A while back, I wrote my first blog post about email marketing for bloggers, and it’s the most shared post on my blog.
It has over 100 shares, and I can see that bloggers are interested in knowing how to start an email list.
Now, everyone seems to know why it’s essential to start an email list, but actually starting collecting emails is A LOT for beginner bloggers.
You might have all these questions running in your head:
But how do I collect those emails?
Which software should I choose?
Everyone recommends CoverKit, but it’s so expensive! What do I do?
QUIZ: What Type Of Blogger Are You? Have 60 Seconds And Want To Find Out? Take The Quiz!
I’ve been there, I know how you feel!
When I first started a blog in 2018, I didn’t know what an email list was, and when I started learning and signup for my first MailChimp account, I was baffled with all the things I didn’t understand.
So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, that’s alright!
Now, in today’s post, you’ll learn about one fantastic email marketing software I’ve been using since 2018 and recommend as a MUST for beginner bloggers who want to start growing their email list easy and fast:
And that software is MailerLite.
So, Why MailerLite?
You might be guessing why I’m recommending software that’s the least popular out of the giants like CoverKit, MailChimp, and Aweber.
And the answer to this is simple:
MailerLite is perfect for bloggers who have no idea what email marketing is and how to go about it.
I’ve tried most of the email marketing software, from MailChimp (which I personally hate) to Aweber and more, and I found that MailerLite is the best option for bloggers who want an easy life.
Still don’t think you’re convinced on MailerLite?
Well, then read on:
3 Reasons Why You Should Be Using MailerLite
Most software you need to run your blog professionally will cost you a lot of money.
Yes, it will be cheaper than actually running a physical business, don’t get me wrong, but those fancy software all cost a pretty penny.
And the same goes for email marketing software.
If the price of a CoverKit account stops you from staring your email list ASAP, quit playing and get yourself a MailerLite account!
When I first started using MailerLite, they were one of the few email marketing tools with a free account option.
Now, I see more and more software companies offer this option, and I know that even CoverKit has this option, so it’s easier for people to start.
But then, once your free account reaches its limit, which can happen pretty quickly if you’re growing your email list actively, you’re left off with an expensive tool you have to pay each month, even if you’re not bringing in enough bread just yet.
What is great about MailerLite here is that they have many different plan options for bloggers with different size email lists.
So, even if you exceed your 1000 free subscribers, you can upgrade your plan but still keep it affordable until you grow your blog and email list even more.
I like this pricing method a lot, as I can pay more as I grow my list and my business and not right off the bat when I’m just starting out.
#2: Easy And Simple Design Solutions
Another great feature of MailerLite is its design features.
They give you the ability to create your own forms, pop-ups, landing pages, and emails with their drag-and-drop tool, making the design process so much easier.
You really don’t need to understand design, as they have templates you can use and then adjust to fit your brand.
It takes me less than 10 minutes to design my weekly email to my list, efficient AF, if you ask me!
The thing that really stands out here is the ease and simplicity of their design.
Yes, all email marketing software uses drag-and-drop, but not all of them have the design options as advances and responsive as MailerLite does.
I personally hate it when drag-and-drop builders make my landing pages or emails look like something general ad agency designed.
Your landing pages and emails should reflect your brand just as much as your blog does, and MailerLite allows you to accomplish just that.
#3: Analytics and Subscriber Management
Another vital part of growing your email list and understanding it is reading your analytics and managing subscribers.
MailerLite has great analytics reports of each email campaign you create, and they give you all the data in a simple and easy to understand way:
They also have an easy way of letting you sort your subscribers.
You can create a separate group for each freebie you have on your blog, allowing you to see which people are interested in what, and you can then send them emails accordingly.
And keep in mind:
All of these features I’ve just mentioned and showed you are in their FREE plan, that allows you to have up to 1000 subscribers and send 12k emails a month!
Ready to start your email list? Sign up for a MailerLite account now!
MailerLite Feature Overview
So, now that you know all the best things about MailerLite and why it’s the best email marketing tool, it’s time to dig deeper.
Let’s take a more in-depth look into all the features MailerLite has to offer:
Now, when you’re ready to start collecting emails, the best way to do it is by creating landing pages.
MailerLite has two options here that allow you to build fantastic lead capturing pages with their easy drag-and-drop design tool.
MailerLite allows you to either start building a landing page from scratch or use one of their many responsive and clean pre-made templates.
