Alright, let’s talk about list building.
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I started my business was playing the comparison game.
I remember having those days slouching in my computer chair feeling utterly sorry for myself.
I was comparing myself to other people online, thinking: how do they make it look so easy?
Are other people just lucky?
Do they have more connections than me?
Have they got more time, money and resources than me?
Does this way of business actually work for “someone like me?”
Too many business owners (including myself) play the comparison game.
But it wasn’t luck, connections, resources or even money.
I was lacking an engaged email list.
It was a BIG awakening for me.
I realised that I was doing business the wrong way and if I started focusing on growing and nurturing my email list I would ALWAYS have a primed audience who would be ready to hear about my products and services.
And that was the moment when I decided to make list building my number one goal.
Seriously, the day I focused on my email list is the day when everything clicked into place.
So, brace yourself, because we’re going to the…
List Building Party 🎉
But first things first, what is an email list and why the heck do I even need one?
Basically, an email list is a list of subscribers who sign up to you to contact them via email. Do you receive emails from brands? Then you’re probably on their email list! It’s the same kinda thing 🙂
If you’re going to be selling products or services, you NEED to have an email list. This is because the success of your products and services rely on the quality of your email list. Here’s 4 reasons why:
Get your message seen
Your audience is waaay more likely to see your email compared to a social media post.
Social media is flooded with so much information that it can be really easy to get distracted.
It’s difficult for your audience to determine which post is the most “important” for them and they’re not as invested in you compared to email.
PLUS, you can’t guarantee that people will see your post because you don’t know whether people are checking their phone.
But with an email list? It’s literally sitting in your inbox waiting to be opened! This gives your ideal client more opportunity to read your email. Yippee!
Do you remember the Big Facebook Crisis?
Well… Facebook changed their algorithms so that it was more difficult for people to get views on their content. So, those people who were posting on their pages who were getting a ton of likes and comments, were now struggling to get views.
This just goes to show that you can’t rely on social media to connect with your audience because of the algorithmic nature of these platforms. So, this includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Bottom line. An email list gives you much more control. You OWN your followers and nobody can take them away from you! (And you can get in touch with people whenever you want to!)
They’re more personal
A person’s email inbox is like their virtual home and it’s a pretty big deal when someone invites you into it.
If someone gives you their email address they’ve pretty much given you their digital phone number and permission to contact them. Pretty sweet right?
When someone signs up to your email list, they’re basically saying:
“I’m interested in what you have to say”
“I’m ready to learn more about…”
“I’m interested in what you’re creating”
“I mean business!”
PLUS, your message to them is “private” — only they can read your email. Meaning that you can connect with your audience in a much deeper way.
So, you can share personal stories and be more vulnerable than you would be on the big wide web.
On social media it’s difficult to personalise your content.
But with an email list? You can and you should make it feel like you’re talking to one person.
And there are so many ways that you can do this with an email list. You can include their first name, add tags, segment your list, plus so much more!
Bottom line, having an email list allows you to build trust and a personal connection with your audience. (Which are all deciding factors that determine whether someone is going to buy from you!)
Another reason why you need to have an email list is because it has a higher conversion rate.
Basically, your email list converts subscribers into customers.
And if you’re planning on selling products and services, you’re going to get more sales from your email list compared to your social media.
Let’s say for example, you create a post on Instagram sharing info on your product. On average 1% of people will purchase your product. So, if 100 people saw your post, you’ll have 1 sale from that group of people.
But with an email list?
If you share the exact same information but you send it to your email list, 1-3% of people will purchase your product so you could make 3 sales. Big difference right? Right!
Bottom line? If you send the same information to your social media, blog post or email list, you’ll get more sales from your email list. (Guaranteed!)
Sell digital products on auto-pilot
Having an email list is a wonderful way to send value-filled emails so people can see that you can help them with their problem. (And you can show them first-hand that your blog posts, guides or workshops can solve their problem!)
An email list is an underutilized marketing powerhouse that sells your digital products for you on AUTOPILOT! (Meaning that you can sell your digital products every single day!)
So, if you want to have a sustainable online business that’s fuelled by products and services, your email list needs to be one of your biggest priorities.
I think I’ve drilled it into you why it’s important to have an email list (I hope you’re with me on this!)
The question is, how do you get started with list building? Well my friend, here are 7 strategies that will get you started with list building so that you can grow your business and make more money!
Choose an email platform
If you’re serious about list building then you need to choose an email provider.
And you need to stick with it long enough so that you give yourself time to see results.
One of the biggest mistakes I made in my business is that I was always switching between providers so I didn’t give myself time to focus on one platform to focus on list building. Please believe me when I say that!
And the question I get a lot is…
How do I choose the right email provider to run my business?
If you’re a blogger, small business owner and you’re just looking for a tool to start list building then I recommend Convert Kit.
Because it’s easy to use and it’s budget friendly! Otherwise, if you’re looking for an email provider that has landing pages and a platform to host your digital products then I recommend Kartra (affiliate link). Without question.
