What to send to your email list to grow an engaged audience
So you’ve started your business and because you’re smart, you’ve made sure that building an audience and getting them onto an email list has been one of the first things you’ve focused on doing.
You’ve heard the term ‘the money is in your list’ and you know that emailing people and directly getting into their inboxes makes good business sense, but now you’re stuck on what to actually email them about!
As a business mentor this is a question I’ve heard a lot so I wanted to share a few ideas on what you can actually send people and how you can have a bit of a strategy around how you manage that list.
Check out the video or read on for lots of tips!
What is the purpose of your email list?
This is a question a lot of us can forget to ask ourselves but I think it’s important to remember that for most of us the purpose of our email list is to generate income in our business (spoiler alert, pretty much everything we do in our business should ultimately be to generate income).
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is that they don’t sell enough to their lists. A lot of us are scared to turn people off with sales emails – and end up not emailing their lists about their offers enough….
What you’re offering right now
Of course, you should be emailing your people about the offers you have available. If you’re running a business then it makes sense to make people offers and tell them about how you can help them fairly often. If you don’t, you risk creating a list of people who are just used to getting value from you for free, and might even get a bit of a shock when the time comes for you to invite them to work with you.
Writing good sales emails is a bit of an art in itself, they don’t have to feel icky and can actually offer some free value at the same time.
Educate, inspire, support
We should always be aiming to send people emails that they actually want to open. Can you think of any mailing lists you’re on where you look forward to receiving their emails? What kind of content do they include?
Often, getting people to open your emails is about offering them something of value. Whether people consciously think about this or not – we’re always considering ‘what’s in it for me’. People won’t read your emails out of the kindness of their hearts!
So what can you offer them that might be educational, inspirational, supportive or helpful? Perhaps your emails are like mini blog posts, a list of tips or a key piece of content like a recipe?
Sometimes it’s nice to offer people on your list something more exclusive that only subscribers get access to.
Sharing other content you’ve created
A no brainer thing to email your list is links to other quality content you’ve created, for example a live video, blog post or podcast episode.
You can always send people links of other people’s content you’ve enjoyed too.
Be your whole self
People like to hear from people! While most on your list probably aren’t that interested in hearing all the ins and outs of your life, I do think it’s nice to share a little about yourself. This builds the know, like and trust factor and lets people know they aren’t just reading an email written by someone else.
However, I have seen a lot of business owners never talk about themselves in their emails at all and that works for them – so as with most things there’s different ways to approach it – do what works for you!
Testimonials and Case Studies
Your email list is a great place to share testimonials or case studies from other clients you’ve worked with. Not only do these help demonstrate the tangible benefits of working with you, they can also provide value to your audience – especially with case studies. You can share some of the key learning points, mindset shifts and actions that helped your client in a way that your audience can use for themselves – maybe sum up with a list of bullet point tips they can apply to their own business.
Sharing a story with your email list can be a great way to engage them and help them understand how you work and how you can support them. In my Nail Your Niche programme I help you create several brand stories – these can be really useful ways to create deep resonance with your ideal clients. They don’t have to be long, but sharing an interesting or entertaining story can be a great form of content to share with your list that doesn’t really work in a blog post or social media caption.
How often should you email your list
This is another one of those questions where there is no ‘correct’ answer. I know people who only email when they have something of value to share, sometimes that’s several times a week if they’re launching, other times it’s once a month or less. Others email religiously on a set day of the week.
My view is that if at some point you’re going to email your list quite often, for example if you’re launching something, then outside of that launch, you’d probably want to be emailing them fairly regularly. I try to email my list every two weeks at least, so that when I launch something all those emails don’t feel like a big jump. I don’t email at the same time every week though so there’s no expectation built up that they’ll always hear from me at a certain time.
One thing I do agree with is that it probably does more damage to email your list a rubbish email just for the sake of ‘being consistent’ – it’s far better to only email them when you’re happy you’ve got something worth sharing.
This is where you might need to look at the time you have available and think of what feels realistic. If I was trying to email out once a week I don’t think my emails would be massively useful because I wouldn’t have the time to make sure they are good! I have clients who email their lists once a month and that works well for them.
Consider what feels like the best fit for you and your business.
Layouts or freestyle?
There generally seems to be two different styles of emails – ones which are simply a piece of writing and others that have more structure to them, like a newsletter with sections, images etc.
I don’t think one or the other is better and I’ve used both styles in my business at some point. There’s pros and cons to both styles, written emails mean you’re not restricted to repeating a set layout each time, but having some kind of newsletter layout can be helpful for you because it means each email you send is more of a ‘fill in the gaps’ task which you might find easier.
Wondering what kind of content you should be sharing for free with your list and what you should be keep as paid? Check out my post on How to differentiate between paid and free content in your online business.
I hope that’s given you a few ideas on what to share with your email list so you can grow a more engaged audience. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, how often do you email your list? What’s your favourite thing to send your list?
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Laura Agar Wilson is a wellbeing coach and business mentor who helps overwhelmed women live a life of more intention via planning, routines and seasonal living.
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