You can design the regular landing page with a block of text, some imagery, and the email capture box.
You can take your landing page to another level by including things like survey blocks that allow you to gather feedback from people who visit your landing page.
You can add countdown calendars to encourage people to sign up as if it were the time-sensitive offer.
They even have the A/B split testing option, which is not essential for beginners but will be handy in the future, when your blog and email list are more prominent.
Now, their landing page tool allows you to create sales pages, not only lead magnet promotion.
So, if you want to create sales pages for your products or maybe an online course you’re planning on launching, the MailerLite landing page tool will come in handy for that.
This little tool is something very unique and special.
With MailerLite, you’re able to create a whole separate website!
They use the same responsive drag-and-drop tool, which allows you to create responsive website designs that align with your brand look.
While with the landing page tool, you can create only one web page, the Website tool allows you to add multiple pages like Home, About, Contact.
And this tool even has the SEO optimization option for you to make sure that your new website is optimized and is ranking on Google.
I think this Website tool is excellent if you want to create a resource library accessible for people who join your email list.
The website tool has the password protection option so that only people who have a password can access the website.
So, you don’t have to worry about creating a wonky password-protected WordPress page on your blog. You can simply build your resource library with MailerLite!
It’s truly a unique tool, and not every other email tool has so much to offer.
Now, another great tool for email collection is their Form design tool.
You have three options here:
- Embed Forms
While having a landing page is an integral part of collecting the emails, you’ll also want to optimize your blog as much as possible.
Having one pop-up that meets the readers for the first time, with an offer to an incentive, is a must.
As well as having embed forms inside your blog posts and on the sidebar of your blog if you have one enabled.
Also, with their Promotions tool, you can design a pop-up that will show up on the side or the bottom of the page as people are scrolling, encouraging them to sign up.
As with all the other design tools, you can use their drag-and-drop tool to create your perfect form. You can include text, an email capturing box as well as an image.
It allows you to create a form that’s on-brand, short and sweet and looks professional.
Campaigns are the feature where you’ll be sending all of your emails to your email list.
In the main dashboard, you can easily see all of your past campaigns, with conversion rates and numbers, and when you click on each individual campaign, it will take you to the Analytics.
Now, when you’re creating the new campaign, what’s cool is that you’re able to choose from many different email design options:
You can use the text email or use their drag-and-drop tool to design beautiful email newsletters, or you can simply use their pre-made templates.
Now here, once you’re done with your email, you can then save the template and use it every time you’re sending your emails to your list.
That’s the option I use, I have a simple design I created for my weekly email with the drag-and-drop editor, and it’s so easy and quick!
You can choose which email list group will be receiving your emails, you can set up split testing where you send two different emails to people and see which performs the best, and you can even schedule your email campaigns.
And all of these features are accessible for the free plan as well! So you can really try your feet, see if you like MailerLite before committing to a paid plan.
Now, the Automation feature will allow you to set-up automated emails for people who join your email list or if you’re running a challenge for your list.
Honestly, MailerLite has one of the most straightforward Automation tools I’ve’ tried; it’s so easy to set up that even someone with no knowledge in tech can do it with no hassle.
Within the Automation, you can easily set up the trigger that triggers the Automation, the delay, and the email sequence that will follow after someone joins your list.
You can then separate the subscribers into different segments; once the automation is over, you can easily communicate with them in the future.
Managing your subscribers with MailerLite is very easy.
You can create different groups from the get-go, allowing you to sort people who join your list and are interested in various offers that you have.
Later on, you also can easily segment your list according to their behavior that allows you to upsell better when the time comes.
There is also analytics that shows you your average click rates, subscriber growth per month, and much more.
One great addition is the tool that allows you to remove all the inactive subscribers.
Now, while it might be tempted to keep all the people who join your list on it, just because it’s nice to see that number in front of you.
But having inactive subscribers is not good for your business, and MailerLite allows you to automatically remove all subscribers who haven’t engaged with your emails in the last 6 months.
You won’t have to go checking them one by one; they do it for you!
Ready to start your email list? Sign up for a MailerLite account now!
How To Start An Email List Today With MailerLite In 3 Easy Steps
It’s time to talk about actually starting your email list and setting it up with MailerLite.
It’s straightforward to do, and you’ll be ready to start collecting emails in less than 2 hours!
Let’s jump in:
Step #1: Create An Account With MailerLite
First, you’ll have to create your account with MailerLite to get started:
Fill in the form and create your account.
