6 Ways To Grow Your Email List

Having an email list is a pretty BIG deal.

Statista estimates that email marketing will reach almost 11 billion by the end of 2023

It’s hard to wrap your mind around that number as a small business owner but the number I like best is this: every subscriber on your list is worth a dollar.

There, I love to break things down in a way that makes sense to us as small business owners.

So I’m going to put my head on the block here and say this.

You probably could build an online business without an email list but if you are looking to create a profit-driven, sustainable, automated business you won’t get far without list building. 

An email list is the Shirley to your Temple. It’s the juice in your business

 And building one means incentivizing your social media followers to cross the public bridge, away from your social platforms and onto your own private island, aka your email list.

Lean in, and let me share something with you. 

You should never create any product or service online without having a clear idea about how you are going to cultivate an audience and get people to notice your pitch and enter their names onto your opt-in.

Now I see your furrowed brow.

It’s 2 months before the holidays and you’re wondering if you still have time to create an email list.

I’m here to shout out a big, emphatic YES!  Remember an email list is part of the content runway I told you about in this blog post >>>HERE. <<<

It’s not a nice to have. It’s a must-have



Are Too Few Female Founders Growing Their Lists?

I want to be clear about something. When you’re launching your “thing”,  nobody will care except your BFF and your mom.

II don’t say that lightly. What I mean is that it is your job to make your launch matter to your audience in the build-up to your actual sale.

One way of doing this is by making sure you’re talking about ideas, sharing information, and providing insights into things related to your launch.

You also have to offer your niche audience something of value so in return, they’ll give you their email address.

I promise if you do this well enough and anchor them in the points I’m about to share with you, the success of your launch will surprise you.

Still, you must understand that while your launch is important what you do in the pre-launch phase to grow a list of people eager to buy from you is twice as important.

Earlier this year, I asked my online business students how they capture emails. All of them, and I’m talking about women who are currently running small businesses, said they weren’t.


In fact, no one had developed multiple ways to build their list from their owned or rented spaces.

One of my students had successfully developed a multi-level course for women who want to use their existing administrative skills to transition into careers as virtual assistants.

She even built a Lead Offer but never put a system in place to nurture an email list and grow a defined audience.

Despite the limitations, she enrolled 6 students in her course earlier this year. What a remarkable start!

Can you imagine what kind of numbers she could get if she focused on growing an email list in the weeks leading up to the launch of her course?


No. 1| Build A Lead Offer To Grow Your Email List

If you’re inside Simplify, or even if you signed up to get my newsletter then you know I talk a lot about building out Lead Offers.

I think a good Lead Offer is the singular most effective way you can build a massive audience prior to a launch. { HINT: You should have at least 4 four lead offers on your home page, each with their own Landing Page.)

Your Lead Offers need to be focused in three different ways.

First, your offer, freebie or lead magnet/ opt-in (I use these words interchangeably in this post) needs to be tightly connected to a specific audience.

I know that most small biz owners have several different audiences and customer types but if this is your first offer, go after one audience segment.

That is, you need to make your offer very specific and focused enough so that it attracts one type of customer who sees your offer and will willingly give you their email address.

Why? Because you’ve placed on the table something so valuable that it is impossible to resist.

Timing is everything

Once that’s done you need to tighten the information on your website and on your social media feeds.

The idea is that when your potential customer goes looking for you wanting to look for your credibility roots , you show up in ways that build their trust in you.

Thirdly, I encourage my students to tighten their timing.

Meaning don’t launch your lead offer / freebie/ magnet or opt in and your paid for product or service at the same time especially if you don’t have any potential customers on a list.

This is why I say that your 6-8 week runaway between your offer and your launch is important.

You need that runaway to attract the right audience and to also craft the different messages that will make your take-off to launch that much smoother.

This strategy is so effective.

To make it really come alive for you, let me show you an interview I did about creating a landing page that will house your lead offer and why it’s important to build one that attracts your dream customer.