Kartra is a wonderful all-in-one business platform that consolidates your digital products, landing pages, funnels, payments and checkouts in one place. (And it’s well worth the investment if you want to grow your income and business!)
Create a lead magnet
Ah yes, the famous lead magnet! That delightful piece of content that does the list building leg work.
If you’re just getting started with list building, you want to create a core lead magnet.
Typically, a lead magnet is a freebie such as a PDF, cheat sheet or audio that you offer your audience in exchange for their name and email address.
It’s essentially a free bribe that you offer to build a relationship with your audience so that they’re more ready to buy from you when you launch your digital products. Pretty neat huh?
Don’t forget, your lead magnet needs to be hyper-relevant to your audience. So, make sure it’s easy to digest, highly actionable (and something that your audience actually wants and needs!)
Avoid this silly mistake and aim to create a lead magnet that solves a specific problem for your audience.
This sounds like a given but trust me, it’s one of the biggest mistakes I see. Seriously, people will work super hard to create a lead magnet only to discover that it doesn’t work (aka people don’t sign up!)
Remember, people are searching for solutions to their problems until they find something that has the “Omg, yesss, that’s me” bell ringing off in their head.
Here’s some questions to consider to create a lead magnet that converts!
- What does my ideal client need to believe or want in order to sign up to my list?
- How will my lead magnet solve one problem for my ideal audience?
- Which one quick win will my audience get from it?
Let’s say for example, you’re a Pinterest Manager and you help people grow their website traffic with Pinterest. You might write a blog post, such as “5 Steps to grow your website traffic with Pinterest”.
And you might create a lead magnet like “5 Surefire Ways to grow your website traffic with Pinterest”.
If your lead magnet was “5 ways to find love” then it wouldn’t be as relevant to your audience and people won’t sign up to your list.
What can you notice about this example?
Well…the lead magnet naturally flows from your blog post. This is important because you want to grow a targeted audience of people who want to learn Pinterest to grow website traffic.
If your lead magnet was “5 ways to pull out your garden weeds” then it wouldn’t be relevant to your audience so people won’t sign up to your list.
An extreme example I know, but you get the point! 😝
Bottom line. Create a lead magnet that is hyper-relevant to your audience and solves one problem. (So that you attract the right audience of people!)
Create quality content consistently
This sounds like a given but it’s hugely overlooked.
If you want to seriously supercharge your list building efforts then you need to create quality content consistently.
Have you ever heard of the one thing?
When you focus on ONE thing, you create extraordinary results.
That’s why I recommend focusing on growing ONE audience of people.
And when you niche down on your topic, you create a solid foundation for your business.
That’s right, it becomes easier for people to understand what your purpose is and it helps them to determine whether you can help them. Does that make sense?
So friend, think about what content you’re going to on a consistent basis to grow your audience.
Seriously, posting consistently will help you to become known for one specific thing. (And when you’re known as the go to person for one thing, you’ll supercharge your list building!)
Send this welcome email
Let me guess…
You’ve worked super hard to create a lead magnet for your audience.
So, you create a welcome email so that people receive it as soon as they sign up to your email list.
And it goes something like this… “You just signed up to my freebie, click here to download it, thanks!”
This is the worst thing that you could do because you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect with your subscribers!
So, my dear friend, instead of confirming that they’ve signed up to your list, use your welcome email to confirm their new motivation.
Seriously, when you show your subscribers that you SEE them and HEAR them, they’ll trust you more than anyone else because they’ll feel understood by you.
And people love to feel understood!
Oh!!! And one more thing! When you show them what signing up to your email list says about them you dial up your credibility and leadership. (And they’ll see you as the go-to person in your niche, guaranteed!)
So, if they’ve signed up to your email list, I challenge you to reflect back to them what it says about them. Got it? (I hope you’re nodding your head off!)
Curious about how to create a nifty welcome email? Sign up to my email list to find out!
Related: How to create an epic welcome email sequence
Create content upgrades
Content upgrades are amaaazing for list building.
Basically, they’re wonderful pieces of bonus content that are literally an “upgrade” of your blog post. So, think cheat sheet, workbook or swipe file. Basically, anything that gives them a way to dive deeper into your content.
Let’s say you’ve created a nifty blog post on “5 was to make your living room cosy”. An awesome idea for a content upgrade might be a guide where you give additional information on your blog post.
And, this might be “8 ways to make your living room cosy”. So, you might share another 3 tips to offer additional value from your blog post. (And in your call to action headline, you might say want to learn 3 other tips to make your living room cosy?).
Ideally, you want to create a content upgrade for every blog post so that you’re optimising your list building efforts. And I don’t know about you but that’s A LOT to strive for.
Instead, create as many content upgrades as you can. So, roughly 10-15 content upgrades.
Oh and your content upgrades need to be directly related to your blog post. In other words, they need to naturally flow from your blog post and not just something random you stick there for the sake of it.
