Have you ever heard the phrase, “The money is in the list?” You probably have, because it’s everywhere.
Well, it’s true. There aren’t many things more valuable to an online business than an email list of targeted prospective customers.
The thing is, people won’t sign up for your list just because you want them to. They have to want to.
Before I really understood that, I had a sign up box on my blog, that said, “Sign up for free updates when I have new ornaments for sale!” Exciting, huh? I mean, if I’m so jazzed about every new thing I make, my visitors and customers will be, too, right?
I guess not, because I’d be lucky if I got 10 new subscribers a week.
Even still, I have had my website since 2006, so my list did still grow… it just grew at turtle speed. But, I never really utilized it. It just kind of sat there, in the background of my business.
And then one Christmas season, I introduced some new products, and I decided a newsletter was in order. I sent one out to my list, and by the end of that day, I had made over $600 in sales. In all the time I’d been selling, I’d never had a $600 day. And I totally thought it was a fluke.
A couple of weeks later, I sent another email. I was a little bit nervous about sending it, since it seemed too soon since the last one (I was always so afraid of bothering people). It turned into an $800 day. I couldn’t believe it. And I wanted to kick myself for never having realized the value of my list in all the time I’d had my website.
I’m not going to lie. 800 Washingtons slapping me upside the head told me that maybe I should start trying a little harder to get people on that list. 10 people a week suddenly didn’t seem good enough anymore.
I took what felt like a huge risk – I offered anyone who joined my list one of the ornament patterns I’d been selling, for free. I was scared half to death to do it, too. It was a ton of work to be just giving away for nothing.
But, it wasn’t for nothing. Within the next week, over 100 new subscribers had joined my list. There have almost never been less than that since. And, during my on-season, there have been weeks when well over 200 people joined my list.
That’s a whole lotta people!
It was as simple as giving my target market something of value. Something they’d actually want.
Giving to your visitors does more than just grow your list and sales. It also gets those people to interact with you and your brand. It helps you build a relationship with them. It gets them to like you.
Your people need to like you. They need to truly care about your brand. I think a lot of us handmade sellers accidentally underestimate that, as we begin seeking any and all traffic and sales to our shops.
So, what can you give YOUR people? (Here are a few ideas to get you thinking.)