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There are some bloggers/writers that I just love so much I want to get as much of their content as I can. I really want to hear from them!

I am signed up for some pretty amazing email lists…. My current favorites include Ali Edwards’ 52 creative lifts themed newsletter, Rhyno Marketing’s Smart Marketing newsletter and Copyblogger’s Internet Marketing for Smart People. I learn so much just from those regular drops into my inbox.

You have probably seen more and more blogger-and-business-owners starting newsletter email lists (recent additions to the club like Campfire Chic, I Just Might Explode and less-recently After Nine to Five). There’s a really good reason for this ….

Email marketing works.

Email marketing is the epitome of permission marketing.

Email marketing is someone coming up to you and saying, “Yes, I am interested in what you are saying and selling; I want to hear from you regularly.” Email marketing is the best way to regularly reach those readers, followers and potential customers that are most likely to support you further.

You should give it a try for your shop or business. It’s super easy to get started:

  1. Sign up with an email-marketing providerMailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, Emma and others. I personally use MailChimp for both L&R and #30Lists newsletters. It’s free (at the time of this post) for the first 2000 emails on your list, and then a monthly fee after that. It’s relatively easy to teach yourself to use and incredibly easy to personalize the layout and design to match your site/branding.
  2. Tell your readers – Blog it, tweet it, facebook it, add the signup URL to your email signature or your business card or your mini bio when writing guest posts. Make sure everyone knows that you have an email list, and make sure they know how to signup.
  3. Write and send your first newsletter – For me, the top 3 things I always try to include are exclusive content, links to my blog and highlight a product/service that I offer. You may set up your newsletter content differently, but as long as you have at least 1 set goal for your newsletter it should be relatively easy to come up with the content for the emails.
  4. Repeat – steps 2 and 3

That’s really all you need to get started!

There are, of course, more elements to consider and bring in as you get more comfortable but you can absolutely start your email list this week!

*Extra Credit*

  • Offer a coupon, free ebook or other goodie as an incentive to sign-up Like I did. This gives you the hook to attract new signups, but your continued excellent content is needed to keep them.
  • Set guidelines and a plan a rough schedule for your newsletter – Whether it’s once a week or once a quarter, best practice is to make sure your readers know how often you will be in their inbox. You don’t want to be perceived as spammy, but you also want to make sure you are consistent. Set a rough schedule and stick to it.
  • Set up auto-response emails – Most (if not all) email providers will allow you to set up auto-responders for whatever length of time you like. For example, you may set up a special coupon code to be sent after someone has been on your list for 6 months. No matter what day they sign up for the list, the email knows to go out at the 6 month mark. This is a great way to maintain consistency without having to come up with new content every week.

 If you already have started your email marketing list, leave a description and link in the comments so we can check it out!

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