Things You NEED To Start An Email List

You need an email list.

It’s the one way that we can ensure that our messages get in front of our audience. We can’t ensure that on social media, billboards, or newspapers. But we can ensure that in email marketing. That’s why it’s so important to have an email list. There are four things that you need to start an email list.

A Way To Reel In People To Join Your Email List

The first thing is something to entice them and lure them in. We call them lead magnets for a good reason. It’s free items, free downloads, or free experiences that we provide to our potential audience in exchange for their email address. Think about it: your email address is some pretty personal information. A lot of people don’t necessarily use their primary or personal email address for things like marketing emails. But in general, it’s a way that people know that they can communicate with us directly. Your email address is valuable, personally identifiable information. We have to consider that when we’re building a lead magnet because we want to provide a lead magnet that is going to be valuable. 

There’s a lot out there that isn’t valuable. It may be a lead magnet, but it may not be an equivalent exchange for an email address. When you’re creating your lead magnet, think about one problem that your audience is having. Not a huge problem; more of a smallish problem. How can you solve that problem for them? 

Let’s say that you’re a writer like me. One of the big issues that people come to me with is they don’t have any idea what to write about in their emails. I get it. I struggle with that too and I have videos about that. What could I provide to them that would remove that mental block that they have towards or against creating emails?

If they say that their problem is that they don’t know what to write, what if I gave them a list of ideas on what to write? Topics that they could write on, sort of like prompts. The five key things you need to know about something this year. There’s a pretty evergreen prompt, but even just having those ideas there can make a huge difference. One of my lead magnets is a list of 52 prompts – an entire year’s worth of email topics for you to use. If that’s a big issue for you, I have this awesome list of email prompts, and you’re going to want to give me your email address. Give me the thing because that’s solving a problem right now. 

A lot of people think of lead magnets and go straight to freebies to build their email list.

They think that they have to be a PDF or some other digital product like a checklist, e-book, or a guide of some sort. Those are great, and I love using those as lead magnets. But there are a lot of other lead magnet ideas out there. You could do a free video series, webinar, workshop, master class, and so many other things. The internet loves quizzes. Create a quiz and then collect their email address so you can send them the results.

Other ideas are free summits that they can attend, even a newsletter. I’ve seen people with good results ask people to subscribe to their newsletter. That newsletter is the promise that you’re going to deliver something to them every week, and that becomes the lead magnet. That attracts the person that is coming to you and has a problem that you can help them solve. Think about the problem that you can help them solve quickly and easily. Not world hunger, but how to get a meal today and make a lead magnet from that. Do that in whatever format makes sense for you. That is going to be the thing that attracts your audience. 

Find An Email Service Provider

Once we’ve enticed the audience, what do we do with those emails? Where are we going to put them? Where do we store them so that we can then use them to communicate with our audience? Technically, there are some manual ways you could do it. You could keep a notebook of all your email addresses, or you could create a contact list within your email. The easiest way is going to be to use an email service provider, and there are a ton of them out there. I’ve got other videos on the best ones out there, and I’m a little bit biased, but who isn’t? When it comes to email service providers, we all have our favorites. 

What an email service provider will allow you to do is several things:

  1. Store the emails from your list
  2. Allow you to email them
  3. Create or allow you to create a form through which you can collect those emails

Make sure that when you are choosing an email service provider, it allows you to create landing pages. It is literally a page on which you land. You put in your email address and your name, hit submit, and then you receive whatever that lead magnet is. You need that form in the first place, and there are a lot of different ways to do that. If you’re a WordPress person, you can create that form on your website. Whatever it is, it needs to be funneling those emails into your email service provider, so you can then communicate with those people later. We have to entice them, but then we have to capture their data, and that’s one of those things that people don’t always think about. Make sure that you have a plan for capturing their data. 

My favorite email service providers are Active Campaign for a paid provider, and MailerLite is my favorite free provider. I like Mailchimp from an interface perspective and a user experience perspective. What I don’t like is that none of my emails can get out of the promotions folder and into the inbox with Mailchimp. That’s why I don’t recommend Mailchimp to my customers. I do recommend MailerLite because I have better results with email deliverability. If you’re looking for a free option, check out MailerLite. 

Deliver To Your List

Once we have captured their information, we’ve got to give them the thing that we promised them. If it’s some sort of digital product, you’re going to email them with a link to download that product. Or maybe it’s information on how to register or how to access summit recordings or whatever. You’re going to have to deliver that and that’s again where your email service provider comes in. You could manage that process manually, and every time somebody sends you an email you could send them the lead magnet, but please don’t do that.

