Susan Finn believes marketing is an act of service to those who are currently searching for exactly what you offer. She focuses on helping clients create a list growth to build and email strategy that feels generous while it attracts, nurtures and converts subscribers. Susan generously shared her wisdom and experience as a guest on my Embark podcast last week. Here are answers to five questions I posed.LS: Over 300 billion emails are sent and received every day. How is anyone going to pay attention to mine?

SF: Email marketing is a tool that helps you get the word out to communicate and build relationships that in turn engage and encourage people to allows people to know, like an trust you.

We all know that it can be a challenge to get someone to open your email. But remember this, it all starts by building and having a relationship that’s trusted by and engaging to them in the first place.

Having a yummy “Welcome” email series is the best way I can think of to generously introduce aligned readers with the value you offer.  Remember, everyone is thinking, “What’s in it for me?” – so, tell them – don’t sell them.

When someone virtually raises their hand to receive your ‘freebie’ (opt-in), they’ve identified themselves as someone who is searching for a solution to a situation in their life.  When you can consistently show up as the ‘angel in the inbox’, offering mini-wins, over and over again, you establish yourself as a generous, trusted resource. They will actually look forward to your emails!

(*TLDR – Offer consistent value)

LS: What drew you to email marketing, and how does its ROI stack up against other forms of marketing, for example social media?

SF: Honestly, as an introvert and a recovering perfectionist, email is an attractive media for me because it allows me to present my thoughts and ideas in a neatly packaged format. I have time to compose and edit my thoughts before I send it out to a carefully curated list of followers.  It feels more personal to me, less like shouting and more like a quiet conversation.

As far as the analytics of email over social media – Yikes!  There are so many reasons.  I recently wrote a piece on this topic, “Email Marketing vs Social Media

Here are my top 4 reasons email marketing beats social media:

  1. YOU Own Your List
    You have a direct route to the people and you can use that whenever you feel like it. It is important that you know what you are doing but it is under your control. In the case of third-party sites like Facebook and Instagram, you are at the mercy of their decisions. Even if you have thousands of likes, in order to effectively reach them, you’re going to have to pay. You simply can’t be sure that you have free access to your followers in the future.
  2. Email Marketing Has the Highest ROI of All Forms of Marketing!
    The most common figure I see is that email averages about $42 in returnfor every $1 spent.
  3. Email Drives More Sales
    We know that 60% of consumers sign up for brand emails with the expectation of getting promotional emails in their inbox, but the same can’t be said for the 20% of folks who follow brands on social media. The truth is, people follow brands on social media but don’t actually want those brands to slide into their DMs.
  4. Email marketing is incredibly flexible.
    Unlike social media, you’re not limited by characters and can include any outbound links you like. You can also use things like segmentationto personalize your content for specific customers based on the data you collected when putting together your mailing list to increase the effectiveness of your campaign.

LS: Wow, thanks. Great information. You are a true connector and networker.  Does this come naturally, or did you have to work at it? Is there hope for the rest of us?

SF: What an interesting question. I think that this quality likely comes from my intense curiosity. I find people fascinating. I love hearing their history and their spoken stories. I suppose that my training as a scientist and as a quality control manager in the food industry offered me training on how to connect pieces of information to form a larger picture.

So, if I see the people I meet as part of a larger entity, it comes naturally to me to try to pull the pieces together to create a better-functioning community. None of us can truly function without the support – and group wisdom – of others.

LS: What’s the biggest mistake people make with email marketing, and how can they correct it?

SF: UGH.   We’ve all experienced this!   You sign up for someone’s ‘freebie’ and then, all you get back is sales page, sales page, sales page. ICK.  Don’t do that!

When you commit to a list growth strategy, that includes nurturing the folks who are already on your list, too. Use the NPR model…. give…..give more….be of value…..share stories…..and then, once in a while, you can do an “ask” (sell a product or service).  Of course, every email absolutely should have a Call to Action(CTA), but even then, make that a generous one, if you can.  Most of my clients offer a free ‘get to know you’ call. That feels generous.

Make sure you’re committing to a consistent, generous strategy to stay top-of-mind with your current and your would-be clients.

LS: You say you perform digital marketing as an act of service. That is a lofty goal. Tell me about your philosophy around that.

SF: Imagine your world if you embrace the idea that your marketing is actually simply you sharing your unique gifts with the world?  Think about it this way, marketing is actually simply a vehicle….whether it’s through email, social media, speaking, a book,  it allows you to reach more people.

What if your content creation was like writing a love-letter?

What if you were to make a weekly commitment to addressing one issue you KNOW your ideal client is struggling with?

What if you showed up with exactly the answer she is looking for today?

I invite you to sit down today and write a love letter to that one person who you serve. What is she worried about? How does she feel? What does she fear? What does she want? How can you guide her to her own success? Share that love letter on your blog. Then, share the nuggets over your socials and in your weekly email.

This is a commitment to consistent content that feels generous, valuable, and based in your own integrity.

What do you think? Can you make this weekly commitment to show up for the people who are already – right now – looking for you?

If you approach marketing with “I’m here to serve”  “I’m here to make a difference”, how will that affect how you show up and attract those who are searching for exactly what you can offer them?

The Rise Above Noise 5-pillar system offers service-based business owners a sharing mindset that allows them to follow the plan in a way that feels natural and generous.

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