Hey there friends, bloggers and drifters, exciting week here for Blogging For. What’s more, I’m still working on finalizing the lessons before the 200th post. That’s 5 posts away! Aaaahhhh! (home alone face)
Until that time, here are some tips on starting your own mailing list and things you might want to think about when you do attempt the process. This is from my own recent experience, so if you see that I’m missing out on something, feel free to let me know in the comments. Appreciate it!
Alright, let’s see what these tips are.
1 – Determine Your Audience
Who do you want to cater to? Eventually, you need to define for yourself whom you’re going to speak to. This way, the information will be much more targeted. I was confused on this even though I knew that the blog is speaking to beginners and intermediates, what I didn’t quite know was if it was really true.
To validate this thought, I set up a poll and thanks to the bloggers and drifters who graciously replied, the new mailing list is going to gear more towards the beginners as well as intermediates.
So if in doubt, ask your readers. They will clearly show you the way.
2 – Determine Your Incentive
Will you be giving away something? There are different incentives to think about – ebook, e-course, interview, report, bundles. I chose an e-course because I don’t see a lot of bloggers doing that. So it’s a challenge but at the same time, I get the freedom to be creative.
Rather than compile everything into one book which you’ll download and might not ever read, I’m taking a jab at a giving you the utmost value continuously. That’s just my take.
Do what you feel would be best suited for your time/efforts/energy.
3 – Determine Your Frequency
How often will you be e-mailing your readers and friends updates, news and promotions? For myself, the e-course will start off weekly and after that, I will also be doing a weekly or twice a week update to readers on the mailing list.
The blog already will be published on a daily basis once the launch is done. Regular readers already know that, but for those who don’t have the opportunity to visit often, it will be compiled at the end of the week and then there’s some.
More than that, the list should engage your readers without overloading them with too much junk. If they’re reading your blog as well as are subscribed, how can you integrate both together seamlessly without putting on too much?
My rule of thumb? A little variety can make a lot of difference. A little bit of this and that but make it interactive. Keep the engagement alive. That’s why they subscribed in the first place. They want to know what you got. What can you provide?
4 – Determine Your Delivery Platform
What service will you use to deliver your goods and updates? I will be using Aweber, an autoresponder service, since it is fast, easy and convenient. It also provides me with sign-up forms. Basically, it is a premium 3rd party e-mail tracking software and among it, other popular services include MailChimp, GetResponse and InfusionSoft.
Check out MailChimp which was the first to be featured in the Autoresponder Insights Series here. In the next couple of days, Aweber will be up as well. This is part of the ongoing investigation for beginners where I will explore, walk you through and even create a campaign to show you how it is done so you too can create your own mailing list when time comes.
5 – Determine Your Funnel
How will your readers receive the goods? Will it be through e-mail then on the blog? Through a download link or on-site landing page with the link? You want to think about a system or continuity process through which your readers will continue to click through.
This is the reason why I chose to provide an e-course instead of an ebook. Readers will be sent an e-mail letting them know that their e-course is ready with a link. They will go to the course on site and also receive a link to download further the corresponding workbook that comes with each lesson.
Sounds like a lot of work but really, instead of jamming everything together, readers who follow through this funnel let’s me know that it’s effective. If not, I might have to eliminate some step somewhere to make it more better. Only time will tell.
6 – Determine What Works
After you have everything set up, what performed well? Your autoresponder should be able to track the click-throughs for any link you send out in the e-mails. If you’re getting a decent amount of click-thrus, this will tell you that your campaign was effective.
However, let’s be realistic, nothing is perfect. Conversion is a process through trial and error. When you monitor what e-mails get the most clicks to see what converts well, those are the areas you want to concentrate on. This can also go another way, if you’re not getting click-thrus, how can you improve it?
So when I send out the lessons, I want to see if the readers will follow through and also download the workbooks on site for each lesson. This goes back to testing the funnel. After all, this is for my readers. I want to know what converts best for those on the list.
Thus, you want to think about conversion here. How can you retain your readers so that they can stay on your list as well as site longer? What are you providing and do they even read it? Using the reports from Aweber, I will be able to determine how I can improve my mailing list.
7 – Determine How You Will Market Your List
What will you do further to promote your list? The E-course is the main attraction to which I can encourage new readers to subscribe. So after the mailing list launch, I will be doing some guest posts around the blogosphere.
That may mean I have to create a landing page to target new readers who doesn’t know anything about the blog. Another thing is article marketing with Ezine Articles just so that I can get more inbound traffic from an audience that’s not aware of Blogging For. Also thinking about the site, I may have to install a plugin that will pop-up after a few seconds to remind readers that, ‘Hey, let’s keep in touch! Here’s my gift!’
What are other tips that you might have to start a mailing list?
Share your thoughts.