As an online business owner, building an email list is one of the most essential and effective ways to grow your business. Not only does it allow you to communicate directly with your audience, but it also provides a direct channel for you to market your products or services.
However, getting started with email list building can be overwhelming, especially if you're new to the process. To help you get started, I've put together a guide on the essential tools and tech you need to start building your email list.
Where to start….
An Email Marketing Service Provider
The first thing you need to get started with email list building is an email marketing service provider. An email marketing service provider is a platform that allows you to create and manage your email list (the email addresses and other personal data you’ve collected). You’ll be able to send emails, and track your email marketing campaigns' performance. There are several email service providers to choose from, such as Mailerlite, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Active Campaign, to name a few. It's essential to choose a reliable and easy-to-use email service provider that meets your business needs. Personally, if you are just getting started, I would recommend Mailerlite. It’s free (for the first 1,000 subscribers), easy and intuitive to use, has great video tutorials, the design and branding elements are great and I love the way the data/reporting is presented.
An Opt-in Form
An opt-in form is a form on your website (or landing page) that allows people to sign up for your email list. It's crucial to have an opt-in form on your website because it's the primary way to capture leads and build your email list. Your opt-in form should be prominently placed on your website (or landing page), and it should be easy to fill out.
You also need to ensure that a subscriber consents to ‘opting-in’ to receiving your marketing emails. Meaning you provide a check box for them to give permission.
You can use tools like OptinMonster, Leadpages, or Thrive Leads to create opt-in forms that are eye-catching and effective. The website service provider you use might also have this feature. Or Mailerlite does the job too!
See my example below.
A Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is an incentive that you offer in exchange for someone's email address. It can be a free downloadable guide, ebook, a discount code, a checklist, video or any other valuable content that your audience would be interested in. Your lead magnet should be relevant to your business and your target audience. It's essential to create a lead magnet that provides value to your audience and solves a specific problem they're facing. If you’re planning on creating a downloadable pdf I would recommend using Canva for this.
A Welcome Email
This is an automated email which is triggered when someone completes your contact form on your landing page. It’s the first email that someone receives after they sign up for your email list and would include a link to the lead magnet (freebie). It's your chance to make a great first impression and set expectations for what they can expect from your emails.
Consider writing a short series of welcome emails (2-7). Friendly, informative, and providing value to your new subscribers. Introduce yourself and your business and ask your subscribers to whitelist your email address.
Consistent Email Content
Consistent email content is essential to keep your subscribers engaged and interested in your business. You should aim to send at least one email per week or fortnight, depending on your business's needs. At the very least commit to a monthly email. Your email content should be valuable, relevant, and informative to your subscribers. You can share blog posts, industry news, product updates, or exclusive offers with your email list.
Additional Must Haves
ICO - Under the Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018, individuals and organisations that process personal data need to pay a data protection fee to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), unless they are exempt. To find out if you need to pay a fee to the ICO click here and run through a few questions. The cost can be as little as £40 per year..
Building an email list may feel a little complicated but it is a crucial part of growing your online business. There are a lot of moving parts to setting it up - but you only need to do it once!
By following these essentials, you'll be on your way to building a high-quality email list that engages and converts your audience. Remember to choose a reliable email service provider, create an eye-catching opt-in form, offer a valuable lead magnet, send a friendly welcome email, and provide consistent email content to keep your subscribers engaged.
The key is to block out time in your calendar to set up your email marketing system now! AND to block out time each week to create regular newsletters for your subscribers. Without putting aside the time - you’ll likely let it slip.
If you need advice on how to get your email list started, why not book in a power hour with me and I can share with you my tried and tested action plan, and walk you through the process step-by-step. Or if the sound of building your email list feels like it’s too much (or not your zone of genius) I can do the whole setup for you! Get in touch and we can have a chat.