Jess Ann Kirby exudes passion in everything she does and her presence on digital platforms is one that is beyond captivating. She is also passionate about owning an email list – here she shares with us why!
Q: What is the overall benefit of growing an email list and how has it grown your business and brand?
A: I think the biggest benefit is that, similar to the way I own my blog and it’s tone, an email list is the same way. We don’t have control over social media platforms, but we do have control over our email list.
All these different platforms come and go, and it can be hard to deal with engagement dipping, or losing followers, or stagnant growth, but everybody still checks their email. And so it’s a great way to reach your audience and know that you’re going to be able to reach them on your own terms.
Q: How has it grown your business relating to that? What has been a strong point that you know has helped?
A: I think it’s a great way for me to 1. Continue to increase my blog traffic, because I know I have this community of people that are signed up for my emails that are going to click on what I share there. So it’s an easy way to control where I am driving traffic. Whether i want to drive it to Pinterest, my blog. And 2. it’s also been a great way to focus on specific events that happen, either if I am announcing something or if there’s a big black Friday or holiday thing where I know that I can target that specific audience. So it’s been great in driving affiliate sales, clicks and commissions. And that’s one of the things that I can show brands that I can do.
Q: What was the catalyst for you starting [your list]? What made you say ‘ok, growing my email list is the next step’?
A: I started realizing the importance of email a couple years ago. I just realized it was such an important way to have a steady list of a reliable way to communicate with my readers. It started not as intentional, just having places to sign up on my blog like having a pop-up.
Over the years I have just gotten more intentional about doing occasional reminders for people to sign up as a way to hear about things first, get content, that might not be shared anywhere else, and just stay connected. I will use events to drive growth. For example, if there’s an announcement I will say “Sign up for my newsletter to hear about it first.”
It’s really just staying consistent with it and reminding people that you have an email list. I have two options. So you can sign up to have my daily blog posts sent to you, or you can sign up for my weekly newsletter.
Q: What’s been the strongest pull for how you’ve gained emails?
A: I think the biggest drivers for email signups are specific mentions on digital. For example going on instagram and having a really good call to action to sign up. Or giveaways, however the thing with giveaways is you’re not always going to have a lot of retention.
Q: How is connecting with your email subscribers different than connecting with a story or a static post?
A: I think it depends. But I do think there are times when I’ll share more personal things through my newsletter. I’ll share little tidbits about what’s going on in my life in my weekly newsletter that I might not share elsewhere. It’s pretty informal so it’s a way to share with people what’s going on that might not be so curated.
Q: What is the best tip you would give others that want to start an email list?
A: There is no downside to having an email list. If you put in the time, you are able to have that dedicated audience that you control. And like I said, of all the things that come and go, everybody will always check their email. It’s a guaranteed way to reach people that you may not get on other platforms.
Q: Are your emails automated or do you write every single one? Do you recommend one over the other?
A: The daily emails are automated. The weekly newsletters are a template, but I personally write them every week. I think it’s good to have that personal connection of writing some organically, but it’s good to have automation to ensure it happens when life gets busy.
Q: Any other email list wisdom to add?
A: In addition to growing your email list, it is really smart to have some sort of automated welcome email. This is another thing that helps with growth and retention. So when someone signs up for my email list, they get an automatic email introducing who I am and what I am about. Chances are if someone is signing up for your email list they might be new or they might not know a lot about you. So it’s a great way to introduce people to you and your brand!