How To Make The Most Of The Email List You Have Built

  • If you tell your list that you’re going to email them at a specific time, it helps give you accountability. Whether it’s once a week or once a month, if people know you’re going to be emailing them you will feel more encouraged to continue.
  • Offering content and value that your email subscribers may not be able to find elsewhere is a great way to get people to stay on your list.
  • Write your emails yourself. You want your content to come from you personally.
  • If you have a product, newsletters may be the better option.
  • Shorter emails are often better, however, there are no rules you should be following when it comes to length.
  • Ultimately, how often you send out your email comes down to how often you want to send it. If you have enough content, weekly is a great starting point.
  • Try the three-month challenge where if you do something for three months and it still doesn’t work, stop. Although it may be tempting to give up sooner, you need to give your email strategy enough time to develop.
  • What you put in your email will depend on whether or not you’re sending out a newsletter or an email. If you’re sending an email, you may find that your content will be more focussed on events and updates that have happened since your last email.
  • Your emails need to add value, meaning you need to spend as little time as you can talking about you and your products.
  • If you’re looking for content to add into your emails, sharing other people’s content is a great place to start.

A newsletter tends to be a HTML email with images, text and chunks of information. An email, however, is text only and more of a one-on-one conversation. People are more likely to engage with an email than they are a newsletter.

  • My Email Journey – 03:40
  • What is the Difference Between A Newsletter and an Email? – 08:45
  • How Long Should Your Emails Be? – 10:40
  • How Often Should You Send Your Emails? – 12:00
  • What Should You Put In Your Email? – 14:31
  • A Quick Summary – 23:00
  • Sign Up for My Email List Here
Transcript below


Speaker 1: (00:32)

Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Marketing That Converts podcast. How are you? So I'm glad to say that after an awful lot of travelling and then coming straight back to do a launch, I am now.. the cart is closed and I am now in a position where I can just chill out in the office, which is really, really cool. You know those times where it's like you've got time in the office or you can focus and tick things off and get things done. So I'm really, really excited about that and really pleased. I'm also super excited about my launch and how that went and all my new members in the academy, which is so cool. So I'm excited to get to know them better and to really start helping them with their business. So this week I wanted to talk about emails. Now I know we've done lots of different, talking about emails and we've talked about building email lists and I go on and on and on all the time about how important it is because basically we don't own our data.

Speaker 1: (01:25)

So the people who follow us on social media, we don't have their details. And if something, God forbid was to go wrong on social media, we've lost our following. So I've talked all the time about building lists and I've worked hard on building lists. My seem to have done a lot of talks recently about how to do it and step by step and that sort of thing. So we all know it's super important. But the one thing I haven't really gone into a huge amount is what you actually do with them. Once you've built an email list. And I know that this is something that is putting off a lot of people from even starting building that list. Because they're saying “It's all well and good building a list, but what am I going to send to them?” And if they're not producing lots of regular content then maybe they're thinking, “I haven't got anything to send to them.” So that was one of the reasons I wanted to do this.


Also, I was inspired over the weekend. I received a few different emails, one from Ann Handley, which I always enjoy getting. She does one every other Sunday and has it always really well written and I like reading them and the other one from someone I'm not going to mention, but basically I received this email and it just was so focused on the person and on their own business and what they had achieved and what they had done that I just thought, “This is a really bad example of a newsletter or an email that you'd send out to your list” because don't get me wrong, I know there's an element where we're going to talk about things that we've done. I just started this podcast saying, you know, this is what I've done recently, but it's 30 seconds of it. And then hopefully we get straight into the value. So if you're doing an entire newsletter and that's all writing, every time people quite honestly don't care. And I know that sounds really harsh and I'm not saying I don't care, I'm just saying that honestly people don't care about us and our businesses as much as we do, what they care about is stuff that's going to interest them and be of benefit to them and add value to them.


So like I said, I took inspiration by receiving one really good email and one really not so great email over the weekend and I decided that I was going to record this episode and talk about what you actually do once you've got an email list or how you start sending those emails and what you can send in them. So let me just explain to you what I did, which honestly I laugh at myself all the time.


