3 steps to build your email list from the ground up

By Tim Priebe on October 11, 2016

By Tim Priebe on October 11, 2016

If you’re starting an email newsletter, go ahead and pat yourself on the back! That can be one of the best ways to reach people who are likely to do business with you in the future.

Unfortunately, you’ve probably noticed that it can be a challenge to build up a subscriber list for your email newsletters if you don’t already have a list to work from. That’s okay! It’s normal, especially if you’re not buying an email subscriber list—which you wouldn’t dream of doing, right? Right. Of course.

Here are a few things you can do to build up your newsletter subscriber list. And yes, these tips will probably help you out even if you do already have existing subscribers.

Actually send out newsletters

I know it sounds counter-intuitive, maybe even backward, but hear me out. You’ll need to send out a few newsletters, even if it’s just to your staff and your family, before you start building up your list. This lets you showcase examples of your newsletters on a newsletter page on your website (more on that in a bit).

Having examples makes people feel more comfortable about inviting you into your inbox. It shows them the value your newsletter would add, and helps reassure them you won’t be spammy.

Update your email signature

This one’s quick. Find the signature settings in your email account, and update them to include a sign-up link to your newsletter.

Many providers, including MailChimp and Constant Contact, already have a hosted sign-up page that you can link to. But eventually you’ll want to do the next step to move things to the next level.

Create an awesome landing page

This is an investment of time or possibly money, but it looks more professional than the pre-built sign-up form many providers supply, and goes even further by making people feel okay about signing up. Create a page on your own website where people can sign up for your newsletter, and include a couple of example newsletters.

We include images of a couple of our past newsletters along with some information about who might benefit from the newsletter and what subscribers can expect to gain from it.

Here are a few examples, including our own newsletter landing page:

Once you’ve created that page, that can be the link you use in your email signature, and you can also periodically share the link on social media.

Of course there are other things you can do to build up your list; you can do paid advertising, you can run a promotion or a contest on social media, you can add your newsletter signup to your fliers or other promotional materials—you get the idea.

But if you don’t have an attractive place to send people, that makes it less likely for all those other efforts to work as well. These three essential steps will make sure that your other list-building efforts have a strong foundation.

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