Marketing to Millennials with ConvertKit
Written by Edna Davidsen ∴ Saturday, August 26, 2017
OurChristianBook.com is an affiliate partner with ConvertKit, using their affiliate program designed to provide means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to the company.
Email Marketing to Millennials in the Christian Community
On Tools for Christian in Business OurChristianBook.com promotes a few high-quality products helping Christian Affiliate Marketers. God wants you to know what are the best tools to reach His children. You'll find ConvertKit to be among the most powerful relation-building tools available. ConvertKit is an email service provider you use to establish a connection between your blog and the readers via email. What I like second-most about being a Christian Affiliate Marketer is I do get a commission when someone buys the products OurChristianBook.com recommends. At the same time, I point them to scriptures on trusting God and share the Gospel. It's wonderful. Christian Affiliate Marketers who do their job well have no reason to be shy about the commission part. The commission structure creates win-win situations for the customers and the Christian seller. Here's how . . .The customers experience you help them, and even though the company pays us a commission, it comes with no extra customers-costs. I know I need to deliver more than 'just a product description' if my goal is to give the customers a feeling of being helped and inspired. This blog post Marketing to generation Y with ConvertKit is my contribution to the Christian community to simplify the email service provider choice. I'll include the reasons why ConvertKit is OurChristianBook.com's preferred email service provider. Finding the best email marketing provider is 20%.80% is knowing the email recipients. If you're a Christian with a dream of going into online business, it's a 86% chance you'll be marketing to Millennials because they're the largest (and most connected) generation. I'll give the numbers later. Generation Y has the highest buying power. 80% are online 24/7. I'll share some ideas how to position yourself and your email marketing to Millennials with ConvertKit so you'll be the trusted go-to Christian Affiliate Marketing resource. The first step is knowing your audience.
1st Reason: Email Marketing is Inbound Marketing, also called 'permission marketing' because the recipients want you to contact them.
What Characterises the Millennials?
People within the online-business industry have different opinions about Wikipedia and Google. I find both beneficial. I'm a real Google- and Wikipedia-FAN. Both Google and Wikipedia are vital participants in low-costs information-distribution to those who need it most. Last week I wrote a blog post I called God did not Give us a Spirit of Fear. Some say they avoid Google and Wikipedia because they're scared the information is biased or untrustable. They say the companies are too big gigantic to be neutral. Instead of approaching the Internet assuming what I get is wrong, I compare information from different resources. It takes away the fear of being wrong. God wants you to be flexible and free instead of filled with fear of being wrong!
It's been crucial to include posts about fear on OurChristianBook.com because I'm fortunate to have a readership as a result of building this website. One view I would be happy to be associated with is the idea of being less scared. I encourage people to be more: • Relaxed (less afraid of missing an opportunity) • Self-reliant (and less concerned with other people's judgements) • Positive future-oriented (and less affected by the daily media scare stories)• Offline (and less addicted to consuming social media and news channels) It's mainstream to questioning Google's, Wikipedia's and other large enterprises motives. I'm convinced I serve my audience better with Google and Wikipedia.Time and time again Wikipedia-resources have inspired me where to click next. This goes for the Wikipedia article about the Millennials as well: "Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years." When I hear information like this, I listen. Here's my reaction: I'm a Christian Affiliate Marketer. 