Email Marketing – Turn a Blog Into a Business

Email List Building For Bloggers, YouTubers and Content Creators

Want to start getting 20+ email subscribers per day on your email list and then send that list emails they actually want to read? Emails so good they actually convert and make you money?

Then read on!

Ready to get started with email marketing? Get Convert Kit and follow along IF you’re going to be selling digital products. Otherwise, go with Mailer Lite.

When should you start an email list? My advice is to start your email list after you’ve finished building out your website AND you’re getting around 100+ visitors a day.

This is not that high of a bar to achieve. Focus for two or three months on content and you should be there. The only reason I have this stipulation is because I want you to finish your site first so you actually have free traffic to convert into email sign ups.

If you’re not getting organic traffic after a few months it’s a sign that your content is deficient in some way. Your blog and website should be growing, in fact if you’ve been publishing content regularly each week you should see a “J” curve in growth.

“J” curve? Yes, your traffic should spike and look similar to the letter J, that’s why I call it the J curve.

Email Marketing Service Providers

There are a few options I suggest. Mail Chimp, Convert Kit Mailer Lite and Send in Blue. Each of these options have their own pros and cons and are designed for specific purposes.

Convert Kit – For Making Money With Digital Products

Convert Kit was made for bloggers who engage in affiliate marketing and who sell their own digital products like courses and ebooks.

Convert Kit is designed for you to create a product funnel. They have a unique built in tagging system so you can separate your list into various segments. Those who bought, those who did not buy for example.

You can also create different funnels with one account with ease. For example, I could set up a free “how to start a blog” email course and put opt-in forms on relevant pages here. I could also create an “affiliate marketing for beginners” course and put different opt-in forms on different pages and posts.

Those are two similar audiences so broadly speaking, they would both be interested in my content BUT I could create a higher value offer for both groups.

Both these courses I could build out different email series with both funnels promoting unique products and having both funnels end with users being added to the primary mailing list.

It’s this funnel centric nature that makes Convert Kit so popular.

PROS: Designed for bloggers who have their own products to sell and want to make next level money.

CONS: If you’re not going to engage in affiliate marketing or selling your own products, Convert Kit is over-kill for your needs.

Learn More about Convert Kit.

Mail Chimp – List Building Provider

Mail Chimp offers a free plan of up to 2,000 subscribers with a limit on how many emails you can send out per month. Mail Chimp is designed for small business and bloggers who simply want a way to collect emails and send updates to their list.

Nothing fancy, just good old fashioned list building and email marketing.

Most bloggers start with this because it’s free, but Mail Chimp is a solid choice as it allows you to try out their service and allows you to learn how to write and send emails to a list.

Sounds perfect! So why would anyone have an issue with Mail Chimp?

Mail Chimp is NOT friendly towards affiliate marketing because too many affiliate marketers abuse email and send spammy products and services which hurt the deliverability of Mail Chimp emails which in turn hurts everyone in the long term who decided to use Mail Chimp.

Instead, Mail Chimp is designed to promote your own products in emails and links to pages where you promote products as an affiliate as well as to give updates and to keep in touch with your list.

Marketing is fine, linking to your own website is fine. What you can’t do is link directly to any product in your email with an affiliate link. You can read more about their terms here. As this is vague, they can disable your account at any time if they think you’re violating their service.

PROS: Mail Chimp is an industry leading email provider designed to help you build a big email list of subscribers and to keep in touch with your audience.

CONS: Not friendly towards affiliate marketing. What they don’t want is go build a big list and then when your friend is doing a product launch, you then start sending a bunch of emails promoting your friends product with bonuses and so forth as an affiliate for example. Mail Chimp is also a bit expensive once you get beyond the free plan.

Sign up for Mail Chimp.

Send in Blue – The Simple “Once a Week” Low Cost Solution

Send In Blue aims to be the low cost alternative to Convert Kit and Mail Chimp. Not as feature rich as Convert Kit and Mail Chimp, Send in Blue is perfect for those looking for a simple email marketing solution.

Send in Blue is ideal for a niche website site. Say you’re building out a website on ways to brew tea or a blog about camping or archery or whatever. You don’t need funnels and upsells.

