How to Build Your Email List (the Catholic Way)
Do you feel like everyone's telling you, "BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST"
...but you don't actually know how to do that?!
Let's examine what you do to try to grow your email list when you don't know how to - most likely, you fight to add a "subscribe" button to your website and pray that people click on it. (I hate to break it to you, but they probably won't. Because "subscribe" is not marketing to why, it's marketing to what.)
Don't worry, you're not alone! Every marketer is telling you to grow your list right now like they're giving you the key to the marketing vault, and you're like gee, thanks, I thought I wanted a smaller list!
But you know that's not how we roll around here, so today, I'm going to break down the "grow your list" advice into four practical, simple steps:
1. Create a freebie.
Listen, email inboxes are FLOODED. No one is just giving you their email address to voluntarily sign up for marketing...unless you're giving them something for free. The most common freebie (also known as a lead magnet) is a PDF guide, but I have very strong feelings about those (see this post for seven Catholic lead magnets that aren't PDF guides and work way better).
The purpose of this giveaway is twofold: to serve before you sell by offering something of value absolutely for free and to educate your audience on your mission and why you do what you do.
I like to think of Jesus' lead magnet as the feeding of the 5,000. He literally gave them free physical food as a pathway to talking about the spiritual food He could provide for them.
2. Design a landing page.
Next, you need a way for people to sign up for your lead magnet. And no, that standard sign-up page from Mailchimp isn't going to cut it.
Even though you are giving something away for free, you still need to convince them of why it's worth their email, so you need a sales page to show them how it is going to serve them. (And yes, even if you are a shop owner whose lead magnet is a coupon, you should still have a landing page for it, because you can actually "sell" your coupon a lot further strategically by filling out a page about your mission, popular items, etc.)
The Old Testament is kind of like the landing page for salvation history. God didn't just send the Messiah the second Adam and Eve ate the fruit; rather, He used the entirety of the Old Testament to "convince" His people to accept the gift of salvation and recognize it in Jesus.
3. Build relationships with a welcome sequence.
This is where I see SO MANY Catholic business and ministries falter. A lot of them have lead magnets, but so few follow up! Here's the thing: When someone grabs your lead magnet, they are literally raising their hand saying, Hey! I'm interested in what you do!
But if you wait until you send the next sales email, they are going to be long past interested.
Welcome sequence/funnel/drip marketing/automated email series - call it what you will, it's going to be your new favorite thing. After delivering your lead magnet, you'll send out a series of automated emails (a.k.a. you write them once and forget them!) that further engage your audience, get them used to opening your emails, maybe deliver a few more goodies, and provides an opportunity to buy/donate/engage with you further at the end. (The first of these emails is the most important; here's how to make the most of this prime marketing opportunity.)
The apostles display this really well. They didn't just go out and make disciples in all these new lands and set up churches and never communicate again. We have the richness of the New Testament letters thanks to their version of a funnel by following up with these churches to continue to teach them the Gospel and encourage them to go deeper.
4. Finally, get that sign-up in front of some eyeballs!
There are numerous free ways you can do this, but the best and quickest way is to advertise your lead magnet so that you reach new people (and not just the audience you already have). Imagine if the apostles had stopped at only evangelizing in Jerusalem!
And that's it! Simple, right?
Now here's the question: When are you going to have time to do all of that?
Because if you're anything like most Catholic leaders I encounter, you don't have a lot of time.
And setting something up like this takes a LOT of time.
And before you know it, it's Advent 2023 and you STILL don't have an email list.
I get it - God put waaaaay more important things on your heart than slogging through email marketing set-up and fighting with advertising parameters. Those aren't your gifts.
But they are mine.
And that's why I am super duper excited to share a brand new package we're offering here at Gloriam: St. Andrew Leads.
In this full-service package, I'll design your lead magnet, email funnel, landing page, and advertisements so that you can get more emails on your list and nurture them so they are primed to engage with you.
All done for you, and all automated.
Not only do you then not have to slog through it all yourself, you also know that it's getting done in the most strategic and Catholic marketing way possible.
Because there's really so much more to it than I can fit in a few blog posts:
Like where to actually advertise your lead magnet so you reach your audience and not a bunch of randos (and how to reach them, since Facebook was a meanie pants and got rid of religious targeting)
Like why you shouldn't just put a pop-up on your site (Hint: It can damage your SEO).
Like making sure you don't get in trouble by not following CAN-SPAM and GDPR laws.
Like what to ask (and not to ask) on your sign-up form.
Like the exact format your lead magnet and funnel needs to be to train your audience to open your emails without even reading the subject line.
When St. Andrew first encountered Jesus, he literally ran to Peter and told him that he had found the Messiah. He was so moved by what Jesus said and did that he was compelled to tell others about Him.
That's what I want to do for you: tell other people about what you do so that you can tell them about Christ.
God already knows who you're called to serve.
Let me help you find them.
Learn more about the St. Andrew Leads Package here.