An e-mail list is a powerful asset to any business. It can be the key difference between your business being a side hustle and a full-time income. Here are our tips for how to build an email list to grow your business and reach your goals.
Hey, y’all! We (like all entrepreneurs) have made mistakes in our business that probably cost us a lot of money in earnings. One of those mistakes for us was not to grow our email list sooner than we did.
We thought that by doing a lot of Facebook Lives we were engaging with our audience and building trust to create lifelong customers.
And we were. To a point.
But, one thing we didn’t think about at the time was that our Facebook followers weren’t really “our” people. What I mean is that if Facebook (or Instagram, Pinterest, etc) were to fold, we would have lost almost all of our business with it.
Then we learned about the power of building an email list.
With an email list, ALL the social media platforms could go down, and you’d still have your e-mail list to engage with your audience! You own your list, AND you can send engaging emails and use it to build trust and loyal customers.
How To Build An Email List
When you simplify it, getting someone to subscribe to your email list is a transaction. You want an e-mail address in exchange for something, usually information such as a discount, download, and all the different things we offer.
We’ve discussed how to build an email list before, but we’re about to dig a little deeper. How do we grow an engaged list?
Think about it for a second: how many free training offers have you blindly signed up for? How did they get you to give up your email address?
In many cases, businesses targeted you through your interests and actions on the vast world of the internet. It’s the land of cookies. That’s a whole other conversation, though.
I have three main ways that we build our email list to share with you.
1. How To Use Opt-Ins For Building An Email List
The key to growing an engaged e-mail list is understanding what your ideal customer wants. Once you’ve identified what they think they want, you can create an opt-in.
So what is an opt-in?
Without getting all technical, an opt-in is a key part of e-mail marketing. You create an offer that is exclusively available for those who register for your emails.
Some of the offers we’ve used are:
- Discount codes to DecoExchange
- Free tutorial
- Video training
- Invite to a Facebook Group
- Birthday rewards
- Digital downloads: e-books, workbooks, planners, other PDFs
- Access to templates
Once these people join your email list, it’s important to keep their attention and excitement about you and your products by being generous and giving more than you receive. Remember that old adage?
2. How To Build An Email List With One-Time Buyers
Most people think of enticing people to join your list through free opt-ins. But what about people who buy your products?
Sometimes people forget that you can convert a one-time buyer into an email subscriber. You already know they are your perfect customer because they’re buying your product!
Does that seem a little backward? Think of it this way. Have you ever gone to a store where they had a little guest book to sign up for their emails? This is the same concept!
A customer finds you on Etsy and purchases a wreath. Now you know they’re “your” people, so you can make them an offer they can’t refuse.
What types of videos would be helpful to them?
- How to Store a Wreath
- How to Use a Wreath
- How to Hang a Wreath
- Care Instructions
- How to Coordinate the Wreath With Other Decor
After they make a purchase from you, you can then offer any of these videos (or all of these videos over time, which we like better because it builds trust) if they opt-in to your email list.
Think about it, you can keep them engaged as they anxiously await your next video that fills their need.
It’s a win-win, and once you do that, you’ve officially taken customer service to a whole new level, y’all!
When you email them about new wreaths available, who do you think they’re going to buy from?
If you don’t sell wreaths, simply replace wreaths with your own product and create your own list of videos that your customers or clients need. The same general idea applies to any niche.
3. Convert Your Social Media Audience Into Email Subscribers
If you have an audience on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you have a unique opportunity. You can ask them what they want!
We do it ourselves from time to time. It’s called market research, friends.
Your audience is powerful! They can help you sort out what they are looking for, what they need help with, and help you avoid guessing what you THINK they want.
From blog content to email opt-ins, your audience will be your best guide.
Now you can provide tutorials, downloads, etc so enticing that they’ll actually want to hand over their email to receive. And that’s exactly how you convert social media followers into loyal email subscribers.
Funny how engagement creates more engagement if you have your perfect audience!
How To Create An Engaging Newsletter For Your Email List
Ok, you have your email list (or the start of one). Now what?
Well, in order to build an email list, you need to send engaging newsletters that keep them coming back for more.
How do you do that?
The very first thing you should know is that 80% of the content should help your subscriber. The other 20% can be sales-related content.
If you’ve identified your perfect person, newsletter content is easier than you think. You’ll know their pain points, beliefs, and stories. Your goal should be to be able to provide solutions for your subscriber’s pain points.
Make your emails conversational, so you can connect with them authentically. As you write them, pretend you’re writing to your best friend – you want to help your best friend, right?
Here are a few questions we routinely receive from readers about building an email list. If you have a question and don’t see it down below, please leave it in the comments!
How do I create an email list?
Once you decide what kind of opt-in will appeal to your audience, the next thing you need is an email service provider (ESP). This is a company (such as Mailchimp, Convertkit, ActiveCampaign, etc.) that stores your email address list and allows you to send mass emails to your entire list or parts of it at a time.
Most ESP companies offer an entry-level free account, and Mailchimp offers one of the best free plans to get you started. But, once you grow your list to a certain size, you’ll need to go to a paid account no matter what ESP you use.
How often should I send emails to my list?
This question isn’t an easy one to answer because it can vary a little. Ultimately, it comes down to your list and what works best with your subscribers. Some people email every day, while others email once a week or once a month.
We typically email about once a week and supplement with additional emails if there’s a special event going on.
Ultimately working to build an email list comes down to knowing your perfect customer. Can you identify what they think they need? You absolutely can!
Take the time to talk with your audience, not at them. Your community will help inspire you to create the content you need to keep them active and engaged.
Check out these posts for more business inspiration:
- 5 Reasons You Need a Virtual Assistant
- How to Open a Shop and Sell on Etsy
- The Crafters Guide to Managing Imposter Syndrome
- 4 Ways to Build an Email List and Help Your Craft Business
If you have any questions about wreath-making supplies, please leave a comment below or post your comment on our How To Make Wreaths Facebook Group.
Also, if you are interested in more info on learning how to sell wreaths, how to make wreaths, where to buy supplies, and being in a community of like-minded crafters, check out our Creative Coaching Subscription Group.
Just pin these tips on how to build an email list to save these ideas for next time!
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