By now, you’ve probably heard (repeatedly most likely), how important it is for you to have a website and email list, and not just rely solely on social media.
And if you haven’t heard that yet, here you go, in a nutshell:
Why Have A Domain and Email List?
First and foremost, because it’s the only thing you own when it comes to your marketing platforms. You don’t own your list on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media networks. You don’t own your group or boards. You don’t even own the content you upload onto these sites (check the terms and conditions of using these platforms, and you’ll be surprised what you find out!). You don’t own anything on these external platforms – and at any moment, if they decide to shut down the service, then *poof* your list is gone. All that time and energy you spent building up a following – GONE.
Scary, right? It should be.
The one thing you can reliably count on? Your email list. That list is yours. Take a look at my best practices at the bottom of this blog for tips on keeping this list healthy!
Now you’re convinced that you need an email list, right? Perfect!
But wait… how do you build one? I gotchu boo! You can build your list with…
Perhaps the easiest and most used of all is offering a freebie. You’ve likely even opted into your fair share of freebies from various sites. You may have even opted into my freebie, right here on this site!
Freebies are super powerful, especially if they are loaded in value. I’ve seen 1 page freebies bring in thousands of new emails just because the content was powerful enough to draw in the audience, but freebies with hundreds of pages and videos that fell flat. It’s all about value babe, and making sure you’re delivering it!
- Free guide – An informative booklet consisting of 3 to 6 pages that gives the audience details on a specific topic. Guide topics can range from pricing guides to branding guides to gift guides and often use photos and graphics as visuals.
- Free mini course – A short online course or class on a topic that contains very specific and high-quality information for your audience to learn something of value. If you can offer them valuable content in the mini course, they will be way more likely to buy a full-course from you later on.
- Free workbook – A booklet containing step-by-step instructions for the audience to complete exercises based on a particular subject. Workbooks are good for setting goals, brainstorming ideas, creating new habits and learning a new writing skill.
- Free discovery call – An introductory conversation between you and the consumer. The purpose of this call is for the client to ask questions to get to know you and what you can provide, for you to discover the customer’s needs, goals and pain points and ultimately deciding if it’s a good fit for the both of you.
- Free checklist – A list of tasks or objects that you require your audience to obtain/do in order to get something done or reach a goal. Checklists are usually no longer than 2 pages and often contain small boxes for the user to check off each as they go.
- Free ebook – An electronic book that your audience can download to read. An ebook can be anywhere from 10 pages to 100 pages and contains valuable information on a topic that keeps the reader engaged, learning and craving more.
- Free cheat sheet – A short reference page that gives quick and easy-to-remember notes about a particular subject. A cheat sheet can include tips, steps, examples and rules in regards to the topic.
- Free form/swipe file – A downloadable folder containing a collection of tools and examples that have been proven to help clients in their business. These examples can be blog posts, articles, photos, emails and even statistics. Sharing this gives your audience high-quality research for their business.
With A Quiz
Quizzes have become more popular because of how quickly you can get to know your target audience. If you’ve ever taken a quiz, then you probably remember how simple (and maybe even fun) it was to complete.
Using a quiz to build your email list is very effective because not only will you get the quiz-taker’s contact information, but you can also find out vital answers to research questions like their pain points, their desires and their overall interests.
- Optimize your questions – Use questions that help you gain as much research as possible, which allows you to really get into their head and understand WHO they are.
- Test their knowledge – See how much they know about a particular topic. This is a great way to get an understanding of their knowledge, so you know what level you’re working with.
- Assign a personality type – Show them that you “know” them and show why you’re a voice of authority at the same time.
- End with a funnel – Tell them what they need/want and end with a CTA. Tie this back to the personality type so it feels more authentic and compelling.
With a survey
Another great way to get emails AND insight is by using a survey. Surveys can be used to gather opinions, behaviors and preferences of your target audience. Knowing this info can help you to market better and help you to connect more with your potential clients.
- Tap into existing audience for feedback – having your past clients take a survey based on their experience working with you gives you results that you can use as great testimonials or to show your new leads just how awesome you are!
- Gain ideas from new audience on a new direction or product – Getting to know what your audience desires the most at the moment can make the creative lightbulb go off in your head about how to give it to them.
