Figuring out how to market yourself or your business can seem complicated when there are so many options available in front of you.
If you have an online business, you’ll most likely have heard the phrase, “The money is in the list.”
This refers to building a list of raving fans through the collection of email addresses from potential customers and prospects.
Building an email list is the core principle behind the Internet marketing model. It’s also said that the bigger your email list, the more money you’ll make.
Many bloggers are earning a sustainable living with their blogs, because of their email list.
In this article, we’ll be covering:
- What an email list is
- The benefits of having one
- How to get started building your list
Table of Contents
From social media to Google advertising, there are so many advertising methods it might seem like a waste of time to build an email list.
However, for many businesses, email is still regarded as one of the best tools to reach out and communicate with their readers and convert them to paying customers.
Virtually any blogger will tell you that your email list is the most important form of a marketing strategy than anything else available.
Creating an email list from Day 1 for your brand new blog is one of the smartest and most powerful methods to keep your readers engaged with the work you’re doing.
In fact, even professional marketers have noticed as much as a 760% increase in revenue from building email lists and creating email campaigns.
What is an Email List?
Before jumping into the Benefits and How-To’s, it’s essential to understand what an email list is, and how people join your list.
An email list, in its most simple terms, is simply a collection of email addresses from those who have performed some type of action to sign up.
This could include purchasing something from your business, opting in to receive a freebie, or subscribing to receive updates from your website.
Regardless, each person who signs up for your email list has allowed you to use their contact information for your brand or company’s purposes.
What Are the Benefits of Building an Email List?
Even though we’ve explained the basics, it can still seem a little confusing as to why you might benefit from building an email marketing list for your business.
Not only is it an easy form of communication that’s accessible to most people on earth, but it’s also able to improve your return on investment (ROI), along with your communications between your business and customers.
Here are a few of the benefits you’ll receive from building an email list.
1. Building an Email List is Inexpensive
An email list is inexpensive and a great way to create a passive income.
When someone joins your email list, it shows that they’re already interested in the niche you represent.
Because of this, your subscribers are more likely to buy from you, because they know and trust you, and are already interested.
After all, your subscriber most likely came to your site looking for a solution, found it, and decided to opt into some incentive you offered in exchange for their email.
Unlike using advertising methods such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, paid marketing, or resorting to traditional methods like mail or flyers, email requires you to pay very little to be effective.
While your designs, promotions, and email service provider (ESP) may cost a few dollars a month, the overall costs are very low compared to other advertising options.
According to a Litmus Report – for every $1 invested in Email Marketing, you can expect a $36 return. That’s a 3600% Return On Investment (ROI). Can the Stock Market do that?
There’s another rule of thumb – “for every subscriber you have on your list equals $1 per month – 10,000 subscribers, $10,000 per month.”
Building your list will be fairly simple once you have visitors coming to your blog. Also, since the ROI is more than 3600%, having an email list is an inexpensive investment.
2. An Email List is Personal and a Direct Line of Communication
Not only is email personal, but it’s a direct form of communication with your loyal readers.
When people read an email from you, they’re reading in the privacy of their own email inbox.
An email allows your customer to feel like they’re part of the private conversation.
If your reader has a question, they can continue the conversation by using the ‘Reply‘ button that’s in the email to send you a message.
This helps build trust.
Is Social Media Communications Better than Email?
There are many bloggers that will swear by social media as a way of connecting with their audience.
Most people will talk with friends and family via social media platforms, but email is used to communicate for business purposes.
And, something that these bloggers may not be thinking about while bragging about their millions of followers are – the social media networks are continually changing their algorithms to benefit their own business, so the content they share may frequently get lost amongst the digital noise.
You don’t own the social media platform, so you don’t have any say in changes that take place.
Having a solid email list lets you engage with those who actually want to hear from you. After all, they voluntarily opted into your list in some way.
Due to the fact that you’re only communicating with those that want to hear from you, you’re more likely to convert your email subscribers into a paying customers.
Many businesses still use email marketing as their primary source of advertising because of its effectiveness and direct communication method.
What’s the moral of the story? An email list is a thing you need to focus on for your business.
3. An Email List Has Word-Of-Mouth Benefits
Mailing lists are full of people who are likely to buy your product or have already purchased it.
