Increasing your social media following is a great marketing tactic, but building your email list is even better. Think about it: if Instagram or Twitter disappeared tomorrow, what would you be left with? You would have no contact information for any of your subscribers, and your daily marketing vehicle would simply disappear. But with email subscribers, you have a lot more control and they just can’t go away.
Lisa Lillien, known as hungry girl, did just that – she focused on building her email list from day one. This mailing list has become the catalyst for a thriving business over the decades – a list that now boasts millions of fans.
His success story includes being the author of 15 cookbooks, a New York Times best-selling author, TV star for Food Network and Cooking Channel, and regular appearances on daytime shows like hello america, Viewand Today.
Let’s see what we can learn from Lillien’s email marketing strategy and success.
Content is king
You’ve heard it time and time again, but content really is king. Especially in today’s digital world where we have endless platforms to browse content on. And a pandemic that has caused us all to stay home and do nothing but consume content.
“Make sure what you have to say is relevant and figure out who your target audience is and what they really want. My audience is extremely loyal and I’ve built an emotional brand that people rely on and trust. feel close,” says Lillien.
Whether it’s the latest light substitutes for your favorite Starbucks drink or a healthy air fryer recipe, Hungry Girl audiences rely on the tips and tricks they know and trust. That only comes from consistent, reliable communication with your audience – and that builds over time. Quality content coupled with positioning as a thought leader in your niche is a recipe for success.
Brevity is key
“When I started I decided to give tips and tricks and food discoveries for what I call ‘real world’ food. Everything was authentic and relevant. My goal was to post a small amount content that would be potentially relevant to an extremely large audience,” Lillien shares.
Whereas data scientists and media analysts believe that the average consumer the attention span is now only 8 secondsconcise and succinct information is the name of the game.
Keep it authentic
“One of the things I did that really helped me succeed was provide content that I would want to read myself. You’d be surprised how many people never look at their content from that angle. .
She says to ask yourself these important questions:
What interests me?
What content would I like to receive?
And consistency is of the utmost importance. “I send out daily emails Monday through Friday and have done so since April 2004. People loyal to the list expect content every day and appreciate it.”
She also advises not to be shy about asking people exactly what you want – to share your content. “Hungry Girl was built on word of mouth and my mailing list grew from originally 50 people to almost a million without any advertising.”
Either way, it’s crucial to only send emails to people who want to receive them and make sure they opt-in to your subscriber list.
“Only send your emails to the people who need them. At first, I reached out to my friends, family, and colleagues and told them what I was going to do, and asked them if they wanted to start getting the emails. At first, about 50 people said yes, and I knew they were all very invested in what I was doing. It was because of their genuine interest that they started sharing it with people and the list grew organically,” says Lillien.
“When I started building my mailing list it was early and social media did not exist. As social media platforms started to appear, I decided to choose which ones to integrate into my business and how to use them to help grow the email list. It is essential to use social media strategically to build this list. I never recommend using social media solely as an advertisement for daily emails. Really take the time to understand what works on each platform, grow your audience, and use it strategically.
Effective email campaigns
In order to keep subscribers engaged, increase open rates, and grow your email list, delivering value must be the top priority. And that means sending the right message, at the right time, to the right person. This can be achieved through segmentation. Divide your email list into different stages of the consumer journey and send emails that specifically relate to each consumer, whether they are in the awareness, thinking or decision stage. According to the Data and Marketing Association, 77% return on investment from email marketing comes from segmented, targeted and triggered campaigns.
An effective email campaign should be fun, personalized, and useful or informative for the recipient. And that also applies to any sponsored content.
“My emails are filled with both sponsored and unsponsored content. All sponsored content is clearly marked as such. My goal is always to only feature sponsored content from relevant brands with products that I fully believe in, that I support and use myself. I also like to give something special in campaigns like discounts for exclusive recipes, which excites the audience and keeps them engaged. As for my regular non-sponsored content, I ‘always try to keep it fresh, interesting, fun, lively and relevant,’ advises Lillien.
It is essential to periodically re-evaluate your content by analyzing the data to ensure that your content resonates with your audience.
“There is no need to try to be too many things for too many people. Really identify your audience and have a simplified idea of what you want to deliver to them and how you want to do it.