We might be using social media to market, and we might value followers on those platforms, but there is still a lot of power in having a mailing list.
There are many email services, but I have found Mailchimp to be affordable and to scale in an affordable fashion.
People often hesitate to setup a mailing list because they don’t have anything to sell. Well, you won’t know you need one, until you need one, and if you haven’t been building one over time, by the time you actually need one, you won’t have one. Does that make sense? :)
Start building your list as soon as you start driving traffic to your web site.
With Mailchimp, you don’t actually pay anything until you sendout a message. And it is free for up to 2000 subscribers and 12000 messages per month, which means that you could have a list of 200 people and send out 10 emails to each of them a month.
And when you get to the point that you actually need to pay for it, hopefully your actually generating revenue from the list.
I don’t have a monthly subscription to Mailchimp. I prefer to buy credits, and use them over time. I found this kept my costs low, because I don’t send out very many messages. And I didn’t actually need to pay anything for a couple of years.
Create a List and Allow People to Sign Up
Sign up for a free account with Mailchimp.
Create a list. I make it double opt-in because of EU regulations.
Then put a signup form on your web site.
To start with you don’t have to do anything fancy.
I use the simplest approach:
- click “Signup Forms”
- choose an Embedded HTML form
- choose “Horizontal” because it is a small form
- I don’t use the reCAPTCHA becuase double opt-in is enabled
- copy and paste the HTML to your site
- start collecting email addresses
You can create opt-in rewards later, to help drive sign ups e.g. free e-books, free courses, etc.
For the moment, just start collecting organic emails. These people are signing up because they like your content, they might be amongst your most valuable list members.
Remember to Send Emails Regularly that Add Value
Schedule in some time into your calendar to create an email every month or so at a minimum. I have sent less than this but I’m trying to increase the frequency.
If you have a low frequency email list then:
- people forget you exist
- instantly mark your mail as spam
- if you do ‘sell’ on your list then people mark as spam and unsubscribe
The important thing is to try and add value regularly, then when you do ‘sell’ it doesn’t seem as bad because you’ve earned the right to offer something for sale because you’ve added value for free.
Create a free Mailchimp account and List and you send to up to 2000 subscribers before you have to pay anything.
Oh, and we have a mailing list you might like to subscribe to…