How to Get People (Besides Your Mom) On Your Email List

 Wondering how to get people (besides your mom) to sign up for your email list? Learn where to place opt-in forms on your website and how to promote your lead magnet and your email list will grow in no time! This is a must-read for any small business owner who wants to learn about email marketing!

Welcome to week 5 of Email Marketing 101! Just joining us? Catch up below.

If you can relate to having a tiny list that primarily consists of family and friends (that may or may not have been added without their consent), then this week is for you! 

With a few simple tactics, it’s absolutely possible to have a list full of people who are not related to you! In order to make that happen, I’m going to show you where to put email opt-in forms on your website. Once that’s done, we’ll cover how to promote your lead magnet. 

Putting Opt-in Forms On Your Website

Utilize Your Lead Magnet

With every opt-in form, the most important thing is to mention your lead magnet. Avoid using generic text that invites people to sign up for an email list or a newsletter. That’s not going to entice anyone. Instead focus on the helpful freebie they will receive when they sign up.

It’s also important to include a photo or mockup of your lead magnet. Not only does this make it visually more appealing, it also gives people an idea of what they will receive when they sign up.

Below is the mockup I use for my lead magnet. I found the mockup on Pixeden and customized it in Photoshop. If you don't have Photoshop you can always hire a designer to do it for you ;)

 Wondering how to get people (besides your mom) to sign up for your email list? Learn where to place opt-in forms on your website and how to promote your lead magnet and your email list will grow in no time! This is a must-read for any small business owner who wants to learn about email marketing!

Opt-in Form Placement

There are five places you should have opt-in forms on your website. Some of these are Squarespace specific, but you can apply most of these principles to any site.Below are all the areas you should put an opt-in form on your website:

  1. Footer – One of the most important places to put your opt-in is in the footer of your website. This ensures that it will be on every single page of your site. With the way SEO works, you never know how someone is going to stumble upon your site, but many times your homepage will not be the way they enter.
  2. Blog Sidebar – Speaking of SEO, if you’re blogging consistently it’s very likely that someone will find your website through a blog post (maybe that's how you ended up here). For this reason, you'll want an opt-in in the sidebar of your blog (see mine to the right). That way it will be one of the first things people see when they come to your site. Unfortunately, many Squarespace templates don’t have the option for sidebars, but if you’re using one that does, be sure to take advantage of it. 
  3. Pop-Up – Opt-in pop-ups are a new feature that Squarespace has recently enabled. You need a business account to take advantage of this feature, but it’s definitely worth it, since pop-ups have one of the highest conversion rates.
  4. Landing Page – This is an important one, so pay attention! You absolutely must create a landing page that promotes your lead magnet. There should not be any navigation on this page. There should only be an image of your lead magnet, a description of it, and a form to opt-in. To do this in Squarespace use a cover page. Here's mine as an example.
  5. Banner – The last place you’ll want to promote your opt-in is in your banner. Technically this won’t be an opt-in form itself. Instead it will mention your lead magnet and click through to your landing page where people can sign up. This is good to have because like the footer, it will appear on every page, but no scrolling is needed to see it. 

Promoting Your Lead Magnet

In order to get some emails on your list, you have to start promoting your freebie. The best way to do this is to utilize social media, of course.

Create Multiple Ads

To do this effectively create some text-based ads to post on a regular basis. The more often you post the better, but at a minimum post once a week. Ideally you want a few different ads, so you can post them frequently while still maintaining variety in your feed. You'll also want some vertical ones for IG Stories and Pinterest.

Below are some ads I created for my own lead magnet. Every time I post them on Instagram I always get an influx of new sign-ups.

