How to Build An Email List in 7 Steps

Hopefully by now, you should know why building an email list is so important, and why ignoring it would be a HUGE mistake for your business.

So if you want to learn how to build your email list in 7 basic steps, keep on reading…

STEP 1: DESIGN YOUR WEBSITE OR BLOG 

This is your brand’s home of all platforms.

Remember, that your work is the primary reason why people are visiting your site. This is where you share with the world your amazing, interesting and worthwhile content.

On your website, content you create can vary between blogs, videos, opinion pieces on relevant news and information about your specific niche, whatever you want to share with your audience.

TOOLS RECOMMENDED TO BUILD A BLOG /WEBSITE:

Great tools to use to manage your blog or website would be WordPress and SquareSpace. Both of these resources are great for those who are just starting out. They are easy to use dashboard, have a simple tool navigation, and have many templates to choose from.

STEP 2: SIGN UP WITH AN EMAIL MARKETING SERVICE

Having an email service provider will provide you with all the tools, analytics, templates and services you need to get subscribers, test your campaigns, and manage the day-to-day requirements of your list.

Different email services will use different pricing models, so be sure to choose the one that best suits your list size and expectations for growth. Some ESP’s will charge a flat monthly fee based on list size, while others will charge per number of emails sent.

TOOLS RECOMMENDED TO BUILD A BLOG /WEBSITE:

A good, basic (free) service if you’re just starting out is MailChimp, but do keep in mind that free services don’t always have the software tools needed to fully optimize and grow email list. So, it may not be the best option overall, but a good place to start if you are just dipping your toes into email marketing.

I invested in an automated email system from the beginning. I didn’t want to worry about upgrading later in the future as I expanded, that would only be more work. Great automated email systems are GetResponse and AWeber.

STEP 3: DEVELOP LEAD MAGNETS AND SQUEEZE PAGES

Lead magnets are a must in order to build your email list from scratch and ultimately, have it grow quickly and effectively. Basically, this is a piece of content that you offer in exchange for a visitor’s information like their name and email address. This can be an e-book, PDF, checklist, templates, or even an e-mail course.

 

 

A squeeze page is how you “sell” a lead magnet.  Nowadays, people are hesitant of giving away their email address. So in order to receive customer email information, you need to  ask permission by enticing them with a free offer that is worth entering their email over. With a squeeze page, you automate the process of delivering the lead magnet and adding subscribers to your list.

There are a variety of different squeeze pages, and the “best” one to use is the page that has the highest conversion rate. So I encourage you to split test with many different pages to find the page that gives you the best opt-in rate.

TOOLS RECOMMENDED TO BUILD A BLOG /WEBSITE:

There are many tools you can use to create a squeeze page or lead magnets.  Some cost monthly subscription while others are free.  I am currently using ClickFunnels and Canva, but I hear that Lead Pages  is another good one to use too.

STEP 4: TRACK AND SPLIT TEST

As you are growing and scaling your business, you want to keep track of what is converting and what is not. Tracking is essential to every campaign in order to determine overall effectiveness and success of your work. It really is a rich source of insight and untapped opportunities.

Essential email analytics that I keep track of on a daily basis is my:

  • Open Rate: The percentage of subscribers that opened your last email, sometimes shown as the overall open rate of all your emails.
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of emails that don’t make it into a subscriber’s inbox. This happens either due to a technical/server error or a subscriber’s email is no longer active.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link within an email and completed a desired action, such as purchasing a product
  • Click-Through Rate: The percentage of email recipients who clicked one or more links contained in a given email
  • Opt-Out Rate: The percentage of subscribers that unsubscribe from your email list, either from your last email or overall, depending on where this metric is being calculated from.

TOOLS RECOMMENDED TO BUILD A BLOG /WEBSITE:

There are many tools that track and optimize all your marketing.  Google Analytics and ClickMagick are great tools with incredible potential to pin point information about traffic that comes to your site.

