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Email list growth beginners guide

Email List Growth: A Step-by-step Guide for Beginners

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Have you noticed how everyone keeps going on about email marketing? It’s the ‘bee’s knees’, they say, a game-changer for your business. Yet, no one is joining your email list and you’re puzzled.

Don’t stress! You’re in the right place to crack this. So, let’s talk about how to start building that email list, step-by-step.

The Golden Rule: Just Ask

“Hey, wanna join my email list?”


The way you ask matters so much. Imagine you’re at the till, and you hear: “Fancy a barrage of daily emails?” No, thanks! But if they say, “Get the inside scoop on deals and new stuff, once a month. Interested?” You’d be more keen, wouldn’t you?

So, ask the right way and you’re more likely to get a ‘yes’.

👉 Hot Tip: My Small Business Email Marketing Course covers how to craft that perfect ‘ask’. Check it out!

The ‘Why Ask’ Conundrum

Simple: you want to avoid the spam folder. The more your emails get flagged, the less likely they’ll reach folks. Plus, there’s GDPR. Stick to the rules, and you’re golden.

Buying Lists is a No-No

Four reasons:

1. Expensive.

2. Not genuine opt-ins.

3. Hit or miss.

4. Spam risk.

Want four quick ways to generate content for your newsletters? They’re right here!

Matt was in the same bind as you

I’ve seen solo business owners like you procrastinate about using email marketing because they don’t know how to build their email lists.

Take Matt Wareham, who runs Depictar, a video business. He knew email marketing was important. In fact, even his business mentor told him he should use email marketing.

He knew he needed an email list because it would be data he owned. He didn’t know how to get started.

Make it a priority

Matt admitted to me that he didn’t prioritise email marketing enough. He’d watched videos on YouTube. But all those did was make him realise how much effort it would take to consolidate them into something concrete he could apply to his own business.

And he kept coming back to the fact he had no subscribers. If he didn’t have anyone to read his newsletter, why create one? But if he didn’t create emails, how would he get subscribers?

Anyone who runs their business on their own will be able to identify with Matt’s challenges. So, how did Matt go from procrastination to sending his first newsletter?

Getting organised

He decided to buy my Small Business Email Marketing course. Matt had already attended a workshop I had run but wanted to consolidate his knowledge.

Here’s how my course helped Matt create and send his first email.

  • Matt worked his way through each of the modules, which only talked about one thing, so he could focus.
  • He completed the exercises and assignments that go with each module. He’d never seen that before, and that helped him “do it properly.”
  • The course helped him develop a strong structure for his email, which he told me he didn’t think he’d have achieved on his own.

When I asked Matt what he thought of my course, he said this:

“Your online course broke everything down into smaller, manageable steps. The way you’ve put it together makes it feel like a course you would do face-to-face, and the order is logical. That made it easy to work through and build a proper foundation for my email marketing.

It’s an efficient way to create emails long-term. I wasn’t getting anywhere watching YouTube videos and trying to do it myself. Your course brought it all into one place, and that saved me a lot of time.

I now have a newsletter that works for my business, and a method to plan content for future emails.”

Email list growth, email newsletters, Matt Wareham, Depictar
👆🏽 Excerpt from one of Matt’s newsletters

10 Proven Ways to Grow Your List

OK, I don’t want you to leave without some practical help. Here are 10 ways you can grow your list. They might not all be suitable for you, but I bet you find at least 3. Build out from there by putting on your thinking cap and making a list of others that will work for your business.

1. Your Website: Don’t hide that sign-up box. Make it front and centre.

2. Checkout: If you sell online, add an opt-in at the checkout.

3. Social Media: Share your sign-up link. Offer exclusives.

4. At the Till: Use an app to make sign-ups quick and easy.

5. Invoices: Add a clickable link to your PDF invoices.

6. Business Cards: Maximise that empty space on the back.

7. Tradeshows: Collect emails. Offer a prize draw.

8. Networking: Have a good chat? Ask them to join then and there.

9. Offer Value: Give a freebie in exchange for an email.

10. Guest Wi-Fi: Let ’em surf in exchange for their email.

And After They Join?

Don’t leave them hanging. Send a welcome email. Welcome emails get amazing open rates and they’re a great way to start your relationship with your subscribers.

👉 Hot Tip: My Small Business Email Marketing Course covers how to craft that perfect welcome. Check it out!

Want to know more about welcome emails? Head over to this post.

Don’t sweat the numbers

One last thing. I want you to remember that a small, engaged list is better than a huge list where there’s nothing but tumbleweed. You are trying to build a relationship here. One that works for you and your subscribers. If you keep that in mind, not only will your readers look forward to your emails, you will grow your email list. Your only competition here is you. Don’t compare, run your own race.

Ready to grow your email list and rock email marketing?

Build the strong foundation you need with my Small Business Email Marketing course. Learn how to reach your goals with step-by-step videos and exercises designed for solo business owners.

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