11 Experts Reveal Their #1 List Building Technique To Grow Email List From Scratch.

Everyone knows how hard it is to get your first 100 email subscribers when you’re starting your blog from scratch.

However,

there are people that “crack the code” and skyrocket their email list growth and I’ve decided to gather 11 of them and ask them one question:

“If you were to build your email list from scratch what is the #1 list building techniques you would use? 

Let me tell you, the insights I received from these experts were nothing short of amazing. I’ve listed all of them below.

Let’s dive in.

Adam Enfroy

Adam Enfroy is a writer, content marketing consultant, and strategic partnerships manager for BigCommerce. Adam writes about affiliate marketing programs and scaling your online influence on his blog, adamenfroy.com.


Build Your Blog’s Email List with Exit-Intent Pop-Ups.

Building an email list is a simple number’s game: you take your website traffic, multiply it by your email opt-in conversion rate, and you have your list size.

So if I were to start a new list from zero, I’d focus on two primary areas to improve this number: search engine optimization (SEO) and exit-intent.

First, SEO is the best long term list building strategy, so you need to get it right from day one. Yes, you can blast ads all over Google or Facebook to get clicks and email subscribers, however, SEO gives you the strongest return on investment (ROI) in the long run.

SEO is a multi-faceted discipline which I won’t dive too deep into for this article, but it’s mainly comprised of:

  • Keyword research
  • On-page factors, like matching reader intent, properly formatting your headings, competitive research, word count, etc.
  • Off-page factors including guest blogging and link building.

Once you have SEO down and start to generate traffic, it’s time to optimize your email list conversion rate. 

Where do blog readers typically opt-in?

While there are plenty of areas readers should be able to sign up for your email list – within the content itself, in the sidebar, upon exit-intent – there’s a clear winner by far. 

Exit-intent.

And here’s why it works: it isn’t so much about where the reader opts in, but when they decide to opt-in. 

If you can hold a reader’s attention for a predetermined amount of time, why not push them to sign up for your list right then and there?

After trial and error, I can safely say that well-constructed exit-intent pop-ups are the most effective way to build a new blog’s email list.

So how do they work? 

These pop-ups are set to fire either when a user’s pointer goes within 10-20% of the top of the screen (showing intent to leave). I use OptinMonster to generate these opt-in boxes and they easily integrate with WordPress. 

When this occurs, I entice readers with a lead magnet including a 7-day email course, eight-page PDF, and free plan to make $10k in 90 days: 

Email pop-up

This combination of exit-intent + time-on-site accounts for over 80% of my email sign-ups (about 75-100/day).

If I were to build a new email list from zero, I’d first focus on obtaining organic traffic via SEO. Then I’d use a tool like OptinMonster to create high-quality exit-intent pop-ups with a strong lead magnet.

Building an email list is a simple number’s game:you take your website traffic, multiply itby your email opt-in conversion rate. – Adam Enfroy Click To Tweet

Robbie Richards

Robbie Richards is the Marketing Director at Virayo, a search marketing company located in Boise, Idaho. Robbie has built one of the most reputable SEO blogs online: robbierichards.com


Facebook ads would probably be the fastest way to do it. But, if you’re on a tight budget, I’d recommend running expert roundups that feature at least a few dozen influencers with large social audiences. 

Get expert opinion on a pressing topic, and build a content upgrade for the piece. Templates, checklists, video training, bonus tactics, etc work well. 

Promote it as a popup that is triggered about 30 secs after page load, and include as a visual in-text popup that is triggered on-click. Once that is all set up, email all influencers and mention them on social media. 

They’ll share with their audience, you’ll drive a ton of engagement and eyeballs on your content, and collect a decent number of new subscribers in a 48hr window.

This is a great 1-2 punch for getting subscribers with zero ads spend. 

Another option would be guest posting on popular sites and promoting a landing page in your author bio that has a lead magnet. Tap into channels that already have a lot of people in your target audience. 

I did quite a bit of this when I launched my blog. For example, I guest posted on Sumo, SEMrush and Digital Marketer and collected hundreds of new subscribers from those sites. Again – no money, just time invested. 

