Why your brand needs an email list and how set-up one

Every online marketing expert will tell you that one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a blogger or business owner is not starting an email list right from the start. You should have an email opt-in form somewhere on your site and it should have been in place since yesterday.

In this post, you’ll learn what is an email list, why you need to build and grow your email list and how to set up an email opt-in form in WordPress using Mailchimp.

BONUS: Download The Ultimate List of Content Upgrades to Grow Your Email List

What is an email list?

An email list is simply a list of email addresses of people who subscribed to receive communication from you. It allows distribution of content to people interested about a given topic. The content can be in the form of a newsletter, promos, event annoucnecements, online course, weekly challenges, your monthly post round-up and more.

So, how is it different from blog subscription via email?

Blog subscriptions (Jetpack Subscriptions, Subscribe 2) allow people to receive updates whenever a new post is published. You won’t be able to send them email marketing messages unless you import them to an email marketing service (Mailchimp, Aweber).

An email list built with an email marketing service allows subscribers to receive more than new post notifications from you. You have full control over what and when you communicate to them.

Why build an email list?

  • Email is a personal and direct way to communicate with your readers or customers. Your message is delivered straight to their inbox.
  • People already showed their interest in your blog or business since they chose to receive updates from you when they opted in. They have given you permssion to communicate with them. What’s more, this means that they are more likely to buy your offers or share your content.
  • It’s your list, it’s your own platform. If your website or social media accounts suddenly disappeared for whatever reason, you lose your fans, followers, page rankings, etc. But if you have an email list, no matter what happens to your blog or social media platforms, you can still communicate to your avid subscribers.
  • Not everyone is on social media, but almost everyone has an email. About 85% of web users in 24 countries use email.
  • It’s low cost and conversion is easy to measure. If you are just starting out, you can try Mailchimp’s free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers or Aweber’s $19 monthly plan for up to 500 subscribers.
  • Reports show that email is 40 times more effective in getting customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.
  • Email marketing messages get delivered more than 90% of the time, while Facebook posts are seen by fans only 2% of the time.

Still not convinced? 

How to set-up an email signup or opt-in form in WordPress using Mailchimp

You need:

  • a WordPress blog or website
  • a know-how in adding a piece of code to your blog’s sidebar
  • a Mailchimp account (show your support to my blog by using this link 🙂 I will earn a bit but your purchase won’t be affected in any way)


  1. Create a new list in Mailchimp
  2. Create sign up forms and response emails in Mailchimp
  3. Add a sign up form to your blog’s sidebar, copy the embed form code generated by Mailchimp
  4. Go to your WordPress dashboard > Appearance > Widgets and paste the code to the text widget on your blog’s sidebar.

You can also add the sign up form to your website using a pop-up, a top bar form, or a bottom of the article form using plugins like SumoMe or MailMunch.

To entice people to signup, you need to offer something of value to your readers or customers in exchange for their email address and trust. You can create free downloads, also called content upgrades, with useful information related to your niche to attract subscribers.

BONUS: Download The Ultimate List of Content Upgrades to Grow Your Email List

I’d love to know your experiences in setting up and growing your email list.
Share them in the comment section below.

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