Now, what makes the registration for the MailerLite account is the fact that each account has to be approved before the user can go ahead and use their tool.
So, you’ll get the message saying that you’ll have to wait for your account to be approved.
It always takes a few hours, and I haven’t heard anyone getting actually rejected, so don’t worry about it!
Step #2: Create A Landing Page For Capturing Leads
Now, once your account gets activated and you’re inside your dashboard, it’s going to look like this:
To start capturing emails, you’ll need to go ahead and create a landing page for it.
You can do that by going clicking on Sites at the navigation bar at the top of your dashboard:
Once you’re there, click the Create Landing Page button on your right:
Straight away, it’s going to ask you to create a name for your landing page:
Name your landing page; I recommend naming after the specific freebie you’ll be offering.
Next, you’ll be asked to select the subscriber group:
Now, here you select all. If you’re creating a new account, you’re not going to have groups created just yet.
Your next step is to choose the template for your landing page. Select the very first one that has a sign ‘Trending‘:
Now, you’ll see the drag-and-drop editor, which we will edit to fit your needs:
You really don’t need to worry about getting too fancy with this part; just create a clean, responsive page.
Firstly, remove all the blocks that are not needed from the template:
Click on the form, and on the right side, you’ll be able to change the text:
Then, click on Form and add the Name field under the Email:
Scroll down a bit, and in the Form Settings, you can select the essential fields:
Next, click on the Settings, and here you will adjust the colors, fonts to fit your branding:
Once you’re done, don’t forget to press Save at the bottom right corner:
Next, you’ll need to edit the Success Page that appears once someone signs up for your email list.
You can do that by clicking on the Success Page at the top of the drag-and-drop editor:
Click on the text, and you’ll see the editing setting appear on the right:
In Content, you can change the text and add imagery:
And in Settings, adjusts the background color as well as text size and font:
Once you’re done designing your landing page, you can preview how it’s going to look by clicking on Preview at the top right corner:
This allows you to see your landing page on desktop as well as mobile, and you can see if it needs any more tweaks:
Once you checked how everything looks and you like the result, go back to the editor and click Save And Publish at the very top right corner.
You’ll be taken to another page, and here you can create your URL for the landing page as well as optimize it for SEO:
Don’t forget to tick this box:
And then click Save And Continue.
Now, one last thing before you’re done:
Inside your landing page dashboard, you’ll see the Double opt-in option at the very top. You have to turn it on:
This will send an email to the person joining your list, and they have to confirm that they want to be on your list and receive emails from you.
It helps you stay away from the SPAM folder as the last thing you want is to send emails that your readers never receive!
Once you turn on the Double opt-in button, the new navigation option will appear; click on it:
Here, you’ll have to edit the confirmation email. Scroll down a bit and click Edit:
Inside the editor, change the text and the colors to fit your branding and click Next once you’re done:
And that’s it!
Your landing page for collecting emails is done and ready to be used! Don’t forget to get the URL for your landing page:
Step #3: Set-Up Automation
And now, your last step is to set up automation, which will deliver your freebie to people who sign up and will welcome them to your email list!
To start, go to Automation in your navigation bar:
Click Create Workflow on the right side:
This is how your screen should look like once you’re inside:
Now, your first step here will be to pick a trigger:
Pick the ‘when the subscriber completes the form‘ and then the new field will appear under, where you have to choose the form:
Next, click on the + and add a delay:
You can choose the length of it on the right. I recommend no more than 15 minutes so that people don’t forget about signing up for your freebie!
Click the + again and choose the Email.
Write your Subject Line and then click Design Email:
So, here you are going to write the very first email that delivers the freebie to your new subscribers.
Choose Rich-Text Editor:
Write your email text, introducing yourself, and delivering the freebie:
Make sure that the text that holds the link to your freebie is bright and clear, so people can quickly get the freebie without guessing where to click:
As for the link to your freebie, you’ll have to go to your WordPress Dashboard -> Media Library:
If your freebie is a PDF or PNG file, no matter what size, you’ll want to upload it somewhere online and get the link to it, that you’ll include in your first email to your new subscribers.
I recommend uploading your freebie to WordPress as you can easily access it, and you don’t have to create a new account for Dropbox.
So, once you’re inside your Media Library, click Add New:
Upload your lead magnet and then copy the URL:
Get back to your MailerLite Automation and select the text, to include the download link:
And now, people can easily click on the text, and they’ll get the download option for your freebie:
Once you’re done editing the email, click Done Editing on the top right corner.
