If you’re like most people, you probably didn’t start building your email list from day one. And that’s okay! It’s never too late to get started – and this guide will show you how.
Building an email list is one of the best things you can do for your business. It gives you a direct way to communicate with your audience, and allows you to build relationships with them over time.
There are a few different ways to go about building your list, and we’ll cover some of the most effective methods here.
But first… let’s talk about one of the biggest reasons entrepreneurs avoid starting their email list: fear of making mistakes!
Don’t Be Afraid Of Making Mistakes
Stop beating yourself up for inevitable mistakes you’ll make while growing your email list! Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither is a successful email list. Just start taking action and learn as you go.
If you’re just starting out, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you have to be perfect. But the truth is, you’re going to make mistakes – everyone does.
The important thing is to learn from those mistakes and keep moving forward.
Common Mistakes When Growing Your Email List
Here are a few of the most common mistakes people make when growing their email list, and how to avoid them.
1. Not Offering an Incentive
When you’re first starting out, it can be tempting to try to grow your list as quickly as possible. But if you’re not offering some sort of incentive for people to sign up, you’re not going to get very far.
People are more likely to sign up for your list if you’re offering them something in return, like a discount code, a free e-book, or access to exclusive content.
2. Not Asking for Permission
Before you start adding people to your email list left and right, you need to make sure you have their permission first.
The best way to do this is to use an opt-in form on your website or blog. This way, people can sign up for your list without having to give you their contact information directly.
3. Not Segmenting Your List
Once you start growing your list, it’s important to segment it so that you’re sending relevant content to the right people.
For example, if you have a travel blog, you might segment your list into people who are interested in budget travel, luxury travel, or solo travel. This way, you can send each group of people content that’s more relevant to them.
4. Not Keeping Your List Clean
As your list grows, you’re going to get some people who unsubscribe, and that’s okay! It’s actually a good thing – it means you’re only sending your emails to people who really want to receive them.
But in order for this to work, you need to make sure you’re keeping your list clean by removing inactive subscribers on a regular basis. This way, you’re not paying to send emails to people who aren’t even reading them.
5. Not Measuring Your Results
If you’re not measuring your results, you won’t know what’s working and what’s not.
Make sure to track things like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates. This way, you can see what’s working and make changes accordingly.
The important thing is to just get started and learn as you go. And if you make a mistake, don’t worry! Just take a deep breath and keep moving forward.
Shop Around for the Best Email Marketing Service for Your Needs
Now that we’ve covered some of the mistakes you might make while growing your email list, let’s talk about how to actually go about doing it.
Knowing how to grow your list is one thing, but managing it will require an email marketing service. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing an email marketing service, since there are many out there at different price points and each have different features.
What is an email autoresponder / automation?
An email autoresponder is a software that allows you to send automated emails to your subscribers. It’s a great way to stay in touch with your list and keep them engaged. Some services call it an ‘autoresponder’ while most newer services will simply call it ‘automations’.
What are the different types of email marketing services?
There are many different types of email marketing tools out there, but some of the most popular ones include Mailerlite, MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact, and GetResponse.
How do I choose the best email marketing service for my needs?
The best email autoresponder for you will depend on your specific needs and monthly budget. For example, if you are sending out primarily marketing messages or affiliate offers, you’ll want an email service that allows it (make sure to check their terms of service carefully). Or, if you need advanced features like automation or segmentation, you’ll want to choose an email service that has those advanced features and does them well.
Choosing The Best Email Marketing Service For Your Business
There are a lot of different options out there, so it’s important to take the time to find the one that’s right for you. Here are a few things to look for:
1. Ease of use: The software should be easy to use and understand. It should have a user-friendly interface that makes it simple to set up and manage your campaigns.
2. Automation features: Look for an email service that offers powerful automation features, such as the ability to segment your list, send automated messages based on subscriber behavior, and more.
3. A/B testing: A/B testing is a valuable tool that allows you to test different subject lines, call to actions, or email content to see what performs best with your audience. Choose an email service that makes it easy to set up and track your A/B tests.
4. Reporting and analytics: Make sure you can track your campaigns and see detailed reports on your results. This will help you track your progress and make necessary adjustments to improve your results.
5. Pricing: Email marketing services vary in price, from free (like MailerLite and Mailchimp) to $150/month or more. Choose the one that fits your budget and needs.
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to start shopping around for the best email marketing service for your business.
Email Marketing Services I Recommend
Here are a few of my top picks:
1. MailerLite – MailerLite is a great option for small businesses or anyone just getting started with email marketing. It’s free for up to 1,000 subscribers, and offers powerful features like automation and segmentation, as well as great e-commerce tracking and integration with WooCommerce.
2. ActiveCampaign – ActiveCampaign is a great choice if you need advanced features like automation and segmentation. It starts at $9/month for up to 500 subscribers. ActiveCampaign is unique because they have a powerful CRM system built into their platform that you can use.
3. ConvertKit – I like ConvertKit’s ease of use and clean interface. It’s perfect for bloggers and content creators who want to create an email list without needing complex CRM’s and other sales tools. The company founder, Nathan Barry, is an excellent entrepreneur and makes sure to put customers first when building out the service. It has great automation / autoresponder features, as well as features to help you sell digital products.
