Skills 2 Money: Building Your Email List

email-marketingI’ve learned to see the world a bit differently once I committed to building my list, now I look for different ways to generate leads. Like other entrepreneurs out there I’ve used the common way, by bringing together my list–pretty much everyone I know, connected with, done work for, etc…

There’s nothing wrong with this exercise, but of course if we could it a little bit more efficiently and productively you wouldn’t object, correct?

When you get the next gig, you’ll find yourself grabbing contact information of everyone rather than your partners and the client. Which isn’t a bad first step.

In a book I read a couple of years ago, I learned to always ask “why” in any situation. In this case, why would people would just want to give you their contact info? And once received, what to do with it?

Here are some of the more popular websites, freelancers, and businesses in general choose to share with their lists:

  • Free stuff (consultations, eBooks, giveaways)
  • Contests
  • Industry news
  • Tips and tricks
  • Webinars
  • Discounts

When you know what you’re going to give and who your real target market is, focus on ways to sell them the opportunity to sign up to your email list. If you own a website here’s a post by Derek Halpern that show the 7 key high converting places to add an email form.

It’s worthwhile to use every online and offline real estate available to you to share your presence. Here are my favorite:

  • Your blog or/and website
  • Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google plus
  • Forums, comments on posts
  • Youtube, Vimeo, Blip.tv
  • Meetups, speaking events, conferences

Email Marketing Software

It’s crucial to have an email service provider (referral link) that lets you embed your email form on your website to get more emails from visitors. Nowadays you see so many companies using email forms on their websites, it’s really nice to have these in place, because it takes all the technical work aside and lets you focus on the marketing part.

I like using mailchimp because it makes it easy and it’s free. If you want to customize it so it matches with your branding, you can do that too. They have great resources that I go over sometimes here.

Note: There are hundreds of email service providers, Aweber is another good company that many others use as well. I guess it’s about what your preference is.

If you have a Facebook page you’ll want to add an email box to it as well, this is little bit more advanced, but it’s worth hiring someone to do it, or learning how to if you’re serious about getting more emails. The benefits of having a box on Facebook is that people like to take the path of least resistance, and if they don’t have to visit your site to sign up, well you get the point right?

We’ve talked about conversion and testing a lot in the past few weeks, another thing we should focus on is optimizing each landing page you have email boxes. When you’re first starting out building that list should be the main marketing effort, and later you’ll want to make a landing page specifically to get more signups.

What is A Landing Page?

A landing page is basically, a single page, that’s unique, that is not your “home page” on your website. It has one goal, that is, to convert as many visitors into signups, that is why it’s so important to put a lot of effort into it and test to see what design, colors, copy writing and layout works best on your market.

If you make it clear on each page to visitors what they should receive for signing up, they’ll be happy and signup if that’s “exactly” what they were looking for. Another you’ll use later is Google Analytics to help you understand how good is your landing page, in terms of how many visitors you’re converting into sigups. It will be very useful to help your landing pages a lot better.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, I believe that email marketing is crucial to any business or person that’s trying to leverage the web. The results you get from applying these tips are exponential to your success.

Let know what you think. Share your a comment.

Image credit: shareatt1’s