Building an email list can sound like a huge project and it’s too techy or complex. But it can be super easy if you use the right tools. I’m going to walk you through the steps to starting an email list and give you a tutorial to a FREE tool that will help you with how to build an email list without a website.
But before we dive into the tools and how to use them, I want to talk about why you should even grow an email list and the steps we are going to take before we even start building it out with our tools.
And just an FYI, there might be some affiliate links in this post. That means if you make a purchase with one of my links I get a commission at no extra cost to you.
An email list is a list of people who have signed up for communication from you via email. Fairly self-explanatory, but I want to take a second to be clear that the type of email list I am talking about is one where you as a business legally collect emails from your audience and customer.
Typically you offer some sort of incentive called a lead magnet to entice your audience into joining your email list. Just like how you go to your favorite online shop and they offer you 15% off if you sign up for emails. The same thing.
Learning how to build an email list without a website is super important for two main reasons.
1. You OWN it. Social media, Google, YouTube… you do not own any of these platforms. Algorithms can change or you could even have your account blocked or deleted. But that email list is yours. You own it and even if you lost all other channels of marketing, you would still be able to contact your audience if you have an email list.
2. There’s money in your list. The ROI of email marketing is $36 for every dollar you spend according to these stats. This is because you are able to build a connection over time with your audience, and email engagement has actually gone up over the last year by according to 77% of marketers. No matter how pervasive social media has become, email is still an important way people communicate.
And if you’re thinking “but does email marketing work for (insert niche),” the answer is yes. Email marketing is a great tool for any business large or small.
Ok we’re gonna get down to business now. The very FIRST step to building an email list without a website is with your lead magnet.
“But do I really need a lead magnet?” Yes. Yes you do.
Remember above how I gave you the example of going to a shop’s website and sigining up for the email to get 15% off? I’m guessing you wouldn’t have signed up if they didn’t offer you that coupon code, am I right?
The same goes for you and your business. Without a lead magnet to attract people to your email list it’s going to be a lot harder to grow your email list with a website.
“Ok, but what should my lead magnet be?”
You’ve got tons of options. Here are just a few:
I’ll use my self as an example and give you a shameless plug for my own lead magnet.
I am a marketing expert and I help my clients get more consistent leads and sales through simple but impactful marketing systems. My freebie is a training on how to bring in more leads with less work. You can sign up here to check it out.
The key is that you don’t want to just throw anything together. Be thoughtful. This free offer should be a taste of what your paid offers are, and be enticing enough people will sign up for it.
You’re going to write 5 emails in this sequence.
The first three should be purely adding value and letting your audience get to know you. You want to remind them to actually download and use the freebie you offered. I know I’m not the only one who has forgotten to use something I signed up for. And your audience is no different. So remind them to use it, and the content of those first couple of emails should enhance what they are getting out of your freebie.
In those final 2 emails you are going to sell your product. At this point they should have seen how valuable your services are because they have gotten a quick win through the freebie and the first 3 value emails. So focus on how your product now takes them to the next phase in their progress. This should be a seamless process from freebie to paid offer.
When you set this up inside of your email service provider you will have the emails dripped out over the course of a week or two.
I’ll explain email service providers and what I recommend in just a minute.
Email 1: Deliver your lead magnet and introduce yourself (send it immediately)
Don’t just send over the freebie with a link. This will be the email that is opened the MOST, so be sure to use this prime real estate. Tell a story, add an extra tip that will help them utilize their freebie, or give them some inspiration so they feel empowered to dive in right away.
But be sure to use this space for nurturing. It’s not time for selling yet.
Email 2: Give them a quick win (sent 1-2 days after the last email)
This email series is a journey. We want them to have an incentive to continue that journey so include a tip or strategy here they can implement right away and get results.
Sometimes this isn’t a literal result, but a mindset shift or new understanding that has a big impact.
Email 3: Transformation Storytime (sent 1-2 days after the last email)
This whole email series is leading up to you selling your offer, right?
So this is the time to share how what you have learned in your field has created a transformation for you (or one of your clients).
But we are just telling the story here. We are not actually selling yet.
Think of this as setting the stage for when you do sell.
Email 4: Introduce your product/service (sent 1-2 days after the last email)
Let’s start sharing our offer!
Remember this is a journey. So think about the email you wrote in Email 3. This email should be a natural extension from there.
How was that transformation facilitated by your products or services? What is unique about what you have to offer that creates the transformation.
Don’t get hung up on explaining every single feature of what you’re selling, but instead what those features do.
For example, if you’re a social media manager, don’t just focus on how many Instagram templates you’re offering in your product. Focus on how those templates save time so your customer can spend more time closing sales or relaxing at the end of the day instead of being glued to social media and Canva.
And if you can, include a testimonial (or three) here.
Email 5: What did your clients/ customers need to know before they purchased? (sent 1-2 days after the last email)
This is the final email. So think about what your current customers and clients asked right before they purchased, and be sure to include a testimonial.
They already know you at least a little, they know what you’re offering, but they are going to have questions and/or objections to purchasing.
Make a list of all the objections or questions your current clients have asked. Then choose the top 3-5 and answer them in this email.
Whenever I can splice in a testimonial or a customer story… do it.
And add the link to your product at least 3 times in bold with clear instructions to click there. Ya gotta have those CTA’s.