Five Steps to Building Your Email List 

by D'Arcy Benincosa

And Why an Email List May Be Your Most Important Asset.

Imagine a world where the success of your business wasn’t constantly up against ever-changing algorithms, pay-to-play metrics, or the looming fear that Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest could all disappear tomorrow (or worse, your account is hacked and you’re locked out). *clutches pearls*

Building Your Email List

Why Building Your Email List Should Be at the Top of Your To-Do

If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this blog, it’s this… Email marketing is not dead! 

Email marketing isn’t dead. In fact, it’s one of the first pieces of advice that I’d give to any business owner, regardless of when or where you get started in this crazy game of entrepreneurship. 

Why?

Email marketing still has crazy wild ROI for businesses (read: it’s not expensive). Nearly every business has email marketing as part of their overall communication strategy, and you should know.

Just think  – how many email lists are you a part of? Just check your email and be surprised. 

Email marketing works. You have the power to personalize your messages and segment your audience in a way that social media just can’t match. 

And when most people are checking their inboxes multiple times a day, your highly personalized message is going to make all the difference for your bottom line. 

When it comes to email, writing with passion, service, and relevancy equals big paychecks. More simply said, when you write from the heart people can tell.

And not only that, but you own your email list. Unlike Instagram or Facebook or any social media site, you own your email list and, for the most part, can decide how to use it. No one can take it away, shut it down, or change the rules on you.

You have zero ownership in social media and everything you have built can be gone tomorrow—which makes building an email list that much more important and impactful for your business.

Building Your Email List

Building an Email List That Works

Here are five of my tried and true tricks to making my email list a success (and why you should adopt these, too):

Serve, Then Sell

Your focus should be on serving your audience. If you’re constantly selling to your list, get ready to see your open rates fall by the wayside. Especially if you only email your list with a sale – a sure fire way to get marked as spam.

How would you feel if you were sold to every day? You might feel like whoever is selling to you day in and day out only sees you as a number, a sale, or a profit conquest, amirite? Not really how you want your customers to be feeling. 

You want those folks on your list to feel like insiders, or even better: you want them to feel like your BFFs. So write to them that way. Be real. Be engaging. Be generous. Be you. 

That way, when the time does come to sell, you’ll have an audience that’ll be ready to hear your pitch because they’re already SO excited to hear from you! It’ll make ALL the difference in your bottom line during your next launch.

Be Generous


We just touched on this one, but I’ll say it again for the people in the back: always ensure that your emails are serving your list in one way or another. 

Provide value however you can. Not only will this keep your open rates high, but it’ll have folks looking forward to seeing your emails pop in your inbox. What could be better than a list of customers who jump at the sight of your name in their inbox?

Build your list fast by being generous with your knowledge and wisdom. 

Yup, you guessed it: we’re talking lead magnets! 

If you’re feeling stuck when it comes to choosing what your next freebie or opt-in should be (been there!), consider what challenges or questions your ideal client is facing. 

How can you step in and save the day with your expertise? You’re the expert, right? Don’t take your knowledge for granted, either. 

What you might consider to be basic information could be a godsend for a client in need!

Consistency is Key


What happens when a new subscriber joins your mailing list?

Did they opt-in to receive a freebie like an e-book, a recipe, or a discount? 

Did they join for a spot on your waiting list? 

What happens after when someone says, “Hey! I’d love to hear more from you!”

Welcome to another step in the customer journey. Work your butt off to make sure that journey is everything you’d want it to be: friendly, valuable, fast, responsive, and above all else, consistent.

No matter how a new subscriber pops onto your list, here’s the bottom line: make sure they hear from you. 

The last thing you want is for your newest potential customer to feel like they’ve just dropped their valuable personal information into the vast, endless Internet ether.

How do you create consistency for your mailing list? 

You can write weekly newsletters, share new content once you hit “publish,” or create a fancy multi-email sequence to segment your list based on their interests (so you can serve them even better!).

But what if there was a way you could set expectations with your list before they’ve even gotten into the thick of all the goodness you have to share with the world? 

Read on!

Where’s Your Welcome Sequence?


