Want to know how to create an email list and kick start your email marketing strategy? Then you’re in the right place. In this blog post I’m going to talk about the why and how of starting your list today.
Why start an email list?
There are loads of reasons to start an email list, but here’s a list of my top 5.
Your email list is the only list of your subscribers that you actually own
When it comes to your followers on social media, the details of those followers are owned by those companies. If social media dropped off the face of the earth tomorrow, how would you reach the people who followed you? You couldn’t, unless you had a list of their email addresses for you to contact them directly.
I know it doesn’t look like social media is going anywhere but I’ve seen a few cases recently where people with pretty big followings have had their accounts removed after reporting copyright infringements. When it comes to those kinds of disputes, you can never tell which side the platform will agree with so make sure you’re not left susceptible if it does happen.
Emails are targeted
Once someone has signed up to your list they’re already invested in you in some way. Whether they’ve signed up to get access to your latest PDF download, webinar or email challenge.
It really doesn’t take much effort for someone to follow or unfollow you on social media, it’s usually the click of a button. Whereas to sign up to your list they’ve gone to the trouble of going to your landing page, filling your sign up form and usually confirming that they definitely did mean to sign up. If they’ve gone to that much trouble then you can be sure they’re interested in what you have to say.
Emails are more personal
Through your email marketing platform you’ll be able to personalise the emails you send, and it’s actually a good idea that you do this. According to Campaign Monitor emails with the recipient’s name in the subject line are 26% more likely to be opened.
Personalising emails, whether it’s just mentioning subscribers names or tailoring content to specific groups within your list (segmentation) will help you make sure that you keep your list engaged.
More people use email than social media
According to Neil Patel, more people use email than social media. In the US 85% of adult internet users have email accounts versus 22% who have social media accounts.
So when you think about it, there are many more people who could join your email list than could follow you on social media.
Emails are direct
When you send emails to your list you know that there’s a very high chance that it’s going to land in subscribers inboxes. There are no guarantees that every email will reach every recipient because of spam filters, people mistyping email addresses when they sign up etc.
When they do get there you can be sure that people will see them with little distraction compared to social media posts where you could be competing with 100’s of other posts in someone’s news feed.
You never know just how many emails each of your subscribers get every day but I’d be willing to bet that it’s nowhere near as many as the number of posts they have to scroll through on their Facebook or Instagram feeds.
What do you need to create an email list?
At the most basic level all you need to create an email list today is an email marketing platform. Examples of email marketing platforms are Mailerlite, MailChimp, Convertkit etc. They give you a way of collecting email addresses, somewhere to store them and the ability to send newsletters to the email addresses on the list.
Most email marketing platforms will let you create landing pages, a page with your sign up form that you can send people to sign up to your list.
A lot of people put off starting a mailing list because they think they need a website first, but this totally isn’t true. If you choose an email platform that includes landing pages then you can start almost immediately.
So I’m calling you out and telling you that you have no excuses not to start a list today.
Which email marketing platform should you use?
Next week I’ll be going into more depth on how to choose email marketing software, but my recommendation for beginners is Mailerlite.
I find it very easy to use, the menus are intuitive and your email sequences are shown in a visual way, similar to a flow chart. It’s free to use up to your list having 1000 subscribers so is a great platform to cut your mailing list teeth on.
How to create an email list? – Action steps
Here are my action steps for creating an email list today.
- Create an account with an email marketing platform e.g. MailerLite, MailChimp, ConvertKit.
- Create a list within your chosen platform.
- Create a signup form.
- If you have a website, embed that form on a landing page on your website. If you don’t have a website, create a landing page in your email marketing platform that has your sign up form on it.
- Start sharing the link to your landing page.
This is literally all there is to start collecting subscribers today. Yes, there are other parts that we could add like lead magnets and automated email sequences, but I’m really keen for you to start your list asap. I swear that in 3 months time you’ll be thanking me for giving you the push.
Email list building is definitely not easy which is why it’s important to start building it today.
In this blog post I talked about 5 reasons for starting a mailing list, which are because you’re not subject to social media algorithms, email is personal and email is direct. Most importantly your mailing list is the only list of followers that you’ll ever own and more people use email than they do social media.
I briefly mentioned email marketing software – they’re platforms that allow you to collect email addresses, somewhere to store them and the facility for you to send emails to those addresses. I’ll be talking more about email marketing platforms next week, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that.
Finally I gave you 5 action steps for you to take today to start building your email list. You don’t need anything fancy, a website if you have one, otherwise choose email marketing software that lets you build landing pages.
That’s all there is to it. Has this post inspired you to start building your list today? Leave me a comment and let me know.