build an effective email list

How To Build An Effective Email List FAST!

Are you struggling to find effective ways to build your email list?

As well as the impact of GDPR, there has been a lot of talk about the effectiveness of email marketing with the ‘ever growing’ use of social media for business. As a Facebook specialist, you may think I would side with the argument that email lists are a waste of time. Well….. you would be wrong. I am a firm believer that email marketing and social media activity go hand in hand and, used in conjunction with each other can give you far greater results than using either method alone.

In this 3 part series of Email Marketing 101, I will show you several ways to increase your email list FAST, using both online and offline methods.

There are many ways you can obtain an email, however, by far the most effective and ethical way is to give them something valuable FOR FREE! Not only will this show your expertise in your industry, it will also build a level of trust with people.

In Part 1 I will talk about different ‘Freebies’ you can create. Part 2 will then cover ways to promote your content and finally Part 3 will talk about how to turn those subscribers into buyers.

But first of all, let’s take a look at why you should even bother to grow your list.

Why Do I Need A List?

Although social media has become an integral part of your marketing activity, you don’t own your followers’ data, meaning you can only connect with them on the platform they found you on. In addition, social media platforms have been known to close down business accounts without any prior warning (they usually have a reason) and then you are left with nothing to show for your efforts, unless you have converted your followers into subscribers.

The other main benefit is that you have a far greater chance of getting your content seen when competing with 50 other emails, instead of a newsfeed which is constantly moving and even your own followers don’t see your content all the time. For example, Facebook only shares your content with 2-5% of your followers unless you are willing to ‘Pay To Play’.

Things To Consider Before Creating Your Free Offer

email listThe first thing to remember is that this is likely to be the first impression that a person has of you and your business, so your free content should be thought out carefully and designed in line with your brand and message.


When you have an idea for a free offer, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Google the subject and see what people are asking. Read blogs and forums. Look at the questions being asked in the comments and the answers that are being given. You can find real ‘gold nuggets’ to help you build on your content. These are ‘real’ people with ‘real problems’ so you know this is what people want answers to instead of guessing what they want and need. Pay particular attention to questions that 2-3 people or more are asking as the chances are that if 2-3 people are struggling with something, many more will be too.

Concentrate On ONE Pain Point – ONE Solution

Don’t try to solve everything in one product. Focus on ONE pain point your audience has and show them the solution. If you can think of many, then you are already part way to having a library of free gifts. After all, you will want to change them up a bit over time to continue growing your list.

Take Your Time

Creating something in a rush can give a bad impression and put people off. You wouldn’t want a tatty welcome mat outside your home would you?

Deliver On Your Promise

The other important factor is to ensure that you can deliver what you promise. If you promise to show how to achieve a particular goal, then your content should do just that. False advertising is not only unethical, it will also leave a bitter taste in the readers’ mouth and they are very unlikely to trust any advice you give in the future, let alone become a customer.

What Can I Offer?

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the free content you could share in exchange for their name and email address.


eBooks are a great way to give in-depth information on a particular subject. For example, on of our own eBooks ‘The Facebook Ads Winning Recipe’ has proven to be hugely popular as it gives clear steps to create high converting ads quickly. For tips on structuring your eBook, read our blog 'How To Create An eBook To Promote Your Business'

You may be thinking ‘I don’t have the skills to create an eBook’ but don’t press the panic button just yet. You don’t have to be a novelist or graphic designer to do this. Most eBooks are created in Word or PowerPoint and can be just a few pages long. The important thing is that you have the knowledge of your industry!

Cheat Sheet

Cheat sheets are a great way to give shortcut tips that readers will find useful without having to trawl the internet. These are usually only one or two pages long and again, created on PowerPoint or Word. An example of a cheat sheet in our industry would be a single sheet giving all the image dimensions for every social media platform. For a Photographer, it could be a list of good, value for money, equipment that could give you professional studio results for under £200.


These are another very useful reference guide for people to make sure they don’t forget a particular step in a process. Again, these are usually only one page long so won’t take long to create. This example took me just 30 minutes in PowerPoint. (Click on the image to see full size).


If you have a little more time and the relevant software, you could create a mini eCourse, giving a step by step guide (usually in video format) to complete a particular task. These are often used if you are intending to sell online training courses as they can be given as a taster to a more in-depth course.

Video Series

You can also create a video series demonstrating several things that are sent out by email over a period of 3-7 days (longer if you have the time) They are usually only 2-5 minutes each and you don’t need expensive software to do it. If your videos are PC based you can obtain free screen share software and if out and about your smartphone is a great option. There are great free audio and video editing tools available too. An example of a video series could be one that we created for our AdWords audience ‘8 Common Mistakes That Are Costing You £££ With Your AdWords Campaigns’. This was a series of 8 videos sent by email, showing the common mistakes people were making and simple ways to correct them.

Member Only Content Newlsetter

We all receive Newsletters giving links to the latest blogs and industry updates, but wouldn’t you feel special if there is a little tip in each that only you, as a subscribed member, is receiving? This is a great way to make your subscribers feel privileged as that content is not being shared on your website or social media. You keep the ‘Gems’ just for them.

We’ve come to the end of Part One and I hope this has lit a few lightbulbs, giving you some great ideas. Can you think of any other ideas for a free offer? We would love to hear about it in the comments below.

You can grab all 3 copies of the 'Email Marketing 101' blog series in PDF format here...

email marketing 101

If you have found this article helpful, please tweet and share. After all.....sharing is caring.

This is Suzii, signing out 'til Part Two. Have a great day everyone!

Posted in Email Marketing.


  1. Pingback: 5 Ethical Ways To Turn Social Media Followers Into Subscribers

  2. Pingback: Keep Calm And Carry On Marketing In A Crisis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *