Ryan Moran asks: What can I do now to excite my list, or get them involved in what I have to offer next? How can I build a loyal following like you do? What is it you DO that gets people so excited? I’ve never seen you plug a product that doesnt get a huge response from your readers. What are YOU DOING that I am MISSING?
I’ve given them thousands of dollars worth of material - yet they wont respond. They arent getting involved on the forum, or taking my recommendations seriously. They seem excited at first, and I have their attention upfront - but then it just drops off...
Lynn says: Hey Ryan - Hope you had a blast on those roller coasters, sounds like fun! Thank you for the kind words, definitely a high compliment and very much appreciated
This is such a great topic. Especially right now while everyone is talking about social media and video marketing and all that jive - because still, email marketing is vital. You have to have some way to follow-up and connect with your target market once they've found you on the web.
So you're giving away tons of free information. You said "thousands of dolllars worth of material". You're obviously doing something right on the front end, because you are getting subscribers... but the problem seems to be in your response rate.
I should say upfront that I cant give specific advice since I havent personally reviewed your systems - such as your opt-in forms, your traffic generation methods, your subject lines, or the content in your follow-up series... that kind of thing.
First of all, if you have 400 people beta testing, and you get 40 of them to a live conference, thats a 10% response rate. That's not bad. Its not phenonemenal but its not bad.
I'm going to share a few tips with you, and hopefully some of these will apply to what you're doing specifically.
1. Stop giving away so much information. What you're doing is building a list of freebie seekers. People come online for information, thats what they're looking for. If you give away the farm upfront, they really have no reason to keep coming back.
What you want to do instead, is build a list of more qualified prospects. The best way to do that is to build a list of buyers - for example, sell a low cost report. Thats always a good option.
But even when you're giving something away for free, you really have to set it up so that they expect more from you - get that anticipation factor going so they look forward to your next message.
You might say on the download page: "Here's the download link, and watch for an email from me in the next couple of days - I have something else to share with you too." Something as simple as that.
2. If you're having problems with your open rate, then you want to take a second look at your email subject lines. We all get a lot of email, so that subject line really has to pop - it has to stand out in their full inbox and get their attention.
3. Those first few follow-up messages are critical to this relationship you are building with your readers. And its not just about content. There are a lot of factors involved.
For example, if you're emailing a super busy group that you know is scanning and speed reading, then you want to keep those messages short & punchy. If they open your first couple of messages and they are 5 pages long, they are going to close it and move on - its overwhelm. So be careful about giving away too much in the email.
4. Once you have them anticipating future messages, and actually opening those messages, then you want to work on the response rate - meaning, getting them to take some action within those messages.
Dont try to sell them anything yet - first you have to get them used to responding or interacting. So keep it simple: invite them to comment, post a question, reply to you.
5. Lets go back to that original product you gave them in exchange for their email address. Did they open it? Did they cosume that great free information you gave them? You want to make sure that they are consuming your initial product.
So here's what you do - your first followup message should be 24-48 hours after they sign up for their list - which is when they downloaded your product. You want this to be in an autoresponder of course, so that its automated and so that it gets to them at the exact same time of day they originally visited your site. So if I opt in at 8pm, a day or two later I get a message from you at 8pm.
This is important because we're all creatures of habit. Most of us get online at the same times every day, And usually if we're taking action on something - thats our action hour. Me for example, I do most of my serious research and reading and buying in the morning hours every day.
Anyway, what you want to do in that first follow-up message is get them to open the product. Again, the subject line is important - then in the message you want to point out something of interest on a specific page. For example you might say "I'd love to hear what you thought of the 4 secret strategies outlined on page 9. One of my readers wrote in and said this improved her response rate 37% - great results, dont you agree?!".
This is going to make them curious, and if they havent already opened your product it will compel them to check it out.
Now if your product sucks... that may be where you're losing people. Not saying thats the case, but you definitely want to get some feedback. Maybe you can find a few people on some social Q&A sites to review your product. You might offer a small fee in exchange for some honest feedback.
This is a great way to get those testimonials or quotes that you can use in the follow-up message too
Above all, my advice is going to be this:
Forget making sales. Forget making this list profitable. For NOW. First figure out how you can connect with these readers. And really build on that relationship.
Try some of this out - I'd like to know how it works out for you. Definitely keep me posted, and of course let me know if you'd like me to take a closer look at some of your systems. Maybe we can brainstorm some of those points together.
And dont worry - I'll hit you up for MySpace advice in exchange
p.s. The "news" I mentioned in my video... you can hear more about in my next post at: The Net Effect