Hi everyone. So in this article, I’m going to touch on what email lisitng is, why you need to grow your email list and how you can do that.
It is unfortunate that a lot of Nigerians getting into internet business today, want a short cut to having an email list. So they buy from people who have been all over the internet, gathering emails.
How do I know? Check your spam folder. You definitely didn’t subscribe for lot of the emails you receive in your spam folder. That’s why they are spam in the first place.
What these business owners do not know, is that messages sent to bought emails addresses, will always end up in the spam folder. And subsequently, get deleted. Also, some email address owners may report you to your email marketing provider. And that might earn you a ban.
You’re invading people’s privacy. I for one, have never taken any message in my spam box seriously, except those that I actually signed up for but for some reasons, got delivered to my spam box. I quickly relocate the later to my inbox.
So how can you build your own email list and avoid the issues I mentioned above?
Warning, long post alert. This article is going to cover the following:
-What is Email List Building?
-Why is Email List Building important?
-What is Email Marketing?
2. Three Real-Life Case Studies of the Importance of Email list building and Marketing (Infographics)
3. List of Best Email List Building Providers.
4. The Steps to Building Your Email List.
-Your Blog/landing page
-Guest posts on different blogs/forums and get link backs
-Making Good Use Of Your Social Media Platforms
-What Should You Offer in Exchange for Email Addresses?
-Where should you place your opt-in forms?
They say the only thing that brings about change is time. True. Looking at the world today, we are nothing but a global village. Technology has changed a lot of things.
These changes can be seen in almost every aspect of our lives – business, relationships, health, entertainment etc.
It affects how we do business. It affects relationships, we now browse to get answers to health issues and a lot of us get entertained online.
Now according to a research carried out in 2016, we have over 140 million blogs/websites on the internet. And each of these websites are fighting to get the attention of imternet surfers.
However, online users refuse to be held in one place. There’s so much fun,entertainment and information on the internet and they prefer not to miss out on them. And because of this, their attention is constantly shifting from one blog to another, one social media page to another, one story to another, one information to another.
Yes, there is a but. But, the one place they still go to at the end of their surfing, is their email. And they open only important messages that impacts them positively. The rest, of course, are deleted.
Years back, when business owners realised this, it dawned on them that they too could send private emails with useful content to their online audience. This way, even if the reader didn’t stay long on their blogs, they still get in touch with him/her through email.
And because the email messages are packed full with quality content, not just the latest sales, readers open it, read up and even click links embedded in the message.
During the process of experimenting with this, it was discovered, through research, data analysis from email service providers and surveys, that most email messages from websites are deleted and therefore not read by the readers. I said most, not all.
Also, scammers used it to steal from unsuspecting victims whose email addresses they managed to get hold of.
Now why was it so? Because these email address owners did not give anyone permission to send them such emails. They didn’t ask for it and so they deemed it fit to report spamming and breach of privacy, to their email providers, especially after some of them had been burned by scammers.
And so, because of the above, the rules changed. Laws were put in place to protect online surfers from harm and exploitation.
If you want people to respond positively to your email messages and click back links to your blog instead of ignoring or deleting it, you have to not only give them quality products and services, but also, ask their permission first, before sending even an innocent ‘hi’.
Now this brings us to the question,
What is Email List Building?
In layman terms, it simply means putting together a magnificent and voluminous list of email addresses from readers or internet surfers who are interested in your product/services and truly want to hear from you again.
Or, you could call it putting together a magnificent and voluminous list of email addresses belonging to people who are seeking an answer to some questions and feel you’re the person who can give them that answer, in their email.
It doesn’t matter what niche you’re into. Different people are on the internet looking for different answers to different situations. It could be entertainment solutions, health solutions, pets, furniture, flowers, vacation, travel, cooking, restaurants, phones, computers, businesses, education etc.
Why is Email List Building Important?
I come across your website or blog or social media pages, after carrying out a Google search.
The keywords in one of your articles matches what I am looking for. So I decide to check for answers to that problem by clicking on your link
After reading the post, which deals exhaustively on what I am searching for, I find my self searching through your blog for other detailed articles relating to the same issue I need a solution for.
Why I’m I searching? Well, it is simply because your first post completely caught my attention by giving me in details, what I was looking for.
So because of the quality of the first post, I do believe you know your onions. In my mind, you’re already an established authority in that particular field.
Now after browsing through all your pages, I go away, and without signing up for your email list.
To you it is a loss, because I might not come back to your blog again unless I bookmarked it. And even if I did bookmark it, I will only revisit if I need more information or need to make a quote from one of your articles.
Now if you present something for sale, I wouldn’t buy. Why? We have not built a relationship and so therefore, we have not built trust. I may just look at you as someone who is set to rip me off my hard earned money.
