Proven Ways To Build Your Email List From Scratch

Posted on: October 15th, 2021 in Business by Pat Mesiti | No Comments

If you want a recession-proof and lucrative business model, building your mailing list can be one of the best decisions you ever make. 

There are a few very important reasons why having a mailing list is incredibly powerful and highly lucrative.

First, when you have a mailing list you can get free traffic just by sending out an email! Which means… YOU control the traffic! 

Traffic is the lifeblood of any Internet business. Essentially, in the 21st century business, traffic = money. And, free traffic = free money!

In other words, having a mailing list allows you to make free money. 

When you pay just a few dollars a month for an autoresponder system such as (as little as $15 a month) and make $1,000 in profit, just from sending out an email… well, this is simply an incredibly lucrative business model. 

Remember: If you have 10,000 subscribers on your mailing list, it means that you can communicate directly with 10,000 prospects anytime you want, for just a few dollars a month. 

There are many ways to build a list and among the fastest and easiest ways to do so, are the ones listed below: 

1 – Solo ads

All you need to do, is create a lead capture page with a free offer which people can access only by submitting their name and email address. Some websites allow you to find solo ad providers who have a mailing list that matches your target audience. 

Simply go through the list of solo ad providers, make sure their ratings are positive and send them the email you would like them to send to their list. Then, watch your mailing list grow! There are also a lot of websites who offer solo ads. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the website and click on “Advertise with us” to enquire about their solo ad options.

A solo ad means you pay a database owner a flat fee to email their list. Most database owners are happy to do this as it adds another income stream for them without them having to sell anything, plus it’s an opportunity for them to email their list with quality content. 

2 – Ad swaps

Ad swaps are another very effective way to build a list. With ad swaps, a database owner will email his list in exchange for you emailing yours about his offer. No money is exchanged—it’s based on reciprocity. With this method, you will need to have a mailing list of your own already, which you will leverage to grow it further. 

There are many websites available that can put you in touch with list owners willing to email their database in exchange for you emailing yours. 

A simple Google search for “ad swaps” will take you to all the different websites that offer this service. 

3 – Media buying

Media buying is the process of buying advertising space on the Internet. There are plenty of ways to buy media on the Internet, either through Google advertising, banner advertising or social media advertising. 

Most advertising networks allow you to either ‘pay per impression’ or ‘pay per click’. ‘Pay per impression’ means you pay a flat fee based on how many times your ad will be displayed. 

‘Pay per click’ means you only pay according to how many times your ad has been clicked on

If, on the other hand, no-one has clicked on your ad, it doesn’t cost you anything.

4 – Social media

Social media is also a very effective way to build a list for free. Social media is free to join and most social media users have an average of 140 contacts. 

This means that if you have a social media presence, you most likely already have 140 contacts (if not more) that you can leverage to build your database. All you need to do in order to capture their name and email to grow your database, is offer them something for free in exchange for their name and email. 

For example, if you’re in the dog training industry and would like to build a database of pet owners, you can offer a free dog-training lesson in exchange for someone’s name and email. 

Although your social media contacts might not fit the mould of whom you’re trying to target, it’s a good way to start—and if your free offer is irresistible, people can share your offer to their contacts, for you to benefit from ‘word of mouth’.

5 – Blogging

Blogging is the process of publishing articles online. When you do, you can benefit from free traffic from the search engines. 

For example, should you want to build a mailing list of parents looking for parenting tips, you could publish a blog post titled “How to tackle toddler tantrums in 5 easy steps”, and anyone looking for advice on Google for example about this topic, could potentially come across your blog post. 

To capture blog visitor’s name and email, you can either have a “pop up” appear asking for people to submit their name and email in exchange for a free, relevant offer, or include calls to action within your blog, redirecting people to your lead capture page.

6 – Interviews

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One of the easiest ways to start building a mailing list is by interviewing experts in the industry you wish to build an audience in. 

But not just any expert. Ideally, you want to interview an expert who already has a big audience. They either have a lot of social media followers, Youtube subscribers or simply get a lot of media exposure on a regular basis so you can leverage their existing audience.

The reason why this method is very effective is because both the interviewer and the interviewee benefits. The interviewer benefits by aligning themselves with key people in their industry and building an audience. The interviewee on the other hand has an opportunity to grow their audience further too, share their message to even more people and potentially sell more of their products if they have any.

It’s no coincidence that author and entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki sold millions of copies of his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad after being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and some of the richest people on the planet are interviewers. 

At the end of the interview, the presenter or expert offers an opportunity to the listeners to learn more by subscribing to receive more information.

In order to put together a winning optin page, there are a few key elements to include.

An optin page should include an attention-grabbing headline. The headline you choose could make or break the conversion of your page, so spend as much time as you need, brainstorming potential headlines. 

Plus, the majority of your visitors will only read the headline and skip the rest of the copy. Usually, effective headlines include specific numbers, such as “The 7 foods that will burn fat and build muscles”. Good headlines also include big promises, such as “The 3 little-known ways to build a list without paying for advertising”.

Your optin page should also include a form to capture people’s information. Remember, the more information you request, the less likely people are going to submit their details.

Then, below your lead capture form include a call to action. Avoid the call to action “submit” as it tends to lower the conversion rates of optin pages, as subconsciously, no one wants to “submit” their contact details. Instead, use words such as “yes, let me in”, “instant download”, “send me the report”.

Lastly, include social media sharing tabs to allow visitors to share your optin page on social media. Considering that on average, each social media user has 140 contacts, this could represent a considerable amount of free exposure for you.

Watch out for my next blog post where I take you further into how to build your list.

Until then

Yours in Prosperity

Pat Mesiti


Pat Mesiti is a best-selling author, coach and educator in the area of personal development. Having built some of Australia’s largest people-driven organisations, Pat understands the power of harnessing human potential. He has shared the stage with some of the world’s great business minds and has sold over millions of copies of his books and materials.


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