80% of the people I'll meet through my business will most likely belong to the Millennials. I conclude I serve the Millennials better by learning how they see the world!In a report Goldman Sachs says the following about this generation: "One of the largest generations in history [Edna Davidsen: the Millennials] is about to move into its prime spending years. Millennials are poised to reshape the economy; their unique experiences will change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come." To give you a context here I say this is good news. Right now, as you read this, is the best heydey for Christian Affiliate Marketing for reasons I'll come back to in a moment. Ian Somerhalder, actor and entrepreneur, says "Millennials don't just want to read the news anymore. They want to know what they can do about it." Your time is a golden opportunity to step in with your Christian worldview and offer this generation just what they need regarding sharing, caring and coping with the future. Goldman Sachs data comes from US Census Bureau. The report divides the US populations into three aggregations:• 77 M Baby boomers (born 1945-64) • 61 M Generation X (born 1965-1979) • 92 M Millennials (born 1980-2000) A huge segment of those born 1980-2000 in the US is Christians who need help finding products. The 2017 STATE OF THE BIBLE survey (published since 2011) shows some interesting US-trends. Around 2000 people participated in the survey. The US-Millennials have fewer Bible-readers when measured in percentages than previous generations. In general, the Bible-trust is declining among this group. The report states 55% of generation Y are “Bible-neutral” or “Bible-sceptical.” The numbers of other generations are: • Teens 45% • Gen X 45% • Baby Boomers 40% But, and here comes the interesting part, the Christian church-going youth are all-in committed to their faith. For the most part, Christian Millennials know the Bible better than older Christians. This segment believes the Bible comes from God and their Bible reading frequency is higher than in any other generation. It's comforting to know that you have some bright Christians among generation Y because the state of the Bible survey also revealed 33% of the Millennials believe the Bible has too much influence on society today. In Forbes 10 New Findings About The Millennial Consumer, it's said generation Y has $200 billion in annual buying power. ConvertKit, the email marketing product, I'll relate all this to later, comes as a helpful tool to build genuine relationships with the Christian Millennials. It's an outstanding communication tool for you if you help the Millennials finding the right solutions in their search for a more purpose driven life. One concept that pops up in almost all articles about the Millennials is FOMO. FOMO is an abbreviation of fear of missing out. The picture below shows the trend for the word-use the last 200 years. (A service provided by Google.)
2nd Reason: Email Marketing has a higher close rate (= make more sales) than Outbound Marketing.
Google classifies FOMO as: "anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website." The Millennials are the first generation with information available about any matter. At the same time, they're also the generation with the highest FOMO-factor. What're the implications concerning the use of professional email software such as ConvertKit in your Christian Affiliate Marketing? First off, when you send the Millennials an email, you're competing with several other attention-grabbers. Secondly, the Millennials see their mobile devices and their inboxes as an infinite possibility spectrum. What you say has to catch their attention within 1-2 seconds. Otherwise, you've lost them. If this is new information, I embolden you to put blog post number 12 What's a Realistic Perspective in Christian Affiliate Marketing? On your to-read list. The blog post will help you with the first step towards catching the Millennials attention within 1-2 seconds. The daily message-bombardment towards the generation Y creates a unique Christian Affiliate Marketer possibility to be a light in a dark sea. The Millennials know their needs. They prefer online shopping instead of the conventional retail shopping experience. Contrary to common belief (as I showed in last weeks blog post) generation Y is more educated about wise spending than previous generations, and, what's more important, they are less consumer-orientated and more cause-orientated. They want to better the overall living conditions more than any previous generation. Instead of being stormed by the shopping mall's Sales Executive trying to throw products at them the Millennials prefer to do their product-research from their iPhone/iPad at home.
3d Reason: Email Marketing is low-cost marketing.