Now note this. I already got hooked by your detailed and educative article right from the first 2 minutes I found your blog. The article made plenty of sense to me, so much so that if you had asked me to sign up to your email list so as to get more detailed information privately, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. I would have signed up right away.
But you didn’t ask me to sign up.
You must know that people like to get three or more views from different blogs about a particular issue, before concluding. So when they leave your blog to another, don’t take it personal.
Now after leaving your blog, I will make my way to another blog that gives me the same information I’m looking for. Although it isn’t much different from yours, it is written in a different style and a few more points are added, or not.
However, before leaving the blog, I see an email subscription form. And It reads:
“Don’t Waste Data Browsing for this information again. Let us help you do the research and send our findings directly to your inbox. Subscribe below”.
I wouldn’t think twice before subscribing. What the blog is offering me is gold and I just want to claim it, happily. It means I can sit back and wait for them to do the research work for me.
Between the both of you, offering the same services, one is making a hell of a loss because he doesn’t have subscribers. While the other is smiling broadly because he/she has a full list of people they can sell products and services directly to, at a future date.
Of course, he/she will keep their end of the bargain by giving me what they promised. And then for more indepth information at a future date, they will charge me a small fee and because I feel indepted for all the assistance I’ve gotten from them so far, as well as because of the relationship that has been built overtime, I wouldn’t think twice before parting with my money. I will make the purchase.
Do you see the importance? Getting email sign-ups is equal to making it big in your business. It is like having potential customers give you their private mobile number and saying its ok to call them if and when you have something important they think they should look into.
Email listing is simply using an opt-in form to gather email addresses of your blog visitors. And Email Listing, is as important as having a blog and good content.
In my early years online, I refused taking email marketing seriously and I paid for it with low growth and low response to products and services. And I do not want you to go through the same problem.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marking is simply building a relationship with blog visitors through email, before ever daring to sell them something.
It is that simple. No relationship, no sales.
If you gain subscribers and send them no emails, they will forget about you. And when you eventually send them an email to purchase your new product, they will not take action. In other words, you’re on your own.
I am of the believe though, that you need an active blog to go with your email marketing and subscription.
From the time a subscriber joins your list, he/she should get a series of regular emails addressing the issues that made them subscribe. And most of these solutions are already on your blog as a blog post. You just direct them straight to it.
The emails should all be friendly. And once you’re done addressing those issuses, you can then go on to tell them about your upcoming event, your webinars, your book signing or book launch etc. You’re preparing them for the sales part.
Now you have to ensure that every email you send is of quality. Not just a message for the sake of message. It could be a new blog post too. And when the time comes for sales, at least 20 – 30 percent of those in your list will buy.
2. Three Real-Life Case Studies of the Importance of Email list building and Marketing (Infographics)
Before we go into these case studies, check out these highlights from mailmunch.com. I quote:
1. Email is the #1 activity on the internet – even over using a search engine. It’s also the #1 activity on mobile devices.
2. The average office worker checks their email 30 times an hour.
3. The total number of worldwide email accounts is expected to increase to over 5.2 billion accounts by 2018 – a growth of more than 26%.
4. 72% of consumers say that email is their favored conduit of communication with companies they do business with. 61% say they like to receive promotional emails weekly, and 28% want them even more frequently.
5. Email marketing has been cited as the most effective digital channel for customer retention.
6. When asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates, 90% preferred an email newBuilders.
With the above information handy, you now know why you need to build your email list.
Still not convinced email is the real deal?
Now check out these case studies done with infographics.
Look at “Most Important Lead Sources”. Here we can see that social media and blog beat email in inbound marketing, but not outbound.
Outbound is just about 10%. In social media and about 15% in blogs.
If we look further, we see that SEO tops the chart in inbound marketing with about 88%. But only about 4% in outbound marketing.
However, we can see, clearly, that email marketing is overall best, hitting 80% in inboind marketing and 81% in outbound marketing.
See this infographic from blog.capterra.com
3. Best Email List Builders
So what email list building and marketing provider should you use? There are several, and I’ll list them in no particular order:
1. Thrive Leads
3. Opt-in Monster
4. Popup Domination
8. Optin Panda
9. WP Subscribe
13. Constant Contact
16. Campaign Monitor
18. Email Brain
19. Mad Mimi
20. Benchmark Email
22. Graphic Mail
23. Target Hero
25. Jetpack etc
While the others are great platforms to build your email list and carryout email marketing, Jetpack is simply a free option for those not entirely serious about email marketing but would love to have people notified of new posts on their blogs.
When your visitors subscribe to a WordPress hosted blog via Jetpack or simply follow the blog, Jetpack is in charge of the list, as well as what is sent to them (which is, new blog posts).
You will get the email addresses of those who subscribed to your newsletter, but you definitely wouldn’t get the addresses of those who followed your blog via Jetpack.
