Your email list is the most powerful way to connect with your audience. It’s a more personal, intimate form of communication especially compared to social media. An email list is a collection of your biggest, most loyal fans. They’ve taken the time to opt-in and receive your content regularly.
The subscribers on your email list are more engaged than most of your followers. They’re more likely to take action when you launch a product because they know the value you bring to the table. My email list is my business’ most valuable asset because it’s the best way for me to build a meaningful relationship with my audience.
Whether you’re just starting or struggling to gain more subscribers – here is everything I did that grew my email list from 0 to 100k (and how you can too)!
How I Grew My Email List from 0 to 100k
An email list is crucial because you can’t build high-value content on rented land… at least you shouldn’t. A large following on Instagram is incomparable to a smaller, engaged email list. When someone subscribes to receive your emails, they are inviting you to share your knowledge and expertise directly with them. In order to gain that level of trust, you must…
Understand Your Audience’s Needs and Desires
Before someone hands over their email address, they need to know, like, and trust you. Understanding what your audience’s needs are and offering them something of value is a sure way to establish those 3 elements. Having a blog will help you better understand who your audience and readers are.
If you’re clear about your niche and the content buckets that fit within them, your blog posts will answer questions that your ideal reader might have. For instance: if you’re a luxury travel blogger, your content buckets may include destination guides, hotel reviews, and travel tips. Your ideal reader may come across one of your blog posts while searching for the best luxury hotels in a specific destination. If your post is detailed and informative, they will find more helpful information while scrolling through your blog.
By establishing yourself as an expert in your niche, readers will start turning to your blog in search of answers and advice. And if you have a free downloadable resource that is highly valuable to them, they’ll enter their email in exchange for that freebie and any additional advice you provide in your emails.
Getting to Know Your Target Audience
There are a few ways to better understand your audience’s needs and desires. First, you have to get clear about who your ideal audience is! Here are a few questions to help you gain some clarity:
- Are they male or female?
- What age range do they fall in?
- What are their hobbies?
- Where do they live?
Once you have a clear idea of who your ideal audience is, it’ll be easier to understand the types of questions they need answers to.
It is also important to start communicating and engaging in conversations with your audience. Respond to the comments you receive on both your blog and social media channels. If you have an engaged following on Instagram, ask questions in your stories or use features like polls and quizzes. At the end of the day, the more content you write for your blog, the easier it is to understand what your readers’ needs and desires are.
Establishing Yourself as a Trusted Resource
If you’re trying to get someone on your email list, having a blog that delivers lots of juicy, valuable content that you know your audience wants to consume is a must. However, offering a freebie gives them a better incentive to subscribe to your list.
After you’ve gotten to know your audience and what their needs and desires are, you can spend some time creating a high-quality freebie. I created my first freebie when I learned what my audience struggled with most. I knew they wanted to build a career as an influencer, so I created a downloadable PDF guide to growing on Instagram. My second freebie was a fun quiz that someone could take to figure out which online job best suits their personality. And today, my valuable freebie is delivered in the form of two free classes.
A freebie is a basic level exchange to get someone to subscribe to your email list. There are so many different types of freebies you can create from guides, webinars, quizzes, tutorials, even templates. Once you understand the types of information your audience is looking for, you can create a highly-valuable freebie that they simply cannot resist.
Choosing an Email Marketing Platform
An email marketing platform will keep your email list organized by storing subscribers’ emails, names, as well as protect their contact information. It’ll automatically remove unsubscribers if they choose to opt-out of your list, and add them automatically when they opt-in.
Most importantly, email marketing platforms keep track of analytics that’ll help you improve your emails such as open rates, bounce backs, subscribes, and unsubscribes. It’ll also automate your freebie download process when someone opts-in to your list.
If you have multiple freebies, an email marketing platform can help you segment each list to give you a better idea of what each person in your audience prefers.
For example: if you have a yoga freebie and a meditation freebie, you can have your email marketing platform segment that list. It could be organized by those who are interested in yoga, and those interested in meditation depending on the freebie they’ve downloaded. This is especially helpful when you launch a product. If you’re launching a line of yoga equipment, you’ll be able to hyper-focus on the list that downloaded the yoga freebie.
There are so many email marketing platforms to choose from like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and ConvertKit. The one I recommend is ActiveCampaign.
Creating an Inviting Opt-in Page
An opt-in page is a place where people can subscribe to your email list. Once you’ve created your freebie, your opt-in page is where people will sign up in order to receive it. I highly recommend Leadpages. It is easy to use, and it allows you to create a visually pleasing landing page with minimal effort. Although you could build your own opt-in page through your blog, it will take a lot of advanced coding. Leadpages will take all the fuss out of it while providing all the necessary functions.
Strategic Promotion to Drive Traffic to Your List
Once you’ve set up all the technical details, you’ll want to drive traffic to your opt-in page. Here are 4 free ways to promote your email list (and freebie) strategically:
- Placing optimized opt-in forms in strategic places on your blog (i.e the sidebar of your blog or in a section of your homepage)
- Promoting your opt-in in relevant blog posts
- Social media links (or the link in your bio on Instagram)
- Using language that incentivizes people to sign up
If you’ve done the work to create a freebie that will deliver what your audience is looking for, these 4 strategic tips will encourage your readers to take action.
Want to see explosive growth on your email list? Facebook and Instagram ads are a great way to drive massive amounts of traffic. This is not a necessary step but it’s definitely a great method, especially if you’re preparing for a product launch. Frannie Coggeshall, founder of the Facebook and Instagram ads agency – Elevate Her Marketing, offers great insight on why ads can be a game-changer when building your email list in this episode of Her Life, By Design.
Invest More Time in Building Your Email List
Most influencers and entrepreneurs know the power of social media. What they fail to realize is that an email list offers an ROI of up to 3800%. This knowledge makes a huge difference in the areas where business owners should be investing more of their time. An email list is harder to build than your following on social media, which makes it more valuable.
When a subscriber opts-in to your email list, they are inviting you into their inbox. They find value in what you say and are interested in your content. This means your subscribers don’t want to miss a beat and are being notified every time you send a new email. Unlike social media where a follow may not necessarily mean they’ll see all your latest content. Once you’ve committed to starting your email list, don’t take that responsibility lightly. Be sure to offer value on a consistent basis, nurture your subscribers, and keep nourishing that relationship.
The best time to start building and nurturing your email list was yesterday. But since you’re here, now is a great time to start. If you want to learn more about increasing blog traffic and therefore, building your email list – I’ll be delivering a free class that’ll help you lay the foundations to establish a powerful, valuable, and engaged list of subscribers.