I will show you how to build an email list from scratch without spending a dollar. 

It is absolutely free and takes no time. Yes, you heard it right. I’m not saying that you can’t spend money on marketing your blog, but if you’re looking for some easy way to grow your email list, then this article is for you.

Guide to Build an Email List from Scratch Without Spending a Dollar
Guide to Build an Email List from Scratch Without Spending a Dollar

I would like to share my personal email list-building strategy, which helped me grow my blog subscriber base to more than 3K, where I can say that there are a lot of people who are interested in knowing about my journey. In this article, I will cover the following points:

Why Your Blog Need an Email List?

The answer is obvious, When you have a responsive subscriber base, then most of the work has been done for you. Subscribers will convert into readers and turn into customers. 

An email list is not only for building your blog but also to write to your potential and existing customers, affiliate marketers, etc. The best part about email marketing is that it helps you in SEO because of which the subscribers will be exposed to a lot of free traffic once they start exploring other articles on your website.

You have already spent so much time, energy, and money on creating a blog. So, you must have some interest in furthering its growth by inviting email subscribers. If your blog is no longer a newbie but experiencing its first month anniversary, that’s great!

Then again, you need to start building an email list if it has been less than 30 days since your launch. I want to share my own personal experience. When I started blogging, I didn’t even know that there would be a day when people would start visiting my blog and read it continuously for 2-3 days in a row.

It’s possible if you have engaging content with great visual presentation through images, but still, you cannot expect everything out of it. People read a few lines and decide to continue or stop reading your blog post.

What is the benefit of having an email list?

Having an email list has its own benefits. If you are not keeping the subscriber’s interests in your mind, you will lose them because the reader’s attention span is very short these days. Here, I will mention some benefits of having an email list.

Being able to keep in touch with your subscriber: You can remain in touch with them, send them updates, newsletters, and promotions. Your subscribers will be more interested in reading your post if they know that you care about their opinion.

Gaining trust: If you focus on building a long-term relationship with your readers, then they will trust you and your blog.

Aiding in building traffic: Building relationships with bloggers and influencers is one of the easiest ways to drive consistent organic traffic to your blog. Your friends can promote your content by sharing it on social media. They can also help you promote by inviting their friends through email.

Free traffic: The best source of free organic traffic is your existing subscribers. You need to reach out to them by sending emails, asking for help, etc. They will read your message and might visit your blog.

Increasing search engine ranking: Search engines like Google love content-rich sites that have a lot of active and unique visitors. Having an email list can help you achieve that.

How to build an email list from scratch without spending a dollar?

Well, it’s free and easy. The main thing you need to do is tell your readers about your blog/website. Tell them what you are trying to achieve with this site, how they can help you out, and how much time you will dedicate in return.

To get more people to subscribe, you need to focus on building relationships than selling. The best way of doing this is by providing value in your content and then asking for readers’ email addresses at the end of every post. Your aim should be to provide enough value so that they would not hesitate to give their email addresses. Here are some ways you can do this:

Offer something for free: The best way to get someone’s email address is to give that person a free gift. You can offer something like an eBook, checklist, cheat sheet, or infographic. Keep in mind that your content should be of high quality and unique so that it will help the reader. Or else you’re wasting your time and efforts.

Start a blog series: Blog series are very popular these days because the reader is getting something new every time they come back to your blog. Make sure that you write only about one subject in every post so that the reader will not get confused.

Build something free for them: If you’re good at building things, then build something free for your readers. They will love you more if they get a valuable product without paying anything.

How to actually grow your email list?

When you are doing everything possible in order to attract new people, it is time you start thinking about the conversion rate of those people into subscribers. The main aim of this process is to make sure that your website traffic is converting into email subscribers. Try to make a list of people who might subscribe based on who they are more likely to subscribe to.

