A few years ago I had lunch with an artist friend and we discussed social media specifically MySpace. He had great momentum and had lots of people who “friended” him there. In that conversation I asked him how many emails of these “friends” he had. This conversation was a few years ago but he’s answer was along the lines of not many in comparison. Fast forward several years, I run into the same musician friend and talk again. He said that he’s trying to get more “likes” on Facebook and how could he get more engagement. I asked again about his email list and he’s response was about the same. So grabbed dinner to discuss how to get started….on building his email list.
Your email list is the most important contact point of all the ones online you have. You might ask what about Facebook likes, Twitter followers or Pintrest Pins? I’m going to say no those are secondary. Why? The goal of most online social network services is to reduce the connection friction as much as possible where “liking”, “following” or “pinning” something is as simple as breathing. Do you remember that deep breath you took two minutes ago? No, well neither do most users remember what they “Liked” on Facebook two months ago.
Here is the steps to begin building your email list:
Why – Why do you need an email list? If you know that then you need your prospective subscribers to understand why they should subscribe. Trust and honesty will help motive people to subscribe. Tell them why it matters to you that they sign-up.
How – There are online list tools that are free to start with. My personal favorite and one that I use for my list is MailChimp. Easy to use and lots of free professional templates.
What – Show them an example of your email newsletter. Then they will know what they will receive in their inbox. Let them know how often they will receive your and stick with that schedule. Don’t start off to aggressive try once a month at first.
Email is something still fairly personal and if a fan offers you their email it’s something special. They trust you enough not to abuse it so don’t. Building an email list is going to be much harder to do than getting Facebook “likes” or twitter “followers.” So when Facebook or Twitter are replaced by the next big thing you won’t lose any momentum by starting over again. Stop chasing after people on social networks…inspire them to follow you.