How To Build An Email List That Can Bring Incredible Results: 11 Bloggers Tell All

How To Build An Email List From 11 Bloggers

You already know that the best tactic to build your business and generate leads is to build an engaged email list.

That much is clear.

But the question is…

How do you build an engaged email list that can grow your business?

And how do you get them to actually sign up to your email list in the first place?

Well, that’s exactly what you’re going to learn from the prolific bloggers I interviewed.

So, let me introduce you to:

And…

Lets start off with:

Top

1. Brent Jones – Brent Jones Online Brent Jones

Q1. How do you know who you want on your email list?

I think the simple answer here is potential customers.

Before building a list, figure out who your product or service benefits. Now work backwards.

Offer freebies and incentives that your best prospects would find useful or educational to entice them to join your list.

Add those people to your list, and then gently market your products or services to them – remembering to always give more than you ask for.

Q2. How do you find out what your audience wants?

One easy way is to ask them. Every few months, I will send my list a broadcast with a survey or a specific question.

Not everyone will reply, but generally a large enough sample will to point me in the right direction.

Also, pay attention to what your audience is saying on social media, in blog comments, in forums, groups, and communities, and so forth.

If you don’t know who your audience is or where they hang out, figure that out before getting too concerned with growing your list.

Q3. How do you come up with something that you can ‘giveaway’ for your list?

I generally try to tie freebies and giveaways into the content I am publishing. For instance, a while back, I wrote a post for new(er) freelancers outlining the daily schedule I followed when I got started.

I offered a free premium upgrade in that post to download my schedule in PDF – it converted really well.

Start by producing high-quality content for your best prospective customers, and then figure out how to offer something even better. To unlock that better piece of content, readers need to enter their email address.

Q4. How do you use guest blogging to build an effective list?

I generally don’t.

That is to say that I don’t typically guest blog with the singular purpose of building my list.

I guest blog for exposure, backlinks, authority, and to build relationships. In a sense, you could say that all four of those things do – in some way – add new subscribers to my mailing list. But indirectly, at best.

Q5. How do you get people to read your published content and sign up to your email list?

I’m a big fan of the 80-20 rule.

Spend 20 percent of your time publishing content. Spend the other 80 percent networking and building relationships.

Jump in a community, group or forum and offer value.

Comment on and share other blog posts from influencers in your niche.

Host a Blab, Hangout, or jump on Periscope to connect with followers.

Link out to other bloggers and reference their content in your posts.

Blogging has always – and will always – be a contact sport. The more contacts you make, the more successful you will be.

There are millions of new blog posts published every day, and most of them never get more than a handful of views.

What separates successful bloggers and list builders from everyone else is taking the time to offer targeted solutions to a market in need… and to get that market to listen to you, it takes time.

Simply put?

Deliver value outside of your blog, and readers will seek out you and your blog.

Q6. Any tips for bloggers trying to build an effective email list?

Be intentional about asking people to subscribe, but don’t be aggressive.

There’s a big difference.

When I say be intentional, consider adding opt-in forms directly into the body of your content offering your freebies or incentives.

There’s no confusion to the reader here – join my list, and I’ll give you XYZ.

In fact, you can be intentional by placing opt-in forms in your sidebar, in your footer, and even directing users to a landing page through well-placed buttons and hyperlinks.

Same goes for using webinars, product giveaways and other methods to add new subscribers.

But when I say don’t be aggressive, I mean you don’t need to employ every tactic under the sun to sign up new subscribers.

For instance… those stupid SumoMe welcome mats that every blogger seems to be using now? They’re ugly. They’re slow-loading. They’re cumbersome. And they take up the whole damn page.

Plus most bloggers don’t configure them properly, so they appear on every single page load – even if you already said “No thanks” 30 seconds ago.

Same goes for incessant popups – I’ve seen blogs with 3-4 time or scroll delayed popups on a single post – plus the slide-ins, the slide-downs, the slide-ups… some blogs literally bombard you with 11 opt-in forms before you ever even read the first word of the content.

This is aggressive, but more importantly, it’s stupid and childish. Even if you have the numbers to show how many people you’re adding to your list, I’d hazard a guess that most of them don’t give a shit about your content. They just felt coerced into subscribing, which is the wrong way to build trust with a prospective customer.

Remember that the end goal is to build relationships. People buy from people they like, know, and trust. If you’re adding people to your list just for the sake of adding people and padding your numbers, you’re doing it wrong.

Follow Brent On Twitter >>

Top

2. Christopher Gimmer – Snappa Christopher Gimmer

Q1. How do you know who you want on your email list?

