When you are trying to build an email list from scratch, you may be overwhelmed with all the various aspects of the process. There are several different parts involved, but I am firm believer in keeping things simple while remaining effective. There are a lot of articles online that will lead you to believe that you need to make this process complicated, but the truth is you do not. I have build many email lists from scratch using simple, effective techniques.
Know Your Ideal Customer
First, you want to make sure you have a solid understanding of your ideal customer. You should understand their needs, expectations, pain-points, desires, etc. To help make this process easy, you can create a buyer persona, which is like creating a fictional character that represents your ideal customer. Read this post to learn more.
Offer Something for Free
Next, in building your mailing list, make use of the fact that people love to get things for free. It can be something as simple as a coupon, promo code, free ebook, report, or something your ideal customer will find value in. You want to make it something your ideal customer will find irresistible.
If you’re going to offer a promo code or coupon, you won’t need to actually create any content – just have the first series of your autoresponder contain the information for them to access their discount. However, if you are wanting to give away free content, such as an ebook, you will need to create the content yourself, purchase PLR (Private Label Rights) content, or hire a content marketer like myself to create custom content for you. I can also help you decide on the free offer for your ideal customer.
Create A Discernible Opt-In Form/Squeeze Page
You’ll need an opt-in form/box on your website that CLEARLY features your irresistible offer. Make your opt-in box is obvious and easy to fill in. If you’re new to creating opt-in forms, you can create use software such as LeadsLeap or Leadpages. You can also hire someone with experience in list-building and email marketing, such as myself.
If you don’t have a website for whatever reason, you can create a squeeze page instead. A squeeze page is basically a one-page website that features your offer along with an opt-in form so subscribers can sign-up to your list. Both opt-in forms AND landing pages will allow subscribers to get their freebie and become part of your email list. I highly recommend having a squeeze page as you will learn about further down in this post.
Whether you use an opt-in form, squeeze page, or both, you definitely want to make the sign-up process to the mailing list fast and easy. Nothing turns people off faster than a website that is complex and confusing. It’s said that the average person only visits a website for a few seconds before moving on. Therefore, complexity will lose you subscribers to your mailing list.
Set Up Your Email Campaign & Automation
Here’s the part that is confusing to many people, but it’s not that difficult if you keep it simple. You will need an email marketing software that will store your subscribers and allow you to automate the list-building process. There are many different options available, but all offer different features and pricing types. Some allow you to have unlimited subscribers for one flat monthly rate, such as LeadsLeap, others have more features like built-in CRMs, and charge you based on your list size, such as ActiveCampaign.
Essentially, you just want to create a list and then set up the first automated email that contains the freebie they signed up for. Once they optin to that form or squeeze page mentioned above, they should automatically receive that first email that contains the free offer. You can always continue adding to the automated campaign – called an email series – later and send your list one-time email broadcasts anytime you have a new product, service, special, or update.
Most important elements of an email marketing software in MY OPINION
- Email deliverability – emails should get to your subscribers inbox and NOT their spam folder.
- Functionality – the software should be easy to navigate and user-friendly
- Pricing – I don’t want to pay an arm and leg for the software
- Features – it’s always nice when the software includes the ability to create opt-in forms and squeeze pages, so that I don’t have to pay for another 3rd party service and integrate it
- Customer support – sometimes help is required, so it’s nice when support is readily available and responsive
More is Better
Once your form or squeeze page is created and connected with your automated email series, make sure your visitors can see that opt-in form or landing page! Put it on the homepage, on every page of your blog, in your blog’s sidebar, etc. – put it everywhere. Don’t rely on people clicking on your mailing list subscriber link the first time they see it and definitely don’t fool yourself that they will click back to a previous web page in order to find that elusive mailing list link. They won’t do it!
Share It Everywhere
Finally, share your squeeze page on your social media platforms and let your followings know about your freebie/offer. Promote it everywhere your ideal customer is found. You can put it on flyers, business cards, car magnets, and anywhere you advertise! The more people who see that freebie and opt-in, the larger your email list will become and soon you’ll have hundreds and then thousands of engaged subscribers waiting to hear from you!
This post share with you how to build an email list from scratch, and I hope you found it useful. Once you start building your list, you have to keep your suscribers engaged or they’ll forget about you. Then, when you go to email them, they may think you are a spammer. It’s important to keep yourself fresh in your subscribers’ minds by emailing them at least every week with useful content. Having a monthly newsletter is the absolute bare minimum.
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