Don’t Do What I Did
Don't Wait to Get Started
When I first started out in online business, I felt like I didn’t need to spend extra money on an email service provider (ESP). I didn’t have much money, so it felt like a luxury, especially because I didn’t really know if I was going to be doing the online business thing forever. It’s weird to think about that now!
So, when I started Green Exam Academy, not having the email list was like shooting myself in the foot. I had this sought-after product (a study guide), but I didn’t have an email list to share it with. I didn’t even collect emails after I came out with the product. Then, when I started SmartPassiveIncome.com in October 2008, I still didn’t start an email list. In fact, I didn’t collect my first email address until January 2010.
In retrospect, these things always seem so much clearer than they were at the time. I simply didn’t have the knowledge, and that’s okay. But here’s the bottom line: if I could go back in time and change one thing about how I started my business, it would be to start building my email lists the moment those brands were up and running.
That’s exactly what I want to help you with in this tutorial.
How I Know That Email Lists
Are Crucial For Your Business
Since 2010 when I first started my email list, I’ve learned so much. Here are a few fun facts about my email list, and how it has been crucial for my business—and how it can be crucial for yours too:
- I’ve grown my email list to 185,000+ email addresses.
- Email has helped me discover the top pains and problems of my audience, which can then be used to craft content and product ideas to help alleviate those pains and problems.
- A single broadcast email once helped me earn over $60k in affiliate earnings.
- More than $500K in total earnings can be directly attributed to my email list.
- Email lists have proven to be versatile for driving new traffic to SPI by promoting new posts, and also resurfacing older posts.
- Automated follow-up sequences have allowed me to serve my audience with additional content that allows me to keep in contact with people over time so that I end up with higher open and click through rates.
That One Time My Email List
Saved the Day
In March 2013 I was in San Francisco shooting promotional video for my book, Let Go, when my website went down—for an entire week. I couldn’t log in to the site. Everyone who came to the site got an error screen, and the only way I could communicate with my audience was through my email list.
The email list I had built literally saved my business for a week. I was able to keep my audience up to date, I shared podcast episodes and YouTube videos that were coming, and kept my business up and running even though my blog was completely out of commission.
Your email list is a huge asset and the experience of not being able to use my main communication tool—my blog—hammered home the benefits of having a solid email list.
Don’t Forget: It’s Not About the Money.
It's About the People
So many people in the online business space will tell you that “The money is in the list.” While that’s not entirely untrue, I happen to think that it’s just a small (but still important) part of the picture.
You see, I believe that the money is in the list because that’s where the people are. That may seem obvious, but let’s break it down a little bit more.
When you create an email list, you’re allowing a group of fellow human beings to come together in one place where they expect to hear from you. You have a huge opportunity—responsibility, even—to provide value to them. When someone essentially says, “Hey, I like you enough to give you my email address,” you owe it to them to offer up everything you can to ensure that they make progress, stay informed, or are entertained.
It’s not all about money and it’s not all about the numbers, either.
I have so many people reach out and tell me that they feel discouraged with their small email lists. But, since we’ve already established that these are actual human beings, I like to take a much more visual approach. When you think about the 50 or 100 people on your list, think about having that many people in a single room to hear you speak. They’ve all shown up to hear whatever it is you have to say.
It can be frightening to think about, right? But that is exactly how I think email lists should be treated. When you think about it this way, you can begin treating your email list more like people in a room who are there waiting to hear what you have to say and, ultimately, continually deciding if you and the information you provide is still worth being in the room for. This approach will help you craft effective emails, build trust, and remember to treat your list with respect.
And, if generating an income is one of your goals, you’re likely to do very well.
First Thing’s First:
Find the Best Email Service Provider
Now, you may be thinking, “Why do I even need an email service provider? I’ve got a Gmail account and can just send emails to my friends and family that way.”
Here’s the thing: don’t send emails to your list through your free email service. Not only will you likely be breaking email marketing opt-in laws, you’ll also have no real way to grow your list.
When considering an email service provider, you’ll want to make sure you can:
- Build a database of subscribers
- Send emails to several people at the same time
- Setup automated follow-up sequences
- Place signup forms on your website and landing pages
- Tag or segment your users
Signing on with an email service provider (ESP) that’s built specifically to help you manage and grow your list is incredibly important and, in my opinion, ConvertKit is the way to go. I use it currently, and it’s especially friendly to those just starting out.
