I’m embarrassed to admit this bump in the road.
When I first began Peanut Media, believe it or not I was just as desperate for sales as any business owner. I was everywhere. Adding strangers on LinkedIn, the free invites to BNI meetings (I rode those as long as I could), and worst of all, I received a list of real estate agents from a title company.
Yeah, I know. What was I thinking?
Anyway, I thought this was the perfect step in the right direction. Surely a few of these 4K people were going to want my services. After all, I was aiming for my perfect niche: the type of business people who know how important it is to market. I started off with 154 of those contacts and on our half birthday, I decided to introduce them to my services.
I couldn’t have been more ignorant.
You see, these are 154 people that didn’t know me, didn’t know my services. Imagine the 200 contacts you forgot to write for 2 years and their confusion… now double that feeling. They were FURIOUS.
People responded to the email, unsubscribed, marked me as spam, wrote notes in the un-subscription box, the whole enchilada. It was nuts, sad, and disappointing. Sad that people were mean, and disappointing because I had stooped so low.
The comment that most stood out was:
I was mortified.
Mind you, this email sent was the same type of email I used to send my clients once a week. One email with options on setting up their firstname.lastname@example.org email, as seen on this oldie-but-goodie blog post.
Out of 154 contacts, only 61 had opened the message in the first 24 hours, and the remainder didn’t even get to opening the email (I may still be in their unread messages or most likely sent straight to the trash basket like a Michael Jordan shot). Out of those 61 only two had clicked, but most importantly, 8 unsubscribed. Bummer.
I can guarantee you not one of those contacts is currently with me today.
My conclusion: creating an email list without permission is not worth it.
- You will be considered spam, no matter how awesome your newsletters are.
- It will give you a bad name and possibly close doors for future referrals.
- You get 2 clicks out of 61 opens. I get more views on LinkedIn and no one calls me a spammer.
- You are harassing people with that one email that did not mention selling them one single product.
- Angry people equals mean comments.
DON’T DO IT.
Sharing time is over.
And now for part ii.
As if running a business is not hard enough, a great deal of your time as a business owner goes to generating business. Newbie or pro, this never ends. Great examples of doing this for yourself includes putting ads on Google, spots in newspapers, and maybe even starring in show segments… You star, you.
But what if you don’t have that kind of money to spend yet?
Rule #2: Don’t get desperate.
In our email last week (if you have not read it, click here to do so), my best advice to adding people to your subscribers is to use your same old technique if it worked and be sure to tell them the frequency of the email newsletter you send out with valuable information of your services.
Well, what if you want more?
Let me tell you, you can actually advertise for free. How you ask? On your very own platform via the internet. You guessed it: your website.
Now you’ve heard this at least 100k times from me: BLOG. BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG.
I’m annoying, I know, but hear me out.
Awesome blog post ➜ pin on pinterest ➜ bam, new audience.
Let me specify.
UNO: You create an awesome blog post attached to your website.
DOS: You make sure to link the certain examples you write about to the corresponding pages, i.e. my (above) example on reading a post you hadn’t read or a side note like, “Make sure you have aprofessional email address” and link professional email address to the blog post on Google Apps for business (like I slyly did there).
TRES: Have a subscription box installed on your blog.
Now pin your blog post to Pinterest with an awesome blog image or info-graphic. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Your information needs to be transformed into appealing and unique graphics to stand out from the rest of your competitors. Pinterest can easily become your top traffic source to your blog + website and once a person arrives to your blog, boom. They are mind-blown and you may have a new subscriber.
Okay, that was my run down of how to use your blog to get traffic to your website to get REAL subscribers. Phew. And that is not even close to a quarter of how a blog can benefit your business other than creating a valuable email list together for you.
Are you still questioning me? Just kidding, you can. Which is why I want you to feel confident in sending me an email so we can discuss a personalized content plan for your business. I read EVERY email, I promise.
Share this as an email with a friend you know will benefit from it. Just don’t send it to a stranger…we might come off as harassers.