Marketing for Small Business

The other day I was talking to my husband about something I was doing for work and I used the name, “MailChimp” in just about every sentence. Eventually, he tuned me out, and I became annoyed. When I brought it to his attention, he apologized. He said, it was like I was speaking another language and he didn’t even know what MailChimp was.

Since I’m so immersed in working with entrepreneurs starting up their own businesses daily, I sometimes find myself with a skewed perspective of what is “common knowledge.” Today, I’m going to break building your email list down from the very beginning.

Why Start an Email List?

If you have a business, but you haven’t started an email list yet, then this needs to go to the very top of your to-do list. Don’t do anything else for your business, until you do this. You can get it set up, for free, in under hour, so put it in your calendar right now and make an appointment with yourself to get it done.

Not only is it free, and relatively easy to get started, it’s going to be one of your strongest marketing tools for years to come. Your email list, gives you direct access to your customers. You don’t have to spend hours trying to learn or beat the newest algorithm on social media, only to have it change again. You don’t have to rely on the customer being on a certain social media platform and researching where they’re hanging out now. And by the way, that just changed again.

But do you know where most everybody is? Checking their email, checking it regularly, and carrying their email around with them everywhere they go (even to the bathroom)!

It’s happening more and more that people and businesses are inexplicably ending up in “Facebook jail.” And when that happens, they can’t post comments or share links to their audience to even let them know that they can’t reach out! But if those people and businesses have their customers’ email addresses, guess what! They can still contact their people.

What Do I Need To Start an Email List?

You need only two things to start an email list: 1) an email address (which you can get for free from Gmail) and 2) a subscription to an email marketing platform (again, which you can get for free). Hang tight; I will share my top three choices below.

No Website Necessary

Sometimes, people are hesitant to start an email list because they don’t feel ready. They don’t have a website, they’re not making much money yet, or they aren’t consistently producing valuable content. You don’t need a website or money to get started. I’m not going to tell you that you don’t need consistent, valuable content, but it doesn’t have to be a full blown blog, vlog, or podcast, you just need to email your list once a week, just like you would a friend. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be complicated or a design masterpiece. It just needs to appeal to your ideal customer and keep them coming back for more, week after week.

The question then becomes, how you do you get people to signup for your email list without a website? These email marketing platforms will offer free landing pages. While the process will be slightly different for each one, there’s often a template that gets you up and running quickly. It’s a simple webpage, which email marketing platform will host and provide you the link to. On the landing page that you setup, there will be an option to choose which information you want your customer to input (including their email), and the email marketing platform will automatically track and add that person to a your list.

Note: Not only do you not need a website to get started, a lot of email marketing platforms are even offering some free website options. Now, of course, these aren’t going to be my first choice of website because you’re very limited in your customization, but this may be a good place for you to start, especially if you’re just beginning to explore your business opportunities.

My Top 3 Choices for Email Marketing Platforms

There are more options for email marketing platforms than I could even list. You could spend months comparing all the options. Luckily for you, I’ve been doing it for years. These are my top three favorite options: MailerLite, MailChimp, and ConvertKit.

Come back next week when I’ll be comparing these three options for email marketing platforms. Are you interested in seeing a tutorial on how to set up the landing page? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll put something together.

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