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Start and Grow Your Email List With 3 Easy Steps

In last week’s Note From Natty, I shared a podcast episode with Ed Mylett and Amy Porterfield where they both talked about one of their biggest regrets in their business…

At first, I was shocked to hear them say this and then the more I thought about it, it made so much sense.

They both said that one of their biggest regrets in business is not starting their email list sooner 🤯

The reason I was sort of shocked at first is because these are both people who have HUGE brands and businesses, which means they have experienced a lotttt, so you could imagine the amount of lessons they’ve had to learn the hard way.

But as I continued to listen to the episode, I realized that both Ed and Amy - two people with THOUSANDS (Ed actually has millions) of followers on social media - know that the amount of followers they have doesn’t actually matter as much as society has trained us to think.

Sure, that amount of followers for anyone can look very credible to the outside world, but we can’t get that twisted and think that followers = leads.

I’m sure you’ve heard it said before (possibly by me!) that your social media is rented land and all that really means is you do not own or have control over your followers or your social media content.

Like I’ve said time and time again, the social media platforms that we know and love could seriously vanish tomorrow and there’s nothing we could do about it.

And if those platforms do vanish, our content and followers go right with them. 🥴

I always preach that the best way to combat this is to create your content in a place where you own it FIRST - aka blogs on your website - and then repurpose it from there instead of the other way around.

But what I don’t talk about enough (which is about to change) is one of my favorite and easy ways to drive people back to your blogs.

And that’s through: EMAILS ✨

Did you know that email generates 174% more total conversions than social posts?! 🤯

That statistic is wildddd to me and it’s honestly for that reason alone that you should a) start an email list TODAY if you don’t already have one or b) focus more of your efforts on growing your list if you have an existing one.

If you don’t already have an existing email list and you want to start one, but aren’t sure how there’s a few steps to follow - some are more technical, while others are more about the actual strategy of growing your list.

(if you already have an email list, you can skip to number 3 to see how blog posts and your emails can work together strategically)

Start and Grow Your Email List With 3 Easy Steps

1. First things first, you’ll need an email platform to house all of your subscribers and actually send your emails through.

There are truly TONS of platforms to choose from, but the key is that you’re choosing what works best for you.

If you’re a course creator, your course platform (like Kartra or Kajabi) will likely have an email CRM that you can use. This makes it super easy to tag people based on the products they buy or other actions they take, which can be really beneficial if you need those capabilities.

Many people also use ConvertKit or Active Campaign because those have more advanced capabilities as well, but if you’re the type of person that simply wants to communicate with your audience on a consistent basis and you don’t need a lot of the technical features, Mailchimp or Flodesk could be the perfect option for you!

Mailchimp is free up to 500 subscribers, but you would likely want to upgrade to a paid plan as some basic features aren’t available on the free version (like scheduling emails).

Flodesk is what I personally use and it’s the most aesthetically pleasing email platform I’ve found. Most people use it for this reason and it’s a super inexpensive option compared to some of the others! AND you can get your first year for 50% off (making it only $19/month) which is crazyyyy if you ask me.

2. Once you’ve chosen your email platform, it’s time to actually grow your list! The easiest way to do this is create some sort of freebie that provides value or solves a problem for people and exchange that for their email. This is what the marketing world calls a lead magnet.

You’ve likely opted in to tons of things like this before - think free PDF’s, spreadsheets, checklists, how-to guides (like my Beginner’s Guide to Blogging for Your Business), a free video lesson, I’ve even seen some people do special podcast episodes. Most of the time, all of these things are created to grow someone’s email list.

Now of course, you don’t just want to create something for the heck of it. You want it to be ACTUALLY valuable and something that people want/need.

We’ll take my freebie for example - I didn’t just come up with this idea out of nowhere. One day on Instagram I did a question box and I asked people what their questions were concerning blogs for their business.

The main question I received multiple times was HOW to get started. So, I basically took everything I knew about blogs and I turned it into a Beginner’s Guide for people to download for free so that they could start implementing blogs in their business.

I took that guide a step further and after someone downloaded it, they were invited to join a free Blog Writer’s Boot Camp so they could be guided on how to actually bring that freebie to life versus it just being another thing that sits unopened in their inbox.