Get expert opinion on a pressing topic, and build a content upgrade for the piece.Templates, checklists, video training, bonus tactics etc work well. – Robbie Richards Click To Tweet

BONUS: Exclusive List Building Strategies that will show you how to quickly build your email list. Includes Proven list building techniques not found in this post.

Ryan Robinson

Ryan Robinson is a marketing and business consultant to the world’s top experts and growing startups. He teaches more than 350,000 monthly readers how to start and grow a profitable side business on his blog, ryrob.com.


If I had to start all over again with building my email list from scratch, I’d focus all of my efforts on creating high quality, long-form articles for my blog that are designed to rank well in organic search for useful terms my audience is trying to solve for. 

Next, I’d spend a lot of time and effort promoting this article by optimizing my on-page SEO, doing guest posts, outreach to ask for social shares and other tactics designed to bring more readers and increase my rankings. 

After getting some traffic and early momentum in organic rankings, I’d start offering a PDF download of that article in exchange for readers joining my email list—so that they can read the article later, offline when they have more time. 

Once I see those downloads starting to pick up momentum, I’d shift focus over to offering an even more in-depth, valuable free course that expands on the subject matter at hand (rather than just the free PDF download), which could branch out into providing other free assets like templates, spreadsheets, books or even video walkthroughs in exchange for joining my email list. 

I'd focus all of my efforts on creating high quality, long-form articles for my blog that are designed to rank well -Ryan Robinson Click To Tweet

Gene Armstrong

Gene Armstrong is the founder of Big Apple Media, a digital design agency specializing in SEO and custom website design and development.


I’ve tried different strategies and some worked better than others. Lead magnets, popups, and content upgrades can often be effective if done well. Always experiment and see what works better.

Most of the subscribers on my list I got from making connections and building a rapport. I publish a weekly web design and marketing roundup and after I include a link, I reach out to bloggers and ask them if they want to subscribe. 

Many are more than happy to do it because, in exchange, they’re getting a permanent link in the weekly roundup and also a newsletter. 

I know it won’t work for everyone, but if you connect with someone first and then ask them to subscribe, they’re much more likely to do it

Sean Ogle

Sean is the Founder of Location Rebel. He specializes in helping people build small lifestyle businesses that can be run from anywhere on Earth and allows them to do more of the stuff they like to do.


If I were starting from scratch the best way I’d probably grow my email list is through webinars.

If I were starting from scratch the best way I'd probably grow my email list is through webinars. – Sean Ogle Click To Tweet

I’d create one with around a very specific topic that I’m an expert in, and use that as my main thing I promote across my website, social channels, YouTube, etc.

I’d then partner with people who had larger lists to do my training for their audience.

In the early days, it doesn’t even need to be a sales webinar. Just super valuable information, that will allow me to grow the list quickly.

Laura Belgray

Laura Belgray, founder of Talking Shrimp and co-creator of The Copy Cure, has been a professional writer for over two decades and won big, fat awards for her work.


I’d have a great lead magnet, flaunt it, flog it, mention it on every post (I like using Instagram) and every social bio, and make my website an inescapable opt-in honey trap.

Raelyn Tan

Raelyn helps bloggers & online entrepreneurs grow their audiences profitably… (aka get more traffic & subscribers while maximizing profits) Through her blog content….



If I were starting out from scratch without a single cent in my pocket, I would write strong evergreen pillar content that is optimized for Google and Pinterest on my blog.

This sets the foundation for my new business where I am able to provide concrete value out of the gate on my website. As I am new, there is a need to build trust and good content is one way to do this.

Also, it is not just enough to post good content – I will also infuse the quality content with my personality. Additionally, these will be articles that are related to whatever I intend to sell, to ensure that I am collecting subscribers that are qualified.

I will combine this with strategies like guest posting, writing round-ups, content upgrades, and/or paid ads, but my #1 strategy will be writing high-quality content (the best you can find on the internet) on my website.

Nathan Gotch.

