Broadcast vs. Follow-Up Emails to Your Mailing List

Once you've decided why you have a list (to create loyal fans who buy stuff from you), you have to decide how to communicate with those fans – either via broadcast emails, follow-up emails, or a mix of both. Both emails have a valuable place in your business.

Broadcast Emails

Broadcast emails are sent in the moment. You write these then go into your mailing list host and send send them off to your entire list (or some list programs let you send to a segment).

This kind of email is ideal for sending one-time news, sending a periodic newsletter, and/or sending out promotional emails.

Follow-Up Emails

These emails are loaded into your mailing list program and go out automatically when a user signs up to your list. You put the emails in and select the amount of time that passes between each email.

Follow-up emails are what give an “autoresponder” its name – your email service sends these out to automatically respond when you get a new subscriber on your list.

They can also be called an autoresponder sequence, email sequence, follow-up campaign, etc.

Creating a Winning Email List

Follow-up emails are the backbone of your email campaign. They let you communicate with your subscriber automatically. You can send great content emails along to your subscriber, helping them get to know you, love you, and trust you! It's nice to get a subscriber, and this is an awesome chance to build relationship with them.

You want to balance giving away great content with other kinds of emails:

  • Bonus / Freebie downloads here and there
  • Emails containing a couple of paragraphs teaching something awesome in your niche
  • Credibility builders (links out to articles you've written, for instance)
  • Engagement emails
  • Planned story arc launch sequences

Bonus or freebie downloads are self-explanatory. You probably already have a small ebook, white paper, or mp3 download that you give away to encourage someone to sign up on your list. You can give away something like this here and there throughout your campaign. This creates loyalty and a sense of reciprocity (the need to “give back”) in your subscriber.

Emails that teach something are extremely valuable to your subscriber. They're the emails where you share your teaching on something, your point of view. They give the reader high-quality information that he/she can really use.

Credibility builders help your reader see that you're an expert in your field. These can be links out to an article on your site, but mix it up and add links here and there to articles you've had published elsewhere. Guest blog posts, article directory articles, your book in an online bookstore – all of these can be worked into a link in an email and build up your status as an expert on your topic.

Engagement emails are very useful. Ask questions in these emails. You might even label them as “homework” for your reader! These get your reader thinking and actively engaged in what you're teaching. You can also send out emails where you ask your readers if they have a question for you. Remember, you can't spend all your time answering questions, but you can send a response out with a quick answer and questions to provoke more thought. If you keep getting questions from the same person, refer them to the product that will help them.

Your email sequence also gives you the chance to implement small launch sequences, or story arcs leading to a product recommendation. You can and should include these throughout your entire campaign – you want your subscriber to realize you're selling something.

Remember what you discovered in the last post in this series… your subscriber isn't just a consumer of your content. He/She is a loyal fan that can really benefit from the product(s) you offer. Build those offers up over a section of your email campaign, leading your visitor from the “getting to know you” phase to trusting you and realizing how much your products and courses can help him/her.

Combining the Two

You can combine the Broadcast and Follow-Up emails. Don't be afraid to launch a product via Broadcast here and there. Or, send a weekly newsletter to update your list on changes and additions to your website. Maybe you'll announce a holiday special, a new project, a new baby, or something else you feel you should share. These add life to your campaign.

A solid follow-up campaign with a broadcast sprinkled here and there keeps your list engaged, loyal, and ready to see how you can help them.

Photo by ms.akr

Giving Great Stuff Away is Not the Purpose of Your Email List

Everybody gives lip service to having a mailing list. When I say everybody I mean everybody. Where you go with your list from there, however, differs.

Some bloggers, site owners, and marketers send out a weekly newsletter here and there. Some have a sequence of emails they send out automatically for awhile after you subscribe. Some mail relentlessly, promoting affiliate offer after affiliate offer, or product after product. Some send nothing at all, then blast an offer out of the blue. Then of course there's a mix of all of the above (and everything in between).

What should you do? Why should you have a list? That's what this series is going to look at. Today's topic is the real why.

The Real Why

Since everyone gives lip service to their list, I had an opt-in form on my first niche site from almost the very first day the site was up. It was to my web host's default mailing list program, and I sent out an email newsletter every month or two. I actually got a fair amount of sign-ups, accumulating a list of around 2,500 subscribers.

Now some people say the purpose of your list is to send great content. The reasoning is: great content = loyal fans.

I think this is good reasoning, but it's fundamentally flawed. See, loyal fans are wonderful. But you want something else.

Your list is to create loyal fans, and provide you a return on your investment.

You don't invest your money just to make the bank your loyal fan! You expect a return on your investment. Right? The fact that the bank likes you and sends you nice perks here and there is, well, a nice perk.

I'm not saying don't create good content. But your list is there for you to provide value to and receive a return on the investment of value. Another example: your doctor provides high-quality care, but he expects payment for that. Your college professor pours his life into educating you, but face it, he expects his paycheck in return for that investment.

You are helping others through your mailing list. That's one “why”. That builds relationship and a loyal following. But you also want a return on your investment in business and in enriching the lives of others. That's your other “why.”

