If you are a blogger or business owner it is crucial that you create an email list. Why? Because email marketing is the only way that you can directly speak to your readers and customers.
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An email list is important because you own it. The list is not subject to the whims of a social media algorithm.
For example, instagram just went through a major algorithm change and a TON of bloggers noticed a severe drop in traffic from their instagram accounts.
Traffic from social media is unreliable and subject to the marketing decisions of the social media company. That is why you need an email list. It isn’t subject to changing social media algorithms or a particular platform just going out of style.
Plus, let’s be honest. You probably LOVE having a connection with your readers. It’s awesome when someone leaves you a thoughtful comment or emails you asking for advice about something you’ve blogged about. That kind of feedback as a blogger is what makes all of the hard work worth it!
An email list taps into that wellspring of awesomeness. When someone gives you their email address, they are saying that they trust you as an authority. If you deliver on that promise, those email readers will tell their friends and followers about you and connect with you.
If you want to communicate with your audience on a more personal level, having an email list is the best way to do that.
Email marketing is Important for Bloggers
As a blogger or business owner, your biggest asset is going to be your email list. Emails are the only form of direct communication you have complete control over with your reader.
Readers have given you permission to send them information when they opted in to your list. That is a big deal! People get enough info thrown at them everyday, so the fact that they have chosen to join your list means that they are interested in what you are saying and what benefits you can provide for them.
No amount of tweets or Facebook posts can compete with that kind of personal touch and communication!
Take Control of Your Blog
By building an email list, you are able to take control of your blog instead of relying on social media to send you traffic.
How many of you have ever posted a blog that you were really proud of only to have crickets chirping when you dropped it on Facebook and Twitter?
Been there, done that, not a fan.
I’m speaking from experience because I spent a year blogging before I truly started building and using my email list. Although my blog was successful in that first year, I had not control over who visited my site and what they saw. I was completely at the mercy of social media.
Because people who have opted into your email list are already interested in what you have to say, they are six times more likely to click on a link you share in an email than one in a tweet. Those are great odds!
A well-crafted email can have much more impact than spending a few hours loading up your Twitter queue. In fact, 72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media.
Pretty much every marketing guru will tell you that “the money is in the list.” Meaning, that if you want to grow your business and have a real impact, you’ve got to have an email list.
How To Build an Email List
Building an email list is not hard. Once you have the system in place, everything pretty much runs itself.
First you need to start with an email network. You’ll need more than just your normal email account, but something made specifically for email marketing.
I use and highly suggest ConvertKit. I’ve tried three other email companies, including MailChimp and MadMiMi. I’ve found that ConvertKit is the best platform for doing everything that I want to do with my email list and for the lowest price.
Once you’ve set up your email account, you’ll want to have people join your email list.
Make Opting-In to Your List Easy
Don’t make people search around to opt-in to your list. Have multiple places where people can subscribe.
The majority of my email subscribers come from my SumoMe welcome mat. This is a hard-to-miss page that takes over when you visit my site. (You probably saw it come down from the top.)
Another great way to get email subscribers is to offer them a free download of something helpful. This may be a PDF or a checklist of something that your readers will find useful.
You can create forms in ConvertKit that will show what the free download is and will allow your readers to sign up to receive it.
You can also replace generic URLs on social media landing pages and profiles with ones that take people to an opt-in offer.
What do you do when your list starts growing? You provide your readers value, or what many people call “nurturing your list.”
Nurturing just means staying in touch with your readers once they opt-in to your list. Provide them with valuable information. Give them free and useful information and perhaps a little behind-the-scenes info that regular readers of the blog might not see. Plant the seeds that will grow lifelong readers and potential customers.
Offer a Free Email Course
Another way to nurture your email list is to offer a free email course. These are fun to put together and they provide a lot of value to your readers.
Pick a topic that you know a lot about and that will help your readers with a problem they may be having. Develop about five to seven short lessons that solve this problem and put them into easy-to-read bits. Each lesson will then be put into an email.
A program like ConvertKit will “drip” these lessons to a person who signs up for the email course over a number of days. You can make a short, week-long course or you could create one that lasts a month. It’s up to you and what you think your readers need and will enjoy.
I have two free email courses:
Automate Your Email Marketing
Once you become more familiar with ConvertKit and using your email list, you can start using some of the more advanced features of email marketing.
ConvertKit lets you use funnels, sequences, and triggers to help you create a customized experience for your readers. These tools help you reach a broader audience without having to manually hit the send button over and over again. You can also segment your audience and send them extremely targeted messaging. This builds trust between you and your audience, it provides your readers a benefit because you are provided them with information they want and need, and it leads to increased revenue for you. When you are authentic and personal with your subscribers, they will stay with you and buy from you time and time again.
Get Started Growing Your Email List
YOU CAN USE CONVERTKIT FOR FREE (UP TO 1 MONTH)
If you use my ConvertKit link, you are eligible for a two week free trial. You can start using ConvertKit for an entire month and grow your email list for free!
Imagine how much you can grow your email list using ConvertKit during that one-month free trial? It’s awesome because you can test it out and see for yourself.
No Tech Is Involved. Everything is drag and drop.
You can tag your subscribers based on which freebie they signed up to, which form they used, or any other criteria that set that helps you keep track of your subscribers. This helps nurture your list and provide the best value to the right subscriber.
It’s also very simple to create an email series, or sequences in ConvertKit, which is perfect for creating the free email course I mentioned above.
You can also create easy segments within your list. This allows you to send newsletters to only a portion of your list just by using tags.
If you’ve been thinking about getting serious about email marketing, now is the time to do it.
Start brainstorming some ideas for freebie offers that you can use as opt-ins. You only need one to get started.
Then, sign up for the free trial of ConvertKit and see how you like it.
Add the SumoMe Welcome Mat and start collecting tons of emails.
Finally, send quality content to your list. Make sure that everything you send is relevant and useful. That will keep your readers engaged and happy to hear from you.
And remember, it’s not a race! Developing quality relationships with your readers is so much more valuable than sending them random info for the heck of it. Be strategic, honest and genuine and your email list will start growing before you know it.