Why do you even need to start an email list in the first place? Well, think about this. People check their emails every single day. This means if someone signs up to receive your emails, chances are they actually want to hear from you, and that is a very powerful thing when it comes to marketing your business.
In this episode, let's walk through three steps to starting your own email list this week. It’s a snippet of what you will receive inside my Email List Starter Kit.
Starting your email list doesn't have to be scary or difficult. In fact, it can take you a less than a couple of hours to set everything up and start growing your list (and your new secret marketing weapon).
Inside this Email List Starter Kit, I'll show you simple it is to create your first Freebie, write a Welcome Email to new subscribers and I'll even walk you through how to set it all up inside Convertkit.
Step 1: Pick an Email List Tool
What you need to know is that there are online tools that you can subscribe to that will help you set up your email list up like a pro. With an email list tool, people will automatically be able to subscribe and get on your list in a legal way (because it is illegal to add people to a list without their permission). It will also help you create beautiful landing pages where people can sign up, create links to send to people if they want to opt in, or sign up for certain freebies or your email newsletter, for example. It will also let you tag and segment different people depending on what they signed up for and what they're interested in hearing about from you. An email list tool will let you create seamless emails and automatically send them out whenever you want them to so you don't even have to worry about it. You can do it all in advance.
Step 2: Add People To Your List
Step two is to reach out to people that you already know and ask them for their permission to be added to your list. This could be friends and family. This could be Instagram followers. This could be people that you went to school with, anyone that you think might be interested in hearing from you and your business.
The best way to do this is to write an email or text message that's going to tell them all about your business, your services, events that might be happening soon, or anything helpful about your offer that you can tell them right now. Then, you're going to let them know what you'll be sending them when they’re on your email list (for example, your weekly blogs or podcast, helpful tips and tricks, etc). You really want to let them know what they're going to be receiving and why they might be interested in staying in the loop with you and your new business.
You will also want to include the frequency (how often you're going to email them) and include a link to sign up for your list when you send this email out to your friends and your family or as a text message.
To ask people to sign up for your list, craft this email in your regular email inbox. This way people will recognize it’s coming from you. Send these people a personalized email and message, with the link to sign up for your brand new email list.
Step 3: Make It Easy for People to Join Your New Email List
You want to make it really easy for people to subscribe to your list from now on. There's a few places that you will want to make sure you're showcasing the email sign up, for example: the homepage of your website, any social media pages (link in bio), on your Facebook account, etc.
You can use something like Link in bio or Milkshake to create a space to put all your email list sign up forms. You can also create a customized page on your website with all your top links, like I did here.
Bonus Tip: Add a Welcome Email
Once you are ready to set up your email list, one of the things I suggest you do is create the first few emails that people will receive from you. This way you can welcome them to your list! We call this your welcome email.
Your welcome email is the first email that your subscribers will see when they sign up to join your list. Okay, maybe the second if they download a freebie or if they get something for free for signing up. But really, this is the first true email that you're writing to them. This is really important because this is going to be your first impression. You really want to dazzle them and make sure you hook them in to stick around.
You might want to tell them the frequency that you're going to be emailing, what you're going to be emailing them. This email could look very similar to the one that you've already created to send to friends and family.
There are so many different tools that will allow you to send emails automatically when someone signs up for your list. With so many rules and regulations based on the country you live in, it's really important that you aren't just sending marketing emails to a huge list that you've created in a personalized inbox like your Gmail account. You really do want to make sure that you are using an email marketing tool because this way you know you'll be complying with all of the laws and regulations that are so important to keep your business safe, but also to help protect other people's personal information like their email.
You also need to be able to give people a way to opt out. I mean, have you ever received emails where you have to scroll all the way to the bottom and comb through the mini fine print and then you click a link, only to be taken to a page to retype your email address and it takes you forever to try to unsubscribe? No one likes this. Make it easy for people to unsubscribe using an email list tool. And it's illegal to not give people an option to opt out.
Personally, my recommendation is Convertkit. I've tried a few other email list tools and I always come back to ConvertKit. It's affordable, it's practical, and it's the one that I find the easiest to work with.
Mailchimp is another option for free to really get started. But in order for you to use a lot of the automation or the sequences, things like that where you don't have to go in and manually send the email each time you do have to subscribe.
It depends on when you're ready to invest in that tool for your business, but for me, investing $10-$20 a month is actually a really great incentive to start actively growing your email list and using this tool.
Next Steps for Growing Your List
Now that you have your email list all set up and you’ve added your first few subscribers, it’s time to find new people to join your list!
The best way to do this is by creating a lead magnet. A lead magnet (also referred to as a freebie or opt-in) is something that you give away for free, usually in exchange for that person's email address.
You've probably already done this as an entrepreneur if you've ever signed up online for any free guides or free trainings. Your lead magnet is going to give your ideal customer a quick win or valuable information while also helping you grow your email list and grow your connection with leads and potential ideal clients.
If you want to learn how to create your own freebie or lead magnet, I actually have an entire episode on this topic: Episode 41 Creating an Irresistible Freebie for Your Dream Clients.
If you want to run an online business in today's world, you need an email list. This doesn't mean that you need to have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people on your list. What you're really looking to do is create an experience or a way to connect with the people who are right for you, the people who you actually want to sell and talk about your services to because they've identified themselves, raised their hand, signed up for your email list and said “ Hey, I want to learn from you and I'm interested in the topic that you're sharing on!”.
Having an email list with interested people who want to hear from you makes it so much easier to sell your services. The best part is that you have complete control over your list. You're able to email them when you want, and share resources when you want, and really be able to curate an inbox for that particular client experience and client journey.
I completely understand how intimidating it can be to figure out all of the tech and the tools and even come up with an idea to create your freebie around. This is why I've created a really convenient tool for starting your email list. It is my Email List Starter Kit and it will help you set up the entire back end of Convertkit, which is the email list tool that I prefer to use and that I have used for years.
I actually walk you step by step by screen sharing and showing you how you can set up the back end of Convertkit, so that when somebody signs up to be on your list it will automatically send your welcome email . I’ll show you how to connect your lead magnet and more!
The best time to start your email list was probably a few months ago but the second best time is now! Take action. Start that list. It doesn't matter if you only have a few people on it, we all start somewhere. Get permission with a tool that you like and start emailing your list.