There's a saying in online marketing, "The money is in the list." I am a big believer in this saying. The money certainly is in the list, the email newsletter list, that is.
I want you to think of your email newsletter and your email list as a rosebush that produces beautiful, prize-winning roses. But this is not just any rosebush. It's a magic rosebush.
Why is it magic?
Because this rosebush grows money instead of roses. Have I got your attention? Let's look at this analogy more closely.
If you've ever tried to grow roses (especially prize-winning roses), you know they need a lot of care. You have to feed and water them on a regular basis. You have to prune the branches at certain times of the year to get the biggest and best rose blooms possible. And you have to spray to prevent pests and disease.
In short, it's a lot of work to grow prize-winning roses. If you don't do the work necessary to maintain the roses, they will very likely die.
The same is true for your email newsletter and it's accompanying list. If you don't do the necessary work for your email newsletter, it will also die.
So let's take a look at your magic rosebush to see how to keep it thriving and growing those prize-winning roses.
Your Email Newsletter: The Magic Rosebush
I want you to think of each part of your email newsletter as a part of a rosebush. In a rosebush you have the new, leafy green growth. You have the buds that turn into roses. You have the roots. And you also have the dead and dying branches, which need pruning on a regular basis.
The New, Green Leafy Growth
The new and green leafy growth of the rosebush is like your new subscribers to your email list. If you do a "good job" on this part of your list, it will keep growing and growing. You will have a constant and steady stream of new subscribers.
How do you take "good care" of this part of your list?
I will explain in the Marketing Module and future lessons in this course how to devise strategies that will get you lots of subscribers to your email newsletter. But for now, here is a brief summary of some ideas to get you on the fast track to success with getting subscribers.
First, you want to make sure you have a good landing page on your blog that is just about your email newsletter. When people "land" on this "landing page" they will read all about the benefits of subscribing to your email newsletter. If you go to my home page of my blog, you will see the link for my Smart Art Marketing Free eClass. Take a moment to look at this landing page. You will need a special software to create landing pages such as this one. I will tell you more about how to create landing pages in the Marketing Module, which is later in this course.
Second, you will need a sign-in form or opt-in form that will be displayed very prominently on your blog. Again, if you go the home page of my blog you will see the main opt-in form that collects new subscribers. It is on the right side of my page and is candy-apple red with text that says, "Grab my 10-part eClass and learn how to sell your art online."
It is the most eye-catching feature when you first land on my blog. It is the first thing you see when you land on the page and is hard to miss. And that's the whole point, it's hard to miss. And it is on every page. You create your sign in form using your email list provider and then load the html code into your blog.
It's actually a very simple and easy thing to do. Just follow the instructions from your email provider to create the widgets and load them into your blog. Here's is Aweber's instructions on how to create a sign in form and put in on your page. Click here to read it now.
Third, you want to write blog posts that feature your email newsletter. I have many of these in my blog post archive. Click this link to see one example: Why Some Artists Will Almost Certainly Thrive and Prosper in the New Economy. As you can see, this blog post is informative for the reader and at the same time sells them on subscribing to my email newsletter.
I use a sign in form at the bottom of the post as well as some colorful graphics to drive the readers to subscribe. This is a great strategy and you should have many, many of these kinds of posts in your archives. Again, I will go into great detail about these strategies in the Marketing Module later in this course.
Fourth, you want to create "gateway" subscription blog posts.
A gateway subscription blog post is an excellent way to get more subscribers to your newsletter. Take one of your most popular posts and block it with with a subscription gateway. In other words, people have to subscribe to the newsletter to be able to read the entire post. Here is one that I use: Why Some People Almost Aways Make Money Selling Their Art.
Do you see what I'm doing with this very popular blog post? People must subscribe to my newsletter in order to finish reading the post. This is a very effective strategy for getting new subscribers.
The key for this to work effectively is that the blog post must be one that your readers are really wanting to read. As you write more and more blog posts, you will begin to discover which of your posts fall into this category. It will be a blog post that will be shared a lot and commented on a lot. Also, it could be a blog post that ranks high in Google search and gets a lot of daily traffic because of the high-ranking. That's how you will know which blog posts to use for this strategy.
