I’m going to be honest, I’m not the best at being organized. Yes, I’m that typical creative bird with her mind off in the clouds so much of the time. So when I read about the theme this month my first inclination was to find someone else to interview who is much more organized than I. Almost immediately, I knew who that was – Caylie Price of Better Business, Better Life!
Caylie and I have known each other via the online world for years and she’s has always amazed me with her ability to stay focused, organized, and create such wonderful results for her clients. We’ve worked well as a team on many projects because what I lack (eh hum…organization), she excels at. She’s also the first person I think of when I think about building a subscriber list, so today I’m thrilled to be able to share this valuable interview with you!
1. Hi Caylie! Can you tell us a little about your business and how you got started with it?
Better Business Better Life helps energised entrepreneurs create opt in strategies that result in a steady flow of red hot leads. The business focuses on taking the ‘tech’ and overwhelm out of online marketing while supporting clients to grow subscriber lists and sales funnels.
Better Business Better Life was initially started as a hobby providing clients general business advice. At the time I was working full time between managing a business incubator and teaching business/IT courses.
The thing that really stood out was many business owners weren’t sure how to take advantage of online opportunities, particularly in terms of building ongoing relationships with prospects and converting them to clients. I had an incredible interest and passion for online marketing so I chose to niche the focus of my business.
2. What is a subscriber list and why is it so important? Does every business need one?
A subscriber list is a group of email addresses from people who have opted in to receive updates from a particular website. It’s vitally important that every business has one.
Your subscriber list and website are the only online assets you own. You can promote your business on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Slideshare, Medium and more but you don’t own those platforms. You don’t have control of those platforms and they can change at any time meaning they can quickly become ineffective or expensive promotional tools.
Further, your subscriber’s inbox represents the best option for ensuring your audience reads your content. Even if your website is an audiences’ favourite, it’ll easily be overlooked as they cope with day-to-day pressures and distractions. We are busy and in a state of information overload but we also have a habit of checking our inboxes.
Do your best to consistently convert readers to subscribers so you can control your communication with an even bigger audience.
3. What are your top 5 favorite ways to build a subscriber list?
Oooh there are so many amazing ways to build your list.
The first thing you need to provide is an incentive for your potential subscriber. You need to offer them something of value that encourages them to join your list.
In terms of the incentive you might offer, I created a free guide to the Top 8 Opt In Offers Exploding List Growth In 2014 that you might find helpful.
4. Out of those methods, which do you think is the most effective and why?
When it comes to subscribers and growing your list there is no one right way. Every business is unique in regards to the products/services offered and the potential clients it targets when marketing.
You need to clearly identify who your ideal clients are. What demographics, interests, attitudes and behaviours do they have? Where do they spend their time online? Which incentive format would be most appealing?
For example, if you are teaching screen printing, then your opt in incentive might be a quick video or infographic on how to create and print your first image. You may choose to promote it via YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.
If you sell ‘back to school’ themed items, your opt in incentive could be printable labels for naming school books. You might promote them by guest posting on parenting blogs, forums or Pinterest.
Keeping your ideal client front of mind, create a couple of opt in incentives and see which gets the best response.
5. Once you have a list, what do you do with it?
When someone decides to opt in they are essentially giving you permission to email them in the future and as Sonia Simone of Copyblogger fame says you need to build know, like and trust with your subscribers.
Enable them to get to know and like you. Provide value so that they trust you.
By sending autoresponders, broadcast emails or a combination of both. Autoresponders are evergreen emails saved within your email marketing service that are delivered at predefined intervals i.e. day one, three, seven after an individual subscribes. Broadcasts are newsletters with current content that are sent to all subscribers at the same time.
6. What tools do you use to keep your list building organised?
When list building there are three key areas to keep in mind:
- Creating your opt in incentive
- Promotion of your incentive to attract subscribers
- Managing your subscriber list
Earlier this year I created a tool to keep your list building and lead generation organised and productive. My planner and tracker ensures you know exactly where your next subscribers are coming from, how you’re going to attract them and measures your progress so you’ll always know if you are on the right path (or not).
The tool I love for creating the graphical elements of opt in incentives is Canva.com. It’s quick, easy and has loads of free layouts (great for me as I struggle with design). It also stores images so that if I want to use an image I’ve creating previously but make a small change, perhaps update a heading or dates, I simply log in and it’s all there.
In terms of promoting the incentive, I love to load social updates into BufferApp.com. It’s free for the first 10 scheduled or $10 per month for up to 10 social accounts and 100 scheduled updates. This means you can organise a range of promotion at once and it will automatically be published as you require.
Two tools fabulous for managing your subscriber lists are Aweber and MailChimp. Both are email management platforms that keep your subscribers organised and your newsletters delivered with ease. MailChimp is a great option when just starting out as it’s free up to 2000 subscribers however you do have to pay to set up autoresponders. Aweber starts at $19 per month including autoresponders. Both platforms have double opt in which is important for businesses in countries such as Australia where double opt in is a legal requirement.
7. What are some big mistakes people often make when it comes to growing their list?
A. Becoming disheartened when people unsubscribe.
When you start consciously building your subscriber list, someone unsubscribing can really knock the stuffing from you. Fear not. Unsubscribes are perfectly normal and par for the course.
There are at least a million and one reasons why people unsubscribe, from they’re getting too many newsletters to the kids going crazy on the computer to your content simply not being the solution they were seeking.
Don’t take it personally. Think of unsubscribes as making room for more of your ‘right’ people. Keep going.
B. Not having a good mix of helpful and/or entertaining content versus making offers.
In the previous question I mentioned know, like and trust. You definitely want to be generating goodwill with your subscribers but goodwill without sales doesn’t equal a business.
By not making product or service offers you might maintain your list, even grow it faster, but if you’re a business owner you’ll want to leverage your subscriber list and generate income.
There is no point having the largest list if you aren’t making money. Either send the occasional dedicated offer or make a small mention of your products and services in every email.
You can find Caylie at the Better Business, Better Life blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook. Check out her feeds for more great tips for building your business and subscriber list!