Are you thinking about starting an email list? I’m sure you have heard that you need to have an email list if you want to be a successful blogger. While this is true, it won’t make a lot of sense to you until you understand why.
Seasoned bloggers swear by having an email list because they have cracked the code, and I want to help you crack the code as well.
In this blog post, I’m going to share why you should be collecting email addresses and 5 essential things to do before starting your email list.
The Benefits of Email Lists
Email marketing is something that takes a while to get the hang of, but once you grasp the concept, you will begin to see the benefits.
There are several reasons why you should have an email list.
The first reason is that you own your list. You manage your list and have control over sending emails to your subscribers.
Once my Pinterest account got suspended in error for spam. No, I didn’t do it intentionally. But, it happended. Then, I had to email Pinterest support and explain it all. Thankfully, Pinterest reactivated my account.
During this time, I was frustrated, but I didn’t panic. I knew that my email list was in place, and my subscribers still got to hear from me.
Another reason that you should have an email list is that most people do not read all of your blog posts. There are a few top-level bloggers that I love, but I never know when they post on their blogs. I do subscribe to their email lists, and when I read their emails, I can click right over to the blog post.
Also, emails are more personal than posts, and subscribers have the option to read them right in their inbox at their leisure.
Now, let’s talk about a few things you should do before starting an email list.
1. Pick an Email Marketing Service
Before starting your email list, you must have an email marketing software. The email marketing software provider is the platform that you will use to collect email addresses and send emails. I stronly recommend GetResponse. It is one of the most popular email service providers out there with over 350K users.
The emails and forms are easy to customize, and there are tons of tutorials on their website to get you started.
You also get a free 30-day trial. So, you can get started right away.
If you’re not making money with your blog just yet, I understand, and I have you covered. Mailchimp is another great email service provider, and they are entirely free for your first 2,000 subscribers.
2. Create a Freebie
Can you remember the last time you gave someone your email address? Was it at a store? Maybe another blogger or your favorite website?
Now, think about why you provided your email address. More often than not, we provide our email addresses to get something in return.
This is where your freebie comes in. Your freebie can be anything that enhances the reader’s value on your website.
You want to make sure that you create something that makes your readers go, “Yes, this is exactly what I need!”
Freebies that convert the most readers into subscribers are tools that help them solve a problem or accomplish a goal.
The easiest way to determine what you should create is to head to your most popular blog post. Read the post and come up with a simple worksheet, free ebook, or printables that could help your audience.
When you have your freebie in mind, it’s time to create it. Use Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, or free software like Canva to create your freebie.
Don’t worry about making it super pretty right now. Just make sure it provides value to your readers. Frankly speaking, getting it done is much better than wasting your time to make it perfect from the day 1.
3. Add Your Call to Action to Your Website
Now that you have your email marketing service and your freebie, it is time to create your opt-in forms and add your call to action.
The opt-in form is the place that your readers will provide their name and email address to become a subscriber to your email list.
The call to action is a sentence (or two) that asks your readers to sign up for your email list. Your call to action can be almost anywhere on your website. The most important places to put them are at the end of your blog posts, in your sidebar, and on your homepage.
Read the documentation of your email service provider to create your opt-in form and add your call to action. When that is complete, add your opt-in form to your website, and you’re almost ready to go!
4. Create a Welcome Sequence
Before you start your email list, you need to create a welcome sequence. A welcome sequence is a way to welcome your new subscribers.
You need to ensure that you make a good first impression.
Welcome sequences are helpful for your readers to get to know you. You should write 4-6 emails. Be sure to include an introduction, share your story, provide value, and give away your freebie in this sequence.
I know, it seems like a lot. But, it’s worth it. Your readers will get to know you better and tell you more about their story as well.
5. Create a Plan for Your Mailing List
The last thing that you should do before starting your email list is to create a plan for building your email list. Once you get people on your list, you need to talk to them. The welcome sequence is only the beginning.
So what are you going to say to your subscribers?
How often are you going to write to them?
Let’s start with what to say.
A few things to send to your list include personal stories related to your topic or niche, answers to common questions, roundups of trends in your niche, and a sneak peek of your upcoming content.
Now that you know what to send, how often are you going to send emails?
Some bloggers email their list a couple of times per week. Others send emails once per week or even once or twice per month.
I like to email my list once per week.
That’s about all I can handle with my other responsibilities.
Whatever you choose, be sure to stay consistent. There is nothing worse than your subscribers forgetting who you are or unsubscribing because they don’t know what to expect from you.
Email marketing may take some time to get used to.
But, it is essential to a successful blog. The goal is to grow your email list and make money from it while providing value. Don’t lose sight of that. Otherwise, it will be hard to grow a successful blogging business.