One of the first pieces of advice you will generally get when you are starting out in the online world is, “the money’s in the list”. This can seem overwhelming and a little intimidating at first. Where the hang heck do you even start?! Often it gets put off and when the time comes to promote a new product or offer, there is no one to promote it to. When you have an email subscriber list, you have a built-in stable of interested customers and prospects – and they can convert for you, promote for you, and give you tips on what needs to be improved. So, my message today is: Stop putting off your dang email list!
In this post, I am going to give you a few tips on how to start building your email list so you can start informing those who come after you, “the money is in the list” rather smugly and with a knowing glint in your eye.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that in the event of a sale, I may make a small commission. Don’t worry, this won’t cost you any extra and I only recommend products I use and love myself. Your support is appreciated!
What Constitutes a Great Offer?
A good place to start building your email list is with a fantastic opt-in freebie. An opt-in freebie is simply something you exchange for an email address. They sign up for your email list and in return, they get something for free. This will need to be something that your audience is searching for and will find value in. Nowadays people don’t sign up for email lists simply to get a weekly newsletter. They need to be enticed, bribed a little if you will.
There are several types of offers that tend to do well:
- An email series
- Free course
- Free membership areas
- Resource pages
- An instant download such as ebook, checklist etc
Before you create anything, look for topics that your niche needs. You can use the following strategies to search for ideas:
- Search in niche forums.
- Use a tool like Ubersuggest.org.
- Go off of what your blog readers have asked you about in your comments section. You can also read the comments of your competitors’ blogs.
- Look in niche magazine to see what’s hot.
- Use sites like Yahoo Answers to see what people are asking.
- Look for competitive courses that are for sale, and create your own for FREE.
And of course, you can always just come right out and ask people what they need.
Top Tip: find out what your audience wants before you create it. This will save you a whoooole lotta trouble if no one wants it
Set Up a Proper Autoresponder System
Start your email list the way you intend to carry on. Set up with a good, reputable email service provider right from the beginning as it will save having to transfer your list later on to a provider that has more capabilities, fewer advertisements etc
I learned this lesson when I started out with MailChimp but quickly outgrew it. It was a pain in the you know what to change allll my opt in’s on my website, exporting my list and setting up the automated emails that deliver the opt-in’s. Oh boy, I never want to do that again!
Good email service providers include:
Which one you choose will depend on your budget, needs and preferred extras you want to use.
A squeeze page is a very simple page that entices people to sign up to your email list. Everything should be above the fold (the first part of your website they see) so no scrolling is necessary. There should be one main headline and possibly one or two subheadings. One side of the page is usually the opt-in form and the other side is a list of bullet points or a short video that encourages people to sign up for your freebie.
Keep your opt-in form simple and in keeping with your branding. Don’t make them jump through hoops by having to enter their name, email address, mother’s maiden name, your pet’s breed and a short essay on their worldviews. Simply ask for a name and email and you’ll have a better conversion rate.
Drive Traffic to Your Opt-in Form
Once you have created your opt-in and set up your forms and emails you need to promote it!
Twitter can help you build a list quickly. It doesn’t require much of an investment in time – and it’s free. You have 140 characters to work with, so test different headlines to get people to click through and sign up.
Facebook is another social media platform that can send traffic your way. Boost a post, pay for ads or go au natural and use a regular ole post to zip that traffic to your opt-in form. You can test headlines and graphics to see which are more popular with your particular audience. You can use a personal profile, a fan page or group page to promote your opt in pages and offers. After posting them, decide whether or not you want to pay to have the post seen by more people in your target audience. They have a great tracking system that shows you what kind of interaction your paid ad generated.
You can even conduct live hangout sessions where you personally interact with your core audience online in real time and allow them to ask you questions. This helps you build a reputation as a leader in your niche, and it makes people want to follow your links, so expose your squeeze page to this audience. You can do lives on many social media platforms including Instagram and Facebook.
