why you need an email list and how to set one up

Without a doubt, one of the best ways to increase traffic (and ultimately make money from your blog) is to have an email subscriber list. It’s really a numbers game. As your subscriber list increases, so does the number of people who click on your emails every week. Having that list helps to establish regular traffic to your blog.

But maybe more importantly, it helps to develop a relationship with your readers. As you send out your emails to your list every week, your subscribers become more and more comfortable with you, and over time, they feel like they may even know you. Having that connection is critical if/when you’re eventually ready to sell a product or service (i.e. an ebook, course, coaching, etc.).

So this week, our focus will be on why it’s important to have an email list, where to set one up and where to put opt-in forms on your blog. In coming weeks, I’ll go into more detail on tips for list building because I think this topic is so fundamental for bloggers who are looking to grow their audience.

“Why you should start building your email list now” by Goins, Writer – This explains the importance of why you need a list better than I ever could.

“Why you must build your email list – and how to get started” by Social Triggers – This is another good article (along with a short video) on why building an email list is so important.

The two most popular email management services are AWeber and MailChimp.

AWeber offers a free 30-day trial, and after that, it’s $19/month for up to 500 subscribers. I’ve used AWeber from the beginning and have always been happy with their customer service.

But if I had it to do over, I would probably go with MailChimp. MailChimp offers a much better deal: It’s FREE for up to 2,000 subscribers. (So you really have no excuse for not setting up a list!)

Mad Mimi is the newer girl on the blog. MadMimi offers a free plan for up to 100 subscribers, and then $10/month for up to 500 subscribers and $12/month for up to 1,000. Not a bad deal.

There are other services, but these are the big three that are the most popular and well known.

Once you have an email list, you’ll need to make it easy for people to subscribe to your blog. Email management companies offer lots of options for opt-in boxes, so you won’t need to worry about having a designer do that for you. They already have templates that you can set up and use.

Where you place your opt-in boxes on your blog is important. They need to be in prominent, hard-to-miss locations. Notice I said “they.” That’s because you want to have multiple opt-in boxes – not so many that they become annoying, but enough that your readers will see them and use them.

There are many other options for opt-in positioning. Some of them are covered in Jon Morrow’s “10 Creative Places for Opt-In Forms That’ll Supercharge Your Signups”

For more information on opt-in boxes and positioning, I recommend this ProBlogger podcast: “How to Increase Your Email List Subscribers By 100% Or More Today” “The focus of today’s episode is about why and how you should have a good system to allow people to subscribe to your email list. I have spent lots of time over the years experimenting with different ways to let readers subscribe across my blogs. I share the technique I use that increased my email list subscribers by over 100% so you can use it on your blog.”

If you’re looking to start building your list, blogger Nathalie Lussier has a FREE 30 Day List Building Challenge. Each day, you’ll receive a short video with tips on how to increase your subscriber list.

Next time, we’ll talk about how to create incentives to get people to sign up for your list…

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