It’s time to turn your list into a real community

Are you still sending out a monthly newsletter? How’s your open rate?

According to Smart Insights, across All Industries the average open rates for emails is about 16.97% with a click rate of just below 11%.

But chances are you aren’t even getting those kinds of numbers. And the reason is pretty simple.

Most of the stuff we all send out is crap. 

Coming up with content is tough. So most people only use their email list to send out promotions. And even when they do send out content, it’s basically a re-write of the same article they’ve been writing for years. 

Frankly, it’s a miracle that anyone opens emails!

So let’s shift your thinking about engagement a bit. What if you stopped seeing your list as simply a group of prospects and started treating it like a community?

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How do you think that would impact your engagement opportunities and elevate your stature?

That’s the shift that I’ve made and I want to explain how it can work for you.

Back in January I started co-hosting a monthly Global Networking Event for Speakers with Ed Rigsbee. 

As an origin story, it’s not exactly Spiderman. 

In November, I was invited to a virtual networking event that included 1 on 1 networking between attendees. The experience was excellent and I was able to meet and connect with other professionals from across the planet for short conversations. 

The best analogy I can think of is speed dating. Short, private virtual video conversations on a timer. Just enough time for introductions and finding out a bit about each other’s businesses. 

When I spoke to Ed about it, we decided to give it a shot for professional speakers. Soon we’d settled on a platform and started sending out invitations to our lists. 

The results were amazing. Nobody else seemed to be doing this. So we had people signing up from everywhere. It was also incredibly simple to set up and manage. 

The technology for these events is affordable and accessible to everyone. Check it out here. 

Over the first part of this year, we’ve honed the format a bit. Ed and I talk for a few minutes and welcome folks in – before letting them loose for some networking. 

The goal is to create a community out of what was once just a list. And it’s working!

I’ve connected with speaking professionals  – many of whom I’ve known for years – in a deeper, more personal way. I’ve found out about their businesses and they’ve learned something about mine. 

It’s certainly a lot more engaging than sending out another bland email trying to get people to buy my book (which you can grab right here if you want it!)

Here are some of the things I’ve learned that you should really consider:

  • If you have a list that is feeling a bit tapped out, virtual networking events are a great way to warm it up
  • Make it a regular event. Let folks know when to expect your events (ours are the last Friday of the month)
  • Charge a nominal fee. We started charging $4.99 to cover costs. When we charged $0 more people signed up – but fewer showed up. If folks have a bit of skin in the game, they’re more likely to attend. 
  • Be a gracious host – but don’t hog the spotlight. Ed and I let folks get to the networking quickly. We may include 10 minutes of content. But that’s it. 
  • 2 hours is the sweet spot. Our statistics show that most people stick around until the 90 minute mark. So we leave it open for an additional 30 minutes after that.

So what’s stopping you from doing the same thing with your list? Wouldn’t you feel better knowing that you are inviting people to something they actually want to do?

If you need help figuring it out, just book a free 30 minute call and I’ll explain everything. 

Aidan Crawford

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Let’s have a quick chat about your marketing goals and see how I can help.
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