email marketing

The ultimate guide to email marketing for bloggers

If you want to build a profitable blogging business, it isn’t enough to just have a great product or service (either your own or promoting others'), you have to learn how to collect and marketing through email.

If you want to build a profitable blogging business, it isn’t enough to just have a great product or service (either your own or promoting others'), you have to learn how to collect and marketing through email.

In fact, you can be the best in the world at what you do, but if no one knows about you, then they aren’t going to buy from you.

If you’re just starting your business, then chances are you won’t have a ready-made network of potential customers eager to see what you have to offer.

That’s the frustration for many people wanting to build their business. They have a product or service they want to share with others and a talent they want to get out into the world. But, they don’t know where to find the people who need them.

One of the most valuable marketing assets almost every profitable business possesses is a targeted email list.

This is one of your best resources for nurturing the all-important relationships with potential and current customers and clients.

Before you spend excessive amounts of time on trendy marketing tactics, focus on growing your email subscriber list as a priority.

Whether you’re launching a new business or looking to grow your current one, a high-quality, relevant email list will help you achieve your goals.

In this post, you’ll learn exactly what you need to do to build a targeted email list from scratch. You’ll put automated systems in place to attract potential clients on a consistent basis.

You’ll discover the best ways to find your ideal subscribers, as well as how to entice them to provide their email details. And by the time you’ve finished the course, you’ll have a detailed plan to use your growing email list to get your business on track and achieve the results you want.

By the time you complete this post, you'll be able to:

  • Recognize the key actions you need to take to build your email list, so you can leverage one of the most powerful assets of any business
  • Set realistic goals for your list-building activities, so you can make steady progress towards your objective of having a targeted list
  • Describe the ideal customer you want on your email list, so that you’ll be able to create the most relevant and valuable content to engage subscribers
  • Describe the journey you want your clients and customers to take once they have signed up with you, so that you have clear objectives about how you will nurture your relationship with subscribers…and generate more business down the line
  • Motivate your ideal customer to sign up for your list by offering a valuable gift that solves one of their challenges…and showcases your talent at the same time.
  • Set up the critical systems you need for building your list, so that your list building can run on autopilot while you focus on other areas of your business
  • Write your first follow-up email sequence to keep your subscribers engaged and nurture your relationship with them, so that you build a community of people who will be interested in receiving offers of help from you
  • Implement a variety of methods for attracting people to your email opt-in to add them to your list, so that you keep building your list consistently every month
  • Monitor the rising numbers on your list, so you can measure how effective your strategies are and where you need to adjust to attract more subscribers
  • Analyze the metrics provided by your email marketing platform, so you can see what’s working and make changes to improve your list building
  • Make a plan to include additional ways to continue driving traffic to your opt-in page, so that your list keeps expanding and your business revenue grows as a result
  • Identify valuable follow-up content you can offer to keep potential customers engaged and start the important process of nurturing relationships with future customers, so that they gradually grow to know, like, and trust you

Part 1: The Essentials of a Valuable Email List

Your email list is the most important asset in your business and is critical to building and nurturing relationships with your audience. It is your way of keeping in touch with your prospects, customers, clients, and other people you serve.

Your followers are interested in your work and want to know more about what you have to offer. With an email list, you can communicate with your prospects and customers directly, sending them the information they want. The valuable content you send to your subscribers then establishes the know/like/trust factor that is so crucial to growing a loyal following of people who buy what you recommend.

Since email marketing costs are low or even free, you don’t need to make a huge investment to get started. Some people begin with friends and family on a list but you can do much better than that. In this part you’ll learn the key steps you must take to build your list from scratch, and you’ll set realistic goals for your list building, so you make sure and steady progress.

What is an Email List?

Think of an email list as your virtual contact list. It’s a collection of names and information about people who have subscribed to your list. It is especially important because you have ready access to the information about each subscriber.

However, it’s important to use the information only for the purposes you state when asking for that information. This is to protect people’s privacy. Never pass on the data you collect about your subscribers to others.

You should feel privileged that people have chosen to share their contact information with you so make sure you look after it.

Why Email Marketing?

Email marketing is still one of the best ways to market and grow your business. Your audience is the people who are interested in what you have to say and how you can help them. Email marketing is your way to communicate with them.

Here are a few key reasons to use email marketing in your business:

You gain the opportunity to become a thought leader. Your audience has shown interest in your business, which is why they subscribed to your email list. This means they’re more likely to open and read your emails, and look to you as a thought leader in your area of expertise.

Email marketing can be more effective than marketing via social media. Let’s say you have a Facebook business page where you have a lot of followers. While that’s great for your business, you don’t actually own the information about your followers, Facebook does. For that reason alone, an email list is crucial to your business because it’s something that belongs exclusively to you.

Communication helps to build your brand. Your customers are easily overwhelmed with the amount of information and advertising in their social media feed. By marketing via social media, you’re fighting with the millions of businesses using social media daily. With an email list, there’s no fighting for your audience to see your content. You can use an email list to communicate directly with your subscribers.

You can take it with you. If your whole business disappears tomorrow, your list is there to stay. If you change direction with your business or start a new business, you can use that same email list. Remember, it’s your privileged client list.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you have, you will benefit from an email list. It’s a crucial part in marketing your services and products.

What Do You Use an Email List For?

There are limitless ways to use an email list. Here are some key uses for your list:

Why Haven't You Started Yet?

There are a variety of reasons people wait to build an email list. It’s important to understand that there are some mindset hurdles you have to overcome to commit to email marketing.

Here are a few:

Fear of technology. Perhaps the biggest reason is fear of the technology. But don’t worry; most email service providers offer training videos and support desks to help you, along with templates that make creating beautiful emails easy. You can also find YouTube videos to take you through the set-up.

Not sure what to write about. This is an important one. You don’t want to send an email just to send an email. It needs to be well thought-out, provide useful content, and include an enticing call-to-action. If you’re not sure what to write about, sign up for emails from your competitors and see what they send out. Better yet, ask your audience what type of information they’d like to receive from you. It’s okay to keep it simple when you’re starting out. Remember to provide information your audience wants, not what you think they want. We’ll be giving you some help with this later on in the course.

Time commitment. It happens to the best of us. We become too busy working ‘in’ our business rather than ‘on’ our business. You can’t expect your business to grow if you aren’t taking advantage of email marketing. Think strategically about where you want your business to go and plan for that.

We’ll talk about how you prepare the content of your emails in a later part. That way, when work gets busy, your emails will send on auto-pilot.

How to Start Your List The Right Way

When you start to grow your list, it’s okay to start small. You might start with only friends and family who have expressed an interest in your business.

To start your email list, you need:

  • A clear picture of your ideal subscriber
  • An email marketing system to capture contact information and send emails
  • An enticing lead magnet to motivate people to share their email address
  • A high-converting opt-in page where people can sign up for your list
  • Consistent, valuable, and relevant email content to nurture relationships with your list
  • Steady traffic to your opt-in page and forms

Review Where You Are with Your Business Now

Before we dive in completely, it’s important to take stock of where your business currently sits in this process.