You need just a nice, simple email list provider where you can get people to sign up – send out a series of emails on autopilot for a month or two and then simply send your list updates as needed.

It that’s you, Send in Blue is the perfect choice!

PROS: Half the price of other providers. Send in Blue is the cheapest provider out there. If all you’re looking to do is send email updates once a week or so, Send in Blue was designed for you. The fact that for $20 a month you can email a list of 10,000 people 4 times a month is a very compelling selling point for Send in Blue.

CONS: No advanced features like Convert Kit’s tagging feature and support for affiliate marketing. No beautiful templates like you can find in Mail Chimp. Emails have the Send in Blue logo branding for the light and free plans. The free plan only allows you to send 300 emails a day. Mailer lite and Mail Chimp however allow you to send up to 12k emails a month.

The interface is a bit clunky and the on boarding process is a headache. If you’re going to send more than one or two emails a week use the next provider instead.

Learn more about Send in Blue

Mailer Lite – The BEST Overall Provider

Mailer Lite – The last on the list and overall best – Mailer Lite is one of my favorite, lesser known service providers. More developed than Send in Blue and around the same price (and much less expensive than Convert Kit and Mail Chimp). They provide a more generous free plan than Send in Blue and a similar service.

I’m often asked which on do I prefer, Send in Blue or Mailer Lite and the answer is, it depends. Mailer Lite has the better free plan, better interface and more features. But Send in Blue is cheaper for those who will be sending weekly emails.

If you think you will be sending more than 1 email a week though, then go with Mailer Lite as their plans have unlimited email sends per month and it will be cheaper for you.

PROS: Mailer Lite has all the tools you need to grow a list. Pop up forms, pre designed landing pages and forms to embed on your website. Mailer Lite makes growing and managing an email list easy. Also they’re reliable.

CONS: No advanced tagging and segmentation features. Mailer Lite is designed for those who want to grow a single list and email that list 2-4 times a week.

Learn more about Mailer Lite

Email list check list:

1) Your website is getting at least 100 visitors a day. Many webmasters will disagree with me on this, but until your website has traffic you’re not going to get any email sign-ups. So why pay for  a service you’re not going to use?

2) You have consistent, regular growth month to month – meaning you have your unique selling point, people like it, and your website is growing.

3) Your website for the most part is finished. This is crucial because publishing content, making videos and building the foundation of your website takes a lot of work. Focus on this first, then when you’re site is done and you’re simply publishing a new content, then you’re ready to start promoting your website and getting traffic from different sources.

4) You have some idea what you wish to accomplish with an email. Just like with starting a website in that you need to plan, the same goes with a mailing list. What exactly is your strategy? To simply email updates and keep in touch? No problem, or is it to build out a sales funnel? You need to decide and plan out what email you’re going to write.

5) You have subscribed to multiple email lists before. If you have never been on the other end of an email list, go to your favorite blogger and other sorts of websites and join their list. Pay attention to what you like and don’t like about the process of signing up and the content of the emails.

6) You have a free giveaway for your email list or some type of incentive to join. The common strategy is some type of information product, but you could make your list into a course or email series or a service.

What should the lead magnet be? 

You just need to put in the work to connect the dots between what your visitors want and what you can give them.

I know, you’re thinking maybe an ebook right? That’s what everyone does! Great BUT don’t give away an ebook…

1) That is of low quality and comes off like is was only made to be a free giveaway.

You want every interaction people have with you to be of high quality. Low quality erodes trust extremely fast. Low quality makes people not take you seriously. Low quality shows that you lack the qualities to be successful and that you’re lazy. I’m not going to name names, but some well known marketers a pretty dang lazy.

2) That is on a boring and generic topic that has already been done countless times.

Why put the hours in to create something similar to something someone else has already published? Come up with a new angle. This again takes work and time but it’s worth it.

3) Titles also matter.

Come up with a title that is pithy, original, and descriptive. Look at books on Amazon or in your local bookstore to come up with ideas for how to name your giveaway. Naming things is actually incredibly difficult and is more art then science BUT necessary none the less.

4) You have the authority to write the ebook.

Meaning you know what you’re talking about from actual experience or research. You’re not just writing what you think or simply learned from other people. Authority also means you’re a trusted source for this information.