In general, generation Y is: • More drawn to food than music • Better educated about nutrition's and health than generation X and the Baby Boomers • Adventure seekers • The most voluminous workforce • The first WiFi-generation • Loyal towards value-creators • Capable of detecting low-quality in a fraction of a second When you incorporate these characteristics in your Christian Affiliate Email Marketing, you'll be a valuable turn-to source in the Millennials eyes. Your audience can see the principle guiding you is honesty. I avoid spending much time on social media for reasons I gave in blog post number 17 Christian Affiliate Marketing: What is a Spam Account? But as you may have noticed, food is one of the most popular topics on social media. If a Christian seller promotes unhealthy products, it'll backfire with the Millennials. They're online shoppers, and they know the difference between marketing and real talk. If they find contradictions in your worldviews you present in your email marketing or on your website, you'll put yourself in a disadvantaged situation. You're no longer seen as an authentic, trustworthy source. But when you manage to write an inspiring blog post based on sound research with references that'll enable them to explore topics, the majority will reward you with a click on the buy button. You'll get real fans, which'll help you share your content. Generation Y loves to share. They enjoy sharing all from cars to social content. The four most used social media platforms among the Millennials are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. When you think about how to marketing to Millennials with Convertkit, you have two possibilities. You can approach them as segments or in terms of demographics. I've found it useful to approach them in terms of segments. Google defines marketing as: The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. Marketing originates from the Latin word mercari, which means 'buy.' Your targeted generation wants memorable experiences when they buy products or services. Shopping is more than buying an item. It's also buying a social identity. In Why Millennials hate digitals ads on Social media, a San Franciso Chronicle by Marissa Lang, we read: "They [Edna Davidsen: The Millennials] don't want to be targeted or broadcast at on social media like it's a TV or a radio . . . they want to be in a conversation, they want to engage. It has to be a twoway interaction if brands want to succeed. It can't be one way any longer." The best way to facilitate this two-way interaction, this conversation is to implement a professional email service provider in your Christian business. Second, to the written blog posts, email suits this audience best. It's focused one-to-one. It's personal. It's private.In Forbes-article Millennials And The Digital Experience: Getting Your Digital Act Together published Feb. 8, 2017, it's stated 84 percent distrust traditional advertising. The $1.000.000-question is how do we marketing to Millennials when just 6% percent US-Millennials find online advertising trustworthy? So what do the Millennials do when they need to buy products? They put their trust in influencers. I'll give you one thought at this point. Perhaps you're thinking "but, I'm too late to the party, there are already so many Internet Marketers out there with more than 10.000 followers and several hundred blog posts." That's right. But what I want you to go back to the big bloggers you're used to reading and ask yourself: "How many time do I get the thought I could write a better blog post than what I'm reading here?" Notice, whenever you get this impression, it's an opportunity to deliver a better product to the audience. Perhaps these blogs have a larger following than your website, but as you can read in Kevin Kelly's blog post 1.000 True Fans, it's possible to live the life you desire, doing what you love with as little as 1.000 committed followers. The 1.000 committed followers will turn into consumers others listen to because the Millennials prefer to see other people use a product before they buy it whether it's a Christian book or church appliances. You know God is with you when you're committed to delivering the best service and products possible. In this section, I've characterised the Millennials and provided a context for your email marketing with ConvertKit. Next, you're going to focus on what this generation is asking for? By knowing their needs, you can create the products or point them to them if they already exist.
4th Reason: Email Marketing delivers better leads. (A lead finding you is easier to close than leads you find.)
Once you have characterised your audience, you're able to serve them well. Your goal is to give them: • Gripping research about the company you're promoting • Read-worthy product descriptions • Context that helps your audience to see how the product improves people's quality of life. The baby boomers and generation X saw the 9-5 lifestyle as the norm. The Millennials want a more fun and authentic lifestyle. A intrusive questions among senior leaders according to a Forbes-article Three Strategies For Retaining Millennial Talent In 2017, is: What can our company do captivate, engage and keep millennial employees?One could argue the generation Y is less greedy than previous generations. In Why Millennials Are Ending The 9 To 5 reporter Kate H. Taylor writes, 45% of the Millennials prioritise workplace-flexibility over pay. Therefore, it's hard to use a paycheck as an incentive anymore. They also seek purpose-filled activities. The majority of classical jobs do not honour these criteria. A traditional job offers colleagues. The Millennials want more; they want a 'second-family.'So how do you use your email list service? What do you write? Here's what I've found works well. Give the audience leadership examples. The opinions you include in an email or formulate on your blog must be based on authentic experiences. The opinions work best if they're focused around your business purpose. That way you can lead with your purpose. You belong to the church of the living God Before you engage in any marketing to Millennials, step aside in quietness and ask, what's the will of God?If you can say "Yes, you're sure it's you God wants to use!" then you'll go all-in to deliver a unique experience through your business-activities as a Christian Affiliate Marketer. Your audience expects transparency. If you take a look at the sign-up form for my blog below, you'll see it says: First line'Subscribe to Edna's Blog | No Selling!' Second lineDo you want an email when new blog posts are published on OurChristianBook.com? (Release frequency: 4 blog posts per month.) Third line No selling-attempts in these emails. - You'll get a link to the new blog posts, that's all!
