Email List Building: The Definitive Guide For 2021
(Build an email list Fast)
In this post, I’m going to share some of the most actionable ways, tricks, and hacks to make your email list building as fast as Quicksilver.
And yea, you don’t need any of the following:
1. Prior experience in email marketing.
2. Huge investments.
3. Marketing and data skills.
4. Product (if you don’t have already).
Let’s jump into this and do it.
Table of Contents
Why Do You Need It?
Strategic Popups & Slide-ins
Facebook Lead Ads
Landing Pages Tweaks
Bonus Tips From Marketers
Why Do You Need An Email List?
There are so many other options available from Facebook messenger to Instagram, and more…
Then what’s the reason you want to have a list?
What makes emails better than other channels?
I know you have these questions in mind (I don’t to be honest).
If you even don’t, I’ll share some cool stats and reasons on why you should have it regardless of whatever industry you’re in.
Just watch out.
Reason #1: It’s Yours
Sure, there are so many options out there on the web. You can start a YouTube channel, grow it, and have tons of subscribers.
So you can do on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms.
But you don’t own them. What if all these social platforms go down tomorrow? What if they drop the organic reach (like Facebook did) drastically?
In conclusion, you can’t rely on these marketing channels.
The last thing you’ll ever have is the people on the list which you could still sell to.
Makes sense, right?
Reason #2: Reach Billions Of People
Just like you and me, there are billions of people actively using email around the globe.
According to Statista, there are over 3.9 billion email users this year.
And the number is only growing.
On top of that, the fair advantage is that people don’t generally change their email addresses.
Just ask yourself, how often do you change yours? Not even in a decade, right?
So don’t people. This means if you get that information once, it’ll stay with you for the rest of your life (not always but majorly).
Reason #3: $1 Gives $44
Don’t slap yourself. That’s a hundred percent true!
Emails still have the highest Return On Investment. In one of my previous guides, I mentioned this in our case study that I and my team did.
For every one dollar you spend, it gives forty-four dollars in return.
You can see, that’s higher than any other form of marketing channels out there on the planet – at least for now!
This makes us think about email as a very important part of the framework.
Now without any further ado, let’s get right into the methods. We’ll start with the basic ones and then go to the advanced ones.
But before we start, I should better show you the results of my experiment so that you can understand I know what I’m talking about.
That’s crazy (at least for me in just 30 days), right?
Now that you’re impressed, we should learn the ways…
Let’s do this.
1. Gated Content
Some of you might know about Gated Content.
It’s one of the most popular ways to get more subscribers effectively.
Some of the big names in the industry like Brain Dean and others use this method.
If they’re doing it, then you should too!
Why? Because it works.
Let me show how…Don’t worry, it’s super easy.
Basically, what gated content means is that you place a barrier for a user to access your content.
Before they can read your post or access a specific page, they need to opt-in.
Here the post you decide to lock acts as a lead magnet. It becomes an exclusive content.
Down below is an example of gated content.
This is how it works. But how can you do it for yourself?
Simple answer – using OptiMonster. It’s a fantastic plugin for your WordPress site.
With just a few clicks of customization, you can have locked and exclusive content up and running on your website to collect more leads.
It’s a great way to get more sign-ups.
2. Short Quizzes
Quizzes are interesting.
Why? Because we all like to win.
I’ve played a lot of them in my childhood.
But along with being interesting, they can be a great resource for you to grow your contacts.
People are increasing their count by thousands using quizzes.
Yes, I’m serious!
Let’s see how.
Here are the steps of turning those sharable pieces of content that just won’t go away, into your very lead generating machine.
Step one – Create a small quiz using a tool where you’ll ask people for their contact information to send the results.
Step two – Place it on your website and encourage people to enter the quiz.
Wait – before we get into this, here are some proofs that quizzes work like charm.
According to BuzzSumo, the average quiz is shared nearly 2,000 times.
According to LeadQuizzes, the average quiz has around a 31.6% lead capture rate.
Great, now that you know what quizzes can do, let’s move on with the steps.
Just pick a template and make it up. See an example below:
Edit the template, and then at the results page, ask people to give their name and email address by integrating your email marketing platform. You can use AWeber or GetResponse for this.
By the way, check out this article to compare whether AWeber is better or GetResponse.
The next thing you want to do is place the quiz on your website. Interact gives you the ability to use the quiz as a popup, embed, link, or an announcement bar.
Just choose what fits you the best.
Now, the last thing you want to do is sit back and see your lead count getting up.
Some of the biggest sites and blogs use the power of quizzes. See below!
So, what do you think? Planning to create one for yourself now?
