Starting an email list really is not as difficult as you think. It’s just a matter of following a number of simple steps.
Step One – Define your purpose and your long-term strategy. Once you have a list of subscribers, what will you do with it?
Step Two – Define your target market. Who can use what you’re offering? Who would be helped by your products or services? This will determine how you drive traffic to your list and how you market to your subscribers.
Step Three – Typically, marketers give away a free gift for signing up for their list. Most people are wary of giving out their name and email address, so a free gift sweetens the deal. It’s most common to use a free report or other informational product, but you can set yourself apart by offering something different.
Step Four – Create a dedicated page for your opt-in form. You will also want to place your opt-in form on your website, blog, Facebook page, and other strategic locations where people will see it. Once you have generated your opt-in code from your autoresponder, you’ll be able to fill it in where required.
Step Five – Create a ‘thank you’ page. Once a person enters their name and email, they’re redirected to this page that tells them to check their email and confirm their subscription. Default ‘thank you’ pages are available, but it’s much better to create your own so it will be more personal.
Step Six – Create a confirmation page. Once new subscribers click the confirmation link in their email, they’re redirected to this page where they can download their free gift and view any other special offers you want to present.
Step Seven – Sign up for an autoresponder program and make your first payment. An autoresponder is a software program that allows you to manage your list and send out broadcast messages. I use Aweber and can highly recommend it. If you’re planning to import emails that you have already gathered, keep this in mind when choosing a program, because some make it easier than others.
Step Eight – Follow the autoresponder program’s steps to set up your initial list. You’ll be asked to enter information such as names, your signature, social media links, an initial web form that you can change later, and URLs for ‘thank you’ pages and confirmation pages (which you should have created already). Grab the opt-in code the program generates and put it wherever you want your sign-up form to appear (i.e., squeeze page, blog, etc.)
Step Nine – Write a welcome email with a link to the download page that has the free gift people were promised. Write a message that’s conversational, friendly, and shows your personality a bit. People like to know that there’s a real person behind the email messages.
Step Ten – Test everything. Sign up for your list and make sure the process works smoothly. Send a test message to yourself. Make any necessary changes if anything is not working correctly.