Email List 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started Building Your Email List

There are a lot of things in life we take for granted… things we don’t realize we have until they’re gone. Things like social media for example. I know I’m gonna age myself when I say this… but Myspace is the perfect example. Now I don’t think Myspace was as heavily used for business as something like Facebook or Instagram is today… but still. The fact remains, we don’t own social media. They can disappear at any time. Which makes relying on it for your business income dangerous. So, what do you do? Let me tell you everything you need to know to get started building your email list.

Why an email list? 

Because this you do own. You can take it with you. So even if an email service provider (What tool you use to hold your list and send emails to them) closes, it can be moved to a new one.

So let’s talk about everything you need to know to get started building your email list. I know there’s a lot of pieces and it can be overwhelming.

I’ll go more in depth on this in a moment, but you may want to go ahead and grab my Lead Magnet Creation guide. I’ll walk you through my best tips to create a lead magnet and what to make it about.

Now that you’ve grabbed that, let’s talk about everything you need to know to get started building your email list.

Why Bother with an Email List?

I touched on this earlier but let’s elaborate a little more. It seems like everywhere I turn I’m hearing someone talk about how you don’t need a website. Just use social media for getting clients or customers for your business.

And while this does work, and it may be okay to start out on… it shouldn’t be your long term solution. Having that website makes you look professional and legit. (But that’s a topic for another discussion).

Having that email list means you don’t have to rely on social media and their ever changing algorithms to hope that your followers see your offers and that you bring money in.

It puts you in control of your business income, not at the mercy of the social media platform algorithm.    

How Do You Get People On Your Email List?

There’s two main ways to get people on your email list. Either one work just as well. It’s all in how you put them together. But the ideas behind them are simple.

Option 1 – a Freebie or Lead Magnet

This is something that is offered for free, and usually has a few names. But freebie or lead magnet are most common. The goal behind this is to offer something that solves a small but specific problem for your ideal customer or client.

Option 2 – A Low Cost Offer

This is something slightly different but along the same lines. The idea behind it is the same, but you make it slightly more in depth, more info and how to behind it. Then you charge a small fee for it.

Using a low cost offer is popular for one main reason. Sometimes when people get on your list with a lead magnet, they’ll take a lot longer to buy from you because they take longer to build that trust factor. But if you can get them to buy from you and end up on your list, they’ll trust you more sooner. They’ve gotten to see what you give when they pay you for something and  they build trust very quickly. And this means they’re usually more willing to pay you for something in the future. 

Essential Tools & Tips

When it comes to creating your lead magnet there’s a couple tools you can pick from. Whatever you decide to go with is okay, just pick something that works for your business.

I remember seeing an entire course on how to build a lead magnet with Excel. (Keep in mind this was years ago.) Sure it worked but it was so tedious. There’s faster options out there.

You can make a beautiful cover image in Canva, and put the rest of it into a Google Doc. While this may be simple and low tech, it’s useful. For people who like to keep it digital it means they can make all their notes inside this lead magnet.

You could make it all in Canva and save it as a PDF and offer this. This is great for someone who wants to print and write on it.

You could also offer two formats. I tend to do this with my business. I’ll make the cover in Canva, the file in a Google Doc, download it as a PDF and then upload that PDF to Google Drive and link to both options. 

What Email Service Provider to Use?

Way back… years ago when I started building my email list… I started with a free option. There are plenty out there. But I always knew I wanted to use ConvertKit. It was the thing everyone used.

Well a while back ConvertKit came out with a free plan. Sure you have some limited features. But if you’re just starting building your list, you’ll do just fine with the free version of ConvertKit.

Email Your List Weekly

I know this is a scary thing to say. I know when I first started to do this I was terrified, like biting my nails terrified. But it will be okay, you’ll get to a point where it’s normal and it won’t be scary.

Email your list once a week. It’s important. Even if you don’t have blog posts you do weekly, just send them something. Why? Because it keeps you on the top of their mind, helps you build that rapport, and it keeps your email list warm to the idea of trusting you.

So no matter what size email list you have, email them once a week. You may be sitting there scared thinking they’ll hate it or that you’ll suck. Would you rather have 50 people read something you think will suck because you’ve never done before? Or would you rather have 500 people read something you think sucks because you’ve never done it before?

Everything You Need to Know to Get Started Building Your Email List

I know it can be scary to start an email list. Focus on creating that lead magnet first. Write an email to welcome them to your list and give them that lead magnet.

Then get people on it. Put it everywhere you can. You’ll get people on it before you know it.

Just remember to keep pushing forward and you’ll build that list. This way you can control your business revenue and not be reliant on a social media platforms ever changing algorithm.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about creating a lead magnet I want to share with you my best tips I’ve learned over the years to make a lead magnet. Things you can do to make it look more polished and what to make it about.