Small businesses and organizations that have established themselves on Facebook often find that getting a specific message out to their audience can be difficult.
After all, Facebook is like a concert: it’s crowded and loud, and there are a lot of flashy things to look at.
Regular posting can help keep you connected, but you never really have the chance to communicate with a customer one-on-one.
That’s where email marketing comes in.
Each email is like a backstage pass to your organization. Think big with each newsletter: This is the chance for people to really get to know who you are, what you do, and to see you demonstrate your expertise in the field.
Unlike the chaotic “concert” of Facebook, emails are where you have the opportunity to really capture someone’s attention for an extended period of time.
But how do you get people to sign up for those backstage passes in the first place? Here are 3 tips:
1. Have a Spot for Fans to Sign Up
First of all: If fans want to sign up for your email list, where do they go? Remember, Facebook’s already a noisy and very distracting concert. Your fans may like what they hear, but that’s not going to help if they can’t find the VIP room.
That means that there’s a “Join My List” tab on the left column of the Page for anyone who’s interested in learning more about the school via email.
And it works: After seeing photos of all the great things students are doing at the school on Facebook, families get interested enough to sign up to learn more.
“We get 40 to 60 leads a month from email marketing,” says the school’s vice principal, Jim McKenzie.
2. Host a Social Campaign
People won’t sign up to get another email in their inboxes if they don’t have a good reason. After all, they may like the music on Facebook, but would they really want backstage passes to meet the business outside of the social media stadium?
Her first social campaign was a contest that offered one fan a free Lifecast Statue. The entry form included a Join My Mailing List box, because entrants would be notified about the contest’s status via email. With a possible reward being offered, fans started to sign up.
The campaign ran for 10 days and Jamie’s list grew by over 100 new email addresses. The contest itself was shared through Facebook more than 100 times, too. And the 60 new fans didn’t hurt, either.
3. Offer Exclusive Content
When it comes time to send a newsletter to subscribers, it’s important to think about how you’re going to make the newsletter different from a Facebook Page. With all the extra space and opportunity for images that an email provides, you can really create a focused and intimate experience. Remember: When people are reading an email, you have their undivided attention.
Last November, we covered the list-building strategy of Cedar Creek Productions, which used Facebook as a platform to promote the award-winning film Buck. Through a “You’ll Hear It Here First” campaign, the studio promised fans that anyone who signed up for the email list would hear the latest news about interviews, screenings, and more before it was posted to social media. This netted the studio more than 2,000 new email subscribers.
Not every organization may have an award-winning film at their fingertips, but the trick is to just think about what news and content you can offer fans that they can’t get through Facebook
Not that Cedar Creek Productions let their newsletters stay hidden away in subscriber inboxes, either.
After an email is out, Pam Miles, executive assistant, explains that she uses Constant Contact’s Simple Share feature to share the newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels. Some emails are subsequently shared more than 50 times by subscribers and fans, and there’s no doubt that showcasing those newsletters has gotten more people interested in signing up themselves.
Emailing on a Good Note
Facebook and email go together like a great concert and the t-shirt you take home to remember the experience.
Don’t leave your fans cheering on Facebook — encourage them to follow you “backstage” by making it easy for them to find you. And, after they’ve signed up for those emails and get backstage, it’s up to you to prove to fans it was all worth it!
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