Let’s say you’ve successful coaxed visitors to sign up for your email list. You’ve written your first blog posts, created a simple freebie and added an opt-in form. Now what? Should you actually be writing to your email list?
Do you just watch the numbers grow? Block out any nagging thoughts about communicating? Be chuffed people have signed up and leave it at that?
Decide there’s so much else to think about such as how you’re going to make money blogging, surely a welcome email can wait. There’s only 10 people on the list …
You Need To Start Writing To Your Email List Right Now
I’m sorry to rain on your parade. An email list without a welcome email or sequence and regular broadcasts is … there’s no easy way to put this… completely pointless.
All that hard work, creating your freebie, adding it to a sign-up form, testing out your new form to make sure it’s working correctly… is a waste of time unless you start writing to your list.
And I mean now! Not next week or the week after. It’s something you have to jump in and do straightaway.
I know it’s a tough one. I still find it hard writing to a new list (and I used to email 25,000 subscribers every week with my last business).
Writing to a new list is tough for everyone, especially if it’s your first time, you have a brand new blog or business. But it has to be done.
Your List Expects A Welcome Email
There’s a statistic flying around the internet “74% of subscribers expect a welcome email”. I can’t find the source and I don’t want to deceive you. But think about it – would you expect a welcome email?
The answer is probably yes but there are far better reasons for sending out your welcoming missive. This is the time when your subscribers can remember who you are.
Just think about everyone’s creaking overloaded in-boxes. Having access to a person’s precious inbox doesn’t mean they’re going to read your emails.
Oh no! Your carefully crafted broadcast, the one you spent hours putting together, has to be anticipated, favoured, longed for, (okay I’m over-doing it a bit here), to stand out from the crowd and be opened and read.
When you write immediately to a brand new subscriber, open and click rates will be far higher and you’ll have a greater chance of building relationships.
How To Write A Welcome Message?
If you’ve just started this blogging sideline (or just opened your first small business), it’s okay to send a brief individual message to your new subscriber.
Just think how chuffed they will be to get a personal email! To be a valued subscriber not just one of a crowd.
A personal email doesn’t have to be long: “Hi I’m Alison and I’m chuffed to bits you’ve signed up for my list. I will be sending out my tips weekly and I hope you find them useful”.
Brief, friendly, welcoming and lets your new subscriber know exactly what to expect. Of course you can add in a little bit about yourself, explain what your business is about – reassure them they’ve done the right thing signing up to your list…
Before you know it you’ll have enough material to send out a Welcome Email automatically and be able to create your first sequence.
Using ConvertKit For Your Email List
I use ConvertKit for my email list. I find it’s on a whole new level to other platforms I’ve used in the past and works brilliantly for bloggers. Plus their how to guides are excellent and take all the pain out of setting up your sequences.
Whilst MailChimp is free for your first 2000 subscribers, ConvertKit just has so many features that will help you grow your list quickly. It’s easy to add downloadable freebies to your opt-in forms and you can edit a sequence of emails all in one screen saving huge amounts of time and effort.
By the time you reach 2000 subscribers the cost difference between MailChimp and ConvertKit is minimal, and ConvertKit will help you out with the switch. Most bloggers end up switching at some stage, so it’s whether you should start straightaway with ConvertKit to save time moving across later.
If you want to send image rich emails for an eCommerce store stick with MailChimp. I used to use MailChimp for my last eCommerce business and it’s best if you’re sending out broadcasts with lots of product images. ConvertKit is way better for bloggers or business who don’t need stylised newsletters.
Finding Your Writing Style
I follow a lot of bloggers in my niche (and I recommend you do the same – it’s a good way to keep on top of what’s current). It’s fascinating how these successful bloggers all have such different writing styles and ways of writing to their email lists.
Brief And To The Point Emails
There’s the brief and to the point writer. I’m aware I probably fall into this category myself which could be why I enjoy these types of missives.
I’m always short of time so I tend to scan read an email – so the shorter the better. It’s a fallacy that all emails need to be long and rambling. Quickly pointing your reader at a latest blog post can work really well.
This is my description of the writer who sets the scene by making out he or she is really hopeless at something but they stumbled on a solution.
I’ve seen it work well for affiliate marketers who’re promoting an experts course or ebook. It’s the “I did this dumb thing but I followed this amazing course and you should do it too”.
I call it the trickster because usually the person making out they are dumb is a hugely successful blogger. There’s a tendency in the blogging world to play down intelligence and college qualifications as a way of relating to readers. Unfortunately it seems to work.
Now bear in mind that my tastes in the emails I receive fall into brief and to the point. I do try to be friendly when I write to my email list but I have my limits.
I have a lot to learn from “the friend”. These types of bloggers write they emails as if they know you personally.
In no way am I passing judgement here. If this approach works for you – use it. Just remember some people on your list may not share your interests.
Let me give you an example. Some of the Mom bloggers I follow start their emails talking about potty changing and getting little ones to sleep.
Now that’s fine if the vast majority of your readers have young children. My son is 18 and my interest in nappies evapourated years ago.
It could be difficult if you try to expand your blog to a different interest group.
I have written friend-style missives to the readers for my last business. As an outdoor clothing business I knew all my readers were into their outdoor sports. I could adapt my friend comments easily to my readers interests.
I’m just saying make sure you have a match before talking about what you did at the weekend. Some people may just be looking for useful information.
If you haven’t started writing to your email subscribers, start now. If you only have a few subscribers it’s better to send a personal email rather than worry about setting up a welcome sequence (and not doing it).
Your welcome email should thank the reader for signing up, be friendly, maybe give a bit of background about yourself and your blog or business.
It’s important to tell your reader what’s in it for them. Your welcome email doesn’t have to be super long.
Find your writing style. There’s no best answer to the type of emails you should write. The overall aim should be helpful. Think about how is my subscriber benefiting from this email.
If you’d like to receive weekly tips about blogging and starting a business, I’d love you to sign up for my email list. I promise to be friendly!