11 Experts Reveal how they would Build an Email List from Scratch

Let me throw this question to you.. how would you build an email list from scratch?

In today’s Expert Roundup post, they would be teaching us how to build a responsive email list from scratch.

Just like the popular saying that money is in the list, building an email list is something every one should not take with levity hand. It pays in the long run.

Just like i have learned my lessons from not building an email list from the beginning of my entrepreneurial life, am seriously working on my mistakes.

I wouldn’t want you to make the same mistakes i made in the past, that is one of the reasons i have brought these experts to teach us on how we can properly build our email lists.

In order to get the right answers from email marketing experts, three/four years ago, i asked them this simple question:

If you have to start all over, how would you build a big email list of responsive subscribers from scratch for a new blog?

These are the responses in the order they were received.

build an email list from scratch

11 Experts Reveal how they would Build an Email List from Scratch!

1.) Ciotti Gregory at HelpScout.Com has this to say:

If I were starting from scratch, I’d work on two quick wins:

Make sure the blog is designed for conversion. This means having a simple layout with opt-in forms in the most important locations.

A blog is simply a medium for words — don’t go overboard with your design, just make sure you opt-in forms are where they should be.

Create a single compelling resource. While this becomes less important as a blog grows, a compelling downloadable resource can do wonders for a new blog.

Pick a single headache within your topic and tackle it, and spend just a little time making sure the design isn’t awful. Offer it as a “bribe” to join your newsletter and you are good to go.

2.) Zac Johnson at ZacJohnson.Com has this to say:

If I had to start over from scratch again today, I would still be in the business of internet marketing and I would build a blog that was focused on reviewing tools from the major business services on the internet today (this could be social, email, ad campaigns or whatever).

Of all the reviews I wrote, I would create a pdf file of the absolute ten best and offer it in exchange for an email address to my newsletter. Giving away “secret tools” and “best tools” types of PDFs does really well.

With this concept in mind for the site, I would also be able to monetize my content by selling ad spots and reviews to competitor advertisers that may not have been reviewed on the site yet.

3.) Dave Schneider at SelfMadeBusinessMan.Com has this to say:

One should prioritize email subscribers from the very beginning because it compounds and you can never make up for lost months. This is a huge mistake that a lot of new bloggers make. I was aware of this so I took it very seriously from the beginning.

The best plan is to sign up for a real autoresponder (like Aweber, MailChimp, etc), create a teaser (like a free ebook, or course), and then strategically please opt ins through your blog (sidebar, header, author box, pop ups, etc).

There are a ton of articles that will show you 30+ places to put your newsletter opt in, that is not very hard, just focus on creating a good teaser and creating great content (because a blog without traffic will not generate any subscribers)

4.) Jan Koch at JKoch.Me has this to say:

When I was about to start all over, I would grow my list before I even have a blog.

I would define my target audience, the people I want my blog to read. Researching their pain points will give me an idea of what topics they`re interested in, that`s the basic work you need to do before starting any website I think.

Once I know the pain points of my target audience, I`ll create a free giveaway (a report, a list of advice, a short eBook, whatsover) that helps people overcome those pain points and answers their questions.

Remember that this giveaway has to be packed with helpful information.

Instead of starting to blog right away, I would put up a landing page offering just the free giveaway for people who subscribe to my list. No blogging on my site at this time! That landing page would do nothing but share the freebie and build my list.

I`d then promote the landing page by submitting guest posts to relevant blogs in my niche, leaving comments on blogs, and building relationships with people who already are experts in the field I’m about to enter.

Maybe I would set up advertising in social media and Google to drive traffic to my landing page (depends on the budget).

Once my list has a few hundred subscribers, I would launch the blog – not earlier. This strategy gives my blog a headstart, because I’m building my credibility by leveraging established experts – and I already have a list that I can promote my blog posts and offers to.

This strategy will take you longer to start a blog, because you`re building your list first. But compared to bloggers who start their blog without having an audience, you will have an engaged audience for your new blog – which is the main benefit of this strategy.

5.) Adam Connell at BloggingWizard.Com has this to say:

If I was starting my list from scratch I would focus on creating detailed and actionable pillar posts and offer content upgrade’s using LeadPage’s LeadBox feature to build my list.

A content upgrade is simply a post specific download that your readers will receive after subscribing to your email list. Similar to what I have done in this blog post recently.

With LeadPages I can display a popover when a reader clicks on a link within my post. It also handles the emailing of the free download.

I find that these convert better than any other type of opt-in form on my blog.