With a discount
Did someone say discount? People are always looking to save a dollar and the best way to do that is by offering a discount in an email! They sign up to subscribe and you send them their discount or coupon once you have their email – simple as that.
- Product discount – I typically recommend a minimum of 10% if your product is under $200, as people are more likely to use the discount if it’s compelling enough.
- Service discount – Use this one with a grain of salt, as a service discount means a discount on YOUR time. Don’t undersell yourself.
- Free shipping – One of the easiest discounts and one that’s more predictable for you.
- Free product or service – This one could even funnel into a giveaway, and giveaways are an AMAZING way to build excitement around your offering while also building your email list.
Tips For List Building Success
Before you really dive into offering that freebie, discount, quiz, etc., you have to make sure your audience understands the value they’re getting by opting in. This means you have to understand the value they’re receiving.
- What are the perks they’re receiving with this download/offer/etc.? Spell these out clearly – what are the benefits?
- Why should they care about this offer? This is where you can spell out a sense of urgency, or explain how it’s a solution to a problem they’re currently experiencing.
- How are you helping them with this offer? Now you get to brag. Articulate how the offer solves their pain points or problem.
- Are there any restrictions to this giveaway or any hidden fees, affiliate links, etc.? Make sure you clearly list ALL of these so your subscribers don’t feel tricked.
Next, go above and beyond, but don’t kill yourself. I could’ve easily offered a 30 day content calendar, but those are a dime a dozen. So many others out there are offering just that, so why would my audience feel compelled to download mine? Instead, I upped the game, and decided to offer a freebie with over 120 pages. And it worked. Take a look at some of the feedback I’ve received:
“Just got this and it’s unbelievably, incredibly, awesome!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH ALY @supremelyyou!!!!”
“Yes thank you. I got mine cant wait to get started. This is a really awesome freebie. Lots of good information.”
“Ty so much!! It truly is amazing and does the outline work for you!! Love it ty ty ty 🙏🏻💖”
“This is a REALLY good detailed content calendar! 😄🤗”
“Thank you Aly Sanger for the Content Calendar! The information is great and it’s put together very nicely. I really appreciate the Roadmap Questions and the Set Up section. This is exactly what I needed!”
Best Practices For Keeping Your List Healthy
- Use an eye catching subject line that encourages opens – boring subject lines are more likely to get deleted without ever getting opened.
- Talk to your audience about YOUR AUDIENCE – avoid emails that focus too much on yourself. Your audience wants to know what’s in it for them. Why should they stick around?
- Send emails that contain high-quality content to maintain primary delivery. Number 1: Always provide something of value so they’re compelled to stay subscribed.
- Use CTAs in your emails to increase engagement while further providing value to your audience.
- Make emails and subject lines more personalized – Use actual names. Subscribers are more likely to stick around when they feel like you’re talking to them directly.
- Segment your list into separate groups to improve open rates and engagement, and offer a more tailored experience by emailing content to those interested in it.
- Remove bounced and duplicate email addresses in your list. Also remove inactive subscribers that haven’t opened your emails recently (I typically look for those that haven’t opened an email in at least 3 months).
- Require a double opt-in and have subscribers confirm their email to prevent false emails, which helps to reduce the number of bounced emails you have.
- Keep email addresses that are personal vs generic email addresses (such as [email protected] or [email protected]). Opt for your name @ to feel more personal, humans respond best to other humans.
- Change the content in emails for less active subscribers to better get their attention, such as testing an opt-out campaign (where users are asked if they’d like to stay on the list through a series of “last chance” emails).
- Try A/B testing and test different times, days, etc. to see what works best for your audience.
- Check your open rates to ensure ISP keeps you from ending up in spam. Low open rates and high unsubscribes or flags as spam will reduce how often other subscribers see you.
Hhaving an email list is more than just getting someone’s email. It’s marketing research, consumer insights and most importantly, having full ownership of your list without the worry or fear of it just poofing away one day. Building an email list also helps you grow connections with potential clients, making it that much more valuable.
Now it’s time for you to get started on that list – and I’m here to help!
You can start by trying any of the methods mentioned above, but if you want to get there even faster, I highly recommend downloading my “Your First 100 Email List” challenge freebie. Having even just 100 emails will help to keep your business secure while also helping it to take off. All you have to get is go for it.