One thing that we wish we would have done when we first started our website design firm was to start growing our email list from DAY 1!
When we started working hard on growing our traffic to our website and getting qualified leads, we put so much of our focus into Facebook and Twitter, which worked GREAT at first. We were seeing amazing traffic and the work we put in to growing those social media channels was really starting to pay off.
And then suddenly one day, Facebook changed their algorithm (AGAIN!) and our traffic PLUMMETED. And shortly after, Twitter changed what our followers saw their feed and once again, our traffic took a big dive.
We quickly learned that the only thing we have complete ownership and control over is our email list.
Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google +, Instagram . . . they are simply all owned by someone else and could be taken away from you at any moment.
Once you have someone’s email address however, it’s yours forever! No one can take that away from you. Most people (91% of people, in fact) check their email every day.
Whether you’ve had a WordPress website for years or are just starting out online, your email list is going to become the most vital part of your online success and here are top 3 reasons why:
#1 EMAIL WILL GET YOU IN FRONT OF YOUR READERS REGULARLY
Chances are your reader found you on Facebook or Pinterest or while they were googling something. They have probably never heard of you before and the odds are not very high that they will remember you or come back to visit on a regular basis . . . that is, unless you can capture their email address!
By sending out an email regularly and reminding them of your website and the good content that you have over there, you will have a fan for life!
You cannot get in front of someone on any other social media platform as easily as you can with an email list. Which leads perfectly into my next point . . .
#2 YOUR EMAIL LIST WILL HELP TO GROW YOUR TRAFFIC
We know of WordPress website owners who will send out an email every time there is a new post on their blog because it’s a great way to get the traffic started. You know the saying “If you build it, they will come”? Well, it doesn’t apply to online traffic (if it even applies to anything at all!).
You could write the most amazing news post and have zero page views. You can push your content on social media, but only 5-10% of your followers on Facebook will see it, Pinterest takes a few days to really start to see any type of return and it’s really just a gamble with how much traffic you will see with that work.
However, if you send out an email to your email list (even if you are just starting out and only have 5 people on that list), you are going to be in every single person’s inbox and have a much higher chance of them clicking over to your blog.
As your list continues to grow, it can become a powerful tool to help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Let’s say you have a list of 40,000 email addresses. If you have a 20% open rate (meaning that 20% of your list opens up the emails that you send), suddenly you have 8,000 people who open that email and see you have a new post. If even 5% of those people click through to see that post on your website, that’s 400 people who are looking at your one post in a short amount of time. That is CRAZY powerful. I know that many people have ranked on the first page of Google searches from using their email to get traffic.
Don’t feel overwhelmed or discouraged that you don’t have 40,000 email subscribers – we know people with email lists of less than 1,000 who are having crazy amounts of success. You have to start somewhere!
#3 EMAIL ADDS A PERSONAL TOUCH THAT ALLOWS YOU TO MAKE A CONNECTION
People will sign up for your email list because they obviously like the things you share and want more. In their eyes, you are pretty AMAZING.
When you send them emails, they are going to be excited to see you pop into their inbox! They like you and trust you enough that they want to keep seeing more of what you have to offer.
We love using our email list to ask our readers questions or for their input (they love feeling as though their opinion really matters to you) or sharing little personal pieces of our lives.
Many times, by sharing those personal tidbits, people can make a connection with you – which makes them like you even more.
Building up the trust and connection with your email list is KEY for the next point . . .
#3a EMAIL IS A GREAT WAY TO GROW YOUR OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
Okay so I am cheating here and slipping in a 3a here as it rewally is an extension of #3 adding the perosnla touch 🙂
The more you can get in front of someone, the more likely they are to click through to your website. Chances are that your reader is not following you on all your social media accounts and email is a great way to remind them all the places you share your content. You can run giveaways or contests on those various channels to help them grow even faster and use your email list to promote that giveaway.
Even though we talked about how you don’t own those social media channels, they can still be used for good in so many ways, so we recommend growing them at the same time you are growing your email list. Make sure that you invite your followers on social media to also join your email list!
SO? ARE YOU READY TO START YOUR OWN EMAIL LIST YET?
Whether you are just starting out or have had a website for ages, the simple truth if you want to grow online is that you NEED to start building an email list. It should be one of your top priorities as a website owner.
So, lets get to the nitty gritty of how you start an email list. Here’s what the Money Treehouse recommend:
Sign up with a professional and simple email service provider
You will want to sign up with an email service provider. You do not want to run your email list through a private Gmail account or some other free personal email service – it would be too difficult to manage and they actually put a cap on how many emails you can send out, etc.
The great thing about email service providers is that they will help you capture new email subscribers, help you write and create amazing emails and newsletters, organize your subscribers and help you segment them (which is powerful if you ever want to sell something), and organize all the info that you need once you send an email (how many people received it, how many people opened it, and how many people clicked through with the links you provided).
The email provider that we recommend, especially for those just starting out, is Constant Contact.
Here are a few reasons why:
Reason #1 – They offer a FREE 60-DAY TRIAL.
When they say free, they really mean it! You don’t even have to enter a credit card number to get started! It gives you a 2 month head start on growing that email list and testing out all the features to make sure you love it.
When the free trial is over, their prices are very comparable to what other email service providers cost. Hopefully by that time, you will have already started building an email list and can make enough money to cover the cost!
Reason #2 – It’s silly EASY to use!
After 7+ years of blogging, we have tried a handful of email providers and some of them were so complicated that we had to hire a professional just to teach us how to use our own email service! You definitely don’t want that.
Constant Contact is awesome because they keep it simple with many drag-and-drop templates that look so professional and will stand out from other emails your readers receive.
Drop in your logo, a picture and link and BAM! Email done! And it looks good too. 🙂
Reason #3 – Advanced Tracking and Features
Even though Constant Contact is great for beginners, it also offers SO many features and tracking tools that you will want as you advance in the blogging world.
What’s great is that these features are available from day one, even with the free 60 Day Trial!
You can track your open rate, best time of day to send email, mobile vs. desktop, bounce rate, links that are clicked, etc. You can even send out a few versions of the same email to compare which one gets more opens and more clicks. These features are awesome!
So, when it comes to getting started with email, we love Constant Contact.