In this episode, we delve into WHERE to host your email list. You’ll learn the 3 biggest mistakes people make when hosting their email list. You’ll also learn the 2 types of email hosts (and which type you should use). I then get specific and name names when it comes to the different hosts and which I believe you should use. This is a pretty core component of the blog monetization model, so we need to get it right. 🙂
So, once again, welcome back to Coffee Break Blogging and this is Episode 69. And today we are going to be talking about our Email List and getting the hosting right with our email list. This is a really important topic; something that we do need to talk about and something that is a lot easier to get “right” at the start than to change the path later.
So we are going to go and be on specific time on this, but first, I want to again remind everybody and ask everybody to kindly go over into iTunes and post a quick review and let me know how I am doing. If you find this episode that we are about to do, useful, at the end of it; I will highly encourage you to “pay me back” by simply going in iTunes and letting me know what your thoughts are by posting a review or a star rating.
Those things are really important to us, podcasters. It is the way for many of us to actually listen back from our audiences because from our point of view, why we are doing these things, this can be a one-way medium for a lot of us where a lot of you; and I can tell from the stats… several hundreds of you guys every single day listening to this podcast but yet most often I do not hear from you and I really want to hear from you guys. So the best way you can do that is to run over into iTunes, just search for the word “blogging” in the iTunes Store; you will see Coffee Break Blogging pop right up there in the first few results of the podcast. Click on that and post a review for me and I would highly appreciate it. I do check those things and it would just be awesome! Okay?
So let’s check right-in into today’s show and we are going to be talking about our email list…
First thing that we want to talk about is “Why our email list is so important?” Why is it that this is like the most important think that I would really need you, to talk about today? It really comes down to how the foundation of how the business works. If you go to blogmarketingacademy.com, you will learn more about the Blog Profit Funnel; the Blog Monetization Model. Email is very important on how it works because “email” really is that driver that pushes the whole thing forward. We know statistically that most people who come to our blog are going to leave. They are going to leave, that is what happens and you can’t do a lot about it.
So if you do not have them on your email list, you do not have any way of bringing them back. You do not have any way of moving them to new blog posts or new podcast episodes that you might do; or more importantly toward monetization, you do not have a way to drive them through the sales funnel if you do not have them on the email list. So it is highly, highly important that we have that email list. But we need to have that email list hosted in the right place.
Let me talk to you quickly what an email host provider actually is. Why do you need an email host provider? A lot of guys, a lot of bloggers come into this thinking, “Well, any newsletter system will do”. But that is actually not true. An email hosting provider is a company that is designed specifically for the purpose of delivering email. Just like your web host provider; whether it be Blue Host or any other company that you might use, they are specifically set up to host your website to the internet. And the things that they set up on those servers were designed to do so with as much speed as possible and as much up-time rate as possible. They are trying to have reliable hosting service for your site. Now email hosting is the exact same thing but it is dedicated toward your email list. And the thing is the one extra thing that they have to worry about and it is their job to worry about; is deliverability.
Now here is another thing… a lot of people, when they are first starting out they assume that just by sending out a mass email that everybody on your list is going to get that email. And that actually is not true at all. Let us just round it off… Let us say that you have 1,000 people on your email list. You are not going to get all one thousand people necessarily getting that email in their actual inbox. In reality, the number is going to be less. And that is because of all these filters and all these different things that are set up not only on their site, on their email program but also in like Gmail; like Google sets up their own filters that are supposed to protect Gmail users. And they do a pretty decent job, actually of that. But the thing is, you as a person who is sending them email need to have a very high degree of reliability that when you hit “send” your emails are actually going to get there.
And there are certain things that need to be done not only from the kinds of emails that you send but also from the email hosting provider’s standpoint; they set up their servers in the right way with a high sender reputation and things like that, to get that email through. So this is a really important reason why when you set up your email list, you want to be on an actual email hosting provider. You do not want it to be with somebody who does not specialize in email.
So with that, let us transition right in to the 3 Biggest Mistakes that I see people making with setting up their email list:
3 Biggest Mistakes
Not having any email list at all.
