It's time to get serious about starting and building that email list. You most likely have setup a website or blog and heard that email marketing is one of the best strategies to monetize your blog. In my experience... YES it is great!
1. Choose your Email Service Provider
In order to build that email list you need an email service provider. A database that stores all your email addresses (Leads) for you and allows you to setup an auto responder. The auto responder and automated emails for you.
For general email marketing and especially for beginners: Aweber
For eCommerce email marketing: Klaviyo
In our experience Aweber is one of the easiest to learn, fairly simple, and has plenty of features. Their tagging feature is awesome!
Mailchimp is good too but not as reliable. There have been times when their whole website and email system was down (nothing loaded) for as long as a half day at a time. If you have a business or website that is depending on your email service provider to store your leads, email your leads, you need a reliable system or you'll have frustrated clients.
ActiveCampaign is a more expensive feature loaded system. They include a lot more CRM type features that is more than the average email marketer needs. We currently use ActiveCampaign at Troyer Websites. I use Aweber for all my other email marketing.
2. Create an Email Marketing Plan
Hopefully you already know what you are selling or offering to your subscribers.
Your best results with email marketing will come when you approach it with a "value first" mentality. Being authentic and not using tricky, sneaky tactics to get better open rates will always work best in the long term.
As you create your email marketing plan ask yourself this question, "How can I best help my future clients learn more about what we do, trust us to provide a great product or service, and want to work with us?"
You might decide to send them tutorials, case studies, your current clients results (with their permission), testimonials and etc...
3. Brainstorm up an Opt-in Freebie
You will want to come up with a freebie that you will offer on your website/blog that your website visitors will want in exchange for their email address.
It could be an ebook, video, case study, free mini course, a checklist, or something similar.
The most important part is that it is relevant to your ideal target audience and that it is truly helpful for them.
A email newsletter sign up option is generally not enough to get good results. Unless you are well known for your copywriting skills I'd recommend offering more than an email newsletter signup.
If you need help creating that freebie, consider contacting our marketing agency Troyer Websites. We would be more than happy to help you out with that.
4. Create & Embed your Opt-in Forms
Once you have created your account with your email service provider you will want to create your opt-in form(s) on your website.
This can be done in a few different ways, but we recommend using the API connection and then building and styling your forms using Thrive Architect.
But if you are not using Thrive Architect you can always create your form right in Aweber and then embedding that form anywhere on your website by dropping in the code they provide for you.
Whichever method you use, do your best to style your form as close as possible to the look and feel of the rest of your website.
5. Create a Welcome Email Series
First impressions are extremely important!
The very first "welcome email" your new subscriber receives will most likely have your highest open rate. This email should have links to download their freebie, follow you on your social media, and add you to their email contact list.
If you are creating your email series to sell something, be sure to not promote it too heavily on that first email.
Remember to lead with value first!
Help your new subscriber see that is worth being and staying on your email list, and that you can truly help them get XYZ result.
If you promote too heavily, your leads will unsubscribe and you'll probably never hear from them again.
6. Have a Long Term Marketing Plan
You'll have to come up with a long term marketing plan that includes your email marketing.
After the automated email series you created for them, how often will you email them?
Once per month? Once per week? Daily?
I would recommend as often as you can come up with good and valuable content. Whether that be emails, blog posts, YouTube videos or whatever you can come up with.
We email our Troyer Websites email list about 2-3 times per month. Quite a few of our clients email once per week.
7. Promote on your Thank You & Download Pages
One of the best ways to sell on your website is promote on your thank you and download pages. Your new lead has just made a commitment to give you their name and email address, and now is a very good time to make sure they have everything they need.
Just make sure you aren't charging for something that you had promised them in your freebie.
Offering a limited time discount on your main product or service might be a good option.
Offering a course on how to do something else they might need to achieve XYZ result would be a great option as well.
At the very minimum give your subscribers an option to click on a button or link to visit your blog, YouTube channel, Social Media or something similar.
Get creative! In the beginning it's okay to just use simple thank you and download pages, but at some point you should make good use of that real estate.