[Day 15] Why You Need an Email List (and How to Build Your Own)

Posted on /by Natalie Sisson/ in Entrepreneurs / 106 comments
Day 15 - Why You Need an Email List & How to Build Your Own

Confession. When I first started my blog, I didn’t have an email list for around the first 8 months.

Gasp, I know.

When I think about this now I really want to kick myself for taking so long to figure out how important an email list actually is – and let me tell you it’s very important.

Basically you can build a whole business from one engaged and responsive list – no matter how small.

This is why I am constantly telling my clients and community to build their lists because as clichè as it is, the money is in the list.

It’s a non-negotiable.

Day 15 - Why You Need an Email List & How to Build Your Own

What an email list is

If you’re not already familiar, a list is made up of blog subscribers, newsletter readers, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, LinkedIn followers – all of the people who are following what you’re saying because they want to.

They have taken that extra step to optin to hear what you have to say on a regular basis, most likely because they like what you do or they read your blog posts and they want to hear more. They have given you permission to talk to them.

You use an email list service, like Mailchimp or Aweber, to send your list regular emails to offer them priceless information, updates, and valuable offers.

What really matters in an email list

Be consistent enough with your audience so they don’t forget about you – on average once a week – so you can get to know your list and they can get to know you.

It’s just like keeping up with friends. If you ignore your friends, they’re going to start to wonder why and then they’re going to move on to other people who will communicate with them. They may even forget about you if you don’t stay in touch.

When you create consistency and set up clear expectations with your list, they’re better trained to react in a certain way. I send out my Highflyer email every Thursday and this works for me as I release a video that day too.

However during my book launch I sent a few emails a week as I had something important to say – and that’s a great rule of thumb – much like blogging – email when you actually have useful things to write about and deliver.

I know people who email daily and I know people who email once a month, but their emails are always worth reading and that’s what counts.

The thing is it’s pointless emailing if you don’t have anyone on your list, so you can motivate people to sign up for list in a couple of different ways.

How to motivate people to sign up for your list

First and most importantly, always offer quality content. Think quality over quantity. And be mindful of the rule that everything you should put out should motivate, inspire or inform.

If you solve their problems, people will always come back for more.

Second, offer a free resource that does one of the concepts mentioned above through an:

  • Audio recording

  • eBook

  • Short video

  • Twenty minute complimentary coaching or consultation

  • Manifesto on what you’re passionate about

Example in Action

When I ran the BYOB Build Your Online Business blog series, it added 250 new subscribers to a product specific list during that month of creating 12 blog posts.

At the end of this period, I offered to send the final blog series as a PDF book for free. I also sent bonuses along the way.

This is now a paid product and audio book, even though people can access the info from my site if they look under the BYOB category. However, many new visitors prefer to purchase the digital product instead as it contains more specific information, examples, and resources and it’s been updated regularly.

I talk in detail about building your email list, your newsletter strategy and how exactly how to set them up in my BYOB guide.

Which email platform is the best to use?

While there are a plethora of email platforms out there including iContact, Constant Contact and Mad Mimi to name a few, two really stand out in my mind.

Both Mailchimp and Aweber offer full functionality you’d want from an email client manager. This includes setting up an email campaign, creating autoresponders (emails that get sent out automatically when someone signs up for your list), reporting, tracking and templates to choose from.

If you learn to use them in the most effective way possible, they’ll serve your business’ best interests. At the end of the day it comes down to your personal preference as to which you choose.

Aweber

This email platform has been around forever and has a huge user base of very satisfied customers. Aweber is the longest standing platform renowned for having the best deliverability rates and highest open rates.

Besides being known for its smart segmentation services, or being able to target certain members of your list based on their previous activity, they also have a great system where no matter how many times one person signs up to your different lists, you’ll never accidentally email them more than one time, which can happen with Mailchimp (and many other platforms actually).

Aweber’s ability to track newsletter campaigns to sales has always been one of their strongest points, but Mailchimp has been working to make their conversion tracking more robust.

Mailchimp

This email platform wins many over with its easy-to-use interface, range of great email templates, and its ability to seamlessly connect and share to your social media sites.What’s more, you’re able to use their service for free for up to 2,000 subscribers.

It also connects with Google Analytics and has several plugins to integrate with other services you may already use, including a new one for a shopping cart so you can see if your email campaigns are converting to actual sales.

Personally, I began with Mailchimp and stuck with it for a long time as it was really easy to use, effective, and straightforward in delivering communication to my list. Plus I loved the easy-to-customize templates and the plugins that connected to services like Freshbooks and Eventbrite.

