If you want to build your business, one of the first things you MUST do is to start collecting the email
addresses of people who visit your site and are interested in what you have to say.
When it comes to building your audience, social media is an essential tool. However, you’ve probably noticed that social media will only get you so far. You may have 1,000 Facebook fans but depending on engagement, your message might only be seen by 50 people. You may have 500 Twitter followers but tweets only live for a few seconds before they scroll off of everyone’s screens to be seen no more. This is true with other forms of social media as well.
With social media, you aren’t the one in control of your message!
When you send an email to someone, they will DEFINITELY see it in their inbox and they can choose to open it if they would like. You have control over when your fans see something using this method. You aren’t at the mercy of the Social Media Moguls.
Collecting emails isn’t that hard of a process – and it can be done fairly quickly as long as you know the right way to do it.
To start building your email list, here are the steps you should follow:
- Choose a Service
- Choose Frequency of Your Emails
- Choose What You Will Send
- Set up Opt-In On Your Blog
- Begin Emailing Your Fans
Choose a Service
There are lots of services for collecting emails and sending out newsletters, however, the industry leaders are Aweber, Benchmark, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, GetResponse, iContact, Mad Mimi, and MailChimp.
Aweber, Benchmark, and iContact have 30-day free trial programs. Constant Contact has a 60-day free trial!
Mad Mimi has a free plan for up to 100 subscribers that you can use if you’re just getting started building your email list. MailChimp actually allows you to have up to 2,000 subscribers completely free which is quite a good deal!
No matter which service provider you choose, they will walk you through the process of getting signed up.
Choose Frequency of Your Emails
The next step is to decide how frequently you will be sending out emails. How often should you choose? There is no right or wrong answer to this question – within reason, of course. Some bloggers choose to publish a post every day. Some choose to post once a month.
Any time frame that you choose between once a day and once a month is fine – as long as you choose a schedule you can stick with.
Consistency is more important than frequency!
Choose What You Will Send
It is now time to set up your newsletter template. Again, your service provider should lead you through this process. It is up to you to determine what information you’d like to send to your fans. Some options are:
- An introductory paragraph to make your newsletter more personal
- All or part of your blog post
- Ads for your products
- Any announcements you want to let your fans know about
- A request for them to forward your newsletter to their family and friends
- Links to where they can find you on social media
Decide what you’d like to include in your newsletter and set up your template.
When writing each newsletter, be sure to choose a strong headline so your fans will feel compelled to open it.
Set up Opt-In On Your Blog
You are now ready to add your opt-in form to your blog. Because building your email list is so important, we recommend placing your opt-in Form in places where it will be the most noticeable on your website. These places are the most visible to your audience:
- Upper right-hand corner of sidebar
- About Page
- After Your Post
If you’re only going to put your opt-in form in one place, it’s SUPER important that you put it in the upper right-hand corner of your sidebar. Another great place would be on your About page, which is actually one of the most visited pages on most blogs.
Another place many bloggers choose for an opt-in form is at the bottom of each blog post. Hopefully, your readers will enjoy reading your content. Putting a form in this location will allow them to sign up right after having happily read one of your posts.
By the way, be sure you only ask for first names and email addresses. The less info you require, the more willing people will be to opt-in. Ask for too much and they will feel like you are invading their privacy!
Begin Emailing Your Fans
At this point, you are ready to begin emailing your followers. As soon as you have your first subscriber, it is important that you stick to whatever schedule you have chosen so that people know what to count on. The more consistent you are, the more professional you will look.
You will want to get this system in place right away so that when people request to start receiving your emails you are ready. Go ahead and get started building your email list. You will be amazed at how much this one action will help your business to grow.
Have you started building your email list? Do you have any other questions about getting started with this process? Leave a comment below.