How to Build Email Lists: A Simple 3-Step Guide

Learning how to build email lists is the single best thing you’ll do for your business. I know you’d have read about it countless times, but that’s because it really is the underrated digital marketing channel out there.

I wrote about why you should drop everything you are doing and why you should build a list. It’s important. Don’t just read this and go back to doing whatever you do.

I am, by no means, a pro list builder. I only have a grand total of 265 subscribers and I started 4 months ago. But I only wish I started way before and I know how much of an opportunity has been lost just because I didn’t pay attention to list building. Email marketing should be your only focus, regardless of your business.

Read this first:

Why Email Marketing? 

Email Marketing Stats: Are you Still Doing The Small Stuff? 

11 B2B Email Marketing Examples You’d Fall in Love With

Here’s a simple guide to help you get started:

Start With OptinMonster

I’ve tried everything on the market and nothing comes close to OptinMonster when it comes to the heavy-lifting you need to start building your email list.

It’s a power-packed suite of tools.

OptinMonster provides you with tools like lead gen opt-ins, welcome Mat, lead generation wheels, click-trigger pop-ups, regular pop-ups, the ability to place opt-in forms wherever you’d want them to show up, and more.

Site-wide, OptinMonster will convert at around 1.56% normally, minimum. If you do a better job with your offers, design, timing, and how you work these tools on your site, you’d look at a slightly higher percentage.

You can start with Sumo for free so there’s really no excuse why you shouldn’t go and deploy OptinMonster on your site right now.

Make offers Now

Depending on your business, think up offers you can make. You could go with the traditional eBook offer, a resource kit, a simple discount coupon, a free trial, a free sample, or absolutely anything you could think of.

Now, making an offer is a simple proposition but you won’t ever know if you are making a convincing offer or not unless you test your offers. So, don’t be too hard on yourself and beat yourself with a stick if the offers you’d start making don’t convert as well as you expect.

Because. No. One. Knows. Until. You. Test.

How Many Offers? One, a few, or Many?

Choosing your email service provider will depending on a variety of factors, but let’s keep it simple for now.

How many offers would you be making? You could make a singular, site-wide offer (Like get 10% off on all your orders). Or you could be offering content upgrades for every single blog post you write (and that’s many offers). As such, if you were making only one or a few offers, all you’d need is Mailchimp. Period.

If you have many offers, you should consider using Drip or Convertkit — just to make your life a wee bit easier. It’s not that Mailchimp can’t do what Drip or Converkit can, but it’s not going to be straight-forward.

For every offer you make, you’d need to build email marketing sequences to help nurture your leads. The way you’d set up these emails is that for every 10 emails you send out, only one or two will be full-blown pitches or sales emails. All the others should be “information-based” — strive to provide value to your subscribers and respect the fact that they signed up.

Note: Despite your best efforts, you are bound to get “unsubscribers” — people will opt-out. They do so for many reasons and worrying about those who unsubscribe isn’t healthy.

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