Day 15 Blog Challenge to accept in 3 easy steps

1. Write a response blog post to this question:

How are you building your email list?

Top Tip: If you’re not at this stage you can instead choose to answer what the purpose of your email/ newsletter would be, how often you’d like to send it and the type of content and value you would provide to readers. In fact this is good to include in your blog response regardless!

2. Share your blog post response:

Don’t forget to leave a comment below or a trackback to your blog response. Share your post from your own site on social media using #TSE30DC at the end of your tweet or post.

3. Embed the 30 Day Blog Challenge badge in your post:

Choose the badge you most like from right here. Then just COPY the HTML code already pre done for you, and PASTE it into the HTML tab of your post or on your sidebar using the TEXT widget and pasting the code straight in.

Read these resource posts to help you

Check out this post to learn more Who deserves your time? A lesson in managing your newsletter strategy

And if you’re experiencing email overwhelm from signing up to too many newsletters then read My 3 Step System To Reduce Email Madness

What’s next in the 30 Day Blog Challenge?

If you want to go above and beyond you can:

Click to tweet this: Why does an email list matter & how are you building yours? #TSE30DC

Grab a copy of my Suitcase Entrepreneur book – Just hit No. 1 Best Seller List on Amazon.

Follow the 30 Day Blog Challenge Pinterest board (and see if you can spot your own post there)

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post for Day 16 Work Smart, Not Hard. Why You Should Outsource & Where to Start.

Round up of your blog posts today

 

 

  • Luxelias

    Here’s my post for the day. Feeling inspired:

    https://luxelias.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/my-future-email-list/

  • Three actions for this kid: (i) choose a list manager, (ii) get the opt in plug in installed, and (iii) get my free product built.

    Also, I leveraged the lessons from day 14 in HOW I’d accomplish each of the above — nothing like getting value out of the previous day’s challenge!

    https://www.learninggrowingliving.com/2013/08/20/blog-challenge-day-15/

    • Great stuff Curt. Like that positive action

      • Managed to get signed up with Mail Chimp and put a widget on my sidebar. It’s not “pretty” but it’s functional! Now for the free product….

        • Ko

          Great start! We’re both up to your action iii, let’s make it happen.

          • Got my first product set up today. It’s rough, but you have to start somewhere!

          • Ko

            Congrats Curt!

  • Great stuff Curt. Like that positive action

    • Managed to get signed up with Mail Chimp and put a widget on my sidebar. It’s not “pretty” but it’s functional! Now for the free product….

  • Adam McGinness

    We are half way through the challenge? Time flies when you are having fun! https://lifetimetravelsblog.com/2013/08/20/would-you-subscribe/

  • This reminds me, I need to figure out how to make Welcome Gate work well for our site. https://www.writeahead.ca/cash-from-critical-mass-the-30-day-blog-challenge-day-15/

  • I’ve been through a lot of trial and error over the past couple of years to finally come up with systems I like. In my update today I talk about all the plugin’s I’ve used for optin boxes, things I do to grow my list on my site as well as in social media.

    I love learning about and trying out the new and different tools out there and what other people’s experiences have been. It’s fun to experiment and see what works and what doesn’t and how to put all the pieces together.

    https://www.simplemindfulness.com/30-day-blog-challenge/

  • This is something I’ve put a lot of though into. Unfortunately I think that’s most of what I’ve done.
    Now for some ACTION!
    https://coteybucket.com/just-sign-up-for-the-list-already/

  • I love the newsletter – it’s something I feel I am only just getting the hang of really 🙂

    https://acatlikecuriosity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/30-day-blog-challenge-day-15.html

    Sarah

  • Karen Wojciechowski

    I currently have a Free Protein Bar Starter Kit as my Opt in Offer which will continue to evolve to add more and more value to my fellow protein bar enthusiasts.
    I use Aweber to manage my email follow ups and any other email broadcasts I want to send out. I also use social media to connect with my audience and add to my email list. I am currently trying out Google Adwords to test out my Opt In conversion rate and how my sales page converts and that has been really interesting but also really important to manage it closely so your not spending money without getting some good information (or sales) out of it 🙂
    I currently send an email out about every 3 days, and am constantly reviewing open rates for different emails. After reading through the post Who Deserves Your Time though I might rethink how often I send an email out. My list is starting to grow slowly and it exciting to have new people ask me questions and offer opinions about a topic I just love to talk about. Lots more work to do however 🙂 Will be really interested to read others blog post on this topic.