Manually sending out your lead magnet is hard, and there are some great free and very low-cost options for email service providers that you can use. Promise me you won’t do this manually, okay? 

So we need to deliver that thing, and that’s one of the reasons that your lead magnet needs to be something that you create once and can get to people over and over. A bad lead magnet idea is a free 15-minute consultation call. That’s a lot of work for you, and there’s only one of you, so that’s probably not something that you’re going to be able to sustain to grow your list to the size that you probably want to grow your list. Imagine having 100 people sign up on your list this week, and that’s awesome, except that now you have 100 15-minute phone calls that you have to do. That’s not cool.

We want to be able to deliver this thing multiple times without creating something new every single time. We will store that document somewhere like Google Drive, or maybe your email service provider allows you to store documents within them, and the link will be within the provider. 

A lot of all-in-one solutions like Kartra and Kajabi have an option that hides videos on your Youtube channel so that someone has to follow a link to find them. You could create a page on your website that has a video embedded, and you don’t show that in your navigation, and you don’t make it searchable, and that kind of thing. You’ve got to get them the information one way or another. 

I see people who have their opt-in page, and you’ll put in your email address and name, and then they’ll take you to the thank you page, and that has the download or video on it. That’s great, but I always make sure I send them an email as well because once they close out of that tab, that opportunity is gone. We want them to be able to go back to our lead magnet as often as they want. Always send them an email with the link to your lead magnet as well as display it on your thank you page if you so desire. 

Nurture Your List

Finally, we’ve delivered this thing to them, and it’s like we’ve gone on a first date. If we like this person and we want them to like us, we need to continue to nurture this new budding relationship. How do we do that? We do it with email marketing. What we want to do is establish and then grow that trust factor. Marketers talk about that all the time, but your trust factor is going to give you that sense of reliability, authority, and personality. It gives them a chance to see who you are, so they can decide if they want to do business with you.

It’s important in your nurture sequence to show your personality and to share valuable information like things that you have learned, other opportunities like a free master class, or something that you might have for them to continue to solve their problems, and you’ll have a customer for life. 

That’s what we want. We want somebody who is going to claim every free product we send out and become interested in our paid products or services. I don’t even care what it costs. That’s what we want them to say, and that happens through that nurture sequence. This nurture sequence is going to be some number of emails long, whatever you decide is comfortable. I typically do five including the delivery email.

It’s all going to be automated, and this is where that email service provider comes in. Once they get that initial delivery email with their download in it, then the next day, you’re going to have that automation set up to send them the second email. Then another day or two will pass and then the third and then the fourth and then the fifth. I drop them into my primary list of people who get my weekly emails after the nurture sequence is completed. 

Your weekly emails are different from this nurture sequence because every sequence has to have some sort of goal.

A sales sequence is going to have the goal of making the sale. A book a call sequence has the goal of booking a call. Your nurture sequence may have a goal of getting them to join your Facebook group. There must be a call to action at the end of your nurture sequence. Maybe it’s to buy one of your low-ticket products. Maybe it’s to attend a masterclass. There are a lot of different things that you can use as your call to action for your nurture sequence.

You don’t need to introduce it until the last email or two, but you need to have a purpose and something that you’re calling them to do at the end of that sequence. 

To quickly recap, you first build an email list. You’ve got to have something to entice them, a lead magnet, freebie, opt-in, or whatever it is that solves a problem for your ideal customer. If they can implement that and see their problem solved, you’re a hero in their book. Number two, you’ve got to have a way to capture that information when they give you their email address and their name. Some sort of landing page software, it could be in something like click funnels or lead pages, something like that.

Once we capture that information, we need to deliver that lead magnet to them through email. I always deliver through email, even if I do something additional like a thank you page. We need to have something to deliver in that email, and then we’ve got to nurture them. We have to start building that relationship. Anything that can help them get to know you and get to know your business. This way they feel more connected to you. You need that nurture sequence, and it has to be automated, or you will drive yourself crazy. 

Those are your four steps to building an email list. I know that sounds like a lot, and it’s normal to be overwhelmed. Starting your email list does not have to be expensive because you can do it with free software. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. When you break it down into the four steps, it’s not. It may not be easy, but it’s simple. 

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