How do I even Start Building an Email List?
PART ONE - THE TECHNOLOGY
I totally get it! You get told to build a list but where the heck do you even start?
So many softwares, so many choices, so many terms to get to know...and that's before you even get to the whole writing the email part and having a plan of even what to send.
It's enough to make you want to run away and hide under your covers chanting "Why can't I just do social media?" over and over again.
Just like a new relationship were going to take this one step at a time.
BEFORE YOU CAN EVEN START SENDING EMAILS YOU NEED:
a) Something to send email with (the email provider)
b) Somewhere to send them (a website, landing page, or another place you're awesome content is located)
c) An incentive to get them to hand over an invite to their personal home (your freebie ="s their email address)
d) A plan for after they get on your list. (Your Welcome Series and Your Weekly Content Plan).
Today we're going to start with A and B.
CHOOSING AN EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER
What email service providers help do...
- They help ensure your emails are compliant with laws and regulations such as CAN-SPAM, CASL and the GDPR.
- Authenticate your emails as being from your organization, while taking into consideration the latest anti-phishing systems
- Manage your email database by updating it based on unsubscribes, bounces, and spam complaints as well as track information such as what they're signing up for, what they're interested in, geo location and so much more
- Make sure your server’s IP address isn’t added to blacklists and if it is, they can help you get off of it
- Help you segment your lists to be able to communicate more effectively with your audience by sending them content that is relevant to their needs and wants. This in turn increases conversions.
- Ensure your email lists are secure from stealing or hacking
- Track data from all campaigns and automations to help you improve your campaigns and automations such as increasing open and click through rates.
Different email service providers will offer different features?
For example, not all ESPs offer visual behaviour based automations.
These visual behaviour based automations allow you to map out complex sequences based on your subscribers actions to increase conversions.
Some of the many benefits of visual behaviour based automation are...
- Trigger sequences to start based on sites visited
- Tag subscribers for segmenting to send better relevant content based on opens and click throughs
- Keep track of engagement and send un-engaged subscribers through a re-engagement campaign
- Schedule emails way in advance to start on certain dates and take certain actions without the need for you to be there
- Generate revenue on demand
- Automate A/B split testing so that you maximize your campaigns
- Add people and remove subscribers from Facebook Audiences automatically based on where they are in the automations
- Looking for tags and directing them through other sequences or a combined sequence so they're not bombarded with emails if they sign up for all your leadmagnets at the same time (I cover this in Engage Mail).
And so much more...
Behaviour based automations are just one of many features to look for.
Tagging is another crucial feature for email marketing. It will make your life so much easier.
Think of your email lists like a book shelf in a library.
Say this book shelf (your list) is for Science.
To make it easier for people to find the book they need they've broken the book shelf down into 3 main categories Physics, Chemistry and Biology (these would be your list segments).
Not there are different types and different topics for each of these main segments. So with the main segments they've categorize it even further like Quantum Physics, Physics Theory, Etc (your tags).
Your tags keep track of what's going on within your list segments and your list. If so and so signed up for a certain freebie or clicked a certain link. If they attended a training or bought a product.
Some email providers don't offer tags so you would have to create numerous lists or segments to keep track of the same data that tags easily do. So I highly recommend choosing an ESP with this feature. My favourite and the one I use is ActiveCampaign*.
There are so many features that ESPs could have but those are the two I highly recommend not doing with out.
Other things to consider. Do you just need an ESP or do you need the capabilities of a CRM.
CRM software is sales-focused, while marketing automation software is mainly
marketing-focused. The combo of the two gives you the ultimate software for
your email marketing. One of those awesome combo hybrid programs is ActiveCampaign*.
Not to mention ActiveCampaign* is easy on the wallet. Plans starting at only $9 for 500 subscribers or less.
So start by writing down what you need your email service provider to do and then check out the various features for different email service providers to see if they have the features you need.
LANDING PAGES & WEBSITES
In order to get people on your list you're going to need somewhere to send them to opt-in.
I highly recommend Leadpages* for your landing pages and opt-in boxes. I've been using Leadpages since I started building my list and I love it so much. The design capabilities for their opt-in boxes is probably my favourite because it allows me to increase my conversions.
With Leadpages you can easily create landing pages for your lead magnets, webinar/upcoming trainings. and any other content you need to create landing pages for.
You can also you Leadpages* to create thank you pages, Leadboxes* (pop up opt-in boxes), mini course opt-in pages and so much more.
The difference between using your website to do this versus using Leadpages* is the highly optimized templates that they've spent millions of dollars researching what should go where for maximizing conversions.
They also act as standalone pages. They're self hosted on Leadpages* servers.
Leadpages* statistics will also tell you how many people who are visiting your page are opting-in and provide you with your conversion rate.
Instapage* is also another amazing program for building out landing pages, thank you pages and especially sales pages.
I use Instapage for all my sales pages and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
It is the best online design program you can get for building out your pages. Especially sales pages.
It's a drag and drop builder but you can specially optimize your designs for mobile and desktop as well as you can build right to the edge of your page and overlay items over sections.
Any questions about the tech make sure to leave them in the comments below!
*Links with asterisks are my affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through one of my links I will receive a small commission from the referral. Enough for some coffee money or buying my kids some treats! ;)