There’s a hierarchy in the world of building a total online presence for your business, and mastering things like Facebook and Pinterest fall somewhere far behind getting your content strategy, SEO and e-mail marketing machine oiled and ready for prime time.
It’s not that I think social media isn’t an important or effective part of the puzzle, it’s just that without the proper foundation to build on, content to amplify and an e-mail strategy to convert through, your social media efforts will drain your focus and time with little opportunity for return.
An engaged e-mail list, people eager to hear from you, is the most valuable asset you can build. 1000 responsive e-mail followers trumps 25,000 Twitter followers every day when it comes to actually promoting the things that make you money.
Focus on building a list of e-mail subscribers that want to hear from you and social media will become a tool set to help you do more of that.
So, if you’re one of the many wrestling with how to get more deeply involved in this week’s tactic for getting more fans but don’t have a strategy to attract and capture e-mail leads, I’ll let you off the hook—ditch social media for now and focus on e-mail marketing first.
An E-mail Success Road Map
One of the most important elements in your e-mail marketing arsenal is a value filled eBook that motivates people to willingly give you their e-mail address. Drop everything you’re doing right now and come up with a plan to create or re-purpose valuable, educational content into the form of an eBook, with an accompanying value laden title, and make that the foundation of your lead capture program.
This is a numbers game. You need to promote and highlight your eBook through blogging, guest posting and any participation you have on Facebook and Twitter for the primary purpose of building links, traffic and subscribers attracted to the topic of your eBook and blog content.
These subscribers won’t all be hot prospects, but they will generate the momentum you need through their sharing, linking and otherwise supporting your continued marketing efforts.
In addition to your free eBook you’ll want to plan on consistent communication through the use of a weekly newsletter that offers additional and ongoing value.
You need to build a following first and then you can start to narrow your focus to conversion.
Your 10-step e-mail lead capture plan:
- Choose an e-mail service provider (ESP) such as Constant Contact, GetResponse, AWeber, MailChimp or Infusionsoft.
- Use your ESP’s form building tools and place a lead capture form on every page of your website. (Don’t ask for more than name and e-mail at this point.)
- Create an e-mail subscription landing page—a page that describes and promotes your eBook and lists all the benefits of why a viewer might give you their e-mail address.
- Create a series of e-mails, delivered through your ESPs autoresponder function that provides additional information on downloading the eBook as well as related topics that they may find on your blog and in your newsletter.
- Consider using a pop up form such as Pippity for WordPress that can be programmed to bring focus to your offer in smart ways.
- Many ESPs have “tell a friend” function that allows readers to easily email your offer to friends—use it!
- Some ESPs—Aweber specifically—have a feature that make it very easy for people leaving comments to your blog to add their name to your e-mail list. Finding ways to integrate your e-mail capture into other actions is essential.
- Work your networks online and offline and start telling people about your free eBook and newsletter.
- Ask any strategic partners or close associates to trade plugs in their newsletter for the same in yours.
- Promote your free eBook in social networks on a regular basis.
There are too many things to do and not enough time to do them. Don’t divert your focus on the next shiny object that pops into view until you get your e-mail marketing list and follow-up built.
Do that and your efforts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will prove useful in bringing in more business.
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.