email marketing

3 Ways Your Email List Can Outperform Your Blog

3 ways your email list can outperform your blog - why you need an email list for your online business.

You started a blog but you’re not getting the results you were promised.

Your audience is not engaged.

You never know when they take action on your blog posts or if they ever do.

You know you have little control over whether or not they ever come back to read your stuff.

What if I told you there is a better way to build your connection with your audience?

With email, you have a better measurement of how many people are engaged, opened your emails, and took action on the things you wished they did.

There are three reasons why having an email list is just as important as having a blog, if not more important.

Open and click through rates are more meaningful than pageviews.

This is how your  traffic acquisition goes: you either set up and prepare your website for free or paid traffic. SEO, Pinterest, Facebook ads, promoted pins, guest posting, etc. You get a few thousands visitors per day, some love your content and sign up for your emails. Others flee and never come back. For those who never come back, you don’t know if they just forgot to sign up your emails and freebie or your content got in the eyeballs of the wrong audience.

On the other hand, when you decide to send an email to your subscribers, you’re sending it to a warm audience. These people have read at least one of your blog posts and knows who you are. They have opted in and have given you permission to land in their inbox.

At the end of the day, the vanity metrics are meaningless if those aren’t the people who’s going to go out there and speak highly of your brand, services, and products. There are people who are just interested in the topic you speak about. Then there’s those people who are asking for more from you because of your perspective on the topic.

Not from someone else who talks about the same topic, but from you specifically.

Subscribers are more loyal because they have given you permission to email them.

Think about the last time you subscribed to a YouTube channel. The last time you subscribed to a fashion or beauty magazine. The last time you invited someone to your home for tea. Nope, I’m not kidding about the the tea one. And here’s why.

There’s a difference when someone invites you to send them content and when they visit your blog for content. When people visits your blog for content, they’re looking for information on a problem. Let’s say you have a blog posts that says, “5 Ways to Clean Out Your Closet in less than 30 minutes.”

People click on it. Some read it, love your ideas and then implement it. The others click away from your website and feel that your ideas won’t work for them. But for the people who love your ideas opt in, they are in for a ride with you.

For these people who opt-in, it’s proven that they like your ideas, believe you, and it’s the first step to deepening that trust with them via email.

So what does this have to do with inviting someone to your home for tea?

Well, when you invite someone to your home for tea, it means they’re your friends and generally someone whom you trust. The reality is, no one invites strangers to their homes. And if someone trusts you with their emails, then you are on their good side. They invite you to continue to send more content to their inbox.

And people value their inbox because it’s connected to everything they own online. They won’t risk inviting spam inside if they don’t at least connect with you on some level.

Email sequences helps you generate sales on autopilot.

You can’t possibly make sure your blog stays top of mind and that every person will come back to read more.

But you can follow up with people via email to remind them to check out your new blog posts, products, and services.

In email, there’s something called email autoresponders where you can pre-write a series of emails using your email service provider and have it automatically send out to your list when they subscribe. These autoresponders can be email courses or sales sequences. Write it once and have the same information send out to your new subscribers.

Here are two routes you can take…

Create a blog and hope that people will remember to come back and read it.

Or create an irresistible freebie (oh hey, it’s still free content!) and have people who are truly interested in having their problem solved flock to your sign-up page.

The truth is that whatever content you write on your blog, you can easily repurpose that through email. If you struggle with writing long-form blog content that’s over 1000 words, guess what?

You can write your message through email. With email, you don’t have to worry too much about the length of your content. You can get away with emails that are shorter — as that’s the industry norm.

With email you can see who are reading your emails and who are taking action. This can be clicking on the email that leads them to a worksheet.

Let’s say you decide to create your irresistible freebie to kick off your list building, here’s what you can do.

Do you need a blog to starting collecting subscribers?

Nope!
All you need is a landing page.

If your freebie is compelling enough to solve a real world problem (not one that you think people will need), you’ll have people rolling into your email list on autopilot.

In fact, landing pages convert at a much higher rate for me than any form of content upgrade or opt-in form on a blog.

I have some blog posts that gets a good number of page views, comments, shares, and engagement. People know it’s helpful as they have said so. But when you expect more subscribers, it doesn’t happen.

Why not?

They love the topic. There is interest. The blog post was helpful.

But they probably don’t have an immediate need to solve the problem so they don’t sign up for your freebie.

But for those people who do sign up for the freebie, they do want their problem solved. These are the people who have an immediate need to use your services, consulting packages, or products. These are the people you want to focus on.

Which comes back to my point. You don’t need to have a blog to collect subscribers. When I started, I felt obligated to give away free information before collecting subscribers, but as I dive into using paid advertising, I realized that if people have a need to solve their pains with the freebie I’m offering, they’ll opt-in regardless if there’s the blog post.

This suddenly made me realize that a blog is a nice-to-have, not a must-have sometimes. When you offer a free blog post, it attracts people who are interested in the topic, but doesn’t always necessarily need a problem solved. And your paid services and products should always target people who need it — hopefully asap. Does this means you should dump your blog?