6.) Henri Junttila at WakeUpCloud.Com has this to say:

I would create a sign up incentive. Meaning, an ebook, audio, or a video that’s helpful to people, which they get when they sign up. And I would start with guest blogging to drive traffic to my website and email list.

I enjoy writing, so I try to write as much as I can.

However, what I did doesn’t matter as much as what you do. You have to be willing to try different things, and find what works for you. That’s what I did in the beginning. I found one thing that worked, and I focused all my energy on that one thing.

In short, experiment, track your results, and double down on what works (for you).

7.) Nick Loper at SideHustleNation.Com has this to say:

Thanks for reaching out. One thing that’s working really well for me lately is creating content-specific opt-in offers. I’m doing this for my podcast, creating unique PDF giveaways for each episode, and they’re converting like crazy.

If I was starting a blog from scratch, this is a strategy I would implement from Day 1 because it will be much more effective at building your list than just promoting the same site-wide opt-in offer on every page and every post.

If your content gets someone 90% of the way there, maybe you hold back that final 10% and put it behind your opt-in wall. Maybe it’s just a summary of the tools and resources mentioned in your post.

Maybe it’s a bonus interview you did with some expert while researching the post.

I’m using LeadPages/LeadBoxes to collect the emails and deliver the files, but SumoMe just came out with a similar functionality priced at $100 a year — much cheaper than LeadPages.

8.) Rasmus Lindgren at RetireMyAss.Com has this to say:

I would use Facebook Ads, drive them to a free ebook.

This strategy is currently working really well and is gaining me a lot more subscribers that the old organic way where you were just waiting for people visiting your website (and maybe, just maybe getting their email address).

9.) Stacey Corrin at StaceyCorrin.Co.Uk has this to say:

It’s funny you should ask this question, because I did start from scratch recently. My new blog is just over 2 months old now, however in those 2 months I have more email subscribers than I had in the two years I was maintaining my previous blog.

The main difference between my old blog and my new one is my audience. When setting out to build your email list, you need to make sure you’re inviting the right kind of people to subscribe. You’ll want people who genuinely love the content you’re publishing, so target those people directly.

Use content upgrades such as check-lists and cheat sheets for specific posts, where readers can subscribe and download. These users have already made it to the bottom of your article, which means they’re already interested.

Have a clear unsubscribe method within your emails. This will filter out those people who only opted in for the freebies, leaving you with readers who really want to get your updates.

Make your emails personal – talk to the reader, not the masses. Forget the shiny graphics and buttons, your reader’s time is precious so make it clear how you’re going to help them. What benefit will clicking on your link provide them with?

Ultimately provide only quality and put yourself in your audience’s shoes.

10.) Matthew Barby – MatthewBarby.com has this to say:

When it comes to building an email list, it’s all about quality over quantity. If you’re just looking for numbers then you can run competitions, giving away something and that’ll usually result in some good results (I wrote a whole article on running competitions, if you’re interested).

The best approach that I’ve found to bring in relevant subscribers is through in-content call to action. One example of this could be by asking blog commenters to subscribe to your list, another could be offering locked content or extra resources in exchange for someone signing up.

These approaches are guaranteed to come from someone that has read and valued your content, thus they’re going to be more receptive to your emails.

Hope this is what you were looking for.

11.) Yaro Starak at BlogProfitsBlueprint.Com has this to say:

If I’m to start a new blog and I had no money and no list, I would pick a very specific problem and make my blog have a big email optin box that gives people something to solve that problem.

Then to get traffic, I would spend time approaching websites, blogs, podcasts and video channels to ask if I could contribute content to help people solve this problem. I call this the “get published” technique, which is a great way to get free traffic.

You go where your audience is and give them great content, which links back to your blog.

If you focused your time on this kind of “outreach” program you could build your email list quickly. However to make it work you have to make sure you are focusing on the right problem.

If you have the wrong topic then people will not be compelled to come back to your blog for more information. Good luck with your blogs!

Conclusion on how to build an Email List from Scratch

Special thanks to each and everyone of the experts that I have featured in this month expert round up article.

Want to learn more from successful internet marketing experts? Make sure you subscribe to my email list.

I’m sure you have been able to pick one or two secret strategies of building a responsive email list from these great experts.

If I would have to pose the same question to you:

If you have to start all over, how would you build a big email list of responsive subscribers from scratch for a new blog?

I hope to read about your own unique strategy to building a responsive email list.

Which of the above strategies have used before now, did it work for you?

What new strategies have you started using to build your email list?

Let me see your responses in the comment section.