build email list

The Truth about Building a Massive Email List

A friend of mine was all excited when he told me about this marketing guru who promises to teach anyone how to build an enormous email list in just a few months. Sound familiar? It should, since there are probably hundreds (maybe thousands?) of self-proclaimed digital marketing experts, coaches and gurus who make the identical claim. We all know the marketing importance of an email list, so who isn’t interested in building a massive one?

While many of these email “dream weavers” have never actually grown their own successful email list, there are those who have, and really do know what they are doing. I personally follow marketing maven Noah Kagan, who has a real track record of creating and implementing successful digital marketing, including email marketing, campaigns. I also use his Sumo website tools for capturing email addresses.

But even using the greatest tools and getting expert advice, the only way you’re going to build an email list is if you provide content that your users want enough to persuade them to give you their email address for. That’s the part that many people who flock to take expert courses or who spend money of expensive tools are missing.

In a recent post on the Sumome blog called The 2017 Guide For Growing Your Email List 1K in 30 Days, the author suggests that while SEO and building a powerful social media presence are valid longer term strategies, if you want to get subscribers fast, there are only two ways that he recommends:

1. Paid Traffic

This one is pretty clear to understand. Anyone with enough money and a half decent ad can drive traffic to a website or social media page. The more money you invest, the more traffic you can get.

I remember speaking with the owner of a health related website startup about how he planned to drive traffic to his new site. The man, who was a veteran of large online businesses, wasn’t phased in the least. He told me that traffic was no problem. All he had to do was throw enough money at it and he’d have all the traffic he could handle. The only problem with that strategy is if you don’t have enough money to invest in generating the traffic needed to pay for itself.

But even if you have all the money, and traffic, in the world, it won’t help you build your list or sell your product unless you are offering something that people really want. If you want people to give you their email addresses, you need to offer them content that they feel they need right now.

Can you create that content on your own? You’ll have to answer that question for yourself. But if you can’t do it on your own, you’re not alone. Most people can’t. So they pay someone else to do it for them. That means you have to pay for traffic AND for your content. You’ll most likely have to pay for someone to build your website or landing page too, or you can use a paid service like to set up a landing page. The email growth experts apparently either have great faith in your talents and assume that you can create your content and landing page on your own, or they figure that you have lots of cash to spend.

2. Get Influencers to Promote You

This idea sounds almost too good to be true, probably because it is in most cases. All you need to do is identify the influencers in your niche, form relationships with them, and then they’ll happily promote your product or service to their tens or hundreds of thousands of followers. If you need proof, you can read the handful of success stories of people just like you who actually did it. There’s always the possibility that you’ll be able to add your name to that short list of successful influencer persuaders.

But the truth is that the only way that influencers will give you the time of day is either because you have something to offer them or because your content is simply too good to ignore and they happen to take a liking to you. Creating content that will blow the socks off of influencers isn’t easy. That mens you’ll either have to be a rock star, or hire one (which equals more $$$).

Bottom Line

There’s no easy way to magically grow a quality email list in a relatively short time (or even in a not so short time) without offering content that your target users want and are willing to trade their email addresses for. But as great as your content is, you’ll still have to spend money, one way or another, to drive traffic to it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a fact that you should be aware of when planning your email list building venture.

If you decide to hire someone to create the type of content that will persuade users to give you their email addresses, please contact us.