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9 Killer Ideas To Help Build Your Email List

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Urgh. The dreaded email list. It’s such a necessary beast that you have to continually feed to keep working. Unfortunately, it’s essential for the running of an online business. You also can’t just build it up and then stop and think ‘Sweet! Done!’. Nope. Your email list will lose about 20% of its efficacy every year from people unsubscribing and not updating their email addresses. Annoying, right?

Well if you’re after some fresh ideas to build your email list, you’re in the right place.

1. Run a competition

Competitions were SUPER popular circa 2011, but no one seems to be-be capitalising on them these days. A business I know recently added 500 people to her email list by giving away a 1kg bag of coffee beans. True story. The prize doesn’t have to be $1000 iPhone; it has to be something that will resonate with your audience. Flog the competition all over your social media, make email list sign up the only requirement for entry and watch the addresses flood in. Hot tip: Make sure you research your local and federal laws about running online competitions because you pay to require permission or permits depending on where you live and if you’re running a national or global competition.

2. Create a swanky new giveaway

If your lead generation offer is looking a little stale, give it an update. Spruce it up, make it look appealing and then advertise the new opt-in all over your social media channels. Here are a few ideas for you.

– Printable PDF
– Worksheets
– Video mini-course
– Exclusive audio files
– eBook
– Cheat sheets
– Offer a free report
– Create a challenge

Hot tip: Everyone loves a freebie. It doesn’t matter how closely someone guards their email address, if you offer them the right thing, they’ll be giving you their email address faster than the babysitter’s boyfriend when the car pulls up.

3. Host an online webinar and collect email addresses at registration

Webinars are extremely powerful, especially as most people who sign up for them don’t even attend. ‘Hang on!’ I hear you say ‘But isn’t attendance a GOOD thing?’

Why yes, it is. BUT if the point of running the webinar was to get people to sign up to your email list, does it matter if they show up or not?


That was the sound of me blowing your mind.

The people who DO show up are super valuable and engaged potential clients so make sure you do a fabulous webinar. You might bag yourself a valuable on-going client.

4. Put your sign-up form on your Facebook page

I’m always shocked by how many people don’t do this. If you have an opportunity to put a link on a social media profile of yours, always make it your email sign up form. Always. DO NOT make it a link to a competition page on your website that’s been broken for three years. This seems like a really obvious tip but go to Instagram and click on a few random links in profiles. They lead to some PRETTY weird places.

5. Have a quiz on your website

Can I let you in on a secret? Everyone loves finding things out about themselves. That’s why there are so many quizzes on Facebook. Which Friends Character Are You?, Tell Us Your Favourite Ice Cream Flavour, and We’ll Tell You Have Many Fingers You Have, Are You A Grand Piano or a Garden Hose? Take This Quiz To Find Out!

Quizzes are incredibly enticing, and they’re an excellent way of segmenting your customers, especially if you have multiple offerings in your business. For example, if you’re a personal trainer you might like to have a quiz that leads potential customers to Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced training programs. Once you’ve cornered a personality trait of a potential client, they will identify with that trait and be ripe for a sale. Hot tip: Once you’ve applied that label to your potential customer, you can retarget them with specified content in your ads. How tricky is that?

6. Offer exclusive access to something

If you have a membership section, giving potential customers limited access is an incredibly valuable way to get people on your email list.

Your client might not be ready to commit to your product or program, but they’ll happily give you their email address for a sneak peek.

7. Do a joint venture webinar

Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. I cannot say this enough. It gives people in the same niche access to new people and the power of multiple experts speaking on the same topic is MASSIVE. Yes, collaborations require to talk and work with other people which is most likely what you were trying to avoid by going into business for yourself anyway (amirite?), but the benefits of collaborations are way too hefty to let it slide. Hot tip: Find someone NOT in your niche but in a similar niche to harness a genuinely new audience. Most people in your niche would have similar audiences so by taking a side step, you’ll corner new people who probably haven’t heard of you before.

8. Publish a free ebook

Collate your existing content into an ebook and make people sign up to get it. It doesn’t even need to be fresh content, just stuff you’ve re-jigged into a pretty packaged. It should take you half a day tops to pop a few old blog posts together, get a designer to make it look pretty and whack it up on the website. A couple of hours work for a pretty big reward.

9. Repeat something that’s worked for you in the past but put it on steroids

If you’ve ever had an influx of sign-ups after implementing a strategy – DO IT AGAIN. Pump up your past successful strategy, give it several espresso martinis and set it wild on the dance floor. It’s true that you shouldn’t fix something unless it’s broken but don’t avoid premium upgrades on tactics that are bringing in the email addresses.

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