This is a transparency example. I lay my cards on the table. I promise the audience not to try to do email-selling. I give the audience a context by saying how often they can expect a notification.It's the most simple sign-up form, and it works well. It's better to notify readers of new blog posts via email than RSS because the Feed Reader is one-way communication. An email notification as I've set it up on OurChristianBook's blog facilitates the possibility for the readers to reply to my email with a suggestion on what they like me to research and cover. Using an email service provider such as ConvertKit is a more up-to-date distribution solution than using Web-based Atom/RSS readers because it gives your audience the possibility of being product co-creators. When you invite the audience to be product co-creators, you help them experience they're part of a bigger purposeful activity. Allowing them to be part of the processes involved in Christian Affiliate Marketing is also a way for you to help them establish their personal brand. Enabling ownership is a key to successful marketing to Millennials with ConvertKit. User-generated content performs well. If you want to create a meaningful product or service, the success-chances are higher when you remember insight goes beyond price for generation Y. A high-priced product can sell well if you manage to present it to the Millennials via recommendations from friends and colleagues, for example in terms of reviews. When I write content for my different email marketing forms, I always give some thought on the Bible verse at the beginning of this blog post Ephesians 4:29: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."It's a good guidance to write nothing but what is helpful for building others up according to their needs. You've now finished the first section, Email Marketing to Millennials in the Christian Community, and will move on to the next part of this blog post, ConvertKit for the Christian connection.
5th Reason: Email Marketing allows one-to-one communication.
ConvertKit for the Christian Connection
Marketing through email is pivotal for building blog-following. Implementing ConvertKit for the Christian connection is an opportunity for OurChristianBook.com to initiate trustworthy two-ways communication-channel with blog readers.When you have an email marketing services implemented on your websites you can use your email marketing software to effect online marketing strategies based on one-to-one communication rather than one-to-many. Account based marketing is among the best routes to maintain a Christian connection. It's doubtless, you've heard of the 5 p's of marketing. • Product • Price • Promotion • Place • People The reason why ConvertKit (or another email marketing software) is so powerful is that it helps you to position your Christian businesses aligned with the 5 p's of marketing better than any other tool. You get a unique possibility to talk about your services and products in the market relating to a Christian audience. If you look at the plan & price picture above, it's obvious that the point of break even is low. It means the system-costs give you a significant opportunity to set up an investment with good returns, provided you know what you're doing. Some Christian Affiliate Marketers use the email marketing software to write about the fruit of the Spirit. Other's write about how to live a purpose driven life. It's also a great tool to share your Bible reading plan.
Questions to Ask
When newcomers approach an industry, they often have some great questions because they see the scene with fresh eyes. One of these issues with regards to implementing email list software is: Can I collect email-addresses and send emails from my regular email provider? It's a real question. The answer is regular email providers will not allow you to send out as many emails as you like. Worst case scenario is an email-account suspension. Using email list software such as ConvertKit will prevent this from happening. Here are three questions that'll help you give your Christian audience what they want. 1. Does my audience have any experience with product/service XYZ that my email marketing covers? 2. What does my audience want to achieve by using the product/service I'm promoting? 3. Do I carry a unshakeable believe that my product/service will satisfy the desires of my audience?
6th Reason: Email Marketing can leverage your time, by using automated rules and messages.
What do I Get?