3. GetResponse – Another good option for small businesses or anyone just getting started with email marketing. You can try it for free for up to 500 subscribers.
4. MailChimp – MailChimp is a popular email marketing service that offers a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers. It’s a good choice for small businesses or anyone just getting started with email marketing.
4. Drip – If you’re primarily focused on e-commerce (ie. Shopify store) then Drip is worth checking out.
Want more tools like this? Click here for a list of my other recommended business tools.
Brainstorm and Create Your Irresistible Lead Magnet Offer
Now that you have an email service setup, you need to brainstorm and create your lead magnet offer. This is the freebie you’ll be giving away in exchange for people’s email addresses. It should be something that’s valuable and relevant to your target audience.
Some ideas for lead magnets include:
3. Cheat sheet
4. Resource list
5. Training video
6. Case study
7. Sample chapter of an upcoming book
8. Free report or white paper
9. Discount or coupon code
10. Entry into a contest or giveaway
Once you’ve decided on your lead magnet, it’s time to start creating it! If you need help, there are plenty of resources out there, such as Canva, which offers free templates and design tools.
Whip Up an Opt-In Page with Enticing Copy
Ok great! You’ve created your lead magnet. Now it’s time to create an opt-in page to host it. This is the page where people will go to sign up for your freebie. Make sure the copy on your opt-in page is compelling and entices people to sign up.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Use a powerful headline that speaks to your target audience’s pain points.
2. Write persuasive copy that explains what they’ll get by signing up.
3. Use images or videos to help visualize what they’ll get.
4. Use an exit-intent popup to offer the lead magnet again if they’re about to leave the page.
5. Add social proof, such as testimonials, to show that others have benefited from your offer.
6. Use a landing page tool, like Elementor (if you’re using WordPress), or check out LeadPages or Instapage to create and host your opt-in page.
7. Test, test, test! Make sure you’re constantly testing different elements of your opt-in page to see what converts best.
Now that you have your opt-in page setup, it’s time to start driving traffic to it!
Create Your Welcome Email and Follow-Up Email Campaigns
Your welcome email is the first email your subscribers will receive from you, so it’s important to make a good impression. This is your chance to introduce yourself, thank them for signing up, and give them a taste of what they can expect from your emails.
Your follow-up email campaign is just as important as your welcome email. Once someone has signed up for your list, it’s important to keep the momentum going by sending them regular emails that are relevant and valuable to them.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when creating your welcome email and follow-up campaigns:
1. Keep it personal. Address your subscribers by name, and make sure your tone is friendly and approachable.
2. Keep it relevant. Make sure the content of your emails is relevant to your subscribers and their interests.
3. Keep it short. No one wants to read a long email, so keep your emails concise and to the point.
4. Include a call to action. Every email should have a call to action, whether it’s to read your latest blog post or download a free e-book.
Drive Traffic to Your Opt-In & Grow Your List
There are a few different methods you can use to grow your list, and the best one for you will depend on your goals, your budget, and your audience.
1. Use pop-ups or lead forms on your website.
If you want to grow your email list quickly, using pop-ups or lead forms on your website is a great way to do it. You can offer something in exchange for an email address, like a free e-book or discount code.
2. Run a contest or giveaway.
Running a contest or giveaway is a great way to get people to sign up for your email list. You can offer prizes that are relevant to your business or audience.
3. Leverage existing platforms and plugins.
There are many online platforms and communities that you can leverage to grow your email list. For example, if you have a WordPress blog, you can add a sign-up form to your website or blog using one of many plugins available.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to grow your email list is to use social media. You can start by creating a post or ad that directs people to your opt-in form. Or, you can run a social media campaign specifically for list building. Share links to your sign-up form or contest, and encourage people to join your list!
5. Paid advertising.
Paid advertising is another effective way to grow your email list. You can use platforms like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads to reach new audiences and get them to sign up for your email list.
6. Collaborate with other businesses.
Teaming up with another business – whether it’s through a joint venture, guest blogging, or an affiliate partnership – is a great way to reach a new audience and grow your email list.
7. Speak at events
If you’re speaking at an event, you can promote your opt-in offer to the attendees. This is a great way to get in front of a new audience and grow your list quickly.
8. Use content upgrades
Content upgrades are additional resources that people can get access to by signing up for your email list. They’re a great way to incentivize people to join your list, and can be used on blog posts, video tutorials, or other types of content.
Building an email list doesn’t have to be difficult – with the right approach, you can quickly start growing your list of subscribers.
Plan Marketing Opportunities for the Future
It’s important to have a plan for how you’re going to continue growing your email list over time. This might include using some of the methods we’ve mentioned above, as well as others, like hosting webinars or creating lead magnets specifically for list building.
Whatever methods you use to grow your list, it’s important to be consistent and always be looking for new ways to reach more people. With a little effort, you can quickly start to see results.
Did you find this article helpful? Share it with your followers! And if you’re looking for more list building tips, check out my marketing-related blog posts.