Episode – 005- What You Really (don't) Need When You Want to Get Started with Email Marketing
How do avoid wasting money when picking new software? And how can you make sure you are actually picking the RIGHT software for you?
In this episode, I'm telling you what you really need (and what you don't), when you want to change newsletter provider: whether you want to start building a list, or you want to upgrade your current provider, this episode tells you all about the must-haves you need to have to get started with email marketing.
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Welcome to episode 5 of the Online Business Tech Hub. This is Alessia, your host, a tech expert for online coaches and consultants, on a mission to rescue my clients from tech disasters. This is a rather interesting episode because today I want to talk about what you really need and what you don't need when you want to get started with e-marketing when you want to simply start collecting a list of leads, a list of people that are very interested in what you do.
And I want to tell you about the features that are a must and the features that are, if you want a bit of an unnecessary extra because, for me, it's really important that my clients have a clear understanding of what they need and they also have a clear understanding about what they actually don't need. What is maybe a feature that they will never use or that in the near future they are not going to use because it's too advanced. And the thing is that you know, many platforms out there.
What the vast majority of the platforms out there really they offer you a lot of extra features, but if you don't have clarity about what you really need and what is a nice extra that might actually turn out to be an extra expense or a distraction, you risk ending up finding yourself in a very frustrating position where you just invested in an e-mail marketing provider. You don't know how to use it. There are so many features and you're just confused because you don't know how to make it work.
OK, so. The main points of this episode are that there are only a handful of things that you really, really need when you are starting out with email marketing. So don't get yourself tempted by all those extra amazing features all the providers are offering that make you sign up for a higher plan or a more expensive plan. When you start out, it's better to keep things easy and manageable because there is always room for growing and expanding and going to that next level.
But at the beginning, make sure that you are starting with the software, with the provider, that is simple, is manageable, that is doable for you to handle because you don't want to start with something that is very complex, otherwise you will never use it. Last but not least, you know this if you have been listening to previous episodes…don't blindly trust your friends' and colleagues' recommendations. The recommendations of your friends and colleagues are an excellent starting point, especially if they are at the very close stage in business as you are. Start from there, but make your own research and make sure that when you sign up for a provider it is the right one for you, OK?
Now, the reason for this episode is because it is actually something that happened with one of my clients. She was using MailChimp and we were working together to create and launch an online course. At the same time, she was working with me regarding her online course. She was also getting a new website. And in my opinion, even if MailChimp is really not my best friend, I don't suggest anyone use MailChimp.
But I saw that she didn't have a lot of tech skills and competencies, so I didn't want to add to her plate a new platform. So think about it. She had to deal with a new website and learning a new website theme she had to deal with the online course platform. So she had a lot on her plate. And I didn't want to add the e-mail marketing platform because what she wanted to do, was doable with MailChimp.
So I suggested we would look at moving from one platform to another, maybe from MailChimp to MailerLite later after the launch of the course. So it wouldn't be too confusing for her. However, she trusted a colleague's recommendation and checked out Active Campaign. Now, Active Campaign is probably one of my best, like it's one of the best software, one of my favorite email marketing platforms out there. But for her at the stage, she was in business, it was too complex, too confusing, too expensive.
There were a lot of unnecessary extra features that she would have never used because I had been working for her for quite some time and I had a grasp over her competencies and knowledge. And what were her needs were at that moment. She signed up for Active Campaign. She quickly realized it wasn't really the platform for her. And then we looked for an alternative, which. It was clear it would have been Mailer Lite because Mailer Lite it's simply, well, not so much, but closer to MailChimp structure.
Coming from me, there isn't really a steep learning curve. It's free for up to 1000 subscribers. And even if you go with a paid plan because you need to, you have more than 1000, you need some extra features are still more affordable than MailChimp. So when you are considering, when you're playing with the idea of actually getting serious about email marketing, because, I mean, let's be honest, having access to your followers, to your to people that are really interested in what you do and having access to their inbox is a privilege.
And it's really important. It's a way to really create a relationship, a deep relationship between you and these other people that are following you, that are really interested in your offers, in your content and they are in your lives because they want to hear from you. OK, so what is it that you really need when you get started with e-mail marketing? Obviously, you need an e-mail marketing provider. You need a platform.
Whether it's MailerLite, Active Campaign, ConvertKit, GetResponse, and so on. Obviously, depending on your stage in business, you would consider starting from something easy. Like, for example, MailerLite easy and free. If you need something more complex, you can consider Active Campaign or Convert Kit. Then another thing that you really need is a lead magnet. So it's a way of collecting email, the email addresses of your leads, of people that are interested in what you do in exchange for something else.
