List Building 101:
How to Build an Email List...
...And Actually Make Money From It

List Building

So, you want to build an email list?


There’s all this hype right now about Social Media.

And, why not?

Social Media can send you a ton of traffic.

But what do smart business owners do with that traffic?

They turn it into an email list.

Building an email list is STILL one of the smartest things you can do to start – and grow – your business.

Here are the facts:

* 81% of US online shoppers are more likely to make additional purchases, either online or in a store, as a result of emails based on previous shopping behaviors and preferences. – Harris Interactive 1

* 72% of consumers say that email is their favored conduit of communication with companies they do business with. 61% say they like to receive promotional emails weekly and 28% want them even more frequently. – MarketingSherpa 2

* According to The Relevancy Group’s findings, US marketing executive believe that email alone drives the same amount of revenue as their social media, website and display ad efforts combined. 3

But data aside…

My name is Derek Halpern. I’m the founder of Social Triggers, a top destination for business owners who want to generate more sales and revenue online…

…And I’m a straight up New Yorker who puts it much less eloquently:

“If You’re Not Building An Email List, You’re An Idiot”

Half joking…

…But I filmed a video about why you should build an email list… right now.

The question is, how do you get started building the email list?

Getting Started: How To Build An Email List The Right Way

So, you’re sold. How do you start building your email list?

Here are the exact steps you need to follow.

Step 1: First, You Need Good Email List Software

When you want to build an email list, you need good email marketing software. And right now, after carefully considering each email marketing service provider, I can confidently say Constant Contact is a GREAT choice..

Here’s why:

In my experience, there are two types of software. Software that makes things complicated and software that makes things easy. Constant Contact makes things easy. Especially if you want to automate your email marketing.


You can Try Constant Contact

What’s better than that? :-).

Now, yes, that’s an affiliate link. But I truly believe it’s a remarkable product, especially for small businesses, bloggers, online business owners, and more.

Step 2: How To Grow Your Email List

Now that you have good email marketing software, the next thing you must figure out is this: how do you grow your email list?


If you want people to sign up for your email list, you should give away something as a “bribe” to persuade them to opt in.

What can you giveaway?

It depends, but here’s a short list:

#1 You can give away a discount or coupon

This is very common for online stores. People give away a discount code or a coupon code for people who join the mailing list.

I’m personally not a fan of this strategy simply because I hate discounting. I even filmed a video about that, too.

However, I can’t deny the results. If you want people to join your email list, giving them a discount code or coupon code is a great way to do it.

#2 You can give away a piece of free content

This is also common. Remember, if you want people to join your email list, you need to give them a reason to join. And if you’re not giving away a discount, the next best thing is this: give away content.

But not just any content.

You want to give away content that directly attracts your ideal customer.

Now what format should this content be in?

Personally, I only use a handful of formats: video, ebooks, articles, and sometimes I use just an automated email series (You can set this up EASY with Constant Contact… and now you can Try Constant Contact FREE).

But here’s a word of warning:

Do Not Offer “Free Updates.”

Remember, if you want people to sign up, you need to give them something they want. And let me ask you a question…

Do people ever really want “Free Updates?” Who wakes up and thinks, “I need me some free updates!”

No one.

So, either give away a discount or some content and you’ll see more people optin to your mailing list.

Do you want to grow your blog?

Use simple tactics found in this free ebook to attract your first 5,000 subscribers

Yes, send me the free ebook

Step 3: Put Your Email List Form On Your Website

Now that you know what you want to giveaway, you need to put these email signup forms on your website. If you run a blog, here are 7 high-converting places to add email sign-up forms to build your list.

If you run a traditional website or store, here are two great options:

Option #1: Include An Email List Signup Form Link In Your Navigation

Build Your Email List In Your Navigation Bar

Now, I know I go against my own advice right here. But we have so many different email optin forms throughout our site that we added this one too.

If you look at our navigation bar, you’ll notice that we include a link… all the way to the right… that says Free Updates.

This helps keep your email list “promise” front and center. And it reminds people to signup if they haven’t signed up yet.

Option #2: Include Email List Signup Form Links In Your “Menu.”

When we ran “heatmaps” and “click tracking” software on Social Triggers, we discovered that people kept clicking the “Menu” option in our navigation.

At the time, our menu was a joke. It included a link to “About,” “Contact,” “Careers,” and that’s it.

Then I started thinking…

Wait a second. Most people who visit my site do not care about these links. They are here to learn about business. So we changed it to specific content pages that I know people who read my site would be interest in.