3. Strategic Popups and Slide-Ins
Popups and slide-ins have been around in the game for so long.
Some say they don’t work anymore.
Some say they still work really well.
I think the difference between working and not working is a lack of strategy.
You can’t just use them anytime and anywhere.
Didn’t get what I meant?
Here’s what it means:
A case study from SUMO states that for every 100,000 visitors, you can strongly expect 3,000 subscribes via popups or slide-ins (the average conversion rate is 3.09%).
They also concluded that 3 out of every 100 people have a conversion rate of 11% and above.
That’s still pretty good, right? You could work your way to 11% or more by using the strategies that I’m just going to share right now.
Strategy #1: Perfect Timing
Timing and conversions go hand in hand. If you bluntly put up the game, it’s barely going to get something.
The same study by SUMO states that a pop-up triggered after 15 seconds, converted by 38.4%.
But from what we have tested, you should trigger a popup or a slide-in at 30% time of your average time spent in Google Analytics.
As my average time is 183 seconds, I should trigger after 50 seconds (roughly).
And that works really well for me. You should try it out as well.
Strategy #2: Perfect Copy
Begging people to signup or subscribe won’t simply take you far enough.
You’ve got to make them interested and provide value.
After all, what you always sell is words. They sell. They convert. They impress.
Basically, you need to have a fantastic copy along with a gift.
See what I exactly mean by this:
You get it, right?
Strategy #3: Make Them Feel Bad
What am I talking about? Make them feel bad? Why?
One answer – to increase the opt-in rate.
You don’t want to make them feel bad intently, but scientifically.
Just look at the examples below.
As you can see, these types of forms make you feel like an idiot for not opting in, so you’re likely to give your information for proving that you do care about it.
The same thing happens with people and they don’t like to reject your offer.
Strategy #4: Perfect Exit Popup
Exit popups work very well. But only for a little number of people.
As a visitor is already leaving the site, you can’t be like – Hey, time to subscribe!
Rather, provide overwhelming value – just like people who giveaway iPhones in those prank videos ( I know you watch them all day long).
Hope you understood this.
Strategy #5: Use White Color
Seriously, that’s it!
Major companies like Google and Dropbox take advantage of this color strategy.
According to Adobe, white color makes it easier for users to focus on non-white colors without any distractions.
Just look at one of my examples that’s converting decently.
You don’t want to confuse people and keep it real simple. Just try it out and I’m sure it’s going to work.
This is it with popups.
The recommended tool for popups and slide-ins is again OptinMonster.
4. Organize Giveaways (on both website and social media)
Did you know that there’s a type of marketing known as ‘Giveaway Marketing’?
It’s is counted under the top strategies to grow a business fast.
And, it’s not even that complicated.
You can run a giveaway for something related to your industry, and people will attract like magnets.
For a simple gift, you get tons of highly targeted leads.
That’s why people like Tai Lopez are doing this.
First things first – the proof.
According to Small Business Trends, the average giveaway conversion rate is about 34%.
On top of this, 94.46% of the time users share the promotion immediately after they register. – Easypromos
Cool, but how exactly do you organize a giveaway to get the maximum conversions.
Well, it’s pretty basic.
1. You need to define your end goal (what exactly do you want from the people – more sales, views, engagement, or endorsements).
2. Choose a relevant prize.
3. Let your fans do the marketing.
4. Include a sense of urgency.
Here are the results of a giveaway conducted by Floafers – a shoe company.
They generated over $8,000 in revenue with the giveaway.
I personally feel that if they educated those 6,000 subscribers about shoe fashion first, and then sent them to buy, the conversions would have gone way higher.
So, that’s our first take. Don’t just send people to buy directly, first educate them about your product and then pitch.
Also, I have gathered some stats about which platforms you should use for giveaways.
As you can see: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are your goldmines. You would want to concentrate more on those.
If you haven’t run a giveaway ever, I recommend using Rafflecopter – a tool for giveaways.
They do have a free trial so you can test it out.
Pro Tip – Be sure to add social media autofill on your forms. That’ll boost your conversion rates even more.
5. Use Facebook Lead Ads
Facebook Lead Ads?
Whoa, didn’t you think of that?
It’s a fantastic method to get more and more highly targeted signups that actually convert.
Works fast and well enough.
Just mess around with your targeting and ad copy to test what works well, and get surprising results after figuring your way out.
You kinda know the process, but still, I’m going to share how to create Facebook Lead Ads for those who don’t know.
In your Business Manager or Personal Ad Account, click on ‘create’ to create a new advertisement.
Name your campaign and select ‘lead generation’ as your objective.
