List Building: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need (6914 Words)

Steven20 responsesList Building
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list building

Both traditional blog advertising and basic online marketing have a major flaw that List Building doesn’t have. When you put advertising banners on your blog or when you setup an advertising campaign by buying some advertising space, you don’t realize that you are leaving TONS of money on the table.

With this advertising model your typical visitor clicks on your banner ad or your link, he lands on a product page, and he either buys or he doesn’t. Period.

I receive emails almost daily from newbie bloggers and affiliate marketers who don’t understand how I make money online, because my monetization methods such as list building are happening on the back-end of my website. They usually don’t understand because my site is not overflowing with banner advertising.

The big money online is not in the front-end, it’s in the back-end with list building!

Let me explain this for a second: Even though you can try to tweak your advertising in every possible way, when you use a basic display advertising model, the interaction with your visitor always ends the same way:

  • If your visitor buys from you, you’re happy, then you move on to the next customer;
  • If your visitor doesn’t buy, he’s forever gone.

What beginners don’t realize is that they could be making a LOT more money by advertising to the same people over and over again through list building. And this is what the big dogs like me are doing on a daily basis. I started making the real money only when I became an email list builder.

I have to be very clear, this article about list building is not based only on theoretical knowledge. I see an increasing number of posts about list building by people who don’t have any first-hand experience. I don’t understand how people can expect to teach list building to others if they don’t have any proof that what they’re saying actually brings results. Well, in this guide I’m sharing my own experience with list building, based on real tests and real numbers. This is part of my no BS policy.

Now that I got this out of the way, let’s get started with list building!

Email List Building: The Magic Bullet

magic bullet

Every single big-time blogger and affiliate marketer will tell you the same thing (or at least they should): The big money is in the recurring customers, and online there is no better way to get recurring customers than to develop a list building system.

Ok, ok, I know, you’ve heard about list building plenty of times, but it can never be said enough:

The money is in the list

You see, the expensive part of advertising online is getting new visitors to your pages, then converting these visitors into customers.

If you capture your visitors’ email addresses through list building, you can market to them again and again, without the additional effort and cost of getting a new visitor each and every time. Your cost stays the same, but your potential income increases each time you market to this particular person!

In the case of a visitor who doesn’t buy on your first offer, you can start interacting with him on a regular basis until he buys. But it’s not about hitting or missing on the first shot anymore! You have several opportunities to convert this visitor into a paying customer.

On the other hand, if a visitor buys the product you’re promoting right off the bat, you can try selling other products to him! And there is a good chance he will buy from you again since he already did once.

As you can see, building a list of prospects is extremely valuable.

It’s time for you to take action. This is your chance to join the list building club. Follow this very detailed guide about list building and you’ll be able to build a money-making list in no time!

Email List Provider: Aweber

email list provider

The very first step to start building your email list is to pick an email list provider. It’s the service that will store and manage your subscribers and emails once you start your list building.

Don’t get fooled by companies which will offer you some free email list building software. Nothing is free. You might discover down the line that the company is using your list for their own campaigns.

While there are several options for list building out there (and believe me, I tested all of them to make sure I use the best), I exclusively use Aweber.

AWeber is the preferred list building choice of most internet marketing and blogging professionals who need a serious solution for their email newsletter and auto-responders.

I invite you to visit Aweber now, and create your account so you can get setup with list building while you read this guide. Aweber offers a 30 days trial for $1 so it’s really a no-brainer.

As you follow this guide about list building, you’ll understand why I use Aweber and how easily it is to get your own mailing list started with them. You’ll be up and running in no time.

From this point, I’ll assume that you followed my advice and signed up with Aweber for your list building.

Capturing Email Addresses

capturing emails

1/ Offering an Incentive

As you can guess, the very first step and probably the most difficult part of building an email list is to actually get people to submit their email address and subscribe to your list.

Of course you can setup a simple form on your website and hope for the best. You might even get some people to sign up from time to time, but the real secret to list building and getting people to subscribe to your list is to bait them.

I actually made various list building tests on Dukeo. The results are extremely clear: by offering an incentive, I multiplied my signup rate by 5. Yes, you read that right! It’s 500% the signup rate I’d have without it.

