Three things I’ve just learnt about email marketing

I've finally got cracking with my own email marketing; here are three things I’ve learnt.

I’ve finally got cracking with my email marketing and thought I’d share some learnings. The back story is that I joined a coaching group for marketing agencies a few months ago. I needed someone to hold me accountable for getting my own marketing and website up and running – cobblers shoes and all that. I’d known about Rob da Costa’s group for ages and he seemed just the job.

Rob’s very keen on ‘grownup’ email marketing and whilst I do sometimes recommend it to my clients, I’d not actually got personally involved with all the technicalities. Well I have now. And here are three things I’ve learnt:

The first is about choice of email marketing platform. Several people recommended ConvertKit to me and since my experience of MailChimp has been lukewarm at best, I gave it a go. 

Once I’d got past the idea of myself as a ‘creator’ and the overly upbeat tone of voice of ConvertKit’s content, I have to say I really like it. And their text chat support is brilliant. 

I’ve used it a lot recently…

The next lesson is about ‘premium content’ and ’email sequences’. 

The idea is that you create something really helpful for your ideal target customer and then make it available on a page on your website via a form.

 Like this.

The webpage should convince them of the usefulness of the thing, sufficiently for them to submit their email address, in return.

They receive your thing by email, and then they get a few more emails from you, over the next week or two, with additional helpful content.

The last email is a request for them to arrange a call with you.

That’s the theory. 

Now I spent ages setting all this up, creating what I hope are two really useful guides (here and here).

As well as a series of emails that offer further expert content. I did lots of testing to make sure it all worked smoothly, which it seemed to.

One Tuesday, I sent the guides to loads of people, asking them to forward them to anyone they knew who might find them helpful. The mistake I made was to offer two guides at the same time. 

Some people downloaded them both. But then they got put into two very similar-looking email sequences. 

What this means is they received two emails from me, at pretty much the same time, that looked the same or very similar. And that just looked weird.

 And a bit ‘spammy’.

So the lesson is: only ask people to download one guide at a time, or make your email sequences very different.

Lesson 3: don’t be put off by initial feedback: I had some very cross feedback about one of the emails in the sequence. It didn’t make much sense to the person who received it because it wasn’t targeted at them. Although I had asked them to forward it to anyone they know in social enterprises, they naturally, and sensibly, downloaded the guide themselves. And then one of the emails they received didn’t make sense to them. And they were pretty cross.

This really concerned me… the point of the exercise was to help, not hurt people. Anyway, a couple of hours later I had a message from someone else who had received the same email. They thought it was so interesting they asked if I’d like to write an article for their well-regarded newsletter for charities.

Curious about email marketing?