With ConvertKit you get a powerful tool whether you use it for business to business marketing or you're in for a more one-to-one marketing approach. With a small time-investment, you can implement a content marketing strategy on your website that'll facilitate a stronger relationship between you and your audience. Once you've signed up for ConvertKit, you'll get access to an easy to use tool for reaching Christian groups and building your Christian community around your website. It'll take one to three hours to learn how to use the essential platform-features. I'm happy to pay for the service ConvertKit gives me. ConvertKit provides me with a better understanding my audience. Although I've tried other email marketing providers before, I experience I've got a better email marketing solutions on OurChristianBook.com's blog after I decided to go with ConvertKit. ConvertKit allows me to validate ideas since it has excellent data extraction options. I would say this email marketing software is the best relationship building tool a Christian Affiliate Marketer can implement. Implementing ConvertKit is also a safety investment because it protects your access to your audience if you should lose access to your website.
What do I not Get?
You do not get a customer relationship management system (short: CRM.) If that's what you're looking for, you're a Infusion- or Salesforce-person. Those are platform more oriented towards commercial Internet-based electronic transactions. As a Christian Affiliate Marketer, you'll have a content based website with images and text. ConvertKit is not a shopping cart platform. ConvertKit has taken a different approach. The team behind ConvertKit has created what I believe to be the best tool for sending emails to many recipients. But they recognise some of you need to integrate the shopping cart aspect as well, which is why they've designed ConvertKit so you can integrate programs giving you these features as well.
Founder Nathan Barry
At his website, ConvertKit's creator Nathan Barry (nathanbarry.com, TW: @nathanbarry) describes himself as follows: "I’ve always cared about good visual design, but a few years ago I learned that I loved to teach as well. That led to creating this site [Edna Davidsen: His website], building iPhone apps, writing two books, and ultimately quitting my job to focus on creating my own products." If you take a look at Nathan Barry's website, you'll see it follows all the best practice principles for good web design. If you decide to signup for ConvertKit, you get the same design-quality. Nathan Barry puts focus on user-experience and user interface when he designs products. ConvertKit is Nathan Barry's most successful product. His product vision was it should have the power of Infusion and be easier to use than MailChimp. Today, more than 12.000 bloggers have signed up for ConvertKit - including Leo Babauta (Zenhabits.net, TW: @zen_habits) Pat Flynn (Smartpassiveincome.com, TW: @PatFlynn) and Chris Guillebeau (Chrisguillebeau.com, TW: @chrisguillebeau).
When it comes to comparing ConvertKit as an email marketing tool for professional bloggers with other similar products on the market I would like to emphasise the following strengths of Natan Barry's product: The Subscriber Definition Some competing programs continue to count people who have unsubscribed as subscribers. It may also happen subscribers on three lists count as three subscribers even though it's the same person who has signed up. It's a disadvantage for the user because it leads to a higher monthly price for the use of the email marketing software. A Christian Affiliate Marketer with a significant email list ends up with numbers too high to ignore when subscribers are accounted for this way. Cleaning the Subscriber List Despite what your online marketing strategies are, you'll always experience subscribers who over time lose interested in your content. ConvertKit's help-section explains how set up the email marketing software to clean inactive recipients better than any blog post about ConvertKit, I've seen. The Help Section The help-section topics are so well-organised and well-explained that there's no need for additional explanation. Head over to the starting guides whenever you need help with the initial setup.
ConvertKit - Basic Elements and Functions
ConvertKit has a few elements you need to be familiar with before you can take full advantage of this email marketing software for professional bloggers. The main-menus look like the picture above.
Forms, the first menu, you see to the left is the place to start once you've signed up for ConvertKit. In this menu you can create forms or landing pages. You can also monitor form and landing pages from here to see how they perform. You can see different examples of how forms look like in ConvertKit's starting-guide. I have used two forms in this blog post. One for readers who want to follow my blog. One for readers who are interested in the ABC of Christian Affiliate Marketing. Once readers sign up on these forms, they'll get an email where I ask them to confirm that they like to receive my emails. All they have to do is click on a link saying 'Confirm your subscription.' Other options are to let the subscribers download a file (could be a guide etc.) as a subscription confirmation.