Take some time and answer these questions:

  • Do you have an email list?
    • How responsive is it?
    • How have you collected it?
    • How regularly do you interact with it?

How will having a list of relevant and interested people change your business and your life?

  • What will you be able to do in your business when you have a targeted list that you can’t do now?
    • How will you be able to help more people?
    • How will it change how you make your offers?
    • How might it help with income generation?
    • When you increase your income, how will this change your life?

Set Realistic Goals for Building Your Email List

To keep yourself accountable and to make email marketing a regular activity for your business, it’s important to set some goals.

You need to be realistic in your goals, otherwise you’ll get discouraged and give up before you really get started. Building a list requires focus, determination, and consistency.

What makes a list valuable? It’s not the size. Big numbers aren’t the goal when you’re growing your email list, unless you are mass-marketing a product. What’s relevant is that you have an engaged, targeted list of people who actually want to hear from you.

How much time does it take to build a list? If you’re setting up an email list from scratch, don’t expect it to reach 1,000 subscribers overnight. Experienced entrepreneurs who focus on the activity of list-building will allow roughly 3 months to get to that point, if they work consistently on driving traffic. Give yourself a timeframe that fits with your available time, set up the systems, and do what it takes to put list-building strategies into action.

Why do you want a list? Examples of list-building goals differ for different types of businesses. It’s important to start by identifying the primary need your email list will address for your business.

You may want to build a list of:

  • Potential students for a course you want to teach
  • Patients in your practice who you want to retain or educate so they stay healthy
  • Customers who would benefit from your new product or service
  • Potential coaching clients who need one-on-one help
  • Current customers so you can keep them coming back and buying more
  • Customers who have purchased your products or services in the past
  • Potential leads or business partners
  • People who may want to represent your brand or champion your idea
  • Customers who have shopped online or in your brick and mortar store
  • Highly engaged subscribers who often reach out to you for help

Regardless of the type of business you offer, email marketing is a great way for you to stand out to your audience. By creating an email list, you are connecting with some people you already know and adding new connections to grow your email list. They are eager to receive your emails and will begin to see you as the expert in your field.

If you’re not building an email list, you are missing out on the opportunity to have a list of prospects, customers, and clients who want to know about your products and services.

Don’t let fear or a negative mindset ruin this opportunity to grow your business in a surefire way.

Action Steps:

Review where you are with your business now. Answer these key questions:

  1. Do you have an email list? (If so, how responsive is it? How have you collected it? How regularly do you interact with it?)
  2. How will having a list of relevant and interested people change your business and your life?
    • What will you be able to do in your business when you have a targeted list that you can’t do now?
    • How will you be able to help more people?
    • How will it change how you make your offers?
    • How might it help with income generation?
    • When you increase your income, how will this change your life?
  3. What has been holding you back from growing a list? Time? Fear of technology? Unsure of what to write about? Other? What can you do to overcome these issues?
  4. Identify your #1 list-building goal. Set realistic objectives for your list building, based on that goal and the examples in this part.

Part 2: Defining Your Target Audience

You might think that thanks to the Internet, you can reach any potential audience anywhere in the world. This is true in theory, but if you try to attract everyone at once, you can end up attracting no one.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when building your list is assuming everyone is part of your target audience. As we mentioned in the last part, there’s no point building a large list just for the sake of it. A smaller, focused list will serve your business far better.

In order to be effective with email marketing, you need to identify the people you can help best with your product or service. They will be the people you really want to work with.

In this part, you will drill down to define your ideal customer and you’ll create your ideal subscriber avatar.

Why Do I Need To Define My Audience?

Knowing exactly who your ideal client is helps you make the right decisions in your business, because all of your business decisions are made with them in mind. The more comprehensive and individualized your ideal subscriber avatar is, the better you will be able to relate to your audience.

Even if you’ve done this before, it’s imperative that you don’t skip this step.

Connecting with your audience is simpler when you can speak in a way that resonates with them. You can show that you relate to their problems, and you can provide solutions that make their lives easier.

By creating a specific ideal subscriber avatar, it doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on other business. The opposite is often true and you attract more people because you’re more specialized in what you provide.

Don’t be afraid to get specific. Think about it: If you were in the business of dog grooming, would you want to market to people without pets? Probably not – you’d choose people with dogs obviously!

Without an ideal subscriber avatar, you risk being generic and ineffective, causing your audience to be confused about whether your content is for them or not. They might even unsubscribe from your list.

Defining your ideal customer is no easy task and it’s normal to feel slightly overwhelmed. But trust in the process, and that all the time spent identifying your audience will benefit the growth of your email list.

Step 1: Creating Your Ideal Subscriber Avatar

Your ideal subscriber avatar is your vision of the person you really want to work with. This representation might be based on someone you know or a combination of people. He or she has a name, demographics, and other characteristics to depict the typical person you can help best.

Start by designing your avatar so you know who to attract to your email list. That way you can easily tailor all your email writing and content to their needs.

To help you pinpoint your ideal audience, ask yourself these questions:

Your answers to those questions will give you an initial perception of who your ideal client is, but demographics and psychographics take it a step further in knowing more about your target audience.

Demographics help you recognize who your audience is, and psychographics tell you about their behavior and their why.

Step 2: Find Your Audience's Demographics

Now you might think you’ve identified your audience as “women, aged 25-50” – sounds good, right? Actually, although gender and age are demographics, that’s too general and doesn’t make for a comprehensive ideal subscriber avatar.

Examples of demographics:

Step 3: Use Psychographics to Understand Your Subscribers' ‘Why?’

Once you know what is important to your ideal customer, you’ll know how to speak like them, how to sell to them, and how to motivate them to take action. The secret to growing your email list is to connect with your audience on an emotional level.

Part 3: Plot Your Subscriber's Journey

You’ve taken an essential step in establishing who your ideal customer is, and now it’s time to plot their ideal journey. Think about the experience your customer has after they have joined your list. What’s their next step with you and their next, and their next?

Simply having an email list is not a result in itself. You have to take action to continue to attract the attention of your ideal customer. When you intentionally build the path you would like your subscribers to take, you are more likely to see positive results, with increased sales and improved relationships with your ideal customers.

In this part, you’ll plot out your customer’s path and learn how you can incrementally build sales. The results will come as you gain interaction with your subscribers, learn more about your audience, and see your revenue grow.

Create a Start-to-Finish Plan

You need to map out the journey you want your customer to take with you and your business. This is for your use so that you can plan ahead; you don’t tell the customer!

To start, they will sign up for your free content (aka your “freebie” or “lead magnet”). This can be anything of value such as a checklist, a mini course, or even a how-to guide. We’ll go into detail on this in the next part.

To finish, you need to decide what you want your customer to purchase from you. Is the final step to be working one-to-one with you on a high-level, tailored program? Or is it to buy your highest priced product and support package? This is your end goal.

