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Start with email


Is growing your email list on your list for the New Year?

“What email list?” you ask. “I’ve got loads of followers on Facebook and Instagram. Who needs a list?”

You do!

Without a list, your business will not produce profits on a consistent enough basis to sustain and grow your business. You might really just have a hobby and enjoy social media connecting. And that’s fine if that’s what you want.

If what you want instead is to build equity in your business, you need to look at building your list. Building a list is a way for people to get to know, like and trust you enough to spend money with you.

And, speaking of people, aim for quality over quantity. If you just want numbers of names, you won’t get the results you want.

And, yes, you may have a list of thousands of followers on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media site. Have you thought about who owns that list? It is not you. While none of us expect Facebook or Instagram to totally disappear, if they do, your list goes with it.

Start with an email marketing platform

You likely already have the start of a list. You have probably built the list from online or in-person sales, from a class you taught, or from speaking or vending.

You may have a list of 10, 100, 1000 or more that you are trying to grow. It does not matter since we all started in the same place with zero subscribers to our list. 

Think of the email marketing platform as your customer relationship management tool.

Options include Mail Chimp, Infusionsoft, AWeber, Constant Contact, Mad Mimi, ConvertKit, and countless others. (You do not want to use your Outlook email program.)

Each of the options mentioned will have free trials or demos so you can become familiar with them. The difference is in the sophistication of the tool and what your needs are. So pick one and then play around with it

The reason you want an email platform is that it allows people to opt themselves in and to opt themselves out. You may be able to segment your list and build a level of autoresponders.

Get permission

Email marketing is permission based. And, you need to ask people if they want to be on your email list.

Not only is it common courtesy, it’s the law. And, companies are cracking down more today on violators.

None of us like getting spam and we don’t want to become spammers either. Be sure you get permission to market.

Create a lead magnet

This would be a freebie that you give someone who visits your website in exchange for their email address. It is like the free taste that you get at the ice cream shop. This allows someone to give you permission to market to them and to try before they buy.

Your lead magnet can take the form of an e-book, a pattern, or a training video, for example. Do not get stuck on what you need to create, just create something of value for your potential customer.

The goal of the freebie is to drive people to your website to learn more about you and your products.

Create an email marketing strategy

In its simplest form, you create content on your website, share it with the people on your list, continue to build a relationship with your list on a consistent basis, periodically send an offer to your list, always continuing to provide more value.

People did not join your list to buy from you. They got on your list to get the value you have to offer.

You need to be consistent in communicating with them. For example, you  might send your newsletter once a week on the same day. You might send it twice a month. It doesn’t matter, you just need to create a schedule and stick to it. 

Remember that people join your list at various stages and you need to continually work to nurture the relationship with the value you offer.

Develop a content strategy that aligns with your business objectives

You need to identify a variety of themes that relate to your message and then come up with content topics for each.

If your message has five key themes and you have five topics in each theme, you have a half year’s worth of content.

Your strategy can include written, video and audio formats.

Start to share your content in your newsletter, your blog and on social media, and engage with your peeps through your content.

Place an opt-in box on your website

You can do this in a variety of places.

You definitely should have one on the home page. Do not send your visitors to another page with a link that says “Sign up for my newsletter here.”

You can add one on the right column of pages on your website. 

You can add one at the end of your blog posts.

And, you can add a pop-up box. I added one a few years ago. Sure some people find them annoying, but they are effective, so do not discount adding one.

It’s your turn!

Building your email list does not happen overnight. What is your most effective strategy to build your list? What questions do you have about building your list? 


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2 Responses to “Start with email”

  1. Shelly Stokes said:

    Hey Morna, I just want to thank you for insisting that I write a weekly email newsletter when we were working together. I’m writing Issue 262 this week. That’s 5 years of appearing in people’s inbox week in and week out, with only a few weeks off during that time.

    You taught me that it’s not just building the list. It’s about creating a relationship with my readers. It’s a lot of work, but the results are amazing. Now that I’m focused on teaching, I have a built in base of students ready and willing to take my courses.

    Thank you for helping me set a foundation that will continue to pay dividends for years to come!

  2. Morna said:

    Shelly, Wow, 5 years, 262 issues. I don’t know many people who are excited about writing a weekly newsletter, but you are right about the payoff. And it is about relationship building that will last for years to come. And, you’re welcome!

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