How to warm up your cold email list and woman with winter coat, scarf, and gloves

How To Warm Up a Cold Email List

Is your email list super cold? 

Let’s talk about how you can warm up a cold email list and get back in touch, even if it’s been a really long time.

You don’t need to be embarrassed to write to your subscribers because it’s been a long time since they’ve heard from you.

I coach people in midlife to build profitable online businesses.

I’ve worked with people who already have an email list, but inside my Offer Accelerator program, one of the most common questions I get is:

“I haven’t written to my email list in a really long time. What should I do?”

Warm up a cold email list without feeling awkward

I get it. The more time that’s passed, the more you feel awkward about reaching out.

It’s like a weird, vicious circle. The more time passes, the worse you feel about it.

It’s sort of like:

“I’m embarrassed I haven’t emailed, and I don’t email because I’m embarrassed. And then I feel more embarrassed because I haven’t emailed.”

Here are three simple things you can do to warm up a cold email list. 

warm up a cold email list

Tip 1. Show up with a gift

First off, show up with a gift. Give people something, and don’t ask something from them.

Make sure that it’s something useful and will teach them something valuable.

It could be in the form of a worksheet, a tutorial video, a checklist, something that will help them to achieve something that they couldn’t before.

Give them a quick win!

Because the people on your list have already subscribed, don’t ask them to sign up for something else. Make sure you just give it to them as a gift. 

Related: The Best Lead Magnet Ideas to Build an Email List of People Who Can’t Wait to Work with You

Related: How to Create a Lead Magnet in an Afternoon [Start with the Free Template]

Tip 2. Share the person behind the brand 

Whether you have a personal brand or a business brand, I think it’s smart to share a photo of you — the person behind the message.

Give subscribers a brief update about your life — two or three sentences. It doesn’t have to be super long.

Let them know there’s a person behind the brand, and give them a peek into what’s happening with you now.

You want your subscribers to see that there’s a real person behind the email they’re getting from you.

There’s a reason I use the phrase “warm up a cold email list.” It’s the person-to-person connection, even if that connection happens in a customer in box.

Inboxes are very intimate spaces, so you want your email messages to feel personal, and you want them to feel connected to you. 

Tip 3. Keep your email list warmup brief

If you haven’t reached out to your list in a while, it might be tempting to launch into a lengthy explanation about your absence.

Resist the urge.

Keep your reintroduction message brief.

Don’t be that person at the party — you know the one — who corners you and drones on and on about every little thing they’ve done since you last saw each other.

When you want to warm up a cold email list like a pro, keep it brief and consider making this a sequence of emails rather than one long warm-up email.

Just send a few paragraphs in each email, let people know what you’re doing, give them a gift, and get back in touch.

Format your emails for easy reading

Smart formatting makes webpages and blog posts easier to read.

The same principles apply when you’re writing emails.

Subheads, bullets, white space — they all make the content of your emails easy for your readers to consume.

You can apply those principles right now:

Related: 6 Quick Content Formatting Tips That Will Energize Your Page

Bonus: You can use formatting to spruce up your web pages and blog posts, too.

Don’t worry when people unsubscribe

When you warm up a cold email list, you can think of this as a reintroduction AND a little list-cleaning.

People who unsubscribe might not be interested in hearing from you — but it’s not because what you offer doesn’t have value.

They could have any number of things going on in their own lives.

Don’t take it personally.

Focus on the people who keep reading. They’re actively interested in what you have to offer.

Those are the people you want on your list.

Quality over quantity, my friend. If you’re here, you’re not selling low-priced products or services.

Having high-value offers means you don’t need a huge list.

Related: Your Marketing Elimination Diet: How to Lose the Dead Weight and Find Your Best Customers Now

Related: How to Build an Email Marketing Program You Can Be Proud Of

Use an email service provider

You know how much time you can save by scheduling emails.

Organizing your subscribers according to their interests means you can send people content they want and can use.

An email service provider helps with both of those things.

While there are a couple of decent free options, I use a paid service.

