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How to Build a Solid Email List

Who out there thinks email is overrated? That nobody reads or cares about email? For the longest time that was me. I thought that emails were invented for long work memos you glance over and delete.

I was wrong.

Email lists help you...
  • Build loyal followers so you don’t have to spend all your time advertising. The best businesses know that it costs at least five times more to attract new customers than it does to keep existing customers. (1)
  • Gain full control of your content. You can say and sell what you want through email.
  • Expand your reach. Research shows that there are 4.4 billion email accounts out there. (2)
  • Track what works and what doesn’t. A/B testing through email helps you write better copy.
  • Send messages faster and cheaper than traditional mail
The bottom line is that if you want to attract a loyal following you need to use email. So how do you go about building the actual list?

There are five basic steps to building an email list. I personally use MailChimp. It’s a great service for beginners and offers plenty of prebuilt templates for your campaigns.

Step 1: Choose a provider. MailChimp is my personal favorite, but there are plenty of other email providers out there. Be sure to check out this list that compares the top 10 email marketing software of 2018. Email marketing software helps you design campaigns, build lists of followers, set auto responses, and track engagement.

Step 2: Set up an email opt-in form. Once you have chosen a provider make sure to create an opt-in form. Opt-in forms let people subscribe to a list so that you can email them your articles, products, and offers. In MailChimp after you have created a list navigate to the sign-up forms.

From there you have the option of selecting pop-up, embedded, or general forms. Pop-up forms reveal themselves once you land on a specific page. While they may be a little annoying, they are great tools for attracting new subscribers.

Embedded forms are completely static and stay in the same location on the same page permanently. It’s a good idea to have an embedded form on your homepage that allows others to subscribe to your email list.

Step 3: Contact friends and family to get 100 subscribers. This step is very straightforward. The problem is most people build the form and expect people to sign up. Take matters into your own hands and ask people you know to join your email list. It’s much easier to get people you know to subscribe than it is to attract complete strangers.

An invitation could be as simple as this:
Hey John, I’m starting an email list for my blog about cupcakes and rainbows. Can I include you?
Simple but effective.

Step 4
: Create an MVP offer and landing page. MVP stands for a minimum viable product. In other words, you want to create something that your readers will get for free in exchange for signing up. This could be an e-book, cheat sheet, pdf reports, or basically anything under the sun related to your website.

The key is to not break the bank or spend loads of time on this first product. You want to test the waters and see what it is your readers want.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3-4. Never stop making new friends and letting them know about your website. Also, continue to offer value and give away your best work with landing pages. This will attract loyal fans who will start to trust in your message.


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