AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, Amy Porterfield here and welcome to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast.
This is my first episode of 2015 so I’ve got to say it, Happy New Year! I hope that you’ve jumped into the new year with tons of excitement and a lot of energy and you are working on some new projects because that is always the best way to start the new year.
As we move into the New Year, my team and I have been busy behind the scenes working to develop a new approach to how I actually deliver these podcasts, what the podcast looks like and behind the scenes efforts that go into it. We’ve really reengineered the whole process. The good thing is you’re going to benefit immensely from these changes so I’m excited to roll them out.
I’ve always struggled with finding the time to actually work on a weekly podcast. You’ve probably heard me talk about that before, I think in Episode 41, which happens to be my most popular episode, I talked about the lessons I learned in 2014 and the big mistakes I made and what I’m taking with me into the new year. I think I talked about finding the time to actually create the content. So that’s Episode 41 if you want to check it out.
In that episode I might have mentioned that I have decided to hire a content development manager. This new role has been in place for about a month now and it’s going really well. I’ve hired someone to actually help me with the research and the outlining of each episode because I put a lot of time and effort into each episode. In my world I look at it as a mini training. Each episode is a mini training to give you exactly what you need to take action on your online business.
It’s really important to me that the content is good and that’s why I hired someone to help me because often my launches and new program creations and speaking gigs and travel and all that good stuff was getting in the way of producing a weekly show. So my goal here is to not give up, really make this happen, and I’ve taken some big steps and invested some actual money into this as well to make it even better. So you should be seeing some benefits of that rolling out very soon.
Do you want a little hint as to what’s to come in the episodes? We’ve actually started working on shows way in advance which has always been my goal. So in the next few episodes I’m interviewing some A-list marketers so you will hear from them. But then after those interviews you will hear some of my solo episodes.
Some of those solo episodes include: How to tell if your online marketing strategy is working for you and how to fix it if it’s not, how to create email subject lines that skyrocket your open rates, and how to repurpose your content so you’re not constantly in creation mode. Good stuff, right?
In addition to the new hire, I also decided, this is a big one for me, to include a free valuable download with every single episode. This is an experiment. It might not be something that I’ll continue throughout the whole year, I want to test it out. That’s what’s great about being an entrepreneur and having an online business. It’s really easy to test out new opportunities. And if they don’t work well you can change direction. So don’t be afraid to try a few things that are brand new to you this year just to see how they might work.
I’ve always wanted to include another layer to the episode and I think this is a great way to do it. Let me give you an example, one topic I’m going to be talking about in today’s episode is understanding the opportunities and limitations of your email service provider.
This is a huge key to supporting your audience but also just expanding your business; because, when you understand what your email service provider can do for you, you start to think of new ideas to create marketing funnels and new opportunities for your audience.
I’ve created an opportunities and limitations guide, or we could call it a cheat sheet, of some of the most popular email service providers including AWeber, Infusionsoft, Ontraport, and a few others as well. If you want to check it out you can get it for free at amyporterfield.com/42download. Or, you can text me to get it as well. Yep, you heard me right, we’ve added a new text feature to the show. Cool, right?
So if you want to check that out you can text 42download to 38470 and I’ll make sure this cheat sheet gets to you pronto. If you’re thinking of changing email service
providers or you want to see what some of them can do compared to the one you are using now, definitely check out this cheat sheet.
Oh, and there’s one more change I’ve made to the podcast. My podcasts are now brought to you by Lead Pages. If you’ve ever listened to any of my other podcasts you probably already know I’m a huge fan of Lead Pages. But, instead of just telling you why they’re so great and doing an ad in that way, I decided to create a free mini training so you can actually experience how I use Lead Pages to build up my email list.
So if you want to come behind the scenes with me and see which three landing pages have skyrocketed my email list and watch me set up one of my favorite lead pages in less than ten minutes, you can go to amyporterfield.com/newleads to download my free mini training video. I’m really excited about this. It’s brand new, so definitely go check it out.
Now that we’ve gone over a bunch of housekeeping things and important changes that I wanted to make you aware of and actually get you excited about, we are going to jump into today’s episode.
