Starting to build an email list is the best decision you’ll make in your business.
Before we jump into the techniques, I want to share with you the 2 BIG reasons email is my favorite form of marketing.
You own an asset
Well, what does that mean? I own an asset? I can’t touch my email list. I can’t package it up and trade it for a new puppy on Craigslist. WTF?
What I mean is you control what happens with your list. The best way to explain this is to use Facebook as an example.
Let’s say you built a fancy fan page and you have 1000 people who visit frequently. Amazing! You have a pretty decent sized audience and they’re interacting with your posts about grumpy cats…or whatever you post about.
Now, what happens when the geniuses at Facebook decide to change their algorithms? Now nobody seems to see your posts and it’s like a barren wasteland inside your fan page. Sucks, doesn’t it?
That’s what I mean about owning your email list. You can decide what happens with it, not some third party provider. You’re not at the mercy of anyone else’s decisions.
This doesn’t mean you should shy away from building audiences on other platforms. I would just recommend trying to get those people to eventually join your email list as well.
So what’s the second reason?
ROI and Conversions, silly!
Email is the highest converting medium there is by far. It outperforms TV, print, social media and everything else if done right.
I won’t bombard you with a list of stats, you can poke around Google if you want to see the proof.
Also, email converts 3x better than social media. That right there is enough to motivate me to grow my list. How about you?
This means a person would have to spend 3 times as much time/effort/money to convert a prospect on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc, than email.
Again, I’m not telling you to abandon ship on your social media efforts. I’m just saying you definitely be focusing some of your time growing your email list.
That’s enough about the “why”, let’s dive into the “how.
1. REACH OUT TO YOUR PERSONAL NETWORK
I’m a big fan of KISS (no, not the makeup wearing band from the 80s). Keep It Simple Stupid.
I know you’re all ambitious and you’re trying to figure out how to use the most cutting edge tools to start growing your list. Once you get a little more advanced, there are some phenomenal tools out there to assist in growing your list.
For now, Keep It Simple!
We’re going old school here.
Put together a list of as many people as you can that are close to you. You can jump on Facebook, look through your email contact list or anywhere else you may have some contact information stored.
Reach out to all of the people on that list and let them know you’re starting an email newsletter and ask them if they’d like to join.
If they give you any other response than “No”. You just reply back to them and say “Great! What’s your best email?”. That’s it. Don’t give them a chance to revert them back to a no.
If they say “That sounds cool”. Say “Great! What’s your best email?”.
If they say “That might be interesting”. Say “Great! What’s your best email?”.
If they say “I just finished a case of beer and I’m gonna order pizza right away, you want in?”. You say “Yes! Pizza is the best!”.
Ha! Tricked you there!
The point here is; people are going to have all kinds of responses and you just want to simply get their email. Don’t accept any excuses.
All you have to do now is write down a list of the emails you have and BOOM! You have your first subscribers (and you don’t even need any software yet!). So cool!
I know there are going to be people who are going to shrug this method off and move onto the next. I can promise you that if you actually sit down and put some effort into this, you’re going to have a great start on your email list.
Tip: if you are emailing these people directly and have an opt-in page set up already, you can ask them to share the link with anyone else they know who might be interested. You might be able to get your first 100 subscribers from this technique alone.
2. YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE
This is the easiest thing you can do to build your list. It’s so simple, yet many people don’t bother doing it. I don’t get it.
Most people send quite a few emails every single day. Even more if you have a blog or a business online.
Why wouldn’t you want to leverage that real estate? That could be hundreds or even thousands (depending on how heavy of an emailer you are) of potential subscribers.
It’s dead simple. If you’re not already doing this…start now!
Go into whatever software you use to send your emails. If you send from your iPhone go into your mail settings and add a signature. If you use Gmail go into your settings and do the same.
What you’re going to want to add here is a link to a page where the user can subscribe. Usually, you’re going to offer something of value in exchange for the email address. Your link in the email signature should draw the reader in.
For example, if you’re offering a 7-day email course teaching someone how to build elaborate castles out of Jello. Then the link should call that out. Something like “Click here to learn how to build enormous castles out of Jello in 1 week”.
That’s just a silly example, but, hopefully, you get the idea.
Before you move on go add this to your signature. Do it now! Don’t wait! It only takes 2 minutes and it’s fully automated after that. You’ll be surprised at how many people will subscribe from these emails. They already trust you if you’re emailing them. That’s the key!
3. BE WHERE YOUR AUDIENCE IS AND HELP THEM
Forum marketing is a great (and free) way to build a very targeted list.
In case you don’t know, forum marketing is where you post comments on forums that are helpful. Depending on the rules of the particular forum, you can put a link to your opt-in page in your signature and when you really help people they’ll click and opt in to see what else you can offer them.
Where do you find forums to contribute to, you ask? Well, it’s simple. Just type in whatever your niche is in Google plus “forum” and I’m sure you’ll find all you need.
Other places you can do this is in question/answer sites like Yahoo answers.
This is similar to the email signature technique. You’re going to put a link to your opt-in page in your signature and describe what you’ll be offering of value.
The key to this strategy is to truly add value to the forum. You don’t want to go in there and spam with comments. Generally, that’s frowned upon and you’ll most likely find yourself banned.
Many people say forum marketing is dead but that’s so far from the truth. It’s alive and well, it just requires time and effort.
I encourage you to find a forum (or a couple), sign up and add value with comments on a daily basis. Try this for the next two weeks. You should be presently surprised at the results.
It may be a little slow going at the beginning, but remember that your comments will remain on the forum for a long time. So the more posts you have that add value, the more people who will see your signature link and the more subscribers you’ll get. It’s a snowball effect.
That’s it that’s all!
Three easy (and free) things you can do today to start (or grow) your email list.
You should have a list of at least 100 subscribers in no time if you put all of these bad boys to work.
Happy list building!