10 STEPS GUIDE HOW TO BUILD AN EMAIL LIST

step 1: choose your email marketing provider

If you want to email as a business and not to your best friend or sister, you should use an email marketing provider. don’t just use your gmail account to email your yoga students. Not only will you be breaking email marketing laws (yes, they exist), but you also won’t have a real way to grow your list, because people can’t sign up. And the good news is that you can get started for free, so there’s no excuse!

There are tons of options, but the ones I recommend are mailchimp and convertkit. mailchimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers and is great when you’re just starting out. but when you’re serious about growing your list (which you should be), I recommend convertkit because it has so many more options for growing your list while still being intuitive and easy to use. their prices start at $24 per month and they offer a 14-day free trial!

here are a few reasons why i love it:

  • The platform is well designed and extremely easy to use.
  • It comes with powerful tagging and segmentation features. for example, you can exclude people who have already signed up for your next retreat when you send a last-minute discount promotion to everyone else. and this is also very easy to set up.
  • their customer service team is very helpful.
  • finally emails are delivered reliably (which I would expect but not always receives elsewhere).

step 2: set up your email marketing account

Sign up with your chosen email marketing provider and set it up. if you want to use convertkit, check out this article: how to get started with convertkit. If you want to get started with Mailchimp, check out their tutorials here. I also have a great training video on my membership site the blissful biz hive.

step 3: create a subscription form for your website

Next, you want people to be able to sign up for your list through your website. mailchimp and convertkit have forms that you configure and then simply add to your wordpress website.

In your form, describe in a few words what people can expect when they sign up. make it attractive and fun. whatever you do, don’t just say “subscribe to my newsletter”. here are two examples to inspire you:

wanda badwal

Build your email list example sign-up form

elena brower

Example Sign-Up form

step 4: write your first newsletter

Before you start sending out random notes or posting things you want to promote to your subscribers, think about the best way to serve them.

You have a great opportunity, even a responsibility, to provide value to your subscribers. When someone essentially says, “hey, I like you enough to give you my email address,” you should offer whatever you can to make sure they progress, stay informed, or be entertained.

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so how do you do that?

I like to start by subscribing to newsletters from people I admire. Not everyone has to be in the same field as you, some online marketers like, say, Marie Forleo are definitely worth signing up for. Start scanning your emails. what do you like, what bothers you? this will help you find your voice and content structure.

here are some things to consider before writing your newsletter:

how often will you send it? I believe that quality is more important than quantity. If you don’t have anything interesting to share or don’t feel inspired, don’t force yourself to send something. your subscribers will notice! at the same time, if you wait too long between emails, your subscribers might forget about you (who the hell is sending this to me?). I think a weekly newsletter is great if it produces new content every week, like yoga videos for example; otherwise, once a month works best.

what do you want to put in it? It’s good to have a bit of structure so your subscribers know what to expect. For example, you can start your newsletter by sharing a personal story or perspective. people want to know what is going on in your life. then you want to provide value, like an early bird discount on your next workshop or a link to your new yoga video. add more value by sharing things like your favorite podcast, recipes or books.

Finally, close with a call to action. what do you want your readers to do next? Do you sign up for your next workshop? comment on your latest blog post? join your facebook group?

Write as if you were talking to a friend. When we read conversational content, we instantly feel a connection with the writer. we feel like we’re getting to know him.

this is your goal. but how do you actually do this?

writing conversationally doesn’t mean you actually write as you speak (for me, this would be bland words, grammatical errors, and unfinished sentences…). instead, edit your text so it doesn’t sound like you’re typing, and don’t forget to add a dash of personality. In a world of infinite pixels and mindless likes, we crave human connections and voices that resonate with us. just try to be yourself and write as if you were having a nice chat with your student over a cup of chai tea.

click here for more tips on writing great emails.

step 5: create a welcome message

Your welcome email is the first email your new subscribers will automatically receive after they sign up for your list and confirm their subscription. here first impressions are absolutely important. that’s why you should put some effort into your welcome message.

