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How to Start an Email List and Opt-in Forms on Your Blog

What are the reasons for starting an email list and having opt-in forms on your Website and/or blog?

Essentially, email marketing has been gaining great traction in the business world. This is especially true for audience-based blogs and businesses, which rely on new subscribers to profit and grow.

Whether you are monetizing your blog or not, you need to know that it is important to collect emails. However, there are factors that might affect the success of your email list capture forms. Anyway, this should not deter you from creating these forms as will be discussed in the remainder of this article.

The bottom line to know is that starting opt-in forms and email lists is a great way to earn more success from your website and/or blog.

Starting Your Own Mailing List

Starting Your Own Mailing List

There are many methods for demanding your mailing list’s attention and platforms for doing this. Consider the process below:

1. Choose an Email Marketing Provider

Start by signing up to an email marketing/mailing list service provider. These websites will store your email subscribers and allow you to automatically send out follow-up emails, track stats on sign ups and open rates, as well as build high-quality opt-in forms.

Options include MailChimp, Get Response, and AWeber, among others. You should investigate these platforms in order to find the one that will suit your needs best.

The features you should be looking for include, but are not limited to:

● A/B split testing to find out which subject lines and content resonate best with your audience.
● Third-party app integration and compatibility
● Google Analytics integration
● Social media integration and sharing capabilities
● Geolocation and other segmentation options
● Unlimited number of sends with paid subscriptions
● Phone support
● A robust free plan
● Drag-and-drop editing
● Customizable email templates
● Autoresponders

Depending on the software you choose, all of these options may not be available, but a vast majority of them should be when you’re looking for the ideal platform.

In this post, we will be referencing AWeber for illustrative purposes but what is said here can likely be integrated with other platforms. It is just the “how” of it that would be different from one provider to the next.

2. Create a Mailing List

Next up, create a mailing list for your first newsletter. After signing up for your AWeber account, consider making different lists for different purposes. Use one for your blogging platform of choice updates to be able to automatically send to your subscribers every time a new post is created.

To create the list:

● Click “manage lists”
● Create a New List
● Follow the prompts

This stage is straightforward because AWeber has created default settings that you can select while filling out the required fields – such as the list name. This is also the part where you can start thinking about how you will segment your email list.

Segmenting email lists is a great way to start personalizing your emails for specific subscribers. How you segment the list is entirely up to you, but you do have options. For starters, you can simply divide the list based on which people have and have not converted into paying customers.

Leads will get emails focused on information and education surrounding your brand, while customers will get more product-focused emails. Start simple with something like this, and then further segment your list as needed.

3. Design an Opt-In Form

After creating the mailing list, you should add forms to your blog. People will use these forms to subscribe to your updates by entering their email address. There are different types of opt-in forms and each goes on a different location on the blog. We will use pop-up forms as the example in this post.

AWeber has an inbuilt drag-and-drop designer that you can use to build and edit the form without having to do any coding. To do this:

● click on “sign up forms”
● click on “create new sign-up form”
● add divider lines, photos, text etc
● on the advanced tab, you will get options for setting the color, border, and width among others
● to edit the text or enlarge it, click inside the preview window
● save the changes
● make the form show up as a lightbox or popup by clicking “form type” and selecting “lightbox”

4. Add the Form

After clicking the “save” button, you will be redirected to a screen where you can name the form and enter a confirmation page. This page is what your visitors will see after they enter their email address.

The process works by AWeber emailing them to request confirmation for the desired subscription to your email list. In this way, AWeber can reduce and/or eliminate complaints about unwanted spam being received.

While there are ways to circumvent the double opt-in process within AWeber, it is not recommended. With a single opt-in, anyone can add anyone’s email therein resulting in serious issues related to spam.

Over and above everything else, learning how to start a mailing list and use opt-in forms on your website and/or blog isn’t too difficult. If you use the right tool, you should have an easy time no matter what platform you are integrating your Web presence with. With a huge ROI, email marketing is truly worth your time, regardless of your business size. Starting early and building your email list from the get-go is the best way to create a subscriber base you can be proud of.

Being interactive with your customer base means making sure that they stay connected with the latest greatest details you are releasing as they relate to your company’s brand image. Using eMail as one of many paths for doing this only makes sense.

Start building your list of subscribers today and capitalize on the benefits of having a healthy email list of clients and customers that you can communicate with on a regular basis.

How did you start your email list? What tips would you offer? Let us know in the comments!

About Author:
Evan Westin is a veteran blogger and experienced content marketing manager looking to share his experience with other aspiring marketers. You can find him online: @westinevan1

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