When I was researching how to create an email list and not previously done one before I was unsure how to proceed. I knew I wanted to create and grow a list, but once I was gathering names, then what would I do with this list?
I was at the level of not yet having a product or service to sell so I was not going to badger my list with an item to flog (that will come later). I also just didn’t want to throw out some basic free product thingy in exchange for giving me an email that I would have others find the product thingy useless, but liked what I did enough they wouldn’t tell me. Having a freebie to sign up for a list is not a bad thing and I’m sure I’ll have a basic product thingy in the future. I may not even use it as a lead magnet.
So the first form of research I conducted was having a look at what company would be suitable for hosting my list. I learn’t very quickly and without actually having to do it that the fastest way NOT to succeed is to use one OWN email account for mass mail distribution. You end up straight into someone’s spam folder as well as possibly break a law.
To do this violates the terms of many email providers (including Gmail) and thats pain we want to avoid.
It is also a requirement of law for signing up to a list for readers to have a double opt in role performed when people sign up onto your email list. I know this is applicable in the USA and in Australua. A double opt in provides a reader to verify twice, they they do indeed want to receive emails from you and have provided (by way of the opt in) permission to do so.
So starting a list I wanted simple and free. After looking into Ontraport, Convertkit, Mailchimp., Campaign Monitor, Aweber, Get Response, Active Campagn…. I decided to start with Mailchimp.
Now Mailchimp for your first 2000 signups on your primary email list is free. But Mailchimp out of the box is not simple. I love a challenge and decided to sink my teeth into Mailchimp and least get something off the ground.
I felt that using the format within Mailchimp would be rather straight forward. But after looking at the sequence needed to get to just setup for a newsletter format (the format I decided to run with for my email list) I went through several iterations just get my head around using the site. The different formats you can use are plentiful. Themed emails, text only pictures, advertisements, holiday notices, welcome notes, and don’t get me started on automated sequences.
The amount and sheer volume of what you can do for emails is a little daunting at first. After a few iterations I finally got my head around (some) of the themes and formats. I discovered you first have to select your list of people. Then you select and create a one off campaign made up of one or more emails in a sequence. I initially thought that one campaign would be many sequences of emails sent to my list on a regular, weekly basis. This was not the case. You need to create a new campaign each time you want to make a change and update information on your newsletter. Fortunately once you create a template as a format you can keep and use that template for future emails. Once you have completed your design, you can select some final details and tracking of your emial to a pre-defined schedule. I scheduled each campaign (newsletter) to be published each Wednesday at 8am local time Melbourne, Australia.
Having made a newsletter for my readers I still want to provide value in some form. The newsletter has afforded me a template to highlight key areas that a reader can digest and do so rather quickly. I wanted the reader to have a few takeaways from the newsletter but also have a quick win. The news letter provides the following;
An opening explaining what the newsletter covers
My new article of the week published on a Tuesday on the blog. Here is where I want people to read more and to go to the blog.
A 3rd party video of the week – highlighting a tool, app or online concept
A 3rd party podcast of the week – highlighting a tool, app or online concept, sometimes with a host interviewing
A tip of the week to give a snippet of understanding for a product, service, or tool.
An app of the week to to briefly showcase something new (or remind) for readers
I then finish of with a thankful.
Until I receive feedback, if its positive or negative I feel this is a suitable format for my readers to takeaway. Most of the readers will be familiar with many apps and concepts shown in the newsletter or will find there are key learning’s or specific apps that they are not familiar with. Then they will walk away with a greater understanding or a wish to explore more.
Your feedback is important and its helps improve the newsletter and the blog, send me an email with your feedback firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if I can help you in any way.