Effective marketing boils down to this: Find an audience, figure out what they need or want, and then deliver it. Email is one of the best mediums to help you do just that, and it isn’t always about selling them on a product. In fact, you don’t want to start there at all.
First, you want to build a relationship with your readers. You want them to get to know you. You want to help them out, so they start to like and trust you. Only then will you be able to make an offer and have them pull out their wallet to buy it, because by then they will understand that you have their best interests in mind, too.
So, how do you determine what your subscribers want and need? There are a plethora of ways to figure it out, but here we’ll go over 4 of my favorites.
Pay Attention to Your Website Stats
Tools like Google Analytics can give you a lot of information about where your readers came from, what page the landed on and where they were on your site when they joined your list. That data combined with demographic information will tell you a lot about your audience.
Bonus Tip: Make sure you have a Facebook Pixel on your site and build a custom audience with it. When you’re getting enough traffic, you can get some incredible insights from Facebook!
Read Your Replies
As you start to email your readers, they will reply and get back in touch with you. Pay attention to what they’re saying, and don’t forget to read between the lines. Let’s say you’re in the parenting niche and you noticed that some of your readers are asking for suggestions on being a more patient parent. They complain about being short tempered and freaking out about little things, but the real issue may be a lack of sleep because the baby or toddler isn’t sleeping through the night! So, if you feel comfortable try asking your readers for more information. You’ll learn more, and may help them have an epiphany in the process!
It can be helpful to ask for suggestions, and open-ended questions can give you a wealth of information. Consider having your readers fill out a simple survey with tools like JotForm or Survey Monkey. You’ll get some good data, and you get your readers to interact. Having them contribute builds a sense of community even via email.
Learn From The Past
Finally, go back and look at past emails you’ve sent. Pay attention to open rates, click through rates and unsubscribes.
If a large percentage of readers opened an email, that’s a good indication they were interested in the topic. If they clicked a link to additional content, that’s even better, and going forward, you can use clicks on links or resources for a topic to target your emails to those with certain interests. MailChimp lets you build segments on these, and other services like Aweber and ConvertKit let you add tags.
On the other hand, if you got a lot of unsubscribes, that might be an indication that either the topic was wrong or your language and the overall message didn’t click with your audience. Do a little more research here to see if all of your emails on this subject tanked, or just a few.
Use all the data and information you get back to learn more about your target audience and connect with them on a deeper level. The more you know about your subscribers, the more effective your email marketing will be. Once you get this right, you’ll start getting the “you read my mind!” reaction, and you’ll know what to offer your subscribers, and when.