You might not realize it, but as a business owner, you need to start an email list? Why? We’ll be going over that below!
Over the last eight years, I have spent a lot of time growing and marketing an online business. I thought I knew everything there was to know about marketing effectively, but I’d never considered starting an email list. It just didn’t seem relevant to my market.
That just goes to show that we can always learn something new.
Without an email list, we are at the complete mercy of platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Have you ever taken the time to create an awesome post only to have it fall on deaf ears? That is where your email list will come in.
When I started my blog, I decided to finally create an email list, because everyone told me it was a must. The difference in my marketing has been night and day! I now know how important building an email list is, and I want to share that knowledge with you. Don’t be like me. Don’t wait eight years to start building your list!
Why You Need an Email List
If you intend to make money online, an email newsletter is a must. Let’s be real for a minute. I love writing and sharing my passions with you on the blog. I’ve felt that this was my calling ever since I was a kid. Still, no one wants to work for free, and that includes me. I have mentioned in previous blog posts about my big and scary goals, and they won’t get accomplished without me earning an income from home.
So, that’s the big reason you need an email list. But, why can’t you just market on social media?
An email list is less competitive than social media.
How many emails do you get in a day? 50? 100? How many social media updates do you see in a day? Can you even count those?
The bottom line is, it’s much harder to ignore an email in your inbox than it is to ignore a social media update. (Unless, of course, you’re like me and can’t keep your inbox organized to save your life. I’m trying!!)
You own your email list.
When you spend time growing your following on Facebook or other social media platforms, you are at the constant mercy of the people in charge. Algorithms can get changed at a moment’s notice. In fact, only a small percentage of your followers will ever actually see your posts.
With your email list, you are in control of what your subscribers see. And on the off chance that you decide you don’t like your email marketing provider? You get to take that list with you when you go! You can’t take your followers from any other platform like that!
Emails are more personal.
An email inbox is kind of a personal space. Unlike social media, where there is constant chatter, your inbox only includes what you’ve allowed in. This means you’re more likely to open an email and read it through to the end than you are to pay attention to yet another social media blast.
As a business owner, this means you can connect with your market on a more personal level due to repeat exposure. This helps you build know, like, and trust with your subscribers, making them more likely to buy what you suggest later.
Emails can be more customizable.
With email automations and tagging features, you can really customize your subscribers’ experiences. This is really great, because not everyone is at the same place in their journey with you. One subscriber may have only just heard of you for the first time today, and another may have followed you from day one. These two subscribers don’t need the same information.
With your email list, you can send different things to different people and give them a truly customizable experience.
Email just converts better.
Email simply converts better than social media, for all of the reasons above.
You can drive more traffic to your blog posts.
If you are an affilate marketer, you can drive more sales on the products you promote, earning you a higher commission.
If you offer products or services, you can drive more people to your upcoming launch or sale.
Still not sure? Check out this post on why you should build an email list for your business!
Basically, you just need an email list if you want to make money online. It really is the best way to do it. I can tell you as an affiliate marketer that most of my sales do come from my email list. Time sensitive deals rarely get seen quickly enough any other way!
How to Get Started
This post contains affiliate links. You can learn more about that right here.
So, now that you know you want to build an email list, how do you get started?
First, you need to find an Email Marketing Provider.
When I first started out, I chose Mailchimp, because that seemed to be the most popular provider around. It certainly wasn’t a bad choice, and I stuck with them for over 6 months. However, navigating their site and figuring everything out was a bit complicated. I actually ended up purchasing a class on how to use MailChimp, because I didn’t even realize there were easier options available. They also don’t open up all of their features to users on the free plan, which meant that I couldn’t use their automation feature. Since I’m planning an email course that will go live very soon (shhhh!), automation was a must.
After doing some research on different providers, I recently opted to give MailerLite a try. Their service is free under 1000 subscribers, and that includes all of their features. They also recently announced that they’re coming out with a tagging feature. This was the feature that interested me the most with ConvertKit (another email marketing provider). I blog about a variety of topics, from essential oils to growing a business, so I love the idea of being able to customize the experience for my readers. I’m anxiously awaiting that feature right now!
Next, you need to create some opt-ins.
An opt-in is exactly what it sounds like. It is a freebie that you offer up to entice someone to join your email list. This is important because people are inherently selfish. (Please know I mean that in the nicest way possible). We do things when we see the benefit for ourselves. By offering up something of value for free, it makes it more worthwhile to your readers or customers to allow you in their inbox. (Like I said before, that’s a more personal space, so it takes more convincing).
When coming up with your opt-in, you want to make sure you make it really valuable. You want people to be amazed that you gave it away for free. That way, when it comes time to offer them a paid product, they don’t hesitate. You’ve already shown that you can give value, so they trust that your paid product will offer even more!
Some great opt-in ideas you can try are:
Free Printables: Printables can be any PDF type of file specific to your niche. I create organization and productivity printables for my readers, because that is a natural fit with my blog. Whatever you choose, make it relevant, like this weekly post planner that’s part of my small business organization starter pack!
Resource Library: I enjoy creating printables so much that I ended up just creating a resource library. This way, when you sign up for my list, you have access to everything I’ve released to date. If you have a lot of resources available, this might be a great option for you, too. I simply created a graphic using Photoshop (any editing software will do) and I add it to every post on my blog, making it link to a landing page with MailerLite, like this.
Email Course or Challenge: An email course and an email challenge are really similar. They can be about anything. I’ve seen them done for organization, growing your list, sticking to a diet, you name it! Whatever your market niche is, I can guarantee that with a little extra brainstorming, you can come up with a way to create a 5-7 day course for new subscribers.
Private Community: A private community is a great way to get people to sign up for your email list! I recently started a community specifically for work-at-home moms, and it’s been so great to meet with other mamas going through the same things I am! I love all of the blogging and business groups I’m in, but sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and chat with other people that get it. (P.S. Want in? We’d love to have you! You can join right here.)
Discount Codes: Discount codes work great for those of you that aren’t in a content based niche. I tried it for a short time before I closed my knitting business down and got quite a few subscribers in just a few weeks.
Try different things.
I’ll be the first to admit when I make mistakes, and I think a big one I’ve made is focusing only on printables until this point. I just didn’t feel like I had juicy enough info for an email course! It’s important to make your opt-in worthwhile and full of good info in order to gain trust, so I didn’t want to offer anything that wasn’t up to my standards.
So, until now, I have focused on printables and my resource library (full of printables). They are peppered all throughout my blog whenever there is relevent content, so I see a decent amount of subscribers through them. My most popular freebie by far has been my small business organization starter pack, which really launched my list in huge ways! I smashed through so many goals so fast that I couldn’t even keep up!
Do you have your copy yet? If not, you can sign up and grab yours here! (See what I did there?)
Building an email list isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
Building my email list has made a huge difference in my business marketing. It’s a lot of work to get started, but I’ve had a lot of fun doing it! I love sharing content and information with my readers. Coming up with new information and creating new freebies regularly is really rewarding for me. Seeing my numbers climb and experiencing these relationships being built has been amazing.
Remember the main goals of an email list is to build a better relationship with your target market. By building trust and getting to know your customers and readers, you’ll naturally build your business!
Want more online business tips? Check out the links below!
- 60+ Crafts to Make and Sell for Profit
- How to Start a Blog and Grow a Business
- How to Rock Summer Break as a Work at Home Mom