The next thing obviously is targeting.
You’re going to test it out or research before you go about targeting the places, interests, and demographics.
If you already have some subscribers, then you can add a Lookalike audience for your ads to work better. Even if you don’t, it still kills it (as long as you’re doing it right).
There are a lot of tutorials on Lead Ads that you can watch and learn from on YouTube.
The last thing is designing your ads – hey, that’s up to you.
For that, either use tools like PowerAdSpy or test it out.
Here’s an example of an ideal Lead Ad…
Every ad is going to be different so there are no universal templates.
But I can give some tips:
- Keep it simple.
- Try catchy images and 2-3 minute videos.
- Try not to ask more than 4 questions for low CPLs.
- Email-only forms have over 33.8% conversion rate.
- Follow up as soon as possible.
- Test, Test, Test
This was pretty basic but I quite don’t see many of the people using FB Lead Ads.
By the way, one of my clients did about $50,000 in commissions in a month via Lead Ads (as a realtor). The CPL was $3.87.
You definitely want to check it out for yourself too.
6. Use Live Chat
Almost every website I visit today has live chat installed.
I was wondering why do they do it?
Ah, customer support!
Well, not just the support but it’s more than that.
It’s a source to boost email subscribers.
They do it as a part of their email marketing strategy.
Yes, that’s right!
Even I do this on my WooCommerce stores to get people’s information.
Again, here’s the proof first (studies conducted by Zendesk and Kissmetrics).
Here’s how it works: install live chat software on your website and ask people to introduce themselves before they can chat.
Here are some other real examples of how you can implement this on your blog, website, store, or portal.
I can feel you.
You’re thinking how to add live chat to your website or page, right?
What are you waiting for?
Go ahead and experiment with this method real quick.
7. Host Webinars
Webinars are time-consuming and quite costly to host.
They also require a lot of work.
But they are worth trying.
It’s not just me saying this to you.
Every marketer recommends doing webinars if you want extremely high-quality leads and sales.
But if you want that to happen, defining the right category is essential.
I’ll share how exactly.
Back in the day, I was working with a client in the fitness niche.
He was hosting webinars on losing fat and body transformation.
We did the targeting right, the landing page was good, and the webinar was pretty fine too!
But the leads we got we’re simply dead (not all of them).
And he was getting crazy.
That time, I was watching Russell Brunson. He was explaining how ClickFunnels became the category king of sales funnels.
That’s when it hit me – you’ve got to target one single category.
The next time we organized the webinar, it was about how to lose belly fat without going to the gym for men who were fathers ( with just dieting).
That worked out really well. Now, Jay helps thousands of fathers lose weight and get a nice shape for he had done some handsome sales with the webinars and training programs.
Similarly, for you too, it’s important to define your category and prospects’ persona. The specific you get, the better results you’ll have.
Here’s an example of a webinar that has done over seven figures.
It’s pretty clean with strategic use of colors, images, and a small quiz.
As you can see above, the signup form is well designed too!
Pro Tip – Try to add a progress bar on the top of your signup form (just like the one above). It’ll surely help.
The software that I personally use and recommend for hosting webinars is WebinarJam.
Hey, don’t worry – I’m not an affiliate by any means.
Just that I’ve had real experiences with this software. They have tons of great features that you’d want for a profitable webinar.
Both free and paid webinars could be done using this platform.
Though I highly recommend doing free webinars and then pitching a high ticket product in the end.
Whether you’re a solopreneur or a team, it’s worth doing webinars to increase both of your leads and sales count.
I think I forgot something…the proof? Didn’t I just share that? Apologies for that.
Here we go:
According to Curata, 79% of buyers say they will share information in exchange for webinars.
73% of B2B marketers and sales leaders say a webinar is the best way to generate high-quality leads.
44% of marketers have hosted or participated in a webinar. 87% of those marketers found it to be an effective strategy.
I know you’re impressed now – let’s move on.
8. Landing Pages Tweaks
Of course, you need a landing page to collect emails.
And you know what? Your page may look amazing to you but not to the one who’s going to give their contact information.
That being said, there are some cool tweaks you could make in your landing pages to increase the opt-in rate.
I’ve had over 60% opt-in rate with simple design changes.
You can have that too!
Just see how.
So, recently, I’ve been an active promoter of a new book by Russell Brunson.
And my landing page has about a 51% op-tin rate. It’s crazy.
I didn’t do anything special rather than modeling what was already working.
As Russell’s funnel was killing it, I just modeled the landing page and it worked like butter.
You can see it below.
It’s pretty simple and good looking. If you wish, you can check the page here.
