What is a mailing list?
A mailing list is a collection of names and email addresses gathered by a business to send relevant content, offers or a newsletter to multiple recipients. Typically this information is gathered from visitors to your website or to your premises and is either optional for the visitor or the visitor is compelled to provide their contact details in order to receive a freebie, updates or discounts on. Businesses also collect email addresses from customers when they make a purchase. This post is an ultimate guide to how to create a mailing list.
Why should you use a mailing list?
Email lists are very important to your marketing efforts. When somebody gives you their email address, you have a direct line to their inbox and since they have voluntarily given you their email address, you also know that they are very interested in what you are offering. Consequently, your conversion rate from email marketing will be significantly higher than it will be from social media marketing. According to Campaign monitor, email is 40 times more effective at converting new customers than social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.
How do you Create a mailing list?
To achieve the high customer conversion levels we just mentioned, you must first build your email list or subscriber list as it is also often called. The more ways that you can get visitors to join your email list, the stronger your mailing list and email marketing ROI (Return on Investment) will be. Now we are ready to jump into it. Here is the ultimate step by step guide to creating a mailing list. A welcome message, a regular newsletter and targeted content to your segmented email list will ensure a high open rate, a low bounce and unsubscribe rate and lots and lots more sales.
How to create a mailing list for your Health & Wellness business
1. Select an email marketing provider
2. Setup your email marketing account and integrate it
3. Add an opt-in form to your website
4. Create a good welcome message
5. Write your first newsletter
6. Create a landing page
7. Design an enticing freebie
8. Spread the word – get traffic to your freebie
9. Develop a high quality content plan
10. Test and review
1. Select an email marketing provider
Email marketing works a little differently from regular email. Remember, you are in business now so you are speaking to groups of people, not individuals in your marketing. There are a number of important factors to consider when you are selecting your preferred email marketing partner.
- Integrations – Your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is going to be your best friend. It will help you organise your contacts, communicate efficiently and keep track of the status of all your prospects. A good email marketing software will integrate with your website. It will also give you an insightful overview of important metrics such (click through rates, open rates). This enables you to check out which of your campaigns are giving the best results.
- Viewing and read options – Almost 50% of people are reading most of their email from their mobile phones. Your email marketing tool must allow you to build campaign templates and emails that will display correctly on a mobile device. Mobile optimisation is essential in all of your email correspondence. If the email doesn’t display correctly, you will frustrate your audience. Rather than drive conversions and sales, you will drive unsubscribes.
- Email response handling: Irrespective of the size of your Health & Wellness business and whether you are a yoga teacher or a coach, a psychotherapist or a gym, email response handling is critically important. As your mailing list grows, the importance of selecting email marketing software that will enable you to send automated responses or aggregate customer responses will be hugely valuable.
Now that you are armed with all of this information, which email marketing providers should you consider? Fortunately, we are blessed with some great options. There are significant price ranges, variations in features and levels of integration. Which option to choose will depend on your health & wellness business and where you are in the business journey. We recommend the following three email marketing software providers:
Our favourite email marketing software right now is Activecampaign. Wellmarkit look for value and quality features above all else. Some email marketing software have an overload of features but come up short for the things that really matter. Not so with Activecampaign.
ActiveCampaign is an affordable email marketing platform, and offers great value for money. It is ideally suited to small Health & Wellbeing teams such as medical centres, health food shops, yoga teacher training schools, wellness retreat centres and indeed for sole traders such as yoga and Pilates instructors, nutritionists, coaches and personal trainers.
Activecampaign includes all the features you’d expect like automation, segmentation, triggered emails, email funnels, autoresponders, A/B testing, and scheduling. The software also includes advanced features like conditional content, geotracking, and multi-user editing. Geotracking shows you where your subscribers are from. Activecampaign have brilliant templates and it is really easy to create your own professional email templates to use in campaigns.
- Easily build your own landing pages.
- It’s easy to customize your message and send targeted emails to the right contact with segmentation and dynamic content.
- Personalize your emails based on any contact information you have.
