10 Steps to Setting Up Your Email List

Starting an email list isn’t as difficult as you think.

A lot of us think of starting an email list as a chore. Something that’s hard to do. They often think  –what will I say or offer to keep people interested?  However, you should know, starting an email list might just be a matter of following these ten simple steps and having a plan.

Let’s dive in!

Step One
The first step is to define your purpose and long-term strategy for your email list. What’s your why to start your email list? You might want to build a list where you only market affiliate products to earn a commission or maybe you want to provide only content or promote your own products.  The big questions is — Once you have a list of subscribers, what will you do with it?

Step Two
Define your target market. This is where you need to think about and determine who can use what you’re offering? Who can your products or services help? This will help you decide how you will drive traffic to your email list and how you market to that email list.

Step Three
Create or purchase rights to PLR for the free gift or offer that’s going to incentivize people to sign up to your list. Typically, a marketer will give away a free gift to those that sign up for their list. You’ll find most people not keen to give out their name and email address, so a free gift often sweetens the pot just enough. It’s common to use a free report PDF or other informational product, but you can always set yourself apart from everyone else by offering something different.

Step Four
Create a dedicated webpage for the opt-in webform for your offer. This is the page where you’ll send traffic to sign up to your list.  You will want to include this link on your website, blog, Facebook Page, your email signature and any other strategic places where people may see it.  You will get your opt-in form code from your autoresponder to put on this page.

Step Five
Create a ‘thank you’ page so that when a person enters their name and email, they are immediately  redirected to this page. You will want a message on this page confirming their opt-in and telling them to check their email to confirm their subscription and get their free gift. There are default ‘thank you’ pages are available, but it’s much better to create your own so it’s more personal and has your voice.

Step Six
Create a confirmation webpage. Once your new subscribers click the confirmation link in their email, you can immediately redirect them to this page where they can download their free gift and view any other special offers you might want to present here. Sometimes it’s a good idea to make a one-time offer of a complimentary product that compliments your free gift.

Step Seven
Sign up for an email marketing system. An email marketing system is a software program that allows you to manage your list and send out broadcast messages. A few of the most popular are Infusionsoft, MailChimp, Aweber and ActiveCampaign. This will range in cost so be mindful to get what you need for your business.  It’s okay to start small and grow up to a bigger program with all the bells and whistles. If you’re planning to import emails that you’ve already gathered, keep this in mind when choosing a program, because some systems make it easier than others. If you need help picking a system, take a look at this article for help.

Step Eight
Your email marketing system will have steps & instructions to help you set up your initial list. You’ll be asked to enter information such as name, 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 system generates and put it wherever you want your sign-up form to appear on your webpage from Step Four.

Step Nine
Almost there, write a welcome email with a link to the download page that has the free gift people were promised. Keep the message conversational, friendly, and let’s your personality shine through as people like to know there is a real person behind that email.  It helps them relate to you better.

Step Ten
And finally, test everything, every single step. Sign up for your list to make sure the process is smooth for your end user. Send yourself test message, read it for flow and be sure to check all the links in this email. Make any necessary changes to fix any errors as necessary.

That’s it!  Ten simple steps and you’re well on your way.

Need a spot to plan your email list? Let us help you.


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