Episode 54 - Email list basics

Everyone says you need an email list but few people really tell you how to start one or what to do with it once you have it. In this episode, we will discuss email list basics to help you get started or to more effectively use your list. We will also discuss the basics of the Can Spam Act, which is the law that regulates commercial email.

If you aren't sure why you need an email list, check out episode 27.

Things to consider when setting up your email list

  1. Have a plan to monetize your list
  2. Figure out where to put sign up opportunities on your website
  3. Create an opt-in offer
  4. Develop a content calendar with email frequency

Creating an opt-in offer

A free email opt-in offer is a great way to get people to sign up. This offer does not need to be a full length book or course. It should have great value but does not need to be time consuming to create. Here are some examples of opt-in offers:

  1. Free PDF mini-book or checklist
  2. Promise exclusive content
  3. Short e-books or old books that are no longer selling well
  4. Mini- video or email course

What should I send my email list?

  1. Set up an RSS feed to email out new content you post to your website
  2. Short and inspirational thoughts
  3. Content that is too short for a normal content update but would still be valuable to your list
  4. Test out content for new courses or products

You should not email your list more than once or twice per week unless you have told them you will email more often. If you are doing a launch, set up a separate list for that launch with it's own opt-in offer so you can email them more frequently.

Always have a call-to-action

We have talked about calls-to-action a number of times on the show. A call-to-action trains your subscribers to act. Each email should have one call to action. You can repeat the call-to-action multiple times but don't over do it. Add a post script (P.S.) after your email signature with your call to action. This is one of the most effective ways to add a call-to-action. Examples of calls-to-action are:

  • Reply to this email and answer a question
  • Join our (Facebook group, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, etc)
  • Listen to the show
  • Check out this video
  • Sign up for this (free prelaunch opt-in)
  • Buy our (product or service)

Can-Spam Act of 2003

The Can-Spam Act of 2003 is the law that governs email lists and other commercial email. There are a few basics you need to follow in order to comply with this law:

  1. Have accurate "From" information identifying the sender
  2. Create accurate subject lines that are not misleading
  3. Identify ad messages
  4. Must have a valid mailing address at the bottom of every email
  5. Make it easy to opt-out
  6. Honor opt-out requests within 10 business days
  7. Monitor what others are doing with your list if you outsource the work

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