Traffic, design, a unique selling point, and promotion are all aspects of creating a website – but your email list is what can turn random visitors into loyal subscribers and supporters.
Having a mailing list of people who have given you permission to contact them through email has all sorts of unique advantages:
Email lists are managed by private companies who take care of the technical burden (and the legal aspects) of mass delivery of emails.
The most popular companies to manage your lists are Mail Chimp, Aweber, Mad Mini, and Get Response.
I used to recommended Mail Chimp for those starting out because they used to have a free plan and free autoresponders for this free plan. Not anymore now, you need to pay to use their autoresponders UNLESS you have an old account (like I do) that has been grandfathered in.
Autoresponders (automatically sent out emails) as well as deliverability are the most critical services you need from a mail list management company. So unfortunately their is no free option for you to do this.
Mail Chimp and Mad Mini provide a great service at a fair cost. Mail Chimp forms are a pain to customize.
Aweber has the best analytics, but they’re pretty expensive for a new webmaster. However, their deliverability is great and their forms are easy to customize.
Get Response is a perfect combination of all the above. They also offer a decent discount if you purchase for a year.
This tutorial will cover all the aspects of building a mailing list from start to finish.
It begins from the planning aspects of how to properly start an email list, it then moves into how to convert your traffic into signups, where to place opt-in forms on your website and how to design them. HTML email templates are also discussed and then finally what to do once you have a regular flow of daily sign-ups.
A side note: When sending out mass emails you are required by law (CAN-SPAM) to list your address. When using a service provider like Aweber they require this information before they allow anything to go out. So what address should you use? If you’re comfortable listing out your home address then use that, but for most people that idea sounds crazy. The answer is to get a PO BOX instead.