What a Facebook Ad Taught Me About Email Lists

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counseling private practice

counseling private practice

You may have noticed that every 7 days or so, you’re getting a pop up on my website asking if you want my 5 Dirt Cheap Tools. It’s both annoying and also eye-catching. Every few months I test out new approaches for engaging folks.

One thing that I have noticed, is that I have not done a great job of walking folks through the process of change. What I mean by that is that in the website world, you should make it easy for folks to engage and tell them exactly what and where things are. So, I’ve been working on improving my e-newsletter. New people that sign up get a daily email for the first week, helping them get more connected with all the things that Practice of the Practice has to offer.

What a Facebook Ad Taught Me

This was spurred on by a random Facebook ad. It was about how to grow an audience on Facebook. I clicked on the ad, which took me to a website where I could sign up for a “free report” about growing a Facebook page. Then within that report, the guy was selling a $7 book that went beyond the “report.” I didn’t buy it, but I immediately got an email. The email told me how I would get daily “training sessions” over the next week.

I’m sure he’s going to ask me to be on a member’s list, but I am looking forward to what he has to say.

Think about what all I had to do:

1. Click on Facebook Ad

2. Give my email

3. Read report

4. Read e-mail

He guided me through exactly what and where he wanted me to read. He made it easy for me to get involved, buy, learn, and grow.

I do a terrible job at that!

Part of it is that I don’t want to come across as some scummy used car salesman-type. But, on the other hand, how will people know about what I’ve done on my website? I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years and I rarely break the 2,000 people mark in a month. I’m usually close, but not quite. Also, usually 75% or so are new visitors, that means I am losing audience members that could continue to learn. I’m missing out on having a broader audience, growing my income, and connecting with really cool people!

Now what?

So my first attempt was to increase my automated replies through my Aweber account. Folks will now get engaged more frequently when they are most excited. But let me slow down, you probably don’t have an e-mail list going yet.

Where to start with an e-mail list

First let’s start with why you need to have an email list, right now. Even if you start carrying around a piece of paper, start doing something. Over and over, marketing experts say “there’s money in the list.” What they mean is that someone’s email is their most direct way of connecting with them. In a private practice this might be around specific topic areas like:

Marriage Help

Parenting Improvement

Teaching Tips and Classroom Management

Wellness Issues

How to Reduce Depression

Overcoming Anxiety

I started with creating email lists within my gmail account. This was a cheap option. But it was very time consuming. As my practice took off, I realized that if I spent one hour on emailing, it was an hour I wasn’t charging $70 (my rate then). So it was costing me money to keep an email list to try and get more clients. It didn’t make sense.

Then I started a MailChimp account. Mailchimp is a great first start for folks. They have really cool forms for sign up, organize emails, and you can personalize emails so it says “Hey, ___name here___, how’s it going?” It’s pretty sweet. I would create emails to send out, but then I’d have new people join and wanted them to see the old emails, so I would have to copy them and then resend them to anyone added since a certain date.

Again, FREE was the key for me.

Then it all changed!

I remember being away with my family. I was sitting in a hotel lobby with my fresh made waffles cooling. I was resending all these emails that I had already written and sent. It was a solid 45 minutes of time that I should have been enjoying waffles. That’s when I upgraded my Mail Chimp account.

Over the coming months I launched an e-newsletter where people had to pay. They paid through Amazon Payments, which was really funky. Then someone’s credit card expired and I couldn’t get the person back on the list at the original email they were on. I still have to copy each email for their individual list. I have 3 people that are on that copy and paste plan.

When Mail Chimp couldn’t solve the issue, I started looking around. I ended up going through Aweber because I could talk with someone and they helped me switch much of my information over. As well, they had the automated email option, forms that had a variety of options, and most of all there is a seamless integration with PayPal. So much so that I can have people automatically added to specific lists if they ever buy from me. It’s crazy amazing.

Using an email list in private practice

So what’s stopping you? If you can connect meaningful content with potential clients and have it automated, why wouldn’t you go to the next level? Here’s a graph of the benefits to help you figure out whether you want to use your own email or if you want to choose Mailchimp or Aweber. Which one is best? You decide!

aweber or mailchimp

Time to start

Full disclosure, I am a Aweber affiliate, but that’s because I use them and like them. It’s made it really easy to build connections. In fact, I have a product for parents coming out soon that I think you might be interested in. If you want to talk about being an affiliate with me, let me know.

If you want to get started with Aweber, will you use my affiliate link? CLICK HERE to get started with Aweber.

Below is a walk-through video to see how to set up the Aweber Plug-in on your WordPress Website. Not sure where to start in setting up your website. Here’s an article about Setting Up Your Website.


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Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC is amazed how much fun it is to help other people in business and counseling! He helps angry kids, frustrated parents, and distant couples at his private practice in Traverse City, MI at Mental Wellness Counseling. Also, he is the author of Mental Wellness Parenting | A remarkably simple approach to making parenting easier. To link to Joe’s Google+ .


Counseling Private Practice tipsPhoto by Coletivo Mambembe