So if you release a free ebook for your website entitled “MASSIVE TRAFFIC SECRETS” …

1) That’s a fairly unoriginal title.

2) It’s only appealing to men.

3) Your website better have massive traffic, otherwise if it’s apparent your site is a low traffic website you’ll look like a clown.

4) This is a topic that is done excessively (that and making money).

Your give-away does not have to be an Ebook

By the nature of the Internet, your give-away needs to be information based. But there are other forms to deliver it other than an Ebook:

  • A video series.
  • A private, password only part of your website.
  • A collection of interviews.
  • A 1 on 1 15 minute coaching call.

Really it depends on your audience and market what your give away should be and what the best medium is. Get creative, don’t copy, be original, and be actionable. Care about your marketing and your copywriting (titles), be able to sell your free give away in an elevator style pitch, and make something of high quality that you could sell if you wanted to.

When is it time to start an email list?

What I mean when I say finished is let’s pretend you’ve started a travel blog, you should have 20 pieces of content as a rough estimate. So you should have a few massive pieces of content covering a few competitive topics in great depth – like a 3,000-5,000 word articles. Then you should have a bunch of smaller pieces of content that answers questions in your topic.

You’re getting 100+ visitors a day from various sources. Social media, organic, direct etc. You’re ready to start building an email list! This is not to say you’re stopping content production, I just mean you have a growing site on your hands!

Do you need an email list?

NO.

I have a website on eye care that gets traffic from Google and makes money from display advertising. I have a good internet buddy who has a website on playing the electric guitar as well as dirt bikes. His websites make money from display advertising, Amazon affiliate commissions and ebook sales.

Those sites are designed to be passive, hands off sites that once complete require minimal maintenance because they go after how-to and question based keywords. Though email is something to always keep in mind for any website.

So why does everyone say you need a list?

It’s how you turn a blog or YouTube channel into a business.

Plain and simple.

Having a mailing list of people who have given you permission to contact them through email has all sorts of unique advantages:

  • It allows you to build deeper relationships and trust with people.
  • It allows you to collect market research data by figuring out what your audience actually wants.
  • You can then use this data to figure out how to better serve the needs and wants of people who visit your website.
  • You can give people on your list product updates and discounts as a way to drive more sales.
  • It gives you direct access to your audience in a way that social media and even your website does not.
  • You can set up an autoresponder series for new subscribers and weave in the occasional affiliate link; building a sales funnel that runs on autopilot (after you spend hundreds of hours writing each and every autoresponder and testing to see what works).
  • You have the option to make an email list into a product itself. You can do this by way of a subscription model or a one time fee. The “Empire Building Kit” is an example of a one time fee strategy.
  • You can take your audience with you and direct them to new websites or projects you’re working on.
  • Email subscribers are THE best type of subscriber because they are the most engaged type of subscriber.

While information sites can be designed to stand on their own and generate anywhere from $300 USD a month to upwards of $3000 USD a month, to get to that next level of income where you’re making 20k a month from a single site will require an email list.

Why?

Because you make a lot of money from a single site by selling products and services – both your own as well as an affiliate of other products will require an email list. Particularly if you’re selling something over 100$.

See this quick case study I did on Steve Scott of DevelopGoodHabits.com

So, with that said, if you watched the videos above you should kind of know if building an email list is important for your particular website or not. If you’re building say, a niche website on BASE jumping for example, you could perhaps skip the email list if you’re happy with it being totally passive website that makes ad revenue.

How to build an email list for free?

Like web hosting, this is just an expense you can’t get away from. There are services that offer a free account where you can try out the service with limited features, but for a full on email list provider you’re just going to have to accept that it’s going to cost you.

This is why I said you should build out your site first and be getting a bit of traffic.

EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS EXPLAINED

You have an email list and people signing up…uhhhh now what?

In general, you want to create a 4-7 day auto-responder series for anyone who signs up to your list so you can provide value, be really helpful and build a solid relationship with people who subscribe. I would aim for 7 days, 1 email a day on auto pilot.

After the initial 4-7 day email series, I would set up a longer, 2 -3 email per week series that would last a month or two.

Then I would simply go to emailing 2 times a week from here on out. Content updates, affiliate promotions new videos and so forth.