  • Karen Wojciechowski

    I currently have a Free Protein Bar Starter Kit as my Opt in Offer which will continue to evolve to add more and more value to my fellow protein bar enthusiasts.
    I use Aweber to manage my email follow ups and any other email broadcasts I want to send out. I also use social media to connect with my audience and add to my email list. I am currently trying out Google Adwords to test out my Opt In conversion rate and how my sales page converts and that has been really interesting but also really important to manage it closely so your not spending money without getting some good information (or sales) out of it 🙂
    I currently send an email out about every 3 days, and am constantly reviewing open rates for different emails. After reading through the post Who Deserves Your Time though I might rethink how often I send an email out. My list is starting to grow slowly and it exciting to have new people ask me questions and offer opinions about a topic I just love to talk about. Lots more work to do however 🙂 Will be really interested to read others blog post on this topic.

  • Ko

    I love email when travelling (plus I started drafting opt-in gift on Monday): https://www.nowbethechange.com/valuable-connections-and-taking-control-of-your-email

  • Madelaine Coelyn
  • I’ve been researching autoresponders for the past couple months. I feel it’s kind of a big decision, because once you start, switching has big drawback (like losing subscribers).

    I’m done with my research and actually just signed up with Aweber last week thinking I made my decision. But I also just signed up with MailChimp today to check it out and I like the front end is slick…… So I’m undecided again. Ack! 🙂

    I’ll have to setup a list on both to really see what I like.

    I did come across a rumor that MailChimp bans affiliate marketing in their emails. That’s not exactly true. I posted info about that in my post today in case anyone doing affiliate marketing is interested.

  • I’ve been researching autoresponders for the past couple months. I feel it’s kind of a big decision, because once you start, switching has big drawback (like losing subscribers).

    I’m done with my research and actually just signed up with Aweber last week thinking I made my decision. But I also just signed up with MailChimp today to check it out and I like the front end is slick…… So I’m undecided again. Ack! 🙂

    I’ll have to setup a list on both to really see what I like.

    I did come across a rumor that MailChimp bans affiliate marketing in their emails. That’s not exactly true. I posted info about that in my post today in case anyone doing affiliate marketing is interested.

    • Ko

      Yay! Half way is a big achievement for everyone!

  • Angela Ford

    My question has always been why an email list? Well today’s challenge answered that. I’m setting mine up now! https://bit.ly/16J4twu

  • My question has always been why an email list? Well today’s challenge answered that. I’m setting mine up now! https://bit.ly/16J4twu

  • I’m hoping to have my newsletter up by the end of the month. I’ve done some research, and I think I’ll be using Aweber. https://lifestylerevolt.com/lifestyle-propaganda-incoming/

  • I’m hoping to have my newsletter up by the end of the month. I’ve done some research, and I think I’ll be using Aweber. https://lifestylerevolt.com/lifestyle-propaganda-incoming/

  • Katie Daniels

    For day 15, I made a promise to myself to stop procrastinating and post a new opt-in for my list. This blog challenge is challenging me in more ways than one! https://furnishingfunctions.blogspot.com/2013/08/30-day-blog-challenge-day-15.html

  • Katie Daniels

    For day 15, I made a promise to myself to stop procrastinating and post a new opt-in for my list. This blog challenge is challenging me in more ways than one! https://furnishingfunctions.blogspot.com/2013/08/30-day-blog-challenge-day-15.html

  • Ray Lardie

    I’ve been saying that I need to set up my email list for days now– thanks for finally calling me on that, Natalie! I’ll have it up by this Friday. In the meantime, I have Make a List, Make Your Business:

    https://www.raisalardie.com/day-15-make-a-list-make-your-business

  • Ray Lardie

    I’ve been saying that I need to set up my email list for days now– thanks for finally calling me on that, Natalie! I’ll have it up by this Friday. In the meantime, I have Make a List, Make Your Business:

    https://www.raisalardie.com/day-15-make-a-list-make-your-business

  • Linda
  • https://gwynnemontgomery.com/list-building-huh/ I know I’ll be using MadMimi for the list-building, as well as having the Facebook page. Working out my plan from there 🙂

  • https://gwynnemontgomery.com/list-building-huh/ I know I’ll be using MadMimi for the list-building, as well as having the Facebook page. Working out my plan from there 🙂