My Email Journey


Speaker 1: (03:41)

And I think I've talked about this before, but so as you know I was setting up my email list and I was running lead magnets and adverts and people were signing in. In fact this lead magnet I did, which was all about being proactive on social media. And the lead magnet went down so well and I ended up getting loads people on my email list and it was wonderful and I wasn't doing anything with them. Honestly. I like, I didn't take my own advice. I didn't take my own advice that I had to actually email these people cause I think in my head I was half like, well I don't want to bother them and I don't want to irritate them. But the truth is, and if you'll sit there thinking the same, the truth is they've signed up to your email list. So tick, that's number one. Number two, if they don't want to receive your email, they can just unsubscribe. It's not that difficult. They can just delete your emails. It's not that hard. So that's the first thing I think I needed to get over. The fact of people were on my list. And I was doing nothing with them.


So I had a word with myself, literally a serious word and myself saying, “Teresa, what are you doing? You've got this list and you're not emailing them.” So my first decision was I was going to come out to the list and say, “Listen, I'm going to start emailing you more regularly now because I've made a mistake. I should have been doing that from day one and I haven't been.”


The other thing I did, which really helped me and the type of person I am is I told my whole list every Wednesday, I will email you. It really gave me accountability because one thing I don't like doing is letting people down. I'm not very good at it. I really hate that part. If that ever happens, luckily touch word because I'm so, cause I hate it so much. I don't often do it. But if I do, I hate it. So by saying to people, every Wednesday I'm going to email you, I kind of held myself accountable and allowed them to hold me accountable as well. So again, it's a bit like the podcast. I wouldn't miss a Monday because this is what the podcast is about. So obviously I make sure, I mean this has been recorded and while before it's due out, but I make sure that obviously that I have the episodes recorded in time, so I've got something every Monday. So again, how hard could an email be? So that was the first thing that I wanted to really get over to my audience.

Speaker 1: (05:56)

The second I wanted to do was I wanted to say to them what it was going to be about. Aye, why they wanted to carry on getting my Wednesday emails after not hearing from me in such a long time. So I said to them that one, I was going to be giving them content and value in a way that I'm not doing it anywhere else. So I viewed my email as a completely different but a content. So I do my podcast, I do stuff on social media, and then I do stuff in an email that you might not get if you're not getting that email. So that was the first thing I really decided about what was going to go into the email, and obviously I mentioned this in the first email to my list.


The second thing I decided was that I was going to write the email. Now I've told you a million times before. I don't like writing. It's not my favourite thing to do, and I have used copywriters in the past for some of the things I've done. So for instance, my show notes, I'm very honest and said that someone else is listening to this and writing the notes for it because that's their zone of genius and not mine. However, I was really conscious of the fact that if you've signed up to my email list, you want to hear from me. Obviously I'm signed up to lots of different emails, for lots of different people and I can hear the tone of voice and I can tell when it's a copywriter and it doesn't sound like the person that I signed up to. So the person that I see on social media, the person that I might be in their Facebook group, or I might be on one of their courses, sometimes the emails come through, just sound like a real sales machine or a copywriting type exercise rather than something from them.

Speaker 1: (07:36)

You know, and I want to envisage a bit like Ann Handley's emails and I'm going to link up to Ann Handley in the notes, but just like I am, visit her, sat down, writing it herself. I wanted my community and people on my list to know that I was doing that too. And I was very honest in the fact of saying to them, I'm human and I don't enjoy this part of it. So if there are typos and mistakes, then I apologise, but you're going to know its me, that's done it and you're going to hear my voice from it. So that was really important to me that not only was I building a list and doing nothing with it, so I made the decision that I was going to do something with it. But the second thing that I viewed as different content that I wanted it to come from me in my tone of voice and me writing it. And also that I sort of committed to saying every single Wednesday.

Speaker 1: (08:24)

So what I wanted to talk to you about today is I wanted you to think about once you build that email list, what are you actually going to do with them? So I'm going to give you a few different examples. So I've already given you the example of me and how I do it. So I view it as completely different content. So when I come to do an email, I write it as an email. So I don't view it as a newsletter. So let's just clear up that first actually.


What is the Difference Between A Newsletter and an Email?



So what's the difference between a newsletter and an email? Well, in the traditional sense, a newsletter tends to be something where your, it tends to be html. So you know the ones you get from MailChimp, where you've got an image and links and texts and it looks nice. And then also it tends to have chunks of information in it. So it will be leading you off to something else. So the newsletter might have your latest blog post, it might have, here's a product I've just launched, so it might have here's me at an event or whatever, and it tends to be chunks or bits of information that lead to maybe your website.