In the long run, you’ll actually be spending the majority of your time week to week writing emails. But this is only so after you have 100+ blog posts and are getting traffic from search engines and social media.

The sign-up process

Simply emulate the sign-up process that professionals use. First, go through the sign-up process for someone else’s list who has a popular blog and email list. What do you notice?

1 – The opt-in form has some call to action. Free course, free ebook, 20% discount code, SOMETHING.

2 -You submit your email to get the email bait.

3 – Then you’re directed to another page that tells you to check your email. This is the “thank you” page.

4 – You check your email and confirm your email.

5 – When you click the link to confirm, you’re then sent to a page that verifies you’ve signed up.

6 – You then receive the give-away via email. Sometimes you get the give-a-way up sign up without confirming your email.

Up-Sell Pro Tip

When someone sign up to your list and you redirect them to that “thank you for signing up – check your email” page, why not have a product up-sell? Something like an ebook or a coupon code or something?

Email Marketing Customization

Just like creating an about page and contact page, you’re going to have to create a few basic pages as part of your on-boarding process for your email marketing efforts.

Check your email

First off, that page telling you to “check your email” can either be a custom page you make in WordPress OR it can be a page from your mailing list management company. The way it works is that when you’re logged into your list management service account you have the option to make your list:

  • Double opt-in
  • Single opt-in

Double means the person needs to confirm their email again after submitting it the first time to actually be on your list. Single means they submit their email once and that’s it. You want double opt-in because:

  • List size DOES NOT MATTER.
  • List quality and responsiveness matters.
  • You want people who actually want to be on your list.
  • The bigger your list the more money it costs. So keep it to people who want to be on it.

Once you’ve select double opt-in you must set a confirmation page. You can either make one yourself and plug in the URL when logged into your list management account or you can use a confirmation page from your list management company. Does not matter which one you decide to do. I usually just use the list management companies page.

Thank you page

Once someone confirms their email, you have the option to direct that confirmation link to either a custom “thank you” page you make in WordPress or to a page from your list management company. Obviously, the thank you page is a wonderful opportunity for another call to action:

  • Link to your Facebook, Twitter account or YouTube page.
  • Promote any products or services you offer (probably the best – particularly if you offer a discount!)
  • Offer a surprise bonus or discount on something.
  • Link to your most popular content.
  • Set expectations for your list.
  • Say thanks for subscribing.

This is the end of the process so direct people to do something.

Delivering the free bonus

The bonus is delivered automatically in an autoresponder you set up in your service provider. So no worries about doing it manually.

You can set a follow up autoreponder (a second email after they confirm) with a link to a page where they can download the ebook, audio or video.

You can also instead set it to send the ebook or materials directly IN THAT EMAIL with no link to any page. It depends on how you wish to deliver your bonus. I like to send it in the email and use the thank you page to offer a surprise product or a discount.

You could also have a download link to the bonus on the thank-you page they were sent to when they confirmed if you like, but it’s best to send a second email with a link to a different page to get access to your bonus.

It’s easier to manage as you will have a “thank you” page, and you will also have a page for your bonus. It’s also easier because it directs people better.

Side note: Make sure to set your bonus page to “no-index” so search engines don’t index and rank your bonus page. You only want people to access this page who sign up for your list 😎

The follow-up

In this follow-up email that contains a link or the actual bonus itself, it’s important to do more than just say “thanks here’s your stuff”. Just like how you did on the thank-you page in that you set expectations, do the same with this second email because it’s the first genuine email anyone receives from you:

  • Remind people that you will be sending more emails in the future.
  • Talk about what the emails contain and how they will benefit the subscriber if they stay on the list.
  • The frequency of the emails. If it’s twice a week, let them know.
  • Give them an opportunity to unsubscribe.

Unsubscribe?

Yes, unsubscribe. People use emails they don’t check frequently for email lists. They also set up separate emails ONLY for lists. Additionally, people sometimes only subscribe to get the free bonus and that’s it.

People are free to do what they want, but these leads suck and you don’t want to pay for them to be on your list. You want them to unsubscribe because you want to truly focus on having a responsive list. That means when you send an email to your list, the majority open it.

The third email

This is THE most important email you send. After they confirm, after they get your bonus, after they read your follow-up. This is the first real content driven email from you.

