8 Non-Spammy Ways To Build Your Email List

8 Non-Spammy Ways To Build Your Email List

If you’re looking to build your email list fast, here are 8 easy to create ideas that will get your readers subscribing in no time.

While I was in NYC, I worked with a huge variety of clients. Everything from major consumer brands sold around the world, to banks and financial institutions, to brand spanking new nonprofits who hadn’t even been approved to collect donations yet.

Email lists were a big part of almost all of their campaigns, but for new companies and budding nonprofits, the list was the absolute, undisputed, 100% focus for our team.

Why? Because we knew that there was a direct link between the number of legitimate email subscribers and the number of dollars that would come in the door for those clients every month.

It was our top priority to create marketing channels that could be directly tied to income for our clients. We needed to find ways of proving that we were building an audience of the right people, that those people could be converted to customers, and that those customers could be tracked. A well managed email list could do that every time.

1,000 Subscribers to Start

In every campaign we built, there were clear benchmarks that we set for ourselves to measure progress.

A benchmark is a measurable goal that, when met, means you are on track to meet your bigger, more abstract goals.

1,000 email list subscribers was a typical benchmark for my team when working with a new company.

You might think we would spend a lot of money to buy emails, or we had some secret technique for making people sign up. The truth is, we went about getting to that 1,000 subscribers mark in the same way you will.

Produce good content, offer valuable incentives, and design call to actions that get people excited.

So Why Do I Need 1,000 Subscribers?

The straight answer is, in reality, you need way more than 1,000 subscribers. But when you get to that 1,000 mark you can launch a course, a product, a service, and expect to see a response.

The reason we choose 1,000 is simply a matter of statistics. If you have 2 people on your mailing list and 1 of them opens your latest email and clicks through to your website, you will have a 50% click through rate.

If you add 20 more people to your list, do you think you can maintain that 50% click through rate? Probably not.

When you’re working with 1,000 total subscribers, the metrics you get from your list (like click through rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate) will be much more representative of your total population of readers. Without getting too technical about it, the numbers start to average out at this point and you can make better decisions based on more accurate data.

How Much is Your List Actually Worth?

For our clients, my team prided itself on achieving an average of a 5% conversion rate each month, and maintaining that through the life of the contract. This was obviously super SUPER valuable to the businesses we worked with, because it meant we were providing a consistent and dependable stream of income.

One of the ladies I’ve worked with saw up to a 10% average conversion rate with her email list. That’s crazy! That means this particular business owner could count on about 10% of her total email list making a purchase every month. She had about 5,000 subscribers and sold planners and stationery to 500 of them every month like clock work. Her average minimum sale was $30, which means she could count on $15,000 to come in from her email list every single month.

An average conversion rate for most bloggers is about 2.5%. So If you’ve got 1,000 subscribers you can expect about 25 of them to become customers.

Are you motivated yet?

1,000 email list subscribers is totally doable. And you can get there quickly. Use the 8 easy to implement offers to build your email list and quickly reach your 1,000 subscriber benchmark.

8 non spammy ways to build your email list - newsletter

1. Newsletter

Why You Need It: This is the easiest way to build a list because it requires no immediate content creation, can be referenced constantly throughout your blog and website, and entices users with the promise of more great insights into your business.

Who Signs Up For It: People that love your content sign up for your newsletter. The more great content you can offer each reader the more likely it is that they will subscribe.

**See “How To Book More Clients & Skyrocket Your Traffic Part 2” for help figuring out which content should go in front of which user, when. This article shows you exactly how to design a sales funnel that attracts readers and what to do with that information once you’ve got it.

What To Watch For: Messaging is important here. The few lines of text you use to convince a reader to sign up for your mailing list will either get people clicking, or turn a user off from your site entirely. Try to give people concrete examples of things they will get in your newsletter, how often they can expect to hear from you, and why they are going to benefit from your point of view.

