Build an Email List from Scratch Quickly

If you’re focusing on growing your social media profiles, you’re wasting your time.

Sure, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram bring you traffic, but is it enough to sustain a business? People unfollow daily, and it’s never a guarantee of how many people see your content.

If you’re really wanting to make an improvement to business, like making more money, you need to prioritize building an email list rather than gaining followers.

An email list trumps social media in more ways than one. For starters, a person’s inbox is less crowded than their newsfeeds. That means more attention for you!

That said, are you ready to learn to build an email list effectively? It doesn’t matter if you only have one subscriber (even if it’s yourself). All you need is to put some effort into sticking with it.

Take a look at our ways of building an email list from scratch!

Know Your Target Audience

You can’t build an email list if you don’t know who you’re targeting, right? It’s the stepping stone to gaining subscribers.

Think about who’ll be interested in your product or service. Before you get a headache, know that you can have more than one marketing persona. Also known as a buyer persona, this is a template that you’ll use to create the ideal buyer.

Let’s say you’re a B2C company that sells baby products. Your target audience consists of moms.

That’s great, but if you really want to tempt those to open your emails, you need to delve further into detail. Instead of marketing to just moms, target busy stay-at-home moms.

You’ll have a better connection to a narrower audience. You’ll understand their pain points better, and what persuades them to buy more baby products.

If you were to try to appeal to all moms, it’s too broad of an audience to make an impact.

The more details you can fill in, the better off you’ll be. Having more than one persona will be beneficial in the long run as you can target more people that’ll be interested in what you have to offer.

Craft Opt-In Incentives

A person’s inbox is like their home. If they trust you, they’ll allow you inside. If not, good luck trying to get passed the door.

In order to make the potential subscriber realize you’re worth letting in, offer them something nice. We’re not saying you have to give a product away for free. Instead, you could offer a free e-Book, resource list, even a discount.

Once you know what you want as your incentive, advertise it everywhere on your site. Put it in the sidebar, in a pop-up, and your author bio, if you have a blog.

Don’t think you have to create incentives every week. This strategy caters towards efficiency.

If you have a hectic schedule (who doesn’t, nowadays?), create one tantalizing offer that’ll continuously draw in potential subscribers. Be sure it aligns with who your target audience is.

Use Social Proof to Entice Subscribers

You want people to take you seriously, right?

One way to get people to notice you is to leverage social proof, but more importantly, your numbers across social media platforms.

Instead of saying you have a few thousand followers here and there, tally them up. Your numbers will look more impressive if you have 500,000 rather than 10,000 Facebook fans, 5,000 Instagram followers, etc.

Your potential subscribers don’t need to know that these aren’t your actual subscriber numbers. It’s more about grabbing their attention so they realize you’re worth taking seriously.

People want to be where other people are. Having larger numbers gives an illusion of authoritativeness.

Obviously, you don’t want to lie and say you have one million followers altogether. Be truthful, even if you only have 300 total, that’s still impressive.

Host a Webinar

If you aren’t getting a lot of subscribers as it is, try hosting a webinar. It’s a seminar that’s done over the internet.

Those attending a webinar are a part of an audience. They can chat with you and other members. It’s much more interactive than just reading a blog post.

Not only that, but it’ll feel exclusive to the members if they know there are only a few spots open. It creates urgency. The way you get subscribers using this strategy is by gathering email addresses in exchange for a virtual seat.

You can then send them worksheets, or a list of tools after the webinar to keep their interest. From there, go ahead and send them some promotional content, but be sure not to spam them.

Offer Content Upgrades

As a business, it only makes sense for you to have a blog. If yours has been sitting dormant with no content on it, this strategy will inspire you.

Start by writing a blog post that teaches your audience something. From there, craft a separate piece of content that relates to the blog posts, but goes into more detail.

That second piece you write is called a “content upgrade.” Offer this as an incentive that’ll be attached to the blog post you previously wrote. When readers get to the bottom of the post, they’ll notice that if they enter their email address, they’ll get the content upgrade.

It’s a way to entice people and increase your subscription rate.

Have a Giveaway

A giveaway to gain subscribers is almost the same as one on social media. A person trying to gain more followers will give away a slew of products, and all you have to do to enter is to follow them and tag a few friends in the comments.

They gain more followers and draw attention to friends and family members tagged in the comments section. You can do the same with growing your email list.