Whereas the way I view my email is it's text only. So I did put a GIF in the ones where I did for the academy, but, and I might throw an occasional GIF in if people like it, but it's text only. So it literally is as if I am sending you an email from my own email or account directly to you. That's the way I view it. So I imagine that that one person is in my head and I am writing it to that one person. I'm talking one to one.

Speaker 1: (09:47)

Whereas a newsletter for me says more about, it is really more geared up to going out to a group. The other thing about the newsletter compared to the tech only email. If you're having a html email with all the images and things, as I've mentioned, then what you might find is that people know that's a newsletter and they disengage quicker. Now the other thing that you're going to have, which is the advantage on your newsletter is that you might have images and colours and whatever where, which I obviously don't have because I'm using text only, so that might attract people. And if you have a product then I would say a newsletter is the way to go. But for me, because I have a service and a lot of the things I do are online, the email style works much better for me and therefore, they tend to be longer.


How Long Should Your Emails Be?


Speaker 1: (10:37)

Let's just address that quickly actually. How long should they be? Well, how long is a piece of string? What have you got to say? I always intend on making mine short and somehow I always managed to make it really long and I don't mean to, and in fact I don't like reading super long emails, but sometimes it just makes sense to be the length that it is. So for me, it's kind of as long as you need it to be. The other thing that you want to do with all these suggestions I'm going to make now and in this podcast episode is obviously test it. So if people are not opening it or the open rates going down or the click through rates going down or one week you did an email and it when out and got really good click rate. What did you do that week?

Speaker 1: (11:17)

So the whole idea is that you want to be checking out what sort of things are working for you. So it's all very well me saying this is what I'm doing, it's because that's what I like. It fits with me and it works for me. So it's not to say that this is going to work for you. Like I said, if you have a product then I am 99.9% sure that you really need to do something html because you're going to want to put some pictures of your product in there.


How Often Should You Send Your Emails?



Okay. So I guess the second thing you need to decide on whether you decided you're going to do an email type email or a newsletter is how often. Now again, this is a question I get asked an awful lot and again it's kind of how often do you want to do it? And I, for me, I think weekly works. I quite like doing it weekly. I think monthly would be too long a time for me to be not dropping into people's emails. Also, I feel I've got enough content to email them weekly because if I didn't, I wouldn't. So if you're sat there thinking I can barely think of what to say in a month, then probably weekly is going to be a little bit too much for you. So like I said, weekly is great for me. I wouldn't go any longer than monthly and I would try and hold myself to a, you know, whether it's a particular day in the month or whatever, just so that you're keeping that consistency. Like I said, I need that accountability. I need to know that it has to go out on that day or otherwise it won't go in and it won't get done. So like I said, mine's weekly. You choose and I think over monthly, I just think probably not ideal.

Speaker 1: (12:49)

Also, the other thing I just want to quickly mention as well is about unsubscribes. So if you decide right, I'm going to do a weekly email and suddenly loads of people start unsubscribing, I would, I would wait and see what happens. I wouldn't immediately think, Oh God, I'm doing it too often. I would actually wait and see because I don't fear an unsubscribe because the systems that we often use when we're sending emails, they cost per subscriber or for the amount of subscribers you have. If you're not interested in what I do and you're not interested in my products and service, then ultimately I don't want you on the list. And that sounds really harsh actually. I didn't want to say it like that, but, and I'm not necessarily saying it's coming from me, but you know what I mean though, in the nicest possible sense of the word. If I'm not for you, then obviously you don't want to be on my email list and that's absolutely fine. And I want you to think about it like that too, because if they, if they don't want to be on your list, then they're never ever going to buy a product or a service from you or the likelihood is really small and if they want to opt back in, they can, they can opt in front of the lead magnet or find you in other way. So I wouldn't worry about people unsubscribing. And in all honesty, you're likely to get a load of unsubscribes if you've not emailed that list before and you've had the list for a little while because you've just re-woken them back up again and they might suddenly go, “Oh yeah, I forgot I was on there and that's not for me.”

Speaker 1: (14:10)

And again, like I said, that's absolutely fine. So don't fear them and don't think, oh, I need to drop it from weekly to monthly or whatever. In fact, three months is my minimum for anything. I'll do something for three months. If it doesn't work, then I'll stop. So I really want you to make a decision and go yup, I'm going to do that and see how it goes for three months.


