Building an email list is not rocket science. Anyone can learn how to build an email list.
But doing it wrong (or not doing it at all) can be costly to your business.
If you’ve been struggling or don’t know where to start when it comes go building your email list, then you’ve come to the right place.
By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll have a grasp on exactly what you need to do to start building your email list TODAY.
So, let’s get started
Why Build An Email List?
Before we dive into the “how” of building an email list, I think it’s important we have a good grasp on why we should build one in the first place.
In my previous post, I touched briefly on building an email list. I mentioned how email has consistently shown itself to have the highest ROI of any marketing channel.
According to the Experian Email Benchmark report, the average revenue per transactional email is 2-5X than standard bulk email.
There’s also the fact that you have 100% control over it. And there’s a lot of things you can do with an email list.
Here’s a quick list:
- Acquisition – Getting new customers
- Branding – Creating more touchpoints.
- Traffic – Getting more eyeballs on your website.
- Engagement – Boosting social metrics (i.e. likes, comments, shares, etc.)
- Direct Sales – Generating more product purchases
- Referrals – Increased word-of-mouth
- Reactivation – Re-engaging prospects that have fallen out of touch.
Email is also very easy to track and measure. Most email marketing software will have analytics that allow you to see how many people are opening your email, number of clicks on your link, bounce rate, and more.
Like the old saying goes, “what gets measured gets improved.”
Last, but not least, it’s a permission-based asset. In other words, the person on the other side agreed to receive communication from you.
This puts you in a position of authority, which makes it much easier to get the sale later on.
The 2 Biggest Mistakes You Must Avoid
Now that we’re clear on why you should be building an email list, we need to talk about the 2 biggest mistakes you must avoid when building your list.
I could show you step-by-step how to build an email list, but if you make 1 or both of these mistakes, then it will be all for naught.
Mistake #1: Failing to Follow-up With New Subscribers
If someone opts into your list, that means they want to hear from you. They’ve given you permission to do so.
For starters, every new subscriber that opts into your list should be receiving some kind of indoctrination sequence. We’ll go over that in much more detail later on.
Besides that, you should be regularly communicating with your list at least once per week.
Mistake #2: Sending the exact same email to everyone on their list
To be clear, there are certain emails where it’s ok to send to your entire list. For example, any ungated piece of content like blog posts, podcasts, articles, etc. are ok to send to everyone.
Besides that, you should be paying attention to the types of content your subscribers are consuming because that will tell you what topics they’re interested in.
For example, if you’re running a food blog and you might be talking about several different topics like vegetarian, vegan, desserts, and gluten-free. Each topic should have its own separate email campaign with its own offer.
Your #1 Priority In Building Your Email List
Your biggest priority when it comes to building your email list is determining how you will monetize a lead or subscriber.
You are not building a list for the sake of building it. If it doesn’t make dollars, then it don’t make sense.
In order to make money from your list, you must determine what products and services you’re going to be selling to your list. From there, you must plan out when you’re going to promote them and for how long.
Create A Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is an irresistible bribe that is given in exchange for contact information.
They come in all different shapes and sizes, but their purpose remains the same: to get people to join your list.
Lead Magnets don’t need to be large and complicated. In fact, the simpler you can make them, the better.
The most important factor when it comes to creating a lead magnet is SPECIFICITY
Your lead magnet must be designed to do one thing particularly well.
And that one thing could be any numbers of things like:
- Make a specific promise
- Give a specific example (i.e. case study)
- Offer a specific shortcut
- Answer a specific question
- Deliver a specific discount
Besides specificity, great lead magnets speak to a known desired end result. This requires having a deep understanding of your customer avatar, and its goal. For more information on that, you can check out my post on how to market your business.
It should also have a high perceived and actual value. If your lead magnet looks valuable and it is valuable, you have a win-win in the mind of the prospect.
It should also be easy to consume quickly. Lead magnets that require days and weeks to consume tend to have lower optin rates.
Here are some types of lead magnets you can use in your business:
- Video Training
- Swipe File
- Cheat Sheet/Handout
- Resource List
Optimize Your Landing Page
Before someone joins your list, they need to opt into your landing page first.
Your landing page will make or break the optin, so you want to be sure that it’s optimized for generating leads.
So, what goes into a good landing page.
Design tastes may vary, but here are a few things to look out for that’s universal among all landing pages:
- Limited form fields – Asking for too much information can potentially hurt optin rates. Ask only for what’s necessary.
- Limited Navigation – More navigation options are distracting and will lead your prospect off your landing page.
- Social Proof – A classic persuasion technique that takes advantage of the herd mentality. Do what other people are already doing.
- Easily Understood – Don’t try to be too fancy. Get straight to the point.
- Compelling Headline – On average, 8 out of 10 people read the headline. Make it count.
Types of Emails
Depending on the size of your list, you’ll be sending out hundreds, if not thousands of emails per month.
This isn’t even counting the other businesses in your industry, let alone businesses around the world that send emails.
Now, we’re talking millions, if not billions, of emails.
Despite that huge number, your typical email falls into 1 of 3 categories:
- Transactional Emails – These emails are sent automatically, after the subscriber has engaged in some sort of transaction with the business. These include order confirmation, purchase confirmation, return confirmation, support receipts and unsubscribe notifications.
- Relational Emails – These are generally non-promotional emails which are used as relationship builders. There may be a soft sell but their general purpose are to add value to the subscriber. These include New Subscriber Welcome Email, Lead Magnet Delivery email, Newsletter/Blog Article, and Contest Announcements.
- Promotional Email – These emails are generally more “salesy” in nature, but it isn’t limited to just sales. For example, if you just came out with a new lead magnet, you can “promote” it to your entire list. This helps with segmenting your list and recommits those who are already part of your list. Other examples of promotional emails include promotional content, new product release, and trial offer.