“Money is in the list” is something you must’ve heard if you’re in any kind of online business. For months, I’ve seen and received tons of different questions on why one should start a mailing list, how to do that and, after all, what to do with it?! Therefore, this post has arrived! E-mail marketing for bloggers: why & how to grow a profitable mailing list
Let me warn you right here: this guide might get a bit long. It will consist of 3 parts:
- Why should start an email list?
- How to get new subscribers? + MailerLite tutorial
- How to make your list profitable? All about email marketing funnels + how to do evergreen launch campaign
Let’s get started, shall we?
E-mail marketing for bloggers: why & how to grow a profitable mailing list
PART #1: Why you should start an email list?
Here are some of the main reasons why having an email list is crucial for any online business owner:
- The list is YOURS and no one can take it away from you
- The list will consist of people INTERESTED in your offering
- You’ll have the one-step access to your audience
- It’s money! 2-3% of the list converts
Let me explain a bit more!
REASON #1: The list is YOURS and no one can take it away from you
In the online world, things are changing rapidly. Just because we’ve been on Facebook for years and it has become a part of our lives, doesn’t mean that it will be around forever. The same goes for literally any other online platform. Although you are successful and well-known on it now, you never know what can happen and when it can be shut down for all kinds of reasons. The same goes for a possible online fraud, closing of your account or anything alike. At the end of the day, your email list might be your only personal trace to your online followers you have left!
Relying on social media following has another downfall – there are all kinds of rules controlling your interaction with your followers. Let’s say you have 2K followers on Facebook. How many of them will actually see your post? Exactly. Up to 10%, if you’re lucky and super smart about it. Unless you invest some money in ads. The same goes for any other social media or platform. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to make a profitable mailing list.
Having an email list gives you the option to set your own rules – when, how often and how you want to reach out to your subscribers. And it’s a valuable option to have!
REASON #2: The list will consist of people INTERESTED in your offering
If someone has signed up for your list, the first barrier is won and they are already interested in your offer. Whether it was your provided opt-in or your enchanting teaser of all the info you’ll be sending, you’ve already won their email address and it’s A LOT.
It’s not a secret that people hate getting spam and we usually just don’t have time to read through all of the emails that come into our mailboxes. Giving the permission for you to actually send them an email is a huge deal! You’re now personally invited to their private space to share what you have to say. Make sure to use this option right!
REASON #3: You’ll have the one-step access to your audience
As I already mentioned before, social media and other platforms you might be using to reach out to your subscribers are somewhat restrictive in many different ways. Not all of your followers will be on Twitter at the moment of your tweet, not all of them will be chosen to see your Facebook page content. Also, not always you might be able to share and publish whatever you want. For example, if you’re an active member of Facebook groups, they have many restrictive NO PROMO rules. The same goes for Pinterest group boards… So you always have to be somewhat sneaky to actually share your message.
Which is a totally different story for your mailing list! Having a mailing list actually gives you ONE step access to your audience with WHATEVER you have to provide! Are you interested in more blog readers? Send them your latest blog post. Would you like to share your new e-book? Send them the link. Are you interested in sharing more about you? Add a video to your email. So many different options that’ll get RIGHT INTO THEIR MAILBOXES.
And yes, still not everyone will see or open your email. Having a 100% open rate is a fairytale. But open and conversion rates will be way bigger than on any other platform!
REASON #4: It’s money! 2-3% of the list converts
These are kind of imaginary numbers but I’ve heard them a lot from many different campaigns. For most people, the list conversion rate will be at least 2-3%. From there, it’s just numbers game.
If you have 100 subscribers, you can sell to 2-3 people. If you’ve been mindful of your list building process and provided relevant information, your conversion rates can be even bigger. Imagine, what happens when you have 1000 or 10000 subscribers. It’s money! You have one-step access to money, literally.
The numbers will be different based on your email marketing strategy but if you follow the steps I’ve listed in the following PART #3 you definitely can grow your conversion rates!
Do you feel a bit more confident about the idea to build your list? Here’s something very important to note: don’t build a mailing list just because I or someone else said you so. Building an email list without the right intention and mindset will be the waste of your time. All I can say – having a mailing list works!Don't build a mailing list just because someone else said you should. Building an email list without the right intention and mindset will be the waste of your time. Click To Tweet
PART #2: How to get new subscribers?
I believe this is the number one question from “how to grow a profitable mailing list” question list. To make sales, get the money rolling in and build a fan base from your email subscribers, you actually need some signups. So let’s take a moment to understand HOW to get new subscribers.
