Are You Building A Highly Targeted Email List?

If you’ve already started building your list but you’re not sure whether you’re building a targeted email list or not, it’s okay.

It’s not too late.

Keep the list you’ve got but start over with how you identify your audience, attract them to sign-up for your list, and have interaction with them. The people who aren’t interested will naturally drop off your list over time.

1. Know Your Audience

It’s been said many times but you must know your audience.

The absolute best marketing messages make people feel like you’re reading their mind. – Benyamin Elias

When you know your audience, it is a lot easier to work out what content and messages they care about. It also tells you the acceptable tone and voice for your message. you’ll state their specific pains, needs, and desires as if you’re reading their minds.

It’s a lot easier to connect because people feel like you understand them.

How to conduct audience research?

If you’re not sure right now who your audience is it’s important to drill down and figure it out.

1.  Identify who is already buying from you.

The first thing to do is to identify who is already using your products or services. Gather whatever information you have about your “best” customers. Here are some data you might want to consider:

  • Age
  • Location (and time zone)
  • Language
  • Job
  • Spending power

2. Review your website and social analytics.

Your online analytics can be a great way to fill in the gaps in your audience research. It can also help you understand who is interacting with your social accounts, even if they are not yet customers.

Free platforms like Google Analytics and Facebook Audience insights can provide some in-depth information about your existing audience.

3. See what the competition is up to.

So what if you are starting from scratch? You can check who is interacting with your competition. Use free tools like Facebook Audience Insights to analyze their audience.

How to use Facebook Audience Insights?

  • A new dialog will show up. Choose Everyone on Facebook.
  • Use the left column to enter the page of your competitor. (You can also type in a keyword if you don’t have any competitor in mind)
  • View the results in the charts on the right. It will show you a lot of interesting data like age, gender, location, activity. You can also dive deeper by checking in some other pages that their audience likes. 

4.  Do qualitative market research (Psychographics)

It is important that you don’t stop at demographics. You need to do qualitative research to tell you more about the kinds of things your audience cares about.
Psychographic data would include a person’s values, beliefs, and interests. These are every bit of personal data that will give you build a better picture of what motivates them to buy. Here are some data that you might get:
  • Struggles to manage her workload
  • Is interested in affiliate marketing
  • Wants to start a blog but aren’t sure how

By doing this research, you should be able to create an audience avatar that you can look to before creating a single product or marketing message. When you do that you’ll be more targeted in what you create and in who you attract.

Here’s why audience research is so important.

The way you go after your audience and ideal customer is to know them. When you know them, you’ll know where they hang out, what they do in their spare time, and even what keeps them up at night.

You can use that information to craft the right messages on all platforms that your audience likes. Whether that is a Facebook Group, a Live Event, or something else. 

Segment Your List

You can think of your email list in many ways. But, it’s one list segmented based on the preferences you set up. At the least, a list should be segmented to put customers in one segment, leads (audience) on another segment.

Here’s an effective strategy to do that.

1. Create a highly targeted ‘lead magnet’

If you’re still offering a generic “Get Free Email Updates” on your blog, you’re not going to find much success. You need to offer something valuable to get people on your email list.

The idea of the lead magnet is to help them with information or a first step to how to solve their problem. You attract more relevant subscribers by solving a specific problem that they have.

For us bloggers, digital products like e-books, templates, and checklists can be a great lead magnet.

This free email course offered by Elna Cain is a good example of an enticing lead magnet.

how to become a freelance writer - elna cain

How to Find Ideas for Your Lead Magnet

  • Competitor research: A great way to find ideas is to check your competitors and their lead magnets. See what’s lacking in their offer, and create a better one for your audience.
  • Quora – this is a great place to know what your audience is searching for. There are thousands of interesting questions that you can use as your next topic.
  • Amazon Books –  Amazon is a great place to find ideas. Check some of the popular topics and create something similar.
  • Answer The Public – It’s a free visual keyword research tool that generates a list of questions related to your topic. These questions could be something that your readers are searching for.

Need some more content inspiration? Here are 19+ creative blog post ideas.

2. Use a landing page and widgets

To get subscribers on your list, you need to create a simple landing page that features your freebie. Use headings and bullet points to explain the value your subscribers are getting. This landing page is a good example:

lead magnet - elna cain - twins mommy

Another approach I’ve found more effective is a widget landing page.

lead magnet - freelance writing niche

I use ThriveLeads for creating landing pages and widgets. You can also use tools like Optin Monster. If you are using Convertkit, you can use their free landing page creator

When you develop more lead magnets, more products, and more services you’ll have more segments based on their behavior. You can set it up in your autoresponder using the methods that the system has such as tagging.

Engage Your List

It’s imperative that once you get people on your list you craft messages that will keep them engaged. It starts with your welcome message and it doesn’t end.

Even if they buy a product or service from you, your relationship should continue. Just in a different way on a segmented and appropriate part of your list based on their behavior. You can even reactivate a list with the right message.

Keep your audience engaged with an email series

To engage your subscribers from the beginning, you might want to create an email series. Creating an email series is actually easier than you think. There are tons of email series templates and swipe files available online that you can use and tweak. 

Here are some of my favorite resources:
  • Piggy Makes Bank – they offer 7-day and 30-day emails series PLR.
  • Allprivatelabelcontent – they offer done for you newsletters
  • – there are about 26 email swipes here of some famous brand and personalities in the industry
If you’re unsure if your list is targeted or not craft a message to them offering a freebie that you think they’d all like and market it to your list as you would elsewhere.

If they click through, then you can move them to a new segment of your list as active subscribers who act. The people who don’t act, may not be your target audience. That’s okay. You can either clean them from your list or send more aggressive messages so that they either act or cleanse themselves of your list.

Final Notes

Building a highly targeted email list is one of the best ways to develop an engaged group of people who are ready to take action.

Your goal is to attract potential customers and not just subscribers to your list. This is why I encourage you to make well-researched and targeted lead magnets. The better your lead magnet, the more targeted your subscribers will be.

2 thoughts on “Are You Building A Highly Targeted Email List?”

  1. Thanks Valerie, I appreciate the reminder to offer something to obtain more email subscribers. It is now on my to do list.
    I think people sometimes get overwhelmed with so many emails that they do not want to sign up for another unless they perceive a value with it.


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