The Roots of the Rosebush
The roots of the rosebush is like the messages you have written and that are sent in sequence to your readers. The roots of the rosebush are the most important part of the plant. And in comparison, this root system of messages is the core of your newsletter. This sequence of messages is what your subscribers tune in to read each week. They receive these message in their inbox and respond by opening and reading them.
You will need an autoresponder from your email newsletter provider that will send your saved messages automatically each week. You just set it and forget it. The autoresponder does all the work.
Watch the video below to learn more about Aweber's autoresponders.
I have learned over the years that this sequence of messages does not have to remain static once you have it written. You can tinker with them and make them better over time. You can tweak and adjust here and there until your messages are the best and most interesting they can be.
Also, if you plan on writing a sequence of 55 messages, you don't have to sit down and write them all at once. Start out with just 3 or 4 messages spaced out over the first month. Then write one or two messages a week to stay ahead of the first subscribers who have signed up. This gets you going with your newsletter without a lot of time invested up front.
What are the best time sequences to send out your newsletter? I like prime numbers: 3, 5, 7 and 9 days are good. Once they receive your welcome message, then send out the first message the next day. Then send the next message 3 days later. Then the next message goes 5 days later. The next message is scheduled to arrive 7 days later. And from then on messages are scheduled to arrive in intervals of 9 days. That will give them about 3 newsletter messages from you each month.
The Dead and Dying Branches
The dead and dying branches of the rosebush is like the people who unsubscribe from your list. Unsubscribers on your list is very normal and natural, just like when you have to prune dead wood from your rose branches.
The percentage of unsubscribers you have each month is called the attrition rate. Your attrition rate should be somewhere between 3% to 7% of your subscribers each month. This range of 3% to 7% unsubscribers is acceptable and within normal ranges. So let's say your attrition rate is 4% and you have 1,000 subscribers on your list. That means you will lose 40 people or have 40 unsubscribers (.04 x 1,000) each month.
Another way to look at this attrition rate of 4% would be to say that you will lose 48% of your list each year (12 months x .04 = .48 or 48%.) So, it is perfectly normal to expect to lose almost half of your list each year.
Red Flag: If you're attrition rate is higher than 7%, this means that you have a real disconnect with your readers. It means something is very wrong. Either the quality of your messages is not good enough or you are not delivering what the readers expected to get. You will have to do some research with your subscribers by asking them what they think of your newsletter and why are they unsubscribing.
The Buds and Rose Blooms
The buds and rose blooms are like the rewards you reap from all of your hard work with your email list. In this case, it is the money you make from sales of your products and services.
Each subscriber will be worth a certain amount of money to you each month. This amount will vary widely, depending on the products and services you offer, the quality of those products and services and how well you motivate your subscribers to buy from you.
Though the amount may vary, you should expect to make from $0.15 to $1.00 per subscriber each month on your list. For example, if you have 1,000 subscribers on your email list and your average profit per subscriber each month is $0.22, then you will make $220 each month from your list on average.
Do you see how exciting this is? If you want to make more money each month, just get more subscribers. To double your income, just double your subscribers. To triple your income, just triple your subscribers.
Watering, Feeding and Spraying the Roses
Watering, feeding and spraying the roses, is the time you take to put into each element of your newsletter and email list that we described in this blog post. It is the time and care you give to writing and carefully crafting your sequence of messages.
It is the time and care you give to answering each question that someone asks you via email from your list. It is the diligence to stay on top of these questions and issues that your subscribers will have.
A Few Last Words
Most email providers will allow you to use templates to create your newsletter. I suggest that you don't use templates for your newsletter. You want your newsletter to look like it comes from a friend or relative who has just written them. You don't want it to look like it comes from a company or a group of people. A personal look is more powerful than a corporate look.
Think of all the emails you have received from me. They look just like regular emails with no templates or pictures. This personal look gives you a powerful advantage over a big impersonal company.
Also, the HTML code in templates tend to get stuck in spam filters more often. You will get more messages through using just a plain message for your emails.
In conclusion, your email newsletter is one of your most important tools in your online marketing strategy. Take care of this magic rose, and it will always take care of you by giving you loyal readers and buyers of your products.
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