I’ve used 3 different email marketing softwares and you can choose yours over here. This time, I’ll give you the preview of making the signup form on MailerLite. MailerLite is an email marketing software that gives you the option to use the service for free for up to 1000 subscribers. They also have landing pages and great WordPress plugin to use.
STEP #1: Create an opt-in
First, you have to create a free opt-in specific to your perfect audience. That person who will be interested in what you have to share. To create the perfect opt-in you have to consider several things but first of all – how can you ADD VALUE to your perfect audience? What skills and knowledge you can use to help THEM with their needs? Keeping in mind that it should stay relevant to your field of expertise! For example, food bloggers are offering free recipes, graphic designers – design templates, marketers – e-books, craft makers – how-to videos. Just to get your ideas rolling!To create the perfect opt-in you have to consider several things but first of all - how can you ADD VALUE to your perfect audience? Click To Tweet
Opt-in creation really can be considered as the biggest time-investment in your funnel creation. Usually, it’s great to have several opt-ins all over your website, attached to relevant blog posts. For example, in my Pinterest post, I have attached Pinterest group boards to join, in my Facebook post I have attached Facebook groups, etc. Each of them is a separate opt-in that leads to the same email sequence.
A few ideas to keep in mind when creating your opt-in:
- Make it simple and easy to use
- Use various opt-ins for different posts
- Promote your opt-ins where relevant
- Don’t overthink it. Create, update, change. Just start making things happen!
Once you have created a free opt-in, you have to build a funnel. In simple words, a funnel is the email sequence people will go through until your offering. And keep this in mind – mailing list can be used for ANY of your online offerings. Whether you’re selling services, courses or want to promote your affiliate links.
As I already mentioned, you can choose any of the email marketing softwares but for this sample, I have chosen MailerLite: it’s for free up to 1000 subscribers, it’s easy to use and great for starters. You can sign up over here.
STEP #2 (On MailerLite): Create Subscriber group
Let’s say, you’re adding an opt-in for your whole website and it will be “Guide to write the best blog post ever“. The first step is to create a Subscriber group where all of your subscribers will be sent to. We can call the group “Bloggers“.
To do that, choose Subscribers > Groups > Create a new group, as shown below.
STEP #3 (On MailerLite): Create signup form
Once you have created a group where all of your email subscribers will be gathered, it’s time to create an actual form through which people will get your free opt-in!
Before starting, here’s a quick review of the available signup forms:
- Popup. You can create various kinds of popup – the one that’ll appear on the bottom or top of the page, slider popup which will appear in the corner, full-page popup or just the regular kind.
- Landing pages. Well, the name says it all. You can create a landing page and add it to the subdomain of your website like I’ve done with passiveincome.therandomp.com
- Embedded forms. These are the basic forms you can add to your blog posts or over the website.
It’s possible to customize all of the forms!
So, first of all, you should choose which form to use. I suggest starting with a simple embedded form and, later on, experiment with others.
Click Forms >> Embedded forms >> Create embedded form
After choosing which Subscriber form it will go to (Bloggers), the design part comes in!
Keep the design branded and aligned with your website. Simplicity is the key! Here’s one of my form designs. It’s not showing up fully since the width of the form is set to be wider than the editing field is but it’s working on the website! (Always check!!)
STEP #4 (On MailerLite): Create double opt-in with your freebie
On top of the form, you have the option to set up double opt-in. This option will be the best way to send your subscribers their freebie so check YES!
Once you allow the double opt-in to be active, you’ll have to create Confirmation email & Confirmation Thank you page. In the confirmation emails button, you can add the download of the file you’re providing or the link to it. So the acceptance of joining your list leads to the download of the freebie.
STEP #5: Add Form on your website
For WordPress users:
- Get MailerLite plugin
- Create a new form in the plugin and base it on existing MailerLite form
- Call it as necessary for you to remember what form is related to
- Go to a blog post, use MailerLite plugin icon and add form. Voila!
Popup forms will be seen on the website right after you turn them on.
For other website users: you should add form code to the blog post. You’ll find it in Embedded form info.
STEP #6: Create automated email sequence
More on that – in the next part when we’ll talk more about how to make your mailing list profitable!
PART #3: How to make your list profitable?
Since this part would take a whole lot of this blog post, I’ve decided to create a downloadable PDF guide where you can find all the relevant info on how to grow a profitable mailing list. The guide includes all about email marketing funnels + how to do evergreen launch campaign. If you’re ready to start monetizing your mailing list, grab the guide:
I hope you’ve got some additional information & inspiration on how to grow a profitable mailing list! Here are some additional resources for you:
- Actionable steps to get serious about blogging
- MailChimp, MailerLite, ConvertKit: which email marketing software to choose?
- 6+ unusual methods to get more blog readers without huge social media following