In today’s episode I’m going to highlight three foundational strategies for growing your email list. I say “foundational” because once you implement these strategies you’re well on your way to creating smart marketing funnels that will not only put your list-building efforts on warp speed, but will also allow you to see increased revenue from each email you send out.
You likely already know that email marketing is an extremely important part of your online marketing efforts. In fact, you’ve probably heard me say it a million times that the energy of your business is directly tied to your email list.
But don’t just take it form me, I want to read you a few quotes from A-list marketers about their own email lists. Listen to what Michael Hyatt had to say about his list which is now well over 150,000. He says, “I have literally built a million dollar business on the strength of my email list. Ninety percent of my income comes from it. Even today, my email list is still my #1 business priority and asset.”
That’s serious stuff.
This next one is from Douglas Karr writing on the Marketing Tech Blog. Again, he also has a list of over 100,000. He said, “Without a doubt, our email list is the best investment we’ve ever made.”
I’m sure he’s talking about investment of time, investment of energy, and investment of actual funds as well. I spend money on growing my email list. One of the biggest ways I invest in my list is with Facebook ads. We’ll talk about that in another episode but definitely when you start to really understand the value of that email list you are more than happy to invest your time, energy, and some of your budget as well in order to grow that list rapidly.
Mike Stelzner, Social Media Examiner, has a list of well over 300,000 and he said, “Email is the most important channel for you to cultivate in your online business.”
He is so, so right.
You might be thinking these are great quotes from guys that have lists well over 100,000. You might be sitting there with a list of a few hundred or maybe a few thousand. And you might be thinking you don’t even compare, you aren’t even in that world yet.
Well, here’s some good news, it really does start with the quality of your list. Once you master how to grow a quality list then you can focus on the quantity as well. My good friend, David Siteman Garland, of The Rise to the Top, has seen massive success even with a small list. When he was first starting out he had a list of 500 people. He did a small product launch and generated $19,800 with just a list of 500 people. That’s amazing, right?
He continued to do that. He now has a larger list, of course, but that list is so quality. Whenever I do any kind of affiliation with David and we do a webinar, his list just gravitates so quickly toward any email he puts out there. I am always astonished by the loyalty of his email list. And it’s because he started with the quality of it. He built loyalty. He always shows his real personality in all of his emails. He is so genuine. He’s super funny, a little bit quirky, and people love that.
That’s what they love about his emails. So letting your own personality shine through really goes a long way when we are talking about quality of your email list.
So let’s go ahead and jump into the first strategy because it directly relates to a lot of the things that David did to grow his email list slowly but with quality. That first strategy is to build remarkable content.
I don’t mean valuable content that people want to share. I don’t even mean great content that helps people and gives them tips and tricks and all that. That’s all very important. However, by remarkable, I mean leaving your mark.
The way you do that is you insure that you’ve niched your business enough to talk to a very specific audience about a very specific message. Here’s the deal, the difference between great and remarkable often lies in niching yourself.
If you try to talk to everyone all the time no one is going to feel like you are talking to them. A lot of us feel like we’ve niched ourselves. If you look at my business I mainly teach about Facebook marketing although my podcast, why I love it, is I go beyond Facebook. But I’m known for Facebook marketing, which is a niche, and I usually attract coaches, consultants, service providers, entrepreneurs that are looking to build their business online.
That’s kind of niched. But what I’ve noticed is that it’s not actually niched enough. The reason I like to teach this stuff is because I need to learn it as well. So, I’ve been researching and diving in to this whole idea of niching just a little bit more.
I want you to explore that as well because what I have actually seen, for you specifically and not just for your audience, there is a direct correlation between the actual niching of yourself and the happiness in your business.
Let me break that down a little bit. What I’ve seen over and over again is that the people that have niched themselves and have actually bit the bullet and gotten specific with their audience and message, are so much more excited about their business. And, creating the content just starts to flow out of them because when you’re more specific you know exactly what you want to say.
When you’re a little bit more general you are trying to find a message that fits so many different types of people that it is just not as rich or valuable and it’s just not as exciting to create, to be honest. Can you see how that might work together?
