How to build an email list the right way.

You might be reading this because you already know that purchased lists don’t work.

Many times those lists (promised to be full of future customers) are outdated or incorrect causing a huge number of “bounced” emails, flagging your account or even suspending you from sending future emails. Even if your emails do get through, these cold leads will likely delete your email before even reading it.

What started as an honest offer to a seemingly good list of potential customers, could end up in financial loss for the list purchase and resources allocated to the offer you created. Not to mention looking like a total spammer! As you can imagine, this isn’t great for your brand reputation.

So how can you build a list of potential new customers the right way?

Start by offering free value on social media. Instead of having a sales agenda on most of your posts, just try to help people. Give them some nuggets that make them want to know more. To be most effective at this, you’ll want to know your ideal customer’s pain and pleasure points and hit on those way more often than you talk about yourself or your product/service.

Creating value up front will help you in two ways:

  1. Warming up your organic market for future offers.
  2. Knowing what your audience responds to (wants most from you), will help you devise the perfect “lead magnet.”

The lead magnet is how you will attract your ideal audience and grow your list.

A lead magnet is simply a freebee that you will give in exchange for an email address. This freebee can come in a number or forms such as a:

  • Checklist
  • Blueprint
  • Guide
  • How-to video
  • E-book
  • Strategy
  • List
  • Report
  • Or any value you can offer for free.

Although most lead magnets are something digital that can be downloaded, some lead magnets are low cost items that can be shipped to your new lead. When doing this, a good rule of thumb is to make the item plus shipping at or less than $7 total. This is a good baseline as to what a legitimate, warm email address is worth to both parties.

Your lead magnet should be “worth it” to the consumer.

It is known consumer phycology that giving away their email address is worth about $7. This means your offer must be worth paying for if you want the consumer to “pay” with their email address.

This way of thinking will also help you develop a lead magnet that is actually valuable and “worth it” to the consumer.

This $7 rule should also apply to your own cost at obtaining a new lead on your list.

Doesn’t it make sense that you would pay a little bit now to make even more later? Would you pay $7 knowing that you will eventually make back significantly more than that? Of course you would!

That is why many businesses eventually take their lead magnets to paid ads, targeting their ideal customer with an offer they’d love. Running ads to your lead magnet will significantly reduce the time it takes to build a substantial list and even reach potential customers who don’t know you yet.

Knowing how much to spend over the course of your ad campaign relies largely on how much main offer is worth. Not your lead magnet, but the main product or service you hope to eventually sell to your list. But why does that matter? Because once you start to build your list, you can start to nurture those people toward your main offer ensuring you are not losing money on a list that just sits there.

The bigger your list, the bigger your pool of potential customers that you can warm up over time with value.

Eventually, with the help of a systematic email system like Autopilot, your list will start to convert. Of course you’d want to create an email sequence that further connects with yoru audience, enticing them to take the next step. Your email sequence could look something like this:

Email 1: Basic email with link to download.

Email 2: Offer a bonus tip or info to provide extra value, for free! This shows your potential customer that you care and want to genuinely help them.

Email 3: Get personal with your audience. Show them that you understand and connect with their wants/needs personally. Also include a soft sell a consultation or product/service.

Email 4: Provide some testimonials with faces, names or even video links to let others build up yoru credibility. This time, do a hard sell on your product/service with a promo code and deadline for a sense of urgency to take action.

Email 5: A follow up last chance to take the offer, letting them know you will winding down the emails now. This lets them know there are not an infinite number of times they can expect to hear from you with freebees and deals and hopefully inspires them to take action if they haven’t already. (Fun fact! Autopilot will allow you remove people from the email nurture journey who take action on your offer so they are not annoyed by continued emails that don’t apply to them anymore.)

Beyond the nurture emails: Once people exit your lead nurture journey, they can be added to your regular e-newsletter to continue to build a connection that may convert over time.

How to know your offer is working.

If you paid $1000 in ads to grow your list and after rolling out your main offer, you get conversions totaling $1500, it would be safe to say your ads are working and your offer is on point!

On the other hand, if your list does not eventually convert into sales, you must find the roadblock and remove it. Perhaps your sales page is lacking something or maybe your emails are talking too much about your product/service and not enough about how you can make their life better. After all, people don’t care about what you do or your accolades… they only care about their own needs and how they can be met to transform their life.

Keep in mind also that high price point offers take much longer to convert so you may not see those profits until they’ve been on your list for quite some time, years even! We’ve experienced this first hand and it’s extremely rewarding to know that even though the customer wasn’t ready when they initially entered the list, they found value long enough to stick with us all that time and complete the conversion.

The payoff of an organic list is much higher than that of a bought list.

This might seem obvious to you by now, but I’ll connect the dots anyway.

An organic list made up of people who are actually interested in what you have to offer, who you target intentionally with ads based on tried-and-true characteristics of your ideal audience, and who you nurture though meaningful emails that connect with and add value to your growing list, will take you well beyond that of any paid list of cold emails.

Sure, it will take some effort to build your list of potential customers, but remember: Anything that comes fast an easy will leave the same way.

The work you put in to create  an email list the right way, will be well worth the effort in the long game. And as every smart business owner knows, no amount of shortcuts will lead to longterm success.

BONUS: Get the complete marketing blueprint “The Know + Grow Method,” complete with extra action items and bonus pro tips to grow a more profitable audience.
Andy Ptacek

Andy Ptacek

Hello, I’m Andy! My part here at Liquis is everything marketing. I get to work in the trenches on things like content and audience strategy to ensure the business objectives of our clients are communicated in the most beautiful, strategic, and PROFITABLE fashion. I also work the on the internal marketing initiatives for Liquis, including many cause-related events that coincide with the company's mission to help.