This list building idea is simple: submit your email address and you’ll receive something for free.

Now you may be wondering what kind of item you can offer to people to get them to signup… Well, it all depends on your niche, but the easiest thing to offer is a free guide.

As you can see on Dukeo, in order to build my list, I’m currently offering 3 guides to the people who subscribe to my email list. Don’t get it wrong, my list building goal is to relate to a wider audience, not to offer just more information volume than everyone else in my niche. Most people are interested only in 1 of my free guides, so I’m basically multiplying by 3 my chances to get people to signup and to speed up my list building.

I suggest that you take a look at what people in your niche are offering (if some are already doing it), and find your own angle with your list building. Write a guide that you can offer to your subscribers, to entice them to get enrolled in your mailing list.

2/ Form placement

A critical part of list building is about placing your signup forms in the right spots to optimize your conversion rate.

There is a first rule to list building that most people are afraid to follow even though it can have amazing results on improving your signup rate: the more forms, the more signups.

You’re not going to build a serious email list by just pasting 1 form on the top your sidebar. To optimize your list buiding strategy, your visitors need to be constantly and strategically reminded that you offer an email newsletter.

In order to insert your email capture forms on your blog and improve your list building, you can either edit your WordPress Theme files manually, or you can use a plugin that let you do just that with the click of a button.

To get better at list building, I advise you to use OptinSkin, the plugin developed by my fellow blogger Glen Allsopp from Viperchill. (Get OptinSkin here)

OptinSkin has been developed exactly with this goal in mind: imrpove your list building by allowing you to add signup forms on your blog without having to edit some code manually.

I have no problem endorsing this OptinSkin plugin since I use it for list building on several of my websites and I know that it will make the process of building your own email list extremely easy. You can literally start building your list within minutes.

Now that you’ve got OptinSkin, it’s time to put your signup forms in the right places to build your list as fast as possible. After years of testing, I came up with some pretty solid data about form placement for list building optimization. Here is the list of the most effective placements, ordered by performance.

As a sidenote, don’t take this list for granted. These are the best performers from my observations on my network of blogs, but the results for your own list building might differ based on your niche and audience.

A/ Newsletter Page

This first form placement for your list building can sound very obvious to most people and yet I see a lot of people who don’t even bother to create this page on their blog.

There is no better place to start building a mailing list than to actually create a page with the only purpose of getting people to signup for your email list.

This list building page is pretty easy to design because, when people visit it, they are probably already almost convinced that they want to receive email updates from you.

Here is the structure I follow for the list building newsletter page on most of my blogs:

  • First I explain briefly some results (to let them know what my newsletter will do for them),
  • Then I have a signup form,
  • After that, I have some testimonials (social proof is important to show that people love your newsletter),
  • Lastly, I have a second email form.

You may think that inserting 2 forms on the same page is overkill and it won’t help improving your list building, but it’s not. Some people will be convinced with just the benefits, some others will need the social proof. So it’s more convenient to offer each of them a signup form right where they need it. You’ll be surprised by the results of this list building trick.

For list building, testimonials are best if they come from people who are respected in your industry, but if you can’t have these, you can have testimonials from any other blogger or just any happy subscribers.

B/ About Page

Your about page can be one of your highest list building converter if you design it right.

Unfortunately, most bloggers do not design their About page properly.

You have to ask yourself what’s your goal with your About page. Do you want to write 10 lines about you or your company so that visitors will get a brief idea of what your website is about? Or do you want to turn it into a subscriber magnet?

Let’s be clear, I’m not a big fan of About pages that simply describe the website or the website owner. I think they are a waste of hard-earned potential.

Think about it: if your visitor is interested enough in your blog, to actually click on a link and visit a page that’s supposed to explain him what’s your website is about, you can pretty easily convince him to become a subscriber and thus improve your list building!

The trick is to structure your list building About Page the right way. Here is how I do it on Dukeo and a bunch of other sites that I own:

  • First, I explain what my blog is about, and I explain the results they’ll get if they follow me,
  • Email capture form,
  • Then, I tell a little more about the back story of the blog, and about myself,
  • Email capture form,
  • Finally, I have some testimonials (social proof is extremely important),
  • Email capture form.