Well no.

I love writing a blog and building trust through free content, but it doesn’t work as effectively and quickly as you’ll like it sometimes. When I realized that I can spend two hours creating one PDF (be it a workbook, swipe file, or toolkit) and it converts better than a blog post that I spent 5-6 hours on, it really makes me wonder how I should allocate my time.

Final Words

You may feel like if you start an email list, you need to offer many lead magnets at once to build your list. But that’s far from the truth. As long as you know what’s your paid offering and ideal client, all you need is one compelling lead magnet to kick off your list building efforts.

5 ConvertKit Automation Rules That Save Time + Increase My Revenue

 How I use ConvertKit automation to save time and increase revenue for my online business. Learn these helpful email marketing hacks to make more money from your small business or blog on autopilot!

Raise your hand if you could use a few more hours in your week to work more / sleep more / binge watch Netflix more?

Raises hand.

I don’t know about you, but as a busy solopreneur I’m always looking for ways to save time – because there are always more things on my to-do list (also I really, really enjoy naps). I’ve shared 5 ways to save time on social media + 5 tips to save time creating blog posts and today I’m sharing 5 ConvertKit automation rules that save time AND increase my revenue!

AUTOMATION VS. SCHEDULING

A quick note – something that really bothers me is when people confuse scheduling with automation.

In relation to online marketing – scheduling means you’re doing the work / creating or curating the content and setting it up to publish or be shared at a later time. Scheduling saves time because it reduces context switching, allows you to batch related tasks, and prevents you from having to keep up with #allthethings throughout each day.

Automation, on the other hand, means setting something up once so it’s done automatically over and over again. It’s the best form of set it and forget it (i.e. a busy solopreneur’s favorite thing)!

For example, adding tweets to your Hootsuite publisher is scheduling. Adding tweets to your Edgar library is automation because they get shared over and over again. Similarly, adding pins to your Tailwind queue is scheduling, setting up pins to “loop” on Boardbooster is automation.

Moving on…

WHY AUTOMATE?

It saves time – If I have the choice to manually do something over and over again or set it up once to run on autopilot – I’m probably going to pick autopilot. There are only so many hours in the day and there are a lot of other things I want to do with them #timeismoney

It streamlines workflow – There are probably a ton of “small” things that need to happen on a regular basis to keep your business rolling along, but it’s easy for “small” things to slip through the cracks unless there is a real system in place for getting them done. Automating these little things can not only make your life easier, but it will also ensure that they always get done!

It increases sales opportunities – Most people don’t have time to be consistently promoting their products / services, consistently following up with leads, or consistently sending sales pitches. Except everyone does, IF you use automation! There are a lot of different things you can automate in your online business, but in this post I want to specifically talk about how I use email automation to save time AND increase my revenue!

Free guide to creating irresistible email opt-in freebies

EMAIL AUTOMATION WITH CONVERTKIT

Since last Fall, I’ve used ConvertKit as my email marketing service (you can reach why I switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit in this post) – it’s not a perfect system but it makes a lot of things really easy to do – including automation! I have over 50 different automation rules set up (mostly because I have a lot of different opt-in forms), but here are a few examples of automations that not only save time, but also increase my revenue on autopilot!

Opt-in to free resource >> Add to email sequence

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When people download my free stock photos, they automatically get added to an email sequence that introduces them to the Styled Stock Society (paid membership) and invites them to join. Over 15% of people who receive these emails click through to learn more about the Styled Stock Society and over 10% end up becoming members – all because I set up a simple email sequence that works on autopilot!

I have similar sequences set up for any opt-ins that related to paid products – for example, if someone downloads my Ultimate Guide to Hashtags, they get added to an email sequence that eventually introduces them to my Instagram course. They keyword there is eventually – if someone is new-to-me, they’re likely to purchase a paid course right away. I think it’s important to provide a lot of value through free content before earning the right to sell to someone (I have a free Instagram course, free Instagram challenge, 6 value-packed blog posts, and have held several free Instagram webinars).

If you have any sort of evergreen product / course / membership program – having an email sequence in place is SO important if you want to make consistent sales!

Opt-in to free resource >> Add interest tag

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Your email list is only good if it’s targeted – you can have 5,000 people on your list who opted in because they wanted free stock photos, but if you are trying to sell them mindset coaching, I’m guessing that not many people on that list are going to sign up! To keep track of who is interested in what on my email list, I have several rules set up to auto tag subscribers when opt-in to various lead magnets. Since ConvertKit is subscriber-based and not list-based (like Mailchimp), this is an easy way to filter my subscribers based on interest so I can share relevant content with them.