There are two types of people you want on your email list:

  • People who are interested in what you’re selling
  • People who may never buy from you, but who will share your content and spread the word.

If no one is reading your emails, they probably shouldn’t be on your list. It’s a good idea to regularly clean up your list so that it stays healthy.

Q2. How do you find out what your audience wants?

Ask them! Always have a warm welcome email that asks a question. Ask them why they signed up or what they’re struggling with. You will learn a TON about your audience by doing this.

Q3. How do you come up with something that you can ‘giveaway’ for your list?

You want to give away something that’s aligned with your core offering. Do not give away a free iPad unless you’re selling iPad cases. If you run a food blog, you should probably give away a prize related to food (like a chef’s knife or some sort of appliance). It’s pretty simple.

Q4. If you were to use paid traffic, how would you use it to send people to your landing page?

I would always send them to a landing page with some sort of free offer. This could be a PDF download or a free email course. Warm them up before you start selling.

Q5. How do you use guest blogging to build an effective list?

The formula is simple:

  • Guest blog on relevant sites that your target audience frequents
  • Write awesome content
  • Send them to a dedicated landing page with a sweet offer to get them on your list

Q6. How do you get people to read your published content and sign up to your email list?

The first step is to create truly great content. Then, you actually need to promote it. If you don’t already have a big email list, one of the best ways to promote your content is through email outreach. Use a tool like BuzzSumo to see who’s shared similar content then email them directly to let them know about yours.

Q7. Any tips for bloggers trying to build an effective email list?

First, recognize that it takes time. All the best bloggers in the world took years to build their audience.

Second, you need to make sure that you’re actively promoting your content especially in the beginning.

Third, 20% of your posts will probably bring 80% of your traffic (if not 10/90). Therefore, spend as much time improving old content that’s already performing well as you are creating new content. You’ll find that improving old content and moving from #5 to #3 in Google is a lot easier than writing a brand new post that will rank #3.

Finally, make sure to incorporate visual content into your blog posts. A tool like Snappa makes it super easy for anyone to create engaging images for your posts.

Follow Christopher On Twitter >>

Top

3. Marcus Miller – Bowler Hat Marcus Miller

Q1. How do you know who you want on your email list?

Any marketing plan should start with the identification of your target customers. If possible you want to identify your ideal customers. Those that really stand to benefit from what you provide and are the customers you can best service. Clarity here is absolutely essential. We use the SOSTAC digital marketing methodology for all of our digital marketing campaigns as it provides a solid framework for customer research.

Q2. How do you find out what your audience wants?

Again this comes back to defining your ideal customers. Once you have profiled these individuals you can better understand their wants, needs and pain points. Content brainstorming grows organically from this process.

Q3. How do you come up with something that you can ‘giveaway’ for your list?

We are always building on the bones of our marketing plan. We know who our customers are. We know their wants, needs and paint points so we can determine a piece of content that would help them meet their goals. We are currently working on a side project called http://www.wArmour.net aka WordPress Armour. wArmour provides a complete security and marketing solution for WordPress blog owners. To help build the list for wArmour we are developing a guides around WordPress Security, Maintenance and Marketing. These guides speak to the three customer profiles we have developed. The other elements of the service are then value ads.

Q4. If you were to use paid traffic, how would you use it to send people to your landing page?

Once you know that users are biting and signing up to your list paid traffic opens doors. We always try to build the list rather than take someone directly to the sale. Again to use the wArmour example we can target folks based around their interests and drive them to a very specific landing page promoting a specific piece of lead gen content.

Q5. How do you use guest blogging to build an effective list?

It’s all about the audience. If you have established your audience you know where these folks hang out. In our profiles we detail the search terms and websites that our target audience would frequent. We can then look at guest blogging around a topic that is expanded in our free guide and use the guest post to drive traffic to the sign up page.

Q6. How do you get people to read your published content and sign up to your email list?

All depends. Initially place your content in the right places. Guest blogs on the big sites in your industry will reap rewards. For new businesses you may need to work your way up to the bigger sites. I blog on Search Engine Land and these posts generate several thousand views which I can tap into to help build the Bowler Hat brand or list.

Q7. Any tips for bloggers trying to build an effective email list?

Be specific. Identify your ideal customer. Target them with information so helpful they will be excited to open your next email.

Follow Marcus On Twitter >>

Top

4. James Johnson – James Writes Things James Johnson

Q1. How do you know who you want on your email list?

