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One of the things that you might overlook when you start your online business is building your email list up.
You are probably thinking that it is unnecessary in the beginning but it is actually a crucial part of your business.
Matter of fact, I would say that you do not really have an online business if you do not have some sort of email or contact list.
Yeah, I said it.
So since this is such an essential part of your business, you may think that it is also going to be expensive to start?
Actually, it’s not.
Matter of fact, you can start completely for free!
There are several platforms that you can sign up for with a free plan (and no credit card) and start building your email list.
So in this article, I am going to show you the best places where you can sign up, how to set it up, and how you can start making leads.
Should You Wait To Be More Established Before Starting A List?
The number one thing that comes up when I tell people to build an email list is:
“But I am just getting started! No one knows me yet.”
This should not at all be stopping you.
You shouldn’t wait to have thousands of viewers to start building your email list.
By then, you may have missed out on a lot of opportunities.
Here is what you need to think about:
If you are not sure about your online business and if you are going to scale in the future, then maybe you should wait to build an email list.
Email lists are for those that are sure that they want to have an established online presence and that they are going to make some kind of livelihood from it.
So take some time to think about what you actually are doing online.
Are you just testing things out?
Or are you planting the bricks of your future empire?
How Do You Start Email Marketing For Free?
Now we move on to the good stuff!
There are a few steps when it comes to actually building your email list for free. Some of them are going to require that you take some time to think about what strategy is best for you.
So keep that in mind as you go through these.
1. Choose An Email Marketing Tool With A Free Plan
This is the first step to building your email system. I have 5 email marketing platforms that I know and/or have used in the past.
These are the ones that I know for a fact that you can sign up for completely for free.
They also will give you all of the necessary features that you really need to be able to grow your contact list.
Most of these allow for up to 500 contacts, with the exception of MailChimp which allows for up to 2000 contacts. And ConvertKit which gives you 1000 contacts.
To learn more about each of these platforms and which one will be the best for you, I recommend you read more about all of the features you get with their free plan.
2. Set Up One Welcome Email
Once you look into the different plans and sign up, you are going to want to set up a welcome email.
This email is what you are going to send to your subscribers when they sign up to give them a better look at what you or your business is about.
It can look something like this:
When you create this email, it can be saved as a template. So when you see that you have a new subscriber, you simply choose the template, select the new subs, and send them your welcome email.
This is actually a much better option than having to do it manually as it may entail hours of delay for your subscribers.
For example, if you have someone who subscribes at 3 AM and you are asleep, you may not see it until the next morning meaning that person would have waited at least 3 hours to get the email from you.
So having at least one automation is definitely a bonus.
3. Make Opt-In Forms
Opt-in forms are those nice boxes that pop up when you are on a website or that you see in an article.
You can enter your email, download a freebie, or do plenty of other things with these forms.
This is going to be your bread and butter for generating leads.
If you know how to do your copywriting and write enticing words that will make people want to sign up, you are 10 steps ahead.
Pair that with some beautiful and attention-grabbing opt-in forms and you have hit the jackpot!
Decide what you want your forms to be about and how you want people to engage. I recommend you start out with a simple blog subscription form, to begin with.
Something like this:
As you can see, this is a simple sign-up form where you can enter your email list. Once that is done, you will get a welcome email sent to your inbox.
You can test it out if you want 😉
ConvertKit is especially popular for the amazing designs that it has as well.
4. Make Lead Magnets
The next thing that you are going to want to think about is having a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is something that you give for free in exchange for someone entering their email.
It can be things like free checklists, worksheets, spreadsheets, ebooks, etc.
This can be as specific or special as you want it to be. For example, one of my lead magnets is specifically for YouTubers.
If you look at the Minded Marketing Youtube blog page, there is a lead magnet for YouTubers to be featured on this website for an entire month if they sign up.
It is actually one of my most popular lead magnets to date because it is specified to a
5. Drive Traffic To Your Forms And Landing Pages
This is the part that may be the hardest and longer process.
Anyone who has ever built anything online will tell you that getting eyes on your content is the hardest part.
If you already have a following on Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, or anywhere else, us it! Promote your content where you already have an audience.
If you do not have an audience yet, try to go to places like Discord, Facebook, or Reddit and try to build an audience from there.
DO NOT just go on and share links to your content, that never works and you will get banned. You need to engage with people first over a certain amount of time and actually gain their trust.
Help people out as much as you can first, without expecting to get anything in return.
One great place to promote your content is Pinterest but it will depend on which niche you are in.
If you own a website or blog, you should also be working on your SEO so that Google and other search engines can start to rank your content.
Just know that can take 6-8 months before it really picks up speed.
Do You Need A Website To Build An Email List?
The simple answer to this is, no. You do not need a website in order to grow an email list.
All of the email marketing tools that I mentioned earlier have at least one free landing page that you can create.
With a landing page, you can use it as a place to refer your audience to. There, they will be able to leave their email or do whatever you want them to do.
However, with that being said, it is better if you actually have a website, blog, youtube channel, or any other fixed place that your audience can always find you.
Take it from someone who was purely an affiliate marketer before, it is very hard to manage several landing pages.
Plus, it is a lot easier for people to trust you if they know that there is one place where they can find you.
If you notice I talk a lot about email marketing, it is because I truly love it. It is amazing that you can grow a core audience of people who choose to keep up with your content.
This is also the reason why I love having a youtube channel. People choose to subscribe to my channel because they like my content and want more of it.
Having an email list feels like having gold or diamonds because it truly is precious.
So make sure that you treat it with respect.
The email marketing tools that I have listed in this article are some of the most secure in the market and they guarantee not only your security but the privacy of your contacts as well.
But as the owner of this list, you need to follow good practices when it comes to sending emails. Do not harass your list with tons of emails every day.
Give them value, make them feel special, and give them a reason to stay subscribed to your email list.