Build Your Email List In Your Menu Bar

And guess what? Each page asks people to sign up for email updates.

So, the next tip is this: include a link to email signup form pages in your “Menu” as a way to entice people to dig deeper.

Step 4: Send This Email To Every Person Who Signs Up To Your Email List

Now that you have your email signup forms in place, you will start building your email list.

That’s good news.

The question is, what email should you send them?


Most email marketing software products allow you to send a “Welcome” email. And you should definitely do it. If someone comes to your house, you should welcome them appropriately.

What should you include in this welcome email?

I like to keep it personal. And friendly. So, here’s what I do.

I say something just like this:

Hey, Name

Thank you for joining my email list.

I’m Derek Halpern. I’m the founder of Social Triggers. Here’s the link to the free ebook I promised you.

But I have a quick question:

“What are you struggling with right now?”

Even if it’s something small. I’d love to hear more.

Talk soon,
Derek Halpern

Why do I ask this question?

Well, when people tell me what they’re struggling with, it helps me figure out what content I can create for them.

(Often times I turn this content into free giveaways to build my email list).

It also helps me understand who my customer is a little bit better.

So, as an example, if you run an online store that sells sweat shirts, you may hear from your customer something like this: “I’ve bought a few other sweat shirts and they always fell apart in the wash. I’m hoping your sweat shirt will last longer!”

And now, you’re building your email list – and getting valuable customer insight.

Step 5: Here’s How To Build Your Email List

Now that you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering, “How can I actually build my email list?”

I’m glad you asked!

I put together a Free Ebook called “How To Get 5,000 Email Subscribers.” You can download it right here.

Do you want to grow your blog?

Use simple tactics found in this free ebook to attract your first 5,000 subscribers

Yes, send me the free ebook

But if you’re not ready yet, here are a few other email list growth strategies that you can begin using… FOR FREE.

First, there are other people out there who give HORRIBLE advice on how to build an email list. They say things like:

“Use business cards,” “try telemarketing,” “harass everyone you see in real life.”


These strategies don’t work. This content is written by people who have never built an email list in their life.

So, here’s what I recommend you do instead…

Email List Growth Tip #1: Create A Long-Term Content Creation Strategy

One of the BEST ways to build your email list is by creating content on a regular basis. Not just any content. But viral content.

Here’s why:

When you create viral content, people share it. And when people share it, it gets your “email signup form” in front of more eyeballs. And more eyeballs means more potential email signups!

Now I know most people who think about viral content think about funny videos… or babies biting fingers… but no. Not for business. You need to create content that can go viral within your community.

As an example…

Let’s say you’re a wedding photographer. You might create a piece of content like: “This married couple hired the wrong photographer, and it almost ruined their wedding. Here’s How I saved them.”

Imagine if someone was getting married and they were looking for a photographer, and they saw that headline. Or if they had a friend who was getting married and they say that. THEY WOULD SHARE IT IN A SECOND!

That’s what I mean by viral content. Create content that your ideal customer would want to read… and promote the heck out of it.

Email List Growth Tip #2: Create Multiple Email List Giveaways

Remember how I told you to give away something to build your email list earlier int his article?


Create a few of them.

Not everyone will want the one thing you created, and that’s why it’s smart to have a few different options.

Take a look at my homepage right here:

As you can see, I offer 3 different ways to join my email list. Each form promises a different free giveaway.

Email List Growth Tip #3: Create A Email List Popup Form

Look, I know everyone hates popups. I do too. But they work. Here’s the thing though…

You do not want to use a POPUP that blocks your entire page. If you do that Google Search will penalize you. So don’t do that. However, you can use smart popups that don’t block your whole page and they work great.

I filmed a video about my love for popups right here:

Email List Growth Tip #4: Use The Drafting Technique

If you want to build your email list, you’ll need high quality traffic. Most people think they need to pay for that traffic…

…but you can get it for free.


Use what I call “The Drafting Technique.”

I filmed a video about this revolutionary marketing strategy right here:

And Now You’re Done…


I always believed building an email list is one of the smartest things you could do to grow your business.

Now I showed you how to do it.

I also recommended my favorite software for building an email list… for beginners. It’s called Constant Contact

You can Try Constant Contact FREE.


If you want more strategies on how to grow your email subscribers, you should definitely download this ebook:

Do you want to grow your blog?

Use simple tactics found in this free ebook to attract your first 5,000 subscribers

Yes, send me the free ebook

Until we meet again!

I hope you found this helpful.

(If you did, would you mind resharing it?)

Thank you!