Marketing is a very broad subject and is not complete without email marketing. Beyond simply being one of the many strategies for marketing successfully, email marketing is one of the best ways to build a strong brand. If you are looking to take advantage of email marketing in building a strong brand or promoting your book, you will need to know how to set up an emailing list.
Before learning how to build an author emailing list, you must know what an email list is all about.
What is an Emailing List?
An email list is simply a portfolio of email addresses that a firm, individual or organization makes use of in sending materials to several recipients at once. These materials usually serve a marketing purpose.
Generally, individuals and organizations have access to people’s email addresses after these people visit their blog or website.
An emailing list can also be described as the total number of subscribers an individual or organization has. This makes it synonymous with a subscribers list.
Why Building an Emailing List is Important
You don’t need to set up an emailing list if you do not know why you need one. Well, with an emailing list, you can always get in touch with your readers in very personalized ways. Emailing lists offer you the level of engagement you cannot get from tweets and blog comment sections. With an emailing list, your content is not constructed on rented space.
This means you have unrestricted access to your subscribers without the need for a third party like Facebook or Twitter.
When you have an emailing list, you do not have to sell products before monetizing them. You can always notify those on your list each time you have a new post on your blog. Take Kindleprenuer as an example, each time there is a new post on the blog, everyone on their email list gets notified about the new blog post.
Steps in building an author emailing list
Setting up an emailing list might seem complicated if it is something that you have never done before. Nonetheless, it is not a very difficult thing to do if you follow the right steps.
That being said, below are steps you should follow when looking to set up/build an author emailing list;
1. Select a Trusted Email Marketing Provider
It will be impossible to set up an emailing list if you do not get in touch with a trusted email marketing provider.
That’s why it is arguably one of the most important steps to follow in setting up an emailing list. That’s because if you want to succeed in creating an emailing list, you will need to find a good email marketing provider.
One of such is Convertkit, Getresponse, Mailchimp, etc
Sending emails to prospective customers or readers is a lot different from sending emails to people you have an informal relationship with.
This means you cannot just use your Gmail address. If you decide to make use of your regular email address, you will be going against the basic law of email marketing.
Additionally, if you do this, growing your email marketing list will become extremely challenging. The reason for this is it is impossible for people to sign up to join your email marketing list if you make use of your personal email address to send emails to prospective clients.
If you think you will need to spend so much money before you can make use of the right email marketing provider, you are wrong as you can always get started by making use of a free email marketing provider.
So, you can get started with a provider that offers free services and grow to one that does not charge so much and is also easy to use.
2. Create an Email Marketing Account
After selecting the email marketing provider that you are most comfortable working with, you will need to take a step further. This next step involves the creation of an account.
This is the point where you get signed up to whatever email marketing provider that you have decided to work with.
For example, you can sign up with the Convertkit email marketing app and set up your campaign.
3. Setup an opt- in Form or Create a Landing Page
Once you successfully create an email marketing account, you have to proceed to create an opt-in form or landing page. This firm will give prospective subscribers the freedom of signing up to join your email list through your website.
For example, you can create your Convertkit form or landing page from the website and integrate the form ID into your website.
When filling your form, in a couple of words, you should let the people know what they should expect when they sign up to become a part of your mailing list. In as much as it is important to be honest, you should not just put up anything.
Ensure your statement about convincing people to sign up to your mailing list is very engaging. With this, it will be difficult for the average person to turn down your proposal.
How Opt-in Form Works
An opt-in form is a tracking form that your email marketing platform uses to track users on your website. Once a user fills the form, the details will be sent to your email marketing platform. For instance, it will be sent to convertkit who will store the user’s email. You can access the subscribers in your convertkit dashboard or your email marketing dashboard.
Challenges of Creating a Website
Most email marketing websites have a custom landing page that you can use to collect users’ data. For example, convertkit has a custom landing page that you can design to fit your need and use for the collection of subscriber’s information. It removes the stress of building a website. With the form or landing page, you can collect your subscriber’s email addresses and names and send them customized newsletters.
Also, you can still promote the landing page or form on various social media platforms like Facebook. It is easy to do.
However, if you have a website, all you need to do is to integrate the Convertkit API or your chosen email marketing platform API and use it to collect your visitors’ data.
4. Create a Newsletter
An emailing list is a marketing tool and is supposed to help you earn some more money.
However, when dealing with people, you should not always be about money. In as much as an email list gives you the freedom of sending notes about the things you are looking to promote, you should not be in a haste to send these notes.
Setting up an emailing list is beyond promoting products.
Before running off and sending notes about the things that you are looking to promote, always strive to offer value.