Click a link >> Add interest tag

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Another way I use automation rules to determine subscriber interests is by setting up “link triggers” so that when someone clicks on a link in an email, a tag is automatically added. In this example, anyone who clicked on a link to my Glam Your Glam sales page in an email gets tagged because (I assume) clicking on that link indicates they are potentially interested in the course. From there, I might decide to send anyone who is tagged with a particular product interest a special offer or I might add them to a different email sequence. It’s another layer of targeting that can be particularly helpful during a launch period when I don’t want to annoy everyone with sales emails.

Purchase a product >> Remove from funnel

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Speaking of not annoying people with emails, I also set up automations so that when someone makes a purchase as a result of an email sequence, they get removed from the sequence so that they don’t continue to get sales emails. In this example, anyone who enrolls in Glam Your ‘Gram is removed from my Instagram funnel so I don’t continue to pitch them the course. ConvertKit easily integrates with Teachable (where I host my courses) and SendOwl (what I use for digital products / memberships) so it’s easy to automatically tag customers as well!

Opt-in to a free / low-priced offer >> Offer a paid upgrade

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Last but not least, I also use automation to offer “upsells” to any offer where there are multiple price points. For example, when someone joins my free Instagram challenge, they receive a welcome email that also reminds them that they can upgrade for a small fee to get immediate access to all 14 challenge lessons right away. Approximately 5% who join the free challenge decide to upgrade to the FAST TRACK version, so that’s a nice little revenue stream that works on autopilot!

So those are just a few automation rules that I have set up to save time and drive more revenue, but there are so many other possibilities! Here’s a screenshot of some of the other possible combinations you can set up using ConvertKit:

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I’d love to hear how you’re using automation to save time in your business, and if you have any questions about ConvertKit automation – let me know in the comments! 

Free guide to creating irresistible email opt-in freebies

 

3 Reasons I’m SO GLAD I Switched From MailChimp to ConvertKit

Lately I’ve been in list building mode and have been talking to a lot of other bloggers about their email marketing systems to figure out what’s working (or not) for them. Most people seem surprised when I tell them that I switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit (because what’s ConvertKit???), but let me say, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made this year! Up until a couple of months ago, I had been using MailChimp as my email marketing service, but the always business savvy Mariah convinced me to jump on the ConvertKit train, and I am so glad I did!

Let me back up a sec to say, at first I was skeptical. In comparison to the wide array of email templates in MailChimp, ConvertKit is relatively basic. You can still customize your emails with a bit of code, but the standard email templates offer very little beyond standard formatting options. I like pretty things, so initially I was like yeah, not for me… BUT (obviously) I’ve changed my mind! There are a number of ways that ConvertKit is different than MailChimp (or other email marketing services), but I’ll get to the point and tell you the 3 reasons why I’m SO GLAD I switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit.

ONE LIST, ENDLESS OPTIONS

In MailChimp, if you want to send different lead magnets or opt-in messages to your subscribers, it requires setting up multiple lists. This means that if I want you to be able to opt in to my free course and then also download my checklist for the 8 things you should be doing every time you post on Instagram, I have to set up separate lists and technically pay for duplicate subscribers. That’s no bueno. It’s actually really annoying.  ConvertKit makes things easy by giving you the option to tag and segment your subscribers based on their activity while just maintaining one list. This means you can opt in to 10 different downloads or freebies on my site and instead of appearing on 10 different lists, you just appear once <— this makes SO MUCH more sense! The bigger your list gets, the more this matters – trust me, you do not want to manage thousands of subscribers on numerous lists.

HIGHER ENGAGEMENT

My experience with MailChimp was overall pretty positive, but when it comes to open rates I’ve seen a real difference with ConvertKit. This is the thing that really resonated with me the most – I realized that no matter how “pretty” an email was, it didn’t matter if people weren’t seeing it. Or opening it. ConvertKit‘s “basic” email template actually makes sense in that who really wants to open the salesy image packed emails from big brands vs. simple, intimate emails from people you actually know. Sometime basic IS better.

I’ve also found that since I spend less time worrying about making pretty images for my emails, I can spend more time on creating valuable content. And CONTENT, my friends, makes WAY more of a difference than image layouts when it comes to my biz!

INTUITIVE WORKFLOW

If you’ve ever set up a MailChimp automation workflow, you know it’s not the the easiest process. You have to navigate through a number of different screens to set up each email and then set up the order and timing of the emails on another page and it just FEELS like a lot of work. ConvertKit “courses” are the equivalent system and they are SO MUCH easier to set up. For example, the screenshot above shows how I set up my free course STAND OUT to SELL OUT. I set up each of the emails from one main page, and I can easily navigate between the different emails as well as drag and drop to rearrange the order they get sent in. I can also add additional emails to the “course” whenever I want with the click of a button. If you are doing any sort of marketing automation, or use a sequence of emails as a lead magnet or sales funnel, ConvertKit is the clear winner.

Obviously I am a fan. And yes, if you sign up for ConvertKit through THIS LINK I will earn a commission – but I would NOT be telling you how much I love it if that weren’t true. This is a BS-free zone y’all :)

What email marketing system do you use? What do you like / dislike about it?

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