For example, you could offer a free PDF guided meditation, a video series, anything that you are happy to share in exchange for their email address. Then what you need is a welcome series of emails. Now in the States, it's very popular to have these endless welcome series of, I don't know, 5 to 8 emails. I think that's really way too much. When you're starting out. All you actually need is one email that delivers the free resource that the subscribers sign up for.
And maybe introducing yourself, telling who you are, what you do, how you can help, and what your subscribers can expect from you, for example, a weekly newsletter, a monthly newsletter, and so on. Then another thing that you really need is a way to collect subscribers. So a form, a module that you can embed on your website or you can share on social media, where people can actually sign up by filling up the form. They fill it in with their name and email and that's it.
And the form is something you can create on your website or with your email marketing platform. Then you need a professional email address. This is really, really important. Never, ever sign up to an email marketing platform with a free email address like Gmail, like Hotmail, or whatever, because that doesn't work on some platforms and they won't even let you sign up. And there are some platforms that let you sign up, but you have a lot higher chances to go straight to the spam folder. OK, so always sign up with a professional email address. So for example, firstname.lastname@example.org.
So make sure you are on top of GDPR, especially if your followers, your clients are within the European Union or if you are in the States. You have a lot of followers and people following you and clients from Europe. Now, let's move on to the next section. What, you actually don't need.
What you don't need is, for example, a very long welcome series. As I mentioned earlier, you don't need like 8 emails going out there yesterday or every 3 days after subscribers download your free resource.
You actually don't need that. It's something very popular in the States, but it doesn't mean you have to do that, because, for many people, that's actually annoying. And I'm one of them. You don't need advanced segmentation. There are a lot of providers that blow their horns talking about the advanced features of segmentation. This is so cool. You can do so much stuff. The problem is that if you are starting out if you barely know what segmentation is, you really don't need that.
Just to give you an understanding of what segmentation is. So, segmentation is the process that lets you break down your list, or at least according to specific conditions. So, for example, a specific behavior, you want to target only subscribers who clicked on a specific link in a specific newsletter. OK, it can be very simple. And even MailerLite lets you do a basic segmentation or it can become extremely complex. You don't need at the beginning what is like the so-called extremely advanced segmentation.
You don't need very complex stuff. If you want to target the subscribers that behaved in a certain way, you can still do it with a basic platform like MailerLite. So you don't need to invest, for example, on ConvertKit because it lets you target subscribers in a very advanced professional way because ConvertKit is also quite expensive software. So it needs to be worth it. I mean, you have to be at a certain level to make the investment actually worth it.
Likewise, you don't need complex automations. So, for example, the abandoned cart reminder, besides the fact that for some people it's really annoying that I put something in the cart and then I don't go through with the payment because maybe I change my mind or maybe something got in the way. I get a call and I forgot to complete the payment. And then you get an email reminding you that, hey, you put this stuff in your cart, but you didn't go through with the payment.
Do you still want it? It's useful for some people. It's really annoying. However, it's a complex automation. It's something very advanced. Not everyone needs it. So don't let yourself be tempted. Advanced automations in the end, you don't need a pro software, you really don't need it when you're starting out, something as advanced as Infusionsoft, I mean, Infusionsoft is so complex, is so complicated. Honestly, I heard people calling it confusion software.
They're totally right. So you don't need the pro software when you're starting out. You don't want to overwhelm yourself because otherwise, it will be an energy sucker. Most likely, it will be a money sucker too. You will get really frustrated and you will leave this project behind, you can leave it behind when you're so frustrated with the platform, whatever platform, whether it's an e-mail marketing or an online course platform when it doesn't work for you and it frustrates you, it's so easy to just leave it behind and it would be a big deal.
All right. So in this episode, I talked about all the must-haves you really need when you're starting out with e-mail marketing. But I also shared all the extra features that you really don't need at the beginning. And so it's not worth investing in a platform that offers these very advanced features. OK, the last thing, remember that if you are about to get started with email marketing, you can sign up for my free 5-day email course, kick start your email marketing, where I tell you all about two of my favorite platforms that I believe are absolutely perfect for starting out.
And I guide you through all the steps you need to take to set it up and make it work to grow a list of raving fans. Now, before I bid you bye bye until next week, don't forget to hit the subscribe button to get your ears onto the latest episodes as soon as they are published. And that's it for today.
I will talk to you next week.