No. 2| Paid Ads

Now, this will not surprise any of you who have followed me for a while but I love paid traffic to grow my email list.

First a word of caution: As small business owners, it’s easy to see the “Boost Post”  CTA that Facebook offers us on our business pages.

And its easy to plunk down money to boost a post about your Lead Offer Page, and be delighted with the results.

But that’s just bad money chasing good intentions.

You want leads not likes. And my bet is that you don’t just want a lot of people who love free stuff. (gosh don’t get mad, I’ll raise my hand for free stuff I love any day).

But what you really want are real potential customers so you must be more strategic with your ad dollar.

When to Spend to Grow Your Email List

Now the BIG tech split that happened between Facebook and Apple impacted a lot of paid traffic strategies.

Nevertheless, once you’ve figured out your work around and optimized your strategies and you’ve tested for the best results, spending money on traffic-building ads can be one of the fastest ways to grow traffic to your opt-in.

This, in turn, will grow your email list

Of course with the holidays approaching I don’t want you to spend money growing your list at the height of the sales season, that is from  Black Friday to Christmas.

It will be way too expensive. The market space will be dominated by brands with way deeper pockets than yours, rendering your ad a genie stuck in a bottle.

This is why I like audience building now.

The 6-8 Week Period is Critical

The 6 -8 weeks before Black Friday, is where the lion’s share of your list-building money goes.

I tell my clients if they’re doing ad spend at all in pre-launch marketing,  to make sure it is being spent on the audience (email list building) building during this timeframe.

The faster I can grow my list just before the crazy holiday season, the more confident I am that my email sequence will nurture all those new relationships while addressing objections my new audience may have before I pitch.

Confession: Sometimes I build the email welcome sequence in real time (not recommended for newbies, I’m just showing you

How Much Should You Spend to Grow Your Email List

Now I’m going back to my disclaimer at the top of this section where I said you need to know how to build ads for conversion and get results from them.

You must know this before doing what I’m going to tell you  next

If you’ve done the numbers and have established how many leads you need on your list to make money and recoup your ad spend then I say at a minimum, spend $100-200 per week over 6 weeks for each opt-in (from top of funnel to the bottom) that you’re going to be pushing in order to grow your email list.

Remember at the end of your email welcome sequence you have a paid-for offer.

Once you have crunched your numbers well enough, you will more than likely be able to recoup your spend of $1,000 ~$1,200 per opt-in.

Hopefully you would have tested different creatives at the top of the funnel to see which ads were getting you the biggest bang for your buck.

These days it’s definitely 15-second video ads that speak directly to your dream customers’  ideals and pain points.

I know $1000- $1200 is A LOT. .

I know this amount is not for everyone and every pocket.That’s why I’m giving you a lot of organic strategies as well.


No. 3|  Cold Pitch to the Influential Gate Keepers

People underestimate cold pitching, especially small business owners. I’m not about to stick the chicken bone in the craw.

We are just so used to posting promotional stuff on social media all day long that we forget that traditional media and even podcasts offer broad avenues to get the message about our offer out to a very wide public.

Remember your goal?

You want to get eyeballs to your offer to grow your list. So cold pitching to media houses to get them interested enough to highlight your offer as a news story can be an important source of organic traffic.

What I need you to remember is that when cold pitching to editors, centre your idea on the benefit your offer will bring to their readers

You want to focus on all the newsworthy aspects of your opt-in as well as the 5 W’s editors sift through when they want to establish if a pitch is worth a publish.

What You Need You Know About Cold Pitching

The #1 thing I want you to keep in mind when you’re pitching is to keep thinking about how your offer adds value to the people reading it i.e. the public. Once you grasp that, make sure the press pitch shows it in the headline and opening paragraph.

Editors are notorious for pressing the delete button once pitches miss their mark from the get-go.

I also want you to start your pitching calendar backed up from your launch.

