This post is all about connecting and finding community.
Isn’t that what most of us want to do in our businesses; to connect with the people we want to serve, help, or encourage?
It’s why we do what we do. Why we carry out the higher purpose and calling on our lives and use our gifts to help others, because without them, let’s face it, there is no business.
As I thought about connecting, I recalled all the things I have tried and learned, from during my journey to building my community. Since leaving my full-time position to chase my dream, I wish I could tell you that it has all been a piece of cake, but that’s definitely not the case. A lot of trial and error goes into building a business, and a community. I spend a lot of time reading, training, asking questions, watching YouTube, planning and executing. As I learn, I document, and then I share. I hope that in passing along these lessons to you, it will save you lots of time in your efforts. And as Maya instructed…
“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”
What I’ve learned is that the only way to have a successful online blog, course, product launch, or event is to have an engaged email list. Email is still the BEST way to connect with, and grow, a targeted and engaged audience.
While some marketers may differ in how often they think you should send out emails to your tribe (see infographics below), few would disagree about the impact email has on connecting and growing your tribe. Even though social media has changed the way people connect online, having an active social media feed, or a ton of “likes” does not always translate into actual sales.
So as you build your business and grow your community, it’s important to develop an email marketing strategy using the right email marketing provider.
Let’s talk about some recommended community building methods. I hope you’ll store this email and refer back to it again and again when you start your own community building efforts.
Know your target client, well. You can’t connect and grow an audience if you don’t know them. It’s important to know what their pain points are, what they’re struggling with, and what would they want to, get or learn, from you. Pay attention to what they’re saying and how they say it. This could be accomplished by observing what they “like” on your Facebook business page, by sending out a survey using Surveymonkey, asking them what they would like to get from you in term of content, products, or services, or by reviewing their comments and feedback on your blog or website. Even if you think you know them, you may be surprised at some of their answers, because as humans we’re always evolving. Based on what you learn, personalize your language and talk the way they talk, don’t use cute terms and slang if your audience are GenXer’s or Baby Boomers, be mindful that they may not respond to those terms. The more you know, the better the connection.
Create a lead magnet that your tribe really wants, one that speaks to a problem they need to solve, and give it away for FREE! A lead magnet is something that your tribe wants so much they’re willing to give you their name and email to get on your list. In the beginning you’ll want to build rapport and trust. To do so you’ll want to let them know that you “get” them. You identify with who they are and what they need and want. They joined your list so they WANT to hear from you! Keep in mind there’s a person on the other end of that email, not just a “subscriber”. She’s Kelly, Gloria, Ken, Marcia, Bobby…men and women who’ve been looking for the help that you can provide. This is your time to serve. If you focus on how you can serve, you will connect.
Create an email automation or campaign to introduce yourself and to reinforce the connection. When someone joins your list and gives your their credentials to get your lead magnet/opt-in, and email campaign it’s a great opportunity to introduce yourself, your company and let your subscriber know how you intend to help them solve the problem you know they’re experiencing.
In that intro email you’ll want to let them know:
- how often they can expect to hear from you
- showcase your best posts, products, or services
- give them a special discount
- tell them how to connect with you on your social media pages
A campaign could contain between 3 -5 emails and the length of time between emails can vary. A good rule of thumb is to base the duration between emails on how long you think it will take for your subscriber to consume the content in the lead magnet. This could at least be a couple of days between emails.
Tag your tribe members as they join your list for easy segmenting later on. Tagging is a way to identify and categorize members in your list. For example if you have members who comment often, engages with you on social media, and have bought a product or service from you, then that’s an engaged tribe member. Tag them as such. This makes segmenting your list much easier. I’ll cover segmenting in a later post if you’re not familiar with what this is. Segmenting is great if you only want to email certain members in your list.
Keep track of your efforts. As you start your tribe building efforts, it’s important to record the progress you are making. This can be as simple as entering your weekly growth in a spreadsheet. If you notice that you aren’t getting any growth, then you may want to adjust your lead magnet. Without keeping an eye on the numbers you won’t know what’s working and what’s not. Set up a schedule and monitor your efforts weekly.
Go for quality, not quantity. Building a tribe takes time. Being consistent about engaging is part of the formula. It’s important to remember that 500 engaged members are better than 2000 people who never open your email. Keep track of your numbers and look at the metrics in your email provider account on a weekly basis. How many people are opening your emails? Who’s reading it every week and who never open it? Tag them based on their engagement. A good metric is to see open rates that are greater than 20% (anyone who opens the email to read it). Anything above that is fantastic! Click rates usually hover between 2-4% (people who click links you embed in your email).
Hopefully, this will help you better review your metrics for your campaign and see where you fall. Here are some great email marketing benchmarks to help you.
One more thing before you go….
I wanted to provide a comparison of some of the most popular email providers. If you’re already using one consistently, great! Although price is important, it should not be the deciding factor in every case, sometimes you have to pay extra to find the one that does everything you want. Click on the logo below to visit each website.
|Free trial||No||Yes||No, but $1 for 1st mon||No|
|# of users||Up to 2000||Up to 500||Up to 500||Up to 1000|
|Max # of users||Over 20.1M get quote||Over 10K get quote||Over 25K get quote||Over 900K get quote|
|Landing page templates||No||No||No||Yes|
|Marketing Automation||No (must upgrade)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Custom opt-in forms||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Social media sharing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Image and file storage||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Unlimited sends to list||Up to 12,000||Yes||Yes||Yes|
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Thanks so much for reading!