There are major disadvantages of using Jetpack for your email list building. I wouldn’t advise any serious, business minded blogger, to go for it.
But for those of you who think Jetpack works for your purpose, sure, go ahead.
Now let us move on forward.
4. The Steps to Building Your Email List
Below are the steps to building your email list.
1. Your Blog
You need a platform that showcases and educates readers of what your business is about. Anyone seeing it should know what to expect from you. And those who know they’re going to benefit something special from you, will quickly subscribe to your email list.
Without a blog, you really have zero percent chance to getting subscribers.
Sure, we have Facebook. Mark Zuck and his team are doing fantastic work building Facebook pages into a mini blog. And the good news is, you can use it for sign ups too.
But be rest assured. If you’re so good with your business, and you pull in 5-10 subscribers a day with Facebook opt-in, you’ll definitely pull in more with your own blog.
Now when I say blog, I don’t mean a free blogspot.com or .wordPress.com domain. Sure, you could start with those. But to be taken very seriously, you need to upgrade to your name.com or your businessname.com. It is what you need. E.g. flashycars.com.
Some people start with just a domain name and rely on Blogger for hosting, at least, until they can get hosting. Using Blogger to host your domain is not a bad idea, as long as you make plans to upgrade within the next 5 to 6 months, tops.
You have to know that blogger still belongs to Google, and as such, anything can happen. And when I say anything, I mean ANYTHING.
Your name gives you more authority, control and attention, than a .blogspot.com or a .wordpress.com blog.
However, if your blog is under construction, you can still go ahead with building your email list before the blog launch, here is how to go about it.
Hey! Still working on your blog? See this article on what to put in place before launching your blog.
Get a landing page.
A landing page is a stand alone page where you drive traffic to if you don’t have a blog yet but want to create awareness for your business and grow your audience via email.
Your landing page could be a stand alone page in your website, while construction is still on going. It could be a stand alone Page hosted by lead pages or any other pages platform. Also, I could be a temporary free blog from Blogger or WordPress.
Getting a landing page isn’t enough though. A landing page + powerful copy that sells you, establishes you as an authority and moves your readers to sign up while awaiting your blog launch, is what you need.
As you get their email addresses, send them emails once or twice every week or if you’re busy, every month ending will do, as long as you’re delivering value and giving them updates about the blog progress and future launch.
Also, you could organize a contest with existing subscribers. Let them know that if they share your launch, participate in the Launch and even invite friends, you will reciprocate with a gift item or render free services.
The bottom line here is to have something you can use to COLLECT email addresses.
2. Good Content/copy
Getting a landing page is one thing. Splashing good content/copy is another.
Between a landing page and content, content wins. It is what you write that brings in traffic, increases email subscribers, get you buyers and repeat buyers. Still, depending on what/how you write, you will turn these people away.
If you’re not willing to invest whatever is necessary to have quality content, then believe me, your business wouldn’t last. Readers will see your posts as watery and therefore see no need to subscribe to your mailing list.
Why should they, when they’ve subscribed to other lists that give them quality. In fact, they are overwhelmed already by the amount of messages they receive daily. They sure wouldn’t want to add one that is poorly written and offers no real value.
Now you need to know that it is very possible to have quality in all the content types.
Types of content include:
It is always advisable to mix your well researched and well written article(s) with video or audio, or infographics or gifs. Better still, make it less complicated. You could write and post with pictures, or just do a video or an audio.
For the last two, the written content will only be an explanation or summary of what the video/audio is about.
See more on how to write good content here
3. Guest posts on different blogs
Darren of Problogger said he wrote over 80 guest posts while starting out as a beginner.
A few other top online business marketers said they wrote from 50 to over 100 guest posts in a year.
A lot of them are still writing guest posts today and because their names, posts and back links are scattered all over the internet, they pull in huge traffic and readily hit over 100 subscribers per week.
The reason guest posting to so stressed upon is because it is a gold mine to more traffic, exposure, establishing your expertise/authority and getting more subscribers.
The massive link backs alone make it possible for your business to go up in Google ranking. And if things continue to be smooth, you should finally rank as number one in the search engine and start pulling in high traffic just from search alone. A percentage of the traffic you get, will sign up for your newsletter.
So what are the basic steps to guest posting?
1. Look for blogs in your niche.
No, you don’t need to find blogs with heavy traffic. As long as they have an audience at all, they will do just great. Write down the names of each blog in a diary of in your word document.
Now when making your list for the blogs in your niche or related niches, ensure you come up with nothing less than 10 blogs you can approach.
2. Get the names and contact of the Editor for each blog. You can get this in the About Us page/ Contact page or through their social media handles. Also, you can make use of online directions like LimeLeads.
3. Search each blog thoroughly and pen down ideas that comes to you as you search. Look out for topics that have been written before, so you don’t find yourself writing a repeat which obviously, will be rejected.
