This next guest post is all about how to curate a killer email list! I won’t say too much more as Ana, today’s guest post extraordinaire, will give you all the reasons you need one and why! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Ana: If you’re a blogger, online marketer, coach, author or basically any profession that requires you to have an online presence, you must’ve heard all about the importance of having an email list. (Spoiler alert: It’s very important!!)
To break it down simply having an email list means having full control and ownership over your list of followers and creating a personal connection with your readers. And how priceless is that?
When I started my blog, back in 2016, I came across a lot of posts about why it’s important to start a list and how to grow it, but many failed to explain how exactly you can get started (especially on a low budget) and what to actually send to your subscribers.
If you find yourself in the sale position, here is a quick list of actionable steps that you can take to start and manage your email list:
Step 1: Pick an email service provider.
I compare some of the most popular choices in this post, and yes, there is a PROs and CONs list for all of them because I am an email marketing nerd.
Here is what you need to know about Mailerlite: It’s free up until 1000 subscribers which is perfect if you are just starting out, it offers free everything (landing pages, pop-up and sign-up forms, and my favourite, free automation) and their customer support can walk you through basically everything if you reach out.
Another premium service that is worth checking out is Convertkit that is especially popular amongst bloggers.
(My affiliate links are included here, but I wouldn’t recommend these services if I wouldn’t pay for them myself).
Step 2: Get a PO box
With email marketing come anti-spam laws that regulates that at the end of your every email should be an option for your subscribers to opt out (this is added automatically by all email service providers so make sure to let it there) and your home address or a personal PO box.
If you don’t want your home address there, go for the second option.
Most PO boxes have a yearly cost, so I suggest looking for one that has a pay as you go system. (This way, you only have to pay if you receive mail there). If you are from the UK, UK Post Box is a free option that you can use.
Step 3: Create your first sign-up form & your first opt-in
Once you are all settled, it’s time to create those sign-up forms that people can fill out to join your email list.
Come up with something catchy and intriguing to lure people in. Avoid the generic “Join my newsletter and get updates” and “Subscribe now” buttons, and go for something like “Join the girl-boss bloggers squad” and “Let me in” button, because it really makes your readers feel like you are talking to them.
Don’t forget to display your opt-in forms on your blog (I have a general one in my sidebar and more specific ones in every post) and draw attention to them.
If you are not familiar with email-marketing terms, an opt-in (also known as lead magnet or content upgrade) is a freebie that you offer on your website to entice visitors to join your email list.
It can be anything from access to a resource library (I have a landing page set up for that that you can see here if you’re looking for an example), an ebook, a PDF, a checklist, printable, email course, audio file, exclusive video or anything else that is relevant to your audience and their needs.
The ideas are endless and to create digital freebies and now easier than ever. I use a free service called Canva to design and create all my free ebooks, checklists and printables.
And don’t worry! You don’t have to have any design experience because they provide free templates to start you off on the right path.
Step 4: Set up an automated Welcome Sequence
Once you get people on your list, you will want to introduce yourself and get them used to receiving and opening emails from you. It’s a proven statistic that welcome emails have the highest open rate out of all the emails you are ever going to send, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to make an impression. (No pressure!)
Just introduce yourself, let them know what they should expect from you, your blog and your emails. Also make sure to include a photo of yourself so that they feel like they can connect with the human behind the emails as you begin building that trust with them.
Step 5: Be a regular in your readers’ inbox
Once you have this system automated and you’re starting to see a decent amount of people entering your email list, it’s time to start building that connection with them and become a regular in their inbox.
A lot of people are good at growing their lists but never end up using it because they don’t know what to send to their lists or they are afraid that people are going to unsubscribe. Don’t be that person!
Start sending out regular emails (I wouldn’t recommend sending out more than 1-2 emails per week), providing value for your readers sharing your story and expertise.
Use your emails as mini-blog posts to share your knowledge, findings and experience or direct people to read your blog.
Treat your email list as a girl/boy you have a crush on. Give it attention (but not too much because you don’t want to scare people away), offer gifts once in a while (if you add a new opt-in to grow your list, make sure to send it to your existing subscribers as well for example), talk about your life and experiences, ask questions in return, and share pieces of content that you think they might find interesting.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to manage and grow your email list make sure you check out my “Email Marketing” category on my blog.
You are now armed with everything you need to go out there and conquer the tricky world of email marketing! So what is holding you back? You got this!
About the Author:
Ana is a 21-year-old puppy owner, lover of the online world and professional binge watcher. She is also the blogger behind The She Approach, a platform that teaches women how to speak out online and be heard through blogging. Started by her passion for empowering women to build their digital empires, the blog soon became a resource for new and established bloggers to grow their readership and social media accounts and even make an income through blogging.