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Building An Email List For Your Small Business

Building An Email List For Your Small Business

In today’s online marketplace it is essential to build trust and relationships with your visitors. Email marketing is by far the best way to market your business and build those personal business relationships. And, what better way to start? By building an email list and reaching out to those on it. It keeps your business in the fore-front of your potential customers mind.

Email marketing is far more superior than social media without a doubt. Your email list is yours to own. It allows you to personalize, organize, categorize and target certain audiences that you want to reach out too. With social media platforms your pretty limited. Plus who’s to say their platforms policies don’t change or shutdown all together.

If your a newbie with email marketing don’t worry. I got your back. I’m here to help. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or leave a comment and I’ll try to answer as quickly as I can.

In this article I’m going to do my best to walk you through not only how to build deeper connections through email marketing, but also how to start and grow your email list.

Building An Email List

Like the saying goes. Nothing is free. When building an email list, you have to have something to offer your visitors for them to want to subscribe to your email list. For instance, they give you their email address in exchange for a piece of content that would benefit them.

In my case, on my website, I try to offer helpful blog articles, tips, information and content to help small businesses. They can opt-in to subscribe to my email list and be notified of new blog posts or offers/savings that I can pass along to the small business owner. But there are many “freebies” you could offer to entice visitors in exchange for their email.

“Freebie” Offer Suggestions When Building An Email List

Ebooks – You can download a ton of ebooks online for free. Just search “free ebooks” + “your niche”. Leave the quotes in.

Let’s take my niche web development. Google “free ebooks” + “web development”. You’ll get a lot of websites offering free ebooks that you can download to offer to your visitors in exchange for their email addresses.

Free Ebooks Google search for when building an email list

Spin-to-win – Spin-to-win is a neat, exciting and a helpful tool when building an email list. It entices visitors to spin the wheel to receive discounts or other promotions your business is offering. You can set the winning percentage as high or as low as you like for each prize.

Visitors are required to enter their email to unlock the wheel and confirm their email to ensure they are not a bot. This option is a paid option and the price is based on how many visitors use it monthly.

Depending on the sales of your company this could be a great return on investment. The longer you subscribe the cheaper the pricing plan is.Spin-to-win When Building An Email List

Tutorial or training video – Say your in the dog training industry, make maybe a 2 or 3 minute video of how to make your dog obey or do a trick.

Offer Free Shipping – If you sell products online, chances are that your checkout form already asks for their email. What if you offer free shipping to first time customers?

Be creative about freebies when it comes to building an email list. If something doesn’t work you can always change it. Over time you will figure out what works and which ways to go with it.

No Newsletters

Don’t use newsletters. Newsletters are pretty much obsolete in this modern era. Business owners would rather post what they would in a newsletter on their website for the world to see. It would be like having a catalouge and making you give up your email to download the catalouge.

Remember, and keep in mind, visitors are coming to your website for the solution to their problem and needs. If you require their email to give that solution to them chances are they are bouncing and going to your competition.

Make Your Lead Magnet Or “Freebie” Sell the Benefits

Really pitch your lead magnet to the visitors of your site. How is the lead magnet going to help your potential customers? Are the benefits going to help improve their situation if they use the lead magnet  as opposed to their current position now? These are the things that you have to think about.

Content Marketing plays a role here. You really need to target an audience in your niche or industry.

For example, if i’m a blogging website, I might want to sell the benefits of an ebook titled “Follow These Simple Steps To Start Blogging”. And then have a few simple steps listed like such.

  1. Choose a title for the blog – describe what the blog is about
  2. Post your blog online – choose hosting plan
  3. Make the blog yours – customize
  4. Create your first blog post – Let the fun begin!
  5. Ways to promote your blog – get readers/visitors
  6. Monetize your blog – make money blogging

Don’t make it a sales pitch about your business or services. This is not the time for it. You can definitely pitch your services later. Right now the purpose of the lead magnet is to get email addresses and start building trust with your potential new customers.

