This is the second part of the “How can a Creator get started with their Email Marketing” series. In the first part, we spoke about how starting from where you are is essential.
One of the reasons I am doing this, apart from my extreme fondness of serving Creators and my never-ending passion for email marketing, is that I want Creators to take the leap and jump into the world of Email marketing.
Complexity can become the enemy of quick execution. And hence, let’s simplify.
Strategy always comes first. Directionless tactics fail.
Let’s talk about why you are building an email list. And then let’s talk about a few characteristics of an ideal email list.
Ready? Fasten your seatbelts.
For most of the brands out there, email marketing is a tool for selling. This means that they look at the whole activity to make money. (I am not against making money). But when you rig the whole system as a profit machine, then you are bound to think short-term.
I am not interested in the short-term game, and I am guessing you aren’t too.
For a Creator, the profit is always a by-product of the value that he creates.
So let me share a very unpopular opinion. Your email list is not a profit-making machine. You are more likely to succeed as a Creator if you look at it as a tool to build meaningful relationships with people.
This is important. I want to drive this point home. So I am going to repeat myself.
The purpose of Email Marketing is to build deep, intimate relationships with the people you seek to serve.
Okay, then if this is what we are aiming for, what could be the ideal characteristics of your email list?
There are just two.
An ideal email list is engaged.
An ideal email list is tiny.
That’s it. Mic drop.
Okay, no, let me unpack.
How do we measure engagement?
No, I am not talking about open rates and click rates.
You see, ‘relationship’ is not always measurable.
Facebook Likes can be measured. Instagram followers can be measured. But can we call them deep relationships? Probably not.
So please, Mr. Analytics Funnel guy, forgive me for saying this, but a true relationship cannot be always be measured in numbers.
That being said, there are definitely signs that help you gauge it. A friend who never picks up your call and never listens to you is probably a friend that you don’t need. The relationship is pretty bad.
On the other hand, an intimate relationship is the one where your friend shows up for you and is engaged.
So perhaps, even though we cannot measure the effectiveness of our email campaign with percentages, we can measure it in terms of the responses that we get, the comments that we get, the replies that we get. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need an excel sheet to figure out if your message is resonating with your audience or no. You simply need to be mindful of the interaction.
An engaged email list is one way to gauge the effectiveness of the stories that you are telling people.
Secondly, the email list needs to be tiny. Microscopic perhaps.
It’s a myth that a Creator needs a huge list.
Whoa! What are you saying, Pranav?
Controversial stuff, no?
Well, of course, if you are Microsoft, you wouldn’t want to hear that your email list needs to be tiny. But hey, you are not Microsoft and neither am I, so relax maybe?
A Creator is looking to build trust with a very small group of people. Keep that in mind and please make peace with the fact that you don’t need a hundred thousand subscribers.
Isn’t that a relief?
The term ‘tiny email list’ is relative. It will mean different numbers for different brands.
For a really large corporation, tiny might mean 10,000 subscribers. For you perhaps it might mean just 10.
The number of subscribers that we actually need, is way less than the number of subscribers we think we need.
Think about that.
For example, A marketing consultant who specializes in B to B Saas would probably need 30 highly relevant subscribers to get 1 client.
The intention here is to build an audience that is so homogenous, that you understand their fears and aspirations, and create value for them.
You don’t focus wide. You go deep.
Keep it simple.
Tiny and engaged.