By now, we all know that we need an email list in order to stay in touch with our audience, promote books and products, drive conversion and upsells, and just generally develop a solid platform for everything we do as author-entrepreneurs.
But how the heck do you develop that list in the first place, especially if you’re just getting started?
Creating an Email List
This can seem like a daunting task at first, but it isn’t. I’m going to show you a clever way to utilize your YouTube comments to create an email list in five simple steps.
Now, while this isn’t super-hard, keep in mind that it will take time and effort! Creating an email list is a time-consuming project, because you need to get your own leads through searching for and finding people in your industry, then contacting them directly.
This is a task that is usually handled by a customer relations specialist, or the CEO of a startup company. The reason for this is because you want someone who is personable and easy to talk to. You want that potential lead to come to your business and buy your products—for authors, specifically, you want them to come to your website or Amazon page and buy your book!
Picking potential leads is also a skill you learn by interacting with people, communicating, and understanding what people are looking for. You’ll want to narrow down leads by:
Discovering these demographics for someone who might be a potential lead is a learned skill, not entirely an instinct. Instincts do help when picking up a potential lead, if you are aware of people and their needs.
Here’s how you can build an email list using YouTube comments.
Utilizing YouTube Comments
The best part about using YouTube comments is that you don’t even have to have a YouTube channel, although that helps. You can view the comments on most videos without ever making a video, or sometimes even without logging in.
Looking through the videos on YouTube, you will see hundreds upon thousands of comments on videos of people just talking about the content and thanking the YouTuber. These commenters are your potential customers, waiting for you to market to them and to join your email list. You just have to know how to bring them in and sell your book.
The hardest task at hand is getting the email. Getting the email means you turn a potential lead into a subscriber to your newsletter/email campaign/etc.
After that, you must gain their trust before you sell them anything. They need to know that you are listening to them and that you understand their needs and concerns—you can’t just jump right into trying to sell them things.
How to Build Your Email List with YouTube
Building your email list will take a few tools, including:
- effort and dedication
- communication skills
- ability to relate to people
- an internet connection with access to YouTube
- one YouTube account
- a word-processing program, such as Word, Notepad, Pages, etc.
These are all things most people have access to. If you do not have a YouTube account, I suggest you make one. It will benefit you in the long run.
Let me show you how to build your email list using YouTube comments in just five simple steps.
1. Find Relevant Videos
When you are on the YouTube homepage, you can search for any video topics you choose. I recommend you pick a topic based on your industry or genre—these will be your best potential leads to become customers.
Since I’m in marketing, I will search for “building a successful marketing career.”
The top videos that pop up all look great, but we want a recent video. Try to look for one that was done in the last year. The video I picked is the most recent, at 5 months. Click on it.
If you find a video that doesn’t have many comments, or the comments are older than a year, pick a different video or narrow your search.
Filtering your search will give you more recent videos from the last year. Pick a video from here, which will lead us to the video page with the YouTuber and commenters.
2. Contact the YouTuber
You can build your list off more than just YouTube comments; you can also contact the YouTuber personally. This works very well if done correctly and with tact.
You do not want to spam the video creator. You do want to invite them to have a look at your videos or your products because you both are a part of the same industry. This is where you can ask for their feedback or their advice to get the ball rolling.
Some great icebreakers include:
- asking about current industry strategies
- mentioning something from one of their video topics
- discussing upcoming trends in your industry
To contact the YouTuber, you just have to follow a few simple steps.
- Click on the Channels Name to go to their home page.
- Under their name, you’ll see a row of options. Select About.
- This will lead you to their About page, which will include where you can send them a message or fill out a small form to view their business email.
Sending the person a message on YouTube is fine, but it may get lost their fanbase of messages. It’s better to get the business email and message them directly.
3. Look at Newest Comments
Below a video is where all the comments are located. You can sort the comments by Newest First, which will give you the comments that are newer. You only want to look as far back as one year.
The idea behind this is that the newer the comment, the better the lead is—the topic is on the commenter’s mind. You can also read through the comments and see what is interesting to them, or if they want to learn the skill, which may help you to gear a certain product or idea their way.
For example, if we’re looking at videos on marketing, you can discover what marketing topics people are interested in and use that to shape your outreach. You can also find out if people are interested in learning to do certain things in the realm of marketing, then reach out to make them aware of your book, course, or webinar on that subject.
4. Contact or Comment
Now that you have a lengthy list of commenters to choose from, select your best candidates and click on their username.
This process is the same process you go through with the YouTube video creator.
What you can expect from this process is to repeat it until you build your list.
- Click on their username
- Click on the About header
- Land on the About page
- Initiate contact
Some commenters may not have an About section set up as part of their YouTube account, meaning there is no easy way to contact them. In this case, it’s best to select your next commenter and continue from there.
In the About section, you’ll see the same setup as for a YouTube video creator—however, it most likely will not include a business inquiry email.
This will be closer to what you see on some commenters’ About section. From here, you can choose to send the person a message, or you can follow their social media to contact them there.
Remember: you want to be courteous and polite, as having someone’s email address is much like entering their home. It’s very personal and sacred. People do not like clutter and junk in their home, so don’t give them any.
5. Begin to Build Your Email List
Before you begin emailing your potential leads, you might want to first draft up a sample email. I always try to get the basic template out of the way and fill it in from there, so I end up with something like this:
I fill in the brackets with personalized information. I make sure to address the person by their channel name, or the name provided in their description—this way they know you’re talking to them and it feels more personal.
You can choose to add a video from your own channel or a product you are offering for free. Do not try to sell them anything yet. You need to earn their trust before you can sell to them.
Make sure to alter this basic template to fit your needs and your industry. Whatever you want to say/add/take out/comment on, feel free to be yourself and take some creative liberty. You need to be authentic and real in your emails— otherwise, you may get no response.
After you send an email, all you need to do is wait for a response. After one week, send a follow-up email. If the person doesn’t reply to the follow-up email, they’re not interested—don’t email them anymore!
As you get responses, you can start building your list:
- As you receive emails back, enter them in your email marketing service (like MailChimp or Constant Contact)or in an Excel sheet. I do both to have a backup, just in case!
- Always stay on top of your subscribers list.
- Continue to reach out to commenters and YouTubers.
- Engage with your own viewers (if applicable) to make sure they’re on your mailing list.
Start Your Email Marketing
You have the tools to build your list and continue that growth as you develop your business and email strategy. Ideally, you’ll have about 500 email subscribers before starting an email campaign or newsletter—that’s a great amount to be able to see a real response from your efforts and to get significant sales and word of mouth as you roll out products, books, and other buying opportunities.
As you notice your business and popularity growing, continue building your list. Comments on YouTube will always be there, so the market for potential leads will always be full. Take advantage of this opportunity and build your email list constantly!
This may take up a lot of your time, but the benefits and end reward are very much worth the time you are investing in building your list.
Take the time now to build your list manually through YouTube comments, and reap the benefits as they come in through long-term, loyal customers who become avid fans, eagerly awaiting your next book, course, or product.
What’s your favorite email list-building strategy?
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