How Can I Grow My Email List?

How Can I Grow My Email List?

A few months ago, we talked about why email marketing is going to be big in 2021 and what you can do to keep your customers and users engaged. 

Email marketing is one of the most effective online marketing tools around right now. The algorithms that social media platforms use are always changing, so your content might not be getting in front of the amount of eyes you were hoping for. Email marketing gets you directly in front of the eyes of the consumer, so you don’t have to worry about some unknown algorithm affecting your ability to market to potential customers. 

You can read more in the blog post linked above about why email marketing is huge right now, so we won’t repeat ourselves here! That being said, how exactly can you go about GROWING your email list to start email marketing? That’s where Landing Pages and Lead Generation (Lead Gen) come into play!

What are Landing Pages?

Landing pages are one-off pages (created on your website, or some email marketing services like MailChimp also offer landing page creation), that allow you to take the prospects that you’ve attracted and convert them to leads. One way of using your landing pages is to create a social media post or blog with a CTA that entices the customer to click, where they then get taken to a landing page.

Photo courtesy of Hubspot

Landing pages can be designed in a variety of ways. They can be set up so users simply enter their name and email to join your newsletter, or perhaps you’re offering a complimentary pdf on a subject they are interested in. When you don’t have a landing page, you can’t gather information about the people visiting your website, which makes it difficult to understand who they are, market to them, determine if they are even in your target market, and eventually convert them into customers. It’s also worth considering doing some A/B testing on your landing pages to see which one is converting more quality leads for you.  

Need some inspo? Check out HubSpot’s list of some landing pages to get your creative juices flowing!

What is Lead Generation?

Lead Generation is the process of attracting leads (potential customers) into your sales pipeline with the hope of nurturing them throughout the buying process to help convince them why they should choose your product or use your service. In short, Lead Generation is the initiation of customer interest into products or services that you offer. Landing pages are one of the top ways to create quality lead generation for your business or company, AND build your email marketing list.

Here at SocialKNX, we can craft landing pages that will not only help you grow your email list, but also generate leads to help you grow. As your email list keeps growing, we can also create drip campaigns to keep your leads interested until they become a customer. Reach out today and let’s plant that seed!

“Happy” One Year Anniversary, Pandemic

“Happy” One Year Anniversary, Pandemic

World pandemic

Unprecedented. 

In these uncertain times.

In these challenging times.

New normal.

Now, more than ever.

If you hear those phrases one more time you’re going to scream, right?

It’s been one year since a world pandemic shut down most of the United States and the way we conducted business and marketing activities drastically changed. As marketers, now that a year has passed, we are forced to take a good look at the ways marketing has (rapidly!) changed in ways that might be permanent. 

Preserving a focus on community and empathy was brought to the forefront of marketing efforts during the darkest days of the pandemic – and is definitely a marketing “trend” that is here to stay. The shutdown certainly caused anxiety and stress to be consistent emotions in our daily lives. As marketers, ensuring that messages are empathetic and compassionate is something that is necessary to continue, even a year later. You want to make an effort to be human and speak to consumers without the sales pitch. (Remember- marketing is all about creating that connection!)

And when was the last time you checked out those buyer personas you created? You may have had a crystal clear picture of your buyer persona in the past, but, as we know, things have changed! Businesses are finding all sorts of new buyers for their products or services. Think of all the family members that have learned how to use Zoom just for family get-togethers; Zoom isn’t just for businesses any more.

Have you started doing more online ads since the pandemic started? Well, that is also a “trend” that is going to stay consistent as consumers continue to go online to find the answers and solutions to their problems or needs. Additionally, your digital marketing efforts should still collect data in order to help craft your buyer personas and create impactful digital marketing campaigns using social media, email, paid ads, and more. Your data can help you decide where you’ll need to double-down on marketing efforts that are working and where you need to make tweaks to efforts that aren’t.

You know those 5 statements we opened this blog with? Hard truth: Those statements aren’t unique anymore! Consumers have become “blind” to seeing those statements and they are likely to just keep scrolling past your message. Continue to use phrases and words that are engaging and eye-catching and create that connection. Think outside the box! Remember, you need them to realize that your product or service is solving a problem of theirs!

The pandemic might have shifted the marketing landscape, but it has also created opportunities for brands to effectively reach and engage with consumers at different stages of the buying journey. As the economy continues to recover, there could be an increase in consumer spending, so you want to make sure you’re staying in front of your current and potential customers’ needs. 

And of course, there’s social media! Many people have turned to social media for socializing and are now active on a variety of social media platforms- even those who swore they wouldn’t be on TikTok when the pandemic started! This surge in social media use has led to businesses putting a higher focus on building and maintaining strong customer relationships on social media, allowing marketers more efficient and effective communication with their audience.