Pinterest is a great way to drive traffic to your opt-in form. Simply create a few appealing pins that lead straight to your landing page or squeeze page. Make sure your page shows off your opt-in to entice people to sign up
Article marketing still works well. Some people worried about recent Google algorithm changes and whether or not the directories would be able to compete. But like other sites, they simply adjusted their business model, cleaned up what Google disliked, and they’re back on the road to recovery.
Forum Sig Files
Forum sig files are good for getting people to sign up to your list. Don’t be vague – get specific. For example, people are more likely to sign up for a sig file that says, “Download my FREE report that shows exactly how I increased my Amazon earnings by 800% in just 4 weeks!”
That’s much better than a sig file that states, “Download my FREE report that shares a money making tip with you.” People get excited when you’re specific – but test your sig file to see what works best for you.
Best Practices for Email Communications
Right, you have people on your list, now you want to keep ’em there. You don’t want them subscribing, grabbing your freebie then unsubscribing. Long-term subscribers are what you want. To keep your subscribers you need to “treat your list like gold,” as the saying goes. But however cheesy, it’s a good moral to standby. The way you treat your subscribers will show in the way that your name gets branded around the web.
Different people have different ideas as to what annoys them or what they’re looking for. For example, some people don’t like receiving daily emails so if you tend to send emails daily, consider giving your subscribers a weekly digest option. This allows them to keep up to date but also keeps their inbox more manageable.
How often you email your subscribers will be up to you, how often you can manage and what your audience prefers (you can send out a survey and find out exactly what your audience wants if you want to).
Just keep in mind that if you don’t email often enough, your list will forget who you are and too often and you will annoy the heck out of them. There’s a fine line but you can find it (insert motivational thumbs up here).
Try to always be consistent though. Don’t email them every day for several weeks then nothing for a month then every day again for a week. You will confuse your audience which may make them hit that dreaded unsubscribe button. Pick a day or certain days and stick to it. Your readers will know exactly when they can expect to hear from you and will come to look forward to those days/times.
True Story: I recently unsubscribed from an email list after I got emails every two to four hours for days from someone. It annoyed me Immensely (see? Capital letter. And bold).
Types of Emails
There are two different kinds of emails you can send – broadcast emails and follow up emails.
- Broadcast emails are one-off emails which means that if someone signs up from your list after that email is sent, they won’t ever see it. If there’s something you want all of your subscribers to get, make sure you don’t broadcast it.
- Follow up emails are where you’ll put your series emails in. So if you promise a 7-day course, you would create 7 follow up emails that get drip fed to your subscribers once a day for a week.
Note: If you mix follow up emails and broadcast emails, your list may hear from you more than once a day. This may annoy your readers which can make them hit the unsubscribe button.
- You should never email just to send something out. Email when you have something important to say, a notification about a sale, or something else they might need.
- Never sell or rent your list to others unless you have strict guidelines about this. Some marketers build up a big list and then give other marketers access to it for a fee.
- Keep in mind that your reputation is on the line if the other marketer convinces them to buy something shoddy. You’re the one giving them access to it. Other subscribers will just be angry with you, period – for sharing their email address with someone they didn’t sign up to hear from in the first place!
- Be very selective if you allow solo ads to be dispersed to your audience. And let your readers know that you’re allowing this but that you are not personally endorsing the products being promoted to them.
- When it comes to your own product promotions, you have to learn how to provide value and not come across as a spammer yourself. Even if they appreciated your initial free giveaway, if you start spamming them with offers all the time, and providing very little true value, you’ll see hordes of subscribers leaving you for good. Not only that, but they’ll warn others to stay away. If someone mentions your name, they’ll say, “That person spammed me all the time, so I unsubscribed.” That’s not a reputation you want to gain.
Building a list from scratch is mostly about sharing value. But it’s also about getting traffic to your list and treating them in a way that helps you retain your subscribers and get them to convert high for you when the time comes.
You may also like
Handy Bloggin’ Resources
- Tailwind – Pinterest and Instagram scheduler
- SiteGround – Website hosting services
- Bluchic – Premium feminine WordPress themes
- Trello – Get yourself organised!
- Dare to Conquer FREE SEO boot camp
- The She Approach to boosting your traffic
- The She Approach start a money-making blog FREE online course
Pin for Later