What Should You Put In Your Email?



Okay, the next thing I want you to think about is what are you going to put in this email every week or every month or every other week, whatever you decide. So for me it's a little bit different because I view it as content and something different. It's not quite how I'm going to describe it if you're going to do a newsletter. So for me, I tend to, if I'm totally honest, I tend to literally do it every week.

Speaker 1: (14:54)

So I tend to use what's come up, what's happened, what you know event has happened or if something's an updates gone on on one of the platforms or it tends to be your really kind of personal last minute type thing. No, it's not intentional that I want it to be that way and sometimes I do sit there and think, “Oh man, what am I going to write about this week?” And I'm not saying that it's the most ideal way to do it now. I've always got a few backup ideas in terms of I could talk about this content or that content and obviously I can mention my podcast, but I don't like to, only because I don't want you to think every time I email you I am just copying exactly what's on the podcast because what's the point in being on my email list if I am just doing it verbatim?

Speaker 1: (15:40)

So like I said, I view it as differently. I should plan the content better, but I actually quite like the fact that it's off the cuff and normally I have a vague idea like it's Monday today. I have in my diary to prepare the email tomorrow for Wednesday and I normally have an idea of what I'm going to talk about, but I do find that for me, I quite like doing it that way rather than planning it like content as in you know, okay, for the next six weeks, these are the next six emails. I like to be more off the cuff than that. However, if you're doing an email, then I do want you to think about what you're going to put in there and I want you to try and plan a few things. Now unless you're going to do an email like me where you just talk about one thing, you're going to want a couple of things to say in your email each time you email it.

Speaker 1: (16:27)

So I'm, I'm going to throw a few ideas at you that I want you to take note of and then think to yourself, “Okay, could I add those into my email when I email people?” So one of the first things I want you to think about is I want you to add value. Remember, it's about them not you. So it's not about you going, hey, guess what I did it. Oh guess where I've been. You know, look at what I've just produced. It's not necessarily about that. It's about what can you add to them? Why are they subscribed to that email and what is it giving them? What value is it giving them? So that's the overarching thing I want you to think about is how am I adding value? The other thing I like to use emails for a kind of quick wins, so little updates. So for instance, if I was doing a more newsletter type email, then I might put a feature app of the week or you know, my favourite app or my favourite platform and I might feature one of the platforms I use and one of the apps I use and just sort of say, this is really great for blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know and have that on there because again, it's really good to give them some kind of quick and easy really digestible bit of information that they can take away and go, “Oh yeah, great. That was really useful. Thank you.”


So like I said, I kinda like to think about them as overarching things for any email that I send out. So some of the things that you can talk about in your email, if you are producing content, then obviously a newsletter or an email is a great place to tell people. As I've already mentioned, I don't use my email to repeat the podcast. However, I will at times draw their attention to a really good episode or say, you don't want to miss this one because actually this happened, that happened, this is really cool. But I'll only do that occasionally because I don't want to repeat content. However, if you've got a more newsletter form, then great! Send that email out saying, look, I've just done a new blog post on this, or a new episode just gone up or this, or a new video on this and be sending them to that thing. And literally tell them what it is, give them a few kind of bullet points as to what is so good about it and what it will do for them more importantly. So for instance, if I was doing it for this podcast, I might say something like, you know, never get stuck on an email idea again or something like that. So that's definitely wants to have a think about, about obviously whatever content you're putting out there, put that in.


The other thing I want to think about is obviously promoting your products and services. Now it's not to say that you can't promote them and I do want you to be able to use this email for it, but try and do it in a different way. So let me try and explain. Let's say you run a cookery school and instead of saying, “Book on a class here and do this” or whatever, what you might want to do is maybe put images up from the last class of the things they created or put a picture up of what you created and say if you want the recipe you can go here. And then when maybe they go to where the recipe is there on your website and you say, “Want help making this? Join a class!”

Speaker 1: (19:30)

So I want you to think about the products in different ways so that you're not just going, “Hey look, I've got a new this!” For instance, again, let's imagine you sell cosmetics. So instead of saying, here's a new eyeshadow palette, why don't you direct them to a video of a tutorial about how to use the eyeshadow palette and therefore you're talking about your product, but you're not necessarily just being completely sales-y. You are adding some value with it.