Ensure you are using the right call-to-action: There should be a call-to-action in every blog post, and it should be notified so that it will increase the conversion rate. It should be a strong call-to-action that will make people click on it. For instance, if you want people to subscribe to your list, then place the text ‘Subscribe’ or any other newsletter signup box at the end of each post.

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Give them reasons why they should join: Make sure you are giving them as many reasons as possible to join your list. Give them value by offering something free in exchange for their email address. You can do this by giving your readers an eBook, checklist, or cheat sheet.

Link them straight away: If you are just starting out, then make sure that when they sign up for your newsletter, they will be given links right after the process. Make sure you give them a link to your About page, or even better, the link should directly take them to the content of your site. Give people a reason to come back and read your future posts by giving them links right after subscription.

Get more subscribers through viral marketing: Getting viral traffic is one of the best ways to get subscribers. Make sure the people you are talking to will share your content on social media. How?

Add a ‘Share’ button below your post: It should be easy for the readers to share your posts with their friends and family through email, Facebook, or Twitter.

Encourage them to do so by offering something free in exchange for sharing. For instance, you can offer a checklist or cheat sheet.

Add social share buttons in your sidebar: Just like the ‘share’ button, you want to make the reader’s life easier by adding social media buttons such as Facebook and Twitter icons which can be used by readers to share this post with their friends.

How to stop spamming and not annoy your subscribers?

One of the most important elements of list building is permission. You need to have people’s permission before adding them to your newsletter database.

Never ever spam: When you are getting new subscribers, do not make the mistake of sending them unwanted emails or promotions which they never signed up for. It is very annoying and can make them unsubscribe from your list.

Make sure that you send quality content: Your subscribers should only receive emails from you when the content is valuable for them. Do not make the mistake of sending a useless email just to let them know you exist by sending automated messages which they don’t even read.

Keep your mailing list clean: Even though it is okay to send some emails to people who have not opened your emails in a while, you need to make sure that you are not sending spam. Keep your list clean as it is the easiest way to get more subscribers when they see that you are serious about them and their email address is not only safe on the database but also monitored by you.

Get the right tools to help you with starting an email list. You need to ensure that your emails are being sent out and they get delivered properly. Do not make the mistake of choosing a low-quality service that will cause you to lose subscribers or, even worse, deliver your content late.

Use Personalisation: Make sure that you use personalization using the email address you have.

Do not tag your subscribers with their first name unless they gave you permission to do so or if it is a family newsletter, then tagging every name in the list should be great practice. You want to ensure that your reader feels like they are getting newsletters which are specially designed for them.

Best Practice to Follow in Email Marketing:

Let’s take a look at the best practice for list building and email marketing:

Use a professional template: Use a professional template to make your newsletter look more appealing to the readers. You can easily download templates online, or you can develop one yourself using basic HTML skills.

Let them get rid of you: If they don’t want to read your emails, then let them opt out by implementing an easy unsubscribe link in every email.

Always send a confirmation email: Always make sure that you send a confirmation email after every subscription to ensure that the person has subscribed because sometimes, even if they hit the submit button, your form might not work properly, or even worse, emails can get caught in spam filters which means they never reached your readers’ inbox.

Make it easy for them: It should be very easy for them to unsubscribe from your list. Do not make the mistake of hiding it on a long page or, worse yet, burying it in the terms and conditions which most people do not even bother checking out.

Turn their unsubscribe into an email capture: If they want to opt-out, you need to let them know that you don’t want them to do so, and in order to do this, you will need to send them an email welcoming them back. And if they have signed up using an abandoned cart software, for example (paid source), then it would be a good idea to make sure that the message is personalized according to their interests.

Make your signup button prominent: You need to make sure that your signup opt-in is clearly visible and calling for the attention of your visitors. Make it easy for people to join you on this adventure by making use of a prominent call to action, which will increase the chances of getting more subscribers.

Make it a contest: If you are looking at starting an email list from scratch, then you need to make sure that you have a contest running for your visitors. You can use the contest as an incentive to sign up, and once they do so, you need to reward them with something which will be useful to them.

