3 Essential Steps To Growing Your Email List (and filling it with the right people)

My email list is one of the most valuable assets in my blogging business.

With just an email, I can get clients and fill my courses. My blog posts receive lots of comments and traffic because I share them with the thousands of people on my list.

Growing a targeted, engaged email list should be at the top of every blogger's to do list. And there are so many experts out there (including myself) who will teach you how to do it.

Read on to find out how 6 of my most trusted bloggers go about finding the right niche, getting traffic to their blog, and creating a desirable lead magnet to grow their audiences – 3 essential steps to growing your list.

1. Choose the right niche

The first step to growing your email list is choosing the right niche. When you choose a specific, profitable niche, you attract your ideal customers to join your email list.

And having a targeted email list is essential if you want to be able to sell to your list in the future. Adam Connell and Amy Lynn Andrews both have great ideas about how to choose a focused niche.

Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard

“By thinking about how passionate you are, what your strengths are and which niches are going to be profitable you can cut out a lot of the disappointment and put yourself on the right track from the start.”

Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard is a master at blogging and growing his email list.

He believes that choosing the wrong niche is a huge mistake.

To choose the right niche, think about:

  • What you are passionate about
  • Whether the niche is profitable
  • What are your strengths?
  • Is your niche too narrow?

Then Adam suggests you create a mind map to explore your options so that you make a well thought out decision.

Check out this post on “How To Hit The Bullseye With Your Blog's Niche“.

Amy Lynn Andrews

“Unless your blog is strictly for your own enjoyment, you’re probably hoping to gain readers. So, it’s important to consider what others might want to read.”

Amy Lynn Andrews takes a different approach to finding your niche. She says to first focus on what readers want.

Namely, they want:

  • To solve a problem
  • To relieve their fears
  • To learn something new
  • To reach a goal
  • To be entertained

Once you figure out what your readers want, Amy guides you through a number of other thought-provoking questions to help you narrow your niche. To read more, check out the full post on choosing your niche.

2. Drive targeted traffic to your blog

Once you’ve chosen a specific, profitable niche, you will need traffic in order to grow your email list. The key is to get your content in front of readers who are ready to join your list and buy from you. Neil Patel and Ramit Sethi are masters at getting traffic, and they teach strategies that any blogger can use – even beginners.

Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to Be Rich

“Besides writing really good content, the easiest way to get traffic to your blog is to write something interesting for another blogger who has more traffic than you.”

In his article, How to get 150,000 people to read your blog in 1 week (and how I did it), Ramit Sethi shares his strategy for getting lots of blog traffic when you’re just starting out.

He writes that there are only 2 ways that really matter to get blog traffic:

  1. Writing remarkable content
  2. Writing amazing guest posts for other bloggers who have a larger audience than you do

If you do these 2 things, your blog will get regular traffic. For more details on how to apply Ramit’s traffic generating strategies, read the full post.

Neil Patel

“I can’t promise you overnight results. Stick to [these strategies] and you will eventually get fresh visitors to your blog, increase your email subscribers, boost your conversion rate and build a sustainable business.”

In this long and detailed post, Neil lists 7 effective strategies for getting more blog traffic.

His strategies include:

  • Kindle Select 90-Day Traffic Plan
  • Creating viral content
  • Creating evergreen list posts
  • Long-tail keyword domination
  • Email traffic generation
  • Twisted guest blogging
  • Restructure your posts

Neil walks you step by step through executing each strategy, and he includes results so that you know the strategies work. Read Neil’s full post on how to generate traffic.

3. Create a desirable lead magnet

Loads of blog traffic will only help you build your email list if you have a desirable lead magnet to offer your readers.

If you think that asking readers to “subscribe for blog updates” is an effective way of growing your list, you are sadly wrong. You need to offer your readers something they truly want in exchange for their email addresses. Digital Marketer and OptinMonster both have excellent ideas for what you can offer your readers.

Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer

“With the right Lead Magnet in place and a funnel behind it… your business will become a lead and sales generating machine.”

Ryan Deiss knows how to create irresistible lead magnets that grow his email list and seamlessly lead his readers into his sales funnel. In this post, 9 Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples, he shares 9 lead magnets that you can use to grow your email list.

Ryan’s lead magnet ideas include:

  • A guide or report
  • A cheat sheet or handout
  • A toolkit or resource list
  • A video training

For the full list of lead magnet ideas, and to read his 8-point lead magnet checklist, check out the full post.

OptinMonster

“Email is a very personal thing. People aren’t simply going to give you their email address without a good incentive, even if they like your brand. As a marketer, it is your job to give them a compelling reason to do so.”

In her comprehensive post, Mary Fernandez, the Content Marketing Manager for OptinMonster shares 69 Effective Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Email List. The list of ideas includes everything from checklists to quizzes to comic strips.

