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How to Start an Email List from Scratch in 2023

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I'm Susanne!

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When it comes to marketing, so many yoga teachers or coaches are getting it wrong 😬

They are so focused on social media and don’t realize that they have pretty much no control over anything here, including who actually sees their content. 

When someone signs up for your email list, however, you know that your emails are landing in the inboxes of people who raised their hands saying they want to hear from you, and you also are in control of their information and contact details. 

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use social media – you still need to show up there, but make it with the goal to direct people to your email list to develop that longer-lasting relationship! 🙋🏼‍♀️

Let’s dive into all things starting your email list from scratch in 2023.

1. Choose The Right Email Marketing Provider To Grow

You want to have an email marketing provider that offers you features to grow as you and your business do. This is why I would strongly recommend ConvertKit* (affiliate link). I’ve been using it for years now and love it – it’s easy to use, and intuitive, and they have a lot of great features like tagging, setting up sequences, and segmenting so that you can organize your subscribers. 

These features may not seem important now, but they will be when you start to grow your email list. For example, you might put together a welcome email sequence that will be sent to new subscribers automatically – so everyone who signs up for your newsletter will be added to that list. You can use this sequence to share some of your best content, introduce your offer, and talk about how they can work with you. This not only ensures that all of your best content is shared, but that every person on your list knows what you’re offering, and what they need to do if they want to work with you. This is a paid feature on ConvertKit – so you would need to be willing to invest in the paid plan. 

A paid email marketing provider might not be essential at the start of your business, but if you’re selling digital offers then you will need it at some stage in your business. For example, you might be sending out email broadcasts advertising your online course but you have people already enrolled in that course and you don’t want that email to go to them. On ConvertKit’s paid plan* (affiliate link), you can exclude subscribers who have already purchased the course so that they aren’t being invited to it again or receiving any special discount emails that might then make them question the price they paid for the course.

2. Make It Easy For People To Sign Up

People have the attention spans of fruit flies, right? If you only mention your newsletter or freebie that you created once or twice, that’s not enough, and people are not going to pay attention. There’s so much noise online, so in essence, you need to shout louder. Show up repeatedly, talk about your offerings and your business, and repeat the message to your audience.  

What I like to do is offer a few different ways to sign up for my newsletter on my website. For example, in my website header, there’s a link to watch my free training, as well as an info bar right at the top of the page mentioning the free training again. I find this less intrusive than a pop-up, but it acts in the same way and has the same purpose, and people don’t close it or click ‘x’ immediately. Then, on my homepage, there are links to several different freebies, as well as a whole section dedicated to just signing up for my newsletter, as well as in the sidebar on my blog posts – like this one! It’s important to not just use a popup because if people close it immediately without reading it, there’s then no other way that they can sign up for your newsletter, even if they wanted to because the only link you had to it was on that freebie that they’ve just closed!

3. Create A Freebie

Create a freebie and then scream about it from the rooftops. Just like your offerings on your website, you can’t just create them and then leave them there hoping people will see them and sign up for them. One thing I will say is that I think people are getting a little tired of the same old type of freebie that they see everywhere. Back in 2016, I had super high conversion rates from some of my freebies because they were still considered special and exciting back then. These days, they’re everywhere, and it takes people more convincing to actually sign up for something. So, I had to come up with something that’s a little bit more interesting and not just say “sign up for my newsletter” on my website, which let’s face it, is not going to have high conversions. 

When creating your first freebie, keep it simple, whilst still providing value and maybe promising a quick win. The creation of it should take you a day, maximum, and then you need to go back to focusing on your paid offerings. Later on down the road when your business is actually a business, and you have offerings to sell and money coming in, you can go back and start on a more elaborate freebie that you put more time and thought into.  

After creating your freebie, you need to share it! A great way you can do this is by utilizing other people’s audience. For example, you be a guest on someone’s podcast that relates to your industry, and you talk about the benefits of meditation for example, and then you share a link to your free meditation guide with three different meditations to try out (your freebie) in the show notes.  As long as the freebie relates to what they talk about on their podcast, they are most likely going to say yes, and will appreciate the value that you are giving their listeners! You can also do this in written form, and ask to write a guest blog post on someone else’s website, linking back to your freebie at the end.

4. Create Long-Form Content

Long-form content is things like a blog post, a podcast episode, or a YouTube video. It’s content that lives on your site/on your account and is searchable on Google and is most likely some of your best work. I would recommend that when you create a podcast or YouTube video, you also create a blog post alongside it so that it can live on your website which is your main hub, right? It’s also repurposing your content and getting the absolute most out of it as you can, which is always important.  

Social media content gets lost in the feed and gets lower and lower down, and less shared/interacted with, whereas long-form content lives on. People still find me through blog posts that I published in 2017 and 2018 which is absolutely amazing! It may feel like more work in the short term, but know that it’s not wasted time and that you’re going to benefit from it in years to come. I know people who still get a lot of traffic from YouTube videos that they published five years ago, whereas nobody’s going to look at an Instagram post from five years ago. Long-form content is how you build your legacy, and how you make your business more resilient against changes that constantly happen across social media platforms. If a platform shuts down, all of your content goes with it, and so do all of your followers. Having content that lives on throughout is the way to give yourself security and keep all of your content working hard for you. 

Bear in mind that this method is not a quick fix and that you’re not going to see results from Google overnight, but if you stay consistent, share value, and show that you are an expert in your field, you’ll start to notice a difference and an increase in traffic to your website. If you think about your website, you’ve probably only got 5-8 pages for Google to index and show to people – whereas if you create long-form content in the form of blog posts, you suddenly have 20, 50, 100 possible pages for Google to show to people searching, especially if you are following SEO best practices and including keywords in your content. As always, make sure to give people the next step to take after they’ve watched/read your content. Share your freebie, invite them to a training or a masterclass, tell them how to get in touch with you, etc.

5. Analyze & Test Different Methods

The final step to growing your email list from scratch is testing everything. Test different headlines, try different images on your pop-up, use different messages and wording, etc. Try to block two hours every week to track your numbers and look at how many people actually saw your forms and what your conversion rates are. From there, you can mix it up, try something different, and see what works best with your audience, then compare it the following week to the week before! That’s the secret really to growing your email list and getting you long-term results.



Hi, I'm Susanne.

I’m here to help you turn your passion into profits and build a successful online business.

I went from working in digital advertising to become a yoga teacher, move to Bali and build my online business that allows me to work from anywhere in the world. Now, my mission is to help you do the same. I want to empower you to embrace the transformative potential of midlife and menopause, build a purposeful online business and create your unique legacy.

I’m also obsessed with my little terrier Luna, love traveling in my campervan, and am happiest when I can wear yoga pants all day long. 

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