Don’t believe everything you hear about email lists
I know, I know.
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I’m pretty anti-email list.
In fact, I don’t recommend you set one up until you have sustainable traffic.
Why? Because it’s just another metric that you can get overly attached to.
For the first year or so, concentrate on creating content. Avoid looking at your stats if you can. I can’t.
(I check my stats all the time. I can’t help it.)
I waited for six months to set up my email list. I did it when I reached the dizzy heights of 30 hits a day (don’t worry, it grew quickly from there). And I only did that because I felt peer pressure from other bloggers.
I got the free ConvertKit plan and started a newsletter. It took like an hour and I felt like a weight had been lifted.
At least I have a signup form.
I don’t need to feel guilty every time I read another ‘OMG you NEED an email list NOW article’.
It’s the same reason all my sites have a Pinterest account. I’m a sheep at heart. I truly believe that you only need a website, but I’m pretty much the only person that does.
How to entice people to sign up to your email list
I mean, why do you even have an email list?
Probably, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s because every blogger out there told you that you need one.
It’s the only way to connect with your audience.
If you want to sell stuff so badly, sell it on your website. Create an awesome product that people want to buy. Don’t creep into their email list and beg them.
YOUR EMAIL LIST IS A VEHICLE WITH WHICH TO CONNECT TO YOUR AUDIENCE.
It’s like a little secret club for the inner circle.
I don’t try to sell to my audience — I basically gossip to them and offer up the chance for them to send gossip back.
So, why do they sign up?
My signup is right at the bottom of my post, under the Pinterest pin. You have to look for it. It’s just a little Convertkit form for a newsletter, that’ll basically be a list of things I’ve learned that month and any new plants I’ve bought.
People sign up because…they’re into the same crap I am.
Are you seeing how building a website using SEO and really niching down is really the best way to get the stars to align for you?
What I send to my email list
- Links to three of my articles that are useful at the time.
For example, my May newsletter will include articles on fertilising, house plant tips for newbies, and how to water house plants.
The growing season is just beginning and there’s an influx of newcomers. The stay at home order has also increased interest in the hobby.
- A cool new tip I’ve found
If I can’t find one, I’ll share an Instagram account or something that shares cool tips.
- Any new plants I’ve bought
- A cool new product
Emphasis on cool. Not an affiliate plug. I like to hunt for ridiculously expensive, over the top gadgets, like a robot that waters your plants. Or a tabletop terrarium that’s bigger than your fridge. You know, cool crap that’s fun to look at.
My email list is a fun thing. I can sell through my articles if I want.
I’m currently looking for a product to develop or really get behind, but I’m not in a rush. Building a business isn’t a case of designing a product and flogging it your email list anymore.
I want to create a product that solves my reader’s problems — my email list can help me find out what those problems are. It’s a two-way thing, rather than me just blasting out ridiculously peppy, thinly-veiled attempts to my list to watch a webinar that’s half somewhat useful info and half a sales pitch.
How I increase my email open rate
I don’t have a firstname.lastname@example.org email address. I’m a minimalist that hates clutter, digital or otherwise.
I find the idea that one means of contacting someone is more professional than another means of contacting someone…baffling. I use my personal Gmail one.
Convertkit tells me that that decreases my open rate. Yes, Convertkit, but the real problem is that I’m using you in combination with a Gmail address. You’re equally at fault here.
So I basically practice damage control. I make my emails as plain as possible so that they don’t look like spam. Only a couple of pictures, no affiliate links.
My audience doesn’t care about a fancy header — they care about the Calathea Warscewiczii I just got, and the link to a plant shop that thinks it’s acceptable to sell rubber plants for SEVENTY POUNDS. I got mine for £2.99. Granted there was a slight size discrepancy but SEVENTY POUNDS.
Everything they’re teaching you about emails lists is either bang out of date or a sneaky trick to get you to sign up to Convertkit and get some commission.
I’m sure all those freebies and lead magnets work really well to build your email numbers (if you have the traffic) but my way is easier and is way more fun.