Manage & Build Your Email list

If you’re not building an email list, you’re making a HUGE mistake.

Why do I need an email list?

The simple answer is that an email list allows you to keep in communication with your contact by sending them emails.  Email lists can be used to drive sales, provide information, connect with previous customers and most importantly build trust in a relationship. Once you have an email list, it’s yours. No system or platform can control your email list. Think of an email list as a business asset.

Top 7 reasons to build an email list:

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  1. You own your email list. No one can ever take it away from you.
  2. An email list is a low-cost way to communicate with your contacts.
  3. People prefer email as a communication channel.
  4. Sending email is both easy and fast.
  5. Sending regular email is the best way to build trust.
  6. Email marketing can track each user’s open and click.
  7. Email has the highest return on investment (ROI) of any marketing technique.

Now let’s get started building your email list.

Step 1: Select email list management solution

Why do you need an email list management solution?

The primary reason is for easy management of your contacts and higher delivery rates to your contacts. Both solutions mentioned above have the following features:

  • Contact custom fields for each contact (birthday, anniversary, any field you can think of)
  • Track statistics of who opens your email, if they clicked on a link, and so many more stats.
  • Professional email templates to help with branding, logo, and colors.
  • Set up automatic emails to contacts based on specific dates (birthday or anniversary are great examples).
  • Connect to social media

There are many email list management solutions available to use.  Two of the most popular solutions are MailChimp and Constant Contact.

Mailchimp’s entry-level plan is free to manage up to 2,000 contacts. You can send up to 12,000 emails per month to your contacts. Great solution for your first email list without costing you much money.  The name (MailChimp) might sound funny but it’s a very professional platform. Sign up for MailChimp for free at https://mailchimp.com/pricing/entrepreneur/

Constant Contact’s entry-level plan is $20 per month up to 500 contacts. The solution offered by Constant contact does cost a small fee to send emails but some businesses find that its worth it. It’s all a matter of taste and how you like the feel and look of the solution. Sign up for Constant Contact for free at https://constantcontact.com/signup.jsp

Always use some sort of email list management solution to send emails to a large number of contacts so that your primary email does not get marked as spam. Your email provider has limits on the number of emails you can send per time period so don’t risk it.

Most email list solutions are browser/cloud based so no need to worry about installing something on your pc or mac.

The first step to solving any problem is to TAKE ACTION.  Sign up for one of the email list management solutions today.

Step 2: Determine how many email lists you will need

Once you have an email list management solution you can start to plan out how you will manage your contacts. The first step is determining how many email lists you want to manage. Having multiple email lists will help you divide your contacts into specific areas of focus.

For example: If you manage a restaurant you might want 2 email lists (general customers and catering customers).

I would not recommend starting with more than 1 email list if this is your first time setting up an email list.  You can always add additional email lists down the road.

Step 3: Determine what type of information you want to track in your email list.

Your email list can track a large amount of information about your contacts. The more information you request/track from your contacts, the more refined you can be when reaching out to them in the future. Keep in mind that if you want to grow your email list try not to get bogged down in tracking a ton of information because people are very leery about giving up personal information. Providing an email address is pretty standard nowadays but asking for anything more can be an issue.

What fields should you track per contact?

  • Name (first & last) (absolutely)
  • Email address (absolutely)
  • Phone (nice to have)

For example: If you’re a Realtor, you might want to also track your clients birthday and the date they purchased a home. Another good idea would be to track the date the purchased a property or the type property they’d have interest in the purchase or maybe the location.

Be careful not to track too much information because it will be difficult to manage.

Step 4: The final step is to set up a way for contacts to sign up or implement a process to collect information manually.

Every business should be collecting emails!!

How do I get contacts to signup for my list?

The best way is by offering something to get them to sign up. This process is called offering a Lead Magnet. Giving up something to get something more valuable contact details) is a great way to build your list.

Example Lead Magnets:

  • Restaurant = One-time free dessert coupon
  • Realtor = Checklist of 10 items you need to know when selecting a Realtor
  • Dentist = Free teeth cleaning
  • Medical Spa = 5 tips for healthier skin in the winter
  • Chiropractor = Free spin evaluation and adjustment

Using your website is a great way to collect email addresses. MailChimp and Constant Contact have features that allow you to embed a signup form on your website. Embedding the signup form will automatically add contacts to your list without manual work from you. Huge time saver!! MailChimp offers a few option for connecting your website to a MailChimp signup form – read more here.

Landing Pages are simplified website pages that are designed to convert users to do some sort of action. Landing pages can be used for a number of goals including email signups. There are many solutions that allow you to quickly build a landing page (leadpages.com, clickfunnels.com, getresponse.com). MailChimp also allows you to create landing pages for email signups – read more here.

Social Media is a must for collecting emails. Connect your Facebook & Twitter accounts to your mailing list to save time while building your list.

  • MailChimp & Facebook: Connect your Facebook Page to a Mailchimp sign up form – read more here.
  • MailChimp & Twitter: Connect your Twitter account to a MailChimp signup form – read more here.

Manually collecting contact information is another option that can be implemented. Collecting information manually can be time-consuming but is an effective way of managing your list for service-based businesses. It’s important to inform your contacts why you’re collecting their email address. For example: If you own a pest control company you can collect contact information during your service call.

Current Contact List: Many businesses have other ways to track information on customer/clients/patients. Some businesses use a spreadsheet, some use e-commerce software and others may just write them down. The important thing is that you track the email. You can import contacts that you already have or manually add contacts to your email list.

E-commerce List: A great way to build your list if you sell products online is by using your e-commerce customers. Many e-commerce platforms allow you to connect your shopping cart to MailChimp or Constant Contact. Automatically adding your contacts to your email list allows you to remarket your customers with future offers and valuable information.

Now that you have this information… the most important advice I can give you is to take action.  Good intentions and over thinking are wasted efforts.

Make a promise to yourself, your family and the future success of your business… TAKE ACTION TODAY!!
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