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If you’re not building an email list, you’re missing out on one of the most effective marketing strategies around.

The most valuable marketing asset your business has is a targeted email list. 

Before you spend excessive amounts of time on trendy marketing tactics, focus on growing your email subscriber list. Whether you’re launching your business or looking to grow your current one, a high-quality, relevant email list will help you achieve your goals.  

Email marketing lets you communicate directly with your customers and gives you the opportunity to convert prospective subscribers into paying customers.

You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to get started with email marketing. In fact, you don’t even need a lot of time.

What you need is to be SMART.

And today, I have the 6 smart steps to grow your email list, even if you are starting from scratch.

Let’s get started.

To start to grow your email list, you’ll need these 6 things:

  • A clear picture of your ideal subscriber
  • An email marketing platform to capture contact information and send emails
  • An enticing lead magnet to motivate people to share their email
  • An optimized, high-converting opt-in page where people can sign up to receive your lead magnet
  • Consistent, valuable, and relevant email content to nurture relationships with your list
  • Steady traffic to your opt-in page and forms

Let’s dive into each of these 

1. Your Ideal Subscriber

In order to be effective with email marketing, you need to identify the people you can help best with your product or service. You’ll do this by creating an ideal customer avatar.

By identifying your target audience, you can market in a way that allows you to attract customers to come to you, rather than you having to search for them.

Connecting with your audience is simpler when you can relate to their problems, speak in a way that resonates with them, and provide solutions that make their lives easier.

The topic of finding your ideal client comes up time and time again and that’s because most people skip this crucial step.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming everyone is part of your target audience. There’s no point in building a large email list if you aren’t being specific about your ideal client. 

2. An Email Marketing Platform 

An email marketing platform is the system you’ll use to build and grow your email list. One of the biggest benefits to using an email marketing platform is that you can take advantage of autoresponders to streamline your email marketing process. 

Essentially, an autoresponder allows you to automate part of your email marketing campaign by handling the actual emailing for you.

This means you only have to create the email or email series once and set it to send on autopilot.

This lays the groundwork for you to build a relationship with your subscribers and make sales later, without having to do all the heavy lifting. 

Why you need to use Email Marketing Software

In addition to autoresponders, your email marketing platform also gives you the ability to:

  • Capture email addresses and create customer lists 
  • Store customer data
  • Segment customers to multiple lists based on certain specifications you’ve made
  • Use templates to create attractive, standardized emails, opt-in forms, and even landing pages 
  • Create an email or series of emails and use automation to determine when they are sent and to whom they are sent
  • Gauge the success of your emails through reporting and analytics
  • Access customer support to answer your technical questions

Most email marketing platforms have similar capabilities, so don’t worry about picking the ‘perfect’ one. They all have the ability to export your customer list, so if you need to switch platforms you can easily take your list with you.

How To Start Email Marketing From Scratch An Enticing Lead Magnet

3. An Enticing Lead Magnet

In order to get people to share their contact information with you and join your email list, you need to entice them with a lead magnet. A lead magnet is free content you’ve created that gives your audience a bit of your expertise in exchange for their email address.

While simply asking people to give up their contact information may have worked in the past, it rarely does nowadays. You’ll see much better results if you offer something of value in exchange for their email address.

What is a good lead magnet?

There are lots of options for what type of content to include in your lead magnet. Your lead magnet could be a list of resources, a checklist, or a cheat sheet that solves a problem your ideal customer is facing. 

Most importantly, your lead magnet should be something your audience actually wants. If it doesn’t solve a problem or help them, they won’t sign up for your list and your efforts will go to waste.  

Creating your lead magnet shouldn’t feel overwhelming. If you already have some really great content, you may even reuse and repurpose it into a lead magnet. For example, if you’ve already written a blog post about the topic, turn it into a checklist.

🎯 RELATED: 28 High Converting Lead Magnet Ideas

Your lead magnet will help you achieve your goal of building an email list by drawing people in with valuable, relevant content.