Once you’ve established this, then you have the first and the last steps and can fill in the stages in between.

Let’s go a little deeper with this.

What are Sales Funnels?

You’ve probably heard of sales funnels before and maybe even felt a bit overwhelmed by the topic. While it might sound complicated, a sales funnel is simply the sales process a buyer takes. It’s their customer journey.

At the start of your funnel, there will be a lot of people signing up for your email list because they are attracted to your free offer. As your prospective customers move through the sales funnel, there will be fewer prospects at each stage. They will eventually dwindle down to a much smaller number of high paying customers at the end of the funnel.

With a sales funnel, not all subscribers will complete all stages of the journey. Don’t be discouraged though because some will, and they will become your biggest revenue earners and brand supporters.

The customer journey allows you to develop purposeful interactions that build a relationship between you and your potential customer. Your email list is one of the easiest ways to start this process. It will help you take the customer through the sales funnel as far as they want to go.

The Stages of the Sales Funnel

 

Stage 1: Discovery. Whether they came across your website, read one of your blog posts, or were referred directly to you, this is where your ideal customer first becomes aware of you. At this stage, your customers haven’t established enough trust with you, so it’s too soon to try to sell anything. It is, however, a great time to promote free content because doing so establishes you as the thought leader in your field and gives you an opportunity to continue to build relationships.

Stage 2: Relationship. Now that you’ve built some rapport with your subscriber, during this stage you’re getting to know each other better. This is a great time to introduce them to your product or service but resist the urge to jump directly into selling. Continue to provide valuable, targeted content in all of your emails to consistently nurture your relationship.

Stage 3: Purchase. Now your prospect is ready to make a purchase and become a customer. When you’ve reached this stage, your subscriber knows exactly how valuable your products or services are and is ready to decide whether or not they will make a purchase. This is the ideal time to highlight the true benefits of what you have to offer. You can give promotions or special discounts or even create a sense of urgency for subscribers to complete their purchase. Avoid anything that comes across as ‘pushy’ or a hard sell, which tends to turn people off.

Stage 4: Follow Up. The sales funnel doesn’t stop when a customer makes a purchase. You need to follow up with them. In fact, if you don’t follow up, you risk losing customers and all the hard work you put in to creating your funnel. Build loyalty by following up with your customer. Continue to provide value by offering information about the product/service they purchased and answering their questions. This is all part of giving great customer service and when you do so, it will help you get referrals and more sales.

At each stage, you are nurturing your relationship with your client and this will generate more business for you. Remember to be genuine, relevant, and to offer something that is meaningful to your target audience. People don’t like to be sold to but they will make a purchase once they see the value.

Here’s an example of a customer journey working with a coach. There are five stages and at each stage the customer’s commitment (time, motivation, and financial investment) increases:

  1. Sign up for lead magnet such as a free checklist or guide
  2. Sign up for small priced offer (an eBook, an email course, a Facebook challenge)
  3. Buy an online course
  4. Sign up for the group coaching package that accompanies the online course
  5. Sign up to work one-on-one with the coach

Create a Reason for Subscribers to Act

To help subscribers along their customer journey, each stage needs a clear “call to action.” A call-to-action is the specific action you want a customer to take next so that they can get more help from you with their challenge.

Your first call-to-action will be for them to ask for your lead magnet. A lead magnet is something of value that is free and utterly irresistible to your email base. (In the next part, you’ll learn how to create an enticing lead magnet that people will want to sign up for.)

Encourage subscribers with these call-to-action examples:

  • Sign up for a free course
  • Download an eBook
  • Commit to a business coaching session
  • Watch a video series
  • Enroll in an online program
  • Attend a webinar, Facebook live event, etc.

Without a meaningful call-to-action, your subscriber may not know what to do next. And they may end up doing nothing.

They’ll click off your page and get on to something else and your chance will be lost. It’s one thing to offer free, valuable content but it must be followed up with a very clear action step.

The customer journey goes beyond the traditional view of the sales process, since it doesn’t end at becoming a customer, and the income generated rises with each stage.

You may not have all the stages totally clear right now, but you do need to have some idea of where you’re planning to take your ideal customer. Don’t wait for your subscriber to dictate your next step; have a simple plan in place. Your plan may evolve over time as you learn more about the process and that’s to be expected.

Action Steps:

  1. Map the customer journey for your business. It doesn’t have to be complete right now if you don’t know what you’re selling. If that’s the case, you’ll just have one or two stages to map. But think about what you’ll want to do after that.

Part 4: Create an Enticing Lead Magnet

From your work in the last three parts, you know the customers and clients you want to attract and where you want to take them. Now it’s time to motivate them to provide their email address and other contact information.

While simply asking for that information can work (but rarely does any more), you’ll get the best results if you offer something of value in return. In this part, you’ll create the valuable free gift that will entice your potential customers to join your email list. This free gift is also called a lead magnet or a free opt-in.

Why Do I Need a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is the nudge to get your clients onto your email list and into your sales funnel. With a lead magnet, you give a bit of your expertise in exchange for your client’s email address. Remember, the end goal of your list-building is to convert some of your subscribers into customers who make a purchase and grow your business.

A lead magnet helps you:

  • Motivate your ideal customer to opt in to your email list
  • Familiarize potential customers with you, your business, and how you can help them
  • Turn website visitors into potential customers and clients
  • Create the basis for future conversations and long-term relationships
  • Build your credibility and your reputation, making you a thought leader and expert
  • Start to build your ‘know, like, and trust’ factor.

Best Practices for Designing Your Lead Magnet

Unless you are offering something valuable in return, you won’t experience a tremendous amount of growth with your email list.  People are more and more concerned about data security, identify theft, and so on and are reluctant to give away their contact details. They are also on many email lists so they need to know, a) that their data is safe and b) that it’s going to be worthwhile signing up to yet another list.

Keep these things in mind when you start to create your lead magnet. The whole point is to provide value by solving a problem that specifically relates to your ideal client and their challenges.

  1. Less is More. You may be tempted to spend a lot of time and energy creating your lead magnet. However, this isn’t the place to share everything you know with your subscribers. Don’t run the risk of overwhelming your clients with too much. Remember that less is more.
  2. Base it Around Your Expertise. Think of your lead magnet as a sample of what you have to offer. Your lead magnet gives a first taste that whets people’s appetite for more dishes and then the main course. Promote yourself as the expert by demonstrating that you know exactly what you’re talking about.
  3. Be Specific. You must create a lead magnet that shows your audience that you truly know them. This is why building your ideal subscriber avatar in Part 2 was so important. Don’t pick a topic at random; rather, pick something that makes your audience think that you’ve read their mind and draws them to join your list.
  4. Make it Captivating. Long reports and eBooks aren’t very enticing. People want useful information they can put in action quickly. You need to make a difference in their lives right away. This could be done using an infographic, checklist, questionnaire, or even a resources list (see below for other options). One page is fine if it has all the essential information in it and it looks attractive. It might be delivered as an audio download or video if you don’t like writing.
  5. Create an Organized Sequence. Once you have the topic, put the content into a logical order so you take the person through a flowing journey from the beginning to the call-to-action at the end.
  6. Give Clear instructions. Add a call-to-action of some sort at the end of the lead magnet (for example, to visit your site, book a call, explore another resource, sign up for a waiting list for a course, etc.). Your call-to-action doesn’t have to be to sell something, it just needs to entice the viewer to take some next step.
  7. Make Time. Block time out in your diary for this activity. Treat it like any other task of importance and book an appointment with yourself to get your compelling lead magnet created.