Like dating, this is your chance to make a solid impression. Your bonus should have wowed them, now it’s time to make them feel glad they stuck around and signed up. You do this by setting out to make the greatest most helpful and amazing email ever written. That should be your mindset for this email. Do your best work. Make it actionable and exclusive. You could even send a second product, for free.

Your best work + the unexpected = fan for life

Wait, how the heck do I design an email opt-in form?

Glad you asked! All service providers provide an email opt-in form design editor.

What’s working now are two ways:

A lead page for an email optin form where the user can directly input their information OR a light box.

Light box?

A light box is a box that pops up when you click a button. Sort of like a pop-up, well a pop-up is a light box too – BUT this sort of light box is only triggered when a person hit’s a subscribe button.

So instead of having two fields where a user can input their name and email, you instead have a single button. When the click the button, a light box pops up that allows the end user to input their email address.

Which is best? If you’re going to make a dedicated subscribe page, then having email subscribe form works. If you’re going to have a subscribe button in your sidebar or at the bottom of the page, then a light box works best.

Where To Put Email Opt-in Forms

Having a single button in the whole footer area is one of the best spots:

The bottom of blog posts work too as well as having a lead page where you drive traffic to after they click a button. Let’s get into it a bit more.

In order for people to sign-up for your mailing list you need to provide a way for them to sign-up.

1) Post/page bottom

Surprisingly, the bottom of a post or page – the area after the content but before the footer (or comments if it’s a blog post) works extremely well. It’s an appropriate place for an email opt-in because it directs a visitor to do something next after reading.

Sidenote: This spot also works well for advertising. Particularly the leaderboard size for the same reasons.

2) In the footer itself

The footer should contain may essential links for your website. A quick bio, sitemap, privacy and terms of use pages etc. But it also makes sense to add an email opt-in form with a quick call to action as the footer on many websites acts as a secondary navigation menu. Also if someone is at the bottom of your website they’re finished and are ready to leave. So give them some direction.

3) About Page

This is a fairly obvious, but often overlooked page for mailing list forms. If someone is reading your about page they’re interested enough to learn what the purpose of your website is.

SO:

1) Always make your about page about your website and what it’s unique selling point is (no one cares about you until after they have some sort of relationship established with you). Include information about you, but only what is relevant like your credentials and why you founded the site in the first place.

2) Put the opt-in forms in the content itself.

4) In the sidebar – very top

This is the classic website real estate spot for mailing list forms. If you’re running an email list, visitors expect at the very least to have some sort of subscription option located in the top of the side bar. If you move it down in the sidebar, this does affect conversion because it looks like a secondary feature.

5) Leaderboard – above the content, below the navigation bar & logo

Another classic spot. This will typically be your highest converting area. Have a large rectangular email form centered on the page that is situated below your logo and navigation bar, but above the rest of the site. Also make sure it’s centered. It look unprofessional and strange if it’s off to the left or right.

6) Pop-ups 

Pop-ups work, but now are generally frowned upon by Google as it provides a poor user experience. If you want to use popups fair enough, I would read this article to optimize your your pop up form.

Generally though, I would stay away from pop-ups particularly if your goal to to rank specific blog posts for specific keywords.

Email Marketing Strategies

Autoresponders are emails you write that are automatically sent to people who sign-up for your email list. It’s a best practice to take the time to set up an autoreponder series. How long the series is totally up to you. Ideally it’s best to make a 6 month to 1 year autoresponder series where by each and every week (or twice or three times a week) your list gets an email from you.

These email should be related to your websites content. They should always provide value, and they should not be too long or too short. It’s fine to send a massive high quality email, but people are also OK with a quality 500 word email. Span out your massive emails as to keep your lists attention.

Broadcasts

In addition to setting up automated autoresponders you do have the option to send out a broadcast email to your list. Broadcasts are simply emails you want to send right now this moment. It might be a good idea to only set your autoresponders on select days  and leave one day a week only for broadcasts. You don’t want to be emailing people multiple times a day. It’s annoying and they will unsubscribe.

