The why and how of building an email list

The why and how of building an email list

I work with clients helping them to build their mailing list funnels. The purpose of building a quality email list is it gives you the opportunity to communicate directly with your audience, build trust and convert sales. It’s your direct line of communication to your target market.

Why build a mailing list?

If Facebook, Instagram or whatever platform you’re using to connect with your target market were to close tomorrow how will you communicate with your target market. You would be left with no market, no audience and no opportunity to continue connecting with your audience to gain revenue.

You own your mailing list, you don’t own the social media platforms.

Where to start?

A list building funnel is an opportunity for you to offer something free (like a sample) to your audience that would
answers their question (pain point)
showcases your expertise

Types of freebies

Freebies or commonly referred to as Opt-Ins can be anything you desire to showcase your expertise. Some examples are:

  • Checklist
  • Ebooks
  • Mini Courses
  • Challenges
  • Videos
  • Exercises
  • Cheat Sheet
  • Templates
  • Workbook / worksheet
  • Spreadsheet
  • Tutorial
  • Free course
  • Printables
  • Report
  • Mindmap
  • Quiz

Opt-in Goal

Determine your end goal for your opt-in sequence. Yes, you are list building, however you are not just giving away things for free. Your email sequence wants to have an end goal.

For example:

  • Buy product
  • Book in for coaching service
  • Enrol in course or workshop

The email sequence

A general rule for email opt-in sequences is as follows:

  • Send your freebie and welcome them
  • Offer something extra that compliments your freebie they’ve already received, and introduce yourself
  • Talk about how you solve your audience pain points
  • Present your goal product or service
  • Pitch your final offer on the service or have a countdown until the offer expires.

 

If you would like to start building your email list, contact me today and let’s talk about how we can make this happen.

Why You Need a VA to Manage Your Blog and Newsletter

Why You Need a VA to Manage Your Blog and Newsletter

Keeping your business in the ‘eye of the customer’ is essential in order for your business to grow. As a business owner, you can easily become consumed dealing with our day-to-day matters, and not giving our business the time needed to action strategies for growth.  

Two of the best avenues to gently remind your customers you are there, are through your newsletters and blogs. 

A virtual assistant (VA) can assistant you in maintaining your customer contact. Creating a regular schedule on when blogs and newsletters need to be composed and released, enables you to know your timelines and your VA to know what deadlines they are working to. 

Before you start going crazy producing blogs and newsletters, you firstly need to determine how frequently you should create your content and will meet your target customers’ interest. You need to make sure you are not over or under-producing them. This can be a bit of trial and error. Once you have determined this, you need to commit to your schedule.

The best way to ensure deadlines are met is to talk to your VA about;

  • how much time they need to create the content
  • how much time you need to review the work, and
  • allow time for final edits and touch ups.

Once this is locked in, you can then start brainstorming the content needed for blogs and newsletters. Do some research to see what your customers love and don’t love. Don’t be scare to even ask your customers, using such means as a survey.  

The best strategy when working your schedule is to try and keep 2 to 3 blogs ahead of yourself, you can preschedule these to be released on your website on a set date. 

How can your VA get this all happening for you, so you’re not stressed trying to keep on top it all 

BLOG:

  • Create a list of key topics you want covered in blogs. Don’t be afraid to create a series of blogs, if your content is going to be to long.
  • Create a schedule of when the blogs are to be released. Working backward to create the first draft due date.
  • Your VA can draft the article for your review and can incorporate a call to actions at the end of your blog.
  • Determine what type of call to action you want from your audience. It is always good to encourage readers to comment, offer feedback or share an experience. Or you can encourage them to buy a product or service. Ensure you communicate to your VA what key call to actions you want incorporated into specific blogs.
  • Source free images – there are many website that offer free image to use for blogs. Some require acknowledgement from you sourcing the images from that specific website. Otherwise, your VA can use programs such as PicMonkey or Canva to create original artwork for your blog.
  • Update SEO – It is vital that in order for you to be found that your blog has it’s SEO words added. Your VA can enter these, and research on what other keywords would be relevant to your blog/business.

