Starting Your Email List from Scratch

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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
  2. A subscription to an email marketing platform (which you can start for free)

Hang tight; I will share my top three choices below, but before we go on I have a couple important things to mention.

You need an email address. While you can use a free email address from an email provider such as Gmail, I don’t recommend it. If you’re truly short on funds and that’s all you can afford, then I’ll always say, don’t let that this be the thing that stops you. Use your free Gmail account and start generating some funds. But as soon as you do, reinvest those back in your business by getting a paid email account.

Gmail accounts are great for all things personal, but when it comes to bulk emailing, your fighting an uphill battle. When sending emails your email list from Gmail, you’re more likely to end up in the spam folder, and struggle with deliverability. Deliverability is important because the more emails you send that people aren’t reading (either because they end up in Spam, the Promotion tab, or because they just weren’t interested) the more harm you’ll do to your sending authority.

You can get a paid email account using your own domain through Google Workspace. You can also inquire to see if your domain provider offers email. If you already have website hosting, you may be eligible for an email account with your website host, too.

Still need a domain? Right now, you can get a domain for as low as $5.98 for the year with Namecheap. You’ll also get a 2-month free trail of an email address at your domain. This is the option for you if you want great results at a steal of a price.

Note: You may be wondering why you can’t just collect email addresses and add them to your contacts, skipping the whole third-party with the email marketing platform. Due to anti-spam laws, you’ll need to make sure people are choosing to opt-in to your emails, and you need to give them the option to unsubscribe. Beyond that, using the email marketing platform is going to give you the ability to track and analyze your email statistics. You can see who’s opening your emails, who’s clicking the links inside, and what sort of content performs the best with your audience.

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.

For a comparison on these three email marketing platforms, check out this post.

Before you go, there are way too many people who tell you that you need to start and grow your email list…but they neglect to tell you HOW to do it. But that’s not my style. I’ve created something to help you hit the ground running and grow your number of email subscribers FAST. Download the free PDF resource below.

Mockup of the free PDF download, 7 Ways to Get More Email Subscribers Fast.
Free Download

7 ways to Get More Email Subscribers Fast

When you download 7 Ways to Get More Email Subscribers Fast, you’ll get actionable steps that you can start implementing immediately.

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