8 non spammy ways to build your email list - email course

2. Email Course

Why You Need It: If done right, email courses can provide a ton of value for customers in exchange for a relatively low amount of effort on your part. They prove to your audience you know exactly what you’re talking about and give you an opportunity to show them what it’s like to work with you.

Who Signs Up For It: People interested in taking action and making a change will sign up for an email course. If your course is relevant to your product or services, every single person who subscribes is a lead that has a place in their life for what you’re offering.

What To Watch For:Time investment. Remember, you’ve got a business to run here and this is a free offering. Keep control of the time you invest into this course. It should be valuable to your readers and leave them with an actionable set of tasks, but it shouldn’t take you a ton of time to create.

Build your own ecourse with this free 12 page kit – The Email Course Designer

8 non spammy ways to build your email list - downloads

3. Free Download

Why You Need It: People love love love downloads. More people will give up their email addresses for a good download than just about any other form of freebie. They’re quick and easy to create, they leave your readers with a visual and tactile representation of your brand, and you can even really help somebody along the way.

Who Signs Up For It: Everyone. As long as it’s a good download, you will get all kinds of people signing up for this.

What To Watch For: Unqualified subscribers. Because downloads attract the masses (and sometimes the crazies) you’re going to want to build in a follow up email or secondary step that will weed out all the people who don’t fit your ideal customer profile.

You can use this article and download to create your ideal customer profile.

8 non spammy ways to build your email list - webinars

4. Webinar

Why You Need It: There is no better way to sell your customers on your awesome personality than to meet with them face to face (even if it is over the web). They’re super fun to do and take WAY less time than you think.

Who Signs Up For It: Webinars require a quite serious time investment from your the attendees. This means they’re probably seriously interested in whatever it is you have to say. That makes them great leads.

What To Watch For: Webinar software can be on the expensive side, especially for new bloggers and small business owners. Try using a Google Hangout to host your webinar for a free solution.

8 non spammy ways to build your email list - library

5. Freesource Library

Why You Need It: This is a source of a little bit of conflict for marketers all over the place. Freesource libraries can be seriously time intensive to create and if you’re putting that much work into something, you probably want to get paid. However, freesource libraries can be a great way to stay in constant contact with your subscribers and if you organize it right, you can use all that content to push people through your sales funnel.

Who Signs Up For It: People looking for advice and direction. These could be great leads for you because they are interested in taking action and believe in what you’re producing.

What To Watch For: DIYers. Depending on the caliber of your content, you could end up attracting a lot of people looking to go it alone, and only interested in mooching your content. Make sure you’re content is awesome and that you are providing strong messaging that support the sales of your product/services.

8 non spammy ways to build your email list - Facebook group

6. Closed Facebook Group

Why You Need It: Community community community. A powerful community is an amazing way to make connections, nurture leads, and get real time feedback from your tribe.

Who Signs Up For It: Social media savvy people. This audience will be the most open to your messaging in real time, and will be looking for live connection with you.

What To Watch For: Great Facebook groups take work. Make sure you’ve got a plan and stay organized so that yours doesn’t become a giant time suck.

8 non spammy ways to build your email list - survey

7. Host A Survey

Why You Need It: Surveys are a great way to find out what problems your audience is dealing with, what products you can offer to help them, and how you can improve your own business.

Who Signs Up For It: Usually only people who have already joined your tribe will sign up for a survey. If you position it correctly however, you can use the survey to filter out only your most committed leads, and create a list of people who are closer than anybody to becoming a customer.

What To Watch For: Surveys attract loyal readers, but be careful not to alienate less willing followers. Be conscious of how you convince people to fill out the questionnaire and avoid pitching it to your group with messages that cast you in a negative, or unaware light.

8 non spammy ways to build your email list - giveaway

8. Give Something Away

Why You Need It: If you’re looking to grow your list fast, a giveaway is your answer.