So while we’ve passed the one-year anniversary of the COVID shutdown, it’s not necessarily a time for celebration. We’ve all adapted in personal and professional ways, and as marketers, we’ve adapted our marketing strategies. That being said, the primary goal of marketing efforts still stays the same: generate brand awareness, increase customer leads, create consumer loyalty, and ultimately grow your business.

Email Marketing Trends for 2021

Email Marketing Trends for 2021

We know, you’ve heard it over and over the past year: COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way that businesses and organizations interact with current, and future, customers. Businesses shifted their marketing strategies to digital means (in particular email marketing!) to reach out and stay connected with customers, and email and social media became the main channels to inform people about new business hours, virtual opportunities, virtual events, and more.

So, since COVID is showing no immediate signs of slowing down, how do the changes you pivoted to in 2020 shape the way you’ll go about email marketing in 2021? Here are some things that we think you should keep in mind as you plan out your email marketing strategy for the year.

#1: Email is by far the most effective online marketing tool

We all know that the algorithms that social media platforms use (we’re looking at you Facebook) are always changing and can be murky and hard to understand. Email marketing gets you directly into the inbox of your customer, so you don’t have to worry about some unknown algorithm affecting your ability to market to your potential customers. In fact, active email accounts surpassed 5.6 billion in 2019, and that number that is surely expected to grow into 2021 and beyond. 

Additionally, social distancing forced customers to go online to view or purchase products and services, leading to an increase in sign-ups for email newsletters. Take advantage of this trend by setting up landing pages so your customers can easily sign up to join your email list. 

#2: Make sure your content is engaging and authentic

Ok, so you’ve gotten those new email newsletter sign ups, now what do you include in your newsletter? The content in your email needs to be eye-catching and relate to the customer. You must be offering something valuable to the person reading it, but also creating a connection for that reader to your business. Think of it this way- you’re trading your email for your subscriber’s time. Someone took the time to open your email (because the title was SO CREATIVE!) so make sure you’re giving them the value they are looking for to “make it worth their while.” 

Before you start creating your content for your email, stop and think about how you are helping your customers succeed- what does the product or service that you’re offering them DO? Does it help them save time? Help them feel connected to a community? What problem is your business helping them solve? Also be sure that your email content tone and personality accurately reflects your brand and will resonate with the email receiver.

#3: Personalize and automate your emails

Building on #2, the biggest advantage to email marketing is the ability to personalize AND automate. You can send targeted emails to each subscriber- making each one feel special. Take the time to think about the user experience from your customers side, and what they are looking for when they visit your website. Use any feedback from customers to consider how to target and create customized content more effectively. Knowing your customers’ journey and gaining insight on the customer by collecting data like demographic information, individual likes/dislikes, feedback on your company and it’s offerings can only strengthen your ability to send targeted and personalized emails that will encourage your customers to take action. Emailing your customer an offer that doesn’t resonate with who they are is a surefire way to get them to unsubscribe. 

Automation of your emails, also known as drip campaigns, are also a great way to ensure the emails your customer is receiving are relevant and timely. The last thing people want to see in their inbox is a useless or uncalled for email. Drip emails usually perform better than regular emails since they are triggered by specific actions taken by the customer. Drip campaign emails create a “friendlier” vibe and aren’t overwhelming- all the emails come in “drips,” so the customer is getting the exact information they want.  

In 2021, it’s likely that this trend in an increase in e-commerce purchases and email signups will continue. Make sure you stay one-step ahead and take these few ideas into consideration, as well as think about emerging trends (such as paid-newsletters) that could help brighten up your email marketing.

Here at SocialKNX, once you have someone in your content universe, we can help you grow that budding relationship! Whether it’s setting up welcome emails, nurture sequences, or sending monthly love letters that continue to build that connection, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call today to see how we can help you with your email marketing in 2021.

SWOT Analysis of Social Media

SWOT Analysis of Social Media

Did you know that 47% of social media marketers report that the biggest challenge they face when it comes to social media marketing is coming up with strategies that support business goals?

THIS is where the handy-dandy SWOT analysis comes in to save the day! SWOT stands for Strengths-Weakness-Opportunities-Threats, and completing one of these can help you understand how exactly to utilize social media and strengthen your strategy. The SWOT framework is traditionally used to analyze the internal and external factors that help or hurt a business’s success. A SWOT analysis can help you identify key areas within your social media strategies and campaigns that require improvement or tweaking in order to be successful.

