Your Guide to Email Marketing: Part 3 – Building Your List

Your Guide to Email Marketing: Part 3 - Building Your List

In Part 3 of our Series – Your Guide to Email Marketing - we move onto building your list. (Here’s Parts 1 and 2 of the series – Your Guide to Email Marketing – Part 1: Getting Started, Your Guide to Email Marketing – Part 2: Tools)

How big should your list be?

Some people have over a million email addresses in their list. Others may be lucky to have 100. You may think that the bigger your list, the more "conversions" you will have eg: an enquiry or sale.

In actual fact – it doesn’t. The quality of your list will win over quantity every time. If your email list is comprised of people who have shown interest in your products or services or have downloaded something relevant to your offering, and they match your ideal client profile - then the chances are that they will engage with you at some point, when they are ready to take the next step. With some purchases – this can take months, even years.

However, if you have grown your database by purchasing lists, adding in business cards of everyone you ever meet, using a third party service to scrape email addresses, or enticed people to optin for low quality or irrelevant giveaway items, then you may have a big list of the wrong people. They probably won’t do much - just cause you grief with a high rate of opt-out and spam complaints, which will jeopardise your account with your email platform provider.

What are you doing now to grow your list?

If your list is the same size it was 6 months ago, even 1 month ago – then chances are you’re not actively focused on growing it. Ask yourself why? Often day to day business and life gets in the way. And if it does – then it’s time to remind yourself of these important facts.

  • Email marketing outperforms most other forms of promotion for most marketers
  • Email is the most scalable way to make sales with prospects and build deeper relationships with existing customers.
  • Increased reach of your message. These days only around 2-5% of Facebook fans will see you’re your message and a small percentage of your Twitter following sees one specific Tweet. Email is not perfect either, but an average of 78% messages are delivered and if your subject line is enticing, a good percentage will be opened.
  • A well targeted and active customer list is an important component of your company’s value.

7 ideas to help you grow your list the right way

1. Create superb content to attract and inspire

The first and important step in your list building strategy is to provide really good content in written, audio or video form. If the content on your blogposts, website and social media is poorly written, too generic, too formal or just plain boring – then attracting people to hand over their email address for more info is going to be a tough call. Why would they?

Your content needs to address their pain points and to show you really understand their needs, so they can see that you truly are empathetic and experienced in what they want. You also need to give great value. Don’t be afraid to give away some of your knowledge. It shows that you are an expert and creates the desire for more of your advice, tips, wisdom and help. People can see that by giving over their name and email – they will get valuable help. Well, they hope they will! It is your job to be authoritative and inspiring.

2. Provide a “signature offer” on every page of your site

Your Guide to Email Marketing: Part 3 - Building Your ListWhen a visitor arrives at your website and doesn’t leave after 6 seconds (the average time you have available to capture their attention before they hit the back button), your content should attract and keep their attention, as discussed in point 1. This is your golden opportunity to capture their email address so you can continue to communicate with them. However you need to offer something of value for them to part with their email address.
A signature offer (also known as a “lead magnet”) is something you give away for free which promises to provide outstanding value – because you need to entice people to be willing to exchange their details. Just asking them to sign up for your newsletter is simply not enough.

We offer a free ebook on our and, and a free mini marketing course on

These are our signature offers for these sites and they work well for us. We provide plenty of valuable content when visitors sign up for it and it aligns perfectly with one of our core services – Marketing Training and Coaching.

3. Use pop ups

Pop ups can be an effective way to build your list, but can also have the opposite effect if not done correctly. If the popup activates too quickly, it will annoy your visitor and they may just leave your site quickly without reading your content or opting in.

One strategy is to set the pop up to activate once the visitor has read (scrolled) through about two thirds of your page or post. If your content is well produced, valuable and engaging, then they will hopefully be impressed enough to want more.

Another strategy is to introduce the pop up only once, a few seconds after they’ve landed on your page.

No matter when it appears, your pop up should contain emotional, compelling copy which gives a very good reasons why people should hand over their details. You could also include an image of what they will receive. Keep the required fields to the absolute minimum to maximize optins.

Here’s an example of a very successful popup offer on our site

Your Guide to Email Marketing: Part 3 - Building Your List

4. Try a single purpose landing page

Although your website and blogposts are the best way to show case your authority and provide lots of content and value – often a single purpose landing page can work well as a lead generator.

Landing pages are designed with no navigation and minimal info – just enough info for the visitor to be enticed to hand over their details to get the free gift (lead magnet) you are giving away.

Because there is no distraction – no navigation menus or links to other content – visitors are forced to be enticed by your content and optin for more, or leave.

Lead magnet landing pages are ideal for promoting a webinar, giving away an ebook or white paper or free course, or offering a discount for an upcoming event or video series etc. Once the person has entered their details they are redirected to the download page to retrieve the free gift, or this can be emailed and they are redirected to a page which provides navigation to the rest of your site.

Landing pages are promoted on social media and through other online advertising techniques. Here’s an example of one of ours

Your Guide to Email Marketing: Part 3 - Building Your List

5. Use a contextual optin-offer

Another great strategy is to design a lead magnet that is specifically relevant to a post you will publish.

For example – over on our tradies success website - podcast 12 is an interview between myself and Clinton Cowin of TradiePad – an expert in technology tools for tradies. We prepared a blogpost which describes the podcast episode here: and inserted a call to action promotion (below) which is contextually relevant to that episode. The download button sends clickers to the landing page above.

Your Guide to Email Marketing: Part 3 - Building Your List

6. Add an optin app to your Facebook Business Page

If you have an active Facebook business page, share your signature offer with your fans. Here’s an example of the one we have up at

Your Guide to Email Marketing: Part 3 - Building Your List

7. Welcome message by LinkedIn Groups

If you’ve started your own LinkedIn Group, then why include a link to your lead magnet in the welcome message which is sent out automatically to every new member. We have done this for our Linked In group Tradie Success.

Get Cracking Now

The most important thing you can do is to start now.

Your prospect and customer lists are your most important business asset, yet so many businesses don’t understand this and don’t give list building and list nurturing the love and attention that they should. I just don’t get this!

Your Guide to Email Marketing: Part 3 - Building Your List

Contact us now to help setup email capture systems on your website or Facebook page.

Avatar for Annette Welsford

About Annette Welsford

Hi there. My passion is to inspire and help business owners to create the type of marketing and customer service that makes their business irresistible. I'm privileged to have a talented team at Commonsense Marketing who create and execute beautiful websites, engaging social media campaigns, and fantastic email campaigns that deliver results for our clients. And it's wonderful that many of them have said lots of nice things about the work we’ve done (see our case studies). We love to work with the owners and teams of small to medium sized business who are motivated to become the best in their niche and achieve more than they ever thought possible.