Who Signs Up For It: You’ll get a massive range of people that sign up for a giveaway. Not all of them could be relevant to your offering, but a great giveaway will build a list that starts from your tribe and extends into their networks.

What To Watch For: Be careful that the increased activity on your social media accounts from the giveaway doesn’t suddenly drop off after you announce a winner and kill your reach metrics.

Check out this article for more on how to run a giveaway that doesn’t suck.

Now that you’re armed with 8 awesome ideas, pull up your calendar and schedule out the time to implement a few. Use my FREE Email course designer kit to get you started.

Fill out the form below to download the free, 12 page kit!

EcourseDesignerMockup

  • This is super helpful, thank you for sharing so much detail on all these different strategies! Growing my email list is my biggest blogging challenge at the moment but you’ve given me some great ideas 🙂

    Nellwyn | http://www.thecardinalpress.com

    • Thanks Nellwyn! You should definitely try starting with an email course. You will see a big payoff.

  • This gives so much more insight! I love how clear this post is. Growing my list has been something that I struggle with a lot. I will definitely try out some of these to get better results.

    • Remember to focus on what your audience needs. Everyone that comes to your site, is coming there for a reason. Figure out what that reason is and tailor your opt in content around it.

  • Lauren DiPego Plotkin

    Growing my subscribers has been my biggest hurdle to date and this list was really helpful. One of the things I still struggle with though is what would I even offer in a newsletter if I’m a “mom blogger”? Ya know? Would love your feedback!

    http://Www.myplotofsunshine.com

    • Lauren, as a mom blogger you should take a look at what you write that gets the most attention. Why does it get attention? What are the comments and shares? That’s a key to what your audience wants. (it’s what I’ve been trying to work on too)

    • Newsletters can take all different forms. It doesn’t need to be a traditional round up of posts or even a community bulletin style thing. Try using your newsletter as a challenge for your audience or offer a mini tutorial for something relevant.

  • Awesome stuff Olivia. I think having an optin that really talks to your audience is key. I’ve tried a number of different ones so I’m not sure if it’s just my offer is too common or not what my audience needs.

    • Sara, what is your email address? I would be happy to take a look at your set up and see if I can give you a little nudge in the right direction.

      • Just saw your reply to this in DisQus. Thanks for offering your help.

  • I wish I had had this tutorial when I first started out. I grew a list of over 4000 subscribers. unfortunately The capture page fed the company funnel and then it shut down. along with every single name on that list! I tried to reach out to a few I could remember but 4k is a lot to keep up with. So I started from scratch again. Lesson learnt! Awesome Post bookmarked to share 🙂

  • Kathleen – Bloggers Lifestyle

    Hi Olivia, I am pleased to say – Congratulations this post was among the top clicked in the Blogger’s Pit Stop #24. Be looking for a FEATURE on Friday. Well done.

  • Paula Atwell

    Great post. Right where I am working right now. Now to figure out how to implement it for my sites. 🙂

  • Pingback: Blogger's Pit Stop #25 - The Blogger's Lifestyle()

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  • Hi, Found you on the Bloggers Pit Stop. So glad I did, signed up for your download. I love how each step has ways to do it, and what to watch for. I was really hoping for more on how to run a closed FB group but loved every suggestion you had 🙂 thank you!

  • Teri R. Fry

    Hello, Olivia, i`m glad that i came here, take from this informative post a lot new interesting things, will share this with my audience and can you take a look at this post http://uktopwriters.com/best-essay-writing-services/if it not hard for you, would really apreciate it. Thanks

  • I agree with offering freebies like Email Courses, digital products and most of all resource libraries. It will attract potential customers and clients into your email list and aside from driving traffic back to your blog/website, you will also lead more sales #moolah

    All the Best,
    Jan Limark | Brotherly Creative

  • Claire Blumenthal

    I have pinned a thousand pins about blogging- I think this is the best I’ve read yet. Thank you!