How I Started my E-mail List and Reached 100 Subscribers in 30 Days
We have all heard it before - "the money is in the list" or "you have to have an e-mail list". When I first heard one of my favorite podcasters talk about this I was convinced I needed a list but I seriously had zero idea on how you actually get people to sign up for an e-mail list.
In today's crazy world of social media we are starting to see business pages and accounts get pushed all the way to the bottom when it comes to showing our posts and if you want to get in front of your followers you really have to "pay to play". Now, I'm okay with paying for the occasional boosted post but at the end of the day it's so important to remember this: you do not own your followers on social media. Mark Zuckerberg owns your followers.
So, how are you consistently going to connect with your tribe? Through your e-mail list.
I have known for a long long time that I needed a list but like I said, the idea of getting all of the moving parts in place kind of made my heard hurt. However, once I figured out the tech side of things and started seeing people actually signing up, I was pumped.
I'm going to walk you through the exact steps I took to get my e-mail list up and running so you can do it to - I promise it's not as tough as it sounds!
STEP ONE - CHOSE AN E-MAIL PROVIDER SERVICE
There are lots of different options for e-mail service providers out there but when you are just starting out I highly reccommend Mail Chimp. Mail Chimp allows you to collect 2,000 e-mails before you have to start paying for their service. So, when you're first starting your business and money is tight it's nice to have Mail Chimp as an option.
Signing up for a free account is very simple and I find the screens easy to navigate and user friendly. Mail Chimp will walk you through step by step how to create your first list and how to send out "campaigns" or e-mails.
STEP TWO - CREATE AN ATTRACTIVE LEAD MAGNET
A whaaaaaaat? A lead magnet is a type of free content that a person would be happy to trade their e-mail for that free content. A good lead magnet can come in many different forms such as a free guide, e-book, workbook, video course...there are many options out there to choose from.
They key to an awesome lead magnet is that you want people to think "wow, this is such great information, and it's free?". You want to give away some of your best content absolutely free. Before I worked on my website, and before I even had my blog up and running I was working on my freebies.
I created 4 different free guides that I turned into PDF documents that I could share in an e-mail after someone opted in to the e-mail list. By no means do you have to start with four but I found after putting all four out there which ones were the most popular and which ones people were most likely to opt in to.
My most popular lead magnet was my guide to Creating Captions for Instagram that Connect and Engage - if you are looking for an example you can opt in here!
STEP THREE - CREATE A LANDING PAGE
This step was, for me, probably the most daunting. I really didn't understand what a lead page was or how to create one. A lead page (sometimes called a landing page) is a web page where people opt in to your freebie (enter in their name and e-mail address) and then they receive an automatically generated e-mail from your e-mail service provider (like Mail Chimp).
It's possible to create landing pages within your own website however, for beginners I recommend using Lead Pages. This was the first investment I made in my new business because it allowed me to create lead pop-up boxes and lead pages for my free guides.
Here is an example of a lead page...
You'll notice that it is really simple but that it looks similar to the look and feel of my blog and website so when people click to it they aren't super confused about why they are there.
In Lead Pages you can create a lead page for each freebie you have and you can create different landing pages and see which one converts better (meaning which style is more likely for people to complete and opt in for the free content).
I love lead pages so much and I know that it is crucial to the success of your business so I am affiliate. This means that if you sign up for an account using my link I get a small commission on each sale - to get started with Lead Pages you can check it out here!
STEP FOUR - GET YOUR FREEBIE IN FRONT OF YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE
Once you have your lead pages set up you need to drive traffic to those pages. If you are a new business you may not have a huge social media following but you can do some posts about your new free content and try to steer traffic to your lead page.
You can also create Facebook Ads and target your ideal customer - however, this will require a budget to get your ad in front of the right people on Facebook or Instagram.
Let me tell you what I did....I used Pinterest. Why Pinterest? First of all, it's FREE! You can pay to promote your pins but I found that I really didn't need to do that. I created original pins that linked directly to my lead page and I also created some pins that linked back to my blog.
To find out more about how I used Pinterest to grow my following and generate opt ins you can read this post -
Building an e-mail list is not for the faint of heart. It doesn't just explode over night. During the first 30 days after I created my freebies and started promoting my lead pages my growth was slow. Some days I would have 2-3 new people added to my list and other days maybe 6. The key to everything in building an online presence is consistency.
To build your list you not only have to have those lead pages and freebie going but you also have to create a consistent online presence so potential clients and customers can get to know you and feel served.
In that first month I was also creating new content for the blog 3x a week, creating a weekly podcast and working on my website. If you are starting your new business as a side hustle you probably won't have as much time to pour into your new business and thats okay!! Just do what you can, when you can and remember that consistency is key.
Don't be discouraged if your list doesn't hit 100 new subscribers in 30 days. Set new goals every week and do your best to meet those goals. When I first started out I was hoping to gain 75 new subscribers a week. I quickly relized that may be an unreachable goal for a new blog. So, I changed that goal is 20/week and then when I achieved that I set a new goal for 30/week.
The most important advice I can give you is to just start. You can do this!!!!
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