Choose a Service Provider
The very first step to starting your email list is choosing an ESP (email service provider). Now this can be a pretty daunting task because there a quite a few good options out there to choose from, so it would be wise for you to take the time to do some research and see who’s feature appeal to you the most.
It’s really important to make a sound selection because switch providers later can be a hassle. Aside from that, your service provider affects things like deliverability rates, functionality, integration with other tools, price, etc. It can really get ugly if you pick a bad service provider. Once you find one that you’re comfortable with, sign up and load your messages then you’re ready to rock.
When it comes to email service providers I recommend choosing ConvertKit (affiliate link). I use them because they’re simply the best in the business. They have great deliverability rates, user-friendly templates, and amazing customer service.
Place Opt In Forms On Your Site
After you’ve taken the time to set up your autoresponders (you did set up autoresponders right?) and list segments (you should do this too), it’s time to add sign up forms to your website or blog. Without sign up forms there’s no way for people opt in and subscribe to your mailing list.
Did I mention that you can create an unlimited amount of landing forms with ConvertKit? (This is another reason why I love them.)
Placement of sign up forms is very important. There are a few places that greatly increase the chances that people sign up to your list so you’ll want to be strategic about their placement.
Offer An Incentive for Subscribers
A great way to build you list fast and attract more subscribers is to offer an incentive upon opting in. Incentives can be anything from a free report, to an eBook, or even a exclusive video. Whatever you choose to offer must appeal to your target audience, so do some research to see what they like.
The main idea here is to offer value first. Not only does it build trust and increase the likelihood of making sales down the line, but it also trains your readership on what to expect in the future (more value).
Promote Your List
After you’ve done all the groundwork, it’s time to go live and promote your list. The easiest way to do this is to broadcast announcements to your audience via blog post and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram.
I use Buffer to broadcast messages across my social networks simultaneously. Buffer really makes engaging my audience fast and easy.
You should promote your list by spelling out the benefits of being a subscriber to your list; whether it be exclusive content or special deals, make sure you answer the question “What’s in it for me?”
Don’t forget to let them know about your free incentive. More often than not, this will be the really attraction and deal maker for subscribers. Again, always make sure you highlight the benefits of what you’re offering in plain language.
What About You?
What have you done to get your list started? Did you find this to be useful?