The Ultimate Guide to Building Your List Without Breaking The Bank


June, 2022

Growing your email subscriber list is the foundation of growing your business. Yes, there are ways to increase your visibility through social media and get lots of fans and followers, but being able to communicate with your audience through email should always be your number one priority.


When people join your list, they are essentially raising their hands and saying “yes I want to hear more from you” and “I trust you enough to invite you to my inbox”.

You do not own social media followers or fans or group members. You own your list. And that’s why it is crucial that your efforts go into building your list. Here are 23 ways to grow your list and grow your biz:

“You do not own social media followers or fans or group members. You own your list”

Lead Magnet That Converts

Having a value based lead magnet / opt in freebie is the foundation of growing your list. The thing you have to remember is that this is your chance to make a killer first impression, so it’s must be good. I always tell my clients, make sure it passes the “would you pay for it test”. Yes, it must be THAT good.

The worst thing you can do is to create a lead magnet that is not good or of no substance. When people download it, they will be disappointed and upset, and they will immediately remove themselves from your list. The lead magnets I create for my audience are of more value than most paid courses. When you have that mentality going in, you will have subscribers for life.

Your lead magnet should be something that solves a particular problem for your audience and is easy to digest. Things like cheat sheets, checklists, guides, quizzes, short video trainings, etc. are great lead magnets. 200 page ebooks and asking people to “join your newsletter” no longer work.

You can promote your lead magnet right on your website in the header, your side bars, at the end of blog posts, in pop ups and on all social media platforms. For additional training on creating the perfect lead magnet, click here.

Visibility Magnet

A visibility magnet is an epic blog post that you use to draw your ideal audience in. Unlike the lead magnet, you are not asking them to opt in first in order to get the goods. The visibility magnet, also known as a “read magnet” is a great way to attract a cold audience who don’t know you yet and may not trust you enough yet to give up their email address.

The visibility magnet is not just a regular ol’ blog post. It is something of massive value that elevates the know, like and trust factor with your ideal target market.

You can promote this visibility magnet on social media or with advertising. The advertising costs to send someone to a blog post as opposed to a straight opt in or webinar are much lower as well, so you can drive a lot of traffic to your post without spending a ton of money.

Content Upgrades

There’s no point in having a visibility magnet without a content upgrade. Essentially this is a call to action on the epic blog post that encourages people to actually download something.

The content upgrade can be a PDF, checklist or cheat sheet that is relevant to the post. If they like what they read, downloading the content upgrade is a no-brainer. This also segments the people who are truly interested in what you have to offer.

Make sure you have several calls to action throughout your post promoting the content upgrade. This should be in the middle, at the end, in the side bar and possibly even as a pop up on that particular page.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging remains one of the most effective ways to grow your audience, build your list and create credibility in your market. There are thousands of sites looking for new content every day. You can find these with a simple Google search. I show you how to do that in this tutorial.

Make sure you maximize this exposure by having a relevant bio with a strong call to action that leads them to a landing page so you can capture emails.

Another option would be to actually host other people blog content on your own site and have them drive traffic to your website/opt in.


Webinars or telecalls not only position you as an expert, but they are a great way to grow your list. If you’re just starting, I would recommend doing a webinar/telecall at least 1-2 times a month to build up momentum and get good at them. You want to make sure you have a high converting landing page (especially if you are doing ads) and give people a reason to show up live on your webinar/call.

Host or Participate in a Telesummit 

Telesummits have historically been a way for new coaches/entrepreneurs to grow their list by thousands. The idea is to get a bunch of experts together for a live event on one specific topic. Traditionally, you would ask the experts or “speakers” to share something of value with your audience and in exchange for their participation, they would email their lists about the live event.

If you have 20 speakers and they each have a list of 5,000 subscribers, you have the potential to reach 100,000 people and the speakers get that exposure as well.

Hosting a telesummit is hard work and has a lot of moving parts. However, if you are committed to the process, and put together a good panel, you can get amazing results.

Similarly, you can be a participant/speaker as well. This will expose you to a new audience, give you the opportunity to share your expertise or your story and grow your list by offering something of value to the attendees.

Interview Series/Round Up Post

An interview series or round up post has the same concept as a telesummit, however it is evergreen content hosted on your own website as opposed to a live event.

Essentially you would choose a topic and gather experts to share some of their best tips, expertise or story around said topic. They would simply email you a small blurb or paragraph- this does not require any extra time from them to do an interview or host a call.

Typically with an interview series or round up post, you would not require the participants to share, but most likely they will share it on social media anyway.

Your round up post could be along the lines of best productivity hacks from six figure entrepreneurs, all the way to something like the top 10 podcasts to listen too. When people are featured somewhere, they like to share. Just make sure you have a content upgrade and funnel strategy in place for when you start getting all this traffic to your post.