Hence, the first thing you have got to do is look at some of the most successful landing pages in your industry and then try to model them.
I didn’t say copy them fully. Just model.
This will significantly grow up your list. With this, there are some other tweaks as well that you could be doing. Let’s look at them.
Tweak #1 – Add A Countdown Timer
Adding ‘limited time’ or ‘offer ends soon’ is fine.
But adding a countdown timer can boost conversions dramatically.
Why? How? What?
Because if you say them, it’s not taken much seriously. But, if you show them, it’s impactful for human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than images.
Here’s a good example that I used while promoting John’s course.
Tweak #2 – Tell Them It’s Almost Done
We all love seeing progress and getting stuff done quickly.
Thus, telling visitors that it’s almost done will encourage them to signup.
And that’s it…seriously!
Tweak #3 – Highlight The Benefits
One thing I’ve learned over the past few years is that instead of speaking to people about how good your product is, tell them how it’ll change their lives.
The same case goes with landing pages. Highlighting the benefits will help the visitors to make better decisions.
Just like this…
Tweak #4 – Add A Video
Videos are engaging, impacting, and amazing.
Then why not take advantage of them?
Some of my friends are killing it with videos just like the one below (his name is Robby by the way).
This is what I mean…
Adding videos to a landing page can increase conversions by 86%.
I’m not going to utilize much time here, would just say that using 3-4 minute videos work better than none.
Tweak #5 – Minimum Navigation
If you’ve checked out the landing page that I mentioned above (about Traffic Secrets), you know that I have almost zero navigation at all.
Why? Because I don’t want people to get distracted. One call to action at a time is the key to continuously drive more subscribers on your lists.
9. Video OverPlays
I’m sure you haven’t yet used video overplays on your blog.
They are one of the best things ever in the industry of marketing.
People can signup to your lists while watching the videos in seconds.
That way they don’t have to stop the video and go somewhere else to subscribe.
Let’s get into the overplays and try playing with them.
So, as I said, with video overplays, you can place a signup form on your video at a specific time and get people to enroll on your list.
But that only works on videos placed on blogs (the videos don’t have to be yours). You can embed other influences videos and make it work for yourself.
Here’s an example…
The design is up to you.
But I must say that it’s one of the most creative ways to grow your email list via video marketing.
I highly recommend using a tool called Video OverPlay for this (again, I’m not an affiliate).
It does require a small investment of $27 or so but it’s definitely worth it for no one is using this strategy right now. And best of all, it works really really well.
10. Use Social Proof Notifications
Everyone trusts proof.
You see, how I had to collect a lot of them to make you believe about the strategies in this post itself.
If you do the same with your traffic, it’ll convert.
There are so many free tools out there that let you do this.
I’ll be recommending the one that I’ve used, you can do your research though.
The tool’s name is ProveSource. What this tool allows you to do is create social proof notifications that you can place on your lead-capture pages or sales pages that build your credibility as a whole.
Notifications from people viewing the page (real-time) to people’s signups…you have whole bunch of options to show.
It does help in standing out and winning the trust.
And once you cross that ‘trust’ mark, no one can stop you.
11. Run Your Own Affiliate Program (for product owners)
Nothing could be better than having other (highly skilled) people and marketers drive active leads for your business on autopilot.
Yes, I’m talking about running your own affiliate program
If you pay your affiliates handsomely, they’ll be more than happy promoting your products.
This will not only explode your mailing list but also help in generating a consistent income stream.
It’s a win-win situation for both you and them.
Let’s set it up.
This is easy.
If you don’t know what an affiliate program is, it’s an arrangement or a system where you invite new affiliates to join your business, promote your products or services, and get paid for the referrals.
If you’re a complete beginner in this industry, I recommend you check out this post.
Both the software programs will help you set up an affiliate program in minutes.
Once you have that up and running, you can check out this guide where I’ve shared the top ways to attract affiliates as a merchant.
The referrals will be so much that you won’t even find yourself comfortable checking out ‘new leads and sales’ notifications.
I think with over 81% of the marketers and 84% of publishers leveraging the power of affiliate marketing, there’s nothing much to say. It’s just so self-explanatory.
12. Some General Methods
It’s time to learn some of the general methods as well.
Sure, you need advanced and new strategies…but someday you’ve got to come back to basics as well.
Go play your favorite song if you agree with me.
I’m kidding (but not about the general tactics…they do work).
Well, without making any mess further, I think it’s better for me to stick with the topic.
Come, feels like we’re running out of time.
Method #1 – Place The Form In Your Footer
Yeah, you know what I’m referring to.
It’s a petty basic and old-school way but it still works a bit.
