How to Create A Mailing List: Everything You Need to Know

Learning How to Create a Mailing List

With all the other things you have to do, is it really worth your time to learn how to create a mailing list?

Think about it this way.

An email list consists of the names and email addresses of people who actually gave you permission to send them updates and promotions. 

In other words, your email list points you to the people who are truly interested in what you have to offer.

So yes, they're important.

If you don't have one yet, it's time to look at how to create a mailing list.

According to Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for U.S. businesses.

If that isn't convincing enough, here are a few reasons why you should start building that email list:

1. You have control over your email list

There's no denying that social media is essential in growing a profitable and engaged blog or business.

But the big drawback is that you can't control it.

Since you have no ownership of the social media sites that you’ve spent so much time building, you also have no control over their switching and changing everything on a whim.

For example, the way Facebook changed their algorithm to force people to pay for the promotion of their posts.

They're allowed to do that because they own it.

You do own your email list though.

So even if Twitter or Pinterest decide to do an overhaul that will negatively affect you, you still have a list of dedicated followers who are willing to open your emails and read your important updates.

2. Email subscribers are more likely to buy your product or service

Here's the scoop.

Most people are not nearly as picky about who they “follow” on social media as they are about who they subscribe to on their email.

After all, with that subscription, they're giving you access to their inner world.

So take care of your email subscribers.

They are like loyal and trusted members of your family and your email list is their gathering place.

3. It's an easy way to keep in touch

There's a good chance that people aren't checking your LinkedIn page or your blog every day. But they probably check their email every day.

So email is the easiest way to share updates and announcements that will reach the largest portion of your audience. 

Big name businesses spend thousands of dollars to get people to sign up for their email lists because it's the best long-term investment with such a high return.

The people on their lists will continue to get their message for a longer amount of time, and at a very low cost to the business.

This is why you need to know how to create a mailing list.

Want a cool substitute for an 'email list'?  Try building a Chatbot.

So what do you need to start building an email list?

The three essential components of how to create a mailing list are as follows: 

  1. Your own website or blog.
  2. A reliable email marketing service.
  3. High-converting opt-in forms.

Setting up all three of these is fairly simple and you don't need to know how to code.

Working from the assumption that you already have your website/blog, we'll focus on how to create a mailing list and then foster its growth.

Finding the best email marketing service

When you're starting out new, you may be compelled to use one of the free email marketing services online in order to cut costs.

Some of those free platforms are not the greatest option though. 

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Keep it simple...

Here are the two that I would recommend to look at, for these reasons:

  • MailChimp: Easy to use and very basic. They allow you to create automation sequences as well.
  • ActiveCampaign: Starts out at $9/mo, but is really the best, advanced, alternative, if you are really trying to break into email marketing.

When considering how to create a mailing list, choosing a professional email marketing service is a good investment. There are many benefits to going this route: 

  • You can observe subscriber activity and then organize your subscribers based on the actions they take.
  • You're able to send private mass emails to your subscribers.
  • You can run A/B split tests in order to see which email subject line, content, and offers are most effective with your subscribers.
  • You have reporting tools that allow you to see from which country you have the most subscribers so that you can adjust your time zone preferences and send emails at the right time.
  • You can see the email addresses of all your subscribers.

Once you have signed up with an email marketing service, the next step is to grow your email list to get more subscribers. 

If you want to know how to create a mailing list that will really grow, here are nine things you'll need to do:

1. Know Your Audience

A big part of knowing how to create a mailing list is to fully understand who you're targeting. You need to consider the who, where and why in terms of your opt-in offer and the marketing strategy you plan to use.

Imagine your ideal customers.

How can you make your content relevant to them?

This information allows you to start planning out a content schedule with those niche-related topics and to determine what lead magnet would be suitable for them.

2. Make it Easy for Your Visitors

Your ideal customers are showing up, but you're driving them away if you're asking them to fill in a life's worth of information in order to get on your email list. 

You really just NEED an email address.

The less your readers have to share about themselves, the more likely they are to give up that minimal information. And that means the more conversions you’ll see.

Also, be clear about exactly what they're signing up for and what they can expect to get.

3. Give Them a Solid Offer

This needs to be something good; something of value. And it can't be just anything that your reader can easily get someplace else. 

The key is to give them a freebie that relates directly to your service or product.

If they don't want a freebie, then they're probably not all that interested in what you're selling. 

You don't need to break the bank on this.

An example of a freebie would be something like giving the reader access to a private community or forum, or a 12-day email course - which will have you showing up every day in their email inbox. 

Once again, you need to know your ideal customers to determine the best offer for them. Some people will want content in the form of ebooks, other prefer webinars, some will sign up for a course. 

If you can't quite figure out what type of lead magnet would be best, then ask them! Have them choose between three and see which one is the most popular.

4. Incorporate a Squeeze Page for the Free Offer

You need more than just an opt-in box in your sidebar. 

A squeeze page will pull in your readers and showcase the benefits of signing up for your list. Talk about the highlights of your offer and be sure to add in a call-to-action and sign-up box.  

You want to use the squeeze page to sell yourself to your readers so bullet lists and testimonials will really pop here. Make the page useful and tailor it to your ideal customers.

5. Create a Splash Page for Those Who've Already Found Your Site

These are the pages that "splash" up before your home page. They usually have an offer and a clickable link that allows the reader to go to the main site, or to decline the offer.

The splash page is an effective tactic since you already know that the person looking at it was interested enough to go to your website in the first place. This typically means they're more likely to take up the offer.

6. Use Social Proof

Social proof only works if you already have a decent-sized subscriber list.

If that's the case, you can use your extensive list of emails as an incentive to invite new subscribers by saying something like, “Come join the 3,000 people who've found success with us.

This is "social proof" to the reader that you've got something good and they should probably be a part of it.

And it works.

Yep...

That whole peer pressure thing that you thought ended after high school is not over.

It's alive and well on the internet. 

7. Put Some Power in Your Call-to-Action 

If your call-to-action (CTA) button just says something like sign up, submit or subscribe, it may not be enough to move your readers to do so. 

Make the direction more exciting by telling them what they will get if they do sign up. Things like, “Send me my free report” or, “Give me exclusive access now" are more compelling. 

To get people to take action, try to use persuasive words like free, get, you and now. 

8. Start a Blog

If you have just a website, you'll want to add a blog.

It doesn't have to be a high-maintenance affair. Adding content to your blog just once per week will give you more chances to optimize your site and share content on social media.

9. Add in a Newsletter

Once you see how to create a mailing list and your own list starts gaining traction, you can start writing a regular newsletter.

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It can be something as short and sweet as just an intro and a link to your latest blog posts.

Make it personable though.

A newsletter is not intended to be an opportunity to blast your subscribers with your blog posts.

Make the lead in conversational and have it relate that to the post you are promoting.

You can also ask your subscribers to share your newsletter with people they know.

Once you know how to create a mailing list, you can see that it's not that much work in exchange for the tremendous value it adds.

If you've had success in learning how to create a mailing list, tell us about it!  

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