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How To Start An Email List (And Why You Need One)

When you’re a blogger knowing how to start an email list is an essential way to create extra income. Your email list can become the lifeblood of your business, driving affiliate and product sales. Nurture it and thrive.

Why? Because it’s your direct contact with your customers. A chance for you to build a relationship over time and essential for most professional blogs. Read on to find out why you need an email list and how to get started.

how to start an email list

Why You Need An Email List

For more expensive products your email list is a way of building trust with your customers, trust which is essential for selling.

People still read emails. They may not read ALL emails but if you’re providing relevant information and adding value, customers will look out for your missive.

An email list is something you own. You can have a ton of social media contacts but these platforms come and go, change their rules, and suddenly the hard work you’ve put in goes up in smoke.

A quality list of people, genuinely interested in your blog will pay dividends and can easily become your biggest source of revenue.

Email Marketing Providers

Your choice of email marketing providers will depend on what you need from the service. I’ve listed the services I use below. I suggest you check out their full list of features and decide what you need before signing up.

Do you need to send image-rich newsletters? Is segmentation important? What about downloading freebies? Or do you need an abandoned cart feature for selling products? When you’re ready, make the most of my deals specially negotiated for Simply Hatch readers!

This post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a commission if you make a purchase through my links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

How To Set Up Your Email List

To collect email subscribers and send out newsletters, you need an email marketing service. This is the email service I use for my blogs…


I switched to ConvertKit a few months after I started this blog. It has a ton of benefits if you’re planning on making money from affiliate marketing or selling digital products. It’s easier to segment your list and build automated sequences.

Where some well-known email providers ban the use of their email service for affiliate marketing, ConvertKit encourages it!

Designed by professional bloggers for professional bloggers, these guys know exactly what you need! Their comprehensive knowledge base will walk you through capturing subscribers and setting up sequences to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Over the years I’ve tried out several different email marketing services and by comparison, ConvertKit is on a  whole different level.

Until recently, ConvertKit lacked a good free plan for beginner bloggers. That’s all changed! You can now use ConvertKit for FREE to build your list to 1000 subscribers.

How To Set Up Your Email List With ConvertKit

Step #1 Sign up for an Account with ConvertKit.

Step #2 Dive into the ConvertKit Knowledge Base. ConvertKit covers the setup process brilliantly and even provides tips for writing your first emails.

Access all the information you’ll ever need by clicking the ? on the top right-hand side of the Toolbar. Beginners Guide To Forms is a great place to start.

You can easily customize forms to match your blog design and embed the form in your website.

If you want to embed a form into a page (or post) go to your WordPress
dashboard. Go to Page > All Pages. Select a page and click edit. Add the Custom HTML block.

Paste the ConvertKit HTML Embed code in the content box and SAVE.

Alternatively, you can install the ConvertKit WordPress Plugin and add the shortcode provided under the WordPress tab.

All the forms on this blog were created quickly and easily using ConvertKit. You can easily add forms to your Primary Sidebar, post footers, or part way down a page.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a good option if you need to send out newsletters for an eCommerce store or if you want to send an image-rich newsletter for a magazine-style blog. Unlike ConvertKit, Constant Contact has a range of templates for promoting products. You can trial Constant Contact for FREE.

It’s an easy-to-use platform with a drag-and-drop editor. Create professional-looking newsletters quickly and wow your followers.

Constant Contact is known for good delivery of emails – you want to make sure your emails are reaching your customers!

✅ I have a separate step-by-step guide to setting up an email list using Constant Contact. How to use Constant Contact with WordPress.

Getting Started With Email Marketing

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to selecting your email marketing service provider. Start off with how you want your emails to look. Do you want your newsletters to be mainly text or do you want a choice of terrific-looking templates to showcase your images and products?

Now images are great. Most of us are very visual people but think about this before you make a quick decision. Many email clients such as Outlook will block images in newsletters for your privacy protection. You have to agree to download them. Suddenly that terrific template doesn’t look quite so good.

For most bloggers, setting up automated email sequences, being able to offer freebie downloads, and segmenting lists are a high priority. You want landing pages to grow your list rapidly and the ability to tailor your emails to your customer’s interests. ConvertKit is the ideal choice. A platform designed for bloggers and creators by… bloggers and creators!

If you’re selling a wide range of physical products online or maybe you have a magazine-style blog with lots of image-rich articles, your needs for your email list provider will be very different.

Maybe you need to send abandoned cart notifications. (A must-have feature for store owners). Or perhaps send details of upcoming events and add trackable coupons.

With a magazine-style blog, your template newsletters need to be fresh and visually appealing. A drag-and-drop editor allows you to update your newsletters quickly to inspire your readers.

Constant Contact is a terrific choice for eCommerce stores and magazine-style blogs. It’s a platform with a huge presence and it’s going to be compatible with most applications.

Combined with their excellent support and a packed list of features, Constant Contact should be on your radar if you’re a small business looking for an email list provider.

Conclusion – How To Start An Email List

There’s so much going on when you start a blog and it’s very easy to neglect how to start an email list. It’s yet another item on your to-do list.

I really suggest you make it a priority. Set your email list up with a simple form. You can gradually learn more about how to capture signups for your list as you become more competent at blogging.

Ready to start your blog? Download your FREE 12 Month Blog Plan to become a successful full-time blogger!