- Carry out A/B testing to find the best-converting emails.
- Use split testing to make your emails get more opens, clicks, and buys.
Pricing starts at $9/month.
Mailchimp is perhaps the most well known all in one marketing platform. The focus of attention is very much on your audience. Mailchimp has a similarly impressive feature set, including targeted ad campaigns, send both email marketing and automated messages. You can also build landing pages and importantly Mailchimp has great analytics and reporting capabilities. There are frequent complaints about customer service especially during the Covid pandemic this has been an issue so do keep this in mind.
Mailchimp have a free plan which allows you to send up to 10,000 emails a month to up to 2,000 subscribers. This might seem like a lot but for a fast growing business, you will be moving up to the $31 per month plan quickly.
2. Setup your email marketing account and integrate it
When it comes to creating a mailing list, good email marketing software providers make the signup and implementation of your email marketing software a breeze. Activecampaign & Mailchimp both have a seamless process where you are taken through a guided process to add all of your important business information & branding as well as importing all of your contacts.
Both Activecampaign and Mailchimp have a library of video tutorials and with Activecampaign you can also get 1-2-1 help from their amazing customer experience teams.
3. Write your first newsletter
Just because someone gave you their email address or signed up to hear about your offers and receive your monthly newsletter, doesn’t mean that you can get complacent. Everyone is getting more newsletters and updates via email than they need or read so you need to stand out and give your audience value. Value doesn’t have to be an offer or a discount all of the time. Good tips and insights that work will be welcomed and will ensure that your subscribers stick around. Here are some tips to make sure your newsletter gets opened when creating a mailing list.
- Use eye catching subject lines on our newsletter email. You need to grab attention quickly. Use emojis where appropriate. Highlight your offer early as people have a short attention span and if there is nothing valuable, they will skip on to the next email.
- Brand your email and stay consistent Your brand shows who you are and if your branding is strong, clear and consistent, people will recognise your brand without even having to look closely at your resources. Remain consistent in your branding across all marketing platforms (social, email, newsletter, website…). Finally make sure that the layout of your email (content, colour and overall aesthetics of your newsletter layout) is appropriate to your work, your brand & who you are.
- Optimise your send–from email address You need to be careful here and make sure that your emails don’t look super automated and impersonal. We don’t recommend using a send-from email with no-reply@ or hello@ or info@ email addresses as this appears spammy and indeed email clients such as Gmail and Outlook will likely send some of your email to the junk folder. Activecampaign and Mailchimp will let you add a familiar and more personal send-from email address but of course this is only available in the paid plans.
- Use images in your newsletter Nobody wants to read a script, especially on a newsletter. You will get much higher engagement on your newsletter if you add attractive images.
- Offer value in your newsletter Your newsletter text content needs to offer true value: Value can be discounts, offers, discussions or new product introductions. Know your customer, know your audience. What will appeal to them, what would they want to know about. Make sure that the opening line of your newsletter is appealing. You must create a good first impression every time. Tell a story in the main body of your newsletter. Story can be about an experience you had and how your service / product helped or about somebody else and how you have been able to help them.
- Include a CTA (Call-To-Action) Your CTA is a prompt for your audience to react. Website have CTA’s everywhere. Examples include “book now”; “learn more” “sign up” etc. On your email newsletter, an appropriate CTA could be “read the full article”, “shop now,” or even “share your thoughts.
All these CTA’s are asking for further engagement on a topic they have already found interesting or valuable. Making a great offer in your email newsletter is a great way to ensure that people stay subscribed and keep opening emails as you send them.
4. Create a landing page
Mailchimp, Activecampaign & Unbounce have great blog posts and tutorials on how to create the perfect landing page. Creating the perfect landing page requires a couple of blog posts all by itself so we are not going to gloss over something so important in a couple of paragraphs. Wellmarkit can help you create a very professional landing page (and trust me your landing page needs to be extremely professional – this is your elevator pitch).