Using a mailing list to share helpful information or promotions increases the chance that those customers will tell their friends about your offerings.
As you already know from all the people on the social media platforms sharing what they had for breakfast, these happy subscribers will most likely share excellent products and/or services, with their friends and family, especially if its made a positive impact on their lives.
4. You Own Your Email List
With the exception of your website, your email list is the only thing you have control over.
Unlike your blog or email list, social media sites own your account, meaning, if they decided to close or restrict your access, you will no longer be able to communicate with your audience or followers.
And, as previously mentioned, social media networks are continually changing their algorithms to benefit their own business, so the content you share, or the method you use to communicate with your followers, can change at any time.
Having your own email list ensures that you’re in control of your audience, and have guaranteed access to the inbox of your subscriber, which will have a direct way to contact them as needed.
5. Reaching a Bigger and More Targeted Audience
While you might have assumed that more people check their physical mail or their Facebook account, email is still one of the most used platforms across the globe.
While it was predicted that the use of email would start to slow down, it has dramatically increased as the years have passed.
According to Statista, “Despite the growth and prominence of mobile messengers and chat apps, email is an integral part of daily online life. In 2020, the number of global email users amounted to 4 billion and is set to grow to 4.6 billion users in 2025.”
Using email is an easy way to reach a wide range of audiences.
It is a highly effective way of sending targeted emails directly to a certain group of people.
Within your email service provider, you can group your readers (called Segmentation), based on their email responses. This way you can send targeted emails with relevant offers to your list.
6. Email Gets Visitors to Return to Your Site
Did you know that somewhere between 70 and 90% of your readers will come to your blog and never return? Just take a look at your Google Analytics.
Turn your reader into a raving fan by having them join your list.
If they enjoyed reading your blog the first time they visited, then they’re more likely to return when they receive an email from you.
7. Using an Email List Will Convert More Subscribers into Customers
Because of the reasons I mentioned above, creating an email list is a smart way of turning subscribers into customers.
After all, they’re already raving fans of your work, so why not offer solutions to whatever their issues might be.
It’s pretty easy to offer solutions to people’s problems when you’re familiar with your niche.
After all, if you found a product or service that solved a problem you’re facing, wouldn’t you spread the word? Wouldn’t you tell a friend?
Of course, you would. Letting your followers know about this product or service is a good thing, they will most likely thank you for sending them the information.
And, of course, you’ll continue to support your business with a passive income by helping your audience.
Now that you know why emails are such a powerful method to stay in touch with your loyal fans, let’s see what it takes to create an email list.
How to Build an Email List
Now that you’ve learned the benefits of building an email list, it’s time to get started with creating a list of your own.
It might sound complicated, but it’s actually very straightforward to develop your mailing list.
Let’s get started with how to set up an email list by following the steps below.
Step 1. Find an Email Marketing Platform
Before collecting emails or creating campaigns, it’s essential to choose the platform you want to use to host your email marketing campaigns.
There are tons to choose from depending on your specific needs, such as the size of your customer base or the frequency of emails you’ll need to be able to send.
The prices for these platforms vary depending on the package you choose. However, most platforms offer a free trial to let you get started and test out the product.
To narrow this down a bit, I have a few recommendations to get you started:
- My recommendation: ConvertKit (affiliate link) – best for bloggers and content creators
- ConstantContact – great email marketing service for most
- SendInBlue – great for integrating with WordPress
One thing to keep in mind – you get what you pay for.
Most email marketing services do offer Free trials, or free services up to a certain amount of email signups.
But, something to keep in mind while researching is to read everything, because some providers refer to how many emails you send per month, and others are on a basis of how many subscribers you have.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you sign up for a Free email marketing service (as opposed to paying), it will not include the feature of creating an automated email sequence, which is a huge deal for us bloggers.
– These email marketing services know the importance of an automated email sequence, so you’ll have to be a paying customer for this feature.
An Automated Email Sequence is a series of emails automatically sent to specific segments of people on your email list. An email sequence can be trigger-based (via link or opt-in form) or time-based.
An automated sequence is a way of creating a ‘Welcome sequence‘ or another type of Series email sequence.
A good example of an automated email sequence would be our How to Start a Blog – FREE 7-Day Email Course. Its 7 days of training created in a series, sent out 24 hours apart.