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The Perils of Perfectionism in Marketing: 5 Facts that Will Motivate You and 4.5 Steps to Recovery

The Perils of Perfectionism in Marketing: 5 Facts that Will Motivate You and 4.5 Steps to Recovery

perfectionism in marketing

We all know that perfectionism, while it has its merits, holds us back from making the progress in our business and in our lives that we truly want and need to make. Perfectionism in marketing is death. Death to progress and eventually to your business. I have to admit, not with any sense of pride mind you, but I have never had to worry about the negative effects of being a perfectionist. I have been a self-proclaimed slacker-mom, rusted trophy-wife, and a fly-by-the-seat of my pants entrepreneur. Always biting off more than I can chew and figuring out how to survive as I choked it down. Let’s just say, I have no shame in my game!

So I am not going to sit here and tell you how I overcame my struggle as a recovering perfectionist. But I am going to tell you that in my 22 years of being in business, helping people with their marketing, I have seen the carnage that perfection leaves in its path. I’m going to give you some facts that will help motivate you to let go a bit with your marketing and then 4 and ½ steps to help you recover, make more progress, and grow your business!  Why the ½? Well it’s so perfectly IMPERFECT!

Let’s get a few things out so we can build your motivation for seeing the need to let go of the neat lines and perfect circles:

  • Perfectionism kills creativity and can completely cripple your ability to get ideas out and move your business forward.
  • Today’s pace is faster than ever. We can’t wait months to get a piece of content created. Many times, we need it in hours or days.
  • Marketing is all about testing. Testing means you have to produce multiple products, videos, lead magnets, blog posts, etc. to… TEST.  You have to release something to the world before you can truly know what your audience wants. Then you can make adjustments based on the feedback you get. If the only feedback you have is coming from your head, you might spend months on something and then release it to crickets! If it takes you MONTHS before you can get one item completed, the only thing you will test is your patience.

Perfectionism in marketing
You may say you don’t want to put anything out unless it “looks professional” or is “professionally created.”  There is absolutely nothing wrong with things looking professional if it can be done in a realistic time frame. There is nothing wrong with something being created by a professional, as long as they don’t cause said professional to age 12 years working with you because of all of your “small edits.” If you can’t get something out because you are waiting on the graphic designer to return the 87th version of a 2 page PDF, you need therapy…and now the poor graphic designer does too!

Video is one of the hottest marketing tools you have today and yet video is a big hurdle for many perfectionists because there are just so many areas where perfection is nearly impossible. You may want to wait to do videos until you have the perfect equipment. You will of course then need to put it off until you are at your perfect weight and have made an appointment with your hairdresser to get those highlights looking perfect. Then, of course you will need the perfect day when you got the perfect amount of sleep so you look…PERFECT. (I think this could be the beginning of a children’s book… If you give a perfectionist a project.) Let the real YOU shine through. Instead of trying to create a perfectly produced video of you sharing your expertise, imagine sitting across from a friend over coffee and sharing these nuggets of wisdom. Be THAT you on video. It is so much more enjoyable to watch and learn from someone who is REAL like the rest of us.    

More motivation here:

  • Overly produced videos do not do as well as raw footage of the real you when trying to build relationships with an online audience. When people see a very nice “commercial” of you and your product, they see you trying to sell them something. When they see you giving tips, information, or advice with nothing but you and the camera, you become more real and approachable…Even with bags under your eyes! Your imperfections create likability and build trust.
  • Authenticity comes from showing your imperfections.  We want to see the real you not the overly produced you. This doesn’t mean your videos have to be unprofessional, it just means they don’t have to be perfect. You may find after you record your video that a piece of your hair was sticking up like Alfalfa, the entire time. You may start a live broadcast a few minutes late because there were technical glitches. You may be recording a video and you forget something you were going to say next. You may be in the middle of a live video stream and your dog will bark…or all three of them will suddenly go NUTS…all hypothetical examples of course! This is REAL LIFE. What would happen if you were face-to-face with someone and these things happened? You would keep going.

So let’s get to the 4 ½ steps to help you tousel your hair a bit and start producing more marketing content to build your business.

Perfectionism in marketing

  1. Get rid of “All or Nothing” thinking.

    Remember, in marketing your goal is to produce regular content to TEST. You have to let go of the thinking that gets you stuck, or paralyzed. “If I can’t get more people connecting with our brand on social media, then I don’t want to put together the slides for the webinar we were supposed to do. And if I can’t do the slides, then there is no point for me to schedule a weekly Facebook live.” “If I can’t get the graphic artist to get this image just right, I don’t want to put out the blog post.”  Put the blog post out with a regular image and you can always go in and swap it out later if you wanted. Aim for PROGRESS, not perfection. You need to TEST, TEST, TEST.

