7 Ways to Build an Email List Without Losing Your Mind, Money, or Time

I have literally built a multi-million dollar business on the strength of my email list. Ninety percent of my income comes from it. Even today, my email list is still my number one business priority—and asset.’

– Michael Hyatt with an email list of 115,000+ subscribers

You’ve heard time and time again; money is in the list. And it’s true. Email marketing is a serious contender in the digital marketing world. On average, 21% of marketers across all industries stated that email marketing delivers an excellent return on investment.

email marketing ROI

Source: GetResponse

A research by DemandWave showed that 95% professionals use email in their digital marketing mix.

Email marketing effectiveness

And it’s increasing. More and more brands are adopting email marketing as their core digital marketing strategy. A joint study from Shop.org and Forrester Research found that 85 percent of US retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics.

As Douglas Karr, with a list of 100,000+ subscribers, says,

‘Without a doubt, our email list is the best investment we’ve ever made.

However, as a newbie in the digital marketing world, how do you get started? Through the old school trial and error method. Try out different list-building strategies and see which one gets you the best results; i.e quickly builds your list with your target audience.

I’ve compiled a list of 7 simple-yet-super-effective ways to build an email list that are easy on the pocket and time.

1. Quizzes

An average quiz is shared nearly 2000 times, which makes it one of the most viral-worthy forms of interactive content. According to LeadQuizzes data, the average quiz also has a 33.6% lead capture rate. Add to this fact that they’re incredibly easy to create, and you’ve got yourself a winning email list building tool.

Lewis Howes, New York Times Bestselling author, created a celebrity Buzzfeed style quiz titled, “Which Celebrity Entrepreneur Are You Most Like?” and grew his email list by 42%.

Looking for a great quiz tool? Look no further than LeadQuizzes.

2. Giveaways

According to a study conducted by Georgia Southern University, 71.6% of people remember companies that give away products (at trade shows).

Conducting a contest where audience gives their email addresses in exchange for a free gift, is a great way to build your email list. The gift can be anything; from free eBooks and exclusive content to coupons, free products or service. You can also partner with other brands in your niche and run contests.

When doing a competition, you need to make sure that what you offer in the contest is actually something related to your business (something that you do and sell).  This is so critical because you want leads that are qualified for your products. – Travis Ketchum

Businesses that use giveaways are seeing great results. Josh Earl got 200,000 new emails with a contest and Robbie Richards grew his email list with 1,178 new emails in just 10 days.

To learn more about it, read this comprehensive guide.

3. Add CTAs in your social media videos (especially Youtube)

Social media videos are an underutilized list-building tool. They’re generally known for increasing engagement or persuading people to purchase from you, but adding people directly to your email list? Not so much.

However, videos are a great way to increase your email list. All you need to do is offer a gift (free shipping, free eBook, exclusive content, and even affiliate offers) in your videos as a CTA, and watch casual viewers turn into subscribers.

For KISSmetrics, a CTA within a video gets 380% more clicks than their normal sidebar CTAs.

If you’re new in the online business, you may need to promote your videos extensively to get a good amount of traction. But, if you already have a social media following, or better yet, a hit YouTube channel, you can easily convert that audience into your subscribers by adding a simple CTA.

Here’s a great article that will tell you everything you need to know.

4. Host online webinars

Webinar infographic

Source: Ambitionally

Online webinars are all the rage in the digital marketing world. And why wouldn’t they be? The minimum average conversion rate of a webinar is 5%, and the maximum knows no bounds. So even if you’ve a newbie in the world of video marketing and webinars, you still have a great chance at using this tool to build your email list.

Established brands are seeing massive amounts of success through webinars. Mariah Coz, Founder at Femtrepreneur, generated 600 new subscribers in 48 hours when she promoted one of her webinars.

Here’s Neil Patel’s take on webinars and how to ace them.

5. Use your LinkedIn groups to get subscribers

Social media is a haven for digital marketers and brands looking to increase their online presence. One of it’s key features is groups. Social media groups are tight knit communities in a particular niche where they discuss their fails, wins and other business-related stuff.

You can create a group on LinkedIn and use it to increase your email list. You can,

– Send ‘announcements’ to group members directly in their inbox and inform them about your webinars, giveaways, contests that are coming up.

If you want a successful group on LinkedIn that benefits your business, then be sure to take advantage of the ability to email members. – Kristi Hines

– Send new members a welcome message and let them know about your lead magnets, webinars, and the likes.

Linkedin Group Email

Source: SimplicitySmallBiz

– As group owner, you get to choose the featured post. It is the first thing that group members see every time they click on your group. So, you can use this feature to highlight your list building tactics; such as upcoming webinars, giveaways, quizzes, contests, lead magnets and the likes.

Linkedin Marketing Strategy

Source: Blogging Your Passion

As Lewis Howes very rightly says, ‘Connecting people, providing job leads, referrals, valuable content to help them achieve their goals: these are things that you can give to people, and by doing so they will give you an abundance of leads (or whatever it is you need in your business) in return.’

6. Ask people you know and who fit your target market to join your email list

Bryan Harris taught me this neat little trick of building an email list from scratch.

In this super-comprehensive article, he teaches that instead of asking complete strangers to join your mailing list, you should start off with people you know. Eager Sneezers, as he calls them. They can include your family, friends, colleagues, employees, employers, and pretty much anyone you’re on good terms with. And then ask them to invite people they know.

Build an email list

Source: VideoFruit

So it keeps on increasing. And you’ve built a nice momentum. The stronger ties they have with your brand and niche, the better.

This tactic helped him get 46 subscribers in 12 hours.

To conclude,


7. Turn blog commentators into subscribers

When someone comments on your blog post, they’re asking to fill in their name, email address, and sometimes even a website URL. By adding another CTA-ridden field, you can turn all these engaged blog commentators into subscribers.

Brian Dean, at Backlinko, tried this and added over 200 people to the list within a couple of weeks. And the best part is you don’t need to do much. 

Email subscribe strategy

Wrapping up,

Building an email list is one of the most important things you can focus on in your business. Start with one strategy and test it out!

Build Your Email List By 100K This Year Using Quizzes

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Build Your Email List By 100K This Year Using Quizzes

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