ENTREPRENEURSHIP: How I Professionally Automate Dope Emails
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Your audience is everything. Absolutely everything. The connection with your audience is the lifeforce of your business, man! Marketing and networking on social media is quite crucial too, as is understanding the significance of the risk of your investments. Yes, without a doubt, these are some of the very elements that separate hobbies from businesses. But when my homeboy called to tell me how much he loved my weekly newsletters, I gave that specifically a closer look.
“I mean dude, your emails are so professional and so dope.” Coming from one of my closest and oldest friends in California, that might’ve been the best compliment about my business I’ve ever received since launch day some seven weeks ago. I suppose I myself didn’t realize how good the program I was using was since I’m still pretty new to it, but being more confident in the way I navigate email marketing software today, I’m also becoming just as much more aware how important it is to get it right, keep it professional, and look dope while doing it consistently.
I use Mailerlite to automate my newsletters, add webforms, and insert embedded code to make expanding my email list easier. It is one of the most effective resources I have to piece together automations and designing gorgeous emails worth the doubletake of any passerby. Man, my newsletter looks good (and even as a graphic designer, I can tell you that’s more Mailerlite’s user-friendliness than it is my own skills in vector artwork that breathe life into my newsletter). Let me show you how I do this--your business just might need it. In fact, I’m positive it does.
Establishing your email list is a critical component for any business, and one of the very first things you want to start developing months prior to your launch date. Use Mailerite to create landing pages during pre-launch so that the earliest interested parties that’ve heard about your upcoming project on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram can join your newsletter early. It’s never too early to promote yourself prelaunch, and as social media is consistently evolving to suite the needs of young start-ups and millennial entrepreneurs, I recommend asking yourself how badly you want to start making money tomorrow, by spending as much time on social media as you usually would for free yesterday. It starts today--sign up with Mailerlite and use their landing pages and webforms to collect the data you need from your ideal audience members and utilize the resources to build your audience now.
Setting that up is as simply as creating a workflow in the “automation” tab, where you will be required to visually set up a map of how certain actions on the subscriber’s end trigger automatic reactions on your end (i.e. having a welcome email send automatically to a new subscriber). The elements of an exceptional welcome email include using your voice (not your business’ voice, not your hungry wallet’s voice) to communicate humanely and confidently; scheduling your newsletter so your audience knows when exactly to expect a email from you (consistency is key; randomly sending out newsletter off-schedule will result in less visibility, less clicks, and less conversions); and having a solid design for presentation (overwhelming and underwhelming are both dangerous extremes you want to avoid).
Your welcome email is your voice and, in many ways, your first impression to your subscriber. They need to know they’re noticed and that you know their time is valuable. Keep it short but be genuine about your gratefulness. You literally cannot do your business without them, and in a lightning-fast moving world full of junk email and unused subscriptions, keeping them interested is a task YOU have been called into action to succeed in. A friend recently told me in a conversation that, as entrepreneurs, our audience is simply who we were yesterday...so, if you have to err on the side of being too humbly a human or too perfectly a robot, remember--err on on the side of being too human. They’ll understand that, as well as want to see what you have to tell them next.
Once you’ve covered your your aforementioned bases, you’re in “campaign” mode. All a campaign really is, is the actual newsletter that all of the members of your subscriber list will be receiving that day, week, month, etc. PRO TIP: Here, you have the opportunity to be lazy and repeat script, providing only slight altercations to each campaign. The best advice to you I can give is this: GIVE UP.
If you’re going to be that lazy with your campaigns, quit now. Cut all this nonsense out and toss your fragile dreams of being your own boss out of the window of the highest skyscraper. (You’d be doing yourself a favor.)
There’s a difference between being lazy and having a brand. For example, my first few newsletters looked similar in design. Indeed, they were SuperTangent newsletters and the template fit well with my brand, so the audience will look at the color palette, textures, and content structure and think to themselves, “Yeah, this is definitely a SuperTangent email.” That’s having a brand. Being lazy with campaigns looks more like editing the previous campaign, switching out a few sentences, and ultimately keeping a large majority of last week’s blog posts, or podcast episodes, absent of updates or new opt-ins. It’s extremely easy to do, but trust me, do not go this route. Laziness is the enemy to success. Shortcuts are the enemy to longevity.
The friends of success? Consistency: like I mentioned before, know far in advance when you’re audience is going to be receiving your newsletter. Scheduling: know, at least one week in advance, what new content your newsletter is going to have--leave no room for yesterday’s leftovers. Spice: when I say spice, I’m not talking about Sporty or Posh. I’m not even talking about paprika or onion salt (or as I call it, “baker’s cocaine”). I’m talking about the metaphorical saltiness that keeps audiences coming back like a preteen to a bag of Ruffles. That looks like the occasional design update to catch audiences off-guard when they open up that tenth or eleventh email. (Surprise!) That looks like rewarding your faithful subscribers with subscription-exclusive content like secret podcast episodes, sweepstakes, or other freebies, when they least expect it. (Radical, bro!) That looks like taking the time to recommend other bloggers, other podcasters, other entrepreneurs, other artists (remember, you’re not giving your enemy an edge by doing this. You’re not promoting the potential competition. You’re promoting potential collaborators! Start networking early by reposts, retweets, and genuinely redirecting traffic to other small businesses you love to listen to and learn from. Make friends--this is grade-school recess, not a Street Fighter tournament.)
Mailerlite, as far I can tell you, is by far the simpliest way to access all of these aforementioned elements. Communicating to your audience on a daily is pivotal, and I can’t stress that enough. Neglecting your audience is business suicide--get started on your dope emails today.