So you’ve been setting up your opt-in boxes, you’re gaining a few subscribers, and now the question is…when exactly are you supposed to start sending email?
Is it worth emailing your list when only a handful of people have signed up? Should you save that precious content for when more people will see it? Do you need to officially launch your list or do you just add an opt-in box and get right to it??
The truth is, there isn’t a magic number of subscribers you need to hit before your list is real and valuable and worth connecting with. That very first person who joins your list should get an email from you immediately and hear from you on a weekly basis.
Unless you tell them, they won’t know if they’re the first or the hundredth or the thousandth person to join your list. All they know is that they’ve signed up to get email from you and they are ready for email NOW.
If you wait days or weeks to send an email (don’t do that!), they may forget why they signed up for your list in the first place and unsubscribe the next time you show up in their inbox. For example, if you send a monthly email and someone signs up the day after your email goes out, they won’t hear from you for 30 days!
So, ready or not, it’s time to get yourself set up and sending emails on a weekly basis to keep your list growing and make subscribers stick around. Here’s how . . .
Plan your first 3 months ahead of time
Just like blogging and social media, you need to have a plan BEFORE you start collecting subscribers. You need to know what you’ll be sending and why you’re sending it so you can be effective and consistent. Email marketing doesn’t work very well if it’s random. If you only send emails when you have a good idea or are feeling motivated, your list is going to leak like a sieve.
And yes, it doesn’t feel that thrilling to send an email to just a few people, but if they signed up for your list, they want to hear from you. That’s how email lists work, right? Plan your content before you start adding opt-in boxes to your site so you’re sending emails consistently from day one.
Create a welcoming welcome email
New subscribers should receive a welcome email from you instantly. This way you can introduce yourself, share what you do and why you do it, and point them in the direction of your most popular posts at the exact moment they’re most excited to be on your list.
You can also ask them to tag themselves (one of the reasons I’m a BIG fan of building my list in ConvertKit) so they get more emails about things they’re interested in and fewer emails about things they’re not. This is super helpful for subscribers that join through a generic opt-in instead of a content upgrade. Here’s what’s at the bottom of my emails . . .
In order to make this happen in ConvertKit, I simply set up link triggers under Automations. Subscribers click the link they’re interested in, which automatically tags them and then sends them to a ‘thank you’ page featuring relevant products and blog posts. (Hint: These pages convert REALLY well.)
Take advantage of your list being small
When your list is smaller you can learn so much from getting to know that first handful of subscribers. End your emails with a question and ask your subscribers to hit reply. (And respond to each and every one.) Find out what they’re working on, what they want to learn, what problems they’re running into, and what you could create to help them. Not only does this give you great info to grow your blog or business, but it helps your subscribers see that you’re interested, available, and in their corner.
Remember – you can repurpose those first awesome emails
Lastly, if you’re worried about sending fantastic emails that only a few people will see, don’t be afraid to repurpose that content into a Facebook Live, an Instagram post, add it into an email sequence, share it on your blog at a later date, or even send it to your list again in a few months. If it’s that good, no one will be annoyed that they’re hearing or reading the info again, and they might actually appreciate the reminder!
Now if you’d like some help figuring out your purpose for building a list, learning what exactly you should send, and avoiding the mistakes most people make that keep their list from growing, then come hang out with me for a free live webinar March 21 and 23.
You’ll learn . . .
- How to figure out exactly what to send your audience so they open + read your emails
- How to choose the email platform that will work best for you + your subscribers
- How to set up your first opt-in box so people will actually subscribe
- 5 mistakes people always make when starting their email list
Plus I’ll stick around at the end to answer all of your list-building questions!
And yes, you can absolutely sign up if you can’t make it live. The replay will be available for 48 hours after the live event.