At the highest level however, there are some general rules to follow to ensure a high converting landing page. The first thing to consider is what it is that you want to achieve? More email subscribers, new product promotion…?
When you have defined the goal you want to achieve then you can start to think about the messaging. How is your offering going to solve someone’s problem better than your competitors? You also need to then think about keyword research. What do prospective clients ordinarily type into Google when they are searching for solutions.
Once you have all of these pieces figured out, it needs to be assembled professionally on a landing page.
Landing pages have 8 key elements.
- A brilliant headline
- Convincing subheadings
- Good use of images
- Explain the problem
- Your solution to their pain
- A guarantee (satisfaction, money back)
- A great Call to Action
- Contact details
Design an enticing freebie
Freebies can take many forms and honestly, it is all about knowing your audience and what will appeal to them. See infographic for a list of nice freebies which if delivered with quality content will engage your audience.
6. Spread the word – get traffic to your freebie
The best place to start promoting your freebie is at home – on your blog. Highlight your freebie prominently on your blog page. If you want opt-ins and to increase your subscribers, then don’t be afraid to make your opt-in freebie as visible as possible. When a visitor lands on your blog, you want them to see immediately what you have to offer.
Social media channels are your next post of call to promote your freebie. Depending on which area of Health & Wellness you are working in, this will dictate which social media channel to use. Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn are the most popular social media channels for Health & Wellness businesses. Pinterest content receives higher traffic than Facebook & Instagram and is popular with Nutritionists, Dieticians and preventative medicine as well as for coaches and personal trainers who have good content to offer.
7. Develop a high quality content plan
There is a proven strategy to developing a content plan that engages your audience and all importantly, increases your sales and conversion. Here are the key steps:
Research your target audience. Aiming at everyone and keeping it general doesn’t work. You are not pleasing anybody. Establish your target audience keep them at the centre of everything you write and send. Ask yourself, “Will this benefit my audience?” and if the answer is yes, great!
Create personas by going more into depth with your research. Personas are madeup characters, which you create based upon your research in order to represent the different user types that might use. By dividing up your audience, you can get a better sense of your content strategy to ensure that you’re sending relevant content to the segments that will benefit most.
Select your topics. This is where knowing your audience starts to come in handy. Identify a need that your audience have, and brainstorm how to address that need. Ensure that your topic addresses a customer pain point. Find a gap in your buying cycle and create content that you can use to fill it.
Speak your customers language. This complements the earlier point on personas. When you know your target audience, make sure to speak to them in their language.
Understand your metrics. You should always create content specific to certain areas of the funnel. You should create content for specific objectives that can be found in the marketing funnel. When you’ve created content to correspond with your funnel, you should automate your email marketing to ensure segments receive the most relevant content.
8. Test your content
Analysing your email strategy can make a big difference. Use A/B split testing to experiment with:
- Frequency of emails: Does your audience respond better to daily or weekly emails?
- Target audience: You need to change you messaging if people are opening your email but not clicking or converting.
- Design: Which layout works best? Single-column or two columns? What kind of images and how much colour to use?
- Timing: Which day of the week has the highest open rates for your email? What time are they opening? Make your email hit the inbox at the optimal time so that your email is top of the pile.
- Subject line: play around with different subject lines to see which ones your audience respond too. Humour or shorter subject lines? Do you preheader text to capture your audience’s attention?
- and there are lots, lots more!
Even if you deliver an amazing campaign, deliverability might keep your emails from ever making it to the inbox. It’s important to remember that an email being delivered isn’t the same as an email getting delivered to the inbox. If your email goes to spam, all your hard work will be for naught.
Do You Need Help Crafting Your Email Newsletter?
If you’re ready to start sending out email newsletters but aren’t sure where to start, we can help you hit the ground running! We’ve got the skills to make email marketing campaigns that will keep you and your subscribers happy. Whether it’s developing an email marketing strategy, planning out a schedule that works for your business, designing an on-brand template, or writing content for your website so you have something to share, we’re excited to help deliver great results.
Ready to get started? Get in touch with us! We’ll get back to you ASAP