3 things you need to build an email list

3 Things You Need to Build an Email List

3 Things You Need to Build an Email List

Do you often find having to complete certain tasks a bit daunting? Sometimes, the key to overcoming that is to break the task down into smaller bits. For example, if the pressure of building an email list has you putting it off, break it down. When you look at the 3 things you need to build an email list as individual tasks it is less overwhelming and much easier to accomplish. 

I have spent the last week or 2 focusing on the email side of the business after putting it off for way too long. Having focused on each of the 3 things individually has made it less stressful, made it easier to focus on what needed to be done, and allowed for effective time management. Also, watching it all come together has been a lot of fun. 

So what are the 3 things you need to build an email list? 

You’re going to need:

  1. Email Marketing Platform, also known as an autoresponder
  2. Lead Magnet
  3. Opt-in Form

That’s it.  

Now, let me show you just how simple it can be. 

This post contains affiliate links which means, I make a commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you. 

#1 Autoresponders

AWeber Link

The first thing you need to do is decide on an email marketing autoresponder. 

An autoresponder stores your subscriber lists and sends out automated emails or newsletters allowing you to communicate with your audience on a regular and consistent basis. 

I use AWeber.

Did you know nearly half of #smallbiz owners AWeber surveyed ranked email marketing as the most effective digital marketing channel to retain customers? View @AWeber’s complete 2021 Digital Marketing Report:… Click To Tweet

Not only can I have multiple lists, but I can also build opt-in and landing pages right from my dashboard. I like that it is simple to set up and use. There isn’t a steep learning curve that will leave you frustrated and wanting to rip your hair out. They also have a ton of other features that make it a very versatile email marketing platform to use. 

I opted for the paid version which works on a sliding scale depending on the number of subscribers you have, but their free plan is pretty good if you are just starting list building. 

If you require an autoresponder I would definitely recommend checking them out. 

Anyway, choosing an autoresponder will probably be easier than choosing your lead magnet.

#2 Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is simply something of value you offer for free in exchange for someone’s email address. 

Think of subscriber emails as currency. Don’t expect subscribers to give up their email for nothing in return. You must be offering them something of value in exchange for their email. Ideally, your lead magnet will offer a specific solution to a specific problem for your specific niche or target market.

Lead magnets may be:

  • Printables
  • E-books/PDFs
  • Guides
  • Bonus Packs
  • Checklists/Cheatsheets
  • Workbooks
  • Case Studies
  • Webinars/Video Training
  • Whitepapers
  • Templates
  • Private Group Access
  • Quizzes/Surveys
  • Discounts/Free Shipping
  • Software Download/Free Trial

Pretty much anything can be a lead magnet.

Your niche will have some bearing on what type of lead magnet you choose, but more important is the content of your lead magnet. While some lead magnets are quite comprehensive and may take a considerable amount of time to put together, it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you are just starting, avoid the stress of developing a complicated lead magnet that may not convert and stick to something simple. As long as you are offering the people landing on your page something of value (solving a problem) that is congruent with your niche.

Printable coloring pages used as a lead magnet on a site catering to kids’ crafts are acceptable, but a printable time management schedule would work better for working from home or building a business niche.

Everyone loves free shipping. If you have an e-commerce site this is an easy lead magnet.

Putting together a checklist? Easy peasy. Very useful across multiple niches.

A free how-to guide may take a bit more time to put together but is a great choice for someone in a technology niche.

Now, if building your lead magnet from scratch is something you may not want to do you can always find some relevant PLR (private label rights) content. This will get you up and running quickly without having to spend a lot of time creating your own content. I recently came across this extensive library of PLR articles.

Regardless of the type of lead magnet you choose or if you create your own or use a PLR product just be sure you are providing value to your subscribers. This is the most important factor to consider in everything you do. So ask yourself, “Does this lead magnet provide value?”

Once you can answer yes to that, move on to the final step you need to complete to start building your email list.

#3 Opt-in Forms

The opt-in form is where your subscriber enters their email so they can be on your list.  

Like I said earlier, this is one reason why I like using AWeber. They make building opt-in forms and landing pages easy. They even offer several templates to choose from if you’re not feeling particularly creative. 

To see just how simple it is to build an opt-in form in AWeber watch this short video I made.

As you can see, using AWeber is simple. And, now you have all 3 things you need to build your own email list. 

When It All Comes Together 

Now that I have shown you how to take “building an email list” and break it down into 3 simple tasks it isn’t so intimidating is it?

This works with any larger project that you have to do. Heck, even writing a blog post is broken down into a series of smaller tasks. 

When you break it down and focus on one thing at a time it is less stressful and you can accomplish more. 

So, if you are finding yourself having a hard time getting some seemingly large projects done, give this a try. Break it down into small manageable pieces and see how quickly and easily it all comes together for you. 

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What did you struggle with when you were setting up your email list for the first time?

Any advice you can offer?

Are there any other strategies that you use to accomplish bigger projects?

Let me know in the comments below. I always love hearing from you, and don’t forget to subscribe. 😉

4 thoughts on “3 Things You Need to Build an Email List”

  1. Hi Sharla Ann,
    You sure have explained this so well. It is pretty simple to follow these three important things one must do. Give freely a book you may have written, a white page, or anything of value to others. It becomes a “mini commitment” when they give us their name and email. They have given us the permission to be on our list. Now we have to work that list. We keep giving extra value to those who sign up. It comes down to 80% of valuable information for them and 20% a sales offer.
    Works like a charm!

    1. Thank you Donna,
      It does work like a charm. I find some people struggle because they don’t want to put any effort into a relevant lead magnet or they way over think making it much more complicated than it needs to be.
      I like your 80% info-20%sales. It really drives home the fact that when you focus on solving a problem you don’t have to “sell”.
      SharlaAnn Matyjanka recently posted…3 Key Factors That Limit Your SuccessMy Profile

  2. Hi SharlaAnn,

    Simple and powerful tips here. Building an email list can help you bond with your readers for most people check email frequently. Publishing helpful, problem-solving content is a good way to grow your subscriber base because people give up their email for content that improves their life.


    1. Hi Ryan,

      Thank you for pointing out that these are SIMPLE tips. List building, helping people and making connections with people don’t have to be complicated.

      The problem is when we start out and don’t fully understand list building, blogging, etc they become much more complicated in our minds. We also think that we should be going from 0-100 instantly. That’s not how it works.

      Start small, master one thing at a time, keep it simple.


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