In this post, I’ll share 5 ways that you can use your email list even if you don’t have a website. Getting a site up and running can be a daunting and expensive prospect (though it doesn’t have to be), and you might feel like you can’t do anything until you have a website up. There is still a lot you can do right now to start building your list and creating relationships with your followers.
1. Add a signature sign up
Add a link to signup in your email signature. For example, my signature could say:
Joseph Hinson, Out:think Group
PS: Are you interested in what makes a platform great? Sign up for my weekly updates to find out just that.”
The language that I used there is compelling – it piques curiosity, lets them know why the newsletter would be valuable to them, and gives an idea of how often it will be sent and what the subject matter will be.
2. Build anticipation
Post an update on your social media just before you send out an email. Tell your followers, “Hey guys, I’m going to send an email out tomorrow, where I talk about the importance of –––––– ,” or, “I’m going to tell you the story of how I ––––––––.”
Let people know you’re going to send the newsletter to build anticipation, and include in the post a call to action to sign up for the newsletter. People who follow you on Twitter/Facebook/etc., may not be subscribed to your email list yet.
3. Share the email content across channels
After the email goes out, post a link to the email archive on your social channels. Once you have a website, you’ll want to post the email content on your blog, but this is a good option in the meantime.
Copy the email archive link from your email system (the link you get when you click “view email in your browser”), and you’ll be able to re-share your content by posting the link across your social channels. The benefit here is two-fold:
- You’ve already put in the work of creating that content so it’s an easy win to post as social media content, and,
- Keep in mind that not everyone follows you on every channel – your Facebook/Twitter/etc. followers might not be on your email list and wouldn’t see that content otherwise.
4. Ask Questions
Make use of your social networks, friends, fans, colleagues, and anybody you have a connection with by asking questions to get them involved.
Post or email and say, “I’m going to be answering questions about this subject,” or “next week’s email is going to be about this specific topic,” or, “I’m writing a research project on this topic and I’m looking for people who have had this experience.”
A good example of this is podcasters – many do this when they’re covering a new topic. They’ll post on social media to say, for example, “We’re talking about people who have been ripped off, and we’d love your stories. Submit your stores.” Those submitted stories are shared on the next episode, and they might even call and interview people who submitted stories.
This can be a great source for of varied, colorful content that you wouldn’t have had otherwise, and it’s a great way to create conversations and interactions with your followers.
5. Create a Twitter card
If you use Twitter, create a Twitter lead generation card and pin it to the top of your profile.
Whenever you’re about to send a newsletter, you want to Tweet out that Twitter card. When you’re doing your teaser on social media, use a Twitter card to enhance that.
If you’re using MailChimp, you can create a twitter card that will let Twitter users subscribe with just one click, without having to enter their email address. When they click the “Sign me up” button they are automatically added based on the email address used for their Twitter account.
These are some really useful ways to get started with your email list, right now – even if you don’t have a website. Don’t think think that you have to wait until every piece is in place, because there is a lot you can be doing to get traction and build a relationship with your followers.
Ultimately, you will still need to create a website because it’s a vital part of a robust author platform. Building a site isn’t as complicated as people make it out to be, and in future posts we’ll talk about some easy and approachable ways to build your site.