Opt-in in Email Signature 

This is so easy to implement and should be done right away if you’re not already doing it. Think about how many emails you send every single day. If you don’t have a link to your opt in in your email signature, you’re missing out. Use a free service like Wise Stamp to do this. 

Pay With a Tweet

Turns users into brand ambassadors using the service: Pay With A Tweet. This allows your audience to share your opt in by tweeting for hidden or extra content. This could be a free module in your program, a mini course, a chapter in your book, etc.

Sticky Widget 

Create a “sticky” floating sidebar widget in your WordPress site. What this does is allows your call to action or content upgrade to remain in view on the page, even as your reader scrolls down to read the rest of your content. It is a constant reminder to take action and download your thing. Find out how to do it here.

Popup on Website 

There’s a love/hate relationship with pop ups. Undeniably they are annoying. But statistically proven- THEY WORK. Here are some tips to make your pop ups most effective:

  • Make sure your pop up is optimized for mobile. The worst thing is for someone to open up your site on mobile and not be able to get to the content because the pop up overtakes the entire screen and they can’t exit out.
  • Set up your pop up with exit intent. This way, users don’t see your pop up right away, but you can grab them as soon as they go to navigate away from your page
  • Set your pop up so that current subscribers do not see it and only new subscribers and new visitors do.
  • Make you offer someone of value in your pop-up, “Sign up for my Newsletter” just isn’t going to cut it.
  • Consider using something like the Welcome Mat from SumoMe

Twitter Cards 

With Twitter Cards, you can attach rich photos, videos and media experience to Tweets that drive traffic to your website. Simply add a few lines of HTML to your webpage, and users who Tweet links to your content will have a “Card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers. You can find out how to use twitter cards here and here.

Call to Action on Facebook Page 

This is something simple everyone can do to start bringing in leads from your Facebook fan page. Putting a call to action to either “sign up” or “learn more” and driving people to an opt in will grab those visitors that happen to stumble upon your Facebook page. Check out how easy it is to set up here.

Opt In Download on About Page 

The about page is the 2nd most viewed page on your website (after the home page). Use this opportunity to offer an opt in freebie to your visitors. Position it as the “next step” to get to know you and your business better. 

Comment below and let me know which new techniques you’ll start implementing in your list building today.

Social Challenges

Social challenges are a great way to engage your audience and grow your list. People love to participate in challenges, especially when they walk away with a specific result. Your challenge should be results oriented and anywhere from 5-10 days long. You can promote your challenge on all social media platforms, time it with a guest post, use Facebook ads to promote it and encourage social sharing by using a landing page with Twitter and Facebook share buttons.

Social challenges are great because they put you in a leader position, engages your audience, gives them a taste of what it would be like to work with you, plus increases activity in your groups/tribe. People also love to do them with their friends, so you can expand your reach even further. 


It’s undeniable. People love free stuff. Hosting a giveaway or contest for a prize is a great way to build your list, but you must be careful here. Make sure that your prize is something that is of value to your ideal audience. If you make it something broad like an iPad or an Amazon gift card, you’ll build your list fast… with the wrong people. Also, if you are just starting out- offering a coaching package with you isn’t going to be an enticing prize. They don’t know you yet, so even if it’s free, people won’t necessarily want it (yet).

You can share your contest on giveaway distribution sites for free. A simple google search will turn up a slew of places you can promote your contest/giveaway.

Use a plugin like King Sumo Giveaways or RaffleCopter to encourage viral social sharing.

Interest List/VIP Teaser

If you have something interesting coming up, whether it’s a launch, a  new program or product, or a contest, creating an interest list is a great way to not only collect email addresses, but also a great way to measure interest and validate your program, product or offer.

Simply create a lead page/landing page with a short description of what’s coming. Be sure to entice people by teasing them with a VIP bonus or offer for getting on the wait list/interest list now.


The worst thing you can do with content is to create it and send it out one time. You want to distribute your content on multiple sites and platforms. You can share your blogs on LinkedIn, Quora, Outbrain, Facebook, Reddit, and multiple other forums. Distributing your content and posts will add to the longevity of your content and expand your reach beyond your current circles.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is the fastest way to grow your list, but it costs money. If done right you can recycle your money and never have to pay out of pocket for your ads by implementing the right funnels and having a strategy behind your Facebook ads/opt in. You can advertise on Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, as well as other blog sites.

Offer An Affiliate Program

What better way to create brand advocates than to offer an affiliate program to your loyal fans and followers. This is pretty easy to set up using simple plugins.

This is a great way to have other people talking about you and your programs. Plus you are rewarding them for it- so it’s a win, win.

As a loyal fan or customer, they will be more than happy to spread the word about your amazing product or service. This will not only build your email list, but also your customer list. Cha-ching!