Each idea includes a screenshot and an example to help you get a better sense of what it looks like. If you want inspiration for creating your own lead magnet, read the full post.

The best thing I’ve done for my blog is to consistently grow my email list.

With these strategies in place, your email list will quickly fill with your ideal customers.

If you want to read some of Successful Blogging’s best posts on how to grow your email list, check these out:

Find Your Blogging Niche: Passion, Demand, and Earning Potential

How To Get Instant Traffic For Your Blog

6 Lead Magnets That Will Skyrocket Your Email List

What are the best strategies you’ve used to grow your email list? Share in the comments below.

Comments

  1. says

    Yeah..! Its really great post.Very helpful and informative.Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. says

    Hey Sue,

    Great tips from some of my favorite bloggers!

    The best strategy I’ve used to grow my list is a combination of content upgrades and republishing on Medium. I think many bloggers have been curious about Medium but it seems like a mystery to them. I can say firsthand it’s a viable platform that has earned me 1000+ subscribers.

    Off to share!

    • says

      Love the Medium idea, Ayodeji! Thanks for sharing it with my readers and me.

      Sue

    • says

      Hi Ayodeji,

      Thanks for recommending Medium.

      I just signed up due to your tip!

      Hopefully your strategy works!

      • says

        Medium is where it’s at. You have to be patient, but once you build an audience over there it will benefit you greatly.

        • says

          Hi, Ayodeji! I have thought about Medium for a long time. Do you restructure your posts so they aren’t the same on the blog and Medium? Shorten them? Thanks for the great tip!

  3. says

    Hi Sue,
    This is really an informative post.
    Yet another wonderful and valuable information you shared through this post.
    A worth notable and must follow tips to all bloggers newbies as well as professionals.
    This valuable tips and the connected links are worth bookmarkable.
    Yes, i am bookmarking it for my further reference and read.
    Thanks for sharing this amazing post. 🙂
    I have been to all these amazing personalities pages several times indeed they are all worth notable and follow-able personalities.
    Keep sharing
    May you have a great day
    Best Regards
    ~ Phil

    • says

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Phil. I always appreciate the time you take to read my posts and comment!

      Sue

  4. says

    Sue you have prepared a good article on growing email list. You have cited the best quotes of famous bloggers and internet marketing experts. It is highly appreciable. Your time and effort would really help people to get the right direction.

  5. says

    Hi Sue,

    Thanks for this post.

    I paid for a shoutout on Instagram on a very popular news website and I ended up receiving over 300 email addresses. I also used a landing page with Instapage so that I could easily capture their details and then I offered a free e-book.

    So I think paid advertising can work if you optimise it and run it once it a while as part of your overall marketing strategy.

    • says

      I agree. Start with free and you can go into paid ads slowly, if needed.

      I appreciate your info!
      Sue

  6. says

    Hey Sue,
    An insightful post you have there!
    Really love the creative twist you put on the structure of this post.

    Am currently trying my hands on content upgrades alongside guestblogging and facebook marketing to build my email list.
    But where am stalling is zeroing in on specificity with my Lead Magnet. But this post has really got my creative mojo running.

    Thanks so much for the effort to put this together. I also appreciate your sharing my last guest post 🙂

    Anu.
    Anuoluwapo Bioye-Oyeniran recently posted…How to Become An Amazing Writer [Even If You Feel Like A Nobody]My Profile

    • says

      The most important part of your Lead Magnet is the headline (the title) of it. So create a few super headlines and run them past me!

      Thanks for your comment.
      Sue

  7. says

    Targeting Audience where they hang out is important as mentioned above. And as Neil says using Long Tails Keywords, this technique sounds interesting.

    Even Podcasting is a great technique to increase our mailing list as you have mentioned ealier.

    Great Post !

  8. says

    I’ve been blogging since 2004, but still feel like I’ve been slightly out of the game for a bit. Things change so fast. Thanks for introducing me to some leading thinkers.

  9. says

    I have come, late to the table, to my realisation of the importance of an email list.

    Identifying a niche is critical, as you say, but is often one of the hardest steps to take.

  10. says

    Hi Sue,

    I just love to read your posts and this one is again such a wonderful source of guidance!

    It’s great that you point people to start growing an email list right after choosing a niche. I’m one of those who’ve initially made the mistake to put list building somewhere to the end of my priority list.

    This post is definitely one of those that can bring the struggling, puzzled blogger back on track again. No more pondering what steps to take, no more wondering what mentor’s resources to pick and learn from. You’ve got it all covered!

