Way back when we were beginning online marketing, I used to hear our CEO, Mr. Nicholas, talk of email lists. Deep in my mind, I kept on wondering what email lists were all about.
He later attested that when it comes to online marketing, email marketing is hands down the most effective way to grow a business. He added that Instagram or Facebook can’t even come near it.
Therefore, if you are planning to start an online shop or already have one, I urge you to build an email list. If you need to learn how to start an email list and do it the right way, you are on the right page because, in this article, we shall learn how to start an email list step-by-step.
But what is email lists/email marketing?
Email marketing is basically marketing via email. It involves collecting or building a list of email addresses of people interested in your products or content (an email list) and thereafter keep in touch with them regularly through sending email newsletters.
Unlike other marketing platforms like Facebook, u-tube, Instagram, and Twitter, email marketing can reach all kinds of audiences because almost everyone uses emails. For example, in the U.S. alone, over 90% of people above 15 years use email and 85% of the people will receive emails sent to them.
According to Adobe, email has an ROI of $40 for every $1 spent. This beats other forms of online marketing combined! If we compare other forms of online marketing across all industries and niches, email beats them hands down.
Why is the email list so important?
Sincerely speaking, having a blog or an online shop without an email list is a huge mistake. It is like shooting yourself in the foot. Derek Halpern from social triggers said: “if you’re not building your email list, you’re an idiot.” So why is the email list so important?
1. Develop a direct relationship with customers
The primary reason for email marketing is to develop a relationship between you and your readers or customers so that whenever something new comes up, they are always notified.
2. Stay in touch with your readers
Email marketing helps you to stay in touch with your readers and customers and keep them returning to your website. Customer retention is a sure way to increase revenue and sustainable growth, bearing in mind that it costs five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one?
3. The email list is yours/ your asset
You can use the email list to expand your business as much as you want. And in case social media platforms say Facebook or Pinterest shut down, you will still retain your customers.
4. Email lists minimize marketing costs
Email marketing is cheaper compare to other forms of marketing like PPC. With email lists, you don’t need to hire any platform to do marketing. It is easily done by you.
5. With email lists, you can figure out who your readers are
An email list can help you understand your readers. Who they are, what their challenges are, and how you can help them. By knowing which freebie they opt into or the replies and stories you get from your emails you will get you much closer to your audience than if you just blogged.
How to start an email list; a step by step guide
Whether you’re starting from ground zero or have some information about email lists, the good news is that email marketing is the easiest. The step-by-step guide below will help you obtain an email list up and running within the shortest time possible.
Step 1.Have a clear purpose
Before you embark on the journey of email marketing, you need to know your goal for this undertaking. What’s the end goal of building an email list? Knowing all that will set the tone on how you will manage your email list including how often you’ll be sending emails to subscribers.
Also, knowing your end goals such as making a living, selling products, attracting leads, etc. helps you to realize the time commitment needed.
Step 2.Choose your email marketing service
This relates to useful software you’ll need to send your emails. Do not think of using your personal email for email marketing. This is a bad idea for reasons I am going to explain below.
Violation of privacy: If you send emails to multiple people, in some way, they’ll all be able to see each other’s email addresses. This violates their privacy.
Violates the CAN-SPAM Act: sending emails to anyone in the US, you’ll need to fulfill the “CAN-SPAM act requirements. This includes making it easy for people to unsubscribe from all future emails.
Deliverability: your emails may be flagged as spam and blocked by the recipients. Email marketing services are optimized for deliverability.
Scalability: With the best email marketing software, keeping track of different email addresses, names and other details becomes easy.
Design: Email marketing services offer professional and pre-designed templates and other features that you will need during the entire email marketing activity.
Some of the email marketing service that’s right for your blog or business include;
Constant contact: which will also give you all the features you need in the email market
Sendinblue: A toolkit for marketing service that’s right for your blog or business
Step 3.Customize your welcome email
A welcome email is the first step to developing a consumer-customer relationship. It also helps your email deliverability. When a subscriber receives a good email from you, chances are high that he/she will open future emails from you.
A good welcome email should have:
- An introduction of who the sender is.
- What kind of emails a subscriber should expect from going forward
- Tips on how best your emails may reach their inbox
Step 4.Start your email list
Start and grow your email list the right way. Do not take shortcuts like buying an email list, do not add subscribers without their permission, and above all don’t combine your email list with that from another source. Violating all this will hurt you later on.
Some of the tips on how to grow your email list include;
- Use Quick Response (QR codes) so that people can sign up for an email list although they are offline.
- Put your opt-in form on the home page to minimize the number of clicks before someone signs up.
- Encourage your audience to share your newsletter
- Simplify the sign-up session who my require people to just enter their email address and the process is done, rather than asking so many questions.
- Put a link to your social media bios.
- Create an eBook or other freebie in exchange when someone signups.
- Use social proof with a popup that shows signups in real-time.
- Explain the benefits of subscribing and optimize your calls-to-action
Step 5.Send email newsletters
Let me assume at this point that people signed up for our list. The next step is to start sending them email newsletters. But what do you include in your newsletter?
If you have a blog, send a regular email newsletter updating your subscribers about new posts on your blog. You can also add some other important content like interviews, coupons, giveaways, or sales that may not be in your blog.
Let every email have a single goal to keep your readers focused and engaged. Do not put too many links otherwise, the email may not get the attention it deserves.
What makes email marketing so effective?
If you are wondering why email marketing is so effective, here are some reasons to answer you:
1. Regular communication
A person may come to your site once and never return. However, through email lists, you are able to stay in touch with that person and keep convincing them about your brand.
2. Email marketing builds trust
On the first click-through, you may not earn the trust of the visitor because he or she may not trust understand your business enough to buy a product. Email marketing gives room for you to engage with the customer and with time, you may earn his or her trust.
3. Emails reach everyone
As a matter of fact, almost everyone has an email address and at least many are willing to give them out in exchange for valuable content. So by email, you are 100% sure that the message reaches your target person.
4. Emails are more personal compared to social media
An email in a private inbox feels like a letter addressed to someone personally. The email makes the receiver feel special and important to your brand. This can convince him or her to give it a second shot.
An email list is basically marketing via email. This beats other forms of online marketing combined because all most everyone has an email address. If you don’t have one, I beseech you to do it as soon as possible. It is not hard, all you need to do is to follow the simple step-by-step guide above.