I’m not going to explain again why it’s so damn important to have several forms on the same page. To make it short, each form will be used by people who get convinced by one piece of content, or the other. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to opt-in your email list.

C/ Popup

The next list building placement I’m going to discuss is extremely controversial in the blogging world. Every single time this list building subject is raised on a blog, you’ll see people getting out of their cave and saying basically the same thing: “Popup sucks!“, “Popups are spammy!“, “When I see a popup, I don’t even bother visiting the site again“, “I would never put a popup on my site“.

It’s good for people to express their opinion, but most of these comments are made by people who don’t know anything about conversion optimization and list building.

Most of the time, when you ask these people if they actually tried putting a lightbox popup on their site to compare conversion rates and try to improve their list building, they’ll tell you that they never tried.

Don’t even bother listening to these people. They speak about their gut-feeling but they don’t have any numbers to backup their claims about list building.

Lightbox popup boxes work for list building! Period.

More than 50% of my email subscribers signed up through these popup boxes.

I’m not saying that you should absolutely use that on your blog for list building, but you should consider it, and possibly do a split-test with and without it, to see if it improves your signup rate or not.

In almost every case I’ve implemented lightbox popups, my opt-in rate more than doubled.

D/ Feature Box

To see what a “list building feature box” is about, you can simply visit Dukeo’s homepage and take a look at the first part of the page.

When you think about it, it makes complete sense to use a feature box on your blog’s homepage to improve your list building… This is the “default” page that recurring visitors will see at the beginning of every visit. Moreover, when a visitor lands on one of your article from a search engine on a social media site, the second page he will go to is your homepage, most of the time.

You have to think of this feature box as if it was a list building landing page in itself. Keep it simple and straight to the point.

The feature box serves several purposes:

  • It allows you to try capturing more emails and improve your list building by making a more detailed offer to your visitor (you have more visual real estate to present your offer to your visitor),
  • It can also help people know what your blog is all about (for example, when you visit my homepage, you can directly see that my blog is about generating traffic, converting leads and making sales).

Here is a bonus tip exclusively for you… As you can see, I use testimonials in my list building feature box. Testimonials are great to increase conversions. Your visitors are more likely to be convinced that your newsletter is awesome if someone else tells them that it’s great. A Testimonial endorsing your newsletter will always appear more objective than a positive word written by yourself. Also keep in mind that testimonials with pictures are always better for list building.

E/ Sidebar

If you’re like most bloggers, your sidebar is probably a complete mess.

I know how difficult it is to keep your sidebar clean and clutter free. There is always something to add there… A new widget, a new badge, a link list, recent posts, popular posts, and the list goes on.

What you don’t realize is that, when putting so much stuff in your sidebar, you are considerably handicapping your list building efforts because everything you add, that is not added with the goal of capturing more emails, is just another distraction for your visitors. And believe me, it’s already hard enough to build an email list fast… you really need to remove all possible distraction and focus all your attention on list building.

Take a look at all the big blogs out there, do you see them displaying some flashy widgets or any kind of badge in their sidebar? They don’t, because it would make them look like amateurs and it would handicap their list building efforts.

So, the very first step to get more signups and improve your list building, is to get rid of all the clutter in your sidebar.

Then, in order to increase your opt-in rate, you have to place a signup form as high as possible in your sidebar. If possible, put it right at the top. It will do wonders for your list building efforts.

If you put your signup form even just slightly lower in your sidebar (for example, under some ads), you are not giving yourself all the chances to capture more emails.

Numerous list building split-tests have been run by big bloggers and let me sum up the results for you: the higher the form, the better.

F/ After Each Post

This list building placement is one of the most obvious for me, so I really don’t understand why bloggers are not using it more.

You see, when someone lands on any of your blog posts or articles, they’re here to get some information about a given subject.

While you can try to disrupt their reading process by putting signup forms in your blog header and sidebar, what if you let them access the information they are looking for (a.k.a. your content), first, and without any distraction?

