This week, you’re finally ready to start building your email marketing system.
Before you jump straight in, though, I want to give you a big picture view of what your email marketing system will look like.
Here’s a visual guide we’ll refer to for this lesson:
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#1: Generate Website/Blog Visitors
Unless you want to wait forever to get new leads on your email list, you must do more than sit around in the hope that people will just show up.
You need to use effective traffic-building strategies to drive new people to your website and blog, so you can make a connection with them and inspire them to take the next step of becoming a new lead.
The fastest way to generate visitors is to use Facebook ads. A well-targeted ad can send people who are the best fit for your business directly to your opt-in landing page (the place where they actually sign up to your email list). We’ll look at Facebook ads in more detail later on in this course.
Other visitor-building strategies include referrals from other businesses and social media, search engines, video marketing (YouTube, Vimeo etc.), and links from other websites. These can send people to relevant pages on your website, blog posts, or directly to your opt-in landing page.
#2: Generate Visitors To Your Opt-In Landing Page
As I mentioned above, you can send people directly to your opt-in landing page from ads or from other traffic sources.
However, you also want to create a clear route to your opt-in landing page from your website pages and blog posts.
Yes, you could add your email signup form to every page or post, but that makes it more difficult to track the conversion rate of your email sign-ups.
However, it’s best to keep your email signup form on one page (the opt-in landing page), and then encourage visitors to go to that page from a teaser box, a simple link, or other call to action.
You can place your email signup call to action for your opt-in landing page at the top or bottom (or both) of a web page or blog post.
#3: Collect Email Addresses For New Subscribers
Your opt-in landing page has only one purpose:
To convert visitors into leads in the form of email subscribers…
To do that, you need to:
- Keep all distractions to a minimum…
- Have a clear headline…
- Present a simple form…
- Eliminate any competing calls to action…
- Describe the benefits of your lead magnet…
We’ll visit this topic again in detail later on.
#4: New Subscribers Added To Your Email List
This step takes the information from the opt-in form on your website, and sends it to your email marketing company.
The actual method will depend on the implementation of your signup form, but the end result is the same—your new subscriber’s information (email address etc.) will be added to your email marketing database.
As far as the user goes, this step is invisible because the transfer of information happens in the background.
#5: Show “Thank You” Page To New Subscribers
When someone signs up to your email list, you should then send them to a special “thank you” page on your website.
Here, you’ll confirm that they’re on your list, and let them know what to expect from you going forward.
You can also present them with a new-subscriber special offer if you wish.
Another effective strategy here is to show them a welcome video where you give them a behind-the-scenes look at your photography business, which can help to further develop the relationship you’ve just built with them.
#6: Send Welcome Email
Obviously, your new subscribers want to get the lead magnet you promised them when they signed up.
You’ll use your welcome email for this purpose.
The welcome email has several important functions:
- Welcomes them to your email list (obviously)…
- Reiterates what you said on the “thank you” page…
- Gives them the download link for your lead magnet…
- Tells them a little about you…
- Lets them know what to expect from you in the future…
- Shows them how to get in touch with you directly…
- Gives them a call to action to take the next step…
- Tells them how to unsubscribe if they wish…
This is one of the most important emails you will send, as it sets the tone and expectations going forward, and we’ll talk more about this later.
#7: Send Follow-Up Emails
After you’ve sent your welcome email, don’t make the same mistake so many other photographers do, which is to ignore your new subscribers!
Your job at this point is to nurture and grow the relationship you’ve built with your new lead, not leave them in dark wondering if they’ll ever hear from you again 🙂
There are several ways to do this:
- Send out regular “newsletters”…
- Send automated follow-up emails…
- Send irregular emails when you have something on offer…
The last one should be avoided at all costs because it ultimately breaks the trust you’ve built with your leads if they feel you only see them as an inbox in which to deposit sales offers or promotions.
The first one (newsletters) is okay, but they’re usually treated with suspicion because they tend to resemble branded newsletters sent out by major companies who use them simply to sell more stuff.
The middle one is the preferred method.
You can set up an automated sequence of emails designed to build and grow the relationship by sharing stories about your photographs, yourself, and your business, accompanied by a soft call to action to invite them to take the next step. We’ll revisit this topic again later.