After You’ve gotten your lead magnet

Now that you’ve selected the right lead magnet as your “freebie” it’s time to figure out where to place it on your webpage to start getting email subscribers. A place were visitors can gain knowledge of it and actually sign up for it.

Opt-in form for lead magnet

I recommend giving it it’s own landing page because if you happen to hit on the right lead magnet and it helps your subscribers, they will start thanking you! You will want to put their social proof on the landing page to help “sell” it. Which can help with more leads and show credibility to you and your website.

opt-in landing page

So, now that you know how to get visitors on your emailing list lets move on to what to do with the email addresses once you have them.

Choosing an email delivery platform

You want to find an auto generated email delivery platform that will deliver your lead magnet and allow you to start a nurturing campaign afterwards. You have a lot of choices. Some have free trials, some are free up until a certain number of subscribers and some are priced on how many email subscribers you have. Some have a learning curve and some are simple to use.

I am currently using AWeber. It starts out with a 30 day free trial and it’s $19/month after that. So far it does what I need it to do. A lot of small businesses use Mailchimp only because it’s the most popular one out there, because they tend to do a lot of advertising and their easy to use. What I don’t like about Mailchimp is their emails tend to get flagged and end up going in people promotion or spam folders in Gmail and emails get overlooked a lot. So it’s up to you.

Mailchimp is definitely a more economical option. They have a free tier plan for up to 2,000 contacts and you can send up to 10,000 emails a month. Their second tier plan is $9.99 for up to 50,000 emails a month. We would need the third tier if we were going to use Mailchimp to run our campaign and that would run us $15 a month for up to 500 contacts. I personally don’t mind paying more to make sure my emails get to my subscribers. I’m always looking for alternatives as well.

There is a email platform called Mailerlite that looks like it would work for our campaign. The free plan allows up to 1,000 contacts 12,000 emails and it has automation and campaign. I’ll have to test it when I have time. Kind of getting off topic here. And we will save that for another post.

Ok, back on track

Once you make your choice of email provider you have to set up your “freebie” delivery email.

So, this email will automatically give them the lead magnet once they opt-in to your list. I recommend handling this part simply by creating a personalized email as if you were writing it to your best friend. Just reiterate in the e-mail how the lead magnet is going to help them and just send a link inside the personalized email letter so they can download what they subscribed for and you get a new e-mail.

Another alternative is to create a custom thank you page on your website and add the custom url to your email automation. I think it looks a lot more professional than using the generic form auto mailer uses. If you need your web developer to create one for you I think the couple hundred bucks that you will be charged is well worth it. Unless of course you are creative and can spruce up the generic form or create a page yourself.

But wait that’s not it

Not even close! That’s not even the real power of email marketing.

Now that you know how to collect email addresses for your email list you can set up a campaign. The email campaign is auto generated also. Isn’t it cool how your website is working for you automatically?

Depending on how many emails you want your campaign to run. I suggest you write one email a week to start, or you can write as many emails as you like. Then set them to be automatically sent out 1 week apart from each other. This works automatically for new subscribers also regardless if they signed up a week later or a year later. New subscribers will start at the beginning of the campaign with email 1.

What should go in the emails

Again, we are talking helpful content here. Not promotional material. Maybe, in one e-mail, link to a blog article. In another email link, maybe add a video or link to a video on youtube. You don’t even have to come up with this content on your own. You can link to other relevant blogs or video’s and explain to your subscribers why it would benefit them. Just make sure it’s not your competitors!

Now for the promotional material

My rule of thumb is to send promotional email every fourth email. You want to come up with a subject line that will grab their attention so the emails get open. Make sure to place your signature in every email with a soft closure saying something like “if you want to see how I can help you just click here to setup a one on one consultation”. Something like that doesn’t feel intrusive. It will actually feel like you want to help them.

In finishing up here, I hope I explained building an email list clearly. If you have any questions feel free to comment. Maybe you have a topic you want me to blog about?

I’m going to try and post every Monday. Subscribe to my email list to be notified of my weekly posts, Like and follow my page on Facebook and/or follow me on Pinterest to be notified of my weekly blog.

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