Growing your email list is no easy task. But if you’ve been around bloggers long enough, you’ve probably heard just how important list-building is.
Communicating directly with your subscribers—and having their permission to meet more and more of them in their inbox—should be your number one goal, whether you’re new to blogging or have been around the block a few times.
I remember being a part of a conversation with someone who had built their entire platform on a social media tool that had just disappeared overnight and they had no way to reach out to anyone. You hear all the time that your email list is the only thing you truly own and that really got me thinking.
Email marketing allows you to give every subscriber a personalized experience by sending targeted, direct, and specialized content. That content leads subscribers on a journey that hopefully ends in making you money. But before you can do any of that, you need to build an email list.
For Kayla Hollatz, it wasn’t until recently that her end goal became “growing an email list”.
It’s kinda crazy because I can truly say that email marketing was the last thing I wanted to do.
Kayla began blogging a few years ago when building an email list wasn’t a big focus for many bloggers. Of course, she had built her audience through blog comments and her RSS Feed, but an email list was nowhere near the top of her list of priorities.
I remember when I did start building an email list. I tried six different email templates. I was trying to figure out what the difference was between my newsletter and blog posts, what value is this actually adding– you know, all the questions you have when you’re trying to figure out exactly what your strategy is going to be.
Kayla knew the path she needed to take to grow her list and her business was email marketing, but she wasn’t sure how to put it into practice. This is a super common roadblock for many creators, but doesn’t need to be.
How to use email marketing to grow your business
It wasn’t until Kayla found ConvertKit that she truly took email marketing seriously. Because she went from a free software to a paid platform, the features and capabilities were greater. She could finally step up her email game and treat her blog like the professional gig she always knew it could be.
Here are few ways Kayla uses email marketing and ConvertKit to build her email list and business:
Creating opt-in forms with incentives to collect subscribers
The first step for Kayla was to move people from her social platforms to email. Kayla worked hard to build opt-ins throughout her website and blog, and scheduled tweets to her followers about them.
Opt-in forms are the cornerstone of your list building strategy and should be treated accordingly. They are the gateway to first contact between you and your new subscribers, and they’re the tool you use most to grow your list.
But an opt-in form is not where it ends. Most people are going to expect something in return for their email address– it’s just how the blog-o-sphere works these days. To make the exchange worth your reader’s while, you need to create incentives.
Whether you’ve heard them called lead magnets, content upgrades or opt-in incentives, these bonus materials are your ticket to list growth. They help you build authority and trust if your reader likes what they see on your blog as well as build trust in your brand. These incentives help you give them an extra nudge of confidence in you by giving them something completely free (and of high quality).
One specific opt-in Kayla created was a Brand Personality Quiz. This quiz spoke to the people who she really wanted to get on her email list.
Segmenting and tagging your subscribers
The major benefit of that Brand Personality Quiz? Through it, Kayla was able to start segmenting her readers inside ConvertKit so she could send them follow up sequences that really spoke to them. As a copywriter for clients with big budgets, that’s a huge win for Kayla. Now she can sell her services to the big wigs and push her beginner subscribers towards her online classes at the same time.
My business caters toward people who have been in business a little longer since they tend to have larger budgets to afford the 1×1 work. But I want to serve the beginners too so I’ve been building online classes – something that falls between a webinar and a full course. They’re designed to inspire and teach the people who aren’t yet able to work together 1×1 with me.
Email segmentation is the process of putting your email subscribers into different buckets and speaking to each of those groups differently. Think of it as meeting your subscribers where they are on their customer journey so you can send them targeted content that speaks specifically to their needs and goals at that point in time.
With email segmentation you can tag your subscribers by their interests, location, stage of the customer journey– almost anything. Having your subscribers tagged and segmented means you won’t have to send every update to all your subscribers. You’ll target only the subscribers you know will be interested, and save everyone else from that dreaded email inbox fatigue. It also means you can send those smaller groups of subscribers exactly what they want.
By tagging my subscribers I got an idea of what everyone wanted. All of a sudden I could create things that were very tailored to my people. That was an exciting moment. I have a very dedicated tribe on my email list now. The more it grows, the more intentional it’s become.
It’s that type of tailor-made content that turns your average subscriber into a raving fan. The more you can create content that meets your reader where they are on their journey through your marketing funnel, the more intimate your interactions will feel, the more genuine you become as an authority, and the more trust you build.
Are you ready to grow your business?
Email marketing with ConvertKit has been instrumental in building Kayla’s work from a side project to a full blown business. Instead of sharing the process behind her shift from hobby blogger to professional blogger with everyone on the blog itself, Kayla built an intentional audience through email which helped usher her into life as a full-time online business owner.
Want to learn more about email marketing and how to grow your business online? We’ve put together a toolkit information on some of the basic necessities to help you get started.