You know who I want on my mailing list? Me. When I’m creating mailing lists for products and services I use, I think about what I want to see. What creates value for me? What would make me sing, dance, rant and rave about all the content I’m receiving?

From then I can branch out and look at what other people may look like, also. But using yourself as a barometer for who should be on your list is a great place to start.

Q2. How do you find out what your audience wants?

I’m always divided on my opinion on this. Because, there are lots of success stories where people have just asked their audience what they wanted and gotten great results. And others where they’ve flopped because they’ve saturated their product (or service) with features that people have asked for.

The best advice I can give you here comes from Jason Fried, the author of ‘Rework’, where he says, “Be proud of what you don’t do, as well as what you do”.

Ask your audience what they want and use it…to a point. When something doesn’t sit right in your gut, don’t use it.

But the best way to prospect what they want is to just come right out and ask them.

Q3. How do you come up with something that you can ‘giveaway’ for your list?

Your giveaway – buy in, lead magnet, whatever the cool kids are calling it nowadays – needs to answer one of the big questions in your niche.

For example, take a look at Brian Dean’s buy in over at Backlinko. Why are people on his site? Because they struggle with traffic. So what does he offer? A jam-packed eBook of how to get more traffic.

Where a lot of bloggers go wrong here is that they think to themselves, “But, why should I give away something valuable for free?”. You want to chuck out a 1,000-word manifesto that took a couple of hours to write, and doesn’t go much beyond a blog post.

You’re not giving it away for free, though. You’re asking for their time, attention and endorsement of your brand. All of which are more valuable to anybody joining your list than money ever will be.

Q4. If you were to use paid traffic, how would you use it to send people to your landing page?

I’d go for Facebook all day, every day. I just love that you can target things more specifically. I’m working on a lot of projects in the travel niche at the moment, and it’s worked better to convert than anything else I’ve done so far.

Q5. How do you use guest blogging to build an effective list?

Guest blogging remains my favorite method of reaching out to people. Throw the SEO benefits out of the window and look at it in its purest form. You’re getting invited into someone’s house to talk about a topic you love, with people you don’t know yet. As long as you’re adding value, it’s an incredible method of marketing.

I try to use it to push the boundaries of what counts as ‘relevant’ for a guest blog post and for my list, too.

For example, I have a project about travel that is pre-launch right now. But, what counts as relevant for travel? It goes beyond just heading somewhere and seeing it. There are so many factors:

  • How do you get there?
  • What’s good to eat?
  • Where can I stay?
  • How can you maximize your time?
  • How can you finance the trip?
  • How can you save money?
  • …you get the idea

So instead of just looking at what’s directly relevant, I always look for where can I branch out to as well. There are people in every niche interested in your niche; you just have to make sure that it’s not too big of a jump.

Q6. How do you get people to read your published content and sign up to your email list?

I go where the people are. I love all methods that feel like I’m actually connecting with a person: blog comments, emails, Quora answers, tweets. It’s more time consuming, but these methods make you more human, and make people associate with your brand more. Making them more likely to join up to your mailing list when they do land on your site.

Q7. Any tips for bloggers trying to build an effective email list?

Be consistent.

Pick a message that you want to send and deliver it. Over and over again. Give it chance to develop and see if it works. If you try to rebrand yourself every few weeks – or even months – you never find out what’s actually working or not.

Follow James On Twitter >>

Top

5. Matt Banner – On Blast Blog Matt Banner

Q1. How do you know who you want on your email list?

This of course depends on your niche. Targeting people that are more prone to like your services/products will result in higher sign up rates. Utilizing various tools and/or Google Analytics Demographics can help you find your ideal gender + age range.

Q2. How do you find out what your audience wants?

Research! Analyzing competitors, envisioning yourself as your ace, going into the mind of them to understand what it is that makes them tick, and what makes them want to select the BUY button.

Q3. How do you come up with something that you can ‘giveaway’ for your list?

People LOVE free stuff. So this isn’t something that needs to be thought into too deeply.

Q4. If you were to use paid traffic, how would you use it to send people to your landing page?

Via Facebook, Instagram and/or Google Adwords.

Q5. How do you use guest blogging to build an effective list?

Doing guest posts on niche relevant sites, while also including an author bio to ensure people can be directed back to your website for more.

Q6. How do you get people to read your published content and sign up to your email list?

SEO, social media, content marketing, etc. Utilizing all of these different tactics.

Q7. Any tips for bloggers trying to build an effective email list?

Work hard, stay at it, read everything you can, and believe in yourself!

