In this episode of the podcast, I explore the idea that you can build an email list without a website.
You might be in the position of not having a website right now as you are transitioning from having an Etsy or Amazon store to creating a new website for yourself.
However, I often find that business owners in this position tend to put off having an email list because they think that they need a website or need everything to be “perfect” first.
I can assure you that you do not need everything to be perfect.
Email is still a very popular marketing tool for small businesses because email is still one of the most checked means of communication.
It’s cost-effective too.. there’s no physical cost and you can send as many emails as you want without an increase in cost usually.
It’s also very effective at converting users with some industries reporting conversion rates as high as 10% from email campaigns.
I’m going to cover the ways that you get started with building an email list using some of the best free tools out there…and yes, you don’t need a website to be able to do this.
How to Get Started
First up is why you need an email marketing tool.
To get started with growing an email list of people who have said that they want to hear from you, you’ll need to sign-up for an email marketing tool.
It’s the only way that you can manage your email subscribers in a way that protects their data.
Gone are the days of keeping people’s emails on a bit of paper taped on the wall next to your next or in a spreadsheet that can easily be emailed to anyone.
Data laws mean that you need to ensure that the person who has decided to sign up to your email list can do so with the peace of mind that you won’t be hacked and their data shared without their permission.
Signing up to an email marketing tool like Mailchimp or ConvertKit means that you hand the data storing of your email list to them and they do it very well.
There’s a big software company in Brighton called Pure360 who is an email marketing provider and I knew a few people who worked there. Security was so tight that they have to have their thumbs scanned before they could enter the building.
The fines that you can face for mishandling user data in these GDPR times are massive, so it’s best to get help from professionals.
They’ll even ensure that you are acting in a GDPR compliant way too.
One of the other big advantages of using an email marketing tool is that you can automate the process of sending emails.
In the old day, it would be typical to send out 100 emails from an Outlook account using the BCC method.
It’s amazing today that using automated email marketing we can set up rules and reports that tell us who didn’t open those emails and trigger automation to send them emails based on their behavior.
What Email Tool to Pick
In my Membership, I recommend using tools like Mailchimp to get started. Mailchimp has been going years and although it doesn’t have the most intuitive interface (it can be quite a hassle to find things in there).
As a tool, it has been going a long time and they have amassed a lot of information about how their customers use the platform and how their users open and interact with email.
It’s quite a good “beginner’s” tool and connects with other platforms so that you can measure eCommerce data too.
It also has some good pre-built email templates and landing pages so you don’t even need to design your email before you start.
I use ConvertKit which until recently was a paid tool. I love the simplicity of the interface and that it focuses you on writing rather than worrying about all of the pretty stuff.
In the past couple of months, ConvertKit has also launched a free option, so you can start using it for up to the first 1000 subscribers. This has made it a rather exciting player in the email marketing space.
Get started with Convertkit here.
How to Grow Your List Using a Landing Page
So I want to make it clear that the best way to grow your email list is to actually ask people to join your email list.
If you don’t tell people that you have an email list then they will never know.
Using tools like Mailchimp or Convert to build your list usually are only thought to work if you either embed a form on your website and encourage users to sign up to that form.
However they also have secret weapons – they can host your form on their own websites, a bit like having for form on a Facebook Page where Facebook “host” the form for you.
The interfaces and designs vary but they allow you to host a form and provide a link that you can share on your social networks and ask customers and clients to sign up to.
Learn more about landing pages here: https://heyvickijakes.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-landing-page-and-a-website/