4. A High-Converting Opt-in Page

An opt-in page focuses on a single purpose: promoting your lead magnet. It encourages people to take action and is used to entice people to provide their email address and other contact information in exchange for your free offer.

Once someone enters their information, they are added to your email list and your lead magnet can be sent through an automated email you’ve created.

There are several key components of a successful opt-in form. Your opt-in form should:

  • Give people an incentive to join your list
  • Be free of distractions and focus solely on your lead magnet
  • Have a simple layout
  • Include an obvious call-to-action
  • Be noticeable with design that complements your branding
  • Use language that resonates with your ideal client to motivate them to sign up

Your form should turn visitors into subscribers, and as many as possible into customers one day. This is known as a ‘high-converting’ opt-in page.

How To Start Email Marketing From Scratch Relevant Content to Nurture Relationships

5. Relevant Content To Nurture Relationships

Now that people have started joining your email list, you need to nurture your relationship with them to keep them on your list.

One of the most important things you can do to achieve this is to be consistent. Remain at the top of your subscribers’ minds by emailing them on a consistent basis with a consistent message.

You need to stand out to your target audience by providing high-quality, valuable, free content that helps them solve a problem.

Remember: the content you create should be relevant and tie into what your ideal client wants

Here are some ideas for content that you can use to cultivate relationships:

  • Send a warm welcome email
  • Share the story about your brand
  • Give a list of resources or websites you recommend
  • Share your favorite blog posts
  • Run a competition for a prize
  • Reward your email subscribers with a free service or product

To nurture your list, focus on sharing your expertise and giving to your audience. Choose “quality over quantity” and you’ll be able to convert your subscribers into paying customers when they’re ready.

6. Steady Traffic to Your Opt-In Page and Forms

Getting steady traffic to your opt-in page isn’t a case of “if you build it, they will come.” It takes time, effort, and following some key strategies to grow your list of subscribers.

To get visitors to your opt-in page, think about where your ideal subscribers hang out. They might be one of your current contacts or customers, someone who visits your website, connections on social media, or even people you’ve met offline.

Here are four strategies to drive traffic to your opt-in page:

  1. Get website viewers added to your list
  2. Get social media followers to join your list
  3. Get people you’ve met offline onto your list
  4. Use content marketing to drive traffic to your opt-in page or form

There are dozens of other tactics you can use, and many of them are free. But you don’t have to do all of them. Focus on one strategy at a time so you can put forth your best effort to drive traffic consistently.

RELATED: Increase Your Website Traffic for FREE

Don’t be afraid of a little trial and error as you try out different strategies. Each time you try something new, you get closer to understanding what works best for your audience.

The most important step is to make sure all your efforts include the same call-to-action, which is to sign up for your free offer.

Take action consistently to get people signing up, and your email list will start to grow.

How to start email marketing from scratch

In this article, we went over the six things you need to get started with email marketing for your small business:

  • A clear picture of your ideal subscriber
  • An email marketing platform to capture contact information and send emails
  • An enticing lead magnet to motivate people to share their email
  • An optimized, high-converting opt-in page where people can sign up to receive your lead magnet
  • Consistent, valuable, and relevant email content to nurture relationships with your list
  • Steady traffic to your opt-in page and forms

Once you get these 6 things in place, you’ll see the crazy benefits of email marketing.

RELATED: 13 Free Canva Lead Magnet Template

Are You Ready to Make Growing Your Email List A Priority?

Do you want to learn more about how to build a valuable email list? Are you ready to start attracting customers to you, rather than having to go out and search for them? Do you want to take the first steps that will lead you to have paying clients?

You can get started with email marketing now! Read more here.

BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST

About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.

Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.

Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine.

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I help solopreneurs & biz owners (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + make more money without a big budget, a lot of time, or losing your sanity. And I make it easy! 

You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.

What you need is to be SMART.

 

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I help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + make more money. And I make it easy! 

You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.

What you need is to be SMART.

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