List Building: How to Get it Right

All About List Building and Email Marketing

Why Build a List?

The first step to understanding how to structure your perfect opt-in (more commonly referred to as a lead magnet) is to determine why you're building a list in the first place. Many businesses start by creating a newsletter sign up on their website, and unfortunately, newsletters went out of style years ago. (If you're still sending Email Newsletters, read this first! The best strategy to grow your revenue online in 2019 is to build your list with a very targeted and specific lead magnet.

But how do you determine what the precise lead magnet will be? Ask yourself this question first: Who is your ideal customer? It’s critical to become crystal clear about your ideal consumer, and having only one list means that you don’t have a way to differentiate between who is who on your list. The biggest mistake businesses make in this initial stage of targeting is that they don’t zero in on the hyper-specific details of their ideal client or customer. When you offer a lead magnet, you can control your targeting and segment your list into meaningful categories.

First things first. Before you can even figure out what type of opt-in or lead magnet you’re offering, you’ll need to be crystal clear about WHO you sell to. This will help you determine the ideal client or customer that you want on your email list, because you don’t want just anyone, and you definitely don’t want as many people as possible. WHY? because Ideal customer’s recognize the need your product or service fulfills for them…they trust your expertise and they will come back to you again and again for help in solving their problem.

When thinking about the broad scope of why you’re building an email list in the first place, consider what you are going to offer in the context of how it will help you move this ideal target client or customer closer to buying your product or service. Essentially the lead magnet is a smaller piece of what you plan to sell to them. For example, if you are selling marriage counseling services, your lead magnet might be “enter your email address and we’ll send you 10 text messages to instantly start a conversation with your significant other”. That is a very targeted way to get someone to opt into your email list, and it’s also a great way to prep them for an email nurturing sequence.

Whatever your nîche may be, it’s important to really think about WHO you’re selling to first in order to determine the lead magnet that will attract the perfect customers for you.

Nurturing and Segmentation

Understanding and thoughtful planning of the sequence of events that happen once someone gives you their email address in exchange for your lead magnet is critical. Some people call this the “funnel” or nurturing sequence. If set up properly, it’s the process by which the person moves through their customer journey inside your sales funnel and eventually emerges as a customer instead of a prospect. With digital marketing, the strategy is put in place as soon as a person provides their email address. Another term for the structure of this process is email automation.

In the past, businesses used to just send an email to deliver the guide, freebie, or whatever it was that was requested. That is no longer the best strategy. Instead, smart business owners use the first email as a way to connect and establish a relationship with their new prospect.

It may sound counter-intuitive to not want “everybody” on your email list, but the tighter the list the better. In other words, the way most businesses think is, the more people on my list the more potential customers I have to sell to, but that’s just not how it works with online marketing in 2019. People are savvy buyers, they do research online before they buy, and they know what they’re looking for, so unless you have established a rapport with your list, they will simply ignore your emails.

The biggest secret to generating revenue with email is to have an engaged list. Once you do, you can evaluate important digital metrics such as how people found you, what content is effective and working, how your ads and content offers affect your bottom line, and which of your online campaigns are converting the best.

Lets go back to your offer to see what kinds of people could potentially end up on your list.

There 4 kinds of leads that will opt-in to your offer …
1. Freebie Seeker
2. Researcher
3. Proof Seeker
4. Raving Fan/Evangelist

1. Freebie Seeker – no matter what you offer, she just wants the free download. She will probably never spend a dime on what you have to offer, she’s just looking for the next free download. That is not your ideal customer.

2. Researcher – She’s following your channels and she likes what you have to say, but she’s still not sure if you have the right product to solve her problem. What happens after she downloads her lead magnet is very important. The follow up sequence (or funnel) is critical for this type of lead in order to move her forward on her buyer’s journey.

3. Proof is in the Pudding – this person needs proof in order for her to open her wallet and buy from you. This is something easy to do once you have a page built specifically for testimonials or case studies, depending on what type of business you have. I will also go into more detail about this step in another video.

4. Raving Fan/Evangelist – she’s the perfect lead…she’s a big fan of you and your business. These leads are a critical part of your list b/c they will tell her friends and followers about you and what you have to offer.

For my email automation, I use and highly recommend AWeber. It's a platform that is easy and intuitive to use, and integrates well with just about any other platform.

AWeber Email Marketing

The 4 types of leads mentioned above will always make up the majority of your list. Understanding the funnel means that you need to treat each one of these types of leads differently with a different follow up sequence. I know it sounds like a lot to set up 4 different followup sequences, but if you do, it will make your online marketing so much easier as you move ahead.

If you’d like some help getting crystal clear about your email marketing, take a look at my Ebook: The Power of Email Marketing

The Power of Email Marketing

The Proper Way to Build a List
    • Kate Murray
      Kate Murray says:

      Hi Cindy,
      Thanks for the comment! I’m with you…it’s hard to really zero in on this but definitely helps in the grand scheme! 🙂


Join the Conversation!

Please Note:
Comments will be submitted for approval before being posted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *