How To Build An Email List From Scratch


If you’ve spent any time listening to the Rock Your Brand Podcast or reading the content we have here at, you’d know by now that we are EXTREMELY passionate about building and using an email list to help grow our brands.

One of the questions we get all of the time is “How many blog posts should I write before I can START Building my email list” or even “can I build my email list, without a website?.

The answer is absolutely yes, you can build an email list without a website and there is no reason to wait until you have a specific amount of content to do it.

Here you'll find a very simple and step by step process to be able to start creating an email list with no website.

Step #1 Create Your Lead Magnet 

Now that we understand that we can begin building our email list even if we don’t have a website,  the first thing we'll need to do is create a lead magnet.

If you’ve never heard of a lead magnet before,  it's essentially a piece of content that is designed to attract (like a magnet)  the people from our potential audience that have a problem we can solve.

Things like Ebooks, How-to Guides, Video Series, or other useful content are given away in exchange for the email address of someone from our ideal audience.

If you want to learn the 3 easiest ways of creating a lead magnet that your audience will love, you’ll want to check that out here

Step #2 Host Your Lead Magnet

After you've created your lead magnet the next thing you'll need to do is find a place to host. 

Thankfully ConvertKit, the service we rely on for all of our email marketing needs and a tool you should be using for email anyway can do this very easy for us.

If we’re taking advantage of the landing page tools from convertkit, we can also easily upload our lead magnets to this platform as well, regardless of whether you’re on one of their paid plans or their FREE starter plan.

Another option for hosting your lead magnet would be something like dropbox or Google drive. 

If you're not using convert kit and can’t upload files directly into your email service provider, cloud-based storage like the two services mentioned above are a great alternative.

Simply upload the file to your favorite service and copy the link to add to your emails later.

Step #3 Build Your Landing Page

After you created your lead and uploaded it to your chosen hosting (whether that is with something like Google drive or you chose news Convertkit), you'll need to start the process of building your landing page.

A landing page is a place where you will be driving traffic and usually contains a form, as well as a quick description of what your potential new email subscriber will be able to obtain in exchange for their email address.

There are a wide variety of landing page builders that exist and at this stage, you should be looking for one that allows you to host your landing page on their website.

As discussed above, if you have chosen to use Convertkit (like we do) in addition to being able to host your lead magnet, they can create landing pages.

They have a wide variety of different templates for just about every type of fleet maintenance you can give away and make the process as painless as they do just about everything else.

If you'd like to learn more about how to create a landing page with Convertkit, I suggest you check out this article here.

Step #4 Build Your Thank You Page

Once we've taken the time to create our landing page and we’re happy with the look and feel of it we need to move on to creating a thank you page.

A thank you page essentially a confirmation that someone has successfully subscribed to your email list but can be used in a variety of other ways such as to sell a paid digital product or to redirect the user to other useful resources.

Thankfully, just like with Landing pages Convertkit has this functionality built as well, as do most other landing page creation software.

Step #5 Build Your Follow Up Sequence

Now that we have everything in place to be able to capture someone's email address if they are interested in our lead magnet, it's time to start putting a few things in place to make sure that they stay active and engaged and we all get the most out of the interaction.

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when they're creating a lead magnet is that they don't think about the email follow-up sequence.

Ideally, we’re going to put together a few different emails (3 to 5) that we will send out over a few days after someone gives us their email address.

The initial point of this sequence is obviously to deliver them the lead magnet (the thing they signed up to get anyway) and after that what we’re trying to do is make sure that they are engaged in getting any additional content that we may have to offer that will improve the experience for them.

If our lead magnet was a guide on how to create an email list, we may want to send a few different emails talking about the different things that people will need to do.

For example, we could take the six steps outlined in this blog post and create an email around each of them to make sure that the people who are signing up and getting the lead magnet understand the differences in each of the steps and how each of them plays a role in them eventually becoming successful with their new lead magnet.

These emails are the “make or break” difference in a lead magnet that results in us having long-term engaged customers and having a list built of people who just signed up once and never look at our content again after that.

Don’t Rush Them! Take the time to do them right.

If you're interested in exactly how you should be crafting emails you may want to take a look at this post here.

Step #6 Drive Some Traffic

At this point, you should have everything in place to be able to capture someone's email address if they are interested in what your lead magnet has to offer.

The final step in this process is to drive some traffic to your landing page and get your offer in front of people. There are a variety of ways that I enjoy doing this,

But the two easiest is going to be Facebook and Pinterest ads.

While the two platforms differ slightly now you set up the ads, they both offer the ability to target based on keywords or interests.

This makes it very easy to identify our audiences on either of these platforms.

Returning to the example above about the email lead magnet, either of these platforms would allow us to create an ad targeted at people who are interested in marketing or social media or even potentially email marketing.

Having the ability to target people who we know should be interested in our lead magnet cuts out a ton of wasted time and effort that we may run into in other platforms and helps us to make sure that before we go any broader with our advertisements that our message matches the expectations of the customer.

Chris lives at the intersection of business strategy and growth tactics. Having consulted with dozens of different businesses (as well as building several of his own), he brings a unique perspective on what's working across the eCommerce world in businesses of all shapes and sizes.

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