Choose the Content and Format of Your Lead Magnet

There are lots of options for what type of content to include in your lead magnet. The key here is that it must be the type of content your audience wants. If it doesn’t solve a problem or help them, they won’t sign up for your list and your efforts will go to waste.

Here are some popular types of lead magnets:

Don’t let the choice of format hold you up. As you’re starting out, we recommend you choose one of the following and keep it simple:

Option 1: List of Resources. The list of your favorite resources for [fill in something that relates to your customer’s needs and your business]. For example, “My Top 10 Tips For Becoming a Morning Person.” Some of the resources can be free.

Option 2: Checklist. Create a checklist for [a process your customers need to complete to be successful]. For example, a checklist for “Everything you need in your kitchen to become a star baker.”

Option 3: Cheat Sheet. This is great way to break down complex information in a simple way. Use cheat sheets for 5 top ways to…[solve a key challenge your customers have]. For example, “The Top 5 Ways to Burn Body Fat.”

Create Your Lead Magnet Step-By-Step

This won’t feel overwhelming if you break it down into steps. If you already have some really great content, you may even reuse and repurpose it into a lead magnet. For example, if you’ve already written a blog post about the topic, turn it into a checklist.

Step 1. Choose your option from one of the three above to create a lead magnet that is either a list of resources, a checklist, or a cheat sheet of “Top 5 Ways.”

Step 2. Brainstorm the key needs your ideal client has with this topic and how you can solve their problem. Using the examples above:

  • Option 1: List of Resources – your client wants recommendations of what works because they’re just starting out.
  • Option 2: The Checklist – they need a process to follow to achieve their goal because they’re confused and it’s unfamiliar.
  • Option 3: The Cheat Sheet – they want to make sure they’ve covered all the steps because they’re unsure of what they’re doing.

Step 3. From this brainstorm list, decide on the top 5 priorities – those 5 most important client needs – and use them in your lead magnet.

Step 4. Choose how you want to deliver your free offer. If you are really uncomfortable with the written word, don’t let this hold you up. Customers also like video and audio! You still need to follow the same process as in Steps 1-3 above, and write a script for yourself to follow when you get to recording.

Here are some tips on delivery formats:

Using Written Format

If you decide on a written format, you will need to design the lead magnet and save it as a PDF document which can be easily downloaded. The document should look professional and engaging. Even though this is something you’re giving away for free, it still needs to look high value.

Use Canva to design it yourself for free, or find someone on Fiverr who can do the layout for $5. Then, upload the document to your website or Dropbox. Get the link to paste into your first email so people can access it easily and quickly.

Using Audio Format

If you want to use audio, record the content into your smart phone and extract an mp3 file. Or use free software from Audacity on your system to get the mp3 file. Then, store the file on, Sound Cloud, or another service. Get the link to paste into your first email so people can conveniently access it.

Using Video Format

If you want to use video, record the content using your camera, a webcam, screen recording software, or even PowerPoint. Render the video as an mp4 file and upload directly to YouTube as ‘Unlisted.’ It’s important to do this to protect the exclusivity of your content. Paste the link into your first email so only your people can access it instantly.

The most crucial takeaway from this part is that your lead magnet is not something you want to create, but something your ideal customer wants.

This is how you will set yourself apart from others in your same industry and build meaningful relationships with your email subscribers.

By giving something of value for free, you reach more people, gain more exposure, and that all leads to growing your business.

Action Steps:

  1. Choose one of the 3 suggested options for a first, quick lead magnet.
  2. Choose an enticing title. Remember to use the same language your ideal client uses.
  3. Choose the delivery method you prefer – written, audio, or video.
  4. Create your lead magnet. Use the checklist to make sure you’ve taken all elements into consideration.
  5. Upload your lead magnet and grab the link to add to your first email (to be covered in a later part).

Part 5: Set Up Your Automated List Building System

Now that you have your enticing free offer all ready to go, you need people to be able to find it and you need to be able to send it to them. The good news is that you don’t even necessarily need a website for this. (Even though we highly suggest you start one).

What you do need, however, is an opt-in form or page and an account with an email marketing platform, such as ConvertKit (the platform we recommend you use).

Your opt-in invites interested people to join your email list. An email marketing platform is used to collect and store the details of your email list, including names and email addresses, and also has the ability to automatically send emails.

In this section you’ll go through the most important steps to set up a list using an email marketing platform.

Here’s what you’re aiming for (don’t worry, we’ll take you through all the steps):

Step 1: Getting Started With ConvertKit

An email marketing platform is the system you’ll use to build and grow your email list. While there are many different platforms to choose from, they all operate in a similar way and offer similar functionality.

The one we recommend most, and the one that we use personally is ConvertKit. That's what we'll be using for this tutorial and demonstration in this post.

ConvertKit is the best choice if you admire the idea of having a simple system that's easy to use – all while having amazing automation and tagging features to help you fine tune your email marketing.

ConvertKit gives you the ability to:

  • Store customer data through lists that are easy to edit, are easily backed up, and are available to export if you need to have a list outside of the system
  • Segment customers to multiple lists based on certain specifications you’ve made
  • Use templates to create beautiful, standardized emails, opt-in forms, and even landing pages (a landing page is a web page with a form that someone ‘lands’ on after clicking a call-to-action)
  • Automate the delivery of emails based on your choice of conditions (called ‘triggers), such as time, product purchased etc
  • Gauge the success of your emails through reporting and analytics
  • Access support to answer your technical questions

A word of caution: When using these systems you shouldn’t use a free email address, like Gmail or Yahoo, because your messages may automatically go to the recipient’s SPAM folder and they may not see them. Use your professional company email address that uses your own domain like you@yourdomain.com. If you don’t have a professional email address, start with your current email address and then get one set up ASAP. We recommend you use FastMail for your professional email address.

Streamline Your Process with Autoresponders

One of the biggest benefits to using ConvertKit is that you can take advantage of their built-in autoresponder to streamline your email marketing.

ConvertKit allows you to automate part of your email marketing campaign by handling the emailing for you. This means you only have to create the email or email series once and set it to send on autopilot. This lays the groundwork for you to build a relationship with your list, and make a sale later.