Follow Matt On Twitter >>

Top

6. Benjamin Brandall – ProcessBenjamin Brandall

Q1. How do you know who you want on your email list?

By looking at the types of people already interested in our product and content, it’s easier to get an idea of who else will subscribe. At Process Street, we create content to serve both new and educated prospects by dividing it into two categories: engineered to be popular or engineered to educate about what we do. A good example is one of our best lead generation pieces “25 Google Drive Tips You’ve Probably Never Heard Before”. Even though it’s not about our app, or strictly relevant to what we do, it brings in tech savvy readers who can be educated to convert. An example of a piece aimed at customers who know what they want is “How to Create a Process People Won’t Hate Using” – this works from an SEO perspective, and for helping our list understand that our product can solve their problem. Since not everyone’s heard about workflow automation, we go after the mass audience as well as a smaller, targeted one.

Q2. How do you find out what your audience wants?

I look at what’s already popular. A few months back, we noticed that our productivity guides (like this one on task management techniques) were getting twice the click-throughs on our blog subscriber list. It’s pretty obvious, if you’re already getting twice the attention for a particular topic, write more of it. With double the usual amount of readers, you’ve got a better chance to convert those who would be a good fit to convert.

Q3. How do you come up with something that you can ‘giveaway’ for your list?

During the first week of April, we launched an ebook that had been in progress for a couple of months – The Ultimate Guide to Business Process Automation. The reason we chose that as our first big lead magnet was because we knew there was a substantial audience for it who are already interested in Zapier (the subject of the book). That includes all 500+ companies that use it, their thousands of customers, and influencers in the business process management space. We also chose that particular topic because it’s highly targeted to what we’re selling, and audiences interested in that are highly likely to be interested in Process Street.

By using Buzzsumo to collate a list of influencers, and a virtual assistant to scrape contact data, we were able to do email outreach (warm and cold) with great success and capture over 500 emails in 24 hours.

Q4. How do you use guest blogging to build an effective list?

Two ways:

  • By linking to articles on our blog which have content upgrades
  • By linking to checklists made in our app that need a signup (e.g. subscribing to our list) to use

Examples of this include my guest post on the Ahrefs blog about keyword research, where my main call-to-action was telling readers to get the keyword research process I’d just described as a reusable checklist. Over 25% of the referral traffic from that guest post ended up creating an account and subscribing.

Q5. How do you get people to read your published content and sign up to your email list?

As soon as content goes live, we start our short-term promotion strategy. Loosely, it goes like this:

  • Mail the new post to our list
  • Add it to Buffer
  • Submit it to Inbound.org / GrowthHackers / Reddit / Hacker News / Designer News, etc.
  • Email anyone mentioned
  • Start looking for re-publishing opportunities
  • Link it in future guest posts to boost its page authority

Good content on its own isn’t going to get as many subscribers as email capture optimized content. So, for that reason, we’ve started building out the popular blog posts on our site with content upgrades – extra, super-relevant pieces of content behind an email wall, like a spreadsheet, checklist, or ebook. We’ve seen between 50-80% conversions from clicking the popup to entering their email, so this tactic can give you an effective long and short-term way of building your list, especially when all popular content has an upgrade.

Q6. Any tips for bloggers trying to build an effective email list?

I’m excited about how well our ebook launch went, so my tip would be to do the same! Here’s the rough process:

  • Use your best keyword research process to find a relevant, trafficked keyword.
  • Write 5 blog posts which target related, but not exact-match keywords
  • Collate those 5 blog posts into an ebook (make sure to hire a good designer)
  • Create a landing page that targets the keyword using proper on-page optimization
  • Use Buzzsumo to get a list of 200 influencers, and task a VA with finding their emails
  • Email everyone mentioned in the 5 blog posts, and a week later about how they’re now in your ebook
  • Email everyone a free draft copy, asking for feedback, and seeing if they’d like to get the final link when it’s out
  • Make a note of the people who say ‘yes’
  • Write 2 email templates: ‘here’s the book you asked for’ and ‘I didn’t hear back from you, but here’s the link to the book we just launched’.
  • Fire away your emails
  • On launch day, submit the book to Product Hunt and Reddit. And, if relevant, Growth Hackers, Inbound.org, Hacker News, etc.
  • Get hundreds of new subscribers in 24 hours

In the spirit of this post, if you want to get the full case study of that post when it comes out, sign up to the Process Street blog. 😉

Follow Benjamin On Twitter >>

Top

7. Chris Lee – Rank XL Chris Lee

Q1. How do you know who you want on your email list?

