How to Build Your Email List

Nov 16, 2016 | List Building

*** Updated June 2021***
Most of the time when someone asks how to build an email list, what they really want to know is “What are the list building strategies I can use to get 1,000 people on my email list this month so I can start selling to them?” People won’t often admit it, of course. Honestly, if I could give you one tip that would answer that question wouldn’t you go for it in a heartbeat?

How to Grow Your Email List

Before I give you ideas on how to get more email subscribers, I feel like I have to explain something. The very nature of building an email list has nothing to do with the size of the list. It has to do with the interaction and loyalty of the people on that list – the engagement you have with them. And that takes time, attention and quality content. You can’t just add people to a list and let them hang out there until you’re ready to sell to them. You need to give them a reason to want to hear from you.

Once you’ve committed to the proper care of an email list, you want to give people every opportunity to opt-in to that email list. It isn’t easy to get someone to give up their email address. It’s your job to make opting in easy and compelling.

Using Opt-in Boxes to Build Your Email List

To make subscribing to your email list easy, you want several places on your website where people can opt in to receive some type of freebie. If you’re unfamiliar with opt in boxes and landing pages, you can find more info here. The sidebar and header of your site are common locations for an opt-in box. But you should also consider adding a pop up. Even though just about everyone will say they hate pop ups, the truth is, they work. Today’s pop ups have settings that allow you to make them as customized as you like.

This is one example of a pop up:

using an opt in box to build an email list

Other great places to have opt-ins that will help grow your email list:

Email signature line:

Signature line opt in to build a list

Social Media profiles:

List Building Using Social media opt in

Business card:

Build Your Email List with a Business Card opt in

 

Using Freebies to Grow Your Mailing List

When creating your list building freebie, you want something that will attract the right type of person to your list. The freebie should be something that offers a quick win to the person receiving it, but doesn’t take you a long time to create. Consider the fact that the person opting in is probably a newbie in your area of expertise. Ask yourself:

  • What questions do newbies in your field want answered?
  • Which questions do you get asked all of the time?
  • What do you wish you’d known when you were first starting out

Stay away from list building freebies that don’t offer a really quick win for your reader. They’ll put it aside to work on later and will probably never get back to it and, thus, never realize how valuable your content is to them.

Keep in mind, that when people are opting in for the freebie, they don’t need to know all the information you have on the subject. Now that you’ve added them to your email list, you can provide more helpful tips and guidance in the amazing content you’ll be sending to them on a regular basis.

Checklists, like my launch checklist, that people can print out and go through quickly are great ideas for freebies.

Online launch checklist to build your email list

Using Great Content for List Building

No matter how many places you guest post, how many blogs you write or how many emails you send out, if you want to build an email list quickly, you need to provide amazing content. Nothing you do will build a mailing list more quickly than word of mouth.

If you want people to share your terrific email with their friends, make sure those friends can easily find a way to add themselves to your list. Post snippets of your blog on social media and provide a spot on the blog to opt in to get a freebie that compliments the blog’s content like this one I inserted in a blog post called Launch Tech: The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money. The graphic is a Leadbox, created on Leadpages.

Leadbox opt in for building a mailing list

Have a spot on your social media profiles where people can sign up for your email list via an app or Call to Action (CTA) in your header. At the end of each email, encourage people to share the email with a friend who needs the information you just gave. It’s funny how often people don’t realize it’s okay to forward an email from a list they’re on.

Building a strong, responsive mailing list takes time. It takes work. But if you leverage the work you’re already doing to create amazing content that your followers love to read, you’ll have a list of raving fans before you know it!

If you’re convinced you want to build a list, but aren’t sure where to start, including which software you will need, you’ll want to check out: Which Software Do You Need to Build and Grown an Email List? 

 

Image Copyright: peshkov / 123RF Stock Photo

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