Email marketing is often overlooked in favor of other, more popular marketing activities such as AdWords or SEO. However, it remains as one of the most effective communication channels, and one of the cheapest too. You might believe that sending email newsletters is something reserved only for bigger companies, but that’s not true at all. In fact, creating an email list of your own might be much easier and more profitable than you think.

Why It’s Important To Have A List

Email is the most used communications method for marketing. It is globally available, and just about everyone uses it. In fact, anyone who uses any kind of web service is bound to have an email account to sign up with– it’s basically become our Internet ID. That makes it an essential channel for marketing your business, no matter who you are or what you do.

If you’re serious about building an online business (or at least trying to market yourself across the Inernet), one of the most important things you should do is create an email marketing list. In layman’s terms, an email list is a collection of email addresses, often associated with other personal data, that may be of interest to you and viceversa. That means the list should contain profiles that are in some manner related to what you do, like potential clients or people from your industry.

Having an e-mail list lets you have a number of contacts at hand– more specifically, your target audience. Therefore, when you release a product or create something interesting, you can notify all of them at once. It’s not only important to have a large list you can market to, it’s also crucial that your contacts are interested in what you have to say. Sending emails that are of no value will only result in getting yourself flagged as a spammer, and possibly getting banned.

On the other hand, building a high-quality email list can bring you a lot of benefits in the long run. For starters, it can help you better connect with your audience, so the next time you advertise your services people will surely listen. It can also serve as a way to build your reputation, since you can establish yourself as someone who provides value and insightful content. Overall, email marketing remains as one of the most effective ways of building customer loyalty.

Setting Up An Email List

The first step towards creating your own email list is to sign up for an email marketing service. Our favorite one, by far, is MailChimp. It’s a great service overall, has a great free plan for those who are starting out, and their app is extremely well-designed and easy to use. Besides MailChimp, there are also other email marketing services such as aWeber, or Mad Mimi.

Once you have your account, you should start building your email list in your WordPress site. To do that, you should place an opt-in subscription form somewhere in your site, preferably on a visible location. If you’re using MailChimp, you have a few options to create this form:

  • You can use the official MailChimp widget to add a sidebar widget. This is one of the most easy and straightforward ways of embedding your form, although you may have to get an API code from your MailChimp account to make it work. If you happen to use one of our premium WordPress themes, the styling will be already taken care of it for you.
  • You can directly embed the form code by using a text widget as well. This is an alternate way of adding your form, should you prefer to tweak the markup a little bit. The results are the same, with the exception that you don’t have to install any additional plugins. Like with the previous method, our themes will take care of styling the form elements so they blend in well with the rest of your site.

Start Building Your List

Once your widget is in place, you should be all set. Make sure you try signing up yourself in order to test it all out, since you don’t want an error preventing your visitors from signing up. In the next article, we’ll take a look at some tricks you can use to increase the number of signups, as well as improving your audience.

Do you have an email marketing list already? How have you set up your list?