So remember, this pre-launch marketing phase that we’re talking about to grow your email list is that 6-8 week window before your launch.

That means you need to be sure of the timeframe between your pitch, its publication, and the window to get the traffic coming from the results of your pitches to editors and even podcasters.

How To Pitch

Breaking this down I would make a list of 50 different outlets, blogs or podcasts, and newspapers that you could pitch to.

Build the database, compose your pitch, and adjust each slightly to suit the medium.

Then for the next 6 weeks, you want to send out your pitches.

Sure you’re not going to hit it out of the park each time. And yes, you’ll hate the sound of crickets even more.

But the editors who say yes are the ones who recognise the value of your offer to their audience and by extension, will help your email list grow.

If this is too much right now, that’s ok. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Save this recommendation for your next launch.

My guess is that you are going to have many of them.

No. 4| SEO Is A Good Way To Build Your Email List

Let’s talk about SEO. I think this is by far my favourite organic way of growing my email list. I have a full article on basic SEO here.

I have left this one for close to the end because people get intimidated by the thought of SEO,  and ranking for the keywords they want to be known for.

I think the deal breaker is not realizing that there are so many tools like SEM RUSH and Answer The Public which make the investment of your time so much easier.

Now let’s bring back things into focus and show you how to use SEO to grow your email list as part of your pre-launch marketing. Believe me, it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds.

You do need to roll up your sleeves. I’m not going to sugarcoat the effort

We’re still optimizing in those 6-8 weeks before the launch. So the goal here is to create a number of hero pieces to which you will apply SEO.

To make sure that it is all ready to go when it comes to search engine optimization, here’s the strategy I use.

Use My Exact Strategy

First, I decide the theme of all blog posts and want I want them to be ranked for. If you go to the featured section of my website you will see I have a section dedicated to growing a business with strategic content.

As I write with my keywords in mind, I’m gonna ensure that my Yoast plug which is my go-to SEO engine for my blog is giving me the green light on the key deliverables.

Ok back to the blog posts I’ve written; usually it’s about 5 /6 pieces in that section. Then after writing them I’ll go into each blog post and make sure that I have talked up my freebie multiple times in there.

Typically I’ll have some design that draws the reader’s attention to my opt-in.  Additionally,  I make sure I have some sort of pop-up on my website that either mentions that specific freebie.

Those are my secrets and even in this blog post, you can see how I used this exact same strategy.


5| Promote On Social Media

Now you may be feeling a little bit overwhelmed right now, but I have an easy one for you to round things off.

You can plan all your social media posts 6 weeks ahead to match up with all the other content you have created.

Content Planning is hard but like everything else you have to build a habit and know what you’re doing. That’s when it all becomes easier.

Click here or down below to grab the ✨NEW✨  7-Day Content Plan. This is part of a Lead Offer series, full of done-for-you caption templates, original images, and planning sheets etc. to make sure you have all the resources you need to engage your audience and learn to build a consistent posting habit. ⬇️

6| Mindset Matters

All of these tactics will help grow your email list.

Again you know I’m always serving you  the facts straight up, if you’re at an advanced level and you have a team, then go for the entire enchilada I serve you here

. You can do this!

However, there is always room and space to start small.

In the next 6 weeks choose one or two things from this list and commit to the execution.

Then add something else at another launch. Going slow is also a strategy that brings the wins to your yard, over time.

Questions?  I’m here for you. Book a session with me HERE!


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Judette Coward

Judette Coward

xo xo xo Judette
Sharp Mind. Big Heart.
Heart-to-heart, I help female entrepreneurs like you create profitable content to grow your ideas, audience & small business, and feel free to have a life you love.

Free Coaching? I'd Love It.
Judette Coward

Judette Coward

xo xo xo Judette
Sharp Mind. Big Heart.
Heart-to-heart, I help female entrepreneurs like you create profitable content to grow your ideas, audience & small business, and feel free to have a life you love.

Free Coaching? I'd Love It.

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