Invest in a great offer: If nobody sees any value in joining your mailing list, they will not sign up. Make sure that you have a great offer that is useful to your visitors so that they feel the need to join you. This can be either another free download or something like an ebook with some valuable content in it, and once the reader finishes reading it, he or she will know why it would benefit them to make use of your email updates.

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Make it look good: If you are not too familiar with HTML, then make sure that you have someone who has some skills in this area to help you out.

You need to make use of design and marketing tips that will help you create an appealing newsletter template for your subscribers. Not only does it look great, but also it will encourage people to sign up.

Make it interesting: Make sure that you share the information that is useful and relevant to your readers so that they know why they need to read them every time you send one out.

Use different sources for content: If you are creating a newsletter from scratch, then make sure that you use different sources like articles written by you, valuable content from other sources, useful information compiled into an easy to read format, and so on which will help your subscribers in one way or the other.

Use appropriate colors: You need to use bright colors for a newsletter from scratch as it would catch the eye of the readers and encourage them to sign up. A boring newsletter template will be ignored by most readers, and they will not take the time to read it.

Get visual: You need to use images on your newsletter template because studies have shown that people are more likely to open a message if it contains images that relate to their interests. If you don’t want your subscribers to get bored, then you should definitely use images on your template to keep them interested.

Get creative: You need to stand out from the competition, and for this, you need to make use of some brilliant creativity. You can write funny updates on your newsletter, or you can create a series of updates such as “How To,” which will be extremely useful for your subscribers.

Use strong subject lines: If you want people to read your newsletter from scratch, then make sure that your subject lines are catchy and they can catch the attention of the readers. This will also help in increasing the open rates as people who already have an interest in your topic would definitely be interested in what you have to say.

Create specific segmentation: If you don’t segment your list properly, then you could end up sending out information that is not of use to your subscribers. You should create segments based on the interests of the people who are interested in joining your list and also send relevant updates based on this segmentation so that they find it useful and read them every time you send one out.

Use other lists: There are several mailing lists out there, including ones that have been specifically created for entrepreneurs and marketers, which you can use in building your own list from scratch. You can get the newsletters of these lists and then send them to your subscribers to attract their attention, and this will encourage them to subscribe to your list as well.

Make it a habit: Once you have gone through all the trouble of building an email list from scratch, then you need to make it a habit so that you can build your business and also share the information that is valuable for your readers.

Make use of automation: If you don’t know how to code, then there are many web apps available today which will help you create automated newsletters. All you have to do is enter the email addresses of your subscribers and choose which type of updates you would like to include in it, and then get one sent out every time you write a new article.

Monetize your email list: Once you are done building an email list, then the next step is to figure out ways that can help you monetize it so that you don’t have to spend much time on this. This will help your business grow in the long run and make sure that you aren’t wasting your time and energy.

Lead Magnet Ideas for Email List Building

You can build a lead magnet for your email list using one of the following ideas:

1. Ebook: If you have written an ebook or any other type of content, then you can use this as a lead magnet to help you reach out to more people and convert them into customers. You just need to create some amazing offers which would entice the customers to subscribe to your list, and once you have done that, you can send out an email every time you get a new ebook ready.

2. Checklist: If you have created a checklist of some useful information for people in your niche, then this will come in handy when it comes to building an email list, as people would definitely be interested in getting it.

3. Cheatsheet: Another amazing way that you can use to build an email list is by creating a cheat sheet that has the most important tips and tricks that your customers would like to know so that they can take advantage of them.

4. Template: You might also choose to create an email template of some relevant information for your customers and then distribute it to them. Once you send out emails frequently, it will become a part of their daily routine, and they would thank you for helping them keep up with the latest news in your niche.

5. Sales page: You might also choose to include a sales page for some special offer or product that you have and build an email list based on this. All you have to do is create the perfect offer for your customers in order to increase your chances of converting them into paying customers and then send out an email every time they will be ready for purchase.