You should build an email list with a product in mind. Even if you don’t have one right now. Think to yourself, “If I were to build a product to sell on this blog, who are my ideal customers?” These are the people you want on your list.

Q2. How do you find out what your audience wants?

What I like to do is create a short questionnaire and link to it within the welcome email after they join my list. Not everyone fills it out, but enough people do. It answers all the questions I have of what people are struggling with most, and how I can help them best.

Q3. How do you come up with something that you can ‘giveaway’ for your list?

This becomes a lot easier to come up with when you have products and sales sequences in your funnel already. Then, you can give away a mini introductory version of the product you’re selling.

But if you don’t have any products, and no funnels set up, you should give away something useful that’s related to the overall topic of your blog.

For example, if the majority of your blog topics are about list growth, then give away a guide to your first 100 subscribers.

If you were to use paid traffic, how would you use it to send people to your

landing page?

I would advise against using paid traffic unless you have a funnel in place. For example, if you have a $100 product that gets pitched during your funnel and you’re able to convert a certain number of that, you can measure how much you can spend on paid traffic.

Q4. How do you use guest blogging to build an effective list?

I haven’t done much guest blogging for RankXL. Only 2 in the last year. But when the blog was new and had few readers, it was really helpful.

It helped the blog get a lot of exposure and continues to drive traffic today.

Q5. How do you get people to read your published content and sign up to your email list?

The good thing about having an email list is that you can send them to your new blog posts. Every time I publish a new post, I send a broadcast to my list.

For converting new subscribers, I’ve been experimenting with content upgrades and they’ve been working really well.

Q6. Any tips for bloggers trying to build an effective email list?

Realize that it will be slow in the beginning and don’t give up.

It took 6 months for me to get my first 500 subscribers. In the next 10 months, I now have 6,000.

It takes a while for new blogs to gain traction.

Network with other big bloggers and guest post on their sites. You’re not just guest posting for traffic. You’re doing it for networking, building relationships, and getting exposure.

Follow Chris On Twitter >>

Top

8. AJ Kumar – Limit Less Publishing AJ Kumar

Q1. How do you know who you want on your email list

I use to want everyone, but quickly realized early on in my career that it’s not helpful and in reality, leads to frustration and inaccurate data. Now, I want someone who genuinely opts in and WANTS to receive email updates, stories, etc. I research the niche/market extensively to look for the various types of people who would potentially be a good fit. It’s never perfect… measure, optimize, and refine.

Q2. How do you find out what your audience wants?

Ask! I use tools like survey monkey to prepare a few questions, some open ended that helps me analyze my audiences psychographics. Based on the answers, I interpret the challenges they are having and what it would take for them to go from a sad/bad state to one of happiness/joy.

Here’s an example of a survey I did with celebrity realtor Josh Flagg and his fan base:

Survey Josh Flagg

Even though you’re looking at a word cloud, you’re learn a lot about them.

Q3. How do you come up with something that you can ‘giveaway’ for your list?

Either I look at previous blog posts that has done well or just make something up and test the level of sexy with a segment of the audience.

With one my businesses in the health and beauty niche, we took a look at the top 15 recipes that got the most action in the past and put together a PDF:

PDF Top 15 Recipes

Q4. If you were to use paid traffic, how would you use it to send people to your landing page?

I would use facebook ads, because it’s a lot easier than as of the other ad platforms I’ve played with. But making the promise/ad copy consistent with the landing page copy is key. Otherwise you’ll have a bunch of people bouncing around.  Offer something sexy (lead magnet), and have the landing page be where someone can get access to your offer. Use something like leadpages.net as it’s fast, high quality and affordable.

Q5. How do you use guest blogging to build an effective list?

Write a post that you’re proud about and create a simple offer in your author byline. Not everyone will be cool with this, but if your blog is good enough, they won’t mind.

Q6. How do you get people to read your published content and sign up to your email list?

  • Create really high quality content (story telling, emotions, visuals)
  • Be consistent
  • Strategically promote on social media.
  • Market your self as an authority.

The formula for authority is: Rapport, Credibility Jurisdiction, and Trust.

When all aspects of your brand and your blog portray this, you’ll begin to see more people read your blog and sign up for your email list.

Q7. Any tips for bloggers trying to build an effective email list?

If you’re starting at zero (or if you have some momentum) you need to simultaneously focus on building relationships with bloggers, marketers, experts etc. in “real life”. The sooner you do this, the faster you’ll grow. Everything in life is about relationships, both online and offline.

