Most bloggers and webmasters know that an email list is one of the most profitable online assets they can have, yet few actually build one. I wonder why that happens, as getting an email list going is not that hard. In this post I’ll give you 4 steps to kick-start your own email list.
1. Get an email marketing provider
While there are solutions and software around you can use to power your own email marketing server I wouldn’t recommend it. A key aspect of having an email list is making sure people will receive your emails, and specialized companies are much better equipped to do that.
Sure, you’ll need to spend some money, but what is $30 or so monthly compared to the money you could make by selling your products, services or affiliate products to your list?
If you don’t have an email marketing provider check out GetResponse.com. It is one of the leading email marketing providers, and they are now offering a 30-day free trial. The cool thing is that you don’t need to put a credit card, so there are no strings attached whatsoever.
GetResponse also integrates with over 20 CRM and email management systems, so you can import and existing contacts and get your list populated right away.
2. Create a freebie to encourage people to subscribe
People care about their privacy and about their time, and they sure won’t give your their email addresses just for the sake of it. In other words, you need to offer something in return if you want people to give you the opportunity to communicate with them via email, which is one of the most personal channels online.
That something can be many different things. For instance, it could be an ebook, audio interviews, software, a template, a tutorial, so on and so forth.
3. Place the subscription forms on your website
Once you have an email marketing provider you’ll be able to create your subscription forms from inside your dashboard. The process and is pretty easy, and if you want to get a taste of it check out the form builder demo from GetResponse (they have over 500 templates you can choose from).
Once you have the code of your form ready to go you’ll need to put it on your site. There are basically two spots where you can display your subscription form: on top of the sidebar and below your posts. You can use both at the same time for maximum results.
Make sure to display an image of the freebie you are offering, and use a call to action as well. Something like “Join my email list and get this awesome free eBook!”.
4. Write some follow-up messages
Having subscribers on your email list is only half the battle. The other half is actually building a solid relationship with them. How do you accomplish that? By deliving content that will provide value to those subscribers.
Virtually all email marketing providers allow you to create follow-up messages that are automatically sent to subscribers at given intervals. I recommend you to set one welcome message to go out right after the person signs-up (you can use this message to deliver the download link of the freebie as well), and then another message going out 2 or 3 days later.
After that you can send weekly or biweekly messages, alternating two or three messages of useful content with one message promoting one of your products or an affiliate offer.
There you go, with those four steps you’ll have your list up and running pretty fast. Within some weeks I’ll post some more advanced tips, so stay tuned.