Starting E-Mail Marketing- What I Did Step by Step

Online companies have been perfecting email marketing for years. I would give my email to these online stores and immediately receive a email stating “thank you for subscribing” or “welcome to our family”. Then I would receive offers for products every other day. Although I wouldn’t purchase anything the company brand and logo would always be in my head. And now, after research and hearing it 100 times, I found that email marketing was the key to SUCCESS. I needed to build my email list around my niche.

So here’s what I did and what you can do as well:

  1. Opened a P.O. Box

  • Go online to https://www.usps.com/manage/po-boxes.htm to purchase one and follow the steps
  • Cost for me was $40.00 for 3 months
  • Bring the proper documentation to the post office and get your key and box activated
  • I opened a P.O. Box because I did not want my personal address to be used in Mail Chimp
  1. Created a Mail Chimp account

  • It’s free
  • Has a great reputation
  • Allows you to build that e-mail list easily, just follow the instructions
  1. Get photos online (royalty free) or take your own photos

  • Make it professional and attractive
  • Make sure they go along with your niche
  • Have to have good quality
  1. Start building the page

  • Make sure you have an incentive for people to subscribe 
  • Could be a free e-book or anything u want. I made the mistake and had no incentive.
    1. Drive traffic towards it

  • Create a blog (I will be creating a how to guide for this)

  • Create a new Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
  • Tell Friends and family, Tell them to spread the word.

Overtime you can have thousands of potential customers. You just have to do the work. Building the email list is key to a successful business so start early.

You can even start the landing page before you even have a product to sell. It’s sometimes best practice to do this so you can see if your niche has any interest in it.

How I started my first online store. And Failed.

Building my first store

When I made the decision to open my first online store, my three questions were: what niche am I going to get into? what am I going to sell? How much money do I need to start? Finding a niche was the harder of the three because I had no idea (and still don’t) what my passion was. I thought and brainstormed for one week and decided my niche would be dogs. Dogs weren’t my passion by the way, I choose them because I love them and I know everyone with a dog loves them as well.

Got my Niche

A check of the dogs niche through Google trends revealed that dogs have been trending and have alway been trending. But what I didn’t know at that moment was that niche was too broad. I needed to narrow it down to a specific type of dog. Wether the niche be small dogs, big dogs, yorkies, or pit bulls. It had to be more specific so I could target that specific audience. I also But I was brand new and eager, so I stuck with dogs. I also thought I could capitalize on National Dogs day which was a month away.

Got my Product

I then began searching for a product to sell. This wasn’t a hard decision to make at the time because I just followed what I saw on multiple youtube videos and on social media platforms (especially Instagram). I should’ve known that social media posts and youtube videos showing the exact same product being sold was a HUGE sign, but I saw dollar signs. The product I discovered was a black bracelet with a dog paw print pendant. I found the product on Aliexpress for about .98 cents. Not only did I choose it for the price but I choose it because I resembled a golden lion bracelet (pretty sure you’ve seen it) that other sellers were able to sell for an enormous profit.

How much did it cost?

So now I had my niche and my product, but how much would it cost me? At this time I didn’t have much money to spend (probably about $200) and I heard people making huge money without spending over $100 to start. I figured I had the money but I didn’t know how to spend it correctly. So hey, I immediately thought I could start this business with no experience and without spending $100. 

Everything I did

  1. Started a Shopify store
  • (The bracelet I decide to sell)

    I named it the Spoiled Pet

  • I Didn’t have to spend money on it because of the 14 day trial.
  • I followed how to make the store by following youtube videos.
  • I downloaded apps for the store such as Oberlo, Hurrify and Sales Pop
  1. Imported my product from Aliexpress
  • I attempted the free plus shipping tactic by charging 9.99 for shipping.

3.  I created a Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel account

  • to get the stats of my (non-existent) customers and traffic

4. I created a Instagram

  • I followed people on dog pages and reposted other people’s content
  • After a week I only had 10 followers
  1. I messaged influencers to grow my following
  • no one replied
  • They won’t reply unless you have something to offer (money or more followers)

This short list took me only a week to complete. If I had spent a little more than 2hours a day building the store, I could have built it in 3 days or less. From this experience and failure I realized multiple issues with how I launched my store and marketed it. These issues caused me to shut down my store one week after opening.

What I did wrong

  1. Didn’t create landing page/ Opt in
  • You have to build a e-mail list
  • No leads = no conversions
  • This should’ve been done possibly months before launching the page 
  1. I didn’t grow my social media presence. 
  • I went in expecting to grow a following overnight
  • Created a Facebook group for my store nor did I advertise it at all on Facebook
  1. I didn’t reach out to enough influencers or the right ones
  • I should’ve created a template and sent it to multiple influencers
  1. I didn’t tell friends or family what I was doing
  • friends and family can be your biggest supporters
  • They can bring traffic to your page by referring other friends
  1. I tried to mimic what I saw others do
  • Try to be original and come up with your own idea or product
  • Look at a product that has already been done and make it better
  1. I quit too early
  • I didn’t see any progress after a week and stopped trying
  • I should have waited to see what else I could have learned from the experience 

The lesson

There is probably a lot more that I should’ve done but I feel those are the most important. After all of that I spent approximately 30 dollars for the apps and also a domain name for my store. My plan and store lasted a maximum of 3 weeks.

Even though I failed at that moment, I Learned a lot. If you take anything away from this remember ALWAYS BUILD YOUR E-MAIL LIST! 

I also learned you will not find your passion by just sitting and thinking about what your passion might be. You have to go out there and do the work to find it

For more information on building your own business subscribe to my blog.