Building an email list is crucial for businesses and blog sites. Every online marketing expert will agree that you have to build an email list for your company. However, while building an email list is essential, most of us don’t have any idea about an email list.
We don’t know what an email list is, why it is important and how to build one. In today’s article, I will try to answer each of these questions along with some practical tips about the past practices.
First of all, let’s see what an email list is.
A Brief Definition of Email List
An email list is a collection of email addresses of your visitors who have willingly signed up to receive regular updates on your website, products or services. The updates could be delivered as newsletters or other special formats. This list will help you in keeping regular communication with your new and existing users and visitors.
It is possible to send the updates in various frequencies including daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly etc. The updates may contain information about your latest posts, your new product or service, special deals, promotions, valuable news etc.
Now that we know what an email list is, let’s find out why building such a list is important.
Importance of Building Email List
Various studies have confirmed that, when it comes to the number of clicks, email updates perform way better than social media platforms. As an email is more private and personal, people tend to take it more seriously than the links shared in social media networks.
Besides, when you use social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, it is not guaranteed that your messages, promotions or offers will reach your target audience. Rather, it is highly likely that your updates will be lost amidst the frequent updates by other people, brands and companies. On the other hand, email updates are delivered directly to the inbox of your visitors.
When you use social media networks, you don’t own your data. Your account might get suspended and, in that case, you will lose all of your followers at once. I am not saying that will happen, but there is always a possibility. On the contrary, an email list will always be yours. You have total control over your list and you don’t have to be limited to 140 characters or so.
Unlike all other methods, email list has a unique specialty. It lets you target a specific audience. For instance, you can easily target people from a particular city, country etc. If your product or service has any localized version, building an email list is the perfect choice for you.
Compared to other ways, building an email list is simpler and easier. And once you have created a list, you can manage, update and use the list in any way you want. Email lists provide complete control and independence, which is not the case in other methods.
How To Get Your Own Email List
In order to build your email list, you will need an email service provider. These specialized service providers will make sure that your emails get delivered to the inbox of your subscribers. Though it is possible to send emails from WordPress, which is not a recommended approach.
The email service providers use different techniques to make sure that your messages don’t get marked as spam.While there are different email service providers out there, I will discuss the most popular ones here.
Aweber is a very popular email service provider, which is used by lots of internet marketers and bloggers. By using this service, you will be able to send emails, track the performance of your campaign and manage your subscribers.
In order to increase the click rate, you can experiment with various settings like using different templates, headlines, button text and different colors. Other useful features include autoresponder, targeted subscriber list, auto emails for new posts etc. Aweber lets you try the service for $1 for the first month.
MailChimp is another excellent email service provider. This service offers various facilities including managing your subscribers, creating autoresponders, split testing email campaigns, analytics of your campaigns, creating personalized campaigns etc.It is also possible to send email updates whenever a new post is created on your blog or website.
And the best part about MailChimp is it offers a free service that covers 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Once you cross that limit, you have to upgrade your account.
Besides these two, there are some other popular email service providers including:
How to Build Your Email List in WordPress
After selecting an email service provider, you have to integrate the email subscription form with your WordPress website. While the service providers will only deliver your updates to the subscribers, you have to build the list yourself.
There are several WordPress plugins that could be useful in building your email list. These plugins could be placed in various locations. We will discuss various plugins depending on the subscription form locations.
Popup boxes, aka Lightbox popups, are the most popular sign up forms for WordPress. The most important part about the popup boxes is they do not hamper the visitors’ user experience and do not decrease the amount of page views.
When it comes to popups, OptinMonster is a widely used plugin. The intelligent plugin tracks the mouse behavior of the user and could be set up to be shown right before the visitor leaves the site. This exit-intent technology offers high conversion rate and happens to be less intrusive. OptinMonster also lets you do split-testing forms and experiment with various settings. If you are still confused, you can try it for 14 days without paying anything.
If you are looking for a free popup box plugin, you can check out:
Floating bars are fixed elements of a website that remains constant at a certain position. If the visitor scrolls, the bar scrolls too. You can add email subscription forms as floating bars in order to increase the conversion rate.
If you have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS, you can create the forms yourself. However, if you don’t want to do it manually, there are dedicated plugins for this purpose. First of all, OptinMonster comes with this option. You will find several ready-made templates to choose from. It is also possible to customize the look and behavior of the sign up form along with keeping track of your progress.
And if OptinMonster is not your thing, you can consider free plugins like SumoMe’s Double your Email Subscribers or Callout Bar by ContactUs. Both these plugins work with any theme and support all the popular email service providers.
Slide-up or Slide-in Forms
Slide-up or slide-in forms slide from any corner of your website with an email subscription form. Unlike the sidebars forms, these sliding forms do not remain constant. The sliding forms are less annoying than pop-up boxes or static forms. However, sliding forms are considered less effective than popup boxes.
There are lots of plugins which will help you in creating sliding email subscription forms. As usual, you can use OptinMonster to create sliding forms.
Additionally, you can also consider the free plugins like
These plugins provide a simple way of creating and adding sliding email subscription forms for your WordPress website.
We use forms for various purpose in our website – contact forms, sign up forms, registration forms, event forms, request a feature form, request a quote form etc. It is possible to add a check box to these forms that read something like “Yes, I would like to receive updates from XYZ (your company)”. This technique is used by lots of websites, including some big names too.
Creating the check box and linking it properly is a specialized task, and therefore you should use a professional solution like Gravity Forms for this purpose. By using the Aweber or MailChimp add-on of Gravity Forms, you can easily include the subscribe check box in your forms.
After Post Forms
Putting an email subscription form after the post is a common practice. Though this method brings the least amount of subscribers, most people use it because most WordPress themes include this by default. If your theme does not have this feature and you want to give it a try, you can use any of the previously mentioned plugins.
SEE ALSO: Must Have Powerful WordPress Plugins
Well, I think I have provided enough information for a beginner’s guide to building an email list. However, if you want to know more or feeling confused about any part of the discussion, please let me know. And remember, building the email is only the beginning of your journey.
The next and most important step is to engage properly with your subscribers. You need to send updates, helpful tips, promotions etc. on a regular basis.