Here’s an example of how an autoresponder works:

  • Your customer enters their information into your opt-in form to receive your free offer (your lead magnet).
  • The customer’s information is added to your email list and backed up in the email marketing platform.
  • Next, your customer is directed to a ‘thank you’ page and given instructions for how to download the lead magnet, or will receive an email telling them how to download their free offer.

Now, you have the opportunity to include your customer in a series of automated emails, sent through ConvertKit's autoresponder:

  •  You can program your autoresponder to send out a series of follow-up emails. For example, you send one email per week to keep you in touch with your clients or follow up to see how they enjoyed their free lead magnet.
  •  Autoresponders keep your business open 24/7. It doesn’t matter if your customer joins your email list at 2:00 in the morning or while you’re on vacation, autoresponders are still running, sending out the information your customers want.

Step 2: Create a Sequence in the ConvertKit System

Once you’ve created an account with ConvertKit, you will follow the steps within that system to create a list. If you already have a contact list from an old service, you can easily import your subscribers into ConvertKit without any fuss.

Even if you don’t have an existing list, you’ll still need to create a sequence in the system. This is so new subscribers can be added to the list you’ve already set up:

To create a new sequence in “ConvertKit”, click Sequences and then Click “+Create Sequence”. Enter your sequence name (Main Sequence, Blog Updates, Blog Followers, for example) and click the “Create Sequence” button.

Your sequence will them be created and you can start to add your welcome email and subsequent emails. We'll cover all of this later in this post.

Creating Your Optin Form in ConvertKit

Now that you’ve set up your list in your email marketing platform, you’ll need to create an opt-in form. The purpose of an opt-in form is to entice people to enter their email address and contact information in exchange for your free lead magnet.

Once they enter their information, they are added to your email list and your lead magnet can be sent through an email automation that you’ve created.

Click on Forms at the top of ConvertKit. Then click “+Create Form”

You will add your opt-in form in various places on your website, or you’ll choose to use an opt-in page. Ideally, you’ll do both – but, for now, start by creating a form to add to your blog.

Elements of an Ideal Opt-In Form

There are some basic essentials to include on your opt-in form:

If you have these basics in place and your lead magnet is compelling, then you’ll get sign ups.

NOTE: If you have customers or website visitors in the EU, you’ll need to comply with the specific privacy policies there. Typically, that involves having specific language in your Privacy Policy about how you handle data and what you use it for, as well as getting explicit consent from your email subscribers before you collect their data.

ConvertKit has built-in GDPR compliance tools to help help you with this.

ConvertKit has lots of ways for you to edit and design your opt-in form to help convince people to sign up to join your list:

Now, let’s broaden out and look at some best practice guidelines which will turn more visitors into subscribers and as many as possible into customers. This is known as a high-converting opt-in.

  1. Give them Incentive. Make sure people have a reason to give you their information. Your opt-in should clarify what they are getting in exchange, which is your lead magnet. Tell them exactly what to expect once they’ve provided their data.
  2. Avoid Distractions. Keep the layout and text very simple. Your audience should know what their call to action is. The sole purpose of the opt-in form is to ask people for their contact information so keep it clear. Typically you should ask for a first name and an email address; anything else is extra.
  3. Take Advantage of Templates. Stick with a design that’s already proven to convert. Most email marketing platforms have pre-built templates that you can use. Landingi is the landing and opt-in page builder that we most recommend. It's also the one we use ourselves. Landingi also integrates fully with ConvertKit.
  4. Choose a Single or Double Opt-in. Single opt-in is when subscribers sign up and are immediately added to your email list. If you choose to have a “double opt-in” this is where a customer receives an email straight after signing up and that asks them to confirm their email address and confirm they want to receive emails from you.

(With a double opt-in, subscribers have to confirm their consent in a separate email to be added to your list. When people go through the two-step process, there’s often a higher conversion rate and higher engagement because they went through the extra step, acknowledging they really want to receive your emails. In many countries, double opt-in is required legally due to privacy and spam laws. Check the rules in your own country.)

  1. Make it Noticeable. The opt-in form should be designed in a way that complements your branding. You may use contrasting colors to draw attention to your form. However, it’s crucial to make sure the colors don’t clash with your existing brand colors. For color inspiration, take a look here. Don’t use more than 2 different fonts and avoid using more than 2-3 different colors.

  1. Use Language that Resonates. Your wording (copy) needs to be enticing to motivate people to sign up; it may be free but it still has to be ‘sold.’ Remember to speak the way your ideal client speaks. For example, if your lead magnet is for beginners, keep the language simple and avoid using jargon they may not know.
  2. Keep it Mobile-Friendly. Not everyone will be visiting your form from a computer. Most email marketing platforms offer a preview of the form so check out what it will look like on mobile devices before you decide.

Once you've created your form you can embed the code it on your blog or website by copying and pasting it into the appropriate location or by using the WordPress plugin that ConvertKit comes with.

Choosing an Opt-In Page in Addition to an Opt-In Form

You might decide to go for a full opt-in page and not just a form. The point of an opt-in form and an opt-in landing page is the same: to entice people to join your email list in exchange for your free offer.

An opt-in page is different from an opt-in form because it’s a whole page solely dedicated to your offer. This gives you space to provide more information. For example, you might add short bullet points of what customers get from the lead magnet and the benefit of each. If you just have one page, then it certainly focuses the visitor on just one choice: whether to sign up for your lead magnet or exit.

When designing your opt-in landing page, follow the same guidelines for creating your opt-in form.

If you want something more elaborate for your landing page,  you can use a stand-alone tool like Landingi to design a landing page. It provides attractive templates you can customize and integrates with ConvertKit.

Ideally, you’ll have both opt-in forms (on web pages for example) and an opt-in page (using a template for a landing page). That way, you’ll have even more opportunities to convert website visitors to email list subscribers. And you’ll have a dedicated opt-in page to drive traffic to when your main goal is to get them onto your list and you don’t want them distracted by anything else.

However many forms and/or pages you have, make sure they are all linked to the same email list promoting your lead magnet.

Step 4: Place the Opt-in

We’ve looked at some best practices on the design of the opt-in to make it attractive. Where you place it will also have a bearing on how many people opt-in.

Here’s the current thinking on this:

  • The top of your home page. The opt-in can even take up the whole area ‘above the fold’ called a ‘hero header’ or ‘feature box.’ This makes for great conversions as it’s usually the first thing a visitor sees.
  • The announcement bar on the top of your site. This helps attract people to your offer, especially because the announcement is featured on the top of every page of your site.
  • The top of your sidebar. Place the opt-in form right where your visitors can see it and make sure to keep it on the top of your sidebar, above any advertisements or other content.
  • The bottom of your blog post. If someone has read your entire blog post, it means they’re interested in what you have to say. Adding an opt-in form at the bottom of the blog post is a great way to capture that lead while it’s still hot.
  • On your ‘About’ page. Your ‘About’ page is one of the most visited pages on your website, so don’t miss the opportunity to capture email subscribers by including an opt-in form here as well.
  • On your ‘Welcome’ page. Because the ‘Welcome’ page is the first thing visitors see, this is an ideal place to put your opt-in.
  • Exit Intent Pop-Ups. These pop-ups can be embedded anywhere on your site and they track a user's movements. When they detect that a visitor is about to leave, a pop up is prompted to encourage the visitor to take action.
  • Delayed Pop-Ups. Pop-ups are controversial because some visitors find them annoying, but the truth is that they convert. Instead of bombarding your visitors right away, a delayed pop-up gives them a chance to check out the site before your opt-in appears.
  • Your website footer. Just like placing your opt-in at the bottom of a blog post, if people are checking out your footer, they’re interested in your content. Your footer also appears across all your website pages, making it easy for people to find your opt-in form.