If you’re struggling with what your lead magnet could be, think about what questions people ask you the most. What is your audience’s biggest struggle? What do they need the most help with?

From there, you should be able to create something that truly does help them solve that problem in some capacity so that they will be inclined to trade their email for that download.

3. Once you’ve created a lead magnet and you’re growing your list, you want to make sure that you’re actually talking to the people who have raised their hand to hear from you.

Your email subscribers are your people. They want to hear from you! So, this is where your specific email marketing plan comes into play.

Like almost everything in life and business, this will look different for everyone, so don’t feel pressured to send 3 emails per week just because you heard that’s what someone else is doing.

Do what works for you and your audience, but a good rule of thumb is once a week. This keeps you top of mind for your subscribers and it keeps them engaged with your content on a regular basis.

If you can’t commit to once a week, you can create a monthly newsletter style email or opt for bi-weekly. Just like blogs, don’t overcommit and choose a consistency that you’ll be able to keep up overtime! The main reason you want to choose a consistency and stick to it is because you’ll train your audience to know what to expect.

For example, people know that they’ll receive a Note From Natty in their inbox every Friday morning because I’ve trained them to expect that - it’s like our standing Friday morning coffee date that happens every single week!

What To Write About In Your Weekly Emails

At this point, I know what you might be thinking: “Natty - what the heck do I write about that often?!”

Well friend, this is where your blogs and other long form content come in.

If you’re already creating content through blogs, podcast episodes or even YouTube videos, think of your emails as the shorter version of that.

Emails give you the chance to boil your larger points down to smaller points and allow the reader to have one main takeaway while also guiding them to your other content when it makes sense to do so.

The good news for you is that since your long form content likely has multiple points and takeaways within each piece, that gives you the opportunity to have manyyyy email topics.

(seriously, this blog post alone could be at least 3 emails for me!)

If you aren't already creating long form content, I highly encourage you to do so, but here's a few other writing topic options for your emails specifically:

  • a story or life event you've recently experienced that leads to a lesson that people can relate to

  • a life or business lesson that you had to learn the hard way and your advice for others to avoid that

  • get inspired from TikTok - the amount of storytelling that happens on that app is wild and you can draw tons of inspiration from other creators

  • think about upcoming holidays or random national days and how you can relate those to your industry - people love seeing this type of stuff because it feels super relevant

  • quote an expert from a recent book you read or podcast you listened to (sort of like I did above with Ed Mylett and Amy Porterfield) and add your own thoughts to it

How Your Blogs and Emails Can Work Together

Here’s how I typically structure emails for myself and for clients, especially if they have a blog that they want to drive people to 👇🏼

The first half of the email is typically a story or some type of content that hooks them in and usually provides a quick win or tangible takeaway, but then also creates an open loop so that they want to keep reading to find the answer to the thing that was teased.

That loop is typically closed in the blog post or other piece of content that’s linked! The email is how we get them there. Now, this isn’t meant to be tricky or annoying, it’s typically just because the answer or the solution is too detailed for an email itself and that’s why you wrapped it up into something longer form in the first place.

That structure could be your entire email right there, but I encourage people to take it a step further and create their own personal format that they follow each week that is specific to them so that their email goes beyond just sharing their latest blog post.

For me, after the main message, there’s always a Writing Tip of the Week, ICYMTL (in case you missed the latest) which is a round up of the latest at Natty Writes, and Friday Finds & Faves which features my favorite finds of the week, such as a podcast episodes, fave new follows, new product I’m loving, etc.

The format you create sort of becomes your signature thing and it’s what will keep people coming back for more time and time again!

Beyond the format of your emails and the content inside of them, one of the main things that will make people excited to read your emails is that they come across friendly and personal - people want to feel like you’re actually talking to them and you’re not just writing to write.

When you do this well, you can get wins just like this:

As Amy Porterfield says, “the best time to grow an email list was yesterday and the best next time is TODAY!”

If starting an email list from scratch or growing your existing list is one of your goals this year, but you need more guidance, I’m here to help.

DM me the word ‘EMAIL’ on Instagram to start the conversation about how we can work together to start or grow your list!

- Natty

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