For example, the form on our homepage has got me 339 new subscribers (not bad).
It’s a small number but these small ones do add up in the final outcome.
Method #2 – Freebies
In this method, you can give something for free in exchange of people’s name and email.
Could be anything. A cheatsheet, case study, guide, video, PDF download, course, e-book, or some other kind exclusivity.
If giving freebies wouldn’t be working, you wouldn’t be seeing them at all on brands like Oberlo and Backlinko.
Method #3 – Spin The Wheel
Another method is having a ‘Spin the wheel’ placed on your website where people can try their luck to get something.
I’ve seen this thing on a lot of famous blog around the web. And, I myself gave my email address too (for grabbing a cheatsheet of FB Ads).
Hence, it does drive decent leads.
Method #4 – A Free Tool
Tools used to require a lot of management, skills, and investment. But not today.
With platforms like CodeCanyon, tools, scrips, and plugins could be bought for just a few bucks.
Thus, you can buy a tool, pop it up on your site, and let it work as a lead magnet.
Above is an example of how it works.
By the way, just to let you know that not only it gets your business more leads but also helps you rank higher by getting more backlinks and bringing more traffic.
Why? Simple answer – people love free tools.
Method #5 – Instagram Stories & Bio Link
Instagram is a social media beast right now with over a billion users sitting on it.
Out of those billions, you can expect to find your target audience as well in a small corner.
And as Instagram is already providing features like stories: why not take advantage of them?
Here’s a simple shot of ClickBank using stories to collect more emails.
Also, you can’t leave your bio empty.
Here’s an example of how ‘link in the bio’ can build your email count.
Method #6 – With Groups (FB & LinkedIn)
Groups are the best places to find your prospects. But it can be challenging because it takes A LOT OF WORK.
Really. Before you go and spam Facebook and LinkedIn by forcing people to signup to your list, you need to plan on providing ‘free’ value.
What is meant by this is that first, you help people out in the groups, build real connections with them, provide solutions to their problems or answers to the question, and share your knowledge with the whole community.
After you do it continuously for seven days, this is the time to get people on your list. It’s because the marketing rule of seven (I’ve talked about it in this post) says that before an individual decides to work with you, you need to show up in front of him at least seven times.
This will build more trust and credibility. Since these groups are on social media, you’ll be exposed to new referrals as well.
It really works well.
Method #7 – Facebook Page Signup Button
This one’s easy.
All you need to do is set the signup button on your Facebook page where users can hover over to and become a part of your community.
Method #8 – Networking On Facebook
Unlike other platforms, people on Facebook are very active. What you can do about is find popular accounts in your industry and just see who liked (or commented) on the posts that are relevant to your business.
The next step is to message them. But don’t be a marketer. Just be a friend.
Here’s a script that I use. I won’t mind if you copy it.
Just noticed that you like [Your Topic]. Meet me, another [Your Topic] lover.
I’d love to share [Your Value Pack] with you.
Also, if you added me to your friend list, I’ll be blessed.
Either way, enjoy your day!
That’s it! It does work (not for all but still does).
13. Be A Testing Yogi (forever)
All the tools and strategies are with you. The only thing you need to do is test everything out and see what gives you the best results.
Go try social media.
Go try pay-per-click.
Go try video marketing.
Go try network marketing.
Try everything you can and you’ll find a way.
Tips From The Names
Make your visitor feel the quality on your landing page itself whenever he moves the cursor. This will make him feel good and he’d want more of that. – Neil Patel
Generally, people don’t turn on email confirmation due to the fear of losing subscribers. But if you do that, you’ll have more quality subscribers who’d love to work with you. – Brian Dean
If you can take the pain of providing free value to a user for at least three times without asking him for anything in return, your email marketing results will cross your expectations. It’s about getting quality subscribers, not quantity. – Shivansh Bhanwariya
Don’t be afraid to break the norms, stop following what everyone else says, and experiment with your emails, yourself. – Julia McCoy
Bonus Free Course
[FAQs] Frequently Asked Questions
List building is crucial for every business because not only it has the potential to drive highly targeted followers for your business but also gives a very high return on investment.
A simple answer is – no! It isn’t. And it’s not going away anytime soon.
When you don’t have enough value to provide, it may seem hard. But when you provide tons of great value, it’s not!
Your Feedback Is Everything.
Firstly, I acknowledge you for reading the post and spending your valuable time here. From the bottom of my heart…really!
Second, I’d love to hear from you now.
If you liked this post, make sure you share this content piece on your social media accounts.
I would be grateful if you do that and will continue creating valuable and engaging posts like this in the future.
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