Welcome to the Hometown Marketing Podcast with host Elian Tyson. This podcast is aimed at small business owners in towns of 15,000 people or less.
In today’s episode Elian talks all about email marketing. One of the biggest marketing bottle neck for is email marketing.[see show notes further down the page]
Now on to the show:
If you know of a small town business owner that would be great featured on the show, please share their name with me!
What if all social media were to cease? No more Facebook, no Instagram, no Twitter. Could your business survive? You’d have to increase your advertising budget so that you could keep in front of your customers?
You’ve got to build that email list of yours. Think of it as just another way to cultivate your raving fans. Think of it as a fan club.
This episode is in 4 parts.
- How to start
- What to say
- How to grow your list
Here is how to know if todays’ episode is perfect for you:
- If you’ve been in business for over a year now and you have less than 500 people on your list.
- If you are not growing your list by 25 people a week, then this episode is for you.
- You already have a decent sized list, but you get no response (either directly or indirectly)… it’s like crickets are chirping after you push send… then this episode is for you.
- If you have any doubt about your businesses… then this episode is for you.
- Finally, if you are in business for the long haul… not trying to make a quick, one-time buck… but that you have value and passion that you want your business to provide to your community. Then this business is definitely for you.
Part 1 – mindset
Great marketers like Tony Robbins say “You don’t really have a viable business today if you don’t have a list.” This applies to both those that have online businesses AND offline ones. It is a list of names and emails of folks who have raised their hands to say “I want to hear from you.” As you know, it is like gold as people don’t want to hand out their email address to just anyone.
If you got twenty-five people a week and multiply that by 52 weeks a year, that makes 1300 people on your list. Wow… if you were to sell something for $10 to 1300 people… then that is $13,000. Let’s just say they only purchase on average once a quarter… that would increase your sales by $52,000 in a year. Could you get excited about that? You could cut back on outside advertising… or continue your overall ad spend and scale up your business. The great thing about marketing to an email list is that it grows over time (if you do it right).
Another thing to think about is that business should be boring… it can still be creative… but you need systems and processes in place that get repeated over and over again. Those systems can be tweaked over time to see if you can improve the results or become more efficient. But your email list building process should be a repetitive thing… something that becomes part of your daily activities. The exciting part can be in the messaging, in the products or services, or in the client stories you share. You should be able to train your staff to build your email list all the time.
Again, if social media changed today and you could no longer rely on it… you need to have your email list. If you have cultivated a great relationship with your fans on your list, then you can survive without social media. We don’t own the platforms and as they all move into a “pay to play” format, you really should grow your own email list.
I want this process to be easy for you. I know that list building can be hard. So I hope I’m conveying the importance of this in a kind, but stern way.
Part 2 – how to
You want to develop your list so you can send a weekly note announcing specials and happenings about your business. Your weekly note doesn’t have to be lengthy… it just needs to be relevant and valuable.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to build an email list from scratch for your hometown business.
- Choose an email company – I recommend MailChimp. It is free for small lists and there are lots of helpful tutorials on how to get started. If you want it set up for you, email me and we can see what we can work out.
- Name your list – call it something fun like the Insiders Club or VIP List.
- Put signs up everywhere – physical signs in your store, sign up boxes on your website and on Facebook. Put it on your brochures and business cards. EVERYONE should know about it. Set up a tablet with the sign-up information right there as the main page. MailChimp has an ap you can download to your smart phone or tablet to make this easy. Create a bookmark on your computer or devices just in case it’s needed. Create a bookmark for your website too.
- Offer an immediate incentive for joining your list. A free or discounted product. A coupon. Something that doesn’t cost a lot but has value. Marketers call this a lead magnet. It could also be an electronic document like a pdf, a video or an audio recording. Get creative and think about what your target market would love to have.
- Send a weekly message
That’s it. Once you get it setup it is really easy.
Part 3 – what to say to your fans
First think of your ideal client. Back in episode 1 I talked about the marketing foundations including that icon person. Talk like your are speaking to that one person. You need to be a master of being able to identify your clients’ wants and needs. How do you do that? Start asking them. You might find you are leaving money on the table by not expanding or offering ancillary products or services.