That is like the biggest mistake that you could possibly make is to have just a blog and not be building up a least. So we need to hammer that one right off the bat. And this episode will help you get started because you will set it up in the right way
2. Newsletter system on the host itself.
Number 2 mistake that I see, again in this area of getting your email list hosting right; is that they will use some type of a newsletter system that is on the web host itself. Now this is particularly common when you have these companies that they try to give you everything and GoDaddy comes to mind. GoDaddy is one of these companies that they are web host, they sell domains… but if you get into their system they have got basically a solution for everything and all these upsells and all these stuff and you will see that with many other web host.
So in order to try to be the one-stop shop for everything that you need, you will see a company that does web hosting also offer some type of an email newsletter system. And the thing is, you do not want to use these things because these companies are web hosts. They are not email hosts. They are probably not even given the last crap about your deliverability rate.
They are not going to give you a lot of the features that are going to enable you to do REAL email marketing with that list. So it is not worth it. Just do not waste your time building up a list on one of these systems. A lot of them, they use I think what is called Lyris or something like that… but it is some kind of a software that they can sometimes set up with these things. I used to be hosted a company called Pair Networks back in the day and they are actually a fantastic web host. That is at pair.com, but they also offer an email list system. And I could have used it, but man, it would have been a huge mistake because they do not specialize in email delivery. They specialize in web hosting.
There is a colossal difference between them. So that is the number 2 mistake; do not use any newsletter system that comes with your web host. Okay?
3. Trying to self-host your email list.
The last of the 3 biggest mistakes is to try to self-host your email list; to try to keep your email list in-house on your own servers. That would also be a mistake because then you are responsible for all the different factors that go into your email deliverability and… Let’s be honest; you are probably going to get it wrong, okay? …Because you probably are not a specialist in email deliverability. So do not do that. There are WordPress plug-ins for example, that you could use to “host” your email list right on top of WordPress.
And yes, the attraction to these things is that, in theory you are doing it for free. You think you are just building up a list; you think that email list matters and you think “Yeeey, I am doing it for free!” but you are actually doing a huge mistake to do that. Do not every host your email list on your own servers, okay? It is a big mistake; you will probably be getting really, really crappy deliverability by doing that. You can harm your domain reputation because if one of your email subscribers just happen to have a bad day and they decide that your email is a spam and they hit the button to mark your email a spam that is going to go back and affect the reputation of your domain and all kinds of bad things. Just do not do that.
So those are the Big 3 Mistakes with your email list. First one is obviously not having any list at all. “B” is trying to use the newsletter system that comes with your web host and then number 3 is trying to self-host it. Okay?
So let us move in into our actual email list hosting companies. I put these people into 2 basic categories.
Linear Email List Provider
The first one is what I call a linear email list provider. Now, I might have just made that term up; actually I did. I do not know if anybody else calls it this. But a linear email list provider is where you have generally one email list, one autoresponder sequence to it. Now if you do not know what an autoresponder sequence is; that simply means that you can set up a series of pre-written emails that when somebody subscribes to your list, they are going to start getting those emails that you have already written and then they are going to get them on a schedule that you define.
You can have one email list or you can have multiple email lists but the whole idea is it is kind of a one-to-one thing. You can have five different email lists on these guys, but a person has got to subscribe to one or more of your various lists and they might be on more than one list at the same time but each list is going to have its own autoresponder set up. It is kind of a linear set up.
Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)
The other class of email provider is what I would call the CRM. It is a Customer Relationship Manager but they use a completely different way of managing the emails because they do it based on tags. So instead of having multiple email lists, you actually have just one email list. But then by assigning different tags to each of the subscribers you can send them different things based on what is going on. So these are the two different classes of email providers and to make it simple for most people just starting out and even to where you are making pretty decent money, can do this completely and totally fine in a linear email list provider and it will totally work fine.
Now typically if you want to go to a tag based system, a full CRM is going to cost you more. These are the companies like Active Campaign, InfusionSoft, Ontraport which is the one that I am using, these guys cost more. They just do. And generally you do not need to get into a system like that unless you are already driving a certain amount of revenue to the point where you can fund it and not really have to worry about it just much, okay? So that brings us right into the last part of this episode which is: Who should you host with?
If you have been with me for a while, you know that I am a huge fan of AweBer. So you could find these guys over at Aweber.com or if you want to use my affiliate link which I would obviously highly appreciate, you could find that at blogmarketingacademy.com/list and that would bring you right over at AweBer and this is by far my favorite company for almost everybody who is a reader of my site. For most bloggers, it is AweBer. These guys have been around a very long time. They have a lot of social proof around them because so many people use AweBer. Almost every plug-in in membership system out there all integrates with Aweber built right in.