 Wondering how to get people (besides your mom) to sign up for your email list? Learn where to place opt-in forms on your website and how to promote your lead magnet and your email list will grow in no time! This is a must-read for any small business owner who wants to learn about email marketing!
 Wondering how to get people (besides your mom) to sign up for your email list? Learn where to place opt-in forms on your website and how to promote your lead magnet and your email list will grow in no time! This is a must-read for any small business owner who wants to learn about email marketing!
 Wondering how to get people (besides your mom) to sign up for your email list? Learn where to place opt-in forms on your website and how to promote your lead magnet and your email list will grow in no time! This is a must-read for any small business owner who wants to learn about email marketing!
 Wondering how to get people (besides your mom) to sign up for your email list? Learn where to place opt-in forms on your website and how to promote your lead magnet and your email list will grow in no time! This is a must-read for any small business owner who wants to learn about email marketing!
 Wondering how to get people (besides your mom) to sign up for your email list? Learn where to place opt-in forms on your website and how to promote your lead magnet and your email list will grow in no time! This is a must-read for any small business owner who wants to learn about email marketing!
 Wondering how to get people (besides your mom) to sign up for your email list? Learn where to place opt-in forms on your website and how to promote your lead magnet and your email list will grow in no time! This is a must-read for any small business owner who wants to learn about email marketing!

Utilize Your Landing Page

The next thing you need to do is update your website link on all social media accounts to lead to your email list landing page. If you’re tempted to forego this step, stay with me for a second.

Since there is no navigation on this page you will be forcing people to either sign up for your list or leave your site. It sounds scary because we assume most people will choose to leave, but I can tell you from personal experience that’s not the case.

Looking at the analytics of my site, over 86% of people sign up for my list when they visit my lead magnet landing page. That’s huge and a far better conversion rate than any of the other opt-in’s on my site! As for the 14% that didn’t sign up, they probably weren’t in need of my services to begin with. At the very least give it a try for a few weeks and see what happens! 

If you have an email list, what's your best tip for promoting your lead magnet and getting sign ups? Comment below!

Easily Set Up an Automated Welcome Sequence in Mailchimp

 Wondering how to get started with email marketing for your small business? One of the first things you need to do is set up an automated welcome sequence for new subscribers to your list. Click through for an outline of what should be in each of your welcome emails, as well as a video tutorial showing you how to set it up in Mailchimp!

If you're new around here, I've spent the past few weeks covering the basics of starting an email list for your business. You can catch up below. Be sure to start with week one and work your way through all the lessons. Don't think you need an email list? Then week one is especially for you ;)

This week I’m showing you how to create an automated welcome sequence in Mailchimp.

What is a Welcome Sequence?

A welcome sequence is a series of 5-7 emails that are automatically sent out over a period of a week or so, after someone has signed up for your list. As I’ve mentioned before, the rule of 7 says that someone needs to come in contact with your business that many times before trusting you enough to make a purchase or hire you. A welcome sequence allows you to hit those seven interactions really quickly.

Why Do I Need One?

The first reason to setup an automated welcome sequence is to efficiently deliver your lead magnet when people sign up. When I first started my list I was manually sending my freebie to new subscribers, which was not very efficient! Save yourself the hassle and setup an automated delivery as soon as possible.

The next reason is to familiarize people with your business and show them your expertise. You can do this by providing free information and resources that will help them with a problem they have. It’s only after you’ve done this that you should try to sell to them.

What Should Be In It?

Below is an outline you can follow to set up your own welcome sequence. Make sure that each email serves a purpose and provides different content than the others. Feel free to adjust this for your own business as needed.

  1. The Welcome Email - Deliver your lead magnet and briefly introduce yourself. People are only opening this for the freebie, so keep it short, sweet, and to the point. (Timing: Immediately upon subscribing.)
  2. Set Expectations Email – Now that people have received what they came for, take the time to introduce yourself and your business a little more thoroughly. Tell them what to expect from your list, including frequency of emails and topics you’ll cover. (Timing: 1 day after previous email)
  3. Check-in Email – This is an opportunity to encourage people to use the freebie you’ve given them. Give them some tips for using it most effectively and invite them to reply with any questions they have about it. Include the link to download it again, in case they haven’t done so yet. (Timing: 1-2 day after previous email)
  4. Best Resources Email – You know all of those blog posts you’ve spent hours writing? Well they’re going to come in handy! Share your most helpful blog posts and free resources that show off your expertise. (Timing: 1-2 days after previous email)
  5. The Social Media Email - Invite people to follow you on social media to help strengthen your connection with them. Only ask them to follow you on the platforms that you’re active on. (Timing: 2-3 days after previous email)
  6. The Sales Email – It’s finally time to sell! Don’t assume that people know exactly what services/products you offer. Be sure to explicitly state how you can help them solve a problem they have. Direct them to a sales page on your site where they can learn more, and let them know how they can hire you. (Timing: 2-3 days after previous email.)