If you never ask your subscribers to buy anything, you've created a list of loyal freebie-seekers. Ask them to buy something one day and they'll probably cry mutiny.

Only great content = loyal freebie seekers.

Great content and great offers = loyal fans who benefit from your deeper trainings.

Does that make sense?

You're Still Providing Value

Let me make this clear: you're not going to mail offers to your list relentlessly and that's it. You are going to provide value, or “great content”, “epic content”, etc. in today's trendy internet marketing lingo.

It's important to really provide value.

But look, you can't give all your information away for free.

Regardless of your niche, you have expertise to offer. You're valuable and you have a lot that you can pour into someone else's life. You can give some of that, awesome parts of that, here and there in your email newsletters, email sequence, etc. But surely there's more to you, more you know and can share, more ways you can personally help.

Maybe you choose to create a product. Maybe you want to coach people in your niche. Whatever you choose, that's deeper, more intimate help. Your loyal fans need to know you can help them ūüôā

Have a mix of great content and offers for great products. Maybe they're life-changing. Maybe they greatly increase somebody's enjoyment in life (think of hobby-related products). Maybe they just solve a pressing problem (think of all the marketers selling menu-planning services, or cooking and cleaning how-to's).

Whatever you offer – life-changing, satisfaction-bringing, or problem-solving – you can offer great content and provide great products.

A mix of both gives you the ideal list:

Loyal fans who benefit from your basic information, and who want your deeper information — and are willing to pay you for it ūüôā

Photo by grenade

How to Set Up an Aweber Email List (Video)

Today I'm going to show you a video of how quick and easy it is to set up an Aweber list.

I use Aweber for my mailing lists and I've almost always been pleased with them. ¬†The only issue I've ever had was with building web forms and HTML emails. ¬†Their editors are a little clunky… but really they've done a good job with them. ¬†WISYWIG (“what you see is what you get”) editors aren't always easy, especially when it comes to email. ¬†So I think they've done fairly well — but it does annoy me from time to time!

Other than that, though, Aweber is great.  I really like that I can keep all the mailing lists for all of my websites together in one account.  Only having to manage one autoresponder account makes my life easier.

Today I need to set up a sublist for a product launch I have coming, so I wanted to walk you through it.

Before You Start

I recommend you have a few things ready in a text editor before you start your own list.  This makes putting your list together go much more quickly.  Think about these things before you set up the list and you'll be golden!

Initial Setup

Your list name: what do you want to call this list?  This is mostly only seen by you (it can be seen on the subscriber preferences for your subscriber, but most people don't go to that screen).  It has to be unique among all lists on Aweber, not just yours.

Your list description: this is just for you – your subscribers don't see it

“From” Name and Address: This is the name that will display in the sender line of your subscriber's email inbox. ¬†The address is the email address that will show up. ¬†For instance, the Milkshake newsletter shows up as “Kristen Burgess kristen @ milkandmud . com”

Contact address: This is your physical mailing address (or that of your business) — you must have a valid mailing address in your emails!

Notification email:  If you want to be notified each time someone joins your list (for instance, if you welcome each new subscriber), fill your info into this section.  Otherwise, leave it blank.

Company Branding:  Fill this out with information about your website or company РName, URL, and an Email signature if you'd like one.

Confirmation Message:  Aweber is a Double Opt-In service, meaning your subscriber will get an email confirming he or she wants to subscribe.  This is your chance to edit that email.  You only get a limited number of characters, so keep it to a few sentences asking your subscriber to confirm their interest.  You can also edit the subject line, but it should still say something about the fact they need to confirm their subscription.  If you change it you'll need to wait on Aweber to approve the changed line (usually within 24 hours).

Confirmation Success Page: This is the page your subscriber is directed to after they click the confirmation link.  If you're offering an incentive to get them to sign up, this is where you put the link to the page they can download or access it.

Your Web Form

Next you'll want to get  a web form set up so you can collect subscriber information.  You'll be able to play with the WYSIWIG editor and templates for this to find one you like.  Here are a couple of things to think about:

Your Form Name: ¬†I suggest you use lots of forms (they can all be the same design) to test sign-ups in different places. ¬†For instance, I use a different form for leads I get from article marketing… so I can track how many leads I'm getting from article marketing! ¬†Think of a descriptive name. ¬†Example “Article Bio Box Link” – this lets you know they're getting to this form when they click a link in your article's bio box.

Subscribed Page: ¬†You can leave this at the default and your subscriber will get the famous Aweber “your confirmation email is on the way” page. ¬†Or you can create a page on your site to direct your visitor to. ¬†You'll paste that link into the second step of the form if you do that. ¬†This would be a good way to direct your visitor to a sales letter, video, or some other special content.

Your Follow-Up

I'll talk more about this in the video, but if you are giving your subscriber a bonus for signing up for your list, have the URL of the page you'll be directing them to get their bonus handy.  When you create your follow-up message thanking them for confirming, you should include that link again, in case they didn't get it after they opted in.

The Video

Here's the video where I go over these steps!  As you can see, it's quick and easy to set up a mailing list with Aweber!

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik

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