Again, there is truly a direct correlation to finding that perfect niche for your business and creating that business that you love. That’s why I’m so passionate about really
pushing you and myself to make sure that we’ve niched our business enough that we’re going to have an extremely powerful message that builds a quality list.
I bring this up because it’s very personal to me as well. This year, in 2015, I’ve hired a consultant to help me rebrand my business. It’s been a long time since I’ve really focused on the branding, more than just head shots, but bringing all the brand together in a cohesive way.
She’s really pushed me to think about niching myself even more. I’m not exactly sure what that’s going to look like. I have some ideas and I’m going to keep them secret until I really figure it out. But I do think my business would excel even more if I thought about that niching in a way that really spoke to my audience as well as got me lit up as well.
I’m doing this rebranding because I know from my experience working with Tony Robbins that success leaves clues. Many of my most successful peers are much more niched than I actually am. That says something. I can’t ignore that. So I’m really paying attention to their messaging and their target audience and how they craft their content and it’s really fascinating to study somebody that’s more niched than your own brand. Because, believe me, you learn a lot.
And if you are anything like me, it’s going to start sparking some creativity in you and you’re going to want a little bit more of what they have. I can promise you that. I don’t mean compare your business to somebody else’s. I’m talking about content here.
You’ll see that those people that are more niched than you are tend to have really remarkable content. So just start exploring a little bit and see how that feels to you and this might be something you want to explore even more.
A few quick tips to help you create remarkable content inside your emails as well. When I talk about remarkable content, I’m talking about content that you are using everywhere, inside your emails but also social media and in your interviews and on stage and all that good stuff.
But when we’re talking about your email communication specifically, one of the ways that you create remarkable content, that means you leave your mark, you are actually getting people to want to open your emails, you’re building that loyal following and people are just eating up everything you’re putting out there. One thing you want to do is make sure that you bring your personality to every email.
So if you are silly, you want to bring that to your emails. If you’re really witty, make sure that shines through. You want your personality, all of those little quirks about you that make you unique, to shine through in your email content. That’s one way to really speak to your perfect audience in a genuine way that you are excited about.
Also, use stories as much as you can. When you are telling a story and you’ve niched yourself to a really perfect target audience, those stories will resonate even more. So if you’re telling stories about what you did in a situation or what one of your customers did in order to move past a challenge, those stories are going to land even deeper with your ideal audience because they see themselves in those stories instantly.
When you’re less niched and you tell stories it’s a little bit harder for your big target audience to find themselves in those stories. But when you’re more niched they will find themselves instantly. This is just stuff to think about in terms of how you’re crafting the content inside your emails.
Now we are going to move on to Strategy #2 which is to understand the opportunities and limitations of your email service provider. Just to make sure we are on the same page, by email service provider, I mean the company you use to manage all of your new opt ins, all your new leads, and the company you are using to send out all of your emails to stay within those guidelines that we all need to stay within in terms of sending out emails to massive lists.
Some of the most popular options are AWeber, MailChimp, and Infusionsoft. But there are a whole lot of others as well. Before I get into the specifics of this strategy, I want to give you a little pop quiz to see how well you know your own email service provider.
I know, pop quizzes are never fun. But if you fail no one’s even going to know. Just give yourself an A+. I’ve got five questions for you.
- Does you email service provider require a double opt in from your new leads or do you have the choice for single opt in?
- Are you able to easily do A-B split testing with your emails?
- Can you manually import a customer list and mail to that list instantly?
- Are you able to send out time-based email autoresponders?
- Are you able to send out a new autoresponder based on a specific action somebody took in an email that you sent?
You might have just aced that test. You knew everything about your service provider and you, my friend, deserve a little happy dance because some of those questions are not so easy. Some of you might be a little unsure of some of those questions and don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’m going to guess that most people listening got hung up on maybe one or two at least.
Here’s the deal, a lot of people sign up for mass email services like AWeber and never take the time to really fully optimize their experience. I’ve seen people sign up for the service and assume they will figure it out. And invariably they get held up in the process every time they try to email their list and it takes five times as long as it should and becomes such a negative experience they’re not even excited about emailing their list.