How Do I Automate It?

Mailchimp makes it really easy to setup an automated welcome sequence. Watch the video below to learn how.

As always, feel free to post your questions in the comments below!

Create the Perfect Lead Magnet for Your Email List

 All small business owners need an email list! Not sure how to grow yours? You need a lead magnet! Find out what a lead magnet is, why you need one, and how to create it. With the perfect freebie offer you'll have subscribers on your list in no time!

Welcome to week 3 of Email Marketing 101! If you’re just joining us, catch up on weeks 1 and 2 below:

Today we’re talking about lead magnets: what they are, why you need one, and how to create it.

Defining Lead Magnets

A lead magnet is the freebie that subscribers receive upon signing up for your email list. This is the main freebie that you will promote all over your site. If you offer a freebie within a blog post that’s called a content upgrade and is usually a smaller offer than your lead magnet. Since no one needs another email in their inbox, you have to give people a reason to sign up. 

Lead magnets often come in the form of a PDF, but that’s not the only option. Here are some of the many forms a lead magnet can take:

  • PDF guide
  • Email course
  • A discount code
  • Free shipping
  • Free consultation
  • Free product with purchase

Creating Lead Magnets

To create a strong lead magnet identify a common problem your ideal clients have and find a way you can help them solve it. It’s great to get some feedback from your audience. Take a poll on IG stories or put it out on Facebook and see what people need the most help with.

You want to offer something of value, but remember that you’re giving it away for free, so it doesn’t have to be a ten page guide. A 1-2 page checklist is perfectly fine. While this is intended to be helpful to subscribers, a good lead magnet will also show people the value of hiring you. I’ve had lots of people start going through my mini branding guide, just to contact me a few days later because it made them realize how much they need professional help.

Once you’ve decided on the content for your lead magnet, decide what form it will take from the list mentioned above. Here's a more in-depth explanation of each.

PDF’s

These are great for guides and che­cklists. To make one you can hire a designer (I know a girl…), or purchase a template (check out Etsy or Creative Market) and customize it yourself (usually in Photoshop). To deliver your PDF upload it to Dropbox, your website, or Mailchimp and send the link out in an automated email.

Email courses

An email course is perfect for a series or a challenge. It may also be easier to create than a PDF, depending on your skillset. To set it up you will create an automated sequence in Mailchimp (which we’ll cover next week).

Discounts, free shipping, and free products

These are great for product-based businesses. However, for service-based businesses it’s not ideal since services are usually a larger investment than products. It’s better to offer something that doesn't require making a large purchase.

Consultations

This is great when you’re just starting out, but aren’t sustainable long-term. When I first started my list I offered half hour brand reviews. I sent out a link to sign up via Calendly and used Skype for video chats. It allowed me to connect with people one-on-one and provide personalized help. This gained me new clients quickly since the know, like, trust factor was built immediately. If you have the time, I recommend this while your business is small enough to handle it. Once your list gets larger you won’t have the capacity to devote time to each new subscriber.

Lead Magnet Ideas

To get the juices flowing, here are some lead magnet ideas for a few different industries:

  • Dietitian – 5 easy dinner recipes + a shopping list
  • Wedding photographer – a list of recommended local vendors
  • Jewelry designer – free shipping
  • Personal trainer – a week’s worth of workouts
  • Coffee company – free coffee mug with minimum purchase
  • Business coach – guide on how to attract higher paying clients
  • Web designer – free homepage review
  • Fashion brand – guide on how to hone your personal style
  • Copywriter – checklist for writing the perfect bio
  • Cosmetic company – free skincare consultation 

Have an idea for your lead magnet? Need some feedback? Post in the comments and I'll let you know what I think!

2 simple ways to Customize Your Mailchimp Account

 Are you using Mailchimp for your email marketing? If so, learn how to create a template for consistent, easy to send emails. Then customize your confirmation to create a professional, on-brand impression. Click through for video tutorials that will help you utilize Mailchimp to effectively grow your list!