Say hello to the glorious, oh-so-fabulous welcome sequence. In other words, it’s one of the first ways you can say a formal “hello” to your new subscribers. Here’s why you need one.

Your welcome sequence allows you to connect with new subscribers when their engagement with you and your brand is at an all-time high. They’re ready to hear what you have to say! 

They’re probably watching their inbox right now for your freebie they just signed up for. What better time to introduce yourself?

Your welcome sequence also provides the opportunity for you to tell more of your story and your new subscribers will get a feel for your voice. 

Why are you worth following? 

What makes you an expert? 

This sequence also allows you to establish how often your audience will hear from you, what they can expect from your messages, and how they can engage further with you. 

You can also use your welcome sequence to invite your subscribers to tell you more about who they are or what they’re interested in learning more about (in the industry, we call this segmenting your list). This way, you’re only sending relevant emails to those individuals (another great way to keep those sweet, sweet open rates riding high).

And your welcome sequence is just that: a sequence. 

Think along the lines of multiple emails sent at strategic points after that first opt-in. 

When sending the emails in your sequence, strike a balance. Send your messages often enough that you’re not forgotten (think of the tens of emails you get a day), but don’t send so frequently that you’re seen as a spammy bot. No one likes spammy bots.

Your welcome sequence sets the stage for the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

It’s time to shift your focus: Always be growing your list

How much time are you sinking into your social media strategy every week? If you could sum it up, how much of that time is spent growing your business when it comes to sales or new clients?

If you took half of the time you spent nurturing your social media channels and dedicated that to building your email list, your business will change for the better. Trust me on this one!

If you aren’t sure where to start, start small. Who’s in your network now? How can you get them on your list? 

And hear me out on this one: it doesn’t matter if your list is only ten people long. Maybe those ten people are your cousins, your mom, and maybe your grandma if she’s tech-savvy.

I was a student in Marie Forleo’s B-School when I learned that she used to carry around a big yellow legal pad when she was teaching fitness classes to collect names and email addresses. 

Here’s what matters: you’re starting. And there’s still a hell of a lot of power in small lists.

Next Steps to Building Your Email List


Once you shift your focus to building your email list, whether it’s through strategic content creation, new lead magnets, a pop-up window on your website, or good old-fashioned business development and pounding the pavement, your biz AND your profits will grow.

Your only thing left to do is get started and get collecting!

Do you want to go deeper into Play it Brave? And BIG? And BOLD? Come listen to the Play it Brave podcast and binge your way to a better business and a better life.

Want to up level your portfolio so that it screams elegance and luxury? And brings in a luxury paycheck? Check out my most popular course, The Profitable Portfolio and be on your way to $10k wedding clients.

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A few of my favorite business tools:

CREATIVE LAW SHOP

Contracts, Privacy Policies, and more. Use code DARCYB10 for 10% off!

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Struggle to match your digital to your film? You've met your match. Use code PLAYITBRAVE to get $50 off!

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Say au revoir to lazy galleries! Use code DARCY to get your first month free.

tonic site shop

Crappy website? Say no more. Get 20% off a template with code PLAYITBRAVE. You're welcome.

Learn my simple tweaks you can make that will have you attracting your dream clients with the portfolio you have TODAY.

free guide

Have no time to submit
to publications?

Don’t let your images gather dust on a hard drive – GET THEM SEEN (and gain street cred too).

free training

Not booking $10k+ weddings?

binge-listen

Play

It Brave

podcast

A few of my favorite business tools:

CREATIVE LAW SHOP

Contracts, Privacy Policies, and more. Use code DARCYB10 for 10% off!

goodlight presets

Struggle to match your digital to your film? You've met your match. Use code PLAYITBRAVE to get $50 off!

pic-time

Say au revoir to lazy galleries! Use code DARCY to get your first month free.

tonic site shop

Crappy website? Say no more. Get 20% off a template with code PLAYITBRAVE. You're welcome.

Have no time to submit to publications?

Don’t let your images gather dust on a hard drive – GET THEM SEEN (and gain street cred too).

free guide

Learn my simple tweaks you can make that will have you attracting your dream clients with the portfolio you have TODAY.

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