building your mailing list

choosing your list-building software

As a coach it is very likely that you either have, or are thinking about starting, an email list of potential customers. You can’t underestimate the value of a mailing list – if you are sharing decent content it’s an easy way to build the know, like and trust that is essential for selling your products and services.

Once upon a time you would have manually added people to a list in your email client, but these days there are plenty of email marketing tools to choose from, so you can automate your sign-up processes.

Here’s my handy guide to what you need to think about when you’re deciding which platform is right for your business.


Right at the top of my list is automations. Before you choose your software, work through your audience journey to make sure that you know what automations you need, so you can make sure your chosen platform meets your needs. Some email marketing tools offer multi-step workflows, including tagging, email sequences, and actions based on subscriber behaviour (for example if they click on certain links).

Whilst all platforms offer automated workflows in their paid packages, they are often limited in their free offerings, so this is worth checking if you are signing up to a free platform.

How are people getting onto your list?

Are people signing up via a form on your website? If you don’t have a website, do you need to be able to create a landing page for an opt-in, or do you just need a simple form to share on social media?

Some platforms even offer you the option to build websites and landing pages (although it would be worth checking their limitations against your needs before you go down this route).

This leads me neatly on to…

Audience segmentation

 If you are at the beginning of your business journey this may not even be on your radar, but it’s something I always recommend doing from the start. Can you easily use tags (or groups, depending on the terminology the platform uses) to identify your subscribers by certain behaviours, or how they came into your world? Examples of this might be: which opt-in they signed up for; workshops they have taken part in; programs they have bought; payment plans if you offer different subscriptions. 

Integration with other software you use

There will pretty much always be a way to integrate your email marketing tool with your website, membership platform, checkout software and anything else you use BUT this is definitely something to consider, especially if you don’t have support from a tech VA or other IT-savvy individual.

Check out whether there is direct integration, or if you need additional third-party software to make the connection.

How easy it is to use

I’ve yet to come across a platform that is as easy to use as it says it is, however most are reasonably intuitive. But, having said that, if you want pretty branded templates and don’t want to get a professional to code them for you, you will be more suited to an email marketing tool that uses drag-and-drop builders. 

Whether they offer a free option or trial period

There are a handful of mail marketing platforms that offer free versions, and it is always worth trying before you buy to see whether you like the user interface, and what functionality they give you. 

However, before you commit to one of them, check out what the limitations of the free package are and how much more expensive it gets as your audience grows and you need more functionality. Some platforms offer very restricted automations on their free plans, and others restrict your audience size, so make sure you know what the next level is and how much they charge.

A little bit of work at the beginning can save you a lot of hassle in the longer term – however, don’t worry if you’re not sure which is most suitable as you can always move between platforms no matter what your audience size.

If you’d like more support in working out which tools you need to automate your business, why not book a start-up consultation with me.