Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners

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How to Turn Your Email Newsletter into a Conversion Machine

I found them after trying a handful of other ESPs. I like them because they make things simple. The system is easy and fun and they have amazing support. You can have a free account until you hit subscribers. Another intriguing, new-to-the scene option I have my eye on is ConvertKit. I have switched ESPs multiple times. ESPs want your money and therefore try to make the switch as easy as possible for you. Most at least have tutorials for switching, and many provide email support or have live chat. Email marketing is about trust.

They may have given you permission to contact them, but they also have the power to mark your email as spam which hurts your email marketing overall. Always subscribe to your own list s. There are three main reasons you should do so:. Why in the world would you want to make unsubscribing easy? You see, when you send emails, there are several factors that determine whether your email is going to land in inboxes or spam folders.

Test your unsubscribing process. How do you do that? If you want to dive deeper into this subject, I go into much more depth in my Knowtbook. I find that using popup-email-subscribing is too forceful to get email subscribers. So, I use a visible and non obtrusive email subscription widget to get people to subscribe. Leaving it up to the viewer is the way to go. I have also subscribed to your newsletter Amy, especially for the awesome name you gave it use letter. Email marketing plays an important role in your marketing, many people are not aware of that.

Building lists and then sending customized emails to your subscribers so that they love what you do and become your customers. So building an email list can do wonders and there are many ways for that as you have already explained above. Informative, concise writing as always. One thing that really struck me was focusing on my ONE thing. I write a recipe blog so my new posts are sent out via ESP and I also send out a more personal monthly newsletter.

Subscribers can join one list or both. Companies that sponsor my recipes a. Any thoughts on how to evaluate these two conflicting goals? Thanks so much and I know you must get a million questions, so sorry for adding another one to the list! Wow this is so amazingly informative! As always, very impressive and helpful information! My one question for now — haha is about providing the physical address to an ESP.

For example, if you are someone who posts a lot of product reviews and companies are eager to get their products in front of you, the address in your emails might be used to send you product. Amy any thoughts on Constant Contact? I know i need to get back up to speed- have hundreds of people who have agreed to be on my list and I have not added them yet.

The whole thing is overwhelming to me now… Trying to figure out where to begin…. There are so many ESPs and I know many of them are good choices depending on your needs. My goal is always to find the best option for the best price. I always try to find the tools that give me the biggest bang for my buck. Great information and I love your Useletter.

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I used MadMimi for quite a long time, and finally switched to MailChimp for the reasons you listed, and also because I found MadMimi to be very buggy. They are way, way easier to reach quickly than MailChimp, and less expensive by quite a lot, but as my list grew, so did my issues. With MailChimp, I can clean up my list pretty regularly, and only pay for subscribers who actually engage. Would you say the main issue for you with MadMimi was not being able to see the stats for individuals?

Or the inability to clean up your list regularly? I delete subs on a regular basis and wish I could do that easily on my own. As it is, I just shoot support an email, give them the parameters of the people I want to delete ex. Amy, thanks so much for your hours of research and dedication, then freely sharing with us! You make our lives easier! This is a great article for explaining the basics of email marketing. I have read many articles and yours has been the most concise. I love reading all of your content and appreciate what you do for your readers. I totally agree with your MadMimi review.

Love them, the pricing is really good, but there are some features missing. I have been trying to set a weekly RSS but no luck. Like you said, stand-alone newsletters are extra work, and I am not sure I am ready for that yet. Hi Angelica, oh no! Have you chatted with them? They are always so helpful and responsive. I hope you get it figured out! This is a brilliant site, a legacy you can be very, very proud of.

Stepping away sometimes provides some great perspective and motivation. I wade through the internet and find the good stuff. I take your privacy seriously. By signing up you agree to the terms in my privacy policy here. Then I took a hard right turn in What exactly is an email list? Why would I want an email list? Should everyone have an email list? Why not just connect with people on social media? There are many reasons, but the most important is, you own your list. Your Facebook Page is not owned by you. Your Twitter account is not owned by you.

Your YouTube account is not owned by you. You get the point. What about my blog or website? Even for days at a time. Having an email list means you will never be totally out of contact with your core audience. Well, unless email disappears I suppose. You publish a post, promote it and then you…wait. Email, on the other hand, is different. And a note from a friend landing in your inbox is a much more lovely way of communicating than an update shared across social media, right?

Someone remains on your list until they decide to get off or you kick them off which I do regularly. This is unlike social media or search where algorithmic changes often determine whether or not your content is seen. How many people have email addresses? Pretty much anyone who does anything online. How many people go a day without checking their email? Now, how many people go a day without checking blogs? For most of us, checking email is just part of daily life. Email is no longer a difficult concept to explain. Most people have already been introduced. If you use an email service provider like Mad Mimi my top recommendation for beginners , you can track your growth and progress.

So how do I get email addresses? You collect them, one by one. What do you send to these complete strangers who signed up on your blog? So how do you do that? A welcome series is there to build a relationship with your reader. It gives you the ability to get to know them.

T heir responses will become future blog posts and product ideas.

