We all hear of email success, and that’s great, but to get started in email marketing you don’t need to do anything magical or overthink the design and copy too much, the best thing to do is to simply start, learn and develop your strategy as you go. The one thing that puts a spanner in this, is your subscribers. Unlike social media where there’s a bunch of people watching and listening ready for you to target, or search engine marketing, where you can place ads and drive traffic, with email – if you don’t have any subscribers, you can’t do anything about it.

Of course, you can buy or acquire data by some nefarious means, but that simply doesn’t work. The first thing for you to do is learn patience, and build, NOT BUY.

This can be a frustrating game, but trust me, an email list is worth gold in comparison to a Twitter following. So patience pays off.

Let’s take a look into HOW you can grow your list from zero and attract your first bunch of subscribers.

Emily Ryan Co-Founder and Email Strategist at Westfield Creative Contributed to 2 posts

Start with the basics: Your family and friends

One very easy way to get started with your email list is to let your friends and family know and have them subscribe. This could easily be your first 500+ contacts! The key is to make sure you ask for their permission and have them opt-in or signup to get your emails. You could start by importing a list of your family/friends and then creating a simple email that says something like “I am about to launch…and would love for you to be here for the journey. If you’d like to unsubscribe, that’s totally fine. If you’d like to stay on the list, you don’t have to do anything.”

Giving people clear permission to opt-out is a smart move, so you can ensure you only have people on your list who want to be there.

Draw them in with an irresistible offer

Offering a great incentive in exchange for an email address is a great way to build your list. It could be a free downloadable pdf, discount code, a sample, free shipping or exclusive content. There so many different types of carrots you could dangle in front of them. The key question you have to answer is, “Is this what my audience wants?”. Creating yet another PDF that never gets opened is not the way to go. Think of actionable freebies that will transform their situation. Or something so valuable that you could sell, but instead you are giving it away!

Can’t think of anything to offer? Try adding some humour to the reason why they should join your list. If nothing else, you will likely put a smile on their face.

Lindsey Carroll Founder & Chartered Marketer (Mailchimp Pro Partner) at Outbox Ltd Contributed to 3 posts

Think of areas in your business to gain sign ups – not only on your website.

Try promoting your newsletters at:

  • Presentations
  • Expos and events – including Zoom ones!
  • Social media 
  • Point of sale
  • QR codes
  • Email signature area

You can find out ‘More ways to build your list the right way!’ here.