ve built because it’s real easy to put together the initial sequence and then forget about doing the regular updates. On top of that – the longer you sit around not pushing out emails the less people are going to respond which puts you off on using it anyway.
My advice is that if you’re going to build a list you have to commit.
Do an update even if it’s something small once a week. Don’t feel like it needs to be about pushing affiliate products and launches. Try treating it like a VIP list for your site (exclusivity creates curiosity).
Do as you will. Learn from others and your mistakes. Just do something.