Build Your Email List (Part 1)

Posted on January 10th, 2014 by Kimanzi Constable

Let me just tell you right off the bat, not building my email list from the start was one of my bigger mistakes. Back then, all I cared about was getting more than ten people even looking at my website, an email list was the last thing on my mind.

In today’s post I want to show you why building an email list is vital, if you want your thing to support your family and give Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 3.06.34 PMyou a few tips. If you can can start early or right now, you’ll be building on a solid foundation.

Why is an email list important?

How may emails do you get a day? If you get a lot, you know how annoying emails can be. So when someone can look past their irritation with email and sign up for your email list, they’re really interested in what you’re talking about.

If your goal is to generate income, then they might turn out to be a “lead” later. By them signing up, they’ve given you permission to talk to them about your thing. When you post a link to your post on social media, people decide whether or not it’s worth their time. When they’re on your email list, they’ve already decided.

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Building an email list is important because if for some reason all social media was shut down or you lose a bunch of friends/followers, if they’re signed up for your email list, they’ll still see your content.

Email is also important for automation. You may have heard about auto-responders? As you grow your online business and create premium offerings, auto-responders can be a great way to let new or existing people know about those offerings.

Taking time and setting this up will save you countless hours of marketing later. Every time someone signs up, they get put in a sequence, generally two to three emails, the last one being a “sales” email. So no matter what’s going on or where people sign up in the world, they’ll see what you have to offer.

Setting up your auto-responder

How many emails should be in your series? What should they say? How far apart should they be? A few questions to think about but the best answers will come from really knowing and listening to your audience. To start, I’ll give you a general format. Use it but tweak it as you hear and learn from your audience.

I would start with four emails in your auto-responder series. After someone signs up for your email list, the next email’s should generally send every 2 to 3 days. This is generally what they can say:

First email is a thank you/ what to expect from my website email. Let them know exactly what they’ll get from your website and content. Second email is your story/ this is possible email. Let people know how you got to this point and why you started this thing. Also let them know that their dream (related to what you talk about) is entirely possible because it is!

Third email is a case study email: this person did this, I did that, these 10 people did it. This email is designed to show people what’s possible and here’s the proof. There’s a wealth of information online that you can link to or if you can prove it from your own experience, that’s even better.

Fourth email is the sales email: have you enjoyed the free training? Have you been enjoying my blog post? Well, if you’ve enjoyed the free stuff, check out this premium thing that takes things to the next level. And if you buy now, get this cool thing for free, offer an incentive to buy.

To set up an auto-responder series, you must have a paid account through an email service provider from services like MailChimp, Aweber, Infusionsoft and many others. I use MailChimp and setting up this series isn’t too complicated. I’ll do a demo in part two.

You’re not sleazy if you’re adding value

When it comes to sales and money, there’s always an uneasy feeling. Your goal is to help people and when money is talked about in that context, you may feeling like you’re not helping as much.

Here’s the thing, you can still help people and make money. I would go farther than that and say that as you make a little bit more money, you’ll have more freedom to go deeper and have more time to help.

Just because there’s money involved doesn’t mean you’re sleazy or not adding value, you can do both. At the end of the day you want to help but you have to eat and put food on the table for your family. If you’re content is top-notch and actually helps people, then charging a reasonable fee is reasonable 🙂

urlI’ve taken up enough of your time, in part two we’ll talk about how to get people to sign upimgres for your list and I’ll give you a demo of setting up an auto-responder series.

I have some homework for you, if you don’t have an auto-responder series set up, let’s get started. Think about and start writing some words for your auto-responder series. If you get some words written, come back here and put a few lines in the comments.

I will select a few people and send them a copy of Linchpin by Seth Godin and Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. Get started on building your business and possible get a book!

Are you building an email list? What have you seen?

27 Responses

  1. Kimunya Mugo says:

    Kimanzi, thank you for this simple but superb advise. I have been swamped with building all the widgets and plug-ins on my new site and it is quite a challenge. Fortunately, I have just incorporated a MailChimp sign-in form and I hope this is going to help me also monitor my subscribers.

    It is tough work and sometimes I feel like I am climbing Mt. Everest. But I’m looking forward to the view from the top! Onwards…

  2. Great tips for list building. I couldn’t have said it any better.

  3. Great post Kimanzi. I need to set up my auto responders but I have not yet. I am building my list. I was not offering anything for free for a long time and struggling at building my list until I started to give away a free eBook.
    Thanks for a swift kick in the butt:) Side note submitted my first guest post last night.

  4. Henry Matlock says:

    Great post, Kimanzi. And timely too. I just started working on my first autoresponder campaign which is on self publishing, and will be free for signing up.

    Here are the first couple of sentences of email one: “Congratulations on your decision to take your dream of writing and publishing a book and make it a reality. This decision alone sets you apart from literally millions of people who have the same dream but, for one reason or another, will never act on it.”

    Looking forward to Part 2.

  5. I think the biggest hangup for many over email lists is exactly what you deal with here – the sleaziness feeling of it all. But if we’re helping people and they’re voluntarily signing up for our list, then we’re actually accomplishing good things by providing value.

  6. Dave Arnold says:

    Very helpful! I use Mail Chimp too. Can I set up multiple email responders for free on Mail Chimp? Tnx

  7. Dan Erickson says:

    I refused to do this for quite some time. I since have added a newsletter, but refuse to draw attention to the link with popups and arrows and flashing lights. I also refuse to offer a free ebook in return for people’s email. It’s not really free then. So my list is very small and I really don’t care right now. Perhaps I’ll reevaluate up the road, but I’m not trying to generate numbers at this time.

  8. Dan Black says:

    Thanks for this post! I need to set up an auto-responder.

  9. […] Last post we talked about auto-responders as a good way to automate promotions and the fact that making money isn’t always sleazy. Today let’s take it one step further. […]

  10. […] of the most important things to build is your email list. I did a webinar on three killer ways to build your email list. Build that list because when you […]

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