If you're not convinced that you need an email list, check out last week's post then meet me back here!

This week in Email Marketing 101 I'm showing you how to make some simple customizations to your Mailchimp account. You can sign up for an account here. A free one will get you started, but to create automated emails for your welcome sequence (which we'll cover soon) you'll need to upgrade your account.

When you create your account it will automatically create a list with your business name. You can use this for your main email list. Eventually you may have multiple lists or segmented lists, but since this is Email Marketing 101, we’re not going to worry about that yet!

Create a Template

To get you started with Mailchimp, I've created some video tutorials to walk you through the basics. There are two videos this week. The first one shows you how to create a template in Mailchimp. This doesn't take long and will make sending emails easier in the long run by providing a consistent, branded template that you can use every time.

Customize Your Confirmation

This second video shows you how to customize your confirmation email. This is what people will see when they confirm their subscription to your list. Rather than using the generic Mailchimp confirmation, we're going to customize it to create a more professional, on-brand impression.

Once you’ve done those two things you’re ready to get some people on your list! In order to make that happen you’ll need an enticing lead magnet, which is what we'll cover next week. Stay tuned!

Have questions about email marketing? Leave them in the comments!

4 Reasons Your Business Needs an Email List

 Hey small business owner, are you wondering if your business needs an email list? The answer is yes! It doens't matter if you're service-based or product-based, Either way your business can benefit from email marketing! Read the top four reasons why you need to start building your email list, along with a little proof that it clearly works!

If you’re anything like me, you might be resistant to email marketing because it seems too “salesly” for your business. You don’t think you need to do it and frankly you’re just not interested.

If you can relate, let me share something that will change your mind. The quote below is from the initial inquiry of a client I’m currently working with on her branding, website, and marketing material:

“I'm honestly not that sure how I found your site, but I signed up for your free DIY branding guide, and...I ended up on your mailing list! Clear proof that your digital marketing strategies are working :)” 

Need I say more?

It’s important to mention that I’m two years into building my list and this particular inquiry came after a few months of being really consistent with my weekly emails. Without consistency your email marketing efforts will fall flat, but if you put in the time it will pay off!

So if you’re ready to start building your list, you’re in the right place! Over the next few weeks I will be covering what I call "Email Marketing 101" to include the following:

  • Setting Up Mailchimp
  • Creating a Lead Magnet
  • Setting Up a Welcome Sequence
  • Putting Opt-in’s on Your Website
  • Promoting Your Freebie
  • What To Send To Your List

If you'd like to be the first to receive this content sign up for my list right here and it will come straight to your inbox.

Before We Get Started

Why Email Marketing?

Here are the top reasons you need to start a list:

  1. To stay in touch with visitors to your website. Once they leave your site they may never return. Getting their email on your list is the only way you can ensure that the conversation continues.
  2. To get people to know, like, and trust you (the rule of 7). People are not going to hire you the first time they come in contact with you. The marketing rule of seven says it takes that many times of contact before someone will be ready to buy from you. Getting them on your list and utilizing a welcome sequence helps you hit those seven times really quickly.
  3. To show your expertise. By providing valuable content to your audience on a regular basis they will see that you are knowledgeable and experienced in your field. This will help boost that trust factor.
  4. To serve your audience. Showing your audience that you’re willing to serve them even when you’re not being paid is a great way to build trust. It also creates a reciprocity mindset, making your audience more inclined to buy from you because you have already given them so much.

Questions From You

Is it okay to send shared content to your email list, instead of writing your own content each time?

To answer this, let’s filter it through the purpose of having an email list that I mentioned above. If we want our audience to get to know, like, and trust us the best way we can do that is by writing our own content and showing our expertise.

In that sense, sharing content that isn’t your own is self-defeating. It’s not “wrong” per se (as long as you credit the source), but ultimately it’s not the best way to build the type of audience that is going to serve your business well.

If you don’t have time to write high-quality content it may be better than nothing…BUT you don’t want to rely on that on too often. So it's best to get in the habit of creating and sharing your own content each time.

Have questions about email marketing? Post them in the comments and I'll be sure to answer them in an upcoming post!