  • Babywear4Fitness

    I plan on building my email list through my landing page and sending out a weekly exercise video to my subscribers

    https://ciaratague.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/day-15-30-day-blog-challenge/

  • Babywear4Fitness

    I plan on building my email list through my landing page and sending out a weekly exercise video to my subscribers

    https://ciaratague.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/day-15-30-day-blog-challenge/

  • aecmama

    Well, this was a great exercise. I was able to look at what I was doing about our newsletter and got a clearer idea as to my goals for it. https://aec-idecide.org/m-o-m-blog.php

  • Here it is (starting to go)! I couldn’t work out the bugs. Digging MailChimp though.
    https://hellorevolution.org/hello-mail/

  • How I’m building my email list, including templates for weekly and monthly newsletters and a draft of both. Check. https://www.pateasterbrooks.com/how-to-build-an-email-list-for-newbies/

  • Elizabeth Coughlan

    I am nowhere near ready to implement this, but here are my ideas https://geriatricgapper.blogspot.com/2013/08/30-day-blog-challenge-day-15.html

    • You shall get there Elizabeth – yes you will

      • Elizabeth Coughlan

        Thanks for that encouragement, Natalie.

  • Michelle Pammenter Young

    Natalie will you keep these 30 posts up for us to reference later?

    Here is my Day 15 post (yep the part about email lists is there – you know after the ziplining stuff)

    https://pammenteryoung.blogspot.com/2013/08/zip-lining-in-paradise.html#.UhR192TwKzA

    • Yes and I’m planning on considering how to turn this into an ongoing challenge people can partake in and a book

      • Michelle Pammenter Young

        I think that is a great idea. I know that I will be referencing back to the past days when I get home so I can make a note of some of the tools you have suggested.
        Thanks again,
        Michelle

  • Sophia

    I have been playing catch-up. I have already posted my response to day 14 of the challenge. Here is day 15, all about that sweet treat. With me loving “twitter” I had to stop myself from spelling that last word “tweat” https://sophiaworld.co.uk/you-have-mail/

  • In today’s entry: Kerstin catches up! So far I’d say my mailing list buildathon is going well.

    I often have people recommend me to advertise more through PPC but to be honest I prefer for my valuable content to speak for itself. If it’s good enough to be shared, that’s a better ad.

    https://penzu.com/p/fecf108c

  • Aangeljewellery

    I am actually paying monthly for my newsletter and haven’t sent one in months because I don’t really want to bother anyone unless I have something good to offer them. Now I know what to do. Thanks, you are inspiring me every day to improve my online business.

    • Kerstin

      My friend recently told me not to “overestimate people’s power to vote with their feet”. In other words, you’d have to REALLY bother them before they unsubscribe.

      • Penny Mason Van Beek

        Good point! I tolerate a lot of what I perceive to be junk email for the hope that something good is going to show up, and that I just can’t be bothered unsubscribing LOL

  • Aangeljewellery

    I am actually paying monthly for my newsletter and haven’t sent one in months because I don’t really want to bother anyone unless I have something good to offer them. Now I know what to do. Thanks, you are inspiring me every day to improve my online business.

    • My friend recently told me not to “overestimate people’s power to vote with their feet”. In other words, you’d have to REALLY bother them before they unsubscribe.

      • Penny Mason Van Beek

        Good point! I tolerate a lot of what I perceive to be junk email for the hope that something good is going to show up, and that I just can’t be bothered unsubscribing LOL

  • Here are my list building confessions!! Ugh well sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and say it like it is!! https://authenticfootprints.com/create-your-list-of-raging-enthusiasts/

  • Penny Mason Van Beek

    WHEW! Apparently I have issues when it comes to junk email inbox fillers. I had to write this twice! The first time was way too bitchy! https://onsparklingwings.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/newsletters-prevail-over-junk-email.html

    • Ha ha, well at least you’re not being all vanilla on us Penny

      • Penny Mason Van Beek

        LOL I just couldn’t help myself. It is quite funny how hot under the collar something seemingly small, can make us.

  • Nik Wood
  • I am still with you all! I am going to start with mailchimp. I have been converting my website to wordpress and am waiting for my domain to transfer, then you can see what I have been furiously working on!!

    • Awesome I think you’ll love Mailchimp, it’s so user friendly and they keep adding integration features like with e-Junkie etc

  • I am still with you all! I am going to start with mailchimp. I have been converting my website to wordpress and am waiting for my domain to transfer, then you can see what I have been furiously working on!!

