Start a blog or online business and the first most important piece of advice you will get is “Build an Email list.”
“Great Advice. I understand that. But I am just starting out. I don’t want to shell out my already scarce money before I even know if it’s going to be a success or not. “
That was my reaction, and I am pretty sure yours’ too.
So I set out to find a method that will allow me to setup an email list for Free in easiest way and through good looking forms.
And here is my method. You will find it as easy as following the step by step process to open a gift box.
For first timers, following questions pop up instantaneously:
What is an Email List?
Why do I need one?
How can I setup for Free?
An Email list is a collection of primarily email addresses. Other data can be collected like Name, address, etc. that people give you by signing up for your updates or free gifts (Physical or Digital).
Why do you need to have an email list?
One line answer: Your email list is a list of your potential customers. Period
Explanation: Any online business thrives on the readers/followers it has. These readers/followers are attracted to your website or Social Media accounts when they find your work interesting and helpful to them. They feel that by following you and your work, they stand to gain more in their life related to the niche you are working on.
Here is the difference between having a list and having followers on Social Media accounts:
You Do Not Own Your Social Media Account.
You are at the mercy of the channel owners. For example, Facebook might suddenly decide not to promote the type of content you have mastered. Or Instagram might suddenly feel that your content is not appropriate and block your account. And along with these accounts, you will lose all the followers, fans , Almost customers you had nurtured and primed for a purchase.
Whereas the Email list belongs to you. This email list is of people who are interested in your work. They trust you and your good work’s benefit enough to allow you to email them. And some of them will be willing to purchase your product because they feel it will help them.
Collecting email addresses and sending email on them is protected by CAN-SPAM Act. Click on the link if you want to read in detail.
A gist of What you need to be careful of with your email list.
a. You need to have permission from the recipients to add their email address to your list.
b. You must provide an easy way to the beneficiaries to unsubscribe from your list.
c. Once unsubscribed, you do not have any right to email them again.
d. You have to provide a physical address in your emails. Preferably your business address. (If you don’t have one and don’t want to give your home address, then go for a P.O. Box)
There are other important clauses too that you need to be aware of. I suggest taking a little time to read and understand to avoid penalties later.
The Initial Requirements
Before we can dive into registering and setting up every thing, we need to have somethings handy to sail through the process.
- A self hosted WordPress website
- Access to WordPress Admin. You will be required to install plugin(s)
- A valid and accessible email id. Preferably one with your custom domain.
- A valid physical address. It can a Business address, your home address or P.O. Box address.
Besides these, some good to haves:
- An Opt-in gift. Can be a course, a PDF or anything that will attract readers to sign up.
- An image related to your Opt-in
Sequence Of Setup
We will follow a step by step method to setup everything. This is to ensure that the process flow is smooth and there are least hurdles for your readers while signing up.