All you need is a grand prize your audience will want, a free bonus incentive for non-winners, and bonus entries for referrals. In order for them to enter, they’ll give you their email address.  

To avoid those using bogus email addresses just for entry, make it an offer only potential customers will appreciate. This could be a product or service of yours.

To draw attention to your giveaway, make sure to advertise it on social media, and your website as well. Let friends and family know as well so they can tell others.

Utilize Pop-Ups

While you might not like pop-ups, they still get results, and there’s a way to utilize them without being seen as spammy.

For starters, don’t enable them as soon as someone clicks onto your website. That’s like asking for someone’s number when you never met them before. Let people get to know you a little better before asking them for their email address.

A lot of websites enable pop-ups when people move away from their site, whether that is to leave or to go to another tab. It’s less intrusive than one that appears right away.

Another pop-up you can utilize is one that sits quietly in the corner when someone visits your site. It draws attention without being annoying.

To maximize gaining subscribers, use a tantalizing opt-in offer with this strategy.

Advertise to Attract Subscribers

While you want to build your list organically, a little shortcut here and there doesn’t hurt. Taking out an ad or two on social media can boost your subscriber rate quickly.

To build your list this way, you’ll need to know which platforms your target audience are on. They have different demographics so make sure to do your research.

Guest Post on Different Websites

If you have a little time on your hands, and don’t mind offering your expertise to different audiences, you’ll want to consider guest posting. This is when you write content for someone else.

You’re probably thinking, why would I do that?

To put it simply, it gets your name and your business out there. You’re offering your expertise in exchange for a boost in SEO rankings, and a place to add a link.

Normally it’s unpaid, but you do get an author bio where you’re allowed to talk about who you are. Within that bio, you can include a link that leads people to your landing page, on which you will include your email opt-in.

Those who like what you wrote will be more than happy to check out your site, and ultimately, sign up for your list.

What to Do After Gaining Subscribers

With all the tips above, you’re on your way to gaining subscribers at record speed. However, what should you do after you have a good amount of email addresses?

Take a look at how to keep people subscribed.

Create Tempting Subject Lines

What was the last commercial email you opened? You probably chose it because it drew you in with a tantalizing subject line.

Do the same for your subscribers. As we stated before, a person’s inbox is less crowded than their social media newsfeed, but you still need to vie for their attention.

Increase your chances by crafting subject lines that make them want to click. Out of all the other emails they get, they’ll want to choose yours first.

Why is this important when building an email list? It ensures your subscribers stay subscribed. While you may not think of it, it’s a form of customer retention.

Keep it Short

A subject line that cuts off means you used too many words and it doesn’t display correctly in people’s inboxes. Keep it short and sweet.

While you have about 60 characters to play with, keep it around six to eight words instead. This ensures those viewing their mailboxes on mobile devices will be able to read all of it.

Most Important Words Go at the Beginning

The best way to capture people’s attention to put the most important words at the beginning. It gives them insight as to what the rest of the email will be about too.

For example, if you’re having a major sale, your subject line might look something like this: “Sale of the Year Happening Today!”

Specify if You Need Replies

In order to engage your email subscribers, let them know right off the bat if you need replies. Your email could look like this: “Thoughts Needed on New Courses.”

Don’t Be Afraid to Test

To get to know your audience better, test different types of emails. It could be a simple change such as swapping the images, or more complicated like rewriting copy.

Split your email list into different categories, such as one’s interested in your business, and ones that are still on the fence about it. This is known as A/B testing.

Test two different subject lines and topics to see which one grabs their attention more. If you’re running a promotion, change up the wording. Who knows, maybe saying “50% off” will perform better than “Buy 2, Get 1 Free”.

Utilizing A/B testing is a great way to know what’s working and what’s not. Give your customers the best version of your emails by taking the time to create different kinds of emails.

The Quickest Way to Building an Email List

Social media is great for engaging with your audience, but it’s not permanent. Most likely, you won’t have as many followers as you did yesterday.

With email, there’s less pressure. You don’t have to send one out every day.

Not only that, but an email list is a gateway to securing customers, both potential and existing. You can continuously engage them more than social media. When it comes down to it, prioritizing building your email list gets you a bigger and better return on your investment.

Want to change your digital marketing game? Contact us for a free digital marketing review!

Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry. With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

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About the author...

Located in the heart of the Emerald Coast - Destin, FL, founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization / and PR campaigns, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry.

With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

Jason Hall

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