I’ve been building emails lists since 1996. I got my initial start participating in old Compuserve forums. I’d answer questions, provide value, and give links to my content. I have clients who still use similar methods today with Facebook groups and Linkedin groups.
I’ve helped clients build large email lists in hundreds of different markets over the years. I currently work with clients who have lists anywhere from a few hundred up to 600,000 and growing subscribers.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
So how do you get started building an email list?
Before we get into 3 list building strategies, let’s talk about one of the foundational elements…the ‘ethical bribe’ or ‘lead magnet’ you give to someone when they join your list.
If your website simply says, “join my list…and I’ll send you email updates”
A few people may join, but that’s really not that enticing.
Instead, you need to offer them a benefit…and it needs to be a really strong benefit.
This is no different than selling a product. You’re asking for their email address. It has value to them. What will you give them in exchange for that value?
It could be a PDF special report, an audio interview, or a short video. But whatever it is, it has to help them solve a desperate problem.
You could even do a quiz for an opt-in and give your new subscribers a customized answer to their problem. But that’s on the more advanced side. We’ll cover it at another time.
Right now, just think about what ONE piece of information you could share that would really knock someone’s socks off?
Or share a case study that illustrates how you or one of your clients have personally solved a difficult problem.
Or hand them a template, cheat sheet, or some other type of tool they can get immediate value from.
You may need to test a couple of Lead Magnets to find one that really grabs your visitors and gets them to opt-in to your list.
Once you have this in place, it’s time to move to the list building strategies that work.
All 3 of the methods I’m going to share today are based on the same system.
Find a hungry audience.
Deliver value to them.
Offer your Lead Magnet as a content upgrade.
Give first and prove your worth…before asking for someone’s email address in return.
Strategy #1: Youtube Videos
Youtube is 2nd most popular search engine after Google. Plus, Google gives extra weight to videos on Youtube since its their site.
You’ll find it’s a lot easier to attract eyeballs to your content using Youtube than it is from your own website…especially when you’re first starting out.
There’s a lot we could get into about how to target the right keyword phrases, what to produce, and how to create videos people want to watch.
The best advice I can give you is to just get started.
Create your first video and go from there.
If you have a webcam on your computer, that’s the perfect tool for your first video.
Or simply use your iPhone.
Come up with a topic you can talk about for 3 to 10 minutes.
Start typing a phrase into the Youtube search box and see what suggestions Youtube makes.
For example, if I type “golf swing tips”, Youtube suggests longtail keyword phrases like golf swing tips slice, golf swing tips for seniors, golf swing tips for women, and so on.
Type in any subject and let Youtube suggest potential keywords you could go after.
Of course we could go deeper in keyword research than this, but that’s enough to get started for your first video. Set your iPhone on a tripod and shoot your first golf video.
Make a call-to-action for people to visit your site and get your free gift near the end of the video. Add a Youtube card and end screen using their built-in templates with a call-to-action to go to your site.
And that’s just the beginning. From there, learn more about Youtube and keep adding new videos on a consistent schedule.
It takes time to get traction with Youtube.
Strategy #2: Write guest posts for popular blogs.
Again, popular blogs have a built-in audience. And they’re constantly looking for great new content to share with their list.
You may already read a few blogs on your topic. If so, contact them and suggest a post you can write.
Give them two or three exciting topics you can write about. First do a search to see if there are any instructions for guest posts on their blog. If they have a search box, type in ‘guest post.’
If not, go over to Google and search their domain name + guest post.
If they have instructions for guest posts, follow those rules. If not, try contacting them through their contact form or connect with them on social media and send them a message.
You can also search Google for your topic plus guest post to find other blogs that accept guest posts.
When a blogger says yes, create amazing content for them…1,500 words, 2,000 words, or more.
You’re not going to promote yourself. You’re giving value. You’re giving specific steps or sharing a case study.
Then at the end of your post, you get to write a bio and a link over to your site where people can get your free content upgrade.
It’s amazing what a guest post on a high traffic blog can do. You can generate 50, 100, or 300 subscribers from a single popular blog.
Strategy #3: Be a guest on podcasts.
Do a search for podcasts in your niche. iTunes is the kind of podcasts so start your search there.
You likely won’t be able to get on the most popular podcasts starting out, so look for a few of the medium size to smaller ones.
Visit their websites.
Come up with your hook. Why would they want to invite you to their show?
I’ve appeared on a lot of podcasts over the past year…and they primarily invited me for my expertise with email marketing or my experience with improving conversion and sales.
Plus I have an interesting story to tell of going from a pizza delivery driver to becoming an online marketer and coaching thousands of other entrepreneurs over the past two decades.
You have a story to tell as well. You just have to find your story.
Your story includes value you can share. I often share multiple email tips along with my Golden Glove strategy for increasing website conversion quickly while telling my own story.
Share 20, 30, or 60 minutes of value….whatever the length of their show..and at the end they will ask you how people can get in contact with you.
That’s your opportunity to share your free lead magnet. Tell them about your free gift and how to go to your site.
Did you catch what we did with all 3 of these strategies?
We found an already hungry audience and way to deliver content and value to them.
You then delivered that value by video, audio, or written format.
You connected your content with a free content upgrade where they can get more.
That’s the way to attract the right subscribers to your list. You’ve already built your authority with them. They already know, like, and trust you when they join your list!
You’re not creating a list of low-value subscribers. You’re attracting potential buyers from the get-go.
Let me leave you with one final bonus method for growing your list fast.
Once you’ve put one of these 3 strategies into place, then you can consider rolling out your marketing even faster with paid advertising.
My clients with the biggest lists all do some type of pay-per-click advertising through Facebook, Youtube, or the Google Display network.
We’re not going to go into these methods right now, because there is a lot involved in each of them.
You need to know who your audience is and how to deliver value to them.
And you also need to know the lifetime value of a customer…how much can you afford to spend for each new customer.
It can be expensive to attract quality subscribers so you need your system in place.
Start with one of the 3 strategies I mentioned first.
Build a small list and make it profitable.
Then when you’re ready to speed up the process, test one of these advertising methods.
And if you’d like to turn that new list into income, check out Autoresponder Alchemy.
It will show you step-by-step how to turn even small lists into big income…