What is this entire “email list building” stuff that I can hearing about?

If you have asked that question to yourself- this blog post is for you!
In this two part series I am breaking down the entire “email craze” and how you can jump on the bandwagon!  This is a step by step process to start filling up your list with qualified leads. 
In a previous blog I dished on 3 things I wish I knew when I launched! My biggest mistake was not focusing on my email list. I am determined to help you not make the same mistake that cost me time and money! So here goes…
There is no doubt about it, having an engaged email list is important for your business. Dare I say it, it is the number one asset for your brand!
I understand that there are lot on your to do list when launching a brand. The thought of adding another item generally brings anxiety. Am I right?
But I am breaking this step by step process down to make your life easier.

This blog will be in 2 parts: this part is focusing on email fundamentals! 

The second part I’ll be dishing on how to start growing your email list and how to nurture your list!

I am even breaking down segmenting and tagging your list. So you can start creating “hot audiences” for product launches!
In this blog you will learn:
  • The benefits of having an email list!
  • Being compliant with your business emails. (You know so you don’t get fined!)
  • And I am going against industry standards by encouraging you to focus less on the “numbers.”
Let’s get going…

Why is it important for companies to have email lists?

Have you notice when you go onto any website, they ask for your email? Luring you in by giving you a percentage off, free shipping or a free downloadable item?
I am talking about every major site from J Crew, Target, Puma… you name it. Obtaining a large database of interested buyers is amazing for your business!
Buy why would small business owners want to obtain customer emails? There are a few reasons:
When someone finds your awesome website. Then signs up for your newsletter, workshop, products, or services. They are telling you that they are interested in your business! You have the ability to connect with them. They find value in what you offer.
Most new business owners focus on growing their social media. This is awesome and great! But keep in mind that you do not own that platform, your followers, or your page.
If you have 10k Instagram followers and something happens to your account. Say it is hacked or a violation of their TOS, your account could be deleted. How would you connect with those “potential” customers?
Also keep in mind that with your Facebook business pages, only 3-5% of your fans/followers see your post. You’re not able to fully connect with all of your followers. Keep in mind, social media’s platforms are “pay to play”, meaning you will have to buy ads to have visibility.
This is why building your email list is so important plus it is essentially free!
Having an email list, allows you to instantly connect with your subscribers. You’re able to build a relationship with them.
They want to hear from you and about your products/services that make their lives better!
It is a proven that out of all the marketing channels, email consistently performs better. Email outperforms all other channels. Meaning, if you have a well nurtured group of people on your email list and you launch a new product/service- you’ll see instant sales!
Growing your SEO or organic search is vital, but if your ratings tank. You still have your email list to promote your blog, products/services too!
I feel like we are on the same page now and both agree, building your email list is essential part of your business. Online businesses need an email list, brick and mortar locations needs email list. (In my best Oprah voice, “Every business needs an email list!”)

Now that you’re feeling motivation and excitement. You’re ready to set up your email! First, I want to go over some guidelines.

I want to introduce you to Government Issued Compliance Rules or CAN-SPAM. Please familiarize yourself with all of the rules and do not solely rely on this post. I am by no means an expert or a lawyer. Please, click here to read CAN-SPAM in its entirety.
Below are a few of the rules around business emails issued by the US government.
  • Don’t use misleading or false headlines.
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
  • All emails must have your business address in the email.
  • You must have a way for people to unsubscribe or opt out. Opt out has to be immediate.
  • If you are selling products you must make sure that your email identifies that it is an ad.
These rules don’t just apply to large bulk email distribution. This is for all business emails.
I have also seen people use plugins to send updates for podcast or blogs and the emails do not have an unsubscribe option! This too is a violation. Be careful!
So why is this important? You can be fined for every single email that you send that isn’t compliant! This could cost you thousands of dollars!
I urge you to read through all the rules to stay compliant! If you are using a software service, like Convertkit, everything is set up for you and you’re ready to go! (This is an affiliate link!)
If you have a business website and market your products online, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the brand new European data protection laws known s“GDPR”. They go into effect in May of 2018. The GDPR was introduced to help with data privacy laws of European citizens. Click here for all of the info. If you are thinking, I won’t be selling my products in Europe, but you have an email list. Keep reading!
  • Pre-ticked opt-in boxes are not indications of valid consent


  • GDPR is also explicit that you’ve got to make it easy for people to exercise their right to withdraw consent


  • You will need to make your intentions specific and very clear by stating: “Will you send them regular newsletters, occasional offers, or share this list with anyone else?” If someone purchases your product on another platform, will they be added to your email list? Your subscribers should be aware of how their email and any other data you collect will be handled.


  • It should be very easy for your subscribers to give you permission to send them email. Some suggestions would be: state it clearly on your form, use a double-opt in on your forms, or remind them where they subscribed in the footer of your emails.  Please note, a double opt-in is when someone signs up for a worksheet, quiz, or newsletter. They will receive an email to “confirm their subscription”. One they confirm, they will receive the intended info. This is a default in most email software programs.


  • Perform regular backups of your list. Keeping up to date information, especially showing proof of consent from your subscribers can be helpful if required.
Most email software will be compliant with the new regulations. They will update you when changes are made. Which makes your life easier! Plus, features like double opt-ins, unsubscribe, and auto generating your business address on emails are default.
However, it is your responsibility that the language is clear on any opt-in or landing page. If you are sending emails to notify anyone of a new product launch or advertise rates. And you are using your personal account, make sure you are following these guidelines.
Wipe sweat off brow… Let’s continue!
A few other small things when it comes to list building:
Your subscribers need to sign up to receive your emails! Do not just add people. Don’t take your address book and enter all your friends and family.
Not only that, your friends and family are PROBABLY not your target customer! When building your email list think quality not quantity. Which gets me into the my last point!

I have an unpopular opinion about building your email list!

I hear people preaching about the number of people that you have on your list. To focus on the numbers.

In turn, I hear other business owners upset because they have a small amount of email subscribers.

I want you to transition your mindset… think about obtaining people that you can convert into customers. Don’t focus solely on the number!
I recently had lunch with a friend, who owns a profitable online business. He was approached by a company that had over 400,000 email subscribers. They wanted to partner with him to offer his products to their subscribers. 400,000!!! Can you say, holy hell…what a great opportunity! Yes, please!
He took weeks to prepare and write emails. The emails were scheduled for a specific date and time. Day comes and he is sitting in front of his computer waiting for his sales to explode. Refresh. Refresh. (Come on we have all been there… even if it was just to buy concert tickets!)
Nothing. 15 minutes pass. I mean, 400,000 people were just told about an exciting opportunity.
Instead it was crickets. Why?
The company that has over 400k subscribers never nurtured their list. Meaning that they were obtaining email addresses but never connecting, adding value or engaging with them! Having 400,000 subscribers is great but what is the point if they are never going to purchase your products?
He later divulged to me that it indeed went out to 400,000 subscribers and he received 15 sales!
Wouldn’t you rather have 1,000 subscribers with 20% engaged? 200 people ready to purchase products that you launch. Why focus on adding family members that won’t benefit from your service to your list to have the “numbers”? Focus your time and energy cultivating a list of people that want to hear from you and need your services/products!
In the next blog post, I am laying out how to start growing your email list in start up phase… even if you aren’t selling anything!
I’ll show you how to nurture your list once you start obtaining subscribers. You know, what the heck to send them once you get them on your list!
I will hit on how to start segmenting or tagging your email list to create “hot audiences”. This way when you launch new products you have a specific target.
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