    • Awesome I think you’ll love Mailchimp, it’s so user friendly and they keep adding integration features like with e-Junkie etc

  • Here’s my Day 15 post 🙂 The Money Is In Your List… IF You Use It Right

    https://awaehqndreams.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-money-is-in-your-list-if-you-use-it.html#.UhZxmZL_ln4

  • Jade Spencer

    Can Reading Steven Pressfield’s, Turning Pro, make me a millionaire? Read it here-

    Day 14 & 15 Combined over at http://www.cultureinfused.com

  • This was a great question to get me focussed on what I would include in emails/newsletters (Thanks Natalie!). I’m thinking that Freedom Friday might be my future newsletter – feel free to share what you might like to see in that newsletter! https://learndiscoverbefree.com/2013/08/23/building-an-email-list-in-the-right-way/

    • Oooh love the name of that newsletter that’s for sure

  • Kim Kalan

    I am 4 days behind because I was traveling with my kids. I hit the road again but with Dad with time and have a 5 hour drive. Can I write 4 posts in 5 hours? Getting excited to get caught up and share with everyone!

    • Dharmesh Barot

      🙂 Glad I am not alone..

  • Kim Kalan

    I am 4 days behind because I was traveling with my kids. I hit the road again but with Dad with time and have a 5 hour drive. Can I write 4 posts in 5 hours? Getting excited to get caught up and share with everyone!

    • Dharmesh Barot

      🙂 Glad I am not alone..

  • Kim Kalan

    I am plan building my list by giving the world a chance to win free chocolate chip cookies and some of the best online drama you can imagine. It is my goal and dream that everyone will want to move to Churchville as it’s the best city in the world to live in.

  • Kim Kalan

    I am plan building my list by giving the world a chance to win free chocolate chip cookies and some of the best online drama you can imagine. It is my goal and dream that everyone will want to move to Churchville as it’s the best city in the world to live in.

  • Dharmesh Barot

    I have a bit generic items to add to my newsletter as I am still unsure about my blog’s life story 🙂 https://www.ataracticmind.com/general/why-do-i-need-an-email-list/

  • Oooh love the name of that newsletter that’s for sure

  • Ha ha, well at least you’re not being all vanilla on us Penny

    • Penny Mason Van Beek

      LOL I just couldn’t help myself. It is quite funny how hot under the collar something seemingly small, can make us.

  • Yes and I’m planning on considering how to turn this into an ongoing challenge people can partake in and a book

    • Michelle Pammenter Young

      I think that is a great idea. I know that I will be referencing back to the past days when I get home so I can make a note of some of the tools you have suggested.
      Thanks again,
      Michelle

  • You shall get there Elizabeth – yes you will

    • Elizabeth Coughlan

      Thanks for that encouragement, Natalie.

  • Angela Carter Barton

    I just found you, but am jumping onto the challenge for the duration. Any way to get access to days 1-13 for catch up? I’ll most likely start with Mailchimp, but the most important part is -I’m gonna start!! http://www.budsgal.com

    • Angela Carter Barton

      ok. Perhaps I’m the REALLY dumb newb, but I can only see 14 – 23 on the challenge site. Are 2 – 22 available? SMH.

  • You are so not dumb! You are totally right the rest aren’t showing up with a `more button’ but as James kindly pointed out the format is the same for every post so it’s suitcaseentrepreneur.com/blogchallenge/blog-challenge-dayX

  • Kate Marolt

    Perfect! Decided when and by what date I will be shifting to twice weekly emails.

    https://www.katemarolt.com/email-list-building-fun-day-15-of-the-30-day-blog-challenge/

  • Melissa Feineman

    Over the past few months I’ve learned how important an email list is, and today’s post was a great reminder. I’m not quite ready yet, but it’ll definitely be one of the first things I do in order to get my business going! Here’s my link to today’s post: https://jadorejapon.blogspot.com/2013/10/30-day-blog-challenge-day-15-connecting.html

  • I have been having fun growing my list – https://savvysocialmedia4u.com/30-day-blog-challenge-day-15/

  • Yvette Skinner
  • I just begun thinking of this kind of perspective for my blog or business
    but in general:

    I stand for quality not just in business but also in leisure and pleasure!
    For more, please click at:

    https://stathismylonas.blogspot.com/2014/09/v-day-15-how-are-you-building-your.html

  • basilia dufrene

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    • Rae Metz4

      Hi basilia dufrene! my friend pulled a fillable DD 2208 version using this https://goo.gl/BXkrPR

  • Rae Metz4

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