And if you’re feeling overwhelmed about creating content upgrades you can re-use them on different blog posts as long as they’re relevant.
Ready to step up your list building with content upgrades?
Great! I recommend that you start with your top 5 most viewed blog pages and create nifty content upgrades for those posts. Can you do that?
Speaking of which… if you want to get your first 1000 email subscribers, grab my workbook. (And get a shot of confidence to continue attracting the right audience!)
See what I did there?
Here’s examples of blog posts where I used content upgrades:
18 Badass Emails You Need to Send To Your Email List
How to Start, Manage and Grow an Email List
How to Create a Staggeringly Good Sales Page For Your Digital Product
Bottom line. Content upgrades are fantastic for supercharging your list building. Just make sure that your content upgrades are hyper-relevant to your blog posts so that you grow an audience of the right people.
Place forms all over your site
Now brace yourself because here’s the truth. People don’t want to look for your opt ins. You need to make them visible and abundant on your site (so that you give people plenty of opportunity to opt in!)
Have you ever heard of the rule of SEVEN? Sister, where have you been?!
Well…it takes someone at least seven times to see something before they take action. That’s why, I recommend that you place your opt in on 7 places on your website.
(Seriously, this strategy alone will skyrocket your list building, more than any other list building strategy!)
Bonus points: fuel your call to actions with personality-filled call to actions.
Don’t just do the standard “download here”. Yawn.
Create strong call to actions like “give it to me!” or “I need this!”. Notice the difference?
Share your content
Have you created some awesome blog posts or freebies?
Are you actively sharing your content? Didn’t think so!
If you’ve created an epic blog post or freebie you want to spend 20% of your time creating it and 80% of your time promoting it. (But far too often we do it the other way around!)
We work super hard to create a lead magnet or blog, share it once on social media and then completely forget about it! Sound familiar?
Let’s change that starting from today shall we?!
So, if you want to become a list building WARRIOR you need to consistently share your free content.
Why do I suggest this?
Because no matter how good your products and services are, most people need to develop trust with your brand before they buy from you. (And creating value-filled content is the best way to build trust!)
Even when you’ve got a KILLER SEO strategy, it can take up to a year to get ranked on the first page of Google. So, think of another system that you can use to drive traffic to your content to supercharge your list building.
My number ONE system for driving traffic to my website?
Since using Pinterest to share my blog posts and freebies, I’ve substantially increased my blog traffic.
Don’t know much about Pinterest? Basically it’s a marketing unicorn that drives traffic to your website with the power of keywords. How does that work?
Let’s say for example, someone wants to learn about list building. They might go on Pinterest and in the search field type in “list building”. Several pins will be displayed in the feed.
BOOM. They click on the pin that is most RELEVANT to them. Can you see how that works?
That’s why, I’m personally O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with Pinterest, not because it’s pretty but because 93% of pinners use it to plan purchases. (Meaning that my audience on Pinterest mean business, so if they find my blog valuable, most likely they’ll sign up to my email list!)
Now, posting consistently on Pinterest is essential for list building. And in order to stay consistent, I pin 30 pins a day. What the heckkk??? It’s a lot right? (And I don’t have the time to spend 30 minutes a day on Pinterest when I can be focusing on other list building activities!)
Tailwind allows me to pin up to 150 pins across multiple boards over multiple days. Seriously, all I have to do is dedicate one hour a week to schedule my pins and the rest is done for me! (And this system alone drives organic traffic to my website on auto-pilot!)
But what about other social platforms?
I hear ya! If you want to promote your nifty free content on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram then I absolutely recommend Smarter Queue!
Smarter Queue is a marketing ninja that schedules your posts to Facebook and Twitter (not to mention Instagram and Pinterest!).The beauty of this tool is that I can organise my content based on blog posts, freebies/content upgrades, affiliate promos and product promos.
So I know that all of my content is being shared to my audience multiple times each day. (And I’ve got a tool that does a lot of the list building for me!)
All I have to do?
Schedule 10 posts on Smarter Queue and it does the leg work for me! Seriously, it recycles my content to make sure that I’m driving regular traffic to my nifty free content. (And it works like a miracle for turning my readers into email subscribers!)
So, if you want to supercharge your list building you should definitely give these 7 strategies a try.
Plus, if you want to ignite your list building starting from today, download my banging workbook (and get a shot of confidence to continue attracting the right audience!)
If you want to read more on list building here’s my other articles:
How to start manage and grow an email list
18 badass emails you need to send to your email list
How to grow your audience for your digital product
And you made it to the end!
Did you find this post helpful? If so, could you be a rockstar and share it on Pinterest?
That would be amaaazing 🙂 To share on Pinterest, just hover over the image and click on the “P” button (And you can save it for later when you need some kickass list building tips!)
Do you know what would make my day? If you commented below to let me know what list building strategy you’re the most EXCITED about. You legend!