How to Build an Email List

Email List Building for Bloggers and Authors: Making the Process Simple and Pain-free!

Building an email list sounds easy. Start with an irresistible offer—This could be an e-book, a video, an online course, or something as simple as a one-page PDF. As long as the offer—commonly referred to as a lead magnet—adds value to others’ lives, you are doing it right.

Next, build a squeeze-page—a simple, one-page website where visitors can exchange their e-mail addresses for your free offer. The squeeze-page catch is that everyone who visits the page is forced to make a decision. Because the squeeze-page only contains your irresistible offer, people either enter their email address, accept your offer, or leave. Everyone who visits is squeezed into making a choice. The final step is to promote, promote, and promote some more.

The Email List Story

The email list building concept is simple and the story behind it is enticing. Jeff Walker is a former stay at home dad. He cared for his children while his wife worked. Like many families, Jeff and his wife struggled to pay the bills each month. However, Jeff used this simple formula to transition from stay at home dad to internet millionaire! Jeff discovered that having an e-mail list allowed him to create products, and sell them from the comfort of his own home. [Tweet “An e-mail list provides all of the benefits of owning a physical store, without the overhead.”]

What I like about Jeff’s book, Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams, is that:

  • The email list building formula is simple.
  • The process is broken down into easy to understand and follow steps.
  • Jeff continually emphasizes the importance of adding value to others!

Jeff describes his email list as a license to print money.

Email List Power

Building an email list sounds simple, and the theory is sound. According to Statista, in 2013, 41 percent of internet users had purchased a product online—and this number is rapidly growing! Email is the best way to stay connected to others. From personal experience, I’ve seen my own emails get better responses than any other form of social media!

Building That Elusive Email List

The only problem is that building an email list sounds easier than it is. I once heard the owner of a small business share how he followed this list-building formula to a tee. After setting up his squeeze page, he forgot about it. A few months later, he received an unusually large bill from his email provider. After further investigation, he realized that the bill was accurate—that is, it was accurate for someone with an email list in the thousands, which he now had!

While overnight success stories like this are widely shared, they are also the exception and not the rule. [Tweet “For most people, building an e-mail list is a process, not an overnight event.”] Today, people are busier than ever. There are more free e-books, e-courses, and lead-magnets than ever–the value of the e-mail list building process has spread quickly! It’s built so quickly that I find myself passing by awesome content every week because I simply don’t have the time to use it. Likely people are passing over your awesome offers simply due to a lack of time too.

In addition, I think people are more guarded about giving away their e-mail. People are coming to understand the value of their email, and the length that people will go to get it. The result is that email addresses are being given out less freely. Finally, I think that some people have been burned by free offers too many times. Some have used the product launch formula unethically. They over-promise and under-deliver. On a number of occasions, I have received lead-magnet material, where it appears that the author spent more time writing the sales copy (which was truly awesome) than on the product itself (which was a dud). Thus, people may want to spend more time getting to know you before accepting your free offer.

Building an Email List: The Bottom Line

The bottom line of building an email list is that it is worth it! Building an email list continues to be the best way to spread a message and sell a product. Although list-building may be more difficult than it was a few years ago, this should not stop you. If you find yourself building your email list one person at a time, then congratulations, you are normal! [Tweet “Most things worth doing take time. Building an e-mail list is no different!”]

How about you? Are you building an email list and if so, what is working and what isn’t? Do you find yourself building your list one person at a time, or are you one of the fortunate few who have discovered the secret to attracting the crowds? I look forward to brainstorming, and hearing your thoughts on what is working and what isn’t in the comments below!

For more writing ideas, check out our highly-personalized, text-based coaching. As your writing coach, I’ll pull back the curtain and show you all of my favorite blogging resources. You can also check out my book Ten Great Ideas for Authors, where you will discover creative writing prompts and strategies to jump-start your author journey. I truly believe you are only one great idea away from writing success!  

Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at www.ithrive320.com.

23 thoughts on “Email List Building for Bloggers and Authors: Making the Process Simple and Pain-free!”

    1. Thanks, our family is doing great! We’re a little tired, but Emma is a pretty good sleeper over-all. And she is so cute that it more than makes up for the lack of sleep 🙂 Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts.

  1. Hello to both of you and I believe congrats are in order?! Congrats!

    This is my first time to link up:-) Thanks for the opportunity!!! Also this post was gold to me! I need to build my email list!

  2. This is such good advice, but I’m afraid that my hands are tied because right now I am using the free WordPress site and I know absolutely nothing about computers. I am interested in building my email subscribers, though, because I’m writing a book and am hoping to build a platform so that I may have a chance of getting an agent. I realize now that, eventually, I am going to have to upgrade my site and find someone who is more tech-savvy than I am to help me.

    1. Hey Shelly,
      Best of luck to you on all of your writing adventures ahead. I did something similar. After writing my first book, I began this site. I’m not super tech-savvy either, and spent hours figuring everything out. It wasn’t easy, but it is definitely doable 🙂 As a former homeschooled kid, I love what you are doing on your site. Families need this info!

  3. Very helpful and thorough article! It has always seemed like a daunting task, but I see how it can be extremely beneficial for my blog following. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    1. Oof! Starting over is rough. I started with mailchimp and it’s all I’ve ever known 🙂 I’m curious what you switched from and what your thoughts are on mailchimp so far?

  4. Thanks for sharing this Jeff. I am very interested to learn how others have succeeed in growing their lists. For me, this is a big goal on the year, but I haven’t been able to dedicate nearly enough attention to it yet.

    1. Er…. I meant to type “Thanks for sharing Jeff’s approach, Jed.” Apologies for the snafu! Been a long day and week. Blessings, Jed. Congrats on the book, the baby and the success you’ve had this year.

  5. It can be a real challenge to build a solid email list… I’ve learned it is okay for it not to happen over night. Expectations need to be held to realistic levels, while our efforts continue.

  6. Sigh…building an email list…yeah, I have about 17 on mine. Haha! I have yet to put more effort in because I think you’re right. People are more guarded about giving away their email addrrss(including me!) and we just don’t have time for reading and using all the delicious free ebooks! So I need a solution for that and haven’t done much thinking on it yet.

  7. Jed, thank you for your thoughts and encouragement about building an email list. I have been focusing more on that myself, but I know I can and need to do a better job of it. Thanks, too, for hosting each week. Blessing to you and your family.

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