If setting up (or enhancing) an email list for your business is
on your list of New Year’s Resolutions, listen to this episode.
In this episode, I talk about why you should start an email
list, how to get started, the different approaches you can take to
an email list, and how to grow your subscriber base.
Why should you have an email list?
Here are just a few reasons why having an email list by benefit
- It provides you with a direct connection to your fanbase
without another platform as an intermediary.
- People check their email regularly throughout the day, so you
can connect with them on their schedule.
- Your subscribers will have a direct, individual connection to
your emails (rather than the feeling of being "broadcasted at" that
comes with social media posting).
- Business report seeing boosts in sales after sending out emails
to their subscribers.
- When your business faces another disruption (e.g., your website
goes down), it's a great way of letting your audience know what is
How should you set up an email list?
The most important thing is to get started, not to develop the
most masterful email strategy that ever existed. You can always
improve and update over time.
I recommend starting with MadMimi or MailChimp, both of which have permanently free
accounts for small subscriber lists. Both offer affordable plans
for people with smaller lists, as well, so you can grow your list
before spending a lot of time researching different companies and
features. MadMimi is a bit easier (more "low tech") to use, while
MailChimp offers more features in its free plan.
How should you approach your email list?
There are several simple options to consider for your email
- RSS feed: If you have a website or blog that
you update with some regularity, you can set up an RSS feed so that
your subscribers are alerted via email to any new posts on your
- Newsletter: You may want to write an email to
your list on a regular basis (e.g., weekly, biweekly, monthly,
quarterly). This can include links to your latest posts, original
content for subscribers, roundups of relevant information you’ve
found online, and more.
- Updates: You may choose to send sporadic
emails to your list when something new happens in your business
(e.g., a new product is released, you’re teaching a new class, or
there’s a sale).
- Autoresponders: You may choose to set up a
sequence of replies that are automatically delivered to your
subscribers on a schedule based on when they subscribed. For
example, the first email can be sent one day after they subscribe
and the second email can be sent two weeks after they
Listen to the episode for more details about each approach.
How do you get subscribers?
Once you understand your approach, you can start recruiting
subscribers. Consider letting potential subscribers know more about
your approach wherever they can opt-in to subscribe.
Here are some other ways to grow your email list.
- Update your website: Include subscription
opt-ins in a sidebar, your About and Contact pages, and even in
posts on your site.
- Update your social media profiles: Use the
“sign up” option on your Facebook page, and include a link to your
email list on your Ravelry, Etsy, G+, and other social
- Update your “thank you” message: Change the
automatic reply sent to your customers on Etsy and Ravelry (or
other marketplaces) to include a link to your mailing list.
- Giveaways: Some companies offer giveaways to
their subscribers as an incentive to encourage people to sign
- Lead magnet: Offer a free ebook, checklist, or
other desirable product “in exchange” for a subscription.
Tip: Do not get stuck on this. If you don’t have a lead
magnet, you can still start an email list.
Resources mentioned in this episode
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