Your newsletter keeps you in your customer’s inbox. Don’t make your newsletters too wordy. A lot of people don’t love to read a lot of words (unless it’s a novel). A great way to create a newsletter is to mix up words and images and make as many things as possible linkable to your website. Remember, Traffic = Sales Conversion on your website.

Include your blogs in your newsletter too, again make sure your newsletter is linked to various aspects of your website to drive your traffic across.   For example, for your blog including your newsletter your title, image and the first couple of lines, then insert a ‘read more’ and link it to your website (also link the image).

The strategy behind this is to get your customers to your website, where you have the opportunity to convert them from visitor to a customer.

Newsletter

Brainstorm with your VA on the main section you want for your newsletter. Eg: The Blog, Shop, Latest News, Special, or Sales.

Your VA can create your newsletter template, and there are programs such as Mailchimp that have a free level for under a set number of subscribers. It is important that your business ‘branding’ is kept consistent through the newsletters. Why? Because branding is what people say about you when you’re not there!

Your VA can source and create content, create images and links to your various website sections. They can also create a draft of your written content, you will need to guide them on key aspect such as items on sales, specials coming up or key items you want to be highlighted in the newsletter.

Once your newsletter content is created and ready to go, make sure your VA checks all the links are working, and that they send you a copy to review.

Your VA can schedule and once your newsletter has gone, you’re VA will be able to advise you the open and click rates, as most newsletter programs advise this for you.

Don’t be afraid to test various styles and formats for your newsletter to see which format gets the most higher click rate with your readers.

 

If you have any questions, or would like to know more information feel free to contact me via my contact page.

 

 

 

How can a Virtual Assistant help you in your business?

How can a Virtual Assistant help you in your business?

Using the services of a Virtual Assistant is a great way to focus on what you love.  You know, as business owners, how quick your day can fly by and you just never seem to have enough time.  You find yourself spending so much time doing things for your clients, that you don’t seem to have time to focus on business development.

Working with a Virtual Assistant enables you to get back your time and have the confidence in knowing your various administration tasks/projects are being taken care off, whilst you do the things you love. 

Here are some common tasks a virtual assistant can help you get started with. It is important to know that not all virtual assistants offer the same services, so don’t limit yourself to thinking you have to have just 1 virtual assistant.

DAY TO DAY FUNCTIONS:

Assisting you with your ‘To Do’ list.
Preparing correspondence.
Co-ordinate mail outs, both hardcopy or electronic.
Create business forms, templates and ensuring branding is consistent.
Create your stationery requirements such as letterheads, business cards, with compliment slips, flyers and brochures.
Be your sounding board for new ideas, events, products or services.
Managing your emails.
Assist with streamlining your office systems to keep you on track, organised and efficient.

 

YOUR WEBSITE: 

Upload your blogs onto your website.
Source free images for blogs, or create original artwork.
Create pages, graphics and ‘call to action’ buttons.
Manage members.
Source guest bloggers.

 

YOUR BLOG:

Write your content.
Source or create accompany images.
Upload to your website and add in SEO components.

 

YOUR CUSTOMERS:

Attend to your customer emails.
Set up ‘canned’ responses for frequently asked questions.
Prepare an online ‘Client Questionnaire’ and review the returned results.
Undertake online research.
MailChimp e-Newsletters | Set up a template, import your list of contacts and create/compile your weekly/monthly/quarterly e-Newsletters.
Manage AWeber and Wishlist memberships, and creating newsletters.

 

SPECIAL EVENTS: 

Create invitations
Promote your special event, workshops & events.
Collate RSVPs
Setting up online ticket buying – Eventbrite / TryBooking
Coordinate with venues, suppliers on your behalf.
Preparing documentation and presentations for event.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Create your editorial calendar of content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+.
Create original branded graphics for your business.
Search for avenues to increase your followers and audience interaction.
Monitor your page and attend to any business private messages.
Create Facebook Ad campaigns.

