Building Your Audience By Building Your Mailing List

Welcome to the Essential Tutorial for Email Marketing

Building an email marketing list is a core concept to building a successful website. In fact, many would argue it’s THE most critical step.

Why is this so important?

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:

  • It allows you to build deeper relationships and trust with people.
  • It allows you to collect market research data (you can ask your list to fill out a survey for example). You can then leverage this in unique ways. Ramit Sethi used his data from his list as a selling point to get attention and eventually links from the New York Times.
  • You can use your 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.

Who should I go with to start building my list?

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.

From start to finish

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.








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