Does this topic give you a headache?
How to manage subscribers and build your list without an army of outsourcers or a parallel life in terms of time is, for many of us in small business, complex, time consuming and not always worth it in terms of our bottom line.
None the less, done well and consistently, it is a vital component of building our business communities.
As an aspect of this vexing topic, how to manage subscribers is often overlooked. Many of us have been building our lists over many years and in many different ways, on a variety of platforms:
– people who have agreed to join our list from offline networking
– those who have downloaded our free ebooks/whitepapers/reports
– subscribers to our RSS feeds,
– members of our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter groups, and
– purchasers of our products.
How do you tailor your communications to all these different segments of your database? If it’s just you?
A great concern is sending the same message more than once to the same person who may be on various lists, through any number of one of the above.
We all struggle with information overload, many are reluctant to receive one message, let alone the same message more than once. As the idea is to build a community, not annoy busy people, this is far from ideal.
The Word Carnival Inspiration
This conundrum has been enervating my own online community building efforts. Prompted by some great initiatives ,which have the potential to create a flurry of activity, from the excellent international contributors to The Word Carnival, I have decided to invest the time to sort this out. (While you are here, why not download our latest ebook Collected Wisdoms: How to Find and Connect With Your Ideal Client – in the RH column!)
Mirroring the process of managing subscribers and building a list from knit-a-square has not turned out to be quite as simple as I imagined it might be. For a start, people subscribing to knit-a-square have a charitable motivation. Secondly, they are avid devourers of free knitting patterns, so wherever they appear on the site, it is not hard to convert these good people to subscribers.
The same can not be said for the small business, internet marketing and blogging community. To stand out above the crowd and convert your list into a committed tribe of followers, you really need to be adept at delivering a consistent, timely stream of relevant and meaningful material. Easier said than done.
Documenting the steps
This series of posts is going to document what I do, successes and mistakes to achieve this – to manage subscribers into a consolidated list and the steps from there to build an online community.
It might be a bit convoluted, but along the way I hope we can all learn from one another, resolve any list building and email marketing issues, while each employing some of these learnings to build our own online communities.
Your contributions will be gratefully received, so please subscribe to Why You Must Blog, (in the right hand column – and another thing I need to resolve, but that’s another story!) and let’s get this sorted! And on’t forget to download your copy of the ebook: How to Find and Connect With Your Ideal Client.
Next post: Mapping the current list situation, working out the goals and creating a to do List.