Getting traffic from email

Although I’ve had an email list since my main site began in 2012 and sent weekly emails there, it wasn’t until recently I started to take it more seriously as a way to get traffic.

learning what works

As I almost always do, I set out to try to learn as much as possible.

I took Scott Delong’s email marketing course, saw how he was doing things, and thought that I could try to do the same.

His basic process is to use low-cost Facebook ads with a lead magnet to get people on your email list, and then send emails to those people.

In his case, he sends emails daily that are a mix of links and info that’s right in the email. That way, users will open the emails frequently since they know there’s value in it, even if they aren’t necessarily interested in the links.

I also joined Liz Wilcox’s Email Marketing Membership which focuses more on the actual copywriting involved with emails. She also provides lots of templates to help you get started.

Both really emphasized how the emails should be relatable and come across as human vs. the newsletter template I had been using.

implementing the changes

Although I opted against using Facebook Ads to grow my email list as Scott suggested, I did make sure to optimize the opportunities for people to opt in, including:

  • Offering a free lead magnet in several spots on the site
  • Using Grow’s “save this article” and “exclusive content” functionality
  • Doing weekly giveaways that are relevant to my niche
  • Implementing ManyChat on Instagram which allows people to get a lead magnet right from Instagram

Then I took the email templates that I wanted to use from Liz’s course and created templates in my ConvertKit account that I could easily use each time I sit down to write an email.

Then it came time to actually send emails.

It made me super nervous to suddenly change approaches to my email list who was used to hearing from me weekly in a specific format.

I decided to include a note at the top of my last email using the old format that indicated I’d be in contact more often in a simpler format starting the following week.

I started sending 2-3 helpful and conversational emails/weekly (not daily as Scott does, but more often than I had been previously).

In addition, I added the evergreen emails to my email welcome sequence to be sent to anybody that subscribed after I had sent it to my whole list. This felt so much more efficient since the emails could live on way past the time I hit send.

the results

Not everything has been all roses with these changes.

Some people didn’t like the new format or frequency.

The rate of unsubscribes went up, but I held on and kept at it, knowing that the newer people would likely stay subscribed for longer since they had the new format and style right from the beginning.

On the positive side, I noticed that more people were hitting reply and engaging which was a throw back to the early days of having an email list when I used a more conversational style.

I also saw that the click thru rate stayed about the same as before, even with way fewer links in each email.

That means the same number of people are clicking through, but now I’m spreading the content out throughout the week which has resulted in triple the amount of website visitors from emails every week.

It’s still early days with these changes, but my hope is to continue to see an increase in engagement and clicks to the site.

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