It sounds logical to let your visitors get the information they are looking for as easily as possible. If you’re nice to them, they’ll have a good opinion about you and in the end it will most likely help you with list building.

So let’s assume that your visitor enjoys your article and reads it until the end. He likes your content and he is now looking for something else to do on your blog.

It’s the perfect time to give them an option to subscribe to your email newsletter!

Use a simple list building call to action such as: “liked this article? get more in your email box“. If your visitors liked a particular post, they are very likely to want to read more stuff coming from you.

G/ Blog Footer

The blog footer is not my preferred list building location for an email signup form, but I know that some of my fellow bloggers are seeing good results with it, so I decided to include it in this list.

This placement could be called “the list building last hope“.

See, when your visitors reach the very bottom of your pages, they have probably not found anything interesting to them anywhere higher on your page, so they just end up there.

This is your very last chance to try to capture their email address before they leave your blog.

If you use a rich footer, for example a 3-columns footer, it’s very easy to integrate a list building signup form as one of the “modules“.

This signup form is not going to bring in thousands of subscribers, but even if it collects a few hundreds of subscribers, it’s always better than nothing!

And don’t forget that if you didn’t get these people’s details, they would have just ended up leaving anyway, so it’s probably worth a shot to improve your list building.

3/ Form optimization

Now that you know where you should put some signup forms to start building your list, I’d like to address the subject of form optimization.

A lot of people will just stop at this point and think they’ve done all they can regarding list building. They signed for Aweber, pasted a couple signup forms on their site and they hope to get thousands of subscribers overnight.

While it would be sweet if things were working so easily, there is actually some work involved if you want to unleash the full list building potential of your blog.

One of the essential steps you should go through is form optimization.

There are a lot of variables that you can tweak to improve your list building and increase your signup rate.

Think about it for a second…

Let’s say that doing a very small modification to one of your list building forms, you increase the signup rate by 25%.

Then you do 3 more of these changes… And boom! You just doubled your signup rate, just by testing and tweaking some details.

In order to take the right decision, you should do some split-tests for each and every variable. Be careful, if you receive only a few visitors each day, you’ll have to run the test for a longer period of time. Don’t go crazy on the split-tests and test various aspects of your list building one after the other.

A/ Colors

There are countless studies about the psychology of colors and the consequences it can have on list building, so I’m not going to recap everything in this post.

Just remember that you can test different colors for your form background, border, title, description, button…

B/ Font size

You’d be surprised to see that you can sometimes increase your signup rate and imrpove your list building just by changing your form font size from 12px to 16px.

C/ Incentive

It might be interesting to test offering different incentive in exchange of people’s email address: an ebook, a coupon, an exclusive area on your website…

D/ Form placement

As I have already discussed this extensively previously, I’m not going to detail this aspect of list building too much. But keep in mind some form placements might do better on some websites than on some others. It’s important to test variations of this.

E/ Social proof

If you take a look at Dukeo, you’ll see that I use 2 different forms of social proof for my list building signup forms. The first one, and the most efficient, is: testimonials.

See, if I was to tell you how amazing my blog is and how much my content is going to help you grow your own business, you might be skeptical (and it’s your right). But if someone else (preferably an authority figure) tells you that my blog is awesome, it will look a lot more legit.

Tip: Add a picture of the person giving the testimonial for improved results.

If you don’t have testimonials yet, you can always ask your family members or your friends to write a nice word about you, it will always have more weight than if you are saying nice things yourself, and it will improve your list building.

The second form of social proof you can use for list building is: counters. If you see that I have 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 subscribers, you are most likely to subscribe as well. You’ll be thinking: “that many people can’t be wrong, I don’t want to miss the opportunity“.

This is why counters are used so much online. It’s the online counterpart of seeing a crowd waiting in front of a shop for a product launch. It just makes you curious, and maybe these people know something valuable that you don’t.

4/ Thank you page

While getting someone to submit their email address is a lot easier than getting their credit card details, there are still some steps you need to take care of, if you want to succeed with list building.

It’s very important to make the whole list building process as smooth as possible for your visitor. You don’t want him to get confused before the process is complete.

Most people signup for an email list provider, hack a few things together and hope for the best for their list building.

