How to set up an email list

One of the few things I’ve actually got right in this whole blogging business is my email list. I started working on it as soon as I really decided on my niche, and it has grown very rapidly in the last 14 months. Admittedly, in the beginning, I didn’t really know why I needed an email list, but all the experts told me that I should have one. I’ve since learned that it’s absolutely necessary to have an email list. So here’s how to set up an email list.

Why do you need an email list?

Well, this could be a post in itself. The short answer is that the people who join your list are your committed people. They are your real audience – the ones who like you so much they want you in their inbox. So you need to form a relationship with them.

Secondly, your email list is yours. They are not followers on a platform, like Instagram or Facebook, where the algorithm could change tomorrow and your followers won’t see your posts. Instead, you can get directly into their inboxes – much more effective than being one post in 100 on Twitter.

Thirdly, people like to be on the right email lists. I have lots of readers who don’t have social media accounts, but they do have email. When I’ve paused my regular email schedule, I always get people emailing me and asking where my emails are. They don’t want to miss a post – with an email list, they don’t have to.

How do you set up an email list?

If you are just starting out, I highly recommend starting with Mailchimp. Yes, there are paid programmes out there, but to get you off the ground, and to convince you of the power of the list, Mailchimp is the best of the free ones. It now has automation sequences, and is free up to 2000 subscribers.

So head over to and create an account. You’ll need an email address and a physical posting address. I created a free PO Box address with UK Postbox.

Then, in Mailchimp, you need to create a list. You can call this list simply, ‘Newsletter’ to start with.

Go to the ‘Lists’ tab and create a sign up form. This can be tricky to find, so I’ve created a mini screenshot. You can find this menu underneath the name of your list. You want ‘Signup forms.’

In ‘Signup forms,’ you can create signup forms for your list, which you can then either copy and paste directly into the Text part of your blog post, or you can use a plug-in like Mailchimp Easy Forms which syncs straight to your list.

Create a welcome email or sequence

If you go to ‘Campaigns,’ you can set up an automatic welcome email, or a welcome email sequence. Mailchimp helps you set by step. Personally, I’d start with one email, then see how you grow. If you’ve offered a freebie, you can upload this to the Content Manager and include a link in the email to the pdf or whatever it is.

As a tip, use the ‘Button’ in the email designer to add in links – I found this was much more obvious at signposting links to my readers.

For better sign-ups… Install multiple ways to sign up

I had my list going for a few weeks, and then I stumbled across a good tip: have the sign-up form at the bottom of every blog post. There isn’t a simple way to do this with Mailchimp signup forms, or with Easy Forms, so I used Mailmunch. Incidentally, I’ve always found it really difficult to get Mailchimp pop ups to work properly on my site, so I use a Mailmunch pop up too.

You’ll need to create a Mailmunch account and link it to your Mailchimp account. You might need an API key, which you can find in Mailchimp – Account – Settings – Extras.

Create your forms in Mailmunch. The free versions are absolutely fine, and I’d suggest you keep them as simple as possible – no bouncing pop ups – but that’s just my preference.

Use the Mailmunch plug-in to install your forms on your site and start welcoming your subscribers!

What makes people sign up?

The majority of my sign-ups don’t come from an opt-in or freebie. They simply come from people wanting to join The Organised Life Project. You can join here:

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I send regular emails to keep my readers on track with organising their homes, their lives and their families.

I also have a 7 day challenge, and that was really easy to set up with Mailchimp’s automation.

Finally, I have a resource library which is password protected, and my subscribers can get access to any of my resources in the library for free.

So you can see, you get a good deal when you sign up to The Organised Life Project! You can also get access to my Daily, Weekly and Monthly Blogging Routines in the resources library, which you might like. You can find more Blogging-related posts in the Blogging section too.

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