Take advantage of the tips and training provided by your email marketing platform. Most platforms have explanatory blog posts and customer service advisors ready to help you with your opt-in forms.  Follow the instructions for embedding the opt-in on your site where you want it, or get someone to help you.

Step 5: Create Thank You and Download Pages

Once people enter their email in your opt-in form or landing page, your ‘thank you’ page will appear. Most email marketing platforms have default thank you pages that people see after they enter their details.

You can create your own ‘thank you’ page, or, to keep things simple, use the default for now. Your system will then automatically send a request for the person to confirm their address (this is called double opt-in), if you’ve selected this option.

We recommend that you always require a double opt-in. To start, many countries require it. Plus, it helps keep your email list ‘clean’ with only those contacts who really want to be on it.

You can also send people to a download page after they confirm their consent and address, or let your first email deliver their lead magnet. In the next part, we’ll cover much more about your first email follow-ups.

Take a deep breath. You’re nearly there!  Yes, it can sound confusing to set this up, especially if it’s your first time. But take it step by step, expect a few glitches along the way, and commit to getting it done.

Let’s recap on the steps you need to take:

  1. Get an account with ConvertKit
  2. Create a sequence in the system.
  3. Create an opt-in form and/or an opt-in page.
  4. Place the opt-in
  5. Create thank you and download pages.

Now that you have the systems in place, in the next part you’ll learn how to write and schedule your email sequence.

Action Steps:

  1. Choose your email marketing platform and set up your first list.
  2. Think through the options and make decisions about where to place your opt-in, what colors to use, and other elements. Write enticing copy to attract people to your lead magnet.
  3. Create a dedicated opt-in form to put on your website or make the choice to use a tool like Landingi to create a whole opt-in landing page (you can connect this to your website later if you have one). Don’t forget your Privacy Policy link (and checkbox if no double opt-in)!
  4. Check the opt-in page is connected with the email list by doing a test.

Part 6: Write and Schedule Your First Relationship-Building Email Sequence

Now that potential clients and customers have ‘raised their hands’ and said “Yes, I want to know more!” you must make certain that they remain engaged and that they don’t forget you. This is all too easy these days with so many emails flying around.

In this part you’ll write a sequence of emails to get you off to a good start on a long-lasting relationship. You’ll use automation to send those emails on autopilot.

Why You Need Automation

Let’s face it: you probably don’t have time to reply to every email you receive today, let alone send new emails aimed at nurturing relationships with your subscribers.

As we discussed in Part 5, there are reasons why you need an automated email sequence:

  • You can build relationships that otherwise may have fallen short due to lack of time and commitment.
  • An automated email series is only the first of many communications you’ll have with your potential clients. It sets the tone for future communications and ensures that all your subscribers are receiving the same messaging, keeping your level of customer service consistent.
  • You only have to build a specific sequence once. You can set up your emails in advance using your auto-responder and they will be sent automatically at any interval decided by you. For example, you may select to send one email every five days, once a week, or even over seven weeks. This means your customers aren’t sitting idly waiting on you to remember to send an email.

To get started with Automations in ConvertKit, click on the Automations tab in the top bar.

While automation is easy to put in place, don’t overwhelm your list with too many emails. Judge what you think is best for your audience and what you can commit to writing.

Start With a ‘Welcome’ Email Sequence

Subscribers are the most engaged when they first join your email list. You need to take advantage of this and create a series of emails welcoming them. This is a way of continuing the conversation, letting them get to know you, and it sets the tone for the future.

Marketers say that seven emails in a sequence can get from the original opt-in to a purchase because through that sequence you build the ‘know, like, and trust’ factor. There may be times when seven emails isn’t enough – for example, a higher-priced offer may require more emails plus more personal interaction. It all depends on your ideal customer and their needs.

We’ll stick with seven for this introductory sequence. It might help you to think of this sequence as one single piece of content. By looking at it that way, it helps ensure everything relates and is in the right order.

Despite having perfectly timed emails, content is still what is going to keep your subscribers engaged. Email sequences should deepen the relationships you have with subscribers over time, solely through the content you share.

Here are seven email templates you can customize for your welcome sequence:

Email #1: The ‘Thank You’ Email.

Goal: Give subscribers access to the lead magnet they signed up for.

The very first email you send needs to thank people for signing up and it must tell them how to get their gift – part of keeping the promise you made.

Since this is the first email people receive from you, you need to tell them more about you or your brand. This is where they start to get to know you.

This is also where you need to set expectations on how often you’ll send emails and reiterate the benefits of joining your list.

 

Email #2: The ‘Reminder’ Email.

Goal:Remind your subscribers that they received your lead magnet.

This is a good time to check in to see if they have any questions about the content they received. Encourage them to go through it and give them tips for how to get the most out of it.

 

Email #3: The ‘Sharing’ Email.

Goal:Share some interesting and relevant information.

Show your audience you provide great content by sharing some of your wisdom. This is a great time to repurpose some content and share an article you’ve written or even a webinar you’ve hosted.

You can make a very gentle reference to how you could help them further. Just make sure the content is relevant to the lead magnet they signed up for.

 

Email #4: The ‘Problem’ Email.

Goal:Relate to a problem they might be experiencing.

Choose some FAQs about your topic and share your answers with your subscribers to show that you’re an expert in your field. You could also tell a story that relates to the problem addressed in your lead magnet and how you (or a past client) overcame that challenge.

 

Email #5: The ‘Check In’ Email.

Goal:See how they’re using their lead magnet.

Ask them how they are using their lead magnet to help their life/business/weight loss/relationship or whatever their particular challenge is. Start to mention that you have other ways to help them.

 

Email #6: The ‘Trust Building’ Email.

Goal:Build even more trust with your subscribers.

Share a short case study of how your work has helped a client. This builds up trust and demonstrates that you know what you’re doing. Again, mention your ability to help.

 

Email #7: The ‘Ask’ Email.

Goal:Turn your email subscriber into a paying customer.

Now’s the time for you to make a specific offer to convert your subscriber into a customer. You will never make any sales if you don’t ask if they want to buy!

Here is where you can offer such paid things as an online course, a coaching session, an email challenge, or whatever fits with your customer journey (Remember that from Part 3?).

