Building an email list is THE most important thing you can do to grow your business.

Yet, so many online entrepreneurs put it off.

  • They don’t have the time to invest in it
  • They don’t see the value since it does not bring money in RIGHT now
  • They don’t know where to start
  • They feel overwhelmed and confused

Social media vs email marketing

Take a minute to think about how you spend time in your business.

How much time do you spend on social media?

How much time do you spend growing your email list, crafting great content, and looking for ways to grow and engage your list?

Many online entrepreneurs spend the majority of their day on social media – creating posts, writing status updates, responding to comments, creating ads, etc.

While social media is a great place to connect and engage with your potential clients, email marketing still seems to be the best place to sell.

Social media also does not have the ROI (return on investment) like email marketing does.

An influential marketing blogger, Derek Halpern ran a test where he sent his latest blog post to the same number of people via both email and Twitter.

The results:

  • 300 people clicked on the article from Twitter
  • 4,200 people clicked on it from email. (source)

I totally get that Twitter is probably not as popular of platform as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, buuut the stats are still pretty staggering!

Email marketing has proven to be the MOST effective way to actually make money in your business.

Social media (specifically Facebook) algorithms can and do constantly change – you have no control over that. On the other hand, having an email list allows you to show up directly in your potential customer’s inbox and make pitches to ideal clients on your terms. You have complete control. This is why email marketing has proven to result in more reads and clicks than social media.

Email is also more personal that social media.

Your email subscribers are your most loyal followers and you should treat that email list like GOLD

Consider every subscriber on your email list a potential customer.

And keep this in mind… You do not want everyone and their mother on your email list – you want people who are interested in what you have to offer!

So, how do you grow your email list?

The BEST thing you can do to grow your email list is create a free offer/lead magnet.

What is a lead magnet?

It is something you give away for free in exchange for an email address.

It should be something you feel you could charge for, but are giving it away as a preview to what you have to offer instead.

This allows you to WOW your potential clients and gain their trust.

It gives you the opportunity to start building a relationship, show off your amazing content, and – eventually – sell them something.

Your free opt-in could be an ebook, a downloadable pdf, an email course, a webinar, a video series, a check list, or a
challenge… the possibilities are endless.

I’ve spoken with many bloggers who say, “there is already sooo much information out there, what can I offer that is different?”

Let me just say this…

Just because the information is already out there, does NOT mean you should not create something with amazing value to offer the people who know you, like you, and trust you.

People like to feel a connection to someone. And many times, they care more about WHY you do something than WHAT you actually do. And they will feel more connected to you when you show up in their inbox.

This is what makes you unique from the millions of other professionals and businesses that do what you do.

What should you offer as a free opt-in/lead magnet?

First of all, your freebie has to line up with what you are selling – or what you potentially want to sell.

If you have no idea what you may want to sell, you could start by offering one-on-one consults or coaching.

Here is the cool thing about just starting out and having a new list –>

You have the time to do one-on- one consults and get to know your ideal clients better! It is also a great way to make some moolah NOW!

Secondly, you have to know what your ideal client wants and needs.

There is no point in offering a recipe book on exotic meals from around the world when your ideal client is a busy mom with limited time in the kitchen.

Then, you want to fill that want and need in the easiest way possible for your potential client.

And finally, just get started!

Begin with something simple, something you know. You can always improve it later.

And keep this in mind: something is better than nothing! And DONE is better than NONE!

​In the book, REWORK, there is a chapter called “Good enough is fine.” It states:

“When good enough gets the job done, go for it. It’s better than wasting resources or, even worse, doing nothing because you can’t afford the complex solution. And remember, you can usually turn good enough into great later.”

You do not want to over complicate this. Your goal is to simplify your email subscriber’s life and take them from point A to point B in the easiest way possible!

How do you deliver a lead magnet (the tech-y stuff)?
  • Sign up for an email provider. I use Convertkit and they have a free plan.
  • Edit/create a PDF and upload it to Google drive.
  • Get the shareable link.
  • Create a landing page in Convertkit or your website.
  • When someone sign up, you are able to automatically send an email with that shareable link to your free offer.
  • Now you have an email subscriber.

You do not have to use Convertkit as an email marketing platform, that is just what I use + recommend. I’ve used Mailer Lite and Mailchimp before and like CK best. But there are certainly other options!

4 ideas for your first free offer

1 – Make a list of 5 things about a topic you wish you knew 2 years ago. Use this list to create a great PDF or e-book for people who are struggling with the same things you were.

Note: You only have to be a step or two in front of your ideal client.

2 – Make a list of questions you are frequently asked and put together a mini video series or e-book answering one or more of the questions.

For first free offer, I made a list of all the cues and tips I have given clients over the years to help them master some of the exercises I constantly see people doing wrong.I wrote everything down in a Word document and added some pictures. I also made a little infographic in Canva as a special bonus. Saved it all as a PDF and DONE. I have since added bigger and better freebies but that first one allowed me to start collecting email addresses sooner than later!

3 – Think about one of the biggest problems your potential client faces and then solve it in a way that requires as little work from them as possible.

If you have no idea, go to Facebook! Ask your friends on your personal page. Join groups where your ideal clients hang out and watch and listen to what they are talking about and the questions they are asking. If you run a Facebook group, create a poll.

4 – Offer an upgrade to one of your most popular posts.

For example, let’s say you wrote a post about your top 5 easy and healthy summer cocktails and it brings a lot of traffic to your site. You could create a free ebook of “25 healthy and easy cocktails” or “healthy cocktails for every season.”

10 DFY Lead Magnets to Grow Your Email List

The BEST thing you can do to grow your email list is create a free offer.

It gives you the opportunity to start building a relationship, show off your amazing content, and – eventually – sell them something.