You may think you don’t need an email list… that you can just ride on the wave of various social media platforms. And if it’s working for your business don’t stop that. But.. don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
I know I’m gonna date myself when I ask you this but… have you ever heard of MySpace? It was the thing when I was in high school. (Ouch, that hurts just a smidge to admit). MySpace at one time was bigger than Facebook. And, it had reached its peak and started to see it’s downfall… all before Instagram was a thing.
MySpace may not have really been used for business… but it’s still a social media platform that came and went in less than 10 years… from release to downfall.
In fact, it’s a perfect example of why you need an email list.
Sure, your social media platform is working great and you’re finding clients & customers on it. But, can you guarantee it’ll still be around in another 10 years… or even 5?
If you had zero email list in 5 years and no social media platform to get business from…. What would you do? How would you keep your business going?
I’d certainly hope that you’d have started an email list now rather than wait until you actually learned you need an email list.
So, let’s talk about the difference between some common tools to grow your email list and
On a side note, one really good way to get people on your email list is through your website. But you need to be strategic about your website. Grab your copy of the Ultimate Guide To Do Your Website Pages the Right Way.
But, before we can go growing that list, we need to pick the right tools.
Why You Need an Email List
If knowing that a social media website can become non-existent, like a ghost town, isn’t scary enough to make you want to start your email list today…
Then let’s talk about the upside to growing an email list.
You own your email list, and no one, not even the loss of a social media platform, can take that from you.
Which means that when a social media platform closes, you still have your business, your way to find customers and clients.
And the possibilities of what you can do with that list are pretty endless.
That right there is a pretty good reason to start your email list and become a little bit more secure in your business.
What Tools Do You Need
There’s a few tools you’ll need for your list. The most common one is an Email Service Provider or (ESP).
That’s what stores your list, and where you send weekly emails through.
Another possible tool that’s recommended to have is a Landing Page Builder.
A landing page builder is a tool that will help you get people on your list. See, typically you’ll offer people something called a lead magnet in exchange for their email address and name.
The landing page builder will help increase something called your conversion rate. Not to get too far into it here, because that’s a whole other blog post. But a conversion rate is something like this. It’s the percentage of people who see your lead magnet and then join your email list.
Picking an Email Service Provider
There are a bunch of options out there when it comes to an ESP (Email Service Provider). And what works for you and your business may not be what works for the next person.
But, let’s go over a few things to think about when picking yours.
- Cost: Most ESP’s will charge you based on the size of your list. But, this also means that most of them have a free plan when you’re just getting started.
- Features: When it comes to the free and the paid plans on any ESP, you’ll find some different features. From features like segmenting your list (breaking it up based on interest) to automations (sending emails automatically).
It's best to comparison shop and pick the one that matches your needs and goals.
It’s easy enough to move between ESPs. The hardest part isn’t actually moving the list. It’s having to go back to all the places you’ve put your lead magnet, and change that over from your old to new ESP. But, it can be done.
One thing to keep in mind is that some ESP’s will offer you a landing page builder inside there. But, it’s recommended to use a separate landing page builder. Those pages are built for conversion.
But, if you absolutely can’t afford another tool go ahead and start with what your ESP gives you. You can always update them later.
A good reason why you’d want to switch to one eventually… is A/B testing or split testing. Split testing allows you to test two different versions of a page, to find out which one converts better. (And your landing page builder can do it very easily for you).
The main goal of a landing page is to have no navigation, no other links on the page that could distract the viewer. The only option for them should be to join your email list, or close the page.
My Recommendation: ConvertKit – They do have a free plan which may work well for your needs. But ConvertKit is one of the best ones out there and most highly recommended for a reason. I absolutely love the features it offers for my business needs.
Picking a Landing Page Builder
There’s a few top options when it comes to a landing page builder.
And again, what features they offer and what you need for your business will be different.
- Cost: The way a landing page builder bills you is by the feature. You’ll end up paying more for more features. But, when you’re just staring out a basic plan should cover you just fine. Unfortunately, they usually only offer a short 14 day trial period.
My Recommendation: Lead Pages – The best priced option when you’re starting out is LeadPages. This is what I use and they have a lot of nice features even on their basic level plan.
No matter what makes you start your email list, whether it’s thinking about MySpace disappearing into a virtual ghost town, or wanting to be more secure with your business. Either one is a good reason to start your own email list.
Whether you decide to go with the basic ESP and grow from there, or go all in with the tools and dive head first… it’s okay. Do what works best for you at your stage of business.
But, when you do get that email list going. You’ll want to make sure you take advantage of all options to get people on your email list. Your website is prime real estate for that.
But, it’ll struggle to get people on your list if you’re not being strategic with what you’re doing and how your website is going to help you get there.
To help with that, you’ll want to grab your copy of the Ultimate Guide To Do Your Website Pages the Right Way.