Are you asking the right question about starting your email list?
Here’s the question that’s on everyone’s mind when they start thinking about mailing lists:
“Which service should I use?”
You’ve probably wondered yourself and maybe even spent a few hours (or days, or weeks) researching your options.
This is not the question you should be asking yet. And it’s exactly why so many entrepreneurs get stuck in the planning stage of list building.
List Building – Starting Right
Before you think about tools, you must ask yourself this:
“How can I best serve my audience/target market?”
Whether you’re coaching business owners, new moms, bloggers, or millennials, they need that service only you can fulfill. And when you discover what that need is, you’ll have two valuable pieces of information:
- What incentive will be a true no-brainer for your ideal client to opt into your list?
- How can you use your mailing list to provide the best value for those who join your list?
Don’t over-think these questions, though.
Your opt-in incentive can be as simple as a checklist or a short how-to video that answers a common question. You don’t have to go overboard with dozens of downloads and a 100-page eBook. Rather than providing value, these massive downloads are more likely to overwhelm your reader than encourage her to learn more. Think about all those PDFs and downloads you have sitting on your computer right now—the ones you had every intention of going through but never got around to. Don’t waste your time (or theirs!)
When it comes to providing value to your list members, keep three things in mind:
- Regular communication is a must (consider an autoresponder series if you’re not good with scheduling email updates)
- Marketing is second to information—too much selling will cause your opt-out rates to soar.
- It’s your responsibility as a thought leader in your market to sift through and provide the information, tools, and products your audience needs.
How to Figure Out Your List-Building Goals
Here, you want to ask yourself how you’ll be using your list. Will you:
- Send a weekly or monthly newsletter?
- Create an autoresponder series that delivers content on a pre-determined schedule?
- Use affiliate links as an income generator?
- Promote your own services and products?
The answers to these questions will help you determine not only the right tool for your email list-building needs but will also determine the path for your ongoing mailing list content, promotions, and growth.
Want more email management tips and training? Take a look at this course from coach Cindy Bidar.