STEP 5: CREATE CONSISTENT CONTENT

Overall consistency in your posting is one of the most important things that bloggers tend to forget and struggle with, especially when you are first starting to grow your list (I know I did).

Consistent email marketing is important because it can help your readers and target audience gain a better understanding of the value you have to offer, as well as help them understand why you are capable of providing that value. By planning and sticking to a consistent email marketing schedule, you are providing value to your audience on a regular basis, this builds relationships, fosters trust,and then hopefully converting into a customer.

Without consistent email marketing of these types of messages, your customers may not fully understand your skills, knowledge, and experience. They may not understand and appreciate the benefits you can offer. Without that understanding and appreciation, they will never buy your services.

My posting schedule was all over the place when I first started growing my list. I would post twice in one day, then nothing for a week. I had no consistency in my work.  I knew that if I wanted to pull this (email marketing) off and turn it into a business one day, I had to be more consistent. 

So, how did I go about consistency? It really comes down to these five things:

  1. Plan ahead and prioritize your topics.
  2. Keep an ongoing list of 25+ topics.
  3. Have self-discipline.
  4. Schedule your post like they are meetings. 
  5. Automate whenever you can.

Rinse and repeat…

I’ve learned the hard way about blogging consistently, and it is key for gaining that momentum every entrepreneur is looking for. If you are not consistent in your work, you will loose your audience and loose any traffic traction you might have gained. And we definitely don’t want that.

 

STEP 6: USE SEO TO DRIVE ORGANIC TRAFFIC TO SITE

Alright, so you have your:

✓ Website
✓ Automated email system
✓ Consistent content
✓ Lead magnet & Squeeze page

Now it’s time to optimize it for people to find you. Search Engine Optimizations (SEO) works through many platforms like Google and Youtube, in which content is ranked based on how relevant or useful it is to their users. Then, they pair that content with the keywords people are using to search for content.

I love using Google and Youtube to help find specific questions or problems that readers in my niche need a solution to. You can find accurate information related to keyword(s) or key phrases entered in the search results, allowing you to optimize your content pieces (aka your blog posts, podcasts, videos..etc).

One concept to use that works for me is when you begin to type keyword (s) or phrases in a search bar, look at the search results that pop up. You can use those as key search phrases when optimizing your site.

Here is a screen shot of the top search results when I type ‘list building’ in Youtube search:

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 3.18.12 PM

Additional keywords that are related to ‘list building’ would be tutorial, tricks, strategies, tips, marketing lists, sales funnels, etc.. The point is to include these keywords in your headline, tags, and throughout your content.

The goal is to have your blog posts rank at the top of Google and Youtube when visitors search for your topic, you want to go about this in a strategic way.

STEP 7: DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR SQUEEZE PAGE + WEBSITE

Driving traffic…this part is WORK. The point is to drive as much traffic to your content and your lead magnets as you can, while enticing your prospect with free information that is useful and relevant to your reader, in exchange they sign up for your email list.

Something to keep in mind is not to always drive traffic directly to a blog/ website. A better idea is to use your squeeze page as a mechanism for generating interest in your personal brand. By sending traffic to your squeeze page, you are about to capture leads and entice them to join your list.

TOOLS RECOMMENDED TO BUILD A BLOG /WEBSITE:

I have use a mixture of paid and free traffic mediums:

  • Facebook Ads
  • YouTube
  • Twitter.Search
  • Solo Ads (Udimi.com)
  • LinkedIn and Facebook group discussions
  • Optimize Social Media Profiles
  • Pitch yourself to a guest blogger
  • Create a webinar and reach out to influencers who’s audiences may benefit from it (no pitching in this one)

AND ALWAYS  FOLLOW UP WITH SUBSCRIBERS 🙂

A follow-up email sets the tone and expectations for your business. You can send the messages personally or automated, the important thing is to follow up! Prior to the sale follow-up emails (such as the response to a consumer inquiry) can help close the sale. After the sale, follow-up emails are all about customer loyalty, retention and cross- and upsell.

To read more about the art of emil follow up, here are 6 ways to delight subscribers.