How to Grow an Email List in 4 Easy Steps

Question: do you have an email list?

If you don’t, I’m guessing it’s for a reason like “I don’t have a business”, or “I don’t know what I’m doing”, or “It looks like a lot of work to setup”.

Either way, here are just a few benefits to growing an email list

– an email list is one of the cheapest, easiest and most personal ways to grow and nurture an audience (I’ll show you how easy it is in just 4 steps below…).

– an email list is yours – meaning Facebook or Instagram can’t take it from you or change some algorithm overnight.

– even if you’re not selling anything (aka yours truly), you can use it to build a brand, build an audience for a project, to meet new people, or even just to improve your writing. Any reason at all is a good one to be building an audience these days.

– if you’ve been on my email list for more than a few weeks, think about how well you “know me” – even if we haven’t met.

If you’ve been reading my weekly Friday emails for months (like some of you have), you probably know me better than some of my friends do! Heck, you might even trust me enough to buy something from me – if I had anything to sell!

My point isn’t that email lists are the key to cash, but rather if you’re looking to grow a following and build trust with potential buyers, or anyone for that matter, this is one heck of a way to do it. 

Note: I still have nothing to sell to you and probably won’t for a long time 😀

Okay, let’s say you’re convinced to get started. Here’s how to grow an email list in 4 easy steps (keeping in mind there are other ways to do it, but this is the super basic/free/easy version):

1) Figure out who/what your list is for – your business? personal brand? Keeping in mind you want to pick one general theme or topic for the content you’ll create. For me, I stick to talking about my journey running my solopreneur business, and the lessons learned along the way.

2) If you’re cheap like me, sign up for a free account with Mailchimp or Mailerlite You can use these totally for free until you hit a certain number of subscribers (2k for Mailchimp, 1k for Mailerlite). I still use Mailchimp and it’s definitely good enough for the price, although you can use other services for around $20/30 per month.

Note: I’m not affiliated with either – I only recommend stuff I have experience using myself.

3) Create a landing/web page so people can signup – This doesn’t have to be fancy, and many website builders or Mailchimp/Mailerlite can even help you design one. The page should explain exactly why people should join your list, what it’s about, etc. Check out mine if you want an example of a very basic one that should probably be updated… (link). Make sure to connect the Mailchimp/Mailerlite code/popup to the page so there’s somewhere for people to signup.

Pro tip: the effectiveness of your landing page will come down to design and copy (text you use), and I highly recommend taking some time to draft good copy. Check out my blog post here on why copywriting is important, including some tips on how to get started for solopreneurs.

4) Send traffic to your page – Now there’s a million ways to do this so I’m not going into details here, but this will depend on your business. One of the best ways to do this is from your social accounts, or other places where people will consume some of your content and want more. What I do is at the bottom of every Youtube video, blog post and podcast description, I include a little snippet saying if you want more of my stuff, sign up for my email list (with the link).

And boom – you can now start building your list. And honestly, you can do steps 1-3 in an hour or two if you know what you’re doing, or are a good at using Google.

If you’re convinced that an email list is a good idea, here are the 2 things I want you to remember:

1) It is super easy to start – as evidenced by the above – and you can be up and running in an hour or two (that’s how I started mine).

2) You can keep it really basic, as I have done, or you can also go much deeper into each of the 4 steps above. For example, you can use a more advanced email software, you can go all-out on creating an amazing landing page (not a bad idea if you have the time or money), and you can create detailed traffic-generating strategies.

Once you know the basics of how to grow an email list, you can adapt it to fit your solopreneur marketing strategy or personal needs in whatever way you think is best.

And I’d be a total failure if I didn’t pitch my own email list, so if you like my blog content, I highly recommend joining my email list here – I send just 1 email every Friday with updates on my journey, tips on what I’ve learned and much more!