Follow AJ On Twitter >>

Top

9. Lorraine Reguly – Wording Well Lorraine Reguly

I decided to focus on the last question. (Any tips for bloggers trying to build an effective email list?)

When it comes to list-building, there are tried and true secrets that work.

But if you are a new-ish blogger, chances are you don’t have the time or knowledge to devote to building a list quickly.

So… what I’m going to share with you today are a few things you can implement IMMEDIATELY to start growing your list.

1: Have a freebie to give away to your new subscribers. It could be an e-book, a free report, a list of things your readers want (and when they see it, they can’t live without it!), or a combination of goodies.

Once you have your freebie (or freebie package) created, you can give it away using the following ways:

  • Install pop-ups on your site. Sure, they’re annoying, but they also work!

On Wording Well, I have two different sets of pop-ups installed. One is a free plugin called MailChimp for WordPress, which I use to entice visitors to become subscribers.

I give away a free e-book, 20 Blog Post Must-Haves, to those who join my email list. Get yours today!

20 Blog Post Must Haves

 

2: The other is the Social Slider plugin I purchased from Yaro Starak. While it’s not used to grow my list, it does allow for visitors to follow me on different social media platforms.

  • Within your blog posts, you can remind visitors to join your list by providing a link to your sign-up page.
  • Offer free content upgrade downloads within your blog posts, such as a PDF of the blog post, a supplement to the blog post, or any other freebie that your readers will want.

Tim Soulo from BloggerJet offers both a free and a paid plugin you can use for this. Get the free Content Upgrades plugin here.

3: Remind people on social media of your freebie offer. Include a link to it each time you mention it. (Without providing a link, they will skip over your “update,” but if you include a link, you at least have a chance of people clicking/tapping on it and signing up!)

4: Ask your fellow bloggers to help you promote your freebie. Wow them, too, like I did when Greg Narayan (Mr. Dear Blogger himself!) wrote A Checklist (and the Woman Behind it) that Toppled Dear Blogger.

5: Watch your fellow bloggers and see what they are doing to grow their lists. Copy them. (Yes, this is a bit of a hack, but it is allowed!) Remember, we are all in this blogging thing together, and bloggers are super-helpful people.

Follow Lorraine On Twitter >>

Top

10. Josh Garofalo – Sway Copy Josh Garofalo

Q1. How do you know who you want on your email list?

For me, personally, I want potential clients, collaborators, and referrers in my email list. When it comes down to it, I only want my emails to reach the inboxes of people that are going to drive revenue my way, whether that’s directly (e.g. client) or indirectly (referrer).

Q2. How do you find out what your audience wants?

First of all, I ask. Every single time someone joins my email list, I send them a semi-personal email. I ask them questions like…

  • What made you decide to join Sway Copy?
  • Is there a particular challenge you’re hoping I can help you with?
  • Or, are you looking for someone to do the copywriting/conversion rate optimization for you?

Sometimes, these innocent questions turn into a new client that results in tens of thousands of dollars in billings. For example, check out my top ranked comment on this thread: https://inbound.org/discuss/what-happens-after-you-get-a-new-lead#comment-317341

Q3. How do you come up with something that you can ‘giveaway’ for your list?

You map content and giveaways to the buyer’s journey. If you don’t know what that is, well, that’s what you need to figure out right now. You need to know the questions and objections your prospect has at each stage of your sales funnel.

Once you’ve mapped the key hurdles and hoops you need to help your prospect navigate before they’ll consider being your customer… provide them the content they need navigate quickly and successfully.

For example, if you’re trying to sell safe link-building services, a top of funnel question might be, “What the heck is safe link building? Is there such a thing as dangerous link building?” An objection might be, “Safe link-building is slow and expensive. I’d rather use blackhat tips and tricks to get results faster.”

A good top of funnel resource could be a guide that talks about what link building is, the different ways to go about it, and the pros and cons of each method.

A conversion goal closer to the purchase might be to schedule a free demo or consultation. This offer is appropriate for the person that knows their pain points, they are pretty sure you offer a viable solution, they are ready to invest in a solution, and they just need to see if it’s going to be you or one of the 3-5 alternatives they are considering.

Q4. If you were to use paid traffic, how would you use it to send people to your landing page?

I don’t do a lot of PPC work so I can’t speak too much on this. I will just say that you need to make sure your PPC ads go to a landing page and not a web page.

