Starting An Email List | How To Get Your First Subscriber!
Why Do You Even Need An Email List?
If you’re a blogger and haven’t already started an email list, then it’s definitely something that should be a top priority. The basic principle is collecting emails from your readers so that you can contact them directly. There’s lots of important reasons why starting an email list should be a key part of your blogging strategy.
You own your email list, and no-one can take it away from you. It gives you access to your fans’ inbox and this is such a useful and vital part of starting to turn your blog into a business. Whilst social media is a great way to speak to your readers and show what you have to offer them, social media can change at any time.
The algorithms social media platforms use to connect you with people can be altered whenever they see fit. And not only that, but the popularity of them can also change. Remember how everyone loved MySpace not too long ago? How many of you use it now? Things can change dramatically and it’s best to have your own method of contacting your readers directly.
Your email list is yours, and there’s no algorithms for you to navigate! It’s sooo vital for your business and I can’t stress enough how important it is to get started straight away rather than wait. You might well regret it! I certainly wish I’d started mine sooner.
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What Is An Email Service Provider + How Do You Use It To Grow Your Email List?
The best way to start your email list is by deciding on an email service provider (ESP). This makes building your email list, and contacting your subscribers, super easy.
Getting set up with MailerLite is really easy, and you can transfer your list of subscribers across if you already have an ESP for your blog.
I love MailerLite for lots of different reasons:
- It’s free for your first 1000 subscribers and the priced plans once your list grows are reasonably priced too, making it a very affordable option
- The dashboard is really easy to navigate and I never got confused when I first set up my account
- Creating signup forms, landing pages and email campaigns is really simple and the templates are really well designed, making it super easy to get professional email marketing for your blog
The ESP that you choose will provide ways for you to gather emails. They are usually called forms, and they consist of entry spaces, for your readers to enter their name and email address. This will then link to your own service, and add them to your subscribers list.
MailerLite has lots of other functions that are also part of their free and paid plans, that make growing an email list simple and fun!
What Else Can You Use MailerLite For?
MailerLite has lots of different functions, and they are all free! The only upgrades you pay are when your total unique subscribers number goes over the first 1000. Your email list will take some time to grow, and so you will definitely make the most of the free period!
Under the forms section, you can create different ways to capture your readers’ email address. You can create static boxes to place within your content. These are super simple to build, look beautiful and really professional, and you can easily customise them to fit in with your brand.
You can also create landing pages. These are really useful if you have a service or product you want to promote, and you want to direct people straight to that page. Again, you can completely customise them to match your branding – which is extremely important.
Finally, you can create pop ups that appear on top of your content, and are triggered by a certain event. It might be the reader clicking on a certain page, or being on your site for a certain amount of time.
All of these look really professional, and if done properly, can convert lots of your readers into subscribers.
When you first join MailerLite, you will be given one email list – your primary list of subscribers where anyone who signs up from your forms will end up.
As time goes on, you may want to add new lists, and divide your subscribers based on certain actions, but for now, we will focus on the one list.
Once you have a list of subscribers, you can send them a newsletter, or campaign as it’s called on MailerLite. This is a one-off email that you send out on a weekly or monthly basis, and might link to new posts, your product of the month, or just be a general catch up message to your list.
We’ll look at these a little more in another post, as this needs a dedicated discussion! I have a couple of related posts to check out:
Automation is basically setting up pre-written emails to go out to your subscribers. I use a welcome sequence to give a proper welcome to new subscribers, and let them know what it is they will be getting from being part of the AIMH Squad!
This is really easy to do within MailerLite, although other ESPs do have this option. I did find it really easy to set up the workflow, give delays between emails, and only email to certain people or after certain criteria was met.
Like I mentioned, I have a welcome sequence, so when someone signs up from any of my forms, they will be entered into the welcome workflow. This sends them numerous emails over the first two or three weeks of them joining, and helps them get to know me and my blog, and what I’m all about.
You can create workflows with all different purposes in mind, but to begin with a basic welcome sequence is plenty! Once you’re confident and you’ve built up a big list of subscribers, then you can move on to creating sales funnels!
How To Get Your First Subscriber!
Firstly, we are going to look at using simple forms to gain email subscribers. These are boxes you provide within your content that readers can fill out and become a subscriber. You only really need to ask for their name and email address, although some I see do ask for more.
The less you ask of your readers the better in my opinion! Once you’ve created a form, you will need to think about what value you can offer in return for their email address. There’s nothing worse than a subscribe! button and no other information as to why they should.
Here’s the juicy bit!
People want value for their personal information – which I think is completely fair! Think of an ecommerce website – when you land on the page you often get a pop up which offers you 10% off your first shop in return for your email address. We’re talking about the exact same principle, just with blogging!
How Do I Do That?
To help get subscribers, it’s always worth offering them something free in return for their email address. They are giving you something that is personal, and you will have the ability to contact them at any point! Giving them something useful in return seems like a fair deal to me.
You have a few options – you can add a PDF download, an eBook, a help sheet or something else that you think will add value to your readers’ lives!
With Mailerlite, you can simply upload the document, download or ebook to your WordPress library, copy the URL and paste it into the thank you page of the form. When someone subscribes, they will be able to get their download directly and won’t have to wait for anything to come through via email.
For an example of this, you can subscribe to my list below, and see it in action. By signing up, you’ll be able to download the template for your first welcome email, containing everything you need to send to your brand new subscribers!
You can set up many different forms, with lots of different content upgrades, and still add everyone to the same email list. This makes it super easy to offer different sign up incentives, whilst keeping everyone in the same place!
Watch The Subscribers Come!
It shouldn’t take too long before you start to see the subscribers coming through! If you offer something that interests or educates the kind of people who will be reading your blog, then they will snap it up!
It can take time to build up a large email list – don’t beat yourself up! Spread the word via your social media, and people will soon catch on.
If you want help marketing yourself and your blog to grow your email list, check out some of these resources from All In My Head: