Today is the fifth post in our series on email marketing and we’re going to be looking how to find out exactly what your email subscribers want from you. If you’ve missed any of the other posts you can find them here:
Effective marketing is surprisingly simple: Find an audience, figure out what they need or want, and then deliver it. Email is one of the best mediums to help you do just that. And it isn’t always about selling a product. In fact, that isn’t where you want to start at all.
First you want to build a relationship with your readers. You want them to get to know you. You want to help them out so they start to like you and trust you. But you also want to know what they want from you, in terms of free content, and paid products. Because both are important. You have to give your readers what they want for free, before they are ready to buy anything from you. AND you have to offer them something they want, when you are ready to sell to them. So how do you do that?
Monitor your stats
Pay attention to your website stats. Programs like Google Analytics can give you a lot of information about where your readers came from, what page they landed on, and where they were on your site when they joined your list. That data, along with demographic information, will tell you a lot about your audience, and what their thought process was when they joined your list.
If you have multiple opt-in gifts and content upgrades available, pay close attention to which gets the most sign-ups. If you’re a health and wellness blogger, you might find everyone is signing up for your free healthy recipe cards, but no-one is coming on board for that free 10-day yoga challenge you offered. Guess what? Your readers want more healthy eating advice, and less yoga.
Your inbox is a treasure trove of information
As you start to email your readers, they will reply and get back in touch with you, especially if you encourage them to. Pay attention to what they’re saying, and don’t forget to read between the lines. Let’s say you’re in the parenting niche and you’ve noticed that some of your readers are asking for suggestions on being a more patient parent. They complain about being short tempered and freaking out about little things. The real issue here may well be lack of sleep because the baby or toddler isn’t sleeping through the night.
Dig deep and see what you can learn about your market. Sometimes what they tell you they want isn’t exactly what they want. But their pain points are real. Brainstorm different ways to address them.
Poll your readers
Consider having your readers fill out a simple survey. It’s quick and easy to do with Google forms. You’ll get some good data and you get your readers to interact. Having them contribute builds a sense of community, even via email. You can keep things very simple, if you want yes or no answers, or make the questions open ended if you want a lot to work with.
You can ask about what content they want to see on the blog, what new opt-in gifts, challenges or content upgrades they’d like, or which paid products would interest them. You can even ask what they would pay for a certain type of product or service, then either create it, or see if any of your affiliate partners have something that fits their criteria, that you can offer them.
What worked well?
Last but not least, go back and look at the past emails you’ve sent. What worked well in the past? Pay attention to open rates, click through rates and unsubscribes. If a large percentage of readers opened the email, that’s a good indication they were interested in the topic. If they clicked a link to additional content, that’s even better.
If, on the other hand, a certain email got a lot of unsubscribes, that might be an indication that either the topic was wrong or your language and overall message didn’t click with your audience.
Remember to actually use all the data and information you get back from your target audience and actually give them what they have asked for. Find a way to record everything you learn, and carve out time to think about what to offer your readers. Remember it doesn’t always have to be a product or service you create from scratch. It can be an affiliate product that you know meets their needs, or even a round-up post of products or books that address their pain points, complete with affiliate links.
Always listen when a subscriber responds, comments, or asks a question. He or she may be representative of others on your list. The more you know about your subscribers, the more effective your email marketing will be.
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