Sequences, the second menu from the left, is the place the to start when you want to inspire and teach Christian audience by using email sequences. This menu was called 'Courses.' until a few months ago. When you enter this menu, you'll see a message describing how to set up an email sequence. In such an email sequence you can divide our subscribers into segments and different levels. You can send out x-amount emails in x-amount days. Even if you have several segments based on tags or levels we can always rest assured that subscribers max. receive an email once. When you set up the sequences you define: 1. How many emails are included? 2. How you arrange the email-sequences (they can be re-arranged at any time). 3. Whether you like to add or take out some emails from the sequences? 4. If you want to exclude subscribers from the sequence (e.g. based on tags). I'm working on sequence for readers interested in Christian Affiliate Marketing that'll give them a realistic context about the industry because what's required to succeed in Christian Affiliate Marketing is less obvious than it seems! I'm also working on sequences for Christian authors that'll help them market their books better.
The third menu from the left, the broadcast menu, is the area where you compose the emails. You can also see how previous emails have performed. Unlike when you use a personal email you have several possibilities to in- or exclude recipients by using ConvertKit's filter-function. You can define which email address you like to use for the broadcast. One aspect that'll give you credibility is your emails will contain your business address at the bottom, next to the unsubscribe possibility.
If you click the Subscribers-menu, which is number four on the left, you can see all your subscribers. It's also here where you can organise them into segments or by using tags. Both possibilities enable you to broadcast to groups within your groups, which can be useful in your email marketing campaigns. If you click on an individual subscriber you can see: 1. Where the subscribers came from? 2. If they've opened your emails? 3. What tag they've been associated with? I have a few criteria's when I setup forms. I respect other use different criteria's, but in my role as a Christian Affiliate Marketer I've decided to always: • Use double opt-in forms, which means subscribers need to confirm their subscriptions in a second email. By using double opt-in forms, you lower the 'spammers on the email list'-chances. • Avoid using the word 'free.' You skyrocket your chances of building a strong email list when the readers sign up for the right reasons. I have one service without charge on my entire website and it's is Improve Your Website Speed With Edna Davidsen. Other than this, my goal is to deliver value my audience is willing to pay for by purchasing the products I recommend on OurChristianBook.com's blog or ConvertKit-forms set up for selling.
Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.
7th Reason: Email Marketing secures you access to your readers if your website goes down.
The automation rules can be used to add tags to new subscribers or remove people from a form if they sign up for another form etc. The best way to learn to use the automated rule is by going to ConvertKit's help-section. Once the email list takes off, these automation rules are helpful time-savers. You can also connect RSS Feeds under the automation-menu. The last feature I'll mention under the automation-menu is the possibility to integrate other programs. So far, it's possible to integrate ConvertKit with these companies.
The integrations are most relevant for experienced Christian Affiliate Marketers. But when you chose an email service provider for your professional blogging it's beneficial to think long-term. One day you may want to use the integrations. Nathan Barry has done a great job so the integrations can be pushed through without problems.
In Marketing to Millennials with ConvertKit, I've covered different aspect related to one of the most powerful relation-building tools on the market, ConvertKit! First, you looked at how the product commission structures available to Christian Affiliate Marketers creates win-win situations for both the Christian seller and the Christian customer. Second, you applied the 80/20-principle in regards to knowing the customer versus knowing the email marketing software. It's also why 80% of Marketing to Millennials with ConvertKit has been about the generation Y and 20% about ConvertKit. Third, you looked at the ConvertKit-form I've used on this page with a focus on the transparency and no-selling concept. Fourth, you went through email marketing as an opportunity for Christians to initiate trustworthy two-ways-communication. Fifth, I covered 3 VIP question that'll help you give the audience what they want. Sixth, you saw what you get and what you don't get with ConvertKit. Seventh, you visited the founder's website and got some context about Nathan Barry. Eight, I related ConvertKit with other products on the markets and looked at the subscriber definition superiority, how to clean the subscriber list + the easy to use help section. Lastly, you got some insights on the core functionality of ConvertKit, forms, subscribers, sequences, broadcast, automation. If you appreciated Marketing to Millennials with ConvertKit, I’d be grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you! Edna Davidsen.