So, you have your freebie delivery set up so that you don’t have to worry about sending out emails each time someone joins your email list!
I told you it’s going to be easy!
Now, What’s Next?
Congrats, you have your email list ready to grow!
But your journey doesn’t stop here, friend – you still have a lot of work in front of you.
Your email list will not grow if you’re not willing to put in the work in promoting it.
AND then you have to work on keeping your email list engaged, or they will forget who you are and won’t buy anything from you when the time to sell comes.
So, here are your next steps:
Ready to start your email list? Sign up for a MailerLite account now!
Promote Your Email List
Once you have the list ready, it’s time to start promoting it so that people know they should be signing up!
Now, there are different ways you can promote your list:
I personally don’t use Instagram for business purposes, I used to, but I don’t.
But if you are growing your business via Instagram, then make sure to add the link to your freebie in your bio:
And also, gently nudge people on your stories.
You might think that people heard you the first time you announced that you have an email list they should join, but you might be surprised at how many times people need to hear or see something to take action.
So, keep showing up on your Instagram, giving people reasons to join your list!
This is the best way to grow your email list.
I know that majority of my email list comes this way.
Take some time to design cool Pinterest pins; it’s easy to do for free in Canva.
And if you’re not feeling like a designer yourself, well, there are plenty of affordable templates you can buy. (Ptss, I have a new in my Etsy shop, so stop by!)
You can now link your pins directly to the landing page for your freebie, or you can link them to a specific blog post that has forms that invite people to sign up and get the incentive.
Both ways work, BUT:
By linking to your website, you’re also driving traffic to your blog, so it’s two birds with one stone!
This is the secret goldmine that a lot of people forget about.
While Facebook has it’s issued, and for a business, it’s mostly all pay to play now, the blogging groups are thriving.
Yes, that’s right!
And you can use those blogging groups to grow your email list and promote your business, as well as find fellow bloggers to connect with.
Now, each group has rules, and most of the time, it’s not allowed to promote your blog or your products unless there is a particular thread for it.
But there are plenty of groups with daily threads for Pinterest pins, blog post promotion, and such, and you can participate.
This is another way I generate traffic to my blog, and it’s working very well.
And I’ll be writing a blog post about the best FB groups for bloggers in the future, so stay tuned for that!
If you want to grow fast, well, then Facebook ads are your best bet.
You’ll have to pay, and it can get expensive now that the market is competitive, and lots of big players like Jenna Kutcher are using the ads to grow their email lists.
But if you’re willing to invest, you’re going to accomplish your goal way faster.
Engage With Your Email List
Your email list will be the place where most of your sales will happen.
But don’t be one of those assholes, showing up only when it’s time to sell something…
It’s not a good look, and it will harm your business in the long run.
It’s 2020, for fucks sake, no one likes a dry sales pitch!
To get the most out of your list, you have to build a connection with people on the list, keep them engaged, and build trust.
They already trusted you enough to give you their email list. Now you have to prove to them that it’s worth for them to stay on your email list!
How Can You Do That?
The answer to this is simple:
Show up every week with something valuable.
It very much depends on your business and your niche what that something valuable is.
But that could be anything from:
- Exclusive content like blog posts, case studies, income reports.
- Weekly updates
- Lists of your favorite resources
It can really be anything that your list might find valuable.
I personally really like getting weekly updates email from my favorite bloggers that notifies me of the new valuable blog posts they’ve written on their blog so that I can remember to check it out.
While it might seem that all the world know when you publish a new blog post, chances are that not all of your readers are sitting by their screens waiting for you to hit publish.
So, you need to remind them that you exist and that you have something of value to them!
I already have an email ready to go out to my list the moment I publish this blog post you’re reading right now.
And here you have it – an extensive guide on how to start an email list for FREE with MailerLite.
If you were hesitant about starting an email list, waiting for better times, or when you’re going to be a more prominent blogger, stop it and go do it NOW!
Trust me, the sooner you’ll start building your email list, the better it will be for your business in the long run.
And if you’re ready to pull the plug, open your account with MailerLite today and start your email list for FREE!
Want more of me? Then let’s connect on Instagram! I love chatting with you over on my DMs, or if you wanna hear me ramble and rant about pop culture and life in general, head over to my podcast, The FOXY SOUL Show.