    Off to share it now:)

    Cheers,

    Vera

  11. says

    Hi there Sue,

    I can say without a doubt that this post is on of the best for email marketing world wide web, believe me it’s just so awesome. I really agree with Neil Patel when he says “the results won’t come overnight” and we all know that right?

    If you have time please check my email that I sent to you.

    Cheers,

    Clay Smith.

  12. Amanda says

    This is a great post, Sue.

    Really great instructions and I hope to start my site shortly and when I do, I’ll be using your wonderful steps you provided here.

    Have a blessed day and keep up the great work.

    • says

      You are so welcome, Amanda. If you need help with your site, we do free WordPress setups with a premium theme (still free!). Just drop me an email at [email protected]

      Thanks for your comment!
      Sue

  13. says

    Hi Sue,

    Great post! Finding the right niche makes easy to go in the right direction. Many bloggers make this silly mistake, they create several useless content on multiple topics instead focusing on the right one.

    Thanks or sharing this valuable post. 🙂

  14. says

    Hey Sue,

    Email marketing is one of the leading things to adapt. But the point is how would you handle your email list?

    I agree with your point of choosing the right niche. Choose what you love not what you have to because of the market.

    You should know which is the targeted audience.
    Thanks for sharing this useful guide.
    ~Ravi
    Ravi Chahar recently posted…How To Get 101 Content Ideas From These 20 Places In A Few Minutes?My Profile

    • says

      Great point. You need to email your list at least once a month so they don’t forget who you are.

      I appreciate you bringing up that point, Ravi, and your comment.
      Sue

  15. says

    Love to see a lot of these names in this past like Neil and Ramit! One of the main things I’ve done is to create different newsletter lists based on what pages people subscribe on. This helps to target emails better, knowing what originally interested them in signing up. Super big work in progress, but I’m going to keep working at it. Thank you for the insight!

    • says

      Excellent point, Eden. Content upgrades on specific blog posts work great for building a segmented list.

      Thanks for sharing with us!
      Sue

  16. says

    Here’s the way I’ve built a quality list.
    Step 1: Write a book, report or whatever. The more you can legitimize it by placing it on a site like Amazon and put a price on it, the better.

    Step 2: Whenever you’re on Facebook, Linkedin, or a social media site, ask people you know if they would like a FREE copy of your book. (8 times out of 10 they say “yes”.)

    Step 3: Once they say “Yes” ask them for their email address. I always add, “I’ll put you on my mailing list for my free newsletter as well.”

    Step 4: They almost always say “Fine” and I add them to my MailChimp account. Then I send them the eBook.

    Now, that might seem like a very slow method of generating a mailing list, but it is very specific and targeted because I tell them what the book is about before they ask for it. As I said, it works well, but it is a quality list that takes time.

    I did some research this summer that you may find interesting.

    My wife went on a trip to visit relatives this summer and I stayed home. While she was gone I watched 50 email list building videos by online gurus. You can read the results of my research by checking out my post in the link provided.
    Mark Elmo Ellis recently posted…4 Action Steps to Begin Learning Copywriting ImmediatelyMy Profile

    • says

      Wonderful method, Mark! Thanks so much for sharing it and for sharing your article.

      Thanks,
      Sue

  17. says

    Thanks for the mention, Sue, and really great roundup of info on growing your email list!

    I completely agree– you’ve got to fill your list with the right people if you want your email marketing to work.

    • says

      It’s a pleasure, Mary! Great article you wrote and I enjoyed sharing it.

      Have a great weekend.
      Sue

  18. says

    Hey Sue,
    This is the first time I am visiting your post. I think it is one of the monster posts from you. Excellent resource!
    Selecting the niche blogging and building the email list is vital to the online business. Indeed it also helps to build a good relationship with the readers.
    Your tone and writing style is awesome
    Thanks for sharing with us
    -Sathish Arumugam
    Sathish Arumugam recently posted…7 Foolproof Ways To Build An Authority Blog In 2016 And BeyondMy Profile

  19. says

    Hey Sue,

    One of a small business’s best marketing assets is a healthy email list. While proper management and use of our email file will drive revenue immensely, it is often a challenge to create the email list itself. There are a number of simple and effective ways of creating an email list, including traditional online and offline tactics, as well as emerging strategies, such as paid search, direct mail, events and special offers. The challenges at hand in order to maximize list growth through every customer touch point. Eventually, thanks for reveling a light on this topic.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

  20. says

    Great article, Sue, with lots of good ideas! Something worth considering is to carry a small notebook and pen and ASK people you meet to write down their emails to be added to your list. I decided to do this after meeting a state senator who added 10,000 people to his newsletter list using this method. He does this at networking events, parties, anywhere and everywhere. The way I word it is, “I have a blog about responding to anger, fear and hate with love and kindness. I would like to send you something to smile about. Can you give me your email address?” What I love about this idea is that it can be used in addition to everything you’ve mentioned above.
    Liz Violet Newell recently posted…Why I am Treating Everyone Like BabiesMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Liz,

      Great idea! And some email services let you create a text number they can text and add their email if they are listening to you on a podcast or a live talk.

