by Frank Kenny
Do people in your community ever ask you, “Hey, how come you didn’t tell me about such and such?”
It’s so frustrating, especially if you posted the event or program on social media again and again. You may have even felt like you were bothering people because of how often you posted it. Yet people are still angry with you even though you did everything you could to reach your audience.
Or did you?
The fact is, it’s virtually impossible to dependably reach the people in your audience through social media. You can post to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tik Tok multiple times and still not reach most of your audience.
So, what’s the solution?
You must collect email addresses for your audience. Email sits in someone’s inbox until they read it or delete it. It waits for them to go online. It waits for them to get home from vacation.
Further, e-mail is for business. It’s not social like the social media platforms. It’s a business tool. People expect promotions to come through e-mail. They do not expect promotions through social media channels, so they scroll by.
But how do you collect this contact info so you can email your audience?
A newsletter subscription box isn’t nearly enough nowadays. People will not give you their email addresses simply because your organization has a subscription box on your website, or you post to social media encouraging people to sign up for your newsletter.
You have to offer lead magnets to grow your email list.
A lead magnet is something of value, like a cheat sheet, a checklist, a guide, or a calendar–something you could sell for a small amount of money, but you’re giving it away for free in exchange for contact information, their e-mail address, and permission to e-mail them.
You post lead magnets to social media. You run ads on social media platforms to distribute your lead magnet offers. People love freebies. They will come out of the woodwork to give you their email address so they can get your freebie. Part of the deal is you get to send them additional emails.
And now you have a dependable way of reaching your audience.
Some additional tips…
When somebody subscribes to your e-mail list, send them a welcome e-mail explaining to them who you are, the value you provide, and how often they can expect emails from you. You can automate this step and save yourself a lot of time.
Another tip is to go for a sale. Since you’ve got their e-mail address and you’ve given them the freebie, then you sent them the welcome e-mail or the welcome series of emails, so they know, like and trust you, next make an entry-level offer, like an invitation to attend the chamber’s monthly luncheon or a webinar or receive a phone call with the CEO.
A certain percentage of the people who have signed up for your freebie lead magnet will take advantage of the entry offer. And for those who don’t, keep them on your e-mail list, communicate with them regularly, nurture the relationship, and make additional offers in the future.
Now that you have e-mail addresses for your community/audience, you can much more dependably reach them than you ever would have been able to do through social media posts.
Frank Kenny is an internationally recognized author, professional speaker, and consultant. He is the founder of the Chamber Focus Show and the Chamber Professionals Community Group on Facebook.
Over the past 10 years, Frank has helped hundreds of chambers reach their goals with staff and member training, strategic planning, board retreats and orientations, social media, digital marketing, technology, and more.