If you run any sort of business that has an online presence, then you should seriously consider building an email list. But what’s an email list and why should you have one?
An Email List Explained
An email list is simply a matter of collecting the email addresses of customers and potential customers with their consent. Just about every single one of us who uses the internet regularly will be subscribed to at least one email list.
Personally, I must be subscribed to anywhere between 50 and 100 email lists. I receive regular emails and newsletters from supermarkets all the way through to other online marketers.
As you collect email addresses and your list of warm leads grows, then you have a ready made list that you can market to or remarket to.
It is really nothing more than a database of contacts who have expressed interest in whatever it is you are offering. While this list isn’t fully qualified, your subscribers are considered at least warm leads rather than cold ones.
Email lists allow you to have another shot at potential customers. If someone visits your website, doesn’t take any action and just leaves, then you have most likely lost that person for life. If, however, they decide to sign up to your email list, then you at least have a way of contacting them again, possibly convincing them to buy your products, or introduce them to something new and wonderful you are offering.
How Do You Get People On Your List?
There are number of ways of doing this, but online by far and away the most common method of enticing people to cough up their email addresses is by offering them something for free; something relevant to your business that they will want.
It could be a free eBook, a free email course, the promise of future discount vouchers. Whatever it is, so long as it’s offered free and it’s relevant, then you have a chance of gaining subscribers.
This is what’s known as a “Lead Magnet”. You may have already heard the term, but if you haven’t, you will come across it over and over if you start getting into building a list and doing email marketing.
It can even be done in the offline world. Most offline businesses these days have a website; especially if they are a retail outlet. Many of them will even have online shopping portals.
Many times when I make a purchase in a shop these days I get asked if I would like to fill out a brief form and go on their mailing list, as in email list. There is always the promise of special promotions reserved only for those who are subscribers to their newsletter.
This often works as well, giving retailers a double shot at making a sale to you.
How Powerful Is An Email List?
We’ve already mentioned that getting people to subscribe to your list is a great way of being able to market to these people over and over again, rather than just simply letting them slip away. Another powerful component of having a quality list that is always growing is that you no longer have to wait for people to find you or your website.
Once they are signed up to your list, you can get in touch with them at will, emailing them your latest promotion, or just keeping your business in the forefront of their minds with some free, helpful content.
Affiliate Marketers and other online marketers always state that the “money is in the list”. Marketers claim that once they have established a sizeable list (usually in the thousands and beyond), that the majority of their income comes from marketing directly to their email list, rather than from customers simply visiting their websites through organic search.
This is huge! And it’s the truth.
These are qualified leads. Over time you will build a sense of trust with your list. So long as you aren’t hammering them daily with “buy this now” type of promotions and actually offer them the occasional bit of free content or advice, or a discount, these people will end up being your main buyers in the online sphere.
It is a common estimate that each person on your email list is worth approximately $1 per month to your business, calculating in promoting products to them regularly, how much the products are worth and so on.
Now imagine you have amassed an email list of 100,000 subscribers. That equates to being able to bring in $100,000 a month from email promotions alone.
What Is The Best Way To Build An Email List?
First, you will need to find a good autoresponder service. There are plenty of them out there, and two of the best ones are Aweber and GetResponse. I actually use GetResponse myself as they have a very user-friendly website and loads of free training that teaches you how to build a list. Their prices are also a little bit cheaper than Aweber’s.
An email autoresponder service will give you a platform to create opt-in forms and landing pages (squeeze pages). You see these everywhere, usually asking the potential subscriber to input their name and email address in order to access whatever is on offer. An autoresponder service will also enable you to set up a series of emails that will be sent to your subscribers on allotted days.
This greatly helps to automate the process; particularly if you are offering something like a free email course as your lead magnet. You can also blast your list with a special offer newsletter type email anytime you like. The other thing your email service will do for you is store your database of collected names and emails.
Now that you have enlisted the help of an autoresponder service you will need to get a lead magnet sorted. Once you have one, then you get to work creating an opt-in form and attaching your lead magnet to that form. When a new subscriber joins your list they will be taken to a page to download your lead magnet, if it’s in the form of downloadable digital content.
You can see my opt-in form and lead magnet in the top right-hand corner of this site. These people are now subscribed and will be sent the emails in your autoresponder series automatically on the allotted days.
This might all sound rather technical to the uninitiated, but it really is very simple once you know how. The best thing you can do once you join either Aweber or GetResponse is to take a look at their free tutorials which guide you through the entire process.
I hope this post has been of some value to you and cleared up a few points about what an email list is and why you should really build one.
The money truly is in the list.
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