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How to Start an Email List

email marketing

One of the best ways to grow your following and get more customers is to start an email list. This list is used to communicate with those interested in your message, products or service. In fact, your email list is one of the most valuable assets you own as a business owner. Your email list should be used to continually communicate with your customers, build brand loyalty and attract new followers you can turn into customers.


A few years back several clients stopped building their email lists thinking that social media would replace email marketing. They assumed that by posting to their social platforms, their customers were receiving communications from the company just as they did through their newsletters. To a degree they were correct, but what they didn’t realize was that this type of communications was not personalized. They also were not aware that social companies like Facebook and Twitter could change their algorithms at any time affecting who and how often their posts are seen. It became apparent that their email list was something they had complete control over and that customers are happier and more engaged when they get quality content delivered directly to them.

Before you start an email list, create an action plan that looks at your goals, how you plan to attract followers, what type of content you want to send them and how you will measure success. You can also set a goal for how many new followers you want to gain during a specific period of time. Then, once you choose a provider and get familiar with their platform, you can create branded forms, newsletters, promotions and increase customer loyalty with well-thought-out content.

Sign up with an Email Service Provider (ESP)

Signing up with an email service provider will give you access to all the tools that you will need to begin. All of the ESPs have templates for newsletters, announcements, sign up forms along with other tools to help start, grow and manage your email subscriber list.

Pricing varies between each service provider, so choose one that fits into your business plan. Companies like MailChimp offer new customers a free version that includes the first 2000 subscribers. Their advanced plans provide more services and features to be compared with other ESPs like Constant Contact and Drip. They all make it easy to start an email list.

Create an opt-in form

All of the email service providers have tools to create an “opt-in” form used to gather email address. This form can be placed on your website, social media accounts and even within your email signature using ‘easy to work with’ auto-generated code. You can build the opt-in form in several different styles and formats, but it’s best to keep things simple by requesting just an email address and a first name. Most WordPress websites will automatically adjust the opt-in form to fit into sections of the website. The best areas to place an opt-in form on a website is the right sidebar in the top position and the About Us page. You can also add it to any and every page/post by placing it in the header or footer. Many online marketing companies add the opt-in form as a ‘pop up,’ but this practice needs to be monitored carefully as customers become annoyed when the form appears as soon as the page loads.

Get Subscribers to Join

Most people are reluctant to turn over their email unless they feel like they are getting something valuable in return. After all who wants to be bombarded with “spam” emails.

Creating a value offering is one of the best methods to capture an email and make an excellent first impression. If you are giving away a free download, podcast, coupon or information relevant to the reader, they will be more likely to exchange their email for the info. Think about what you could gift to readers that holds actual value and promotes credibility.

Make sure you are promoting this free content across all channels. A great way to do this is by running a contest or giveaway. You can use a giveaway platform and your social network to create a buzz. You can also use a social media ad to reach out to your targeted audience.

Guest blogging on an industry website gives you credibility and positions you as a thought leader. This strategy will attract new followers and assist you in building a reputation, both which will increase your email list.

Building an email list is a fun and rewarding process that will yield tremendous results. Like any project you take on, it’s always a good idea to plan out your strategy.  This includes creating the best content you can to attract the most customers. If you don’t feel comfortable handling any part of this process, consider hiring a professional to help you develop beautifully branded templates used to put you and your content in front of your customers.

A well-run email campaign will turn prospects into followers and followers into customers. By communicating regularly with your email list, you will turn customers into long-term advocates of your company.


Rick Lite of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever-changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 13 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and CDs with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.

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