People ask me about this all the time, so I’m happy to tell you I’m a ConvertKit customer. That’s my affiliate link, by the way. If you use it to sign up, you get your first month free.

Let’s stay connected

Video is personal.

It’s become an important marketing tool — and can be a real asset for your business.

Seeing the person behind the business is a great way to stay connected.

You’ll be seeing more of me on video — answering questions and sharing information — to help you grow your online business.

To watch my new online business video content the moment it’s published, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Man on a speedy scooter and the words "7 Ways to Grow Your Email List Fast"

The 7 Simplest Ways to Grow Your Email List Fast When You’re in Midlife

Are you in midlife or mid-career? 

If you are — lucky you! 

You can build your email list in ways that aren’t available to someone with fewer turns around the sun.

All that life experience — that’ll help. 

All those connections you’ve made over the years? You’ll tap them now. 

And that patience you’ve developed? Fire it up — you’re going to need it!

Before we launch into my simple ways to grow your email list, let’s talk about the obvious. 

Why should you build an email list in the first place?

Read article …

How can I make money online

How Can I Make Money Online in Midlife? Seven Challenges and Their Solutions

Are you finding yourself wondering, “How can I make money online?” — and you’re in mid-career or beyond?

Great news: you bring so much to the table it’s ridiculous

You’re smart. You know yourself and your strengths. You’re resilient. 

Since 2012, I’ve coached online business owners in our age group.

We’re a powerful group. But that doesn’t mean making money online comes easy for us.

“How can I make money online?” Your midlife challenges are unique

Based on my experience as a business coach, I’m going to take a guess here:

  • You’ve followed all the online advice you can find. 
  • You’ve watched dozens of webinars, hundreds of videos, and read so many blog posts, you’ve lost track.
  • You’ve taken copious notes. You know what you need to do. 

It’s possible that despite all of this, you’re here reading an article about how to make money online in midlife because, well … you haven’t managed to do it so far.

You’re not alone. 

There are seven challenges that hold us back when we’re trying to earn revenue online. I’m going to share the challenges and their solutions in this article.

I’ll examine each stumbling block in detail here in upcoming articles.

Read article …

A group of people raising their hands, representing people who want to work with you.

The Best Lead Magnet Ideas to Build an Email List of People Who Can’t Wait to Work with You

The biggest problem with most lead magnet ideas? 

They’re way too complex.

They’re complicated to produce. They take too long to consume.

They end up buried on your subscriber’s hard drive, never to be opened again.

This is a terrible shame.

Lead magnets can be powerful brand ambassadors that grow your business, your email list, and your future customer list.

That’s the purpose of the lead magnet ideas you’ll read about here: To grow your future customer list.

But if your lead magnet doesn’t deliver a solution that’s fast and easy to implement, there’s a good chance that it will never see the light of day.

In this article, we’re going to talk about lead magnet ideas that people download and actually use.

The best part?

We’re going to focus on creating lead magnet ideas that attract people who can’t wait to work with you.

By the way — building your future customer list is the first thing we tackle in my Offer Accelerator program. Want to sell your offer? It’s essential that you build a list of people who need it first — before you focus on anything else.

The best lead magnet idea of all? Deliver a “quick win”

visual example of lead magnet ideas.

What’s a “quick win?” 

It’s a solution that’s easy to understand, easy to implement, and that delivers fast and noticeable results.

Isn’t that the dream? To make a noticeable difference in the lives of your prospects.

When your lead magnet ideas become actions, your business comes to life in the minds of your prospects.

I have a few questions that you can ask yourself that will help you come up with lead magnet ideas that deliver a quick win solution.

Related: How to Create a Lead Magnet in an Afternoon [Start with the Free Template]

3 questions that will help you come up with winning lead magnet ideas

The best online offers deliver a transformation of some kind. They take your customer from Point A to Point B.

When they arrive at Point B, they’re in a much better place than when they started. Best of all?

They’ll have you and your business to thank for that quick win!

Here’s the first question to ask yourself when you’re brainstorming lead magnet ideas:

1. What’s the BIG transformation I want to deliver?

Stop and think about your big picture goal. What is the one big change you’d like to help people make?

