How to Build an Email List
Building an email list is one of the most valuable actions you can take when it comes to your online business. While it’s not difficult, many people feel intimidated by the whole process.
It may seem like you need a lot of expertise to get started. Or you may be concerned about the expenses involved. Fortunately, it’s possible to start a list even if you have no experience, and with only a minimal investment. Actually, you can even do it for free!
In this article, I’ll be looking at why you should start building an email list and the basic steps it takes to get started.
Why you should build an email list
Why is it so important to start building a list? The reason is simple. A list provides you with targeted prospects and customers with whom you can communicate whenever you want.
Once you have a list, you are free from having to worry about things like SEO, Google or other factors you can’t control. This doesn’t mean you will never try to rank websites, but you will have a resource of your own that protects you from the unpredictable events that can occur with the search engines. The fact is, once you have a large enough list, you can make money even if your website is on page 100 of Google!
An email list can also give you customers who buy from you repeatedly. You can upsell them and email your offers to them regularly.
What you will need
You only need a few basic things to start building your list. Let me get you started, firstly with a simple website, where you can place your opt-in form.
Landing Page and Opt-In Form
You need a website or landing page. While it’s best to have your own site, you can even use free sites such as Blogger.com or even a Facebook page if you prefer. All you need is a site where you can place an opt-in form.
An opt-in form is simply a form where visitors enter their information such as name and email address. The more information you ask for, the harder it will be to get people to respond. Some forms only request an email address. Others ask for full name, email and phone number.
I suggest sticking with name (first name only is fine) and email. Any more than this, and you will lose some potential subscribers. The only exception would be if you have a business where you have a real need for people’s phone numbers.
Getting an Autoresponder
You will also need a service such as an autoresponder to automate the process of collecting emails. These services also protect you against spam complaints by making subscribers confirm their subscription. This is known as double opt-in, as people receive an email which they must respond to in order to be confirmed as subscribers.
Your autoresponder is usually the most expensive list building tool you will need. Some autoresponders are free, but there is always a catch. A completely free service will force you and your subscribers to read third-party ads.
Some autoresponders have several tiers of service. They will allow you a small number of subscribers for free, but make you pay beyond this. It’s fine to start off using the free service and then start paying once you have a larger list.
Here are a few good autoresponders worth looking into:
This is the one most widely used by online marketers. You can try them out for $1.
Another popular autoresponder that has many useful features. Check them out.
What’s nice about this service is that you can have up to 2,000 subscribers for free. If you continue to use them after you have reached 2,000 subscribers, then only you start paying.
Setting up your autoresponder can seem challenging when you are just starting out. However, every service gives you detailed instructions on how to do this. If you have questions, you can contact their support. You can also find answers to many questions on online marketing forums, or even by doing a Google search.
Once you do set up your autoresponder, you’ll understand how it works and you’ll be able to start building a list whenever you want.
What to Offer Subscribers
Setting up a website, opt-in form and autoresponder is just the beginning of building a list, of course. The main challenge is getting people to actually sign up. For this, you must come up with an offer that makes people willing to give you their email address.
A common tactic is to offer people a free gift to “bribe” them into subscribing. This can still be effective. The key is to think of something that will appeal to your target market. Rather than offering people a generic “free report” or ebook, try to address a specific issue or problem that they are facing.
If you can offer people a free solution to something that’s important to them, they will be glad to subscribe. Don’t be misleading, but make sure that what you are giving them is truly relevant and helpful. Otherwise, you won’t get responsive subscribers, or they will unsubscribe from your list just as quickly as they signed up!
How to grow your email list
There are several strategies to help you grow your list. You can do any of the following:
- Social media
Drive traffic to your landing page with videos, articles and social media posts.
- Buy paid traffic
Such as Google or Facebook ads. You can also advertise on other popular websites.
- Joint Ventures
This involves making a deal with another list owner. You could, for example, give them a free product to send to their list (which will contain a link to your landing page).
- Offline methods
You may be able to build your list by advertising your offer offline on business cards, flyers, posters and anywhere you can think of.
- Social media
Remember that you can’t build a quality, responsive list overnight. Use a few methods that you’re comfortable with, and make sure you treat your subscribers well. This means sending emails to them regularly, but not too often.
You should also strike a good balance between providing people with great content and advertising your offers. You certainly want to promote to your list, but you also want to send out some valuable free information. This gives them a good reason to stick with your list.
List building is one of the most profitable tasks you can focus on. No matter what you’re marketing, you can get better results if you have a list. This is something that will become more and more lucrative as you build it up. Every new subscriber is a potential long term customer!