Using your social media accounts to spread the word about your business is all well and good but email is still the best way to keep in touch with an active subscriber base.
Twitter users and the like hop on and off their news feeds at different times during the day, and it’s no secret that Facebook messes with your followers’ news feeds – especially if you’re a business.
What this means for you is that unless you spam the crap out of your social media accounts, or shell out for a paid post on Facebook, you have no idea who is receiving your message. And even flooding your accounts with the post is no guarantee that you are reaching maximum saturation.
With an email list, you at least know your followers will see the message whenever they open their email client. Of course, this is no guarantee they will open it, but at the very least they will see the subject heading. It’s up to you to make it catchy enough to compel your customers to read the juicy bits inside.
So, just how easy is it to start capturing emails? Extremely easy in fact as you only need two things: an autoresponder, and an offer as the incentive to sign up.
There are heaps of autoresponders in the marketplace, with perhaps the most popular being Aweber. Others you should take a look at are Get Response (probably coming in second in popularity to Aweber), iContact, Mail Chimp, and a fairly new entry to the arena which looks promising is EmailOctopus.
Both MailChimp and EmailOctupus offer their services to newbies free of charge forever, but only to a relatively small list. As we’re talking a couple of thousand they are perfectly adequate to get started with but you need to be aware that MailChimp does not offer autoresponder abilities with their free plan.
Most of the others offer a free trial period, and then a small monthly fee after that.
However, you want to ensure you can keep working with whoever you choose to sign up with, as changing Autoresponders -especially with a big list – can be a real pain in the butt. Just make sure they offer everything you need from the beginning.
The real power of an email list is in the autoresponder. Fortunately, these are easy to setup but your service provider will have in-depth tutorials available should you get stuck.
Once you have your autoresponder all working you now need to go about setting up your landing page with an opt-in form.
The Landing Page and Opt-in Form?
Autoresponder services make it fairly easy for even the most technically challenged to get started with collecting emails.
With every service I have tried there have always been a number of templates to choose from. Select the design you like, copy the code, and then paste it into your website. If you run your website on WordPress then there are plenty of plugins to make it very simple. The autoresponder services are also very good at proving in-depth tutorials to help you get started.
Having a signup in your sidebar is as simple as cutting and pasting the code into a text widget after you have placed it in the section where you want it to show up.
How Much Information Do You Capture?
A great landing page can make magic happen, but how much and what information should you capture with your opt-in form? The general consensus is as much as you need to get the job done.
Studies have been conducted which have shown that simply asking for an email and no more is an excellent starting point as statistically, this will capture you more leads.
Once you have the client in your sales funnel then you can gradually get more information out of them such as name, occupation and so forth. This information is much easier to obtain once they have been a member of your list for a while and you have built up some trust.
The Offer (Or Incentive to Sign Up)
Basically, it can’t be crap, but it can be pretty much anything else. Most subscribers join up to receive a free report but physical items can work as well. One famous Internet Marketer offered a credit card survival knife for free in exchange for an email list (and address of course) and got thousands of subscribers.
When your subscribers sign up you can set your autoresponder to send out the report immediately, or wait a specified amount of time. As they will have signed up to receive something, immediately seems like it should always be the preferred option.
Once your subscribers have received their free report, you should also have a regular series be sent out via the autoresponder which complements the report. Be sure to have an obvious call to action in every email you send out. Each email should also be full of relevant helpful information without having a glaring sales pitch. It’s all about building relationships and instilling trust.
This article covers the bare-bones basics. The important thing is to get started. Don’t wait for 2 years down the road where you find yourself full of regret about not having started your list building efforts from the beginning. Trust me, it happens.
If you want more info on what to actually do with your email list once it’s up and running and you have some subscribers I would head on over to theCoffeeDate. This lady really knows her shizzle when it comes to selling online and has some greats for optimizing your email sales funnel.
I’m Glad to Help. If all of this email list malarkey confuses the crap out of you just send me a line and I’ll be happy to help in any way I can. Once you’ve done a few they’re all pretty much the same so please don’t hesitate to contact me.Use the email at the top of this page.
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