Mailing List Management: You’re Asking the Wrong Question

There’s one common question that’s on everyone’s mind when they first start their email list.

“Which service should I use?”

You’ve probably wondered yourself, and maybe even spent a few hours (or days, or weeks) researching your options.

Stop!

This is not the question you should be asking (yet). And it’s exactly why so many entrepreneurs get stuck in the planning stage of list building.

The First Step In List Building

Before you need to think about tools, you must ask yourself this:

“How can I best serve my market in a quick and instant gratification way?”

Whether you’re serving business owners, new moms, teachers, veterinarians or anything in between - they have a very specific need that only you can fulfill in your very unique way.

When you discover what that need is, you’ll have two valuable pieces of information:

1.     What incentive will be a true no-brainer for your ideal client to opt-in to your list?

2.     How can you use your mailing list to provide the best value for those who join your list? 

Don’t over-think these questions, though.

Your opt-in incentive can be as simple as a resource guide or a short how-to video that answers a common question. You don’t have to go overboard with dozens of downloads and a 100-page eBook.

Rather than providing value, these massive downloads are more likely to overwhelm your reader than encourage her to learn more.

And when it comes to providing value to your list members, keep three things in mind:

1.     Regular communication is a must (consider an autoresponder series if you’re not good with scheduling email updates)

2.     Marketing is second to information—too much selling will cause your unsubscribe rates to soar.

3.    If you want to be considered a thought leader in your market, you have a responsibility to distill and provide the information and products your audience needs.

Let’s think about your list building goal.

How will you be using your list? Will you…

·      Send a weekly or monthly newsletter?

·      Create an email sequence that delivers content on a regular schedule?

·      Use affiliate links as an income generator?

·      Promote your own services and products?

The answers to these questions will help you determine not only the right tool for your list-building needs, but will also determine the path for your ongoing mailing list content, promotions, and growth.

Once you know the answers here, then you’re ready to select an email service provider.

My personal recommendation is Convert Kit. After having tried several providers without enjoying them (and sometimes have a really hard time getting things setup just right) - I found them.

I’ve now used Convert Kit for 2 years and highly recommend them for anyone who has a hard time with technical programs, cluttered systems and email sequences (or autoresponders as marketers often refer to them).

Convert Kit has a very clean interface, walks you right through setting up sequences and they’re very affordable. The few times I’ve needed tech support, they’ve been very quick to respond and helpful. Can’t recommend them enough.

You can grab a free 14 day trial of Convert Kit here.