You’ve got some big news that you want to share with the people on your email list. It may be a new service or product that you’re launching, or a fantastic special offer. You’re all ready to fire off your email.  But then it suddenly hits you – it’s been months since you were last in touch.

What do you do?  Should you just rock up, say hi and hope they haven’t noticed that you went AWOL over the last few months? Perhaps you could beg their forgiveness and promise that you’ll be their best friend forever? Or you could choose the nuclear option – ditch these people altogether and start a new list from scratch. You feel awkward at the thought of trying to re-engage with people you haven’t spoken to in a while.

If you’ve been doing email marketing for some time, you may recognise the above. That guilty feeling when you really want to get back in touch with your subscribers but it’s been ages since you last sent them anything.

I can tell you that this is me right now. It’s painful to admit, but I’ve been neglecting the people on my email list.   It’s been several months since I last sent them anything.  Now I want to get back in touch but I’m feeling guilty as hell and I have no idea what to say.

In fact, I’ve broken my own golden rule of email marketing which I wrote about in a previous blog – The Essential Ingredient to Email Marketing Success

There are many reasons why entrepreneurs can lose contact with their email subscribers. 

In my case, real life got in the way as I came to some big issues that I needed some time and space to look at and address. I found it difficult to write about anything when I was feeling confused by what was going on in my life.  I needed to get clear in my own head before I could put anything down on paper.

Perhaps you got busy with client work, or you can’t think of what to write about, or like me, you had some personal challenges that you needed to deal with.

Whatever the reason, if you’re someone who worries about letting people down (that’s me!) then not sending those promised weekly or monthly emails can make you feel like a failure and a fraud.  It’s like that friend who you haven’t spoken to in a while – you go to ring them up but then struggle to explain why it’s been so long.  You get hit by a wave of guilt as you make your excuses and that little gremlin in your head pops up saying “Yeah but you could have called if you’d really wanted to.”

For most entrepreneurs (me included), we don’t like to admit that we’re human and sometimes make mistakes.  I know that in the early days of my business, I was so wrapped up in my professional armour that I believed doing anything that didn’t make me look perfect would have potential clients running for the hills!

You may have felt this yourself.  You want to be seen as someone who can juggle 101 balls without breaking sweat, and still have a smile on your face.  But there are times when real life hits and you must drop a few of those balls.  Admitting that you’re not perfect 100% of the time can be hard (it’s something I’m working on!!!).   But the thing to remember is that none of us are and most people – or should I say, the people who count –  won’t turn against you or your business just because you haven’t sent them an email in the last few months.

So if you’re like me and have gone AWOL with the people on your email list, how can you get back in contact and make them feel like they’re still appreciated and wanted?

First, grab a pen and paper, or open a new document on your computer.

Tell people you’re back. Start off by telling people that you’re back in touch. You don’t need to go into details of why you’ve been away unless you really want to.  Although it’s a good idea to show there’s a person behind the email, most people don’t want to read a blow by blow account of your recent messy divorce.

Share the great stuff that you’ve got coming up. The best way to do this to write 2-3 emails and then line them up to send out.  This means that you can be specific about what people are going to get.  Rather than say: “I’ve got some great stuff coming up” (because who wants to stick around for some vague “great stuff”?); you could write: “Watch out over the next few weeks as I’ll be sharing tips on this, this & this (replace “this” with the subjects of your upcoming emails)”.  If you give them a reason to stick around, they’ll forgive you for not being in touch.

Dangle a special offer in front of them. Make people feel special by offering them something for free, whether that’s an ebook, online course or webinar.  For example: “I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch for a while. But I’m back now and as a thank you for sticking around, I’d love to offer you this [whatever you’re offering] to help you in your business right now.”

Give them the option to unsubscribe. This may sound crazy but you don’t want people hanging around who are no longer interested in what you have to offer. Say something like “It’s been a while since I’ve been in contact.  This is what I’ve got coming up [give details] which I’d love to share with you.  But I understand if you’re no longer interested.  If that’s the case then hit the unsubscribe button or link below and there’s no hard feelings.”

So if there’s tumbleweed blowing through your email marketing right now, then make time today to sit down and write your next email using the ideas above – then just send it out.  And make sure that whatever you’ve promised to send out in future, you do it come hell or high water!  And if you’re really struggling to get your emails back on track, speak to us to find out how we can help you to share the love with the people on your email list.

 

 

About Valerie

Valerie helps solo entrepreneurs create a clear online marketing strategy so they can get in front of their ideal clients and attract them to their business.

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