 

AND MORE: 

Create a PowerPoint presentation.
Create an Excel spreadsheet for a mail-merge mail-out, reports, budgets, etc.
Create and format Manuals and Workbooks.
Format your e-book.

 

My role is to make your life as stress-free and efficient as possible.

 

Ready to explore more, contact me today.

 

 

 

How to set up your Mailchimp Account

How to set up your Mailchimp Account

Mailchimp is the All-In-One integrated marketing platform for small businesses, to grow your business on your terms. It’s free for your first 2000 subscribers, it enables you to use it’s automation functions for signs and sending welcome emails. It integrates with your website.

Some of the functions Mailchimp offers are:

• Sending Newsletter Campaigns
• Creating Automation Workflows
• Creating Landing Pages
• Creating Websites
• Posting to Social Media

It integrates with wordpress, zapier, slack and canva. And 300+ others.

It provides reporting analytics to enable you to enhance your campaigns.

You can sign up here.

Getting Started

Thing you’ll need in order to get started:

  • As Mailchimp is a web-based application. You will need to have an internet browser.
  • You’ll need to provide an email address that will be associated with the account you’re setting up. As you’ll need to verify and confirm your account and URL.
  • Your Mailchimp username must be unique, and cannot be reused.
  • You will need to provide a mailing address, I would recommend using a PO Box for security purposes especially if you do not operate your business from a physical premises.
  • All accounts start on our Free plan, so you don’t need a credit card to sign up.
  • If you choose to purchase add-ons or upgrade to a paid plan, you will be able to pay these via credit card or paypal. 

Sign up for an account

Click here to sign up. It’s important to note that when you sign up you are agreeing to terms of use and anti-spam regulations.

Type in your Email, Username, and Password, and click Get Started!

A confirmation message will appear advising you to check your inbox to activate your account set up .

 

 

Activate your account

When you receive your account activation email from Mailchimp Client Services, you can complete the account setup.

Click the account activation link in the email. 

 

You will need to confirm Humanity screen, check the I’m not a robot box, and click Confirm Signup.

 

 

Sign up for an account

Click here to sign up. It’s important to note that when you sign up you are agreeing to terms of use and anti-spam regulations.

Type in your Email, Username, and Password, and click Get Started!

A confirmation message will appear advising you to check your inbox to activate your account set up .

Activate your account

When you receive your account activation email from Mailchimp Client Services, you can complete the account setup.

Click the account activation link in the email.

You will need to confirm Humanity screen, check the I’m not a robot box, and click Confirm Signup.

The signup process

In setting up, Mailchimp will ask for required information. This information enables them to provide content that is relevant to you and your company’s needs, as well as to help make sure your account is compliant with our Terms of Use. In this section, you’ll learn how we use this information.
• Name
• Email Address
• Organization Questions
• Organization Name
• Website URL
• Physical Address

After you type in the information, follow the prompts to finish the process and log into your new Mailchimp account.

To busy to be doing all this yourself, then why not have your Mailchimp Partner (ME) assist you. Simply click here.

How to create a landing page in Mailchimp

How to create a landing page in Mailchimp

What are landing pages and why do businesses use them?

A landing page allows you to create a page focusing on an offer that your target audience wants. As a landing page is created only specifically for content of ‘value’ to your audience, it captures all relevant information on that page and avoids your target market getting distracted by other pages on your website.

How many times have you landed on a website and gone to do something specific and ended up somewhere completely different, because you were distracted by other areas of the website. A landing page helps eliminate those distracts for your audience.

Landing Pages and Mailchimp

Mailchimp help support small businesses, especially with low budgets and offer some of their amazing features under their free option level, and more premium features on their paid levels.

Landing pages are great for building a buzz on products, or getting a key message out to your audience.

Mailchimp had templates to cater to some of the following:

How to set up your Mailchimp landing page

Sign into your Mailchimp account

Click on the CREATE dropdown menu button

Click on LANDING PAGE

Name your landing page AND select the AUDIENCE group the landing page will be directing sign ups to.

