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How to start your email list as a yoga teacher

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There may be affiliate links in this post. This means I may receive a reward or commission if you purchase something through my link, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products, services or courses I have personally used or tested and love! (you know, Karma and all)

OK, so we’ve established that every yoga teacher needs an email list. Now how do start your email list as a yoga teacher? 

First of all, you need an email service provider like Convertkit, Mailchimp or Mailerlite to start an email list. An email service provider is software that can send hundreds of personalised emails simultaneously. Maybe you’re not emailing hundreds of people – yet! – but you will at some point as your yoga business grows! 

Why do you need an email service provider to start an email list as a yoga teacher?

DIY’ing is a bad idea

You reeaaally don’t want to email your students from your gmail/hotmail/yahoo account. For privacy reasons (eg the GDPR legislation in Europe), you need to be able to prove that someone wants to be on your email list, or that they ‘opted in’, as we say. 

Anyone who’s on your list should also be able to unsubscribe easily from any of the emails you sent. 

So I’m hoping you’re not DIY’ing it with a spreadsheet and bcc’ing everyone from your gmail account, because frankly, that’s illegal! Using your gmail account like this may get your account shut down. Not to mention that you could accidentally cc everyone instead of bcc them (it happens, no shaming here!), so all those email addresses are there for all the recipients to see. Talk about a privacy breach! 

You’re a professional yogapreneur

Also, DIY’ing it looks so damn unprofessional, and that’s not the vibe you want to put out as a yoga business owner, is it? Most ESPs come with built-in, beautifully designed templates you can customise to your branding. Using these, people will start to recognise your emails – and your amazing yoga newsletter content will make sure they click to open and read your emails!

It’s a fact that people are much more likely to buy from you, become a client or student from one of your emails than they are from your social media posts. You’re a professional yogapreneur, now’s the time to start acting like it with your yoga newsletter!

You need to personalise your email content

What’s more, with an email service provider you can personalise every email. Your subscribers are much more likely to open and read your emails if they are addressed to them personally. Our own first name is the most powerful word in the world to us, after all! 

But it doesn’t just end there. You can personalise content based on whether they are already students or clients, or any way you want to segment and tag your email list. You can get very granular with this if you have a big email list, but even if you’re just starting this is something you want to do! 

For instance, if you’re promoting a monthly yoga membership, you don’t want your emails to go to people who’ve already signed up, do you? That’s just plain annoying, and it will make your students unsubscribe faster than lightning!

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    Valuable insights

    And lastly, an ESP will provide you with valuable insights and statistics. You can check open rates and click rates so you’ll learn exactly what your audience responds to, what they click on, etc. You’ll see if they like shorter emails or longer emails, what kind of subject line works best, and what offers they click on and buy.

    In summary, an email service provider:

    Helps you abide by the privacy laws by handling opt-ins and unsubscribes for you

    Makes your emails stand out and look professional

    Allows you to personalise your content so it feels like you’re talking to THEM, about what’s relevant to them

    Will teach you exactly what works and doesn’t, so you can find your voice and develop your offerings as a yoga teacher.

    How to choose an email service provider

    There are many, many, many of them, and it really depends on what you need. Most email service providers are free to begin with, so the price is not an issue if you’re a starting yoga teacher! What to look for in an email service provider when you start your yoga email list?

    • Deliverability
    • Intuitive to use
    • Comes with opt-in forms and landing pages
    • Ability to tag and segment

    Deliverability

    Some ESPs are better at delivering your emails than others. Your emails going to someone’s spam folder? That’s a deliverability issue. It happens, but if your open rates are very low (less than 15%), you’ll want to look into this.

    Intuitive to use

    I’m pretty techy. I’ve built two websites from scratch (this one, and the one you’re on now), and I’m not afraid to try things out. But if the user experience is bad and a programme is not intuitive, I’m out.

    Software like this needs to be easy to use, even for non-techy people. We have yoga teaching to do, not getting headaches from trying to figure out how to send a personalised email to our students!

    Comes with opt-in forms and landing pages

    Most of the ESPs will come with pre-designed opt-in forms. Some will also offer landing pages as part of your package. Especially if you don’t have a website yet, and you don’t want to pay for a landing page provider like Lead Pages, this is essential. It means that you can send people to the landing page to subscribe to your email list from your social media accounts!

    Ability to tag and segment

    There is a bit of a learning curve here, knowing who and how you should tag people, but it is worth it. Making sure your emails reach the right people on your list is essential to keep your deliverability and open rates high.

    ESP reviews

    I’ve worked with Mailchimp, Mailerlite and Convertkit and I’m testing some others so I can update this post later. The one I use now is Convertkit. Here is my personal review of ESPs!

    Mailchimp

    Like many people, I started out with Mailchimp. It’s free for up to 2000 subscribers and it (now) includes opt-in forms and landing pages. But, I found it to be very clunky to use (not intuitive), and if you want to tag and segment, use an email template or brand your content, you have to pay. In my opinion there are better ESPs in the market!

    Mailerlite

    I switched to Mailerlite from Mailchimp because it included landing pages (at the time Mailchimp didn’t have these) and tagging options. There was a free plan for up to 1000 subscribers called “Forever Free” so I signed up. Well, then one day they decided to take away a bunch of the features I signed up for.  They made a “Free plan” for up to 1000 subscribers without those features and a paid plan for up to 1000 subscribers with those features. Meaning I suddenly had to start paying, even though I signed up for a ForeverFree plan with all features included! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to give my money to peeps who do business like that!

    Also, they had some very bad deliverability issues. When I moved from Mailerlite to Convertkit, my open rates suddenly went from 17% on average to 30+% – without doing a list clean before the move (which was silly of me, but I didn’t know any better then 😉 )

    Convertkit

    I’ve been using Convertkit for the past 2 years and I’m really happy with it. (I wouldn’t recommend this to you otherwise!). They now have a free plan for up to 1000 subscribers which is all you need to start with. It’s easy to use, the email deliverability is great, and the tagging and segmenting functions are excellent.

    It comes with opt-in forms and landing pages, though in all honesty I am not a fan of them. I do use some of them (like the slide-in opt-in form you saw in the bottom left corner of this page!), and they work like a charm, but they are not 100% customisable. You can change pictures and colours to your brand colours and pictures, but not really move things around or build a form from scratch. I guess when you’re just starting, that’s probably not what you want to do anyway, so the pre-designed forms will do!

    Need help switching to ConvertKit? Sign up through my link and I’ll give you 2 hours of support (strategic and tech/practical) setting up your account for you! Alternatively, you can book a yoga business coaching Power Hour through this link.

    Start your email list as a yoga teacher right from the beginning… you’ll be so happy you did in the future!

    Read more: 6 tips to write a killer yoga newsletter or blog post your students will love

    I hope this article was useful to you. Please leave a comment or question below!

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    This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get paid a small amount at no extra cost to you. Karma can be a b*tch, so I don’t recommend products that I haven’t used or tried out myself 😉.

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