Platform conference review series: Email marketing
Michael Hyatt has over 176,000 email addresses that were driven through his blog and by top of the funnel calls to action. So when he gave his talk on email marketing, the audience – despite being surrounded by the glorious Colorado Mountains – was scribbling furiously to fill their notebooks.
Michael’s five tips to improve your email marketing
1. Select a service
The first thing you need to do is select an email service provider that you can rely on. There are a lot of email marketing tools like Constant Contact, Vertical Response, AWeber and many others. Here are two that Michael focused on:
- Mail Chimp
- Free when emailing the first 2000 subscribers on your list
- Over 400 design templates including ones that are mobile friendly
- Simple reports and analytics such as open rate and clicks, etc.
- Infusionsoft (Similar to HubSpot)
- Marketing automation and workflows based on actions
- Includes a shopping cart
- Robust developer network for customization
Set up an email marketing account
After you select a provider you will need to either upload a list or start from scratch and get people to sign up.
One of the big considerations for email marketers is whether or not you will segment your list into different categories. I have seen numerous email marketers do really well by sending emails, for example, about dog food specials, just to dog lovers. and Not sending the same email to your entire list, that would including cat lovers, That is a bit more advanced but that type of setup can be highly effective.
Michael has a main list that goes out to all of his subscribers, to keep it simple for the most part. So that is certainly a place to start.
He recommends at the very least, having the first name of all people that subscribe to your list, that way you can personalize each message. Otherwise the emails look pretty silly when they say “dear, ” and then the sentence starts…
If you try and ask for too many form fields you will likely reduce the amount of people that sign up for your list as well, so unless you are offering something of great value, start by just asking for their first name.
2. Install sign-up forms on your blog
Having an email magnet or irresistible offer such as an e-book, a checklist, or a list of your favorite tools in an organized PDF format is a fantastic way to get people to sign up for your list. If you don’t have a top of the funnel call to action like this yet, get started anyway and ask people to sign up with a basic subscribe form, but while you work on your offer. as soon as possible.
Below are a few places for an email marketing form and offer:
- Top right – in the sidebar – such as on Michaelhyatt.com
- About us page CTA: kriscarr.com
- End of blog post CTA: marieforleo.com
- Pop-up window (Michael recommends Optin Monster and a pop up on exit, not right off the bat. He doubled his conversion rate with this technique and I have done the same for my clients that are willing to experiment with this.)
Services Version goinswriter.com
Ecommerce version: golfsmith.com
- Feature box: diythemes.com
Once you have your sign-up form, it’s time to send out your email newsletter. Here’s how to get started.
Turn your blog posts into an email newsletter
If you are worried about having content for an email newsletter, rest assured that it is perfectly okay to use your blog content for this. There are a few people like Chris Brogan and Jeff Goins that use unique content for their email newsletters. That is certainly an amazing thing to do and gives an even stronger value proposition for your newsletter, but is not realistic for most people, including Michael Hyatt.
Michael then quoted Rev Run by saying: “If you are not consistent you’re nonexistent.”
So be consistent when blogging and sharing your blog content via your email newsletter – at the very least once a month.
3. Opt in magnet
Having an irresistible offer like an e-book, PDF of the tools you use or resources download is essential for building your list. Here’s how to create offers without breaking a sweat.
Mine existing content
Michael says that everything begins on his blog and then he repurposes it into other forms of content, like e-books and podcasts. Hit blog posts become the basis for deeper content. One of his early e-books called “How to create a personal life plan” was just compiled content with a few sentences of transitions in between each post.
In fact, he said that 80% of his book called Platform started as posts. Some short chapters are almost verbatim. The theory is that people will pay for convenience.
A few irresistible email offers that he mentioned were as follows:
- goinswriter.com Blog post series
- michaelhyatt.com Resource list
- themarketingagents.com 10 secrets to better conversions e-book
- chalenejohnson.com 30 day challenge trip sequence
- danpink.com To Sell is Human workbook
- eventualmillionaire.com 3 habits of millionaires
- tonyrobbins.com Audio session
- shetakesontheworld.com Free 14 day course
- amyporterfield.com Four-part video training:
The one above from Amy Porterfield is one of my favorites, possibly because she’s so cute/smart/spunky. Stay tuned for an upcoming platform review series on how Amy Porterfield builds email lists using social media.
Suggested copywriting books – courses
Michael also mentioned a few places to learn more about writing great copy to get more people to sign up for your email list.
- Ray Edwards book: Writing Riches
- David Garfinkel: Advertising headlines that make you rich (One of my favorites)
- Platform University also has a section on writing.
4. Solicit readers’ help
Michael asks people for help weekly on iTunes. You can even write a blog post about your email magnet and ask for feedback. He uses a lot of teasers in his copy without giving everything away that they would get in the download.
An amazing tool that I use for feedback is none other than feedbackarmy.com.
5. Attract more traffic
Michael shares his posts on social media in hopes that people will go back to his blog and subscribe. He also recommends sharing numerous times, especially using something like Twitter, were where people won’t necessarily see it the first time that you share it.
Having keywords in your post will of course make them pop up in Google, but that is not enough. and You need to share with people, and ideally influencers, that can have an impact on your traffic. Check out a tool like BuzzSumo to make this process easier.
Guest blogging at a high quality level was also recommended.
Paid ads can also be a great way to get more traffic. Facebook in particular can provide relatively cheap clicks.
One thing he didn’t mention, but that is absolutely essential, is getting high quality back links to your site. Guest blogging is one way to do that, but only if at a very high quality level because Google is very critical of this tactic. So creating “link bait” or an occasional piece of content that is truly outstanding can make your other content rank better because of the corresponding back links.
All of these tactics will increase unique visitors and therefore subscribers to your list.
The 5 email marketing tips and tricks we discussed were:
- Select an email service provider
- Install sign-up forms on your blog and site
- Create an opt in magnet or irresistible offer
- Solicit readers help
- Attract more traffic
Just remember to consistently create content and to send out your newsletter, or otherwise the likelihood of creating a large following / platform is slim to none. The benefits of having a large email list are just too great to let it slip through your fingers.
Please share your thoughts and additional tactics that I might’ve missed in the comments below.