4. Before you pen a word, find out if the blog is one that accepts guest posts.
5. Ensure your guest article is something that will benefit or entertain the readers you’re about to write for.
A better way to know what readers want is to check the comment section after reading each blog post. Readers usually drop solid hints in their comments.
If there are questions, by readers, that have not been attended to in any blog post, congrats, the question becomes your topic for the article you’ll prepare for that particular blog.
Now go to other blogs and repeat the process.
When you’re done, write cold emails to the Editors of each platform.
5. Making Good Use Of Your Social Media Platforms
The reason they are called social media is because people use it to socialize. Don’t go on social media all the time just to sell.
Socialize first then sell. In other words, spend 1 or 2 days in a week pushing sales on your social media platform, use the rest of the days to socialize.
Nobody on social media likes to be in a platform that only wants to sell. Give fun, give information and education first. Then put up sales.
Also, you can use paid adverts on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, just to boost traffic and sign ups.
Should you be on all social media platforms? No. Why? It drains you, especially if you’re solo. You can’t keep up with all the platforms and still run your blog successfully. You’ll have headaches and get confused along the way. So choose a few platforms you can work with.
The list is endless, but these are the most popular ones.
For me, I use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. I have a Google plus account but I do not use it all the time. Heck! It is not easy effectively coping with the four up there. I don’t think I want to add more to it.
Some top online businesses use only Facebook and Twitter. Some use Linkedin and Facebook.
6. What Should You Offer in Exchange for Email Addresses?
Email listing is like trade by barter. Give me chicken and I’ll give you chocolate. If you want people to sign up to your mailing list, you have to offer them something. Not just anything, but something of quality.
Almost every blogger is asking for email addresses these days. Inboxes are loaded with emails from platforms they subscribed to. And believe me, people are weary of it.
Too many emails. Too many messages. Too many offers.
When they see your opt-in form, they think, “oh, just another offer. Not interested.
To get them interested, your offer has to stand out. You need to be able to give them something of true quality.
Let use myself as an example.
I am weary of too many offers I get in my inbox on a daily basis. I delete some of them, but when I get messages from people like Karol Tice, Bamidele Onabulisi, Neville Medhora, Yaro Starak, Darren of Probloger, Danny Iny, Alex Rodrigo, Adam Short, Stuart Walker, Yuwanda Black and even Sue Denlevie, I read, I click on links. That is to say, I pay attention to whatever these people are giving because there is quality in it.
Alex Rodrigo offers email courses on how to make your blog better, the tools to use and how to make it attract your ideal customer.
Danny Iny teaches you the in and out of building your business.
Neville Medhora teaches you how to be a better copy writer so you can write copies that pulls in subscribers and skyrocket your sales.
I know of a fashion line that offers discounts to all subscribers, only.
I know of another fashion line that organizes regular contests and gives monthly winners $300 worth of gift item. It is a lot to give regularly, but is it pulling in more subscribers? Yes. Are the subscribers active? Yes. Is she also making sales? Yes. So in all, it is a good deal.
The question in your mind now should be, what can I offer my readers in exchange for their email?
It could be an ebook. It could be advise. It could be discounts.
To have a better idea, visit blogs in your niche, or related niches and see what they are offering their email subscribers.
Now offering something of quality at the start is one part. To keep giving quality so your email will always be clicked on, read and invoke action, is another thing.
To achieve the above, you have to keep communicating with your readers. Find out what they want and how you can help them. As long as you keep helping, they’ll keep reading your emails and taking action where necessary.
7. Where should your opt-in forms be in your website?
Research has shown that having your opt-in form at the header of your blog, as well as a pop-up form, gets more people subscribed.
This is because as soon as your page loads up, the first thing they see is an enticing offer. If they ignore it, it is not because they aren’t considering what you are offering. It is because they want to get straight to business first.
Now, if they scroll down, within a minute, a pop-up form emerges, showing them the same offer. It is enticing and they say to themselves, well, let me get it then.
Another way is, if they have already read your post somewhere before coming to your blog. They liked what you wrote and how you wrote it. As soon as they arrive at your blog, the first thing they will do is sign up because the form is right before their eyes.
It is best to ensure your form is in places where you’re sure your readers would see them. Do not hide it. I see some people keeping their forms at the bottom of the page. The truth is, unless you’re supper good and really trending, no one will bother to scroll to the end of your page, just looking for a sign up form.
So keep it at the top (depending on the positioning and message on your banner. If the opt-in blocks the banner, please remove it), and/or use a pop-up.
If you start building your email list today, you might build fast. You might not. Your success depends on the time, efforts and strategies you put into making your list grow. It is something to be nurtured.
I hope you learnt something from this article. I’ll love to hear thoughts in the comment section. Plus, if you have something you want to add to what I’ve written above, please drop it in the comment. I’ll really love to hear from you.