Now for specific strategies:

The Internet marketers strategy

 Content -Content -> Promotion -> Content -> Content -> Promotion

This is an extremely old school stereotypical strategy for email lists. You provide high quality content with not strings attached, no expectations and then perhaps once or twice a month you send out a promotion for a product or service where you get a percentage of the sale. People hate being sold to, so you need to really develop some clever copywriting skills as to not come off like a salesman.

If you can figure this one out and do it properly without annoying your list, you can create a fairly profitable and predictable sales funnel. To the point where you can determine how much each sign-up is worth. Once have this information, the sky’s the limit.

If you determine that for every sign-up brings you bring in $7 USD, you can then take that information and go to Facebook ads or Google and promote a landing page for your free give-away and list. You can then bid on keywords and pay for clicks.

If your landing page converts at 30% and you’re paying 100$ for every 100 clicks, that’s 30 sign-ups for 100$. If each sign-up is worth 7$ as in this example you’re spending 100$ to make 210$ (30 X 7). A nice profit that can scale.

The guru name dropping strategy 

Promotion -> Promotion -> Promotion -> Promotion

Some list owners hit up their list with promotion after promotion. Most do it wrong as they constantly send out lame short emails with the sole intention of promoting a product:

“Hey guys! My friend Mike Richard Stevens release the most powerful game changing product that will blow your mind into another dimension. It’s called Thunder Shock Email List Control Mastery Power 90″. Guys YOU NEED this product if you want to compete with the pros”.

Note: I made this up. Any references to real people are coincidental.

To do this right each email needs to be of very high quality. What exactly does that mean? Eben Pagan has numerous products and lists. Almost every email he sends is a link to a high quality video series for a product he owns or is a lengthy 30 minute+ interview he did with a guru with the purpose of building awareness and sales for the product.

It’s product after product BUT it’s helpful and valuable.

To do this right it takes time, money, and connections all of which you won’t have when starting out.

The NON Marketers Strategy

Content -> Content -> Content -> Content -> Content

Yep, just use your mailing list to provide value, build relationships, be helpful, and to drive traffic back to your website.

Email Blogging

 Content -> Content -> Content -> Content -> Content (but with ads!)

Some build their business strictly around their email list. They focus on making enormous lists of thousands and thousands of subscribers and from this they are able to advertise in their emails as well as tie in any related products and services. They treat their list like a private blog and business.

However, the focus is on building these lists into proper business and this is done by using high quality content. Examples:

HungryGirl.com – This website started simply as a small two or three page website with a focus on building the email list.

DailyWorth.com – Another email list based business providing personal finance advice for women.

TheMogulMom.com – Business advice for women who are also moms

Email subscribers over any other type will ALWAYS be your most engaged. This makes them simply the best type of subscriber to have. So treat them right.

Cool, but what do I write when I send emails?

The best emails are personable! Don’t get hung up with trying to be Mr Cool Guy or Mr Professional.

Really. I sent out as a test email with the title: “Why you Hate Vegans But Should Become One(ish).”

Another one that worked really well was called “women lose their power in their 30’s, men in their 40’s” – it was dating related obviously.

Side note – Open rate means the percentage of people who opened your email. You should be able to get 20% if you’re doing a good job. Higher if you’re really building an engaged audience that loves you.

33% is good and I don’t want to imply that I’m super talented or anything, but I do “get” what goes into a good email. My email open rates are usually round 20% which is good, but not great. I’m still learning myself and that’s the whole point.

You got to be in it to win it. Your first emails, Facebook ads and landing pages are going to need tweaking. You’ll get better at it as you do it.

Here is the basic structure of what has worked for me that should help you start an email list:

1 – The Subject Line

“Clearer and more specific subject lines convert better.” – Bob Kemper

This is the sentence people will see in their email. It needs to be compelling. It needs to make people want to click and read. Feel free to throw in an emoji occasionally as an attention grabber if you’re looking for ways to boost open rates.

But if you can get a really compelling subject line, you’ve won.

Write like you’re writing to your brother or sister (or a friend). Avoid marketing language, be clear and concise and avoid cutesy language too. What works for blog posts WILL NOT WORK for your emails by the way.

While a title like “27 reasons why YOU should never have a job” is a fantastic title for a blog post – they fall flat when it comes to email.

Why? Because they’re generic.