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In your message, you want to acknowledge how grateful you are to the people who actually took the time to sign up for your list. so, start by saying “thank you”. You can also offer a special gift such as a discount in your store or next workshop.

Next, tell your new subscribers what they can expect from you now that they’re on your list. weekly updates? fun things? invited to the next workshops? first dips in new retreats? exclusive offers? wants them excited about being on our mailing list.

Finally, don’t forget to include a photo of yourself to make your message even more personal.

here is my welcome message to people who subscribe to my list on www.happyyogatravels.com as an example:

Example Welcome Message

step 6: design a gift

People love receiving gifts. Offering someone an unexpected gift is one of the fastest ways to bond with them. What about when that gift or treat you give to someone who signs up for your email list turns out to be totally awesome, beautiful, inspiring, or helpful? instant love and connection happens.

Here are some common types of subscription gifts:

  • a workbook
  • a checklist
  • a cheat sheet
  • a video tutorial
  • a e-mail course
  • a discount code
  • a pdf guide

The point is to be generous, while showing people how smart & amazing you are, not just “building a bigger mailing list” for the hell of it.

If you’re feeling stumped and not sure what kind of gift would be ideal for your clients, here’s a great question to ask yourself:

what is the biggest problem my clients are struggling with?

and what is the gift that could help them with… that?

probably not the complete solution; Of course, you should encourage your subscribers to attend your classes or workshops for additional assistance, but it could be a great start.

The key is to find a topic and format that your subscribers strongly resonate with and are happy to hand over their email addresses to.

click here to learn more about how to create a great subscription giveaway.

step 7: create a landing page

When you have your amazing gift, you want to promote it and show it to as many people as possible. but if it’s hidden somewhere on your home page, not everyone will find it and people will be distracted by everything going on.

That’s where a landing page comes in. On your landing page, you present your giveaway, tell people what they’re getting, and give them the ability to sign up. nothing more! share the link to this page as much as possible, for example, put it on your instagram profile, post it on pinterest and in facebook groups.

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here is an example of one of my landing pages:

Example landing page to build your email list

Step 8: Drive traffic to your giveaway

Now that you’ve created an awesome giveaway, it’s time to post it!

There are a million ways you can promote your giveaway, but here are a few of my favorites:

  • in social media posts
  • in your social media bios
  • in a blog post
  • in the sidebar of your site web
  • in facebook groups
  • in forums or other places where your readers hang out
  • in guest posts on other websites
  • as a quick phrase or “ps” in the signature field of your emails, below your name & contact information.

The worst thing you can do is spend days creating the giveaway and then not spending enough time promoting it!

step 9: create a content plan

Having a plan is the key to consistency. First, brainstorm topics and find upcoming events you want to promote. then plan your newsletters for the next 2-3 months so you are aware of any upcoming events or updates or promotions that you can include in your emails.

This strategy will avoid any last minute disaster, you will be able to carry out your newsletters comfortably and avoid sending random and unstructured emails.

step 10 – test, test, test

It is very important to take some time to test each email thoroughly before sending it. read it at least twice and check all the links.

then comes trying different options to improve its performance, such as:

Which day of the week leads to higher open rates?

Which subject lines are most effective?

should I use a different name in the “from” field?

trying everything is the secret of successful salespeople. How else will you know if what you’re doing is working?

what’s next?

Building an email list can take a bit of time and effort, but it’s worth it if you’re serious about growing your yoga business. when you start gaining loyal followers who actually want to receive your emails because your content adds value to their lives, well that’s really exciting. Later, you can use all those email subscribers to send invitations to yoga retreats, upcoming workshops, or even sell your new online course for passive income. everything is on the list!

I hope this article has been helpful in devising your own strategy for building your email list. do you find this helpful? Leave me a comment below and tell me your opinion! I’d love to hear from you!

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