When I first started out in business I had no one to show me the ropes, I didn’t know where to look for guidance, and I didn’t really realize there was more to business than trying to sell pretty things. I worked entirely too hard trying to get my products in front of an audience.
Social media is great. I really do love it. I wouldn’t have a sustainable business without it. But if you run a business and you manage your social media, you know how hard it is to attract attention in a huge sea of a ton of other people trying to attract attention to their product as well.
For a long time (and for way too long), I ran my online business just using my website and social media. It worked slowly and steadily but it wasn’t easy and I was overworked. Then I was introduced to the power of an email list! I was naive and I didn’t realize how much money I had left on the table by not using an email list years earlier. My business goals and sales became so much easier. Plus it was an awesome way to build a better relationship with my customers. So, dear friend, learn from my mistake. Take advantage of the ‘triad of success’:
There is much to be said about using your website, social media and email list in unison to grow your business. So don’t wait a second longer. Sign up for a email marketing company ASAP. By having an email list, you can send information and products out to your customers and not just hope they see it – as is often the case when you post something on social media. Email is a sacred space in terms of the whole internet online jazz. If you are able to send something directly to a customer, rather than just hoping they see it, you are far better off in terms of your business (i.e. you make more money!).
So, where do you start? Well, there are several email marketing companies out there so I will tell you what I did. I first went with Mailchimp. Why? Well…it was free and they had a cute monkey mascot that drew me in. But mostly because it was free. I used it for quite a while and it is a great beginner email marketing solution. (I am sure it also works great for the more advanced user. I just didn’t personally use it long enough to know). My list grew and grew and I had to upgrade plans to accommodate my list size, plus I wanted to take advantage of some of the features the free plan didn’t offer. I really can’t say anything bad about Mailchimp because it was pretty much user-friendly and did its job of sending out my emails. The reports of how well your email did among your customers are easy to understand.
As my list grew bigger, and I wanted to be able to do different things to reach different customers, so I switched to Aweber. I really didn’t have one big concrete reason for switching but after talking with one of my business friends and doing some research on comparisons between the two providers, I felt Aweber would be a better fit for my business.
The switch was painless and relatively easy. Just a few download upload scenarios and I was able to bring my list with me from Mailchimp to Aweber.
I have been with Aweber for quite awhile now and I will say this. Holy Smokes! They have some stellar customer service. You can actually send them an email, or call them up. Mailchimp had a database forum type thing and I didn’t feel it answered some of my more complex questions as my list got larger. (Now, it has been awhile since I have used Mailchimp and they may have upgraded their support). Aweber really impressed me with its level of support. When I first signed up, I was able to take advantage of a free trial and once that was over and I knew I was going to stick around, they sent me several videos on how to use their system, and a whole stash of resources to navigate my way. And, then I had a question so I sent an email to them. I got an auto reply that my question would be answered in one business day. Fair enough. I thought waiting a business day was more than generous. But then literally about 5 minutes later, I am contacted by a REAL person with an answer to my question. I was just really impressed.
So, that being said, I really do like Aweber. There are things from Mailchimp that I liked, and if Aweber and Mailchimp ever had a baby it would be one awesome service. But, overall, I feel that Aweber has been great and my business has definitely benefited from using a list.
In conclusion, get a list. If you sell anything online, or in the ‘real’ world, sign up for an email marketing provider now. The sooner you can start a list, and work on growing your list, the better your business will be. Your customers are invaluable and to be able to send something directly to them is one of the greatest things in the business world.
If you have any questions, just comment below and I will be happy to help you out! Have a wonderful day and I will talk to you soon.
Check out this blog post on ‘Email Marketing and Your Etsy Shop‘.