16 Mistakes Bloggers Make When Building an Email List

You can also funnel your subscribers into a product you sell. Here is a rough overview of the two funnels I have setup for my email list. Again, as a bonus to the students in my Blog by Number course , you get a free template to create your first optin! Even if you only have five people on your email list, reach out to them!

Send them a quick welcome email. Ask them how they found your site. Ask them how you can help. In my early days when my list was tiny, I just used my Gmail account to send emails to my list. I still had under subscribers and for a few weeks just did all of my communication through Gmail. Remember to BCC the email addresses when you send an email to a large list this hides the emails from everyone on the list. Like any relationship, you need to keep in contact.

But if you have a great relationship with her, you go out for coffee once in a while, you chat with her weekly, you send her funny articles and helpful recipes — she will clear her schedule when you need help. The same goes for your email list. Like I said before, treat your list like a good friend. Even though there are thousands of people on my email list, I know many of them very well.

And many of them have not just bought my course, but every single product I create or recommend. They are truly my besties! Treat your email list like a close friend. So how often do you talk to your friend? Weekly at least right? I send a broadcast email to a large segment of my list once a week when I have a new post.

Many times these tips eventually turn into a full-fledged post on my blog. This email turned into a post on my blog so I could share it with those not yet on my list too. On rare occasions, I will email my list more than once a week.


There is no perfect cadence for emailing your list. You want to build those relationships and keep the connection warm.

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But how do I do it now? Now that I have thousands of subscribers — how do I keep my relationship warm with all of my readers? Half of my list is also in a sequence the funnel emails I showed above that are sent automatically to my readers. There is no way you can do that out of Gmail. So I use Convertkit to manage all of this for me. It is well worth the monthly fee I spend to generate auto sales and keep my relationship strong with my readers. I also go step by step how I upload the PDF to my blog, connect it to Convertkit and add the sign up form to my blog post.

I initially started to email my list when it was still tiny, and I just used my Gmail account. Then I switched over to MailChimp for a while until my list grew to 2, After that I finally made the beautiful switch to Convertkit. I would never be able to send thousands of emails for free from my Gmail account. So that more than covers any expense of paying for an email marketing provider. Each form can also feed into a tailored email sequence funnel like I showed above. They help build relationships with my readers.

Autoresponders are your invisible sales force. It does all the selling for you as you run around the house chasing after your kids. Your emails are being sent and going out. Yes, email marketing is pricey. But imagine hiring a team of sales people to go out and sell your product. That would be thousands a month. And essentially, that is what an email autoresponder does for you. This increases my conversions, open rates and click-through rates and decreases my unsubscriber rate. I can also segment my readers and see who is highly engaged and send them a coupon or gift.

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And I can delete my cold subscribers from my list to remove people who no longer read my emails. The goal is not to have a huge list, but to have a super engaged list of subscribers. Triggers is also an awesome feature of Convertkit. When someone click on a specific link in one of my emails, it can move that person to a new email funnel or add a new tag to them. This allows me to be more personal in my emails with my readers.

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  4. This saves me lots of money by not inflating my list size incorrectly. If you have cold subscribers on your list and you want to trim it because it costs money to keep people on your list you need to run a re-engagement campaign. See this post by Convertkit: How to Prune Cold Subscribers from your List. Here is an answer directly from the source. Every 90 days or so, we recommend sending an email to this filter. Click here if you do!

    Here is a reply from Convertkit:. We do our best our best to weed out spammers when they sign up through ConvertKit, which is why we manually approve all websites and need to do all plan upgrades manually too. We value high deliverability even if it takes an extra manual process to make sure it gets there. Unfortunately, spammers are sneaky and horrible people who are getting smarter every time.

    So in this case they found a way to trick us and got on our list. Because they were sending spammy links, and we change out links to a ConvertKit link to track clicks and make our automations work, they infected our domains. They have made huge progress in resolving it and have credited my account for the inconvenience. Due to their quick responses, super helpful customer service, amazing product and true care for their customers, I will not be switching email providers. It attracts your ideal customer if the optin is tailored to a product funnel and grows your email list quickly.

    Below is a list of different types of optin you can tailor to your niche and give to your reader in exchange for their email address. Here are a few of the optins I have on my blog and links to each post where you can download them. The 9 Step Blog Plan Checklist. How to Start a Blog Guide and 2 Bonuses.

    So now that you know exactly what I do to grow my email list and exactly how I do it. What other ways are there to grow your list of subscribers? You now know how important it is! But another fantastic way you can use optins is to offer them on a landing page. A page dedicated to one purpose, either collecting and email address or selling a product.

    Landing pages work great at converting subscribers. Also remember, when you guest post, always direct people back to a page to gather emails, rather than just to your home page. Subscribers are more valuable than page views. Sure, there are challenges with reaching your readers through any medium that you use. There are always challenges with reaching your future customers. But this is nothing new. Imagine you have a brick and mortar store. How many people drive by your store without noticing it? Or if you run an advertisement in a magazine, how many people will flip through without glancing twice at your product?