Not sure how to describe this in a single short sentence? Try reading these posts:

Related: How to Write a Terrific Tagline [Free Tool]

Related: Digging Deep to Unearth Your Marketing Message Strategy

Here are a few examples of a BIG transformation.

  • “I help soon-to-be retirees create a simple financial plan so their basic needs are met and they can enjoy life after they stop 9-5 work.”
  • “New moms get coaching here so they can guide their babies to sleep through the night.”
  • “We provide copywriters with back office systems so they can ignore all their admin and just write.”

Don’t worry, you’re not going to deliver this transformation in your lead magnet.

We want to keep the BIG transformation in mind, though, because our lead magnet is going to help people take the first step.

Read on.

2. How can I prepare them to transform? What’s the first step they need to take?

Any journey involves taking a first, tentative step.

What’s first step in the journey to the transformation you want to deliver?

Here are some first step examples:

  • “I help soon-to-be retirees create a simple financial plan so their basic needs are met and they can enjoy life after they stop 9-5 work.” First step: Soon-to-be-retirees need to create a financial inventory so they understand their current financial status.
  • “New moms get coaching here so they can guide their babies to sleep through the night.” First step: New moms need to log their baby’s current sleep patterns so they know their baby’s current habits.
  • “We provide copywriters with back office systems so they can ignore all their admin and just write.” First step: Copywriters need to log everything they’d like to take off their plates — accounting, outreach, email, social media, etc.

Now that you have identified the first step toward the transformation you want to deliver, keep going. You’re almost there.

3. What can I create that will help them take the first step?

What small thing can you teach, train, deliver, or supply that will help your prospect to take the first step in their journey toward a transformation?

Here are examples of the “quick win” lead magnet ideas you could create to help people take their first steps:

  • Want to attract soon-to-be retirees who want to create a solid financial life? Create a simple financial inventory form they can use to organize all logins and paperwork needed for a full financial review.
  • Want to attract new moms who want to help their babies sleep through the night? Create an easy-to-use “Sleep Log” so they can track their baby’s current habits.
  • Want to attract copywriters who need help with back office systems? Create a 1-page “wish list” they can keep on their desks for a week where they note all the tasks they’d love to stop doing ASAP.

How to turn your lead magnet into a genius branding move

The best lead magnets are tangible items that people keep around. And they’re branded — with your brand colors, brand fonts, and your logo.

Related: How to Choose Two Brand Colors for Your Business

Related: What Font Should You Use to Brand Your Business?

If you can create a branded lead magnet that people will refer back to frequently, your lead magnet will reinforce your brand every time your prospect sees it. 

In a perfect world, your lead magnet becomes a constant companion — a handy reference your prospect will come to rely on.

Make sure it’s easy to scan and use! Read my post on formatting your content so it’s scannable.

Once you’ve pinpointed the quick win you want to deliver, deliver it using one of these lead magnet ideas.

Lead magnet ideas

  1. Quick guides: Create a PDF with simple, step-by-step information to help your prospect make progress toward their goal. See an example of a quick guide here.
  2. Tutorial video with printable resource: Create a brief video walkthrough that helps your prospect with a quick win — and give them a downloadable resource they can print and keep on hand.
  3. Templates: Create a template prospects can use to set up their quick win. This can be as simple as a Google doc or spreadsheet they can copy! See an example of a lead magnet template here.
  4. Reference guide: This could be a buyer’s guide, a handful of recipes, or an easy-to-follow script. What could you create that your prospect will refer back to several times a week?
  5. Printable bookmarks: If your prospect loves to read or simple wants some inspiration, simple printable cards can keep your brand and your solution at the top of their minds. See an example of printable bookmarks here.
  6. Shortcuts card: If you teach a complex topic, you’ve probably learned a few timesaving tips. Create a lead magnet that shares your best shortcuts on one page.
  7. A quiz followed by a roadmap: Quizzes are a great way for your prospect to learn more about themselves — but a quiz followed by a roadmap that will help your prospect take the next step? That’s marketing gold! See an example of a quiz with a roadmap here.
  8. Checklist: Simplify your process into a checklist. You’re not sharing detailed how-to information — you’re giving your prospect an overview of the timeline ahead.

