• Advice

How to start building an email list in 4 easy steps

Yesterday we learned the reasons why every freelancer should build an email list. Today, I'll tell you how to get started in 4 easy steps.

1. Choose an email service provider (ESP)

Some email service providers have free plans – such as MailChimp. This is fine if you just plan on sending regular newsletters or blog updates, but to really build a great list, you're going to want automation.

Automation basically just means that certain emails will send based on the actions of your potential clients. For example, if someone signs up for your email list, you can welcome them with a series of automatically sent emails that will introduce you, your product or your services.

Some good providers to look at include MailChimp, Getresponse or Campaign Monitor.

2. Create a valuable free product.

Develop a valuable free product and use it as an incentive to build your email list.

Brennan Dunn’s ‘Charge What You’re Worth’ is an excellent example.

First find out your audience's biggest challenges (in relation to what you do), then offer a detailed solution packed up in a report, cheat sheet, eBook or checklist.

3. Add an email opt-in form to your site.
Several ways you can do this...

  • Create a form in your email service provider and embed it on your site.

  • Use a tool like Sumome’s ‘List Builder’, ‘Welcome Mat’ or Scroll Box.

4. Create a landing page

Adding forms to your site are a great way to build your email list from inbound traffic. But what if you want to send people to your website to generate leads i.e. via pay-per-click ads such as Facebook or Google AdWords?

You’ll want to create a dedicated landing page or opt-in page.

There’s a million other things users can get distracted with when they land on your homepage. Better to send people to a dedicated landing page which is designed with conversion in mind.

A good landing page should include:

  • An attention grabbing headline.
  • A sub-heading to further hook your reader.
  • A list of benefit oriented bullet points.
  • Your form and an action oriented CTA such as Download or Get Instant Access
  • A visual element to increase perceived value.

DO NOT include links or CTA’s to anywhere else.

Landing page copy is important, always think about the problem you’re solving not the service you provide.

For example:

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Successful email marketing goes way beyond the humble newsletter.

You can use email at every stage of client development, from lead generation through to building deeper client relationships and turning clients into advocates and promoters of your business.

How do you use email marketing in your freelance business? What successes or failures have you experienced? Let me know if the comments.

Stephen Mayall Stephen Mayall is a freelance marketing consultant, coach, part-time cyclist and doting dad. I help creatives, designers and freelancers generate leads, create opportunities and win clients.

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