Test Your Email Sequence

Now that you know what it takes for a well laid out email sequence, you’ll need to test each email and check that your opt-in form is linked to your email list. Make sure that your first follow-ups are working.

Test multiple times and have other people test it too. Once something is on autopilot, you don’t want to suddenly find out people aren’t getting your emails!

With the opt-in you created in Part 5 and your first email, you’ll be ready to go and start building your list.

Email sequences can move people through a journey from not having ever heard of your company, to becoming a customer and (potentially) an enthusiastic brand advocate.

Once you have a series of seven (that’s six + the first ‘thank you’ email) set up, then you know your clients are being taken care of and that they won’t forget you in the short run. But you’ll need more over time. We’ll talk about additional content to send in a later part.

Action Steps:

  1. Write your first welcome email.
  2. Plan the sequence of seven emails covered in the part and write them.
  3. Load your emails into your autoresponder, according to their tutorials, and schedule them for a minimum of 2 to 3 days apart for your first interaction with your subscriber.
  4. Do a test sign-up to make sure everything is working, including your download.

Part 7: Start Growing Your List of Subscribers

Now that you’ve done the work of identifying your ideal subscriber avatar, creating your lead magnet, designing your opt-in form and page, and even writing your welcome emails, it’s time to get actual people onto your email list.

Growing your email list isn’t a case of “if you build it, they will come.” It takes time, effort, and some key strategies to grow your list of subscribers.

You need to find ways to drive traffic to your opt-in form to get people to sign up for your free offer and start building a relationship with you.

In this part, you’ll find a variety of ways to get this done rapidly. With a consistent focus, you can make tremendous progress on building your first email list.

Getting Started: Finding People to Subscribe

You might be wondering where you’re going to find people to subscribe to your list. So where can you find your ideal subscriber?
  • Current contacts or customers. You probably already have some sort of contact list or a list of people who you’ve worked with or sold to in the past.
  • Website visitors. It’s obvious that if people are visiting your website, they’re interested in what you have to offer.
  • Social media. With so many users, social media is becoming one of the best places to capture higher-converting email leads.
  • Offline. You may have some ideal customers you’ve met offline – maybe they’ve given you their business card or maybe you’ve had a conversation that ties into your lead magnet.
  • Content marketing. Think of this as word-of-mouth marketing based on the lead magnet you created. People will share your content with others who will then also sign up for your list. We’ll talk more about content marketing later in this part.

Strategy #1: Get Website Viewers To Join Your Email List

If you have a website, then you want to get your website visitors to subscribe to your email list.

Having your opt-in form placed throughout your website essentially turns every page into a landing page. As we said in the previous part, the goal of a landing page is to convert visitors into email subscribers, and eventually into paying customers. By adding these opt-in forms, you are well on your way to growing your email list.

Strategy #2: Get Social Media Followers to Join Your Email List

Because email marketing can be more effective than social media, it’s important to have your social media followers sign up for your lead magnet and subscribe to your email list. You may have thousands of ‘friends’ on Facebook for example, but if they aren’t connected to your email system, you can’t be sure of ever interacting with them again, let alone selling to them.

Remember, you don’t own the contact information about your social media followers, unless they’ve joined your email list. As you learned in Part 1, an email list is crucial to your business because it’s something that belongs exclusively to you.

Here are some ways you can get your social media followers to join your list. In every case, this means making sure they see your enticing opt-in for the lead magnet:

  • People love to win. Create a contest with a giveaway that relates to your lead magnet.
  • Freebie offers. Provide immense value by offering a lead magnet exclusively to your social media fans.
  • Link to opt-in page on your cover image. On your social media business page or group, update your cover image to link to your opt-in page.
  • Create a video promo. Using YouTube, Facebook Live, or Instagram Live, create a short promo video where you talk about your lead magnet. Add a link to your landing page in the description.
  • Use pinned posts. Whether it’s a pinned tweet, Instagram story, or Facebook post, pin a post with a link to your opt-in to your profile, group, or page.
  • Start a group. Create a group on Facebook or LinkedIn and be active in it. Share your free offer with the group.
  • Ask your followers to download your lead magnet. You can use on-camera video to make your ask personal. Focus on the benefits of your lead magnet as an incentive. This is especially great for groups you run.
  • Video tutorials on YouTube. Send visitors to your opt-in for more information at end of each video.
  • Partner with others working in your field and get them to promote you and your opt-in link online.
  • Share your lead magnet opt-in in ‘Comments.’ When someone asks about something your freebie would help with, post it as a comment. Not only will it help the original poster, but other commenters will also see the opt-in for your lead magnet.
  • Create an ad. Run an ad to promote your lead magnet and encourage signups.

Strategy #3: Get People You’ve Met Offline onto Your List

There are times when your marketing leads will come from traditional ways of marketing and meeting people offline.

Remember that any marketing materials you create should promote your lead magnet by including a call-to-action to sign up.

Here are some ways to reach people through traditional marketing:

  • Hand out business cards to prospective customers and new people you meet.
  • Create handouts and printed marketing content such as flyers, reports, and brochures that advertise your services and include a link to your lead magnet.
  • Create product displays in brick and mortar stores to showcase your physical products.
  • Incorporate QR codes that link to your lead magnet into all your marketing materials.
  • Use sign-up sheets at presentations and speaking events you’re hosting to gather contact information from attendees.
  • Host a giveaway at presentations/seminars to encourage people to leave their contact information.

Strategy #4: Use Content Marketing to Drive Traffic to Your Opt-In Page or Form

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a form of marketing that’s focused on publishing high-quality, valuable free content that helps people solve a relevant problem.

How Does Content Marketing Get Someone to Join Your Email List?

When you give someone valuable information, they’re more likely to share it with others, expanding your reach and growing your email list.

It sounds simple: You give someone your awesome lead magnet and they love it so much they share it. Unfortunately, content marketing is a competitive space and lots of people are using it to grow their lists. This means that your content must be extra special and relate directly back to solving a problem for your ideal client.

Here’s how you can use content marketing to grow your list:

  • Guest blog posts. Offer to write content for a similar blog in your industry as a guest blogger. This gives you an opportunity to share your content and links to your website with a different, but closely related audience.
  • Post articles on social media. LinkedIn and medium.com are ideal for sharing content related specifically to business. Posting your articles on LinkedIn not only creates engagement, but also shows you’re an expert on the topic.
  • Webinars. Because people have to sign up for a webinar, they are an effective way to generate new leads. Not everyone may attend your webinar, but you’ve still captured their email address to be able to market to them in the future (so you can offer them your lead magnet further down the line).
  • Interviews where you’re the guest. Whether you’re a guest on an online radio show or interviewed in a blog post, this is an effective way of reaching a larger audience.
  • Podcasts where you’re the guest. Just like an interview, podcasts help to expand your reach. Audio content is a great way for someone to get to know you, since they can hear your personality and your authenticity.
  • SEO optimization. People who come across your blog posts, videos, and podcasts via organic search are usually looking to solve a problem and therefore will happily sign up for your free lead magnet.
Regardless of the method you choose, each option needs to have a call-to-action to sign up for your lead magnet. Although there are many free ways to get people signed up for your email list, you don’t have to do all of them. The most important step is to make sure they have the same call-to-action, which is to sign up for your free offer.

