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November 10, 2020

094 | Three Tips For Starting + Growing Your Email List

tips for growing your email list with Annie Miller

When it comes to email I am rather old-school. Probably because my first internet mentors were pro email list over social media, while still fully going ham on social platforms.

You’ve likely heard this but I’ll say it again.

We don’t own Instagram, or Facebook, or Youtube, or any other social media. They can disappear or restrict us at any given time.

I have experienced this myself and if I am being honest, I had a mild heart attack when it happened. On two occasions I have been locked out of IG. One of which was during a launch. Not ideal.

I adjusted, and it was fine, but that anxiety was immediate and VERY real. So we must ask – what would happen if IG or your social platform of choice disappeared?

I can tell you my plan, because I’ve thought about this many times.

I know that I personally GET a lot of value from IG. So I would search all my favorite accounts or names on Google, find them, and subscribe to their mailing lists + find out where else they are on other potential platforms.

For my own biz, I would expect email open rates to go up. Now email is where they can hear from me. They can’t depend on IG. I would immediate hit up my other, less used platforms like FB and probably make an account on whatever other platform my audience would gravitate towards. I would decide this based on an email survey that I sent to my list + my Facebook group (if that still existed). And lastly, bless this podcast, I would announce all of that HERE, on the FitsPRO podcast. And you better believe that would include driving people to my mailing list like it was my second job.

That is what I would do if IG disappeared over night. Beyond losing my audience, the bigger concern for me would honestly be losing 5 years of content. It stresses me out just thinking about that possibility. Yes, while I have a lot of content saved, most of it is not. And maybe you notice, maybe you don’t but I repurpose a lot of my old content to make new content. Soooooo very stressful to think about losing it all.

I digress. All of that is to say, we don’t own social…We have much higher levels of control over our email lists and platform.

Email is a step up from social. While social can feel more intimate and perhaps is, from a relational standpoint, email is more intimate from a POTENTIAL BUYER STANDPOINT. These humans are more invested in your offers/services than the bulk of your social media following.

I hope that is fairly easy to grasp. Hitting a follow button is less work and less intimate than putting in your name and email address. Now someone has said, I want more from you. I choose to have you in my inbox.

So you can see the value of email.

But how do you build and a grow an email list?

Allow me to give you three ways/tips/things to consider when starting and managing your email list(s).

From one of my most successful email list and blogging friends – no surprise here – 

BE CONSISTENT.

Consistency builds dependability and visibility. Even if someone doesn’t open or read your email, they see it every Tuesday at 6am. It’s one more time per week that they are exposed to you and your biz.

It builds dependability in multiple ways – your subscribers expect to hear from you every Tuesday at 6am, for one. And they know what to expect from you in the way of content. In theory you send emails that are consistent with your brand and of value to your subscribers.

Not only will it benefit you to choose a day and time you send your emails at. You’ll also want to stick to a theme or wheelhouse. Let’s not share your favs one week and then the next a personal story and then the next a free workout. Like, what are we doing here? What did these people sign up for?

All of the things I just listed are 500% fine. But keep it simple. Especially if you’re just starting out.

What would be helpful to your audience? start there.

Also note that you don’t have to send weekly newsletters. You can choose twice per month as well. I don’t suggest doing monthly just because we’re getting too spread out to build that dependability and exposure now. But you have the last word here. So do you.

The next two are more of the HOW to do this:

Batch topics at least

Set a date and make a plan. I realize some people hate planning. And I get that. BUT ALSO – If you want to wing it, that’s fine AS LONG AS YOU ACTUALLY DO IT.

Whether write up your emails the day of or batch them one month in advance, BATCHING TOPICS WILL BEHOOVE YOU.

I like to create a tab in my notes app for blog topic ideas. That way, I can jot them down anytime something comes to mind.

If you’re just starting and/or revamping your email list approach, I suggest taking time to sit down and braindstorm 50+ email topics. If I say blog that is largely because often times, an email is linked to a blog post. But they 500% do not have to be AT ALL. So don’t think you have to now have a blog and a newsletter. That’s not required. No worries.

So list out 50+ email topics. You could do series, single one off topics, a combination. A theme per month. There is no limit here beyond your imagination.

