I make mistakes all the time, as I am sure most of you do, today I want to share with you the biggest mistake I have made with my website and I bet it is a mistake that many of you are making as well. Actually, I have made two mistakes and they are related to each other.
I have been in business since April 2004 and I started blogging here in February 2007. From April 2004 to the end of September 2011 there has been over 300,000 visits and over 600,000 pageviews. Not huge numbers when you compare it to some of the more popular websites and blogs out there, but not a bad number either. Of those 300,000 visitors can you guess how many I have been able to contact since they visited my site? Just over 300 either through email or RSS subscriptions! That is less than .5% of the visitors. Talk about a HUGE mistake and a missed opportunity to connect with people.
Fortunately it is a mistake that I started to correct here when I added an email list signup form. Since I added the email list sign up form I have had a steady number of readers signing up to be contacted by me again. Unfortunately my mistakes did not end when I created an email list for my website. I made one more HUGE mistake. I never actually got around to emailing people the information that they signed up for. This is a mistake I am going to correct.
If you are not offering your readers a chance to subscribe to an email list from your website you are missing a chance to connect with your readers again. An email list offers you a unique opportunity to build a relationship that can benefit them and you!
You can use your email list to find out what your readers want and need! People visit your website to get answers. If you run a website about wine they might visit your website to find out what wine goes best with beef, but if you have an email list you can ask them what else they want to know. You might find out that some want to know what wine goes best with deer!
Having an email list will help people come back to your website again for your new content. There is nothing like writing great new content and not hanving any one read it. An email list lets people know when you have something new for them.
It is inexpensive. Having an email list used to be something that only large companies could afford to do. Thankfully that has changed. Email list services are affordable for any size business. I have also heard many good things about a service called MailChimp that is free for the first 2000 subscribers.
Email lists are easy to run and even easier to automate. Every email list service is a little different but if you can type, you can send out email to an email list. You can even automate your publishing by publish the RSS feed from your blog to your list at regular intervals.
Sending email to your email list also provides your readers an opportunity to share your information with others. Nothing like some old fashioned word of mouth advertising to help spread the word about your business and website.
If you are looking for an email list service here are several that I have worked with for clients.
- AWeber (the service I like to use)
- MailChimp (Offers a free account up to 2000 subscribers.)
- GetResponse (Starts at $9.95/month)
- Constant Contact (Free 60 Day trial)
Hopefully you can learn from my mistake. Don’t let your 300,000 visitors go by without being able to contact them. They are interested in what you have to say. An email list will give you a chance to build a unique relationship with those readers that will help you build your business and website.
If you would like to contact me you can always use my contact form on my website. I usually respond in 24 hours.
As a bonus for those of you on my email list I want to offer you a chance to win a copy of the new biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. If you want to be entered just click this link to read more about the book. Everyone that clicks through will be automatically entered in the drawing! If your email is chosen I will contact you to gather your shipping address to send the book to you. This bonus is ONLY for my email list subscribers. Another great reason to join my email newsletter!