Click the BEGIN button

You will now land at the following page.

SELECT A TEMPLATE you want to use.  You can edit any template, so choose the one that is a style you like. Look at the names of the templates, which will help give you an indication on what they’ll achieve for you. For this example I have selected GROW YOUR LIST blank template.

Click on the LOGO to add your logo (or header image if desired)

EDIT YOUR TITLE

Add in your ‘pitch’ for your audience.  You can edit the style and colours etc on the right hand side, just as you would in a campaign (newsletter) creation.

CLICK ON THE SIGN UP FORM SECTION

On the right hand side are the options to show what you can include. Eg: You can add FIRST NAME and you can make it a required field.

You can also adjust your button words SUBSCRIBE

To adjust the style of the SIGN UP FORM, click on the middle tab called STYLE.

Once finished click SAVE & CLOSE.

TO ADD YOUR BACKGROUND, click to the MAIN MENU and click on DESIGN tab and then PAGE, this will allow you to add your background image or colour.

If at any stage you want or need to change any section of your landing page, you can do so through this page.

TO REMOVE THE MAILCHIMP LOGO at the footer of the landing page and privacy information, you need to have a paid account, and you can simply click the option off.

If at any stage you want to PREVIEW your landing page, you can click PREVIEW on the top right hand side of your Mailchimp page.

Once you are happy with your landing page, click SAVE.

Now you need to give your page a TITLE.

You can add a custom URL. You can connect it to your website, however this is a high paid level.

You can add your website address and landing page name to it, as shown below.

Once completed, CLICK ON PUBLISH.

Your landing URL link is now available for you to copy and use.

Creating an email campaign in Mailchimp

Creating an email campaign in Mailchimp

Here are your step by step instructions on creating an email campaign/newsletter in Mailchimp. 

Firstly, log into your account.

Click on CREATE on the top menu

Click on EMAIL in the dropdown menu

If you are sending a one off email to your mailing list, you want to select REGULAR. 

NAME your campaign, and click BEGIN

Click on TO, and select your list you’re emailing.

Click on FROM, and enter your details (email and name)

Click on SUBJECT, and enter your email subject. 

Click on CONTENT and design your newsletter. 

To design your newsletter

Select a template

Choose a template in the Content section of the Campaign Builder. The template you select will be the foundation of your design.

To select a template, follow these steps.

  1. In the Content section of the Campaign Builder, click Design Email.
  • On the Template step, click the template you want to use. You can always go back later to switch templates.

Choose from Layouts (Featured and Basic), Themes, Saved templates, Campaigns, or Code your own to begin to design your campaign.

Add your content

After you choose a template, you’ll move on to the Design step of the Content section. Use content blocks to add and format text, upload images, link to files, and more. All templates show placeholder text and images to help you begin to design your campaign. Depending on the template you choose, you can add, delete, move, and replicate content blocks to create the look and feel you want.

Drag and drop content blocks

Our drag-and-drop editor allows you to duplicate, delete, and rearrange content blocks. Drag and drop a variety of content blocks into your layout and rearrange them to customize the look and feel of your campaign.

Add text

The best way to add text to your campaign is to type it directly into the content block editing pane. If you prefer to work outside of the campaign builder, copy and paste your content from a simple text editor, like Notepad or TextWrangler.

Avoid rich-text word-processing programs, like Word or Publisher. They add styling code to the text that can prevent your ability to style content in the campaign builder.If you want to copy content from a rich-text editor, website, or email program, click the Paste as plain text icon on the editor toolbar to add your text.

If content has already been added to your campaign and you didn’t use the Paste as plain text option, or if content doesn’t update when you apply styling to your text, click Clear Styles and try again.

Learn how to SYSTEMISE, AUTOMATE & OUTSOURCE your business

This guide will help you understand the difference in all 3 areas - systemising, automating and outsourcing. You will be able to complete exercises to help you identify what areas you can potentially be changing in your business to give you the flexibility you need. 

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