They have got really good reliability, these guys are great. It is just a great company and they also really understand email marketing. They understand what you are trying to do with your email list and they help you do it. So it is a great company and I highly recommend them.You could get started with these guys with just $1, you get a 30-day trial for one dollar; highly worth it and then from that point on, I think it bumps up to $19 a month.
But being that your email list is probably one of the most important assets you will be building for your business, $19 is the biggest no-brainer in the history of man, I am just going to put it out there, okay? So Aweber is what I recommend that you go. And again that is at blogmarketingacademy.com/list.
Now I want to make a quick comment here about MailChimp because I know MailChimp is a very popular one and a lot of bloggers do like MailChimp because they offer a free level of account. Now, the thing is if you want to do anything that is even remotely important, you are going to have to pay with MailChimp. And the thing is, if you are going to pay for one of these things, anyway, I think Aweber is the better company and I just think that you should go with Aweber.
Now, one thing about the free account with MailChimp is that they do not allow autoresponder sequences and that is a pretty important component when it comes to setting up the blog monetization model; something that we will be talking about in the future episodes of the podcast by you can learn more right now by going over to The Blog Marketing Academy. But if you are going to set up the monetization model behind your blog, you have to have an autoresponder. It is just a core component of it. And so therefore, you can’t do it with a free MailChimp account, okay?
So like I said, to get the basic tool in your arsenal here, you are going to have to pay MailChimp anyway. And if you are going to pay anyway, I think that Aweber is a much better company. Another thing is that MailChimp can get a little bit of a pickle up their butt about affiliate marketing. And I think that affiliate marketing is a perfectly legit way to monetize your site and in fact they can be a good profit maximizer in certain aspects of your own sales funnel. So if they are going to be sitting there getting “weird” about it, it is just not worth it, okay? Aweber… go to Aweber.
A Few Tips
Now, again, as I already mentioned when it comes to some of the big boys like InfusionSoft or Ontraport, you do not have to worry about those guys unless you are driving a certain degree of revenue, and when those things make sense. I mean, if you go and you look at the price tag on something like those and it just flips your lid, that probably means you are not ready for it yet.
There is also ActiveCampaign.com which I actually might choose those guys if I were starting over from scratch now; it is just a lot of work to switch but they have got a really great tag based system with Active Campaign and it looks like a really nice system.
And then you have some of the other linear systems iContact and GetResponse and these guys, I am not actually familiar with them but the thing is, at least those companies specialize in email list hosting. So therefore, you probably are not going to go wrong with those guys. However, I recommend Aweber to most of my audience.
Okay! So with that, I hope I covered the subject of email list hosting adequately for you. If you are just starting out, go with Aweber. If you are with MailChimp right now or you are with a company that you are not that happy with, you might still consider switching to Aweber. In fact, as of the time that I was recording this episode, you can now import your list to Aweber without asking them to confirm themselves again… Which is fantastic! That means you can transition to Aweber from another provider and you do not have to get everybody to re-subscribe. That is awesome. That put that into the “about time” department! So Aweber is great. They get it! That is why I want to recommend them, okay?
A Quick Reminder
So again, I want to end this episode by reminding you about The Blog Monetization Lab. And you can find that over at… just go to monetizationlab.com. Right now, as I am recording this episode, I am working on the Next Action Plan that is going to go in the Lab and this is going to be specifically right on the point to creating a blog profit funnel. Really we are going to be designing the sales funnel that go right behind your blog and we are just going to be nailing it down in this Action Plan. And I hit it with a lot of details and all just get right into the heart of actually generating sales from your blog in this next Action Plan. I do not know what the official name is going to be called yet but it is going to be about creating the blog profit funnel behind your blog and you will be able to get access to that action plan as a member of the Blog Monetization Lab. So you can learn more about that at blogmonetizationlab.com where we got training and formulas to monetize your blog effectively but we also got the support and the community to ensure that you actually get there. Okay?
So thanks for listening to this episode, hopefully you found it useful. If you did, a quick reminder yet and again… pop on in to iTunes, find Coffee Break Blogging and post a review for me and a star rating. I’d love to hear back from you guys. Let us turn this into a two-way conversation so it is just you listening to me and not ever saying anything back… I look forward to hearing from you and I will see you in the next episode coming up in a few days!
Talk to you soon! 😉