Start an Email List in 3 Steps [email series] (ep 40)

Start an email list

Are you ready to start an email list for your TPT business but need help figuring out where to start? I’m breaking it down into three simple steps to start without feeling overwhelmed!

As we all know, social media algorithms are constantly changing, and TPT needs to give us a way to contact our buyers. Creating an email list is essential for having a way to reach our audiences. 

In today’s episode, we are diving into the three simple steps for starting your email list, how to choose your email marketing provider, how to select your opt-in lead magnet, the best ways to promote your lead magnet, and a step-by-step walkthrough of getting your opt-in to your email list.

00:40 – The Power of email marketing as a TPT Seller

01:28 – What to look for when choosing email providers

04:34 – How to build a lead magnet that attracts the right audience

06:01 – The best ways to share your lead magnet to grow your email list

07:44 – How to deliver your lead magnet to subscribers using ConvertKit and Flodesk

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Hey TPT sellers ready to seek growth in your business. You’re in the right place. Welcome to the savvy teacher seller. I’m Kristen Doyle. And I’m here to give you no fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sale. Let’s get started y’all.

Hey, y’all, and welcome to this episode. Today, we are talking all about how to start an email list for your TPT seller business. Before we get into how you can start your email lists, let’s talk about why an email list is so important in the first place.

As you know, social media algorithms are constantly changing and TPT doesn’t give us a way to contact our buyers at all. So you don’t want to rely solely on either of those platforms to reach your audience. Email marketing is a great way to have a piece of your audience that you actually own. And it gives you a direct line of communication between you and those teachers who subscribe to your list. It’s a great place to build relationships. And of course, it gives you a way to promote your products and your blog posts as well.

So let’s dive into three steps for starting your email list. The first thing that you’ll need to do is choose your email marketing provider. You’ll use this platform to add people to your list, create emails, and then send those emails out all at once.

Now there are tons of email marketing providers out there, but the two most popular among TPT sellers are ConvertKit and Flodesk. Now I have tried every email marketing platform I think, under the sun. But here’s my quick comparison, just of Flodesk and ConvertKit.

Let’s talk about pricing first. So ConvertKit has tiered pricing which is very common in email marketing and this is based on the number of subscribers that you have. Flodesk on the other hand has a flat monthly fee. So Flodesk is the clear winner here in the long term, and ConvertKit is actually less expensive up to the first 3000 subscribers.

Let’s talk about the emails themselves. Now Flodesk is known for beautiful email templates. ConvertKit has a more straightforward layout that just looks like an email that you would write to a friend. This one’s a tie in my opinion, because while Flodesk emails are hands down prettier than ConvertKit. There is some research out there that shows for small businesses like ours, simpler email templates work better.

Let’s talk landing pages, both Flodesk and ConvertKit have beautiful landing page templates. I would say that ConvertKit wins here because they have more template options available. They have some more advanced features on the pages and they will allow you to use a custom domain for your landing pages where Flodesk does not.

When it comes to features, ConvertKit is known for advanced automation features, tagging and segmentation options. These can really help you to send more targeted emails to people based on specifically what they are interested in. Flow desk, on the other hand has much more basic features.

When it comes to integrations, this is how the two platforms work alongside the other tools that you’re using. ConvertKit has native integrations with over 100 platforms, which makes it really easy to add their forms to your website, connect to your shop, add your Facebook pixel to your landing pages, all of those sorts of things. Flodesk is a newer platform and they are pretty limited right now in terms of integrations. They really rely on you having a paid Zapier plan in order to integrate with almost anything.

Last up let’s talk data. Flodesk’s data and analytics are pretty basic at this point, although they have recently added some new features. ConvertKit definitely wins in the data and analytics category because they definitely have more robust features for that.

Bottom line, both Flodesk and ConvertKit are solid email marketing platforms that you could use for your TPT business. Both have their pros and cons. So it really is important to do your research and choose the one that works best for you. I would say at the end of the day Flodesk is prettier and cheaper. But ConvertKit offers more features and more room for growth.

Personally, I have been on ConvertKit tried several other platforms including Flodesk and have come back to ConvertKit now. Once you have chosen your email marketing platform, and you’ve set up your account there, you’ll need to create a great lead magnet. This is a free resource that you offer your audience in exchange for their email address. And it’s one of the best ways to get people to join your list since just asking them to subscribe to your newsletter isn’t very enticing.

