Email: One of the most efficient ways to get your audience’s attention right at their fingertips. Before creating your hot masterpiece of a newsletter, the first step is to know the loyal audience that will be receiving your important news. Please note that I used the term “LOYAL.” This means, it’s your job to curate an audience that incorporates people that love you and won’t cheat on you.
There are several ways to create a good email database, but trust me, buying a list is not one of them.
So How Do You Build Your Email Database?
1.) If you have a website, one of the most effective ways is to place a small signup form in a well visualized area of your website. Meaning, don’t make this a “Where’s Waldo” and hide this in a secret box that no one can find. Put this in an area that people see right away. This signup form should be creative and explain to the user why it’s worth it to sign up for your newsletter. What will they gain from receiving your emails? Will they learn about how to prevent spaghetti from sticking together, or maybe they want to learn more about the Spotted Bluetick Coonhound breed that you know so much about? Either way, you get what I mean. It’s important that you let your users know what they will be receiving information about.
When using a sign up form to collect email addresses, it’s essential to monitor what addresses are coming through this online form. Having spammy emails will only hurt your results if you don’t keep up with removing junk email addresses and keeping the healthy addresses current.
2.) Another way to add valuable audience members to your email database is by capturing information on new leads, or contacts that you’ve recently corresponded with. Exchanging business cards is a great way to manually start capturing legitimate email addresses. Create a spreadsheet and add these as you go, you’ll find that this will grow with time if you make it a priority.
3.) Promote that you will be sending a newsletter about XYZ on your social media. Explain that the only way to learn or hear about this information is by signing up for your newsletter. You’ll find that the audience that follows you via social may want to pick up what you’re throwing down email style.
4.) Add a share button to your newsletter so that users can share your newsletter on their social media channels and through email. If you’re proud of your e-blasts and feel that it is worth showcasing, share them on your website to show new users what they could be receiving.
Once you’ve captured a good amount of email addresses, it’s time to import your list into a email platform like EMMA or MailChimp. These platforms help prevent your database and emails from being spammy by providing you guidelines and tips to follow. In addition, these platforms allow you to send email to hundreds and thousands of users with one click of a button.
(Disclaimer: you may feel like a big shot when hitting that “SEND” button or you may panic with nervous sweats and sit in a corner afraid. Either way, it’s a gratifying feeling once you see your results.)
The best part about having a good list is that it grows organically. If you want your message to be heard, you want people who truly care to be the ones to read it. It’s like planting a garden, you collect the seeds, watch it grow, and continually keep up with maintaining the growth. If you neglect your plants like neglecting your email database, you won’t get the results you’ve hoped.