People want personable, particularly people who have subscribed to you and want to hear from you. Instead, take a template and adjust it with your own words.

Also, take the time and write out 5 – 10 variations. 

Why? Because it forces you to think. The first 4 are easy, the last 4 are harder to come up with and will be much more creative.

2 – Story telling

I got this from a book called POP! by Sam Horn. An excellent read and it works.

If someone asks you what you do for work, how do you answer? Tell them, hey I’m David and I build websites, make products and do SEO.

Meh.

A much better response would be to make your answer WAY more relatable. “You know when you search for an answer to a question like ‘what’s the difference between a 2 stroke engine and a 4 stroke engine’ I make websites that rank on Google to answer questions like that.

Ahhhh.

This is a good conversation starter too because then people always ask interesting follow up questions.

Which is my next point, your emails are conversation. People subscribed because they want to hear from you, a cool interesting person who can solve their problems – NOT a faceless company, unless we’re talking about Game of Thrones 🙂

So!

Tell stories and be relateable. Use language that makes your point clear and specific by SHOWING, not telling people like I did in my “what do you do for work” example.

How To Write Emails People Want To Read.

So we covered the basic outline for how to write emails, now let’s put it all together.

Write a compelling headline. We covered this.

Story telling – Lead off with a good opener, use a story or a real life experience. Relate your topic to your life in some way and tie it into the content of the email.

Write the body of the email like you would a blog post using casual language. Avoid fluff, jargon and unclear words. How long should it be? As long as it needs to be!

At the end of the email have a call to action. Ask a question, ask your subscribers for a reply.

Include a PS that tells readers what to expect and look out for.

If it’s a promotional email, include the “ask” a few times in the email. Somewhere at the start and again at the end. Use the PS to drive home the benefits of your offer. This bottom sentence is just as critical as the title and it’s where you should have your final call to action when you start an email list.

HOW TO BUILD AN EMAIL LIST FROM SCRATCH

Well that’s all fine and dandy, but how do I actually get traffic and get people on my list?My suggestion is to first focus on your website. Get your design done, get your core content up, get to a point where your website idea is getting at least a 100 visitors a day.

Then you’re ready.

Now, this is not to say you should just ONLY wait for search traffic.

NO.

You need to be aggressive with building your email list. Some helpful ideas to get you thinking creatively:

Instagram

Create an account that is related to your website. In the bio link to your landing page for your email list. Next, you’ll need to grow your Instagram following. This is difficult obviously, but the main strategies to follow are to emulate other accounts that are successful in your niche. Emulate how they created their bio.

Next, look to see what sort of content is working for them and duplicate it yourself. You can also repost pictures and create videos as needed. Also, like pictures and comment A LOT.

Lastly, for tags, you’re going to want to find relevant tags for your industry BUT, with a new account you’ll want to go after tags that are NOT popular. Why? Because you’re new account and no one will find you if you use big tags.

Facebook Groups

Simple, join relevant groups. Help people. Link to your landing page BUT don’t tell them it’s your website. Just say something like “this helped me, maybe it can help you” – FB groups are cautious about links to other websites so just use common sense. You can apply this technique to forums and Reddit as well.

Think!

I’m not going to proverbially hold your hand. My point is that I want you to think of ways beyond just “build it and they will come” because you can totally build up an email list to 500 subscribers in  a very short time.

Email Scrubbing

Last thing you need to know is that you can and should scrub your email list. What email scrubbing is the act of simply deleting emails that are unresponsive. Say you have a list of 1000 people but 200 of those emails have not opened anything from you in the last 3 months.

These sorts of emails are proverbially dead weight. Costing you money but not actually opening and engaging with your emails. Scrubbing is a quick and easy process to delete such emails in bulk.

You should scrub your email list once every 6 months in order to save costs and to keep a targeted list that is interested and responsive to your emails.

CONCLUSION – Learn By Doing

Well I hope this guide was helpful. If I could leave you with one last point it would be this:

YOU LEARN BY DOING.

You get better at email marketing by doing it, so stop procrastinating – sit down and applying yourself.

Go with Convert Kit (opens in a new tab) if you’re going to be creating products and doing affiliate marketing

Go With Mailer Lite (opens in a new tab) if you just need an affordable and simple email marketing solution.