6. Quote: You can even create a quote that will motivate people to subscribe to your list and then send it out each time you want to include a new one in any of your future emails.

7. An article: If you have written an interesting article, then this is another great way that you can use in building an email list. You just need to make sure that the writing is so compelling that people won’t be able to stop themselves from subscribing to your list.

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8. Video: If you have created a video in the past or are planning to create one, then this is another great way that you can use as a lead magnet and help you reach out to more people.

9. Quiz: If you have created a quiz that will help people learn and remember certain things better, then this would be another great way that you can use to build an email list.

10. Webinar: You can also create a webinar in your niche and use it as a lead magnet for building an email list.

Building an email list is no rocket science, and all you need to do is figure out which of the above options would work best for the audience that you are targeting in your niche and choose to implement it. Keep in mind that choosing the wrong lead magnet can actually make you lose revenue since people will unsubscribe from your list as they aren’t interested in the content. Make sure that you choose something relevant to your niche and send it out on a regular basis so that people will have no excuse for not signing up for your list.

How To Get The Most Out of Your Email List Building Campaigns?

Once you have built an email list, then the next step is to start using it to your advantage. You need to send out regular emails, which will include a recap or roundup of the things that are happening in your niche, the most recent blog posts from you, and even special offers for those who have been following you all this time. If you don’t want to use any services, then you can always depend on your own email system.

Here are some of the things that you can do in order to get the most out of your email list building campaigns:

– Send a welcome email: This is very important as it will be your first impression on your new list of members, and if they see something useful, then they will surely stick around for a while.

– Make sure that you are sending emails on a regular basis, and people will thank you for this.

– Include a relevant subject line that will make the subscribers open your email right away.

– Blog about anything that is happening in your niche and share it among all of your list members so that they can stay updated with everything that’s going on in your niche.

– Send out a “thank you” email every time someone subscribes to your list, and then include something more that will make them come back for more.

– Offer special discounts or deals so that people can get what they want without even having to think about it twice.

– Use images in the emails if you don’t want them to get lost in anyone’s cluttered inbox.

– Include links to your social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so that people can follow you in another way.

These are just some of the things that you can do in order to get the most out of your email list-building strategies. If you focus on these things, then your list will grow, and it won’t be long before you reach out to a large number of people.

Tools needed for Email List Building:

These days, there are tons of tools that you can use to build a list of subscribers. Some of these tools are free, and some are paid, so it all depends on whether you want to pay for the services or not.

If you have decided to create an email list with any internet marketing program or company, then here are at least four tools that will come in handy for you.

1: MailChimp – Free up to 2000 subscribers & $10 per month for 500 subscribers.

2: Aweber – Free up to 500 Subscribers after that, starting from $17 per month.

3: GetResponse – Paid but with a 30-day free trial and, after that, starts from $29 per month.

4. Convertkit – Free up to 1000 Subscribers. For more subscribers & automation, go for Paid Plan. It starts from $29 per month.

Building an email list from scratch is not hard to do, and all you need to do is consider the steps that are mentioned above for this. You can also opt for any of the tools above, so try them out and see which one works best for you. It will be up to you whether you want a free service or paying for a premium service- it’s your choice. If you have questions about the tools above, then just leave a comment below, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Another great way to build your email list is by using videos. Look for ways people may be searching online for your niche video content on YouTube. You can also record short explainer videos that answer people’s questions that they may have regarding your niche. You can insert a link to your opt-in page or site in the description area of these videos and ask people to subscribe to your email list as an incentive to watch more videos on the subject.

This is one way I’ve built my email list, and it works very well for me. You can use this method for just about any niche or keyword you are trying to rank for.

I hope what I have shared today has helped you build your email list the right way, from scratch. If you have any questions regarding this, then please ask away below in the comment section, and I will get back to you as soon as possible with the answer.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog, and thanks for your time!

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Have a wonderful day!