Like many people today, I have more than one email account. My primary email is for most things, but I have another associated with my blog. My habit has been to use my primary email for everything from shopping to business.
And for signing up on email lists.
With my primary email, I sign up on email lists of favorite crafters, writers, businesses, and other bloggers I want to support. I thought having their newsletters and blasts in one spot would help me promptly find and peruse them.
But it has not. My mailbox is inundated with emails.
Just yesterday, after a month of not checking emails other than in my primary list on Gmail, I had nearly 3,000 emails since the end of May.
After an hour of cleaning out my mailbox, I realized that this was a type of clutter that I needed to control. I scrolled to the “unsubscribe” for every email list and clicked.
This seems counterintuitive since I am a writer and blogger who has been told I need to build a healthy email list. And I felt lousy deleting other writers’ emails.
Before social media, an email newsletter or blast was the primary avenue for regular contact with customers and readers. Newsletters were sent regularly, filled with promotions and other news. Today many don’t spend the same amount of leisure reading time with email. Instead, it is mostly transactional.
Email lists are, however, a necessary marketing tool for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Yet, it is an old mechanism for bloggers and writers with websites that are not commerce driven. The number of subscribers on your email list (in addition to social media) is critical when you want to be a published author.
So I’ve been told.
With the popularity of social media, we understand that the days when email newsletters were the way to have “followers” are long gone. Social media is now where to connect and create a community for authors, businesses, public figures, and influencers.
With our leisure time now scrolling through social media, email newsletters and blasts maybe be archaic, especially for the younger crowd. The Campaign Monitor survey found that 39% of Gen Z respondents reported subscribing to only 1-5 email newsletters, yet 37.5% say they subscribe to zero. Reason? They find social media, especially video, to be more effective. Gen-X uses email more, but social media is still a stiff competitor.
For email lists to stay relevant, the sender must be market savvy to keep their subscribers. If your email list has stopped growing or is not getting the desired clicks, consider these 7 reasons.
7 Reasons why Your Email List isn’t Working
For your subscribers to stay engaged, there needs to be some sort of reward for readership. Freebies (lead magnets) are a common incentive your subscriber can look forward to. For instance, if your business sells specialty fonts and designs to crafters, your monthly email can link to the “free font of the month” for subscribers only. That link “leads” your readers to your website for the freebie, and they are rewarded for staying subscribed. There is also a good chance they may stay and look around to see what else is new.
Whether using your email list for commerce or not, readers should experience your personality and values. Emails should have a look that relates to your business type. If practical, add a little humor. The three-times-weekly newsletter, The Pour Over, gives straight news, yet punny headlines and a little humor are sometimes added to grab attention. Each newsletter begins with an inspirational quote, and even their ads are enjoyable to read.
Not Getting to the Point
In today’s fast-paced world, we may no longer have the luxury of reading long stories as part of a newsletter. Try short, informative snippets with options for continued reading somewhere else. The Modern Mrs. Darcy emails are brief, always with a link to finish reading at the website. This technique works well to see the interaction of emails and drive traffic to a blog or website.
It’s Only for the Sell.
Don’t always sell me. If I signed up for your newsletter, you already sold me. Yes, email lists are to connect with customers and sell products. Why not also share content to inform customers about other things related to you or your business? Keep your readers informed about their positive impact by supporting your business.
Not Giving Readers Choices
Tell readers where they can find you. In emails, make clear where you can be found on social media, and give reasons why your reader needs to follow you there. If you plan to reveal a new product live on Instagram, add easy instructions. If you have a Facebook group, remind readers what is available there that may not be anywhere else (answers to questions, community, etc.)
No Call to Action
Gone are the days of the feel-good newsletters full of stories, recipes, and fun facts. While those may be included in emails, you must end with a call to action. Do you want subscribers to read the latest post on the 5 Best Places to Find Audiobooks? Click here. Want to see our new T-shirt line before it’s announced? Click here. When you sell, make it short. Tell the reader what they need to do next.
Letting the Reader Go
Needs change, and your subscribers may no longer need your product or services. When the subscriber clicks “unsubscribe,” add a closing window to have them check why they are leaving. Too many emails? Is the information no longer relevant? Not happy with the product? Use this data to help you with creating better emails in the future. If using social media, that reader will still find you in their preferred format.
Will I ever subscribe to any email newsletters? Yes, but I will become more selective. If there is a business or a person I want to follow, I will find out where it is best to stay in touch. Where is their most considerable presence? Maybe their podcast has the same information as their monthly email. If a favorite author does a Facebook live video once a week, I will set up a notification to be reminded. If video tutorials work better than written instructions, I will subscribe to my favorite crafter on YouTube.
As a writer, blogger, or another non-commerce venue, following the strategy of many blog masters who tell you to focus on building an email list may only lead to frustration. Yet, this may be the time to consider creating avenues of commerce for your site. Can you offer lead magnets, courses, webinars, or consultations? Offering items with your logo is another way readers can support you, build your brand, and fund your website.
The one thing to remember is that no matter what platform you use, success in building a solid community is by connecting readers with what you can offer. Don’t forget your focus and how you can help your reader.
Agree or disagree?
Share in the comments if you have an email list
and what you do to make it a success.