How To Build Your Email List (without going insane)

How to build your email list

If you've heard it once you've heard it GAZILLION TIMES, right?
"The money is in the list".
"Build your list and the rest will follow".


I am going to share a few ways that don't include solely rely on spending the Zuckerberg dollar to help get your list up and running.

But before I do, let's preface this with a couple of preliminaries:

Is the money ONLY in the email list?
Nope, I don't think so - social media is huge, personal connections still matter (a LOT), video view audiences on Facebook and bot engagement are also major contenders.

In fact, a couple of my clients who are crushing it in their multi six figure businesses have tiny lists. The lists make a difference when you want to start having leverage and reaching more people.

Lists also matter because good old email data is something that won't be eradicated by an algorithm change or a platform disappearing with huge impact on your business.  

Do the numbers matter?
Yes and no. There is NO point having a huge email list if no one is reading your stuff or engaging with what you do. 

Vanity numbers mean nada.

In fact, I go through a regular list clean up at least once a quarter to make sure people still want to hear from me.

So, how DO you build an email list?

1. Make it easy to sign up.

This one might seem super obvious but it's SO often overlooked.

Make sure it's REALLY, no brainer easy to subscribe to your list from your website from the home page, blog posts, wherever a visitor might land.

Don't make us search around below the fold or play hunt the sign-up - if it's hard work, people just won't do it.

Useful Resources:
Pop Up Ally
Hello Bar


2. Add your opt-in link to your social media accounts and your email sign off.

Now, these things may sound super simple, but if you're not doing them you could be missing a trick.

Make sure that you leave the link to sign up to your email newsletter on your social media profiles and also on the bottom of your emails.

Make sure that people have many ways to be reminded they can stay in contact with you.

3. Give us a reason to sign up!

Offering something super valuable and targeted to your audience is a great way to build your email list.
Creating an opt-in is a fantastic way to ask for an exchange of an email address.

You could consider a PDF e-book, a set of audio, a combination of worksheets, audio and video, or a challenge; something that really adds value to what your audience are experiencing.

You could also consider creating a content upgrade, which is a specific opt-in for a particular blog post.
For example, if you have created a how to video, you could offer a worksheet, a tutorial as a downloadable PDF in exchange for an email address.

Getting creative with your opt-ins is a great way to experiment with what works for your audience and clients.

You could also create an opt-in as part of a Power Post, as I teach in my master classes, whereby we create a really killer, epic post that also has a content upgrade element too.

Useful Resources:
Power Post Training
Elizabeth Goddard (for EVERYTHING Convertkit and opt-in related)
Co-Schedule's post on content upgrades

4. Guest posting.

Guest posting is an often overlooked way to reach new audiences.

When you guest post, you are creating content for somebody else's website with another business blog in your industry,  or for an authority site where your ideal audience will be hanging out.

Make sure you do your due diligence and your research that the effort spent on creating a guest post for this audience will be worth your while.

I love to repurpose posts or videos that I have already created for my audience and re-word them and re-write them in a way that is perfect for the publication or the website that I am posting for.

Make sure also that when you do submit a guest post, that you include that all important link for your website and press release them when they do stay in touch with your newsletter. 

Useful Resources:
Dina Behrman's post on guest posting (featuring yours truly)

Gemma Went's Expert Q&A on killer content creation (also with me)


5. Webinars

Webinars are a really fantastic way to build your email list.
If you have some in-depth training that you can add value to your audience with, it's a great idea to set up lead capture pages to allow people access to the webinar and the replay.

Another twist to this is to do some JV webinars;  this is an exchange of a no-pitch webinar for someone else's audience in return for them doing one to yours. This creates a win-win situation because both audiences have a value add with some training that will enhance their business and both list owners have the opportunity to reach a new audience.

Useful Resources:
This blog on JV webinars by my Co Content queen Lacy Boggs

This article by Nathalie Lussier on JV webinars




5. Re-purpose, baby!


Don't underestimate the value of cross-posting and repurposing!
Make your content work harder for you by letting tech do the heavy lifting. For example, once you have created a blog post, make sure you schedule that blog post across your social media networks.

In addition to that, make sure that you also use IFTTT to make that reach amplified even further; for example, I set it up to say that when I repurpose a post onto Instagram, that Instagram post also gets posted to my Facebook page and also as a native image to Twitter.

I also have a recipe set up so that everything that gets posted to my Facebook page also gets posted to my LinkedIn profile.

Useful Resources:

My post over on Business Women Media on re-mixing content


6. Paid Traffic

Paid traffic also a fantastic way to build your email list, but I also want to make sure that you use the organic ways first.

The paid traffic can help you drive traffic to specific blog posts where your audience can opt in for a content upgrade or for your email list. It can drive traffic to your webinars and people can opt in. Best of all, you can always re-target people who have visited your particular blog post.

Make sure you are combining several ways to build your email list, though. Don't rely just on the paid traffic method alone, as it can become really costly until you have a final setup in place that is working super smoothly, like clockwork.

In the Power Post training, we have a bonus module teaching you exactly how to re-target traffic that has visited your page to ensure that they also join your list as part of the opt-in.

I would love to hear which of the above ideas excite you the most, and which you are going to try.


Jo GiffordComment