The other thing that you can do is obviously include things like case studies. So if you've had someone come to you and they've used your product and service and it's worked brilliantly for them and it's done the thing that you're promising it's meant to do, then why not feature them on something and say, look, this was Jenny. And when Jenny came to me, she, I'm making all this off the top of my head honestly. Um, you think I plan these things. I don't, I literally just sit here and talk and then I tried think off the cuff as I'm talking and I do a terrible job and I think of fake names. And so let me try and like just regroup for a second. So what I'm saying is you would feature your customers, so you would basically bring one of them forward in an email and have a picture of them and talk about what they did and how wonderful they are, rather than look at what my product did for them or look at what my service did for them. That you're really promoting the fact of, isn't this brilliant. I tell you who's great at this and is currently in launch mode, whether he'll still be, while this is out, I don't know. No, I think he will because it's Monday this is out.


So James Wedmore is really good at this. So he often talks about this is so and so, and they did this, they're amazing. This is so and so. And they had this launch, they earn this money, they built their list to this. He's really good at promoting his customers in his marketing because ultimately all it does is make him look really good because obviously they're part of his programme, so do check him out for that because he's good at that.


So case studies is another one that honestly, I can't believe I just left all that in where I'm literally just talking rubbish and laughing. Ordinarily I'd delete it out, but today you're just getting it all. We'll just keep going!

Speaker 1: (21:42)

Okay, the other thing that you can do in your email and your newsletter is you can add other people's content in there. Now, I'm not saying plagiarise content. I'm saying you will say it's someone else's, but you might say for instance, if you are a coach, let's say you're a life coach or a business coach and you might say, I've read this great book, here's the book. Go and check it out. Or there was an amazing podcast that I read the other day at read. God, I really messed it up today. If you come back next week, I just thank you so much because honestly if someone caught me, if this is your first ever episode, I promise you I am normally a little bit more polished than this. It's because I haven't done an episode in ages because I batched a load of content before I went away and before the launch and then I have come back and I'm trying to get my head back into it.

Speaker 1: (22:31)

This is number one of three episodes I'm doing today, so I can only hope they get better. I apologise. So yeah, if you have listened someone's podcast and it was brilliant, then why not recommend that to your audience? Because it's not just about adding your own value where you say, Look I wrote this for you or I did this thing for you. It's also about just adding value in general and saying, Hey, do you know what? This is awesome. So like I said, I want you to think about getting a list of things that you can include in every email or every newsletter and you don't have to include every single one every time. But if you have a list before you even start, then that's going to make you feel so much more confident when you're going to write that every week or every month.


A Quick Summary


So let me just recap those because honestly I've gone off haywire half this podcast. If you've kept up well done.


So you're going to add value. So you're going to share your content, anything that you've done. You can also do a section where it's a tip of the week or you know, a frequently asked question or something. So kind of imagine it a little bit like social media as well. So add your value in your content, give them quick wins. Like I said, for me a good one would be a good platform that I use or something where I help them with a problem they might have. Recommend other people's content, promote your products and services, but try and do it in a slightly different way and then feature case studies and customers and pictures of other people. So again, it's not all about you. So I really hope that helps and I hope you manage to keep up. I'm so sorry honestly.


Oh Man, I just, I don't know whether to just delete this whole episode and start again, but I'd, you know what, I'm just going to leave it. Um, okay. So hopefully that helps. Hopefully you've got some ideas for emails and you can start feeling confident about building that list because you actually have something to say to them.


And also the other thing I want you to do really quickly or think about it really quickly is, you know, we talked about creating your perfect avatar and I'll link up to in the show notes because I have done episode on this not so long ago. I want you to think about what else would they be interested in. So for instance, on my Instagram I often share quotes because I know my audience would be interested in quotes. Now I'm not trying to promote my own quotes and I'm not trying to sell quotes. I just know that my audience will like them and they engage with them. So like I said, sometimes you're going to include content that you just know will really resonate with your audience. It doesn't have to be exactly always buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff.


Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed today's episode. We'll see. Please come let me know what you thought of this, a slightly different and crazy episode and I will catch you next week where I've got an interview with the very lovely Mary Hyatt. It's such a great episode. Great interview. Not to be missed. I will see you then!