Capturing Email Addresses – I’m Almost On Board

In January 2014 I wrote a post titled To Capture Or Not Capture Email Addresses; That Is The Question. As the title suggests, I was looking for a compelling reason to start capturing email addresses, beyond the old saw “the money is in the list”. As the comments on that post indicated, only one person was making any real money from having a list.

where its at
Chris Preen via Compfight

My major lament about it all was I had nothing tangible to sell, thus what would the purpose be? After all, without a product there’s no money to make right?

Well, it’s 16 months later, and now I’m closer to going the route of capturing email addresses. Why?

Two reasons.

The first is that one of the thoughts from last year, the only one that broke through my mind, was the possibility that RSS feeds might go away. Even though there’s been no more talk (at least as far as I know) that Feedburner will be shut down by Google, since they’ve been shutting down lots of other stuff one never knows what they might do.

I love RSS for my own use and I’m sure lots of other people do also. However, I know some people, out of fear, have gone to something called Feedly, while others have started using Flipboard. I’m using Flipboard myself, but I’ve only connected 3 blogs to it, one a local sports blog that shows up in my general feed, while the others I have to specifically go to.

What am I also worried about? At one point I had nearly 400 people subscribed to this blog. Now it’s down to 151, and I have no idea whether they’re subscribed to the RSS feed or the email feed, mainly because I can’t find that one on Feedburner anymore. I do know that most of those who used to subscribe did so through the RSS link.

Thus, having the ability to capture email addresses might be the smart thing to do to make sure people will continue receiving my stuff… if they want it.

The second is that I’m about to not only have a couple of new products, but I’m going to be doing a massive push for sales of the two products, and starting to capture email addresses wouldn’t hurt the process long term, especially since, if it turns out to be successful, I might be doing more of this type of thing.

Still, I want to differentiate the email from what most people send out. My thoughts are that I would send out an email once a week highlighting every post I’ve put on on all my blogs, any videos I’ve created, any interviews I’ve given, and have a brief thought of my own on there that’s not anywhere else. I don’t know many other people who could claim to offer that much information weekly.

Of course, the issue might be deciding what type of original thought to share. Having multiple blogs gives me multiple topics to discuss, but will the people who subscribed through this blog care about leadership? Will the people who subscribe through my business blog care about finances? Details, details…

I haven’t solidified all the details yet but now that I’m close I’m ready to ask some of you what you think about it all. Remember though… just because you offer advice doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily take it. lol I say that because I’m expecting some of the opinions are going to counter each other, and I’m smart enough to know it’s pure folly to try to appease everyone.

By the way, if I do this thing I found a WordPress plugin that looks like it’d be up to the job. It’s called WP Email Capture, and it sets up a double opt-in process to make sure no one’s subscribing someone else just to be sneaky. After that… I’ll figure out how to send out my newsletters, which will initially probably be manual since I don’t expect a major run early on.

That’s all I have for now; your thoughts on it all?

16 thoughts on “Capturing Email Addresses – I’m Almost On Board”

  1. I have you plugged into my Feedly. For me it is the best way I have found so far.
    I am on the fence about…no, I am dragging my feet to start an email list. If I did, no, when I do have an email list, I will send out mail like Austin Kleon does. He sends out a weekly letter with hyperlinks to and a one sentence description of his latest posts.

    1. Troy, if I’m going to do something then I’m going to try to offer a bit more value than that. Part of it might be because I also know I’ll be marketing stuff here and there, especially my own stuff.

  2. Hi Mitch, I’m in the process of getting more subscribers with the addition of the HelloBar on my site. It’s working great. I also learned via some research to only post one post on your email. Once in a while I’ll do 2 but one does generate a higher open rate. It worked like magic when I switched from 3-5 posts. And then I was only sending 1 email per month vs 1 per week now that I do.
    I use MailChimp, it’s FREE and I am happy with it. The only thing I don’t like is I don’t get emailed when new subscribers come abroad. I have to log in to look. I know there are paid versions and other email programs that many bloggers recommend.
    I do recommend the HelloBar to get them to sign up! It’s been great. Good luck. (I’m also surprised you can’t tell list in your RSS, is it Feedburner?

    1. Lisa, I’m going to stick to my statement about popups, pop-unders, etc; ain’t gonna happen with me. The thing about this plugin I’m thinking about trying is that I’m not quite sure what it’ll do, but I’m hoping it’ll just create a message on a sidebar and leave it at that…well, with a space to capture any email addresses folks might decide to give me.

      As for MailChimp and all those other things… I figure I’ll handle it all on my own unless I actually reach at least 300 people. I never got to that number with my previous newsletter and I’m not expecting it to happen this time around either. I wouldn’t be disappointed if I ended up wrong on that one though. 🙂

      1. That’s what I had prior to my HelloBar and it was no longer generating anything for me. I do subscribe to you via email. I like signing up for sites that I don’t want to miss a post from 🙂

  3. I’m using email marketing for a while now, but I only send a newsletter if there is something of high value to tell the subscribers. No bombs full of links to products, but rather something useful.

    Also, by law, and by politeness, always make sure that people opt-in and can opt-out. That way everybody can decide themselves if they want to be a subscriber.

    1. I have to admit that I’ve never understood the double opt-in process. People know they gave an email address to receive something; having to confirm it is irksome… at least it is to me when I’m doing it. Just like I’ve left a comment and said I want to receive comments back to my comment, only to get that stupid thing asking me if I want to subscribe to comments, which I never respond to because I already said I want a comment on the post itself. I hate being bothered by stupid stuff.

  4. Both tool which you are describing here, both are good tool and both are very popular into blogging, These day I also have my blog on wordpress and I used Mailchimp for autoresponder service, This is a best auto responder tool for every beginner blogger.

    Mohd Arif

    1. As I said, if I start this thing I probably won’t start off with Mailchimp, mainly because I don’t think I need an autoresponder until I have enough subscribers, if that happens.

  5. Mitch, it’s a nice tips. Honestly..

    Actually, I blog almost 6 years but I did the mistake during my first 3 years. I didn’t use any optedin service, but just feedburner.

    You know..? Online business is just follow 3 step.

    1. Capture leaders
    2. Convert sales
    3. then you got money.

    So, to prepare capture page and using various plugin that help you to improve more subscribers is really important fact.

    Thanks for sharing your plugin, I’ll learn more about that..

    1. Kimsea, I’m not sure it was a mistake, or at least that big of one. In my opinion, capturing email addresses “just because” is a lousy business model, something I’ve been against from the beginning. If I decide I want to do something with it… now that’s a much different story. Now that I’m thinking about doing something with it I might be ready.

  6. Hey Mitch

    I’ve been with various email marketing companies but I never really got into list building. Actually, I failed miserably!

    I’m now using Postmatic on my blog but I don’t think it will do what you’re looking for. Since it fits with my change in direction with blogging, it works just fine for me though.

    You could take a look at MailPoet. It’s a popular plugin if you don’t want to use an email marketing company. I know that Danny Brown currently uses that to send out his weekly newsletter.

    1. Hi Tim,

      I’ll take a look at the plugin you mentioned. I haven’t decided which way I’m going yet; been working on my project, which I’ll be putting out to the masses on Tuesday, but will mention briefly here in my Monday post. Teaser! 🙂

  7. So, did you, or did you not start a list?

    I know this is almost three years old, but I am curious. I didn’t see any follow up when I searched for email list.

    1. Nope; never got there. I did research it but it seemed that there was no option that allowed me total control of it. I don’t want to use a service that limits me and I’m not ready to pay for something where I’m not making enough online to cover it. It’s probably petty but I’m good with it.

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