    My email list is under 10, and I know not every single person on that list opens my emails. But still I am able to generate a very generous income from it. Focus on the positives. I know this is a lot. Blogging has a steep learning curve. But trust me, if you put in the time, solve a problem and build relationships, you can make this work too! There are thousands of people who are making an income by working online, here is a quick list of 53 income reports from bloggers. At a super high level, here is what I do to generate money with my blog.

    Pin it so you can refer back to it later too! In-depth video course that helps you master Convertkit and skyrocket your email list! Suzi, this is outstanding! Sending you hugs from Texas, but wish I could just sit and chat over coffee. YOU are the reason I am finally gonna commit to having my own blog. I am blessed to have you for a friend! Aww, thank you so much Lynne! I am so happy to have you as my online friend too! I love email marketing and learning about sales funnels. So happy to see your book and course are doing fantastic!

    Love your graphic by the way so thanks for sharing how you make them! Aww thank you Elna! I think email marketing and sales funnels are fascinating — I love the experimental part of it, always trying new tactics and tricks and seeing what pays off! I also have twins? Maybe we can colab and think about a product we can sell?

    I have a widget for it. I think mailchimp but on jetpack you can see subscribers so I confused. I wish someone could set up my email subscriber thing for me. Mine is low low. Gail, Convertkit makes it super easy to add subscriber boxes to your blog posts, and they look great too! It will help your conversions go up too. Suzi, what an amazing post and congrats on your journey! Standing ovation for you! My first four optins all failed… but I was determined to make this work, so sometimes you just have to keep at it! This is sooooo helpful! I have a question regarding your address, do you feel comfortable using your own or do you use a PO.

    Also, how did you collect email addresses when you were emailing from you Gmail account? Jamie, if you feel uncomfortable using your own address you can setup a PO Box here: Thank you for sharing! Building an email list is so important. Thank you for providing so much substance in one post. Again, thanks for the great information. I will definitely use these tips! I always think, if I can get , then I can get , then , then 1, It all starts with those first steps.

    Super proud of you! Thanks for the useful info. This is much needed as I am just starting my blog with the help of your course. Keep up all the great work. Thank you so much Candy! Suzi, this is amazing and so helpful! This is going to help so much! Thank you so much Monica! Big virtual hug to you too!! I hope this helps explode your list growth! This post is amazing, Suzi. You have provided such valuable content. Wow…you have finally convinced me to send my first welcome email. I have a list but I did not send welcome mail to them till now. And now, thanks to you, I sent my first email. You have been such an inspiration Suzi!

    Puspanjalee, good job on sending your welcome email! Thank you so much for all of the details! Thank you so much! I am so glad you find it super helpful! I am among the lucky ones who are friends with via emails?. Will pin this post…. The funny part…is in the middle of the post…I thought I have an awesome idea creating a checklist for my subscribers….

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    I continued reading…and BAM! Suzi already created one…. It seens like everyone already created my ideas! Thank you SO much Suzi for everything! You are responsible for my success! Thank you so much for appreciating it! Thank you so much for all of this fabulous information Suzi! I especially found the PowerPoint video helpful.

    S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask! I have been meaning to read this specific post by you for weeks. I wish I would have read it sooner! I have a lot of catching up to do for creating an email list. Thank you for writing such a great instructional post. I am currently creating content and working to design my new blog. Thank you so much for the information.

    The how to videos were well done. I feel better knowing that I am not the only one who types, backspaces and retypes frequently! Thank you for this post! My blog is still relatively new but I am just not seeing growth like I want. I am trying to focus on my e-mail list using MailChimp. I looked at ConvertKit but I cannot justify the cost yet, I have not seen a lot of income, unfortunately: It can be so frustrating!

    Working on my optins, too. This is such a beautiful post with so many helpful resources for those of us just getting started! Have you created a video on how to do this? Thank you SO much!! I love reading your blog! Erica, this will help! Thank you Suzi for this wonderful post. I love the principle of sales funnel. I just want you to know that you are more helpful than anyone else out there.

    I learn more each time I visit. Thank you for really wanting to help us!

    How to Build an Email List for Beginners in 2018

    That is why you are so successful. Suzi this post is great and full of so much helpful information!! I have just started blogging myself and hope to be successful in time. Your post was definitely motivation for me! Thank You Suzi for helping me make sense of all this. I launched in Jan.

    This is going to change after today! I feel like I can niche down some too. My only concern is that it seems like many bloggers are making money teaching others how to blog. I have no desire to do that but want to stick to my passions. Thank you so much Kimberly! If you can build a strong following of 1, loyal fans — you can make a full time income from you blog. Suzi, your story and blog are inspiring me daily. Thanks so much for all of the amazing information you provide for mom bloggers and aspiring mom bloggers alike. I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award, and if you choose to accept you can see the details here: Hi, Suzi, thanks for the video on how to create free optins and posting the images to a blog.

    This is really helpful. Awesome tips with examples included. Thank you so much for sharing. This is an outstanding post on email marketing.

    Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners
    Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners
    Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners
    Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners
    Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners
    Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners
    Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners
    Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners
    Email List Building 101: How to Build a List for Beginners

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