  2. Use tools and then TRUST the tools.

    If you find yourself frustrated trying to get your marketing pieces looking professional but can’t do it yourself or your budget can’t afford the cost of having a graphic artist do 87 revisions, check out some of these tools:  Beacon for creating tip sheets, resource guides, and even eBooks. Typepad or for creating quizzes. Tools like Canva can help you create infographics or graphics to promote the tip sheets and guides you’ve created. (See our post on Create Lead Magnets for more information.) And if you want a video tool to send out videos in emails check out LOOM, a free Chrome extension that allows you to record just you, or you showing your screen. This tool is free for videos under 10 minutes.

  3. Go for 80% Done.

    A good friend of mine (and client), Toni Newman, is a recovering perfectionist as well. Someone told her that she needed to use the 80% rule because her 80% good enough is still 100% enough for everyone else. I love this. If you think you must have 10 pages on your whitepaper before it can be complete, let it go when you have 8. If you think your blog post has to have exactly 1,400 words before it can be published, wrap it up at …. 1,120 (full disclosure… I had to ask Alexa what 80% of 1400 was, whereas I should have said “wrap it up when you are around 1,000 words”). Just learn to let go a little sooner and watch how the world keeps spinning and you get more accomplished.

  4. Allow yourself to be a beginner.

    Especially when it comes to using new tools like podcasting or social video!   It’s ok to let your audience know you are using a new tool, or finally working up the courage to use live video. Not only will people be ok with it, they will often cheer you on and offer words of encouragement. This transparent confession also makes you much more LIKEABLE.

    4 ½.  GET STARTED!

    That 1st step is the only huge one. Once you commit to doing it—putting yourself out there—getting that first blog post written and published, or that first video done and out to the world, you will find that each one following gets easier and BETTER! I used to tell my youngest daughter, also a perfectionist, that she can’t start something as an expert. Experts become experts by being beginners who kept doing something over and over. You can’t get GREAT until you GET STARTED!

[bctt tweet=”You can’t get GREAT until you GET STARTED! ” username=”GinaSchreck”]

Do you have tips that have helped you overcome your need for perfectionism in your marketing? Do share below. And if you’d like to hear a Facebook LIVE that we did on this very topic with one of our DIY.social Group members, Elizabeth Suarez, check out the video below (and you will hear dogs going crazy!)

 

What is a Lead Magnet and Why Do I Need Them in My Marketing?

magnetic lead magnet

Perhaps you’ve heard this term, “Lead Magnet” and wondered what it is. Maybe you’ve heard them called freebies, giveaways, value offers or a slew of other terms. The bottom-line is they are a crucial part of your marketing mix and without them, it is hard to measure your success and many times, it’s hard to get to your goals without them.

WHAT IS A LEAD MAGNET?

A Lead Magnet (I’m going to use this term but you can call them whatever you’d like) is simply a piece of content or an item of value that people would exchange their contact information for. Perhaps you would exchange your email address for a free ebook. You might sign up on a website with your email address to get 20% off an order. You enter your email address to gain access to a free webinar or online course. All of these are lead magnets. What’s NOT a lead magnet is a piece of content that just talks about YOU or your brand. Lead magnets are not promotional content. They are not a piece of sales copy. They are helpful and/or valuable content to the prospective customer.

Even if you think the item is super valuable because it tells your prospects about the services you offer…that is NOT a lead magnet. That is a promotional piece of content.

WHY SHOULD I GIVE MY VALUABLE CONTENT AWAY FOR FREE?

This is often the response of people when I say we need to take their template, their eBook, their white paper or tip sheet and give it away for free. Do you remember the days when you paid to create brochures and flyers and then you bundled them up and went to the post office and paid them to mail these? Well what did that cost you? You are going to pay for your marketing one way or the other. Why not use a method that is working for today’s consumers?

give to get

And if you are going to tell me the printed brochures do work for you, then you can get a pass on this post and get your gold star. Keep doing what’s working. But for those who need to find a way to reach today’s savvy consumer who is searching Google for answers, this is for you. Keep reading.

WHY ARE LEAD MAGNETS IMPORTANT IN MARKETING?

In marketing, we have goals such as brand awareness, building trust, increasing brand engagement, and establishing credibility, but these are harder to measure. We also have more tangible goals like building an email list, increasing website traffic, driving traffic to sales pages and helping to convert to sales. These actions are usually done with the use of lead magnets. These actions are easier to measure because there is an action people take when they download or sign up for something.