Nathan is the founder and SEO director at Gotch SEO. He started this company back in 2013 with one simple objective: To help as many businesses as he can to achieve real SEO success. Nathan has written some of the most actionable guides on SEO topics on his blog


I would first identify what pages are getting the most traffic on the target site. Then I would create a relevant lead magnet.

Then just repeat this process over-and-over until each page has a relevant lead magnet. 

This is the only reliable method I’ve used to grow an email list fast. If you stack it with remarketing ads (Facebook and Google), you’ll see a spike in conversions.

I always retarget users who visited the lead capture page.

I would first identify what pages are getting the most traffic on the target site. Then I would create a relevant lead magnet. -Nathan Gotch Click To Tweet

Mitt Ray

Mitt Ray is the Founder & CEO of Social Marketing Writing where he shares actionable strategies on how to dominate social media.


The main list building technique I would use is content upgrades. This is where you create a unique lead magnet for every post.

It might take some time to create a lead magnet for each post, but it is worth it as I find that they convert better than other opt-in forms. 

But remember that content upgrades will only work if they contain information that is related to the topic of the post. So, have a good think about what would compliment your post and give it away for free as a content upgrade.

It could be a cheat sheet or an ebook or a video or something else that expands on the contents of the post. 

The main list building technique I would use is content upgrades. This is where you create a unique lead magnet for every post. – Mitt Ray Click To Tweet

Bogdan Klopov

Bogdan is head of community outreach at Visme and also an expert in search engine optimization. Connect with him Bogdan on Linkedin.


I would probably use a lead magnet, like an eBook or a guide that offers tons of value to the reader, and include a really good CTA. And then also share that on all social channels and possibly run paid ads too

Ali Luke

Ali Luke has been freelancing and blogging since 2008. she writes about the art, craft and business of writing on her long-running blog Aliventures.com


The early days of building up an email list can feel really hard.

When you’ve got all of five people on your list (and four of those are the test email accounts you set up), gaining any traction might seem next to impossible. 

The early days of building up an email list can feel really hard. Click To Tweet

The best method I know of is to guest post: write for other sites – bigger than your own – and use your bio link to send people straight to your newsletter sign-up page.

When you’re going down this route, it’s a great move to have an opt-in incentive ready for them when they sign up, like a free “cheat sheet”, planner, or ebook related to your topic. 

If you don’t have anything extra to give your newsletter subscribers, I’d suggest using your guest post bio to link to a great post on your own blog (ideally the same topic as your guest post) and having a box to sign up for your newsletter at the end of that post.

That way, you’re giving people a taste of the great content they’ll be getting when they join your email list.

So many bloggers are afraid to guest post because they think that big blogs won’t be interested.

But if you can write a decent post that’s highly on topic for the blog you’re targeting, and if you pitch it reasonably well, you’ve got a very good chance of seeing it accepted.

Write a handful of guest posts a month, and you’ll see your email list grow dramatically.

Write a handful of guest posts a month, and you'll see your email list grow dramatically.- Ali Luke Click To Tweet

Wrap It Up…

Wow!

What an amazing collection of useful advice on how to build an email list from scratch

Big shout out to everyone who contributed to this roundup. Please share if you found it useful!

Also, make sure you connect with me on Twitter or subscribe to my email list for more exciting and actionable Email list building strategies that will help you Get More Subscribers, drive traffic and increase conversions.

Now, I want to turn it over to you:

What is your favorite Email List Building strategy?

Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

BONUS: Exclusive List Building Strategies that will show you how to quickly build your email list. Includes Proven list building techniques not found in this post.

3 thoughts on “11 Experts Reveal Their #1 List Building Technique To Grow Email List From Scratch.”

  1. I do trust all of the ideas you have offered to your
    post. They are really convincing and can certainly work.
    Still, the posts are very quick for novices. Could you please lengthen them a little from subsequent time?

    Thank you for the post.

    Reply
    • Thanks for finding the post valuable.. unfortunately, the response was personally sent to me from each contributor so it’s not possible for me to lengthen them.

      Reply

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