Lead Magnets can be a single resource or some sellers offer access to a free resource library. For my thoughts on choosing between those two, check out episode 21 of the podcast. And we’ll link to that in the show notes. It’s also important to make sure your OPT in freebie is valuable and relevant to your audience so that they’re more likely to sign up for your email list. You can learn all about how to choose the perfect opt in freebie for your audience in Episode 22 of the show.

But a couple of things to keep in mind are that you want to choose an email opt in or a lead magnet that is something that your audience will absolutely love, something that any teacher in your target audience would like. But it is specific enough to limit your subscribers to those who are in your target audience. And not just any teacher in any grade level or niche. You want to make sure that you are choosing an opt in freebie that helps limit your audience because you don’t want people on your email list who aren’t your ideal customers.

Step three is to share that freebie or that lead magnet with the world and start growing your list. Once you have your lead magnet created, you’ll need to create a way to share it with your audience and get signups you’ll want to create a landing page that includes some information about your freebie as well as a form to sign up. I recommend that you include the title of your freebie, a photo of it, and at least a few bullet points that talk about the features and the benefits that subscribers are going to get out of downloading your freebie.

Now, if you don’t have a website of your own, you can use your email platform to create a landing page and direct subscribers to that. However, if you do have your own website, I really recommend creating a landing page on it instead of on your email marketing platform. This is good for a lot of reasons, including traffic to your website, and brand recognition. And if you ever do decide to change email marketing providers, it’s a lot easier to swap the form out on a landing page that lives on your website than it is to change all of the links to a ConvertKit or Flodesk landing page that lives on their website.

I recommend that you design the page on your website and then embed the form from your email platform onto the page. Quick tip for ConvertKit users, they have a WordPress plugin that will let you display one of their landing pages as a page on your website so that the URL shows up as your domain and it just displays their page content. It’s super easy to set up. So go check that out if you are a WordPress user and you’re using ConvertKit for email marketing.

Now once you begin getting subscribers, you’ll also need a way to deliver that freebie to them. On ConvertKit. You’ll do this right in the form or the landing page settings. Under incentive email. You’ll type up a little welcome email and there will be a confirmation button. You’ll upload your freebie directly to ConvertKit. Or you can also add a link to a free resource library or some other type of email opt in.

If you’re using Flodesk, there are a few more steps involved. First, you’ll create a segment to add subscribers to when they sign up for your form, then you’ll need to create an email that delivers the free resource. Next, you’ll create a workflow that sends the email to subscribers when they’re added to that specific segment. Now once your landing page is ready, it’s time to share it with your audience. So you can promote it on social media, on your website if you have one or in your note to followers. I also highly recommend that you pin your freebies because people love to find free resources on Pinterest as well.

If you do have a website, make sure that you include a signup form for your lead magnet on the homepage in your sidebar or in the footer of your site so that visitors can easily see that you have an email list and can opt in and subscribe.

Let’s recap those three steps to get started with your email list. First, you’ll choose your email marketing provider, then you’ll create a great opt in freebie and finally, share it with the world so you can start getting subscribers. Your action step for this week is to take some time to research ConvertKit and Flodesk and choose the one that works best for you. Then go ahead and start brainstorming ideas for your OPT in freebie.

Once you start building a list, you will need to start emailing them on a regular basis. And I cannot wait for you to hear next week’s episode featuring a special guest who’s going to help us with what to write in our emails to our list. She is one of the best and it’s such a great conversation. Stay tuned for that episode next week. Make sure to follow the show on your podcast app and you’ll get a notification when the next episodes available. Thanks for listening today. I’ll talk to you soon.

I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you did, please share it with another teacher seller who would also find it helpful. For more resources on Growing Your TPT business, head to Kristendoyle.co/TPT. Talk to you soon


Ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place.

I’m here to give you no-fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sales. We’re talking SEO, improving product listings, leveraging your website, and more. 

About Your Host

Your host, Kristen Doyle, has a decade of experience selling on TpT and has made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to! As a web designer and the go-to SEO expert in the TpT world, she loves helping TpT sellers stand out in the crowd & grow their businesses with passive income strategies.

Tune in to hear Kristen cover all aspects of running a TpT business – from leveraging SEO, to improving product listings, to effective TpT seller strategies for your store and website.