How To Set Up Your Email List For Free (Easily)
You set up your blog and know you should have a newsletter sign-up form but don’t know where to start. You’ve actually fallen prey to the pitfall of many bloggers before you. Setting up your email list should be a priority but a lot of people don’t set up it when they launch!
But you found this blog post, so that’s a good sign! This means you’re taking an important step to set up your email service and start capturing leads (a.k.a. contact information).
This is going to be the first of a series of posts about email marketing. In this post, I’m going to explain why it’s important to have an email list, what your options are and how to sign up for an email service. This will be followed by blog posts on integrating your email service on your website, creating your first email marketing campaign, and segmenting your list.
So, make sure you stick around if setting up your email list is on your blog to-do list!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission from any purchases made through them. For more information see my disclosure policy.
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YOU MUST HAVE AN EMAIL LIST
Of all the ways you can collect subscribers and followers for your website, the email list is the most important one. There are a couple of reasons why.
The list of contact information that you capture via newsletter sign-ups and landing pages is yours and doesn’t rely on the availability of a certain platform.
For example, if one blogger relied solely on Instagram to build followers and another blogger did the same but also had an email list…who would fare better if/when Instagram shut down? The first blogger would lose all their followers and have no way of communicating with them. The second blogger would be able to reach out to their followers through email and update them on what’s going on.
Secondly, your email list allows you to reach every single person without dealing with social media algorithms.
When you share updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram your content only reaches a small percentage of your followers. In addition, if someone goes a few days without checking in on social media they will most likely miss your post. On the other hand, when you send an email it will reach every person on your list and sit in their inbox until they access it.
CHOOSING AN EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER
When deciding on your email service provider you need to consider your budget, their features and what you need from the service.
Like a lot of blogging services, some email service providers charge for the use of their services. A common one used by bloggers is ConvertKit. Marketed as extremely straight forward to use, it also has no free plan (currently starts at $29/month). On the other hand, my mail list builder, Mailchimp, is free until you surpass 2,000 subscribers.
Each service provider offers different features to help you with your goals. When deciding on which one to go with you need to pay attention to what they can do for you. Does it allow you to build landing pages? Do you get data such as open rates with each campaign? Is it easy to integrate with WordPress?
These are all features to consider when doing your research.
SIGNING UP WITH MAILCHIMP
As I mentioned, I use Mailchimp to capture leads for my email list. I chose this provider based on my budget and it’s served me well. There was a little bit of a learning curve figuring out how to use it but I’m completely comfortable with the features now.
I would love to give ConvertKit a try in the future since they created the service specifically for bloggers, but until my budget can handle it Mailchimp does the job!
If you’re a new blogger I recommend starting with Mailchimp and migrating in the future if you need to.
Below are the steps to sign up for an account:
Click this link to open the sign-up page and input your information.
Once you sign-up, you will receive an email from Mailchimp to activate your account. Click “Activate Account” and confirm you aren’t a robot on the webpage that opens.
Mailchimp will ask you for more information about yourself to get things set up. They will need your:
- first and last name
- information about your business
- whether or not you are creating a new email list or importing one
- and social media connections.
Once you complete the above information there is one more questionnaire so Mailchimp can offer the right tools for you and help you get started with their platform. They will suggest a paid plan or you can continue with the free one.
Follow the next steps on your screen to connect your email list with any online shops, brand your emails, design and send your first email. If you’re not ready to do this now you can skip these steps until your ready to send your first email.
PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK – YOU DID IT!
That’s it! Once you finished Step 5 you will be brought to your Mailchimp Dashboard where you can become familiar with the different areas. If you just set up your email list you won’t see much, but once your audience starts growing and you send emails you will see more data.
These instructions are the first steps to getting started with email marketing. Now that you have an account with an email service provider you can start to capture your first email addresses!
Ready to move on to the next steps? Check out these other posts:
- How to Add a Sign-Up Form to Your Website
- How to Create a Welcome Email Sequence
- How to Segment Your Email List (Get More Opens)
- Grow Your Email List 8 Different Ways