Ask prospects to take the next step

Once prospects have joined your email list, how do you move them to becoming customers?

To move someone from gathering information to acting on it, you can to issue a clear, compelling invitation — a call to action.

Calls to action sound like this:

  • “Enjoy life after your 9-5! Schedule a call with our friendly financial planners who’ll help you create a simple plan you can use throughout your retirement years.”
  • “Get some sleep — starting tonight. Enroll in the Sleeping Babes course today and get the coaching and guidance you need to help your baby sleep through the night consistently.”
  • “Focus on the words and we’ll take care of the rest! Click here to book a free strategy session with our back office support team.”

Be sure to include your call to action prominently at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of your lead magnet.

Tell them where to go, what to do, and what will happen next. Sell this step!

Follow up with an email sequence that shares additional information about your lead magnet topic. Be sure to add calls to action to these emails, too.

Create your quick win lead magnet today

Here’s how to create your lead magnet today and use it to start building your email list with people who can’t wait to work with you.

  1. Pinpoint the transformation you want to deliver with your paid offer. How will your customer’s life change for the better after they buy what you sell?
  2. Uncover a quick win that will help them take the first step. Answer the questions noted above to pinpoint a quick win you can help prospects to take.
  3. Package the first step into a lead magnet your prospects will keep around so it will continue to promote your brand and your business every time they use it. 

Need help getting your lead magnet ideas into a format you can share? I’ve got a template for that — and it’s free!

Related: How to Create a Lead Magnet in an Afternoon [Start with the Free Template]

Image collage with words Branded Images are a Fun, Creative Way to Get Eyes on Your Website [Examples]

Branded Images are a Fun, Creative Way to Get Eyes on Your Website [Examples]

“I’ve got no business creating branded images — I’m not a designer.”

That’s what people think when I talk to them about creating branded images.

What are “branded images?” Branded images combine a photo + your brand fonts + your brand colors + your business name.

They’re customized to deliver visual information in a branded package, like these:

Image collage

Creating branded images is easier than ever today. And branded images are super versatile!

How to use branded images

Creating branded images is worth the time and effort (my free visual marketing workshop shows you how to make them in ~30 minutes).

You can use branded images in so many places, too. Trying using these images on …

  • Your website, to illustrate written content, podcasts, or vlogs
  • Your social media platforms, to drive attention to your messages (like Pinterest pins)
  • Your ads, to encourage swipers to stop scrolling and read your post
  • Your email marketing, so your message “pops” in the inbox

You can even use branded images in ebooks, content upgrades, and opt-in incentives!

See? Branded images are versatile as all get out. If you want tangible proof, here are some stats that prove the power of visual content marketing.

But here’s the thing …

There may be a little voice in your head telling you that even though the internet has become a visual platform, there’s no way you can create branded images yourself.

That’s what I thought for the longest time — that you had to be a trained designer to use design.

Today, I know this is patently false — non-designers can use design, create images, and brand their businesses all by themselves.

My 30+ year career is proof.

From design impostor to confident branded image creator

Read article …

A bundle of blue headed matches with a single red head match right in the middle

From Bland to Brand: 5 Smart Ways to Create a Stand Out Brand

If you own a business, there’s no one else more passionate about seeing it succeed than you.

That’s why you’re the ideal person to do the work of creating a stand out brand.

But it’s not easy, is it?

What can you do to position your brand so it’s unforgettable?

How can you make your business the first one that comes to mind when your ideal customer is looking for a solution like yours?

The route to a stand out brand is not paved with bland marketing efforts, that’s for sure.

Build a stand out brand that's unforgettable, like this curvy road in the mountains of Switzerland. Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.

Here’s how to craft a stand out brand for your small business.

Follow these five steps, and you’ll be on your way from bland to brand.

Read article …