Most email marketing services will allow you to send Broadcast emails on the free plan, but not allow you to enroll a subscriber into a recommended automated sequence (like a Welcome Sequence), which is what we do for new email subscribers.
A Broadcast Message is a single message that is sent to an entire list of people at the same time. It can be scheduled to go out on a specific date and time, but the schedule is the same for everyone.
When you join an email marketing service, they should provide an adequate how-to guide for setting up your account.
NOTE: The following 4 Steps WILL NEED to be done before you can send out an automated series to your email list.
Step 2. Create Your Email Marketing Campaign
You’ll want to create a series (sequence) of emails, which will automatically be sent out to your email list, once your reader has Opted Into to your Incentivized sing-up form.
One of the best plans for an email sequence is the ‘Welcome’ Email Sequence.
You can do a series of emails on just about anything, such as:
- Special training, like my ‘How to Start a Blog‘ training series
- A Welcome Series letting your new subscriber know what they can expect from you
- Educational components behind your products or services
- Promotions, specials, or new product releases, to name a few
Remember to use the power of your list wisely and not send too many emails or spam their inbox.
You only want to send emails to your customers that serve some type of purpose.
Since email users already receive hundreds of emails a day, you’ll want your emails to stand out from the crowd.
If your audience members don’t find your emails to be helpful or interesting, they’ll start to unsubscribe from your email list.
Step 3. Offer an Incentive to Sign Up
Once you’ve chosen your platform, you need to find a way to get potential customers to sign up for your email list.
Simply having a sign-up form without any value is not the most efficient way to get started, as most people are not interested in signing up for emails without some type of benefit that’s in it for them.
To gain the most traction, you’ll want to create an offer that customers can receive in exchange for their email, as I’ve done for you below.
There are plenty of ways to do this, such as offering a free product or guide, offering a discount code on your products or services, or some other type of valuable information that would pique their interest.
The idea behind this is to give your customers a reason to opt into your sign-up box by offering some kind of value.
Step 4. Keep Sign-Up Short and Simple
When customers go to opt-in for your email list, you’ll typically need to gather some information from them.
This could include a variety of information you want them to give you, such as their name, email address, phone number and so on.
However, if you make the form too long and complicated or ask too many personal questions, people are not going to want to sign up no matter what value you offer to them.
Instead, try to keep it simple and ask questions that matter.
Most email opt-in forms ask for your email address and first name only, which a good practice.
This gives enough information for your business while keeping the total sign-up time and personal information given, to a minimum.
Remember, this is supposed to be easy and convenient for the customer, not feel like a hassle.
Step 5. Find the Right Placement on Your Site
It’s essential to find the right locations to place your opt in boxes on your website to ensure your reader is seeing your offer and signing up for it.
When considering where to put your opt-in forms for a higher conversion rate, you’ll want to place them in specific areas that receive the most traction.
Great locations to consider on your blog might include:
- An Exit-Intent pop-up box (when the reader is done, it will trigger upon their exit)
- At the top of your page
- Within your article’s content
- In your page footer
- On a sidebar
- A link on your social media that would go to a landing page on your site
Step 6: Driving Traffic to Your Site – A Blogger’s Survival
The aim for any blogger is to get as much traffic as possible to their site.
The more visitors you attract to your blog, the more pair of eyeballs that will see your incentive and have the opportunity to opt into your email list.
In turn, if your blog is monetized for creating a passive income – the more money you’ll make and the more lives you can change.
I guess I don’t need to tell you the importance of getting traffic to your blog. Getting traffic is the lively-hood of full-time bloggers.
Of course, having an attractive offer for your reader makes the job much easier.
Building an email list is a crucial step in your business for creating a passive income with your blog.
An email list is your direct line of communication with your loyal followers in which to help them with a solution to problems they may be facing.
Creating a marketing campaign with your email list is an easy and effective method of creating a passive income that will help you break away from your 9 to 5.
The goal is to have a way to talk to people who are already interested in your products or services and turn them into paying customers.
After learning the benefits of an email list and seeing how simple it is to start, it’s clear that if you’re not already capitalizing on this in your business, you’re seriously missing out.
Get started today to help increase revenues, attract more customers, and find a way to cut through your competition.