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How To Start An Email List For Beginners

June 8, 2022

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In my recent post about how to grow an email list, I talked about the importance of email lists.

Only after posting did I realize there are some of you who may have questions about how to create and start an email list. After all, you can’t grow an email list without creating one first!

That’s what we’re going to learn in this post. So without further adieu, let’s talk about how to start and grow your email list from 0 and WHY this one thing is more important than growing on social media.

What is an Email List?

Let’s start with the basics: what is an email list?

An email list is a list of emails that you OWN. These are all people who have subscribed to you or your website, raising their hands and saying, “Yes! I want you to email me!”

If you open your inbox right now, you’ll see a bunch of emails. That means you are on that person’s or those businesses’ email lists.

When Bath and Body Works launch their new fall scents, you better believe I’ve already signed up to get their emails and I will be the first to know when their 3-wick candles are going on sale!

Now, the better question is WHY email lists?

Why You Need an Email List

I know we hear over and over that blogs and email lists are “dead”, but that can not be further from the truth!

When you grow a blog following or an email list, those are the only “social media” followings that you rightfully and legally OWN.

If Instagram, YouTube, FaceBook and TikTok went out of business and disappeared, what would happen to your business?

In the US, we almost saw TikTok disappear! If they did, where would you be without those “followers”?

With an email list, you would still have and OWN your spreadsheet of contacts with ACTUAL PEOPLE that want to hear from YOU directly.

If that imaginary scenario doesn’t convince you enough, (because let’s be honest…will these huge social media platforms just die tomorrow? Probably not.) let me give you some stats to convince you.

Statistics About Email Lists

If you were to post a link on FaceBook, you would get an average of .07% of people to click on that.

However, If you were to send that same link to an email list, that CTR (Click-through rate) goes up to 3.57%.

If you’re thinking, “Millie, that’s barely 4%! You’re not convincing me,” I’m just getting started.

Let me back up a little bit and ask you this.

How many followers do you have on Instagram? When you post, what percentage of people actually SEE your content? What percentage of those people then take the time to engage with your content?

Right now on Instagram, “good engagement” is considered to be only 3% of your following! Because everyone knows the algorithm is not perfect, so your content will not be shown to everyone who follows you.

Instagram vs Emails

Let’s compare an Instagram account with 1,000 followers to an email list with 1,000 subscribers.

You post a photo and have an AMAZING engagement rate of 10%. That means 100 people liked your photo… but you have a call to action (CTA) in your caption to go to the link in your bio and read your newest blog post… 

How many people do you think actually read that post? Maybe 2: my husband and my mom. (Hi, if you’re reading this! 👋)

But with your email list, when you send an email, guess how many people get that email. 100% of your subscribers will receive your email.

All 1,000.

That automatically increases the number of people who will click on your link and read your blog post.

With that email list, you aren’t reliant on some algorithm, hoping that this magical, mystical beast will have mercy on you and show your content to your followers.

That’s why I love email lists… but not as much as I love my husband and my mom.

How to Grow Your Email List the Right Way

Alright, now that we’ve established why email lists are so important, we can talk about how you can get someone to give you their email address.

I know the biggest concern here is not wanting to be salesy. That’s always what I hear from my students. And with good reason.

The good news is that this is your business. You don’t have to be salesy! You can do you, however the heck you want to!

Before I jump into my #1 suggestion for growing an email, I just wanted to recommend that you use Flodesk for emails. They’re an incredibly intuitive email builder and they can help you find the places to include your opt-in email forms.

Now that you know what tool to use for email, let’s talk about how to get those emails.

The main thing I recommend is creating a freebie.

Create a Freebie

You may have also heard the terms lead magnet or opt-in. They’re all basically the same thing, so for the sake of simplicity, I’m going to say ‘freebie’.

What exactly are freebies? Freebies are a piece of content that you can give away in exchange for someone’s email.

Your freebies should be something of value to your target audience. If there’s value, they don’t mind giving you their email.

What are some freebie examples? You can give away an e-book, guide, template, presets, mini-training, or make a fun quiz for someone to take. You can do virtually anything that relates to your business and adds value to your audience!

My favorite part about freebies is that they are completely customizable to every niche, every person and every business model.

Resources for Freebie Ideas

On my website, I have freebies like “How to Grow On Instagram“, “Free pitch templates for landing brand collaborations” and ‘Free photo presets’.

There is no “one-size fits all” when it comes to freebies so it is up to you to figure out what sort of freebie will work best for you, your business and your audience.

If you want a start, I suggest going to Pinterest, type in a topic or your niche, and you will see a lot of freebie ideas there!

While this may be the end of this post, if you wanted any additional help or ideas on creating freebies or growing an email list, I have an entire mini-course called “The Email List Accelerator” that you can use to further educate yourself!

In the course, I teach you how to identify which freebie would make the most sense for your niche, how to make it and how to build your list and automate your emails to send out. Feel free to check that out!

In the meantime, let me know in the comments if any tips in here helped you create and build an email list.

Follow your joy!

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