Or, I’ve seen a lot of my customers just do the basics. Yes, they can send out an email broadcast, that’s all they do. Or they have figured out how to create a newsletter template so they are just sending out newsletter templates. That’s definitely not what you want to do. You don’t want to limit yourself like that.
I’ve been there too. When I first signed up with Infusionsoft, the email service provider I use today, I was really in over my head. It was very confusing. Usually, the email service providers that are more robust, the ones that include shopping carts and affiliate programs and all of these other options definitely are more confusing. But I could not let that hold me down.
I left AWeber to go to Infusionsoft because there were things I wanted to create in my business that I couldn’t do with AWeber. I was just limited and that meant I was stifling my creativity and ability to make more money. So when I started to feel the pain is when I knew it was time for me to switch over to a bigger email service provider with more opportunities. I wish I had done it about a year earlier than I did but hindsight is 20/20.
If you have an email service provider that you’re happy with but you just don’t really know the ins and outs, I want you to make an effort to go learn more. A lot of them have Facebook groups with all of their users so you can readily ask questions and learn more. Many of them have great tutorial videos so that you can actually just sit there and go through them.
Book some time on your calendar, but go over the ins and outs of your email service provider so you really understand what you can do with it. You might be pleasantly surprised that you can do a whole lot more with the company you are already using and you’ve been thinking all along you needed to upgrade. You might already be in the perfect email service provider but you just don’t know it.
Also, if you have an idea in mind that you want to try but you can’t figure it out on your own, take advantage of the provider support desk. Get on the phone with them and tell them exactly what you’re trying to do.
Ask them if they can help you figure out how it’s done and, if they can, wonderful. If they tell you it can’t be done maybe it’s time to start looking for a better system. Don’t let email service provider’s limitations limit your business.
Of course, price is a factor as well. They really range from free to a couple of hundred dollars a month. You’ve got to factor that in as well but there are more factors to include as well.
The more educated you are about how it works, the more innovative and strategic ways you’ll come up with to make your business operate on all cylinders. There’s a way to take things to the next level and it’s understanding your email service provider.
One way for me to help you is that cheat sheet I mentioned in the introduction of this episode. I’ve created a special free download, a cheat sheet, that will show you the opportunities and limitations of some of the most popular email service providers.
As a reminder, you can download it for free at amyporterfield.com/42download. Or, because I’ve got the brand spanking new text feature, you can text 42download to 38470 and I’ll send you that download right away.
Let’s move on to the final strategy, Strategy #3, to create multiple lead opportunities. By lead opportunities, I mean content as well as placement of opt ins where people can give you their name and email. We’re talking about two different things here.
This third strategy is two parts. I want you to consider creating multiple lead magnets as well as creating multiple placement opportunities for your audience to find you, sign up for your lead magnet, and join your email list.
First, I want to talk to you about multiple lead magnets. I want to encourage you to create more than just one lead magnet. If you don’t even have one lead magnet that’s
converting for you right now, I only want you to focus on one. But once you get that lead magnet that’s converting for you it’s time to explore new opportunities.
I think everybody with an online business should have at least three lead magnets running at any given time. Again, be patient with yourself. If you don’t even have one yet you’re going to focus on one at a time. But if you have one I want you to start expanding from there.
No matter how niched your audience is you’re going to appeal to more people within that niche if you offer a diverse array of valuables. What I mean by that is some people prefer a webinar. Others just want a cheat sheet PDF. Others want a full-on report that walks them through, step by step, how to do something. We all respond to different modalities and it’s important that you make sure you have those opportunities for your target audience.
It could be the same content in a webinar as you put into a PDF or it could be two different topics altogether. With that, you just really want to do what works best for your business and your audience.
Here’s what I’ve done: I’ve actually created lead magnets for different platforms. As I mentioned, I have a downloadable lead magnet. I actually have a few. I have the different cheat sheets and guides for each of the podcasts, the episodes that are coming out moving forward, but I also have a tools guide that I use for different things. And I have a few more cheat sheets out there just in different places.
You might find one cheat sheet on my Facebook Page that I talk about and another one on twitter. I usually experiment with different PDFs, because they are easier to create, to see what resonates best with my audience. Then, I run Facebook ads with a free webinar lead magnet and I have a mini video series lead magnet on my website in that feature box across the top.
