5 Easy Ways to Build Relationship with Your Email List

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The best way to grow your email list without feeling salesy, is to build a relationship with your email subscribers.

Why is having a relationship with your email list important for small businesses?

If Instagram died tomorrow, would you have an audience to speak to? Probably so. This is why I am going to show you how to build relationships with your email list.

When we build our audience on social media channels, we are building an audience on a platform that we don’t own. That’s kind of like renovating a home that you don’t own. All that time and money spent building and nothing to show for it! That’s what happens when we only build our audience on social media. That’s why I believe you need to start building your email list. It’s important to build an audience that you have direct contact with; an audience you own.

The goal of email marketing is to build direct relationships with your customers through nurture campaigns. These nurture campaigns allow you to setup a system to consistently connect with your community which = more customers = more sales = happy small business owner!

If you need a little more convincing, I’ve got some stats for you:

Email marketing produces $42 for ever $1 you spend. (Source: Oberlo)

59% of marketers say that email is their biggest source of ROI⁠

Welcome emails have a high open rate of 82% (Source: Get Response)

The biggest mistake I see people make

Now, before you start building your email list, you need to get this one thing right. You need to remember it’s about relationship building. The biggest mistake I see people make when approaching their email marketing is when they forget it’s about people. Being in someone’s email inbox is almost sacred, something we must not take for granted.

So let me share 5 easy ways to build relationship with your email list so that you get the best results for your small business.

1. Treat them like VIPs 

You want it to feel like the people on your email list are the most important people in your business (even more important than your social media followers) Treating your email list like VIPs is also a good way to get your social media followers to become email list subscribers because they feel like they are missing out if they aren’t in your email list. The best way to build relationship is to treat each email like you are writing a letter to a friend which means using personalisation.

Why personalisation matters

Instead of saying “hey guys” or “hey there”, you want to say “hey Laura”. Using their name is an easy way to build relationship and help them to feel noticed, remembered, and special. This means you need to get their first name when they opt in to your mailing list.

Hint: you only need to ask for their first name and email address. Don’t add extra fields to your opt in unless you really need it. The fewer actions/clicks your customer has to make, the higher your conversion rate will be!

2. Write a killer welcome email sequence

Think of your welcome email sequence as your first date. In this first email, you want to give your brand new subscribers a sense of who you are, what you’re about and what they can expect. You want this first email to be automated so your subscriber hears from you as soon as they sign up to your list.

A good welcome email will do the following:

Set the tone and outline expectations

How often will you email them? What type of content should they expect from you? What type of result can they expect by being in your email list?Example: When you sign up to James Clear’s mailing list, you get an email once per week with 3 ideas from James, 2 quotes from others and 1 question to ponder. He outlines this in his welcome email and sticks to it. This is also builds trust because it is consistent.

If Instagram died tomorrow, would you have an audience to speak to?

Introduce you and your brand

Share your business message (AKA your one liner). Outline the problem your business solves and who you help. If you’re in small business or building a personal brand, don’t be afraid to share your a personal side in this welcome email. This helps to build trust. For instance, in my welcome email I say something like: I’m Laura and I’d personally like to thank you for joining my club. My mission at Lala Social Club is simple; I want to help your business cut through the noise through marketing.

Show them that there is a result from being on your list

Being in someone’s email inbox is something we must not take for granted. People aren’t likely to sign up for your mailing list unless you have something of value to offer them which is why we need to give them clarity on what the result is. We need to showcase the value and give them some promise of transformation.

For example: I truly believe that marketing is the engine room of your business growth. When you get this right, you’ll feel confident and equipped to take your business to the next level. If you follow what I’m teaching, I believe your business will never be the same!

The welcome email (or emails if you want to send multiple welcome emails in a sequence) is a lot like a first date; if you get it right, it will set the tone for the rest of the relationship.

3. Keep your email template design simple and consistent

Given that the best approach to email marketing is to build relationship and trust with your subscriber, you want every email to look and feel consistent. It’s important to remember that simple design consistently performs better than a complex design. This is why we have added simple email header designs to the Canva Template Pack.

For service based businesses:

You definitely don’t want your emails to feel promotional or salesy. The best way to do this is to avoid making your emails too image heavy. A simple header image or graphic can be enough to grab attention whilst still keeping your email design simple.

For ecommerce businesses:

In e-commerce, imagery is a huge part of the sales process and needs to be included. It’s important to bear in mind that your subscriber is likely viewing your email on their phone so make sure it is designed for mobile as well as desktop. Where possible, link the products to the images so your subscriber can easily click through to view the products.

4. Show your personality

Again, this all comes back to relationship building. You want each email you send to feel like it’s a letter from a friend. Personality plays a huge part in this. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion on things or to share a personal side of your brand. It’s important to remember that the reason people stay engaged is because of you. People want to feel connected to a real person.

Your brand voice and personality play a huge part in creating a thriving, engaged email list. This is why you want to make sure your brand personality is consistent across your social media channels, website, internal communications, and email marketing.

5. Show up consistently

Consistency is the key. Let me give you an example of what not to do: When COVID-19 hit, it felt like there was one week where every single email I received was from a random, unrecognisable business telling me about their COVID-19 hygiene practices. It was like all these zombie businesses returned to drop in and let me know they were handling everything properly. And the truth is, I can’t even remember subscribing to their mailing list. I hadn’t heard from them in SO long.

Don’t ghost your subscribers

When someone gives you their name and email, they are trusting you and allowing you into their inbox. That is no small thing. So you definitely don’t want to “ghost” them when they sign up to hear from you. It is really important to show up consistently and regularly to stay top of mind for your subscriber. After all, the last thing you want is for your subscriber to get an email from you and say “who the heck is that?”

So, these are just 5 easy ways to build relationship with your email list. Each time you sit down to write an email, ask yourself the question: how does this build a relationship with my subscriber? How does this add value to them and make them feel like a VIP? Does this align with my brand personality? If you do that, you will build beautiful, long-lasting relationships with your email list and be on track to turn your subscribers into customers.