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Email List Building Basics

The Basic Steps for Email List Building

Step 1: You Need a Good Email Service Provider(ESP) or Email List Software

When you want to build an email list, you need good email marketing software. There are hundreds available. Make sure to do your research first. Most offer free trails.

Step 2: How To Grow Your Email List

Now that you have a good ESP, the next thing you must figure out is: how do you grow your email list?

Well… If you want people to sign up for your email list, you should give away something as a “bribe” to persuade them to opt in. Something which hold value for the subscriber.

What can you giveaway? It depends, but here’s a short list:

#1 You can give away a discount or coupon

This is very common for online stores. People give away a discount code or a coupon code for people who join the mailing list.

I’m personally not a fan of this strategy simply because I hate discounting.

However, I can’t deny the results. If you want people to join your email list, giving them a discount code or coupon code is a great way to do it.

#2 You can give away a piece of free content

This is also common. Remember, if you want people to join your email list, you need to give them a reason to join. And if you’re not giving away a discount, the next best thing is this: give away content.

But not just any content. You want to give away content that directly attracts your ideal customer.

Now what format should this content be in? I only use a handful of formats: video, ebooks, articles, and sometimes I use just an automated email series (which you can set up with ease in Drip). But here’s a word of warning: Do Not Offer “Free Updates.”

Remember, if you want people to sign up, you need to give them something they want. And let me ask you a question… Do people ever really want “Free Updates?” Who wakes up and thinks, “I need me some free updates!”

No one. So, either give away a discount or some content and you’ll see more people optin to your mailing list.

Step 3: Put Your Email List Form On Your Website

Now that you know what you want to giveaway, you need to put these email signup forms on your website. Most ESP's offer easy plug and play sign up forms to use.

Step 4: Send an auto-responder email To Every Person Who Signs Up To Your Email List

Now that you have your email signup forms in place, you will start building your email list.

Most ESP's allow you to send a “Welcome” email. And you should definitely do it. If someone comes to your house, you should welcome them appropriately.

What should you include in this welcome email? I like to keep it personal. And friendly. So, here’s what I do. I say something just like this:

Hey, <Name>

Thank you for joining my email list.

I’m Nick Foley. I’m the founder of TMC. Here’s the link to the free ebook ( or whatever giveaway you picked) I promised you. But I have a quick question: “What are you struggling with right now?” Even if it’s something small. I’d love to hear more.

Talk soon,


Why do I ask this question?

When people tell me what they’re struggling with, it helps me figure out what content I can create for them.

(Often times I turn this content into free giveaways to build my email list).

It also helps me understand who my customer is a little bit better.

So, as an example, if you run an online store that sells sweat shirts, you may hear from your customer something like this: “I’ve bought a few other sweat shirts and they always fell apart in the wash. I’m hoping your sweat shirt will last longer!”

And now, you’re building your email list – and getting valuable customer insight.

Step 5: Delivery valuable email content consistently

Make sure you stay in contact with your subscribers to build trust and your brand. Once this is established your unsubscribe rate will decrease. This will also help your overall conversion rate when you offer a product or service to your list because your subscribers will know who you are and why you're emailing them.

** Note ... make a preset mailing schedule weeks or months in advance.

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