This value could be in form of important information or simply entertainment.
While there are many ways to offer value, this might not be as easy to carry out successfully if you are just getting started with email marketing.
The implication of this is you might have to get subscribed to the email list of established brands. Once you do this, take time to analyze the emails that they send. With this, it will be less challenging to structure your emails in ways that your target audience will not find annoying.
Before going ahead to write your first newsletter, learn how to write it first.
Additionally, you have to make up your mind on how often you will be sending these newsletters.
In as much as it is good to put out letters frequently, you should avoid sending out newsletters if you do not have anything to say to your subscribers.
Forcing yourself might work at the outset. However, it will end up getting your subscribers bored.
In as much as it is important to only send out quality newsletters, don’t let your subscribers wait for too long before you go on with a fresh newsletter.
For a start, you can send newsletters to your subscribers once a week.
Beyond knowing what to send and how frequently to send newsletters to your subscribers, you should have a structure.
This way, there is an expectation for every newsletter sent to your subscribers.
Your journey towards setting up an emailing list will be incomplete in the absence of structure.
You could have a simple structure that involves famous quotes, some insight, or your personal experiences.
Still, on structure, you should have a call-to-action which will help in closing your letter.
Your subscribers are not your friends. This regardless, you should write like someone talking to a friend. This will make your subscribers feel at home.
5. Put Together a Welcome Message
When looking to market with email messages, you should not just begin sending marketing newsletters to your subscribers without first sending them a welcome message. The implication of this is as new subscribers join your newsletter, they should automatically get a welcome message.
It is good to send a welcome message. However, beyond just sending a welcome message, you need to send the right welcome message.
Your welcome message should offer words of appreciation to your subscribers. This way, they will feel like a major part of something interesting.
After a note of appreciation, you should make your subscribers aware of the things they should look out for as a part of your subscribers’ list.
6. Put Together a free Offer
The ultimate aim is to market your products. However, your newsletter should not just be all about you. You will need to think about creating a good bond with your subscribers. One way to do this is by giving them freebies.
When looking to offer fresh subscribers freebies, you do not have to give them anything expensive. You can settle for something as simple as a free ebook, a discount, an email course, a video tutorial, a cheat sheet, etc.
THE above freebies are great. However, they might not work for everyone.
Also, read 8 Powerful Tips to Follow in writing a book
So, to make an impression with your customers, you should try to find out about some of their struggles and offer solutions to these struggles.
7. Set up a Landing page
A freebie is supposed to be a major attraction. However, it might not work this way if people are unable to find it. The implication of this is as you set up an emailing list, you should set up a great landing page. I have talked about the landing page above.
Your landing page should be an introduction to your freebie. With this, people know what they stand to get by signing up. This way, they will not need to be persuaded before they sign up.
Always remember that your Ad campaign is what draws the attention of users to your landing page and it is your landing page that convinces users to subscribe to your mailing list.
8. Get Traffic towards Your Freebie
You have a freebie at this point. Now, you need to make your freebie count. Doing this is simple. You will need to promote it.
Promoting your freebie is easy. You can make use of social media platforms, Facebook groups, blog posts, etc.
Furthermore, you can use a short free ebook as a freebie to draw the attention of readers.
Proofreading what you are sending to your users is vital to the success of your newsletter. You need to make out time to proofread your newsletter content before sending it to users. You don’t want users to read a newsletter that is full of grammatical errors. You can use Grammarly to proofread before sending.
10. Schedule Your newsletter
Sometimes, you may not have time to write weekly newsletters, so the best thing is to schedule your newsletter after writing. Most of the email marketing platforms have features that allow users to schedule their newsletter. This feature works by pushing the already written newsletter to subscribers to a date set by the author.
11. Email Campaign Platform Pricing
Pricing is one of the determinant factors in choosing an email marketing platform. While most of the platforms are free, the major ones offer free and paid plans. With the free plan, you can have access to only limited features. The premium plan will give you access to unlimited features. It is advisable to start from the free plan and later upgrade to the premium plan.
12. What’s Your Plan?
This should be the first step. However, I decided to keep it here. Why? So that you will make a plan after learning how setting an emailing list works.
At this stage in setting up an emailing list, you need a plan to be successful. If you do not have a plan, you will struggle to be consistent.
You will need a great deal of brainstorming here. This will help you find out about upcoming events that you can plan with. With this sorted out, you should have your newsletter ready for a couple of months.
With the right attention to detail, you will not struggle to set up an emailing list. Also, if you get started with a free package, you will need to upgrade as your subscribers grow.