At any given time I probably have four or five different lead magnets out there. This is one way I rapidly grow my email list. Just having one isn’t enough if you want to see that email list grow rapidly. You also learn a lot about your audience.
So if you really start to use your email service provider to track and tag the different leads that come in, and where they’ve come in from, that’s really valuable because then you can see which platform is converting more leads for you (is Facebook converting more leads for your or twitter, or is it Pintrest or Instagram). So you can
really track that inside your email service provider and then you can track which PDF is converting the best.
Even if you’re not running ads you can still track this information to see what your audience is responding to the most. So multiple lead magnets is important, when you’re ready for that, in your business.
One more word on lead magnets. One common mistake I see many people make with their lead magnets is forgetting that one of the main goals of a lead magnet is to lead your new prospect into becoming a paying customer. You do this by creating a lead magnet with your profit path in mind. Your profit path is simply how you plan to generate revenue in your business.
I want you to consider how your lead magnet is aligned with your overall profit path. As a side note, it’s okay if you’re not ready to sell. If you’re in a place in your business where you’re just building up your email list, you’re building up your online presence, but you’re not ready to launch a program or product, that’s fine. It’s still extremely important that you create your lead magnet to start building your list. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to be ready to sell in order to launch your lead magnet.
If you’re ready to sell or if you are already selling then that is when you want to start to think about the lead magnet being aligned with your profit path. Think about your end game. Is your lead magnet aligned with what you plan to sell?
Here’s a great way to think about it, what does you idea audience need to understand, be aware of, or believe in order to want or need your product, program, or service? Use your lead magnet content to make sure your audience truly understands the value of your offer.
Where most people fail with a lead magnet is they create it with the idea of only offering immense value. You would think that’s important. And it is. But it’s not the only thing to focus on.
Here’s something to consider, a well-designed lead magnet not only offers value but also leads your prospect to a buying decision if you’re selling online programs or products. Let me give you an example: Let’s say you are a health and fitness coach and your business is all about helping people lose weight. If your paid program is a ten-day meal plan to detox from sugar, a great lead magnet might be ten tips to beat sugar
cravings. The two are aligned and with a lead magnet like that you’re going to attract the perfect audience that would be genuinely interested in what you have to sell.
You want to make sure there is a correlation and you are not just offering immense value with your lead magnet with no intention of aligning it with what you plan to sell either right away or down the road.
Switching gears slightly, now let’s look at the strategic placement of your email opt-in form. There are six places I think you must create opt-in opportunities for your audience. Let me break those down for you quickly.
The first place I think you should have an opt-in box is the feature box across the top of your website. You can see mine at amyporterfield.com. It’s that big box that is really well designed. It is a great representation of your brand across the top of the home page of your website.
Feature boxes work like gangbusters so I want to encourage you to implement that into your website. It’s a great place to have an opt-in box.
The next option is one that most of us are familiar with, the sidebar. So, in the right column of your website, the sidebar, you definitely want an opt-in opportunity.
The next one is inside your blog content. Inside your blog where you are talking about different opportunities with different tips and trips and whatever you are teaching in your blog, you might want to talk about a free PDF you have or a free webinar. You can actually hyperlink a word and then when they click the word a box appears where they can enter their name and email to sign up for your free giveaway.
I use Lead Boxes for something like this. Lead Pages has a feature called Lead Boxes that allows you to do just that.
In addition, I think a great place to put an opt-in box is at the end of a blog post. After you have their full attention and if they have read to the very end they are a hot lead for you. So create an opportunity with an opt-in box at the end of a blog post of something related to what you just talked about where they can opt in and get something of great value from you.
The number five position is the pop-up box. I want you to rethink pop-up boxes because you might have just cringed when I said that. Here’s the deal, pop-up boxes
definitely get a lot of bad press. But the thing is they are really, really effective. So don’t let bad press deter you from trying a pop-up box because you’re going to be amazed.
I mentioned Social Media Examiner earlier, and between January 2011 and January 2013, the site’s email list grew by 375% to over 190,000 readers. The founder, Mike Stelzner attributes nearly 70% of signups to the site’s pop-up box on their website. That’s crazy, right, a 375% growth.
