Although there’s already a ton of information online about why having an email list is important, how to build a squeeze page and how to set up an anutoresponder, information about where to start when you want to begin building your list. isn’t as readily available.
And because your email list is possibly your biggest business asset, you need to know the basics of how to start one.
The first step to building an email list is to make a mailing list plan and you should do this for every email list you create.
Your email list plan should include:
1. Your target market and what they want to know about.
2. Products your market will be interested in.
3. The type of mailings you will be sending, i.e. strictly follow-ups for a single product or a combination of follow-ups and broadcast messages.
4. The primary content type of your messages, such as informational content like an ezine, daily quotes, jokes, new product announcements, etc.
5. The minimum frequency you intend to send mailings.
6. An email ideal list. This is the list of things you already know you want tell your readers about and as you find new things of interest you add those to this list.
7. And although it’s not mandatory, I recommend drafting at least the first month’s worth of emails you intend to send. This exercise is recommended because it will give you an idea about how long it will take you to write your email content and makes you start researching for new content.
8. Your plan for driving traffic to your sign-up page.
9. What you’re going to give your new subscribers when they sign up and how you’re going to deliver it. If you’re giving a product you need to put it where it’s available for them to get it. If you’re giving an emailed report or course you need to have it written and ready to put into the follow-up message queue for your list.
10. The welcome message to you new subscribers. Remember to include the information about where they can get their gift or the first message for the emailed report.
11. The list management system (autoresponder) you will use. Unless you’re a technical person with time to spend on uploading and maintaining an autoresponder on your own site, I recommend you use the best service you can afford. For a paid service I recommend you use 1 of the biggies like Aweber or GetResponse because of their reputation and service. If you must use a free service I recommend you try ListWire because it offers more paid-for features than any of the other free services I’ve found and at the time of this writing, the only ad included in the emails is for the ListWire service.
After you have a plan for building your email list you’re ready to take action and set up your autoresponder account and create your squeeze page. Once those are in place you can start driving traffic to your opt-in page.
Yes, building your own email lists is an important step to having a successful online business. It is unfortunate that many never start their own list and of those who do, most will jump into the fire of list building without doing the first step. Create a plan.