How to Build a Massive Email List from Scratch (for FREE)
If you’ve read any blogging tips post, ever, you’ve probably heard these words a million times “you need an email list” or “you need to start building your email list form the beginning” and similar sentences.
I won’t be another person to tell you so, as I know you’re sick of hearing that.
I will just make you aware of some of the reasons why you should think about starting an email list if you haven’t already.
And then, we’ll move onto the actual post where I’m gonna share with you some tips on how to build an email list.
Even if you’re a newbie blogger and don’t have a lot of traffic.
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Why you need to build an email list
You know you need to build an email list for your blog but WHY?
Why do you, actually, need to build an email list? Why is an email list that important?
Here are just some of the (many) reasons:
- you own your email list
- it can’t just “disappear” (unlike social media)
- it’s a direct way to communicate with your audience
- it helps you build a more personal relationship with your audience
- helps you get more traffic to your blog (because they are obviously interested in your content when they subscribed)
- an email list is a gold mine for affiliate marketing
- you have full control of the content
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
Now that I’ve, hopefully, persuaded you into starting an email list it’s time to, actually, show you how to build it. I will take you through everything, from choosing an email service provider to getting your first subscribers!
How to build an email list from scratch
Building your email list is not as scary as it sounds!
Here is how you can build your email list in just 4 simple steps.
1. Pick an email service provider
The first step of building an email list is picking an email service provider.
There are so many well-known ones out there. Some of them are free, some you have to pay for.
They all have different features and offers. So just pick the one that best suits your needs and possibilities.
I recommend MailerLite, which, is hands down, the best email service provider I came across.
I’ve been using it from the day I created my blog and had no problems or doubts whatsoever.
MailerLite is perfect for bloggers as it has lots of different features like popups, landing pages and embedded forms which all come in handy when promoting your email list!
My favourite feature is their automation, it allows you to create workflows that are triggered by different things like clicking a link or joining a group.
Did I mention the best thing? MailerLite is FREE for up to first 1000 subscribers which is super helpful if you’re a new blogger who is just starting out and don’t want to spend a lot of money on your blog.
2. Create an irresistible freebie
Now that you’ve picked your email service provider it’s time to start building your email list aka get people to subscribe to your list!
The best way to do that is by creating a freebie.
Because people love free things.
Simple as that!
Creating a freebie is the best and the fastest way to grow your email list.
When creating a freebie make sure it’s something people need and can benefit from, provide some kind of value with your freebie.
If you don’t know what kinda freebie to create here are a few ideas of the things you can make
- stock photos
- email courses
How to create a freebie
- DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO CREATE
- MAKE A PLAN-write down how you want your freebie to look, what to include, how you’ll structure it etc.
- CREATE YOUR FREEBIE-The best place to create a freebie is Canva which is a FREE online graphic design tool you can use to make gorgeous graphics. Canva is perfect for things like checklists, printables and worksheets. You can create pretty much anything with Canva (plus they have some free templates you can use and customize)
3. Promote the heck out of that freebie
Now that you have your freebie it’s time to start promoting it!
Go to MailerLite > forms and pick what type of form you want to create.
You can choose between popups, landing pages, embedded forms and promotions.
Popups are forms that appear when someone visits your blog. It can be after an x number of seconds, when they scroll down, etc. You can choose when you want them to appear.
Landing pages are best for things that are on “its own” aka freebies that aren’t add-ons to a specific post. (things like courses, eBooks, etc.)
On the other hand, freebies that are add-ons and are related to a post like checklists, worksheets etc. are best to be promoted on that post with an embedded form.
Promotions are pop up forms you can use for anything you want to bring attention to.
So just choose the type of form you want to use and click create. you’ll be taken to a new page where you need to name your form and click save and continue.
Then select a subscriber group(s) or create a new one and click save and continue.
Now it’s time to customize your form in the form builder that looks something like this:
Here you can customize your form with your brand colours, change text, add new fields etc.
There are 2 ways you can send the freebie to your subscribers
- the first one is to send them an email to confirm their subscription and include freebie in the thank you page or
- add the freebie directly to the form so they can download it right away when they subscribe
How do you add the freebie to download?
(this applies to both ways)
- Upload your freebie to DropBox (you can use other services but I think that DropBox is the easiest for what we’re about to do)
- Once it’s uploaded click on share > create link > copy link (your link will look something like this: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7866oungdch05fz/the%20perfect%20blog%20post%20checklist.pdf?dl=0 )
- what you want to do next is replace that last 0 with 1, the above link will look like this: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7866oungdch05fz/the%20perfect%20blog%20post%20checklist.pdf?dl=1 (what this 1, we’ve added, does is, it downloads the file automatically when someone clicks on the link without them having to go to your DropBox and downloading it themselves)
- okay, now that you have your link go to MailerLite and paste the link in your form or the thank you email depending on what method you used. Write something like “click HERE to download your freebie” and add the link.
Now that you’ve customised your form and added the freebie click next and scroll down to where you’ll see “embed form into your website” section.
From there you can copy the code and paste it into your website.
If you’re on WordPress I would highly recommend getting Mailerlite’s free plugin so you can easily add forms to your website.
How to promote your freebie
Promote it on your blog
The easiest way to promote a freebie is through your blog.
You can make a freebie related to a blog post and put an embedded form into the post, create a pop up for your freebie, put it in your sidebar, etc.
Possibilities are endless.
Here are some of the Pinterest graphics I made for my freebies:
Check out THIS post for some tips on how to create eye-catching Pinterest graphics!
4. A welcome email
Now that you’ve got some subscribers don’t just send them the freebie and then disappear!
Send them a welcome email where you introduce yourself and your blog, tell them what they can expect from you.
This is where MailerLite automation comes in handy!
I have a welcome email, I created with their automation, that new subscribers get one day after subscribing. You can create one welcome email or a welcome sequence.
Now you might be wondering, I’ve got some subscribers but what now? What do I send them?
Well, luckily, I’ve thought of everything and created a FREE downloadable PDF with 10 email ideas you can send to your subscribers.
Just enter your email below to download it automatically!
Now that you know how to start and build your email list, what are you waiting for?
Go and work on growing your list. You have no excuses not to 😉