Pop-up boxes definitely work, especially if you are cultivating a quality audience. If your audience really feels loyal to you they are not going to be annoyed by a quick box that appears on the website. It’s all about that quality audience.
Here’s another example from renowned blogger and author, Chris Penn. He actually took his pop-up box down from his website and he said his subscriptions “fell off a cliff”. Those are his words.
Within weeks he replaced it and started running a new series of pop-up boxes and definitely saw an increase in his opt ins. Pop ups are infinitely customizable these days. You can do so much with them. You can design them to look the way you want them to look, appear when you want them to appear, and to not appear when you do not want them to appear.
What I love is to have them appear within minutes of someone being on the site but then the next time they come to the site they won’t see the pop-up box again. Usually, I say every 15 or 30 days they will see the pop-up box appear but not every single time they come to the box. That’s something to think about.
Also, make sure your pop-up box is mobile friendly. I used to have a pop-up box that wasn’t so when people would look at my website from their iPhone a big pop-up box would appear within minutes and they couldn’t get it to come down. That’s super annoying so be really careful about that.
But I definitely want you to test out pop-up boxes. One of my favorite tools is optinmonster.com. Optinmonster.com allows you to customize it and do all the different timing features I mentioned and it’s a really great company so I definitely encourage you to check out optinmonster.com.
The final place I want you to put an opt-in box is on your About page. You might be surprised to hear that your About page is one of the most popular pages on your site. Do a little Google Analytics research and you will see that is likely true. If you’re not including a few email sign-up opportunities on your About page you are likely losing some great traffic.
Again, Lead Boxes is a great option for implementing or imbedding an opt-in opportunity inside the text on your About page. You might be thinking, “Holy cow! That’s a lot of places I am putting the opt-in box on my website.”
But I want you to be more open minded and get a little bit more aggressive in terms of your list-building opportunities because if your content is remarkable, if you’ve built a quality audience that is eager to hear from you, then they will be eager to sign up as well.
If they’ve already signed up they will just ignore the opt-in opportunities because they are good to go. So don’t think you’re bothering somebody with an opt-in box. The only one that could bother a bit is the pop-up box but I still want you to test it out to see if it actually does convert for you. But all of the others are very subtle and it’s just if you want to click, great, click and sign up.
Also, you might be wondering if you are supposed to have the same opt-in or lead magnet for all of those different placements. I would definitely mix it up. For example, on my feature box across the top of my website I have a free mini series about social media and list building. But inside my About page I will have a PDF of all of the tools I use online. Then, in the right sidebar I have an opportunity to sign up for a webinar.
I definitely have a lot of different opportunities in the placements. Some of them are repeats but most of them are new opportunities. This is not something you can do overnight. It takes a little bit of time to build up on your lead magnet opportunities but it’s definitely worth the effort so I want you to check it out.
There you have it, I’ve shared these three online marketing strategies to help you build your list-building foundation so that I can help you take some of the stress and overwhelm out of building your online business. After all, that’s what this whole podcast is about, making your online marketing easy and intuitive and, most importantly, more effective.
After investing a few days and actually building up your infrastructure, my hope is that you will start to see new ways that you can attract your perfect audience to your email list.
This podcast is not just about teaching you new strategies so you can think, “Oh, that’s interesting, that sounds good.”
My goal is for you to actually see results. So I need your help on that. I want to encourage you to take action within the next 48 hours on one small thing you’ve learned today. It might be adding a lead box to your About page or it might be outlining a new lead magnet that you’ve been thinking about for a while. Whatever it is, I want you to mark your calendar and commit to taking action on it within the next 48 hours.
Then, come over to my Facebook Page and let me know how it’s going. I’m at facebook.com/amyporterfield and I would love, love, love to hear how you’ve implemented any strategy that you’ve learned from the podcast.
All of the website and resources I mentioned in this episode can be found in my show notes at amyporterfield.com/42 so go on over there to grab all of the little extras I talked about.
Thank you, so much, for being with me here today. I’m thrilled that I got to spend this time with you and I can’t wait to talk to you again next week. Take care.