The key differences between the two include…

  • Web pages (e.g. home page) have various traffic sources including organic search, referral, organic, etc. With a landing page, you generally know the source of traffic and what they clicked in order to reach the page.
  • On a web page, you don’t know which stage in the buyer’s journey the prospect is at. With a landing page, if you’ve targeted your PPC ad properly, you should know approximately where they are at in the buyer’s journey and tailor your content to match.
  • A web page typically has multiple goals and links. You can navigate elsewhere in the top nav. Their might be a number of “Learn More” links that take you deeper into the website. Landing pages should have just one goal — your conversion goal. If you want them to download an eBook… that should be the only thing they can click (yes, strip away the top nav). If you want them to buy, then just give them the option to buy.

Q5. How do you use guest blogging to build an effective list?

I’m just getting started with this now that my new site is about to launch. However, my main criteria is pretty simple…

  • Who is ahead of me in my industry and probably even more busy than I am?
  • Where are they willing to make an effort to post?
  • Post there.

Otherwise, I’m looking for decent traffic and an audience that is not unlike the audience I try to attract to my own site.

Q6. How do you get people to read your published content and sign up to your email list?

Today, getting your content read requires getting it in front of the right people — often referred to as “influencer marketing.”

In order to get your content read and shared by influencers, you’d better be producing original, in-depth, and polished content. There is just so much noise in the content space, especially in SEO and inbound marketing — you need help to cut through the noise.

For example, if Rand Fishkin tweets, “OMG this is a must read article on the future of SEO!” to his 311,000 twitter followers… you better believe people are going to take notice. Many will even share that content without looking at it because Rand is so respected in his field.

Perhaps the best way to get people to sign up to your list after you’ve produced top-notch content and gotten it in front of enough people is to make your offer align with the post content.

The reason being, if they clicked through to your post and take the time to read it… you know they are interested in this topic specifically. 

For example, if writing an in-depth post on Whitehat v.s. Blackhat link-building strategies, you could have an offer within your post that is a helpful checklist that will make it easy for them to audit their own strategy and links to see whether or not they are more whitehat or blackhat in their approach.

You would just require that they enter some contact information in exchange for the helpful resource (e.g. and email address).

Follow Josh On Twitter >>

Top

11. Venchito Tampon – Sharp Rocket Venchito Tampon

Q1. How do you know who you want on your email list?

If you have set up Demographics and Interests in Google Analytics, you can see the age, gender and locations of people who visited your website. Use these demographic factors as your basis when identifying your target email subscribers.

Another consideration is to look at your brand offerings – determine who will benefit from your products/services.

Q2. How do you find out what your audience wants?

Look at your site’s Google Analytics data and see which pages people (returning visitors) are spending most of their time. Determine topic themes of those pages and list them down in a spreadsheet. Target keywords or topics of those pages will be your basis for your audience interests on email content.

You can also see your Search Console search queries data to know what keywords people are searching for in search engines to get them directed to your pages. Add them up to your previous list.

Q3. How do you come up with something that you can ‘giveaway’ for your list?

If you’re targeting people who haven’t subscribed to your blog, then what you can do is to get insights from the action taken in my answer to your second question. Since you’ll know which pages they most visited on your site, and also pages where most micro-conversions happen (pages that get people subscribed the most), you can create a content (ebook, tool or other products) based on topics of those pages, which then, can attract visitors to opt-in your email list.

Q4. If you were to use paid traffic, how would you use it to send people to your landing page?

Facebook advertising is a great platform where you can send Facebook targeted people to your landing page. One good trick here is to install conversion pixels in your website, use audience data in your Facebook ads manager as target audience and re-engage site visitors using Facebook paid advertising. Here is a step by step guide on how you can do this trick.

Q5. How do you use guest blogging to build an effective list?

Start with creating a landing page that’ll be relevant to all your future guest posts. Once you have published that page, reach out to bloggers and publishers where you’d be doing guest blogging to. Send a list of niche-specific topics and create a content based on the blog post idea chosen by the blogger. Add a link at the bottom of the guest post, which points to your email capturing page. One trick here is to write a brief overview or description of your linking to page in your guest post.

Q6. How do you get people to read your published content and sign up to your email list?

One way is to add unexpected hooks in your content – these are points in your content that people won’t find anywhere else. You also need to increase social shares of your content, given that this is one solid proof of how authoritative your content is. To do this, you can reach out to influencers and ask them to share your content on social platforms or even link to your asset from their own content works.

Q7. Any tips for bloggers trying to build an effective email list?

Build several content pillars covering specific topics. Make these content assets the most comprehensive resources in your industry – this is what people would want to subscribe to your email list because they want to know more of your tips.

