Email marketing is incredibly important for selling your offers and online courses. It’s how you nurture your leads and convert them to customers.
Knowing how to build an email list helps you focus on growing your subscriber base and increasing your ability to convert those engaged leads.
And after all—if you’re getting ready to sell online courses, learning how to build an email list really is essential.
You need to have these five core strategies on your side to build the foundation for your email list!
How To Build An Email List: 5 Key Strategies
If you’re brand new to the world of email marketing, you might be wondering why learning how to build an email list even matters.
The truth is that as a business owner, you 100% need to have an email list and focus on growing it in order to achieve your goals.
If you want to have a highly profitable online business, email marketing is so important.
Why Is Learning How To Build An Email List So Important?
The foundation of email marketing is connection. You have a direct line (with a list that YOU own, unlike social media platforms) to communicate with, educate, and inspire your audience. It’s a direct avenue for connection…which means it’s perfect for nurturing and sales alike!
Another cool difference between email marketing and social media is that there are no algorithm shifts or other external factors influencing whether people see your content. After all, if people don’t see your content, they won’t take the desired action!
Email marketing also has much higher conversion rates than social media posts. Of course, there are insane advantages to being on social media…but you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one marketing basket (especially one you don’t own!).
The bottom line here? You can nurture your audience, sell your courses, and make lots of profit through your list. But first, you have to know how to build an email ist over time!
How To Build An Email List Successfully
When you’re learning how to build an email list, there are some important steps you can take. I’ll be sharing my five-step core process to grow your email list successfully.
But first, if you don’t have a list yet, you’ll need to learn the foundations, before you can start growing it. For that, read: How to start an email list.
Just remember: you don’t need a list that’s thousands or hundreds of thousands of subscribers deep to be successful in your online business.
You certainly want to focus on growing your email list, but keep in mind that steady growth is amazing!
There’s not one huge number to aim for.
Learning how to build an email list is one of the best ways to spend your time as an entrepreneur!
Once you have that, you will be ready to get started building your profitable email list.
Here are five steps you should start taking to grow your list.
Set A Goal
The very first step you need to take in growing your email list is setting a goal.
There are a lot of different types of goals that you can set for your email list, like engagement, click-through rate, open rate, and conversions.
But for the purpose of growing your list, you should focus on setting a goal for the number of subscribers you’d like to have on your list.
To set this goal, write down the number of subscribers you hope to have on your list by the end of the year. Your goal should be completely personalized to you! It will depend on where you are now with your email list and what’s attainable for you.
No matter what goal you have in mind, make sure it’s a S.M.A.R.T. goal! This goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
Calculate How Many Subscribers You Currently Gain Per Month
Next, it’s time to calculate your current monthly new subscriber rate. How many subscribers do you currently gain on average each month?
Go into your email marketing platform and look at the new subscribers you’ve gained over the last three, six, or even twelve months. Add them up and then divide by the number of months to find the average.
And if you’re brand new to learning how to build an email list, just write down zero for this one. Don’t be upset by this—you’re starting on an empowering journey toward growth and you’re committing to growing your list!
At this point, you have your goal and you have some data. Now, you can use the two to figure out how much you need to increase that monthly gain number in order to meet your yearly goal.
Decide How Many Subscribers You Want To Gain Per Month Moving Forward
The next step in learning how to build an email list is to figure out how many new subscribers you need to gain each month to meet that goal you set in step one. This is going to take a little bit of simple math—you’ve got this!
Let’s say you want to grow from 2,000 subscribers to 5,000 subscribers by the end of this year. That’s a difference of 3,000 subscribers.
Divide that by the number of months you have to meet your goal (let’s say 12 for this example) and you’ll know that you need to gain 500 subscribers each month on average.
Now, keep in mind that, realistically, you’re going to lose subscribers along the way. It’s a totally normal part of email marketing, and you shouldn’t let that stress you out.
Because honestly? Unsubscribes are a good thing.
You aren’t the right fit for that person, and you can continue to concentrate on leads that might convert.
To account for unsubscribes in your math, figure out how many subscribers you lose on average per month. Let’s say it’s 100. Then, you’ll add that amount to your target monthly goal—with our example, we’d be aiming for 600 instead of 500 to account for the unsubscribes.
A quick note before we move on to step four: your growth won’t always be uniform.
Some months you will have way more people join your list than in other months, and some months you might find that your list takes a bit of a dive.
That’s why you don’t need to spend ages calculating all of these numbers exactly—just do your best and get a nice ballpark range to work towards.
Create A Game Plan
Now it’s time to create a game plan for how you’ll bridge the gap between the subscribers you currently have and the number you want to reach. I’m going to share my five favorite core list-building strategies.
These are the real meat and potatoes of learning how to build an email list.
5 Key Strategies To Build Your List
List-Building Strategy #1: Freebies
Opt-in freebies like lead magnets or content upgrades are so important.
They can be things like free PDFs, email courses, quizzes, videos, workshops, or any other type of free content that’s given when someone signs up for your list.
Here are some things to think about:
- What freebies do you currently have?
- How can you make them better, more irresistible, and more enticing?
- How can you make more freebies to continue to create opportunities for people to subscribe? (this one’s important!)
Block out time on your calendar monthly or quarterly to improve your freebies, revamp your landing pages, and focus on driving traffic to your freebies.
Be super intentional and consistent about promoting them, too!
Related: 45 Lead Magnet Ideas
List-Building Strategy #2: Live Events
Consider hosting a free masterclass, summit, webinar, or 5-day challenge.
Of course, these are freebies too, but there’s a bigger time investment and commitment for you.
These types of events are an incredible way to gain lots of subscribers in a short period of time.
Look at your calendar and see when it would be a good time to host value-packed live events in your business. Try to frame these before any launches so that you have a burst of new subscribers in your list then.
List-Building Strategy #3: Content Creation and Social Media
Blogging, SEO, and social media are all super powerful when you’re thinking about how to build an email list. Create a game plan for promoting your freebies and live events on social media.
You can also start to think about collaborating with other business owners to share your freebies or host collaborative live events. Get creative here!
List-Building Strategy #4: Paid Ads
With paid ads, we’re talking about Instagram Ads, Facebook Ads, Pinterest Ads, and even Google Ads.
Many people resist doing ads because there are so many misconceptions about them.
But here’s the truth: you don’t have to spend tons of money to see results with your ads. Even with a small budget, you can gain so many engaged leads from paid advertising.
List-Building Strategy #5: Don’t Do Everything On Your Own
Like every other area of your business, you don’t have to do it all on your own. You can get support and help by outsourcing or hiring someone to help you grow your list. Especially when you’ve learned how to build an email list, delegating and outsourcing become even easier.
If you’re nervous about outsourcing and having to spend money on it, remember that email marketing has such a high ROI.
It’s worth learning how to build an email list and then outsourcing it if you don’t have the time to make your goals happen!
How To Build An Email List: 5 Key Strategies – Conclusion
Woohoo! Now you know exactly how to build an email list that serves your online business and helps you generate revenue.
These tips are easy to implement and create huge results.