      Appreciate your comment!
      Sue

  21. says

    Sue:

    Another great post. Although you have made the strategy to “grow the email list” quite simple by laying out the steps so clearly, it clearly isn’t easy. There is a lot of work ahead, which leads me to the second great thing about this post.

    By sharing the wisdom and experience of the “experts” and giving hyperlinks to follow, you have created a veritable “handbook” for the process.

    I am excited to get started and capitalize on these wonderful resources!

    Thanks again and keep these helpful posts coming,
    Howard
    Howard Goode recently posted…Online Therapy Jobs: Difficult Interview Questions (and Answers)My Profile

  22. says

    Hi Sue,

    I know you have gained enough for this blog. Just curious, how many figures are reached by your email list so far? Perhaps, it will work as my influence. Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • says

      I purge my list quarterly and it hangs out around 10,000 subscribers. Start with 100 subscribers then 10000, then 5000 and so on. One step at a time!

      Thanks for your comment and question, Rocky.
      Sue

  23. says

    Hi Sue,

    Really digging Adam’s advice! Be passionate about your niche. Or pick a niche you feel passionate about. I started my list a while back because I love what I do and give not much thought to growing a list or my readership. The less I worry about it the more all aspects of my blogging campaign seems to grow. Be passionate, have fun covering your topic and you better believe more folks will connect with you by signing up for your email list.

    Thanks!

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…How to Get Noticed by Twitter Influencers (and the Blogging Benefit)My Profile

    • says

      Great points, Ryan. I totally agree with you.

      Always love to see you around the blog!
      Sue

  24. says

    Hi Sue

    No doubt that email list has became the most important thing and I must agree that It should be in the top of every blogger’s to do list.

    These 3 essential steps which you have mentioned about are amazing and one can implement these 3 steps to build his or her qualitative list of emails.

    Email list has played a most important role when It comes to getting clients. There are so many sellers get regular clients through the list, even I got some few months before when I was promoting a digital marketing product.

    All we need is to have potential emails and a lead magnet which can attract them and convert them into customers.

    Indeed a great article, Thanks for sharing it with us. 😀
    Chetan Gupta recently posted…BuzzBundle Black Friday Discount Sale 2016 : 60% off [Verified]My Profile

  25. says

    Great post, Sue.

    With niche blogging, it’s a big advantage for us to speed up the process of list building. The best tip is to further narrow down your niche. Be super-specific about what you write. WIth this, you get super-specific visitors who likely convert.

    Another tip I would like to present here is to create goodie for every category on your blog. By this, you get subscribers are known interests from those category goodies and you can easily nurture them.

    Cheers.

    • says

      Great idea on the Lead Magnet for every category, Akshay! Love that one.

      Thanks for your comment.
      Sue

  26. says

    Hello Sue,

    I’m glad that I have arrived the exact content as I need to improve myself in implementing the email marketing strategies.

    As you said, it ‘s nice to pick the niche that we are familiar with and hence it would be an easy task to update the blog frequently.

    Targeting the audience through the keyword research is more important and am doing it.

    But, generating leads is somewhat difficult for me, but I have great confidence that I could do it in an efficient manner.

    Thanks for linking some great sources, I’ll check them for sure. Have a good day today!
    Sakthi Kumaran recently posted…Massive Black Friday & Cyber Monday Discount From MyThemeShopMy Profile

    • says

      Glad the sources may help, Sakthi. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Thanks for your comment.
      Sue

  27. says

    In the past, I haven’t used email list yet.

    I tried this kind of marketing and do what necessary to increase my email list. After a while of using, it doesn’t bring any results.

    However, after trying a few opt-in plugin for WordPress, the list is growing, for now. Not much but around 7-10 new users per day.

    That’s a good result for me. The tip is that you need to implement opt-in form where your visitors are focusing on and write about something they might interested. I’m working on the TECH niche, so offering latest tech news, deals and coupons for tech products are a good solution.

    What about you?
    Tony recently posted…How To Fix DNS Server Not Responding Error In WindowsMy Profile

  28. says

    Hi Sue!

    Very informative post for me i am looking for the right solution on how to grow email list bigger!

    Really, it is very necessary to choose right niche to get targeted audience. Recently i have started to build my list, specially targeting the right users who are interested to my content.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing an useful post!

    Keep it up!
    Aysha Haque recently posted…STATUS Para Whatsapp de AmoR- Top 1000+ Frases Curta bonitaMy Profile

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