Audience Building 101: Introduction to Easy Email List Building

Audience Building 101: Introduction to Easy Email List Building

Contrary to popular (amateur) belief, email is not dead.

Email is the single highest converting touch point for audience cultivation and sales conversions. If you are a business, brand or blogger, and your platform relies on the Internet, then email should be your #1 marketing focus.

Yep, email list building is more important than the number of social media followers that you have. And referring to the above statement, if email were dead, then you couldn’t use your email to log into your social media, right?

Now that we have the air cleared, let me illustrate with some real metrics from the TERIMIYAHIRA brand, comparing sales conversions between our various platforms for the TERI MIYAHIRA BEAUTY monthly subscription box.

Instagram: 1% sales conversion
YouTube: 10% sales conversion
Email: 17% sales conversion

These are month-over-month metrics, and they continuously show that email is obviously the strongest sales converter for us. And it’s typically like this across most brands whose sales process is online.

One of my favorite online marketing trainers, Amy Porterfield of, says that your should be growing your email list by 75 new subscribers per week. That’s a lot of new email opt-ins, however it’s possible (we exceed this and we’re not even running aggressive traffic, it’s a matter of getting creative).

Hopefully, this proves (using real statistics) that email should be your #1 priority. It is for us, as everything we do ultimately goes back to getting new subscribers to our email list. And here’s a few ways you can easily grow your email list.

1. Free Lead Magnet
Over the years, various free lead magnets have been offered to help drive opt-ins. A lead magnet is a free download of any kind (PDF, printable worksheet, e-book, files, even mini video courses, etc) that a potential subscriber would enter their name and email for the freebie. As long as the freebie is high in value (as in, the freebie solves a real problem and isn’t “fluff”) then the opt-in rate will be high (and the likelihood of that person staying on your email list will also increase). At time of this writing, we currently have a lead magnet pop-up opt-in box that appears in the window at 4 seconds of when someone lands to our website. We are developing other types of lead magnets to help bring more free and useful content for our audience to download. Ideally, you want multiple lead magnet offers because it’s not a one-size-fits-all.

2. VIP/Insider
A strategy that Marie Forleo of launched a few months ago is a program called MF Insider, which is a fancy name for her email list. She encourages viewers of her YouTube channel to join her free MF Insider, where she emails secret content, product launches and more that aren’t announced on her social media or YouTube. Having a free VIP or Insider spin on your email list will also garner interest for people to opt-in their email (and to stay opt-in in the long term) because everyone loves feeling like they are a part of something exclusive, despite Marie’s email list being in the millions by now (speculation, but she’s huge in the online motivation/business space).

3. Webinars
Webinars are the new hot marketing strategy in the last year. Webinars (online video class or presentations) can be either pre-recorded and scheduled to play in the future (using software like WebinarJam), or they can be live webinars where it’s like an event with a specific day and time to join the webinar. It’s worth mentioning that webinars are extremely high sales convertors because a brand can offer webinar-only discounted pricing on their products that have a time limit (such as “50% off X, Y and Z product only for the duration of this webinar”), so essentially it’s FOMO (or “Fear of Missing Out”) if the purchase is not made in order to take advantage of that discount. In terms of email list building, someone would opt-in their name and email to register for the webinar that they would like to watch, and the organizer of the webinar now has that person’s email info.

Our Secret Weapon to Email List Building

The only way that email list building works, in any of the above scenarios, is by utilizing software to actually create the opt-in forms or boxes that people fill out their name and email into (and in the case of giving away free lead magnets, the software must let you upload your files). You can do this through a landing page (a standalone website page that has boxes for name and email), or you can see how we do it on TERIMIYAHIRA.COM where we have a pop-up box as well as a right sidebar static opt-in field.

Our secret weapon for easy email list building is a program called ConvertKit. ConvertKit was built by a professional blogger who needed a simple to use, yet highly functional, email program that combines email capture with CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

If you’re familiar with MailChimp or AWeber, those are considered email capture programs. The reason why we switched away from MailChimp and went to ConvertKit are a few reasons:

MailChimp charges per email, not per person. So if the same person downloads all 5 of your lead magnets, MailChimp charges you for those 5 emails, instead of charging you a fee for that 1 person. ConvertKit charges per person (like how CRM software does), so you’re not getting double, triple, quadruple charged if the same person opts into your email list multiple times.

ConvertKit has the ability to create full standalone web pages for name/email opt-in forms, pop-up windows, embedded boxes, and more. So instead of having to tie a separate program like LeadPages to do these types of boxes/forms, ConvertKit already has this ability built-in, thus eliminating having to pay for a separate program like LeadPages all together.

Create Automated Email Drip Sequences. One of the best features of ConvertKit is their built-in email drip sequence creator. Called “Sequences” on the dashboard, ConvertKit lets you create automated email drafts that are “dripped” or sent out in certain intervals when a person opts into your email list. For example, you can create a 5-week (or infinitely long) email drip sequence where a new pre-written email is sent every week to the new subscriber. This makes it so that the new subscriber will get to know you and your brand, or it can be used as a sales funnel where the first few emails are brand introduction/information, and the last few emails are sales offers. These email drips can be set to weekly, or even certain number of days (every 2 days for example). Email drip sequences can also be the lead magnet itself, where you can create a 3-video course/series, and each video gets emailed out every 2 days. This is truly automation at its finest.

RSS Feeds for Automatic Email Blasts
If you’re a blogger and create content consistently, and you simply want to let your email subscribers know that a new article was published on your blog, ConvertKit can fully automate this process so that you never have to write this email to your list. Once you set up an RSS feed on your website, simply take the RSS feed’s URL link, then set up the email blast (or “Broadcast” per ConvertKit terms), to automatically populate and send to your list every time a new article is published to your website. Your RSS feed will have the ability to do “partial” or “full” article formatting for the email blast, we chose “partial” because we want the email subscriber to click through to land onto the website in order to read the full article (this is personal preference, definitely split test with our audience).

ConvertKit pricing starts at $29/month for email lists up to 1000 subscribers at time of publishing, which is cheaper than using other email services that are less expensive yet don’t have the amount of features that ConvertKit has (therefore you would have to pay for other programs to use in conjunction, which is what we did with MailChimp/LeadPages back in the day).

Switching to ConvertKit was the best decision we made to streamline our email marketing and sales processes to make it easier than ever. We wouldn’t be able to build a relationship with our audience, make sales or capture leads without our email strategy using ConvertKit.

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