Again, I encourage you to do this whether you plan to schedule ahead of time or write these emails week by week. That way, you aren’t constantly having to come up with ideas on what to write. You have the topics. And Ideally these topics are easy for you to write about.

Also, note that these do not need to be extravagant. Value and connection first and foremost. These are humans. You’re writing to human beings. Always keep that in the forefront of your mind.

Beyond topics, I have seen:

  • Weekly Q&A’s where the email answers questions that subscribers had – you could create a form that is at the bottom of every email for readers to fill out for the next week. Many options here.
  • A recap of the week if you have other platforms or companies you work with
  • Weekly thoughts and reflections, with a prompt or prompts for the readers

Just some ideas to get your wheels turning. Start simple and be consistent.

Last one actually involves social media and the BUILDING portion of the list.

The previous two were about the content you’re actually emailing out and the schedule of said content. But you need to get humans to JOIN THE LIST in the first place. And keep joining week to week. That’s where the this tip comes in.

Drive traffic from social platforms (FB group, Pinterest, IG, podcasts etc)

I am going to guess that people aren’t scouring your website everyday. But that’s where your signup form for your email list is. So how do you get humans to your SITE, to sign up?

For most of us, that’s through other platforms like FB, pinterest, IG etc.

You can have a freebie OR just share your topics weekly and tell humans to join the list if they want the weekly scoop.

I have another episode on building your email list so check that out because I cover freebie options and ideas there.

In short, a freebie would be a download or some incentive for them to join the list in the first place. Then you’d send the weekly email. Also make sure you have this legally stated on the sign up page of the site so people know that they are getting other emails beyond the freebie.

Think about my free Ideal Client Avatar creator, my About Me page template or my free 3 Day Mobility and Core. All of these lead to lists and then subsequent emails after the download.

If you don’t have a freebie people will still join your list. Have no fear. Yes, a freebie has incentive, and is ideal, but not required. If your mailing list gets first dibs on programs, promos and other insider goods, then that can be incentive. Just make sure that’s true.

List off what they get each week – this would be based on what you decided in your batching plan.

You’ll have this sign up on your website or a simple landing page – under blog posts, at the bottom of most pages, or as a pop up.

If you’re going to do a pop up, please for the love of all things holy do not make it pop up after like 5 seconds. There is nothing more annoying than an immediate email list opt in pop up. Get out of my face, I am looking for something. Give it some time.

You can also have a corner pop up vs a mid, in your face pop up. These can be created within your email provider for a given list typically.

From IG, FB, Pinterest or anywhere else, you would use whatever approach makes sense to direct people towards your sign up. I use Pinterest to drive to blog posts and podcast episodes that then have an invite to join my list. I use podcast listener discounts to drive from my podcast episodes. And I don’t use IG as well as I should. If I was more organized, I’d share a sneak peek each week with a call to action and swipe up for people to join my list.

That just goes to show how many ways this can happen. If you don’t have anything in your link in your bio on the gram, or if you have a linktree, then you can put the link to the sign up form there.

Also, on the link tree note. If you click the link in my bio or visit anniemiller.co/linktree you can see that I created a mock-linktree of my own that is on brand on MY SITE. That way, I keep the interaction to two platforms, directly from IG to my site. Just an idea if you’re currently using link tree but also have a site. It takes like 30 minutes tops to create your own link tree hosted on your site.

Hope that helps!

There you have it – be consistent, batch and brainstorm your approach and content, make driving to you list from other platforms a priority.

Your list WILL NOT just magically grow. Like literally ANYTHING else, it will take effort, intent and consistency. But it’s so so so worth it.

Review of the week comes from fitness_funsized and says,

“LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Annie keeps it short, sweet and to the point with these podcast episodes! Easy to follow along and take notes (on both business topics as well as fitness/training!) I can’t believe we don’t pay for this info – it is gold!!! Thank you, Annie for being a push in my own passion to get my business going and being a fountain of knowledge that has helped me so much!!”

Remember you need to check the show notes (here) to see if you were review-er of the week, and then keep an eye out to see if you were listener of the month as well. That will be in the show notes and Annie’s Weekly Wrap. You can subscribe to Annie’s Weekly Wrap here!

tips for growing your email list with Annie Miller

If you find value here, on The FitsPRO Podcast, then pretty please head over to itunes, subscribe, rate and review the show. It means the world to me when you spread my message to more humans.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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