 

Don’t be afraid of a little trial and error as you test out different strategies. Each time you try something new, you get closer to understanding what works best for your audience. Take action consistently to get people signing up for your free gift and for your email list to start to grow.

 

Action Steps:
  1. Jumpstart your list-building by sending an email to any current contacts or customers telling them about your free gift (use provided email template as a starting point).
  2. Check that all your social profiles and information sources about you and your business have a link to your opt-in page
  3. Choose 2 ways to get traffic to your opt-in methods and outline the tasks you need to do to implement them
  4. Book time in your diary for these activities.

Part 8: Measure Your List Building Progress

Now that you’ve put in the effort to start to build your email list, you want to know how all this hard work is paying off. You particularly want to know how successful you are at creating and nurturing your relationships with potential clients and customers.

One way to track progress when you build your email list from scratch is in the numbers. But there are other ways to see how your content is being received. We’ll look at those in this part.

Step 1: Take Stock

Time to check how you’re doing with the task of list-building.

The first step is to check the numbers against your goals from Part 1. Are you meeting your goal(s) with your email list? If not, what has gotten in the way?

Second, you need to reflect on how you’re feeling. Are you feeling excited about the list growth? Are you wondering what to do next?

Think about the answers to the following questions.

During this process:

  • What have I learned about email marketing?
  • What has surprised me?
  • What has disappointed me?
  • What else have I learned about my subscribers?
  • How do I feel about the list building process?

Step 2: Know Your Metrics and Get to Know Your Customers

To start, you’ll need to analyze where your traffic is coming from. You can do this through key metrics that should be provided by your email marketing platform.

Important metrics to know:

  • Open rate. Your open rate is the percentage of subscribers who open your email. If this number is low, it could indicate that people are deleting your email upon receipt. An easy way to fix this is to make sure your subject line reflects the content that you’re sending. A more involved fix is to make sure you’ve been extra clear about what subscribers should expect from you and also to make sure that your content is of incredible value.
  • Click-through. This refers to when subscribers click a link in your email. This could be a link to a blog post, a video, or a product you’ve decided to spotlight. Click-through rate is a crucial metric because getting subscribers to click is your main goal. If people aren’t clicking through, it’s likely that you need to rewrite your copy so that it’s targeted and specific.
  • Unsubscribe performance. This is how many people are unsubscribing from your list. If this number is high, it’s imperative that you figure out when people are unsubscribing. If they’re leaving after a specific email from your autoresponder, then you need to rewrite it. If they’re leaving after they download your free offer, either your free offer isn’t what they expected or you aren’t following up with continued value.
  • Historical trends. Use these trends to see how your emails are performing over time. You can compare how an email sent at the same time a year ago performed.
  • Mobile vs. Desktop. This tells you whether subscribers are viewing your content on their mobile device or desktop computer. If you notice that a high percentage of users are viewing via mobile, it’s a good idea to double check that your emails are optimized for mobile.

If you’re not getting enough information from your metrics, you can design a survey to find out more from the people on your list. You can use Survey Monkey or Google Forms to create surveys for free.

In order to have a thriving email list, you must pay attention to the metrics that show you how your list is performing.
Don’t take the feedback you receive personally, but do take it into account. Reply to any questions you get asked to further the relationship with your subscribers.

Your email list is a work in progress, so it’s okay if you learn and make adjustments as you go. In the next part, we’ll cover planning future content.

Action Steps:

  1. Assess your progress by answering the questions outlined in the Action Guide.
  2. Measure your metrics. Check what your metrics are once your welcome sequence has gone out.

Part 9: Plan Future Content and Offers

Once you’ve reflected on your progress, you’ll want to make plans for going further to increase your business and providing even more value to your clients.

In this concluding part, you’ll review what you learned and plan out your next steps for list building and content development.

Step 1: Review this Post

Take some time to go through this course again. Flag anything you haven’t completed and set deadlines for when you’ll finish it.

Step 2: Set New Goals for Your Email List Building

As you start to accomplish the first goal you set for building your email list, it’s helpful to set new goals aimed at growing your list even further.

Defining new goals will help you know what type of content to send to your subscribers and it will also make it easier to measure the success of your email marketing.

Step 3: Revisit Your Customer Journey

As we said in Part 3, when you are intentional with your customer journey, you are more likely to see positive results, with increased sales and improved relationships with your ideal customers.
Thinking about the customer journey you outlined in Part 3, take into account the work you’ve done on this course since and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this customer journey still relevant?
  • Do I need to tweak it?
  • What steps can I add to it?

If you need to make changes, plan out how you’ll take your client through the steps of the new journey.

Step 4: Determine Your First Paid Offer

The end goal is to convert your email subscribers into paying customers. In this step, you need to think about what you want your customers to buy from you. This could be a simple online course (based on your lead magnet), or a one-on-one session with you, or even a discounted product.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What will my paid offer be?
  • How will I launch it?
  • What are my goals for it? Think about your revenue targets and the challenges you want to help your customers with
  • How will it help me nurture my relationship with my clients?

Step 5: Plan Future Content

Don’t lose the momentum you created in planning your first email sequence. Make sure you have a plan for your future content. Remember: all content you develop must be relevant to your audience.

By planning your content, you:

  • Stay in touch with your subscribers
  • Nurture your relationship with them
  • Build your brand
  • Showcase your expertise.

Here are some ideas for content you can use in future emails:

  • Q&A. Take the most popular questions you receive and answer them.
  • Mini case studies. Write a case study to establish proof that what you're offering is valuable and of good quality.
  • Storytelling. Use storytelling to share how you developed your products and services, and why you do what you do.
  • Resources you’ve just discovered. Share what tools or resources are beneficial to you.
  • Websites you recommend. Give a list of websites that you find extremely helpful or that you think highly of.
  • A blog post you like. Spread the love and share a blog post that you found interesting or helpful.
  • An email challenge. Include an email challenge to help your subscribers grow their skill set.
  • Give insight into your strategy sessions. Explain why you give free strategy sessions and then offer a limited number based on criteria you decide.
  • Run a competition for a prize. People love to win! Give them incentive to join your competition by offering a prize.
  • An ‘offer’ email. Reward subscribers with a free service or virtual product, or give them a discount or coupon towards your product or service.

Your email list is a critical tool to grow your business. The goals of your email list will evolve as your business changes.
Keep thinking of ways to move your business forward. Plan concrete steps on how you will leverage your email list to do this.

Action Steps:

  1. Review this course.
  2. Write out your new list building goals.
  3. Review the customer journey.
  4. Outline your plan for your first (or next) paid offer.
  5. Create a list of content ideas for future emails.
  6. Detail other actions you need to take.

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