Any ESP can utilize the strategies and tactics you’ll learn in this tutorial, but I’ve personally experimented with a lot of different ESPs over the years, and the one that’s really had everything I need to grow my business has been ConvertKit.
You can read more about my choice to switch over to ConvertKit (from two other providers) here in this post.
Full disclosure: I am also an advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit, but I wouldn’t be if it weren’t awesome. Here are just a few reasons why I love it:
- The platform is well designed and extremely easy to use
- Emails are delivered reliably and as expected
- Their customer service team is super helpful
- The autoresponder sequences are easy to implement
- It comes with powerful tagging and segmentation features
- It’s extremely easy to make changes and updates
Now, let’s get to the tutorial videos! These videos are a completely free resource for you, and they walk you through the process of setting up your list, step-by-step, right from the start.
Here’s what we’ll be covering, video-by-video:
- How to setup your list and place an opt-in form on your website.
- How to start getting email subscribers, including information about creating “lead magnets.”
- Advanced strategies people are using to scale the list building process.
- How to setup a winning autoresponder series.
- How to send broadcast emails that get opened and clicked.
- How to start segmenting and tagging your email list so you can learn even more about your subscribers.
In this video, I’ll explain why email lists are essential components of your business, and share some personal stories about my experience with email. I will also teach you how to setup your email service provider and show you the basics on adding a signup form to your website. Lastly, I share a demo and setup instructions for ConvertKit, my chosen email service provider, but the lessons I teach you will apply to any platform. [Full Disclosure: I'm a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]
In this video, I’ll teach you how to make your visitors want to sign up for your email list. I will explore the biggest mistakes people make when starting email lists, eight types of incentives you can use to get people to sign up for your list, and ten specific places on your website you can place an opt-in form.
I also mention 100 Emails, my new (and free!) email marketing challenge that will help you get from 0 to 100 email subscribers in 3 days. Interested in joining the challenge? Head to 100emails.com!
In this video, I’ll teach you my favorite methods for bringing in new website visitors and getting them to sign up for my email list. I delve into ten specific strategies you can use (I’ve used them too!) to get more subscribers starting today.
In this video, I’ll introduce you to the autoresponder sequence: an incredibly powerful tool to build loyalty with your audience and introduce them to your best content. My favorite part—it’s completely automated! Plus, I share eight tried and true tips to enhance your own autoresponder sequence.
Tips for Sending Broadcast Emails That Get Opened and Make an Impact—Email Marketing Tutorial Part #5
By this point you may be thinking, “Pat! I just want to send a regular email to my list!” Okay, let’s get to it! These are called broadcast emails, and in this video I’ll tell you how to use them effectively. I share how broadcast emails differ from autoresponder emails, and, most importantly, how to broadcast effectively to your list.
Want to take you email list a step further? Are you ready for a little more advanced information? Excellent! In this video, I’m sharing the best ways to incorporate list segmentation into the list building process.
I give you the basics of what segmentation is, how segmentation can be used, and how you can masterfully set up segmentation for your own email list.
Happy email marketing!
One More Thing
Boost Your Email Smarts to the Next Level
As my dear friend Amy Porterfield says, “The energy of your business is directly tied to your email list.”
I didn’t want you to make the same mistakes I made when I failed to start an email list early on in my entrepreneurial journey. So I wrote Email The Smart Way, my free ebook designed to help you never run out of email ideas for your audience.
Reading Email the Smart Way and you’ll discover these invaluable insights:
- Types of email you should send your audience
- Frequency of your email marketing
- Broadcast emails vs. autoresponder emails
- Calls to action in your emails
I want the energy of your business to thrive, and it’s why I recommend you read Email the Smart Way. It’s free!
You Are Why I'm Here
Thank you so much for reading this tutorial and watching the videos. I sincerely hope it has helped you to start and grow your own email list.
You are why I am here. Without your support and passion, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. So thank you for that!
If this tutorial has helped you in some way, I’d love to hear about it. And, if you’d like to help me out, please share this tutorial so others can benefit too!
I appreciate you! Cheers!