Email marketing can be one of the top sources of income for any business. The trick is making sure you approach your audience the right way. I'll walk you through step by step about how to build an email list the right way, and ultimately show you the tools and resources to profiting from your list, and what the best email marketing software out there is.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is simply promoting or recommending products and services to your subscribers. These products or services should be relevant to your industry, and should be sincere recommendations that will truly help your audience achieve their objectives.
As these products or services are promoted to your email subscribers, when they are clicked on and your subscriber purchases that product or service, you get a commission off the sale. This is the affiliate marketing part of email marketing.
The correct way to build your email list from scratch
If you don't yet have a website or a blog of any sort that's OK. But you do need to have a specific niche or industry that you will be targeting. For more information on how to decide on a niche or target market, click here.
For those of you that have your niche defined, lets get started.
When was the last time you subscribed to an email list? What were you doing and how did you end up deciding to sign up?
Your answer to those two questions above can give you a wealth of knowledge on where to start. I'm willing to bet that you were first browsing on the web about a topic, looking for some advice or information specific to your research topic.
You probably came across an enticing website that had a great title enticing you to click on the page and learn more. I'm also willing to bet this process happened multiple times, and you probably read through multiple pages but none seemed to have the answer that you are looking for.
You stumble upon a page that seems to have great content, it lays out the content of the article plain and clear, and BINGO. They have given you a brilliant response to your question or research.
Upon reading their well formulated article, you notice that the author must be well versed in the subject, and offers you his recommended resource list and training course on the subject, he just needs your email address so he knows where to send it. Without second thought, you've entered your email and you're awaiting your anticipated FREE training course and resource list.
Not only did you receive that, but you also received a template to track all your tools and resources within your niche. You are now a happy subscriber and look forward to their emails every week!
The step by step process laid out…
Does any of that sound familiar? The process really is simple. Don't get too caught up in the “analysis paralysis” syndrome. If your still wanting some clarification, here are the steps to building a quality email list.
1. Content is KING
I'm sure you've heard that phrase before, but its true! Before you build a list, you've got to have an enticing page or great content to first attract the visitors. Now I'm not saying you have to have a complete website or blog set up, but you need an enticing offer or answer to a common question. This is what gets the customer in the door. (here's a great place to start your website/blog for those of you who don't have one yet)
Most people begin with a landing page. A landing page is a simple one-page website that has some great content. It generally has no ads of any sort, and has one objective and one objective only…give me your email or leave. (OK maybe that was put a little too bluntly). But essentially that's what we want our traffic to do.
The content is focused around throwing out small enticements scattered throughout the page that gets your visitors to take action and spark curiosity about the topic or question of the page.
First, you want to do a bit of keyword research. Find out what your target audience is searching online, what questions they have and even what questions you had about the topic before you became the expert. Make sure you have a trusted research tool so your data is accurate.
You don't want to be targeting keywords that have too much competition, or you'll never get noticed. I personally use these guys when researching keywords.
2. Give away helpful information for FREE
They key here is FREE. The question your visitor is asking when you ask for their email is “what's in it for me?”
You need to give them something of value that will help them in some way or another.
This is done through giving away free items such as:
- training course
- recommended tools and resources
- case studies
- market updates
- how to videos/article's
The most common of the above is probably the ebooks. For more information on how to write a great ebook in 24 hours, click here.
Make sure your free giveaway is relevant to the landing page and the content you have posted. Relevance is vital. If you have a landing page about health and fitness, and offer a free math training course, chances are no one is going to bite your bait.
3. Drive traffic to your landing page
If you have a website or blog, the easiest and most cost effective way to begin getting email subscribers will be directly through your website/blog. You will simply want to scatter a few enticing links within your website that lead to your landing page. Again, make sure it is relevant to the content within your blog. (click here to set up a free website with instructional videos and trainings)
Google Adwords is a sure way to get traffic to your landing page. The downside is you need to put a little bit of money up to use them. You can set up a small budget that fits your circumstances, and build an ad with Google and pay Google to send traffic to your landing page.
You can even target the traffic you have sent there through keywords and chosen industries that you have pre-selected.
Another easy way to get traffic to your landing page is using social media. If you don't have these already, I HIGHLY recommend you set up the following social media accounts for your business:
Depending on your industry may also determine how well each social media account drives traffic to your page. Personally, I get a good amount of traffic through Twitter and Pinterest.
You can even have your posts scheduled out weeks in advance so you can spend time working on your business, rather than planning posts. These guys are a great tool for just that.
4. Set up an auto responder email sequence
Just like social media can be time-consuming without a social media scheduling tool, so can sending out emails to your email list. You should have a sequence of emails that are sent out on a regular basis that each new subscriber gets. These emails are pre-made and will send “x” number of days after the last email was sent. This is called an email sequence. An email auto responder is a company that provides this service for you. This essentially puts your emails on autopilot.
An email auto responder will keep your visitors engaged, and keep you top of mind when they think about anything in your industry.
Not only that, but you will have created a funnel of great content and an occasional affiliate link for your audience. Again this allows you to continue working on your business, while keeping your audience engaged.
I personally have tried multiple auto responders, and these guys are by far the easiest to work with, and have the simplest options. Simplicity makes life easier.
5. Focus on being helpful, not selling a product or service
Too many online entrepreneurs work so hard at “selling” a product or service that the reader totally loses interest in what they have to offer. No one likes to be sold by a car salesman, but hey, who doesn't like buying a new car??
By focusing on being helpful within your content, naturally your audience will take action and your email list will grow like wild fire! Before you know it, you're being featured in the news for your great input and content on the said topic/industry!
Persistence is KEY!
Most people will start these easy steps, and a couple weeks in will give up. Building an audience takes hard work, dedication and persistence. If you keep to the process, and just make it a part of your daily routine, it is inevitable that your list will grow. If your not failing at something, you're not trying hard enough!
Please post any further questions or comments below, transparency is always welcome!
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