You’ve likely heard it before, but it’s so important that it bears repeating. One of the most crucial things you can do for your business is to build your email list, and we’re going to tell you why.
Why Do I Need an Email List Anyway?
Because you will own it and all the information on it, that’s why. You may have a huge following on Instagram, for example, but if that platform goes away and you don’t have an email list of your own, your audience (and therefore your leads) go out the window.
You need your own way to consistently keep in touch with people who want to hear from you and, ultimately, to buy from you, book you, or support you in any other way.
How Do I Build This List?
Oh, let us count the ways! You are only limited to your creativity here, but perhaps one of these ideas will get that proverbial ball rolling:
- Ask for it. Whenever Katie has a new newsletter, she posts it on Facebook and says, “To get these delivered to your inbox, click here.” You don’t ask, you don’t get.
- Give something away. Called a “freebie” or a lead magnate, this is your audience’s entry into your world. Create and deliver a valuable checklist, short video series, eBook, recipe collection, whatever it is you do so well. In order to get it, they need to give you their email address.
- Include the link in your email signature. That’s free advertising, people, that space below your email signature. Have a sentence like “Grab Your Garden Cocktail eBook Here” and link it to your sign-up form. Easy-peasy.
- Write interesting emails. This is the email version of “build it and they will come.” If your newsletters are interesting and deliver content that people want, they will share it, talk about it, and help you grow it. You can do a tip of the month, product roundups, book reviews, interviews, in-depth plant profiles, links to local events, etc.
- Use a technology like a “Text to Join.” If you give a presentation or a workshop, tell people (or put it on your last slide) to text a number to join your list so you can “keep in touch with them and send them more cool things.”
- Add your link to your social media platforms. This could include a tab on your Facebook page or a link in your Instagram bio.
- Have a sign-up form at any presentation or appearance you make. Our team member, Jenny, used to speak extensively across the country, and she had a simple legal pad at her book signing table. “Let’s Keep Connecting!” it said. People left their names and email addresses, giving Jenny permission to add them to her list when she got home. Granted, this is a manual activity and not automatic, but you’d be surprised at how effective it is.
- Ask people to share and forward your emails and newsletters. It’s a call to action. You just gave them a bunch of great content, now say, “If you loved this newsletter, feel free to share it with your friends!” Include social media sharing buttons and an “email to a friend” button at the end of your newsletters.
- Offer a free webinar. You choose the topic. Maybe it’s a webinar on how to grow peonies or how to start a flower farm business. The price of admission? Their email address. Pretty inexpensive, don’t you think?
- Create a contest. Host a free giveaway that requires contact information to enter. But here’s the thing: Social media platforms are always changing their guidelines for contests and giveaways, so be sure you know what’s allowed before plowing ahead.
- Put it on your website. Really? You haven’t done this yet? Okay, we’re not going to shame you (too badly). Your website is your hub; make sure all your stuff is there. How to work with you, how to read your newsletters, how to get your free offerings. Create your landing page and put it on your home page, then again at the bottom of your other website pages. Don’t make people hunt for it.
- Pin it, baby! Are you on Pinterest? Take that eBook you wrote, make several graphics with images from it, and pin those to your Pinterest boards with links to your landing page. Make sure the images are great and your copy is clear.
Pro Tip: Don’t ask for an email address for every little thing; that gets annoying very quickly and people will tune out. Got a garden recipe blog? Give away your recipes but have them trade their email address for your Buddha Bowl recipe collection, your eCookBook, or your Herbal Tea Combos. Still confused? Use this guide:
- Smaller items of content (single recipes, graphics, garden to-do lists) = free
- Larger, more valuable content (eBooks, best tips, checklists) = email address
- Big ticket items (course, membership, longer eBooks) = paid items