How to Build a Simple Email List
Have you started to build an email list yet?
If not, you are missing out on an incredibly valuable asset for your business. If you’re put off by the technology, you can keep things very simple and still get great results. The key is to get started – you can always develop and build on what you are doing later.
Why do I need an email list?
Your email list allows you to contact clients and potential clients directly and communicate with them. It doesn’t have to be hard work and the rewards to your business can be huge!
As a practitioner, I only send one short newsletter per month to my list. That one email has been responsible for a number of referrals of new clients, as well as follow up appointments with my existing clients, which has given me bookings every month.
It reminds people I am here. I provide useful, helpful information and tips on topics that my clients will be interested in, as well as details of any events or dates coming up. There is nothing ‘pushy’ or ‘salesy’ about the emails, just a simple ‘if you need help, contact me’ and a link.
Where to start?
So you have an idea of how simple the content can be, next is how you go about collecting the information.
First of all, and this is really important, people have to give you specific PERMISSION to send them emails. Otherwise, it is considered to be spam. They also have the right to unsubscribe so make sure you have a way of keeping track of this.
The simplest way to do this is to use an email service provider that will manage this for you. There is a free plan from MailChimp which is an ideal choice for most practitioners and therapists and will allow you to build a list of up to 2000 email addresses.
It is easy to use with lots of tutorials and templates which you can adapt, or you can create your own. You will also know how many of your emails are opened and as you send more, you will be able to tell which topics are most appealing to your clients.
A service like this is it will manage your list for you and new subscribers can be automatically added from your website, you can import lists you already have or add in people manually. It will also remove anyone who unsubscribes automatically making sure your email marketing observes the legal requirements.
I use this version of MailChimp for my practitioner monthly newsletter. When I see clients, I ask them to join my list and have a sign-up form that they can put their details on. This shows them what they are signing up to and also gives me proof they signed up, should it ever be required. I also use this form when I am networking if I meet anyone that I think would be interested in what I do.
How to build a simple email list:
If you have an existing email list, make sure it is set up with an email provider which will allow you to manage it properly.
Set up account
To start with to keep it simple, go for a free account with MailChimp or another email provider.
Add a form to your website
If you have a website, add a sign-up form to it – you may need to ask your developer to help with this but it is well worth doing.
Email existing clients
Email any existing clients personally and ask them if they would like to join your list describing the benefits to them of joining. Again keep it simple by saying
something like ‘reply to this email with ‘sign me up’ and I will do it for you’ – that way you are making it easy for your clients and they are more likely to say yes.
Do not just add existing clients automatically – you need their permission.
Email your network
Personally email your network of friends, family and colleagues to let them know what you are doing. Ask if they would like to be added to your list (if they are in your niche) and/or whether they would pass your details onto anyone they know who may benefit from your services.
Send a notice out on your social media account letting friends and contacts know about your services and how they can sign up to your list.
Email sign up form
Create a sign-up form so you have one ready for when you are networking or working with clients.
Put a date in your diary and commit to sending out an email regularly to your list. Even if it is once a month, you will see your list grow and your engagement with clients improve.
This is really your starting point. There are lots of things you can do that are more advanced with email but to start with, keep it simple and start building your list!
If you struggle with email marketing, contact me to see how I can help you.
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