Let’s say you are a baker and your standard products include pies, cakes, cookies, muffins and cupcakes. By talking with one of your best customers they mention that they’d love to get some chocolate dipped strawberries or this amazing no-bake cookie. These could be great offerings for you to take advantage of…. Whether it’s a seasonal or limited time product to test the market or a permanent new item. Maybe you decide to start offering coffee or delivery.
When you create your lead magnet… your thank you bribe for signing up for your fan list, it really needs to be a no-brainer for them… I like to call that an irresistible offer. They need to be completely wowed that you are giving this way for free. This bribe can change over time… in fact it could be seasonal.
Next after your lead magnet you need to have content to send them. Your goal is to cultivate a relationship with them. Emailing them weekly with things like:
- Sales and specials
- New products
- Complementary products perhaps offered by a neighboring business – get creative here
- Special events
- Behind the scenes of your business
- Spotlight on a customer
Change it up each week. Only include one or two of the things from the list above. Remember our attention span is short… short and to the point is better.
Some other ideas include links to your website, to specific posts or pages. Every once in awhile link to a Facebook post on your Facebook page or if you are on Instagram, link to one of those posts. Keep it fun and engaging. You can create short videos on Facebook using Facebook live and share a link to it. Create contests and award the winners. Be involved with your community events and intertwine them with your contests. Invite in other complimentary businesses or speakers that appeal to your target market to have things to promote and educate your fans.
Your email messages don’t need to be flashy. They just need to deliver content your customers want. By creating a weekly message to them, they will come to count on it.
Part 4 – Growing your list
Alright, so we’ve talked about mindset in part 1, the how tos in part 2, what to say in part 3 and now let’s talk about part 4 – growing your list. Whew… I know it’s a lot of content, but stay with me. Relisten to this if you need to. Just remember, once you set up the systems and refine them after you practice them… it does get easier. Enlist help if you need it.
Alright…. Now lets talk about growing your list.
Consistency, consistency, consistency… that is the name of the game. Every day you need to ask all customers or potential customers (whether in person, on the phone, or via email) if they would like your free gift by getting on your VIP list. Your team needs to be doing the same thing. It needs to be part of your daily operating procedures.
Your social media efforts need to make it easy for folks to sign up as well. Write up some standard statements and alternate which “sign up” statement you use. Update your social profiles to mention the free gift and make it as easy as possible. Be sure to include links if you can such as eliantyson.com/vip where it goes straight to their “opt in” page that promotes your freebee and has the form they fill in to get on your list.
If you write blog posts, be sure to mention in each posts about your freebee and vip list. Share these on social media. Use a scheduling program and if the content is really good… something your fans will really love, schedule to repeatedly post them. Recurpost is good for repeatedly posting certain posts. I’ll put links to these tools in the show notes.
Another way I recommend building your list is by spending a modest budget each week on Facebook advertising… something like 10-20 per week. This will do several things for you. It will help boost your organic reach (the kind of reach you used to get before they started adjusting their algorithms). The quick and easy on this is to post a video to your Facebook page. Wait a day or two for it to get good views, then either boost the post or create an ad of this post. By waiting a day or so, if your post or video doesn’t get a lot of views, then you can avoid paying for something that might still not get a lot of traction for being not that popular. If you want to get even more sophisticated, get your Facebook pixel installed on your website and you can then build a custom audience based on those already visiting your site. There is a lot of exciting, micro targeting that can be done with Facebook. I’ll save some of those advanced techniques for another episode. I hope I didn’t get too technical there. I just get a bit excited sometimes.
So in review
Your email list is super important. You need to build your list on a consistent basis and then nurture them. They are your raving fans… lets help them love you even more.
I’m excited for you and can’t wait to see what you create for your business. Find me online and share with me what you are putting together.
If you need a little help getting started or setting things up? Email me so we can chat about it. My goal is for you to succeed!
Thanks for being here and if you liked this episode, please leave a review and share it. If you know of a small town business owner that would be a great feature on the show, please let me know that too. Bye for now!
Awesome, free resources for you:
Ultimate checklist for rocking out your business (touches on marketing and operations) eliantyson.com/vip/
Check out our awesome blog!
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