There is a lot of focus on social media right now. I understand. I love social media. However, the last thing you want to do is to abandon your list building efforts. An email list is still one of the most tried and true ways to bring in customers on a daily basis. Here are a few reasons why:
1: YOU OWN YOUR EMAIL LIST
Once someone joins your email list, you can reach out to them as much as you want to. Your list is yours. This isn’t the same on social media. Many people have built up huge followings on Facebook and are not able to reach their audience anymore. Has this happened to you? Are all of your fans seeing your posts. I can’t see you, but you are probably shaking your head “no”. Facebook decided to limit the reach of businesses posts to make the platform better for their users. There goal is to keep people on the platform as long as possible. To do that they prioritize posts by family and friends. Even those darn cat videos get higher priority that your posts. So if you are one of those businesses that spent a lot of time, effort, or money building up your Facebook likes, it is likely that you are a little upset right now.
There is one key rule that I like to follow in digital marketing. Never build your house on someone else’s property. With that said, I love social media and you should be using it to drive traffic to engage with your customers as well as to build your email lists.
2: AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE WITH YOUR FANS ONE ON ONE.
When you email your fans, you give them the opportunity to respond back and to engage with you one on one. I’m not going to lie here, this is super time consuming. However, I leave you with this question to ponder. If you don’t have time to engage with your customers, should they have time to fall in love with your brand and buy your products? All things being equal, people will buy from who they know, like, and trust. Brewers often ask me how they can win in a market with beer giants like AB Inbev. Adopt this one on one type of philosophy and you will win.
3: GIVE YOUR FANS VALUABLE CONTENT THEY DESERVE
I often get push back on this one. The problem with most brewery’s social media and outreach programs is that it’s all me, me, me. I recommend keeping at least 80% of your interactions value driven and less than 20% asking people to buy your stuff (call to actions). Think about what kind of problems or challenges your fans are having. If your audience is more interested in homebrewing, perhaps make some content around that. If your audience really enjoys food, mix in some beer and food pairing ideas. The key is to map the content to what your audience wants as well as your goals. This doesn’t mean you just send them a newsletter with links to your blog posts. Fans who have signed up for you list have given you the trust of having their email address. They should receive something additional for that.
4. CREATE AUTOMATED SEQUENCES THAT HELP BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
For most businesses, they just use their email list to spam their customers inboxes with offers and deals. Most emails that are sent are written and sent to the entire email list. These are what we call brodcast emails. These are fine and you should send these. There is another kind of email that most businesses don’t use as often as they should and this is an automated email. If someone signs up for your email list at 2 AM, they will receive an email immediately and can be entered into any sequence of emails you create. This works well because you can control what emails your fans see and when. When people first sign up, you may want to send them a video or content that introduces them to your brand. It can be a simple hello or welcome. For most businesses email marketing strategies the first email people see is whatever random sales offer. This is not a good strategy. It looks kind of like this. A person signs up and doesn’t here from the brand for 20 days and when they do, it’s an offer to buy something. The other option is to create an engagement sequence where you put your best and most valuable content in front of your customers. Which technique do you think will help better build the relationship with your customers?
5. A GREAT WAY TO DELIVER SPECIAL OFFERS AND DEALS
You can always make offers on social media, but you will be lucky if 5% of your fans see it. With an email list, you can send an email any time you want. Maybe you know tomorrow night is going to be slow in the taproom, send out an email with a compelling offer. A great technique is to build special offers and deals into your automated sequences. So if someone signs up to your email list late at night, you can make them an offer to stop by your taproom for a special experience. You can even set it up to send out an email on their birthday. The options are endless.
Most email marketing software is relatively cheap. It all depends on the subscriber base, but most are usually pretty inexpensive. The email marketing software that I recommend is called ConvertKit. I use it personally and recommend it to all of my clients and students. To learn more about this service click here.
As a bonus, if you sign up to ConvertKit by clicking on my affiliate link above, I will give you a private training valued at $97 for free. In this hour long training, I will walk you through the set-up and even go into some basic strategy. After you have made purchased the software, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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