If you’re a teacher entrepreneur, you’re probably wondering how to grow your email list from scratch (and honestly for FREE). You want to start an email list because you’ve heard all of the experts say it is imperative for your business, but where do you start? If you feel overwhelmed by email marketing, or you don’t know how to grow your email list, you’ve come to the right place!
In this post, I will answer your biggest email list-building questions by giving you five ways to grow your email list. I will teach you about THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you need to grow your email list, and give you tips to help you grow your email list using your blog and social media.
Okay, first of all, if you don’t know what I’m talking about here, listen to this pertinent episode on The CEO Teacher® Podcast about Killer Opt-Ins. What is a killer opt-in you ask? An opt-in is a form where you collect email addresses in exchange for an awesome lead magnet. The lead magnet is something that gives your ideal customer avatar (ICA) oodles of value. And all they have to do to get it is opt-in with their email address!
To be honest, this is the BEST way to grow your email list, because it gives VALUE. It is really hard in this day and age to get someone to sign up for MORE EMAILS. So we need to be coming at this from the angle of how we can serve our ICAs best!
You want to share HOW to do something in your opt-in, instead of giving them a freebie (like a sight word game) or access to a freebie library. We don’t want our customers to get used to getting things for free; our goal is to nurture them into sales. For example, if your niche is classroom management, you might want to create a ten-step workbook for peaceful transitions or a video series with different callbacks, chants, and cheers. If your ICA is a middle school science teacher, you could provide a step-by-step guide for making science interactive notebooks. Maybe your customer is a preschool teacher, and instead of giving away a free set of your sensory bin activities, you show them how to create seasonal sensory bin materials.
The goal for this opt-in, to build your email list, is to show your ICA how to solve their pain point without actually solving it for them. If you solve it for them and give it away for free, they don’t need you anymore! Your opt-in should be so juicy and full of value that they think, “Wow! If she’s giving this away for free, her products must be even more awesome!” or “Oh man, I don’t have time for this! I need this done for me!” Then, you can come in and show everything you provide to make life easier and save time.
I have two more tips regarding opt-ins to grow your email list. When you’re creating this opt-in to grow your email list, use the 80/20 rule. Give 80% of your tips away for free, and save the best 20% for your products, course, or membership. And, don’t sell in your opt-in. Don’t add links. Keep it simple, and serve your audience. Period.
Now that you have your killer opt-in ready to go, it’s time to sprinkle that thing EVERYWHERE! Make a plan (I recommend mind mapping) to write as many blog posts as you can that are related to your opt-in topic. This shouldn’t be too hard since your opt-in is related to your niche! When you’re writing those blog posts, you can link to your landing page where people can opt-in to get on your email list or you can embed a form directly into your blog post. Both of these will help you grow your email list.
Let’s take my classroom management niche as an example. If my killer opt-in is 10 Steps to Peaceful Classroom Transitions, I would consider writing a blog post addressing the pain point of hectic transitions and give them 2-3 tips from my opt-in. Then, I would link my landing page in that blog post to grow my email list that way. Other blog posts to grow my email list could include: morning routines, afternoon routines, callbacks to make transitions a breeze, how using a visual timer saved my transition time, etc. I would link to my landing page or embed a form in each of those posts to grow my email subscriber list.
It’s important to have a hub for you and your community – your website/blog is perfect for that. It also helps so much with organically growing your email list because teachers are there to learn from you and consume content. More free content in the form of a killer opt-in? Yes, please! I have seen huge gains from using my blog to grow an email list.
Pinterest is an incredible search engine and has helped me grow my business so much. Teachers love Pinterest, so if you have a teacher business, and you’re not already using Pinterest for your business, you should be! Growing your email list with Pinterest is an extension of using your blog to grow your email list.
The first step to growing your email list with Pinterest is creating several pins for your opt-in. Pinterest likes “fresh pins” (basically just new images that are different from what you’ve posted before). So save yourself time and create a bank of pins for your opt-in and your blog posts that will be linked to your opt-in, so you are consistently putting out fresh content.
You’ll link some pins to your blog posts and others to your landing pages. Also, do your SEO research and use keywords in your descriptions and file names to get those pins at the top of the search results.
One last tool for Pinterest that makes my life so much easier is Tailwind. Tailwind is an approved Pinterest scheduler that you can use to batch work your Pinterest marketing! It will help you post your pins automatically so you can constantly get your opt-in in front of more people on Pinterest. This will help you grow your email list consistently!
You know how much I love Instagram! It’s such a great platform to connect with your people. I love chatting with my community on my posts and in the DMs. But Instagram is also great for getting your opt-in in front of more people to build your email list!
You can post about your opt-in in your feed by printing it out and taking staged pictures of it, or showing it on an iPad or laptop. You can record an IGTV video and post it on your feed and in your InstaStories. You can show your followers a sneak peek of the opt-in on your InstaStories and remind them to get it using the link in your bio or by swiping up.
Here’s the biggest tip for how to grow your email list with Instagram (or really, any platform): keep talking about it!! Don’t just post about it once or twice. It should be part of your monthly or weekly marketing plan. Bring it up in conversation organically. Start conversations with other teachers who might need it and then send them the link if they ask for it. When you form connections, you build the know, like, and trust factor. And then you’ll have your ICAs eating out of the palm of your hand!
Facebook is another great platform to share your opt-in on to grow your email list. You can share posts on your Facebook page that share your story and why you created your opt-in, with a link to sign up for your email list. You can also optimize Facebook Ads, but I recommend learning how to run ads before you start, because you will just be throwing your money at the wind. I teach you how to use FB Ads in level 2 of my programs, The CEO Teacher®. You can grab my Teacher's Map of Online Business Secrets here, and be put on the waitlist to know when doors to the programs open again.
I love doing Facebook Lives to serve my audience, where I can build relationships, share tips, and offer my opt-in to help them. Recently, I’ve been going live weekly (now monthly) to answer questions about a certain topic. We actually had a whole coaching call about Email Marketing on Facebook and it was EPIC!
If you love podcasts as much as I do, listen to my episode about how to grow your email marketing list on The CEO Teacher® Podcast: Build That List, Baby! This is a crucial part of your business’s success, and I hope this post and podcast help you grow your email list! What is YOUR favorite way to build your email list?
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