Follow Venchito On Twitter >>

Wrapping it up

I hope you enjoyed these insanely practical list building tips that you can use to build your email list TODAY.

And if you’re serious about getting amazing results from your list building strategy, then you definitely need to implement what the 11 bloggers have outlined.

If you’ve any thoughts or feedback, let us know in the comment box below and don’t forget to share this with anyone else who might find it useful.

Bill Acholla

Bill Acholla

Bill Achola is a phenomenal blogger specializing in content writing and marketing at Billacholla.com. He works closely with B2B and B2C companies providing the right content that generates social shares, comments, and traffic back to their business blogs. Check out his ultimate guide about spending $1000 for content marketing.
  • List building is a mystery for new bloggers. They don’t know why or how they should build their lists… and they see no value in having one.

    Business owners, solopreneurs, mompreneurs, webpreneurs, and other entrepreneurs KNOW the money is in the list.

    But bloggers? Especially newbies? They need help!

    I particularly like James’ advice about being consistent and picking a message that you want to send and delivering it over and over again.

    But what’s GENIUS is Benjamin’s concept of curating posts and then an e-book. WOW. That totally blew my mind. Then again, it didn’t… really, because Ryan Biddulph does this ALL THE TIME with his 124 e-books about blogging from paradise.
    It’s just cool to see the whole process laid out in simple terms by Benjamin for others to understand!

    It’s great to see the wealth of information that is contained in this post. Great job!

    Plus, I like being in the company of these folks. 😉 And I have to say… I have done business with at least one or two of these guys already. 😉 (TOP SECRET info here about which ones, though! LOL)

    Anyways, off to share this post all over social media!

    Thanks again for the invite, Bill.

    And… I want your readers to feel free to contact Wording Well ANY TIME for any of the 4 services I offer… whether it’s writing, editing, or even advertising!

    Wording Well offers stellar services at SUPERB RATES, so pop on by my services page and take a peek at what I can do!

    (Hint: I also offer e-book creation. And I help others become published authors… businesses included!)

    Thanks again, Bill, and have a great weekend!

    • Bill Achola

      Hey Lorraine, I totally agree with you that newbies need a lot of help when it comes to list building. Thanks for taking the time to leave an EPIC comment:)

      • LOL No problem! Great advice here from everyone… and it’s great to meet a couple of new people, too!

  • Bill, wow – thanks for putting together this post for us. I love that you asked a bunch of different questions to glean as many insights as possible. Some great takeaways and advice from everyone here!

    Also, big thanks to everyone for taking part!

    I love how Josh sends a lot of personal emails to his list – and awesome to see how this has resulted in a lot of new clients.

    And Benjamin’s tip on doing more of what works. It sounds straight forward, but it’s really surprising how often this is overlooked.

    Great to see mentions of FB ads for paid advertising. That tracking pixel makes such a difference, even just for boosting posts.

    Thanks again everyone!

    • Bill Achola

      Appreciate it, Adam! Hope it will be useful to people who want to grow a high quality email list.

  • Bill, this is a serious post, my friend! Wow!

    • It sure is, Brent. Bill did an awesome job, and thanks for contributing as well. Loved reading through your answer!

    • Bill Achola

      Thanks Brent, i appreciate your feedback and thanks a million for participating!

  • Great and well experienced pro bloggers shared their valuable tips here. Few of my favours are in the list. Indeed a wonderful guide to keep and follow.

    As @Adam Connel said @Bill Achola did a tremendous job. Thanks to all the contributors and Bill.

    Have a great weekendweekend

    ~Philip

    • Thanks for dropping by to comment, Philip!

      Have a great weekend too.

      – Adam

    • Bill Achola

      Thanks Philip for your kind words.

      Have an awesome weekend too!

  • Email lists are so important. If you aren’t investing in them, you are falling behind. These are great tips. Keep up the great work and live unstoppable!

    • Bill Achola

      Great point the unstoppable family. Running a blog without an effective email list, is like running a local shop without customers and thanks for your comment today!

      Have an awesome weekend!

  • MaryJaksch

    I particularly like the suggestions by Lorraine Reguly!

    • Bill Achola

      Her comment is EPIC:) great you noticed. I appreciate your feedback Mary.

  • Amazing job Bill!

    So many great pearls of wisdom here. I really like Venchito Tampon’ suggestion of building authoritative content pillars on key topics.

    Guest posting has been working for me too.

    • Bill Achola

      Thanks Clement, Guest Posting can be a game changer if done right and am happy its working for you.

  • Bill Achola

    Thanks Arpit, they’re truly marvelous bloggers!

Share This