(Be sure to read last week’s post that helps you see how this all fits together to reach your strategic goals: “3 Step Formula to Ensure Your Social Media Activity Will Help You Reach Your Goal” )

Lead magnets are important because they form a bridge from EXPOSURE or AWARENESS, to TRUST and LIKABILITY. They give people a stepping stone to stand on and decide if they want more of you before you expect them to open their wallets. And the higher your price tag is the more steps you may need. You may need a free tip sheet that then gets their email and then in a series of emails you send helpful content that has a link at the bottom to download your research paper or eBook. Then you might have to invite them to a free webinar to then talk about the coaching program or consulting practice you have.

They also help start to qualify a lead and gain a small commitment from them, moving them toward a sale. If I create a piece of content that is for leaders managing teams of people in candy factories, I might just know something about the person who downloads this item.

stepping stones in marketing

EXAMPLES OF LEAD MAGNETS

Here is an example of some lead magnets. I’m sure there are many more we could think of, but this will get you started:

  • Tip Sheet—Top 10 tips for ____.
  • Resource Guide—Step-by-step guide to ______.
  • Must have apps/tools for your life/business.
  • e-Booklet (keep it short)
  • Research findings
  • Templates
  • Sample questions to help someone __________.
  • Printable guides/cheatsheets
  • Webinars
  • Series of video tips
  • Single short video course
  • Discount code to use on purchase
  • Free item (perhaps customer pays shipping only)
  • Case studies
  • Your best resources (equipment, suppliers, etc)
  • Short e-Course
  • Monthly HOT TIPS (aka not-so-boring-newsletter)

TIPS FOR CREATING GREAT LEAD MAGNETS

There are a few things to keep in mind as you create a lead magnet. One, you should keep them short and “digestible.” If you give me your 78 page eBook, I will probably save it for later reading…to be read right after those 900 wordy emails and 42 e-zines I have saved in that same folder. Keep the content valuable and short. You want people to download the item and use it right away to see how awesome you are. They will come back faster for more if you keep things short and sweet.

Secondly, you want to be sure the lead magnet is indeed, valuable. Just because you think it’s the most awesome piece of content you have ever seen, it doesn’t mean that people will find it valuable enough to turn over their precious email address for it. It’s like when I see, “Sign up for my newsletter.” You know someone thought that was going to draw people like goats to tin cans, but let’s get honest with one-another, who REALLY wants another email coming in? No one. But if you had something like, “Get our monthly tips and resources,” that might be more of a draw. I’ll never forget when a client told me that he subscribed to many newsletters from professional speakers and was shocked at how useless and self-promotional almost all of them were. Make sure your offer or lead magnet is really providing value.

Lastly, always but your next move or call-to-action at the bottom of your lead magnet. If I download your resource guide and love it, I find it so helpful, I will probably be in the mindset to consume some more! Have a link at the bottom or at the end that takes me to that next step.

TOOLS TO USE TO CREATE LEAD MAGNETS

Lead magnets are not created out of some special magnetic app that you must use. You can use Microsoft Word or PowerPoint to create your item and then save it as a pdf (most lead magnets are saved as pdf for easy delivery and to preserve your formatting). You can have someone work their magic on the document to make it a visual wonder in Adobe Illustrator, or even have a professionally produced video piece to use…but you don’t have to.

Keep it simple but make it look professional and VALUABLE! A bunch of text thrown on an image that looks like a poster in the breakroom of the post office is not going to cut it. If you do not have an eye for design, either pay someone to lay out a template for you or use one of these tools:

Beacon is a template tool for creating guides, tip sheets and more. The monthly cost is steep ($30) but it might be worth it for a few months to build your inventory.

Canva is another tool that you could use to layout a great template and then plug your content into it.

Zoom Webinars is a great platform to host your webinars.

WHERE TO USE A LEAD MAGNET ONCE YOU HAVE CREATED THEM

Now that you’ve created a few lead magnets and have started beefing up your inventory, plan on creating one or two a month, if possible. You want enough of a variety that you don’t have to offer the same item everywhere. Here are some of the spots you can use your lead magnet to draw people in:

  • Website
  • End of blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • The end of a live or pre-recorded video
  • In your newsletters
  • In your email signature
  • In your LinkedIn connection messages

Now it’s time…time for you to create your first lead magnet or another lead magnet if you have one that might need revamping. As you work on that, we’ll get next week’s post lined up to show you the next step in your marketing plan.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below with questions you have or other ways you have used or seen lead magnets used.

Be sure to download your FREE Strategic Planning Guide to help you map it all out and start turning all that activity into results!

strategic planning guide