While this will probably work to some extent, there are many small things that you can do to get ahead of your competitors and beat them at list building.

One of these is to have a custom thank you page.

You see, when someone is signing up for your newsletter, they get redirected to a “thank you” page.

Aweber provides you with a generic page for that purpose, but in terms of visitor’s flow, it’s not the perfect solution and it might not be optimal for your list building. Here is what happens: Blog post -> Sign up -> Aweber thank you page

The problem is that, when they hit this page, your visitors are a little lost: there is no link back to your site and they are on a domain that they don’t know.

It’s a little better if it looks like this: Blog post -> Sign up -> Thank You page on your blog

This custom thank you page allows you to display a message that is targeted exactly to your own audience, it’s on your own domain, and it’s using your blog layout. Visitors know exactly where they are and you can then redirect them to your homepage, to your most popular articles, or wherever you want.

Now that you’ve captured the email address of your visitor, the list building work is not over, you still have some work to do in order to make money, but you already completed one of the most complicated parts of the process.

This is where most list building guides stop. They explain how to start capturing emails, but after that, you’re left in the dark.

Having a list is nice, but knowing how to sell to that list is even better!

I decided to share even more of my list building secrets so you can start making profits from your list, but first of all, let me explain the 3 types of messages that you can send from Aweber.

Message Types

message types

1/ Follow-up

Follow-up messages are the core of every email marketing strategy. You use these messages to setup an email sequence that will activate as soon as someone joins your list.

This is the backbone of list building.

Follow up messages go out following a sequence to people automatically after they subscribe. Whenever you create a new follow up message, you specify an interval, which is the number of days that the system should wait before sending it. So for instance, if your second follow up has an interval of 4, subscribers will get that message 4 days after the first follow up.

What Are Follow Ups Good For?

Follow up messages are a great way to welcome subscribers to your list, as well as deliver “evergreen” content that will be valuable to your subscribers no matter when they sign up for your list. Answering common questions about your products and services is one example of a great use of follow ups in your list building strategy.

2/ Broadcast

Broadcasts go out at specific dates and times, chosen by you when you create the message. Instead of setting an interval, you simply choose the “send time” of the broadcast, and it will go out to your list at that time. In addition, broadcasts can be sent to segments of your list, allowing you to target subscribers who are most interested in what you have to offer.

What Are Broadcasts Good For?

Broadcasts are an excellent way to make time sensitive announcements. Events, holiday emails, and the like are all great candidates for a broadcast message. Likewise, broadcasts are a good way to send weekly or monthly newsletters.

3/ Blog broadcast

Blog broadcasts are actually not a third type of message for your list building, but rather a way to automatically create broadcast messages when you publish new posts on your blog.

Building The Relationship

building relationship

A lot of internet marketing beginners think that building a list is about collecting as many emails as possible, then hammering them with offers over and over again, until they either buy from you, or get fed up and unsubscribe from your list.

It might have worked 10 years ago, but a lot of things about list building evolved since then. People became more internet savvy and they learned to be cautious with what they’re doing online. They’re simply not going to take your word because you tell them that Blue Product is awesome.

List Building Secret: Creating a Bond

The first thing you have to do is to build a relationship with your subscribers.

You have to look accessible.

You need to show them that you care about them and you’re not simply after their wallet.

You need to connect with them on a personal level (or at least give the impression that you are doing it).

You may be wondering how you can do this kind of things when you are on the internet, list building… It’s not like you are going to grab a beer with all your email subscribers one by one.

There are some very simple ways to create this relationship with your subscribers.

The first thing to do is to choose carefully the email address your email newsletter is being sent from. If you sent your email newsletter from, it will look less personal than if you’re sending it from

Choose the “From” name wisely as well. If your email subscribers receive an email from “Weekly Newsletter“, it won’t create the same bond as if they receive it from “Steven“.

If you’re subscribed to my email list, you’ve most likely received my first email asking you what is your biggest issue preventing you to unleash your full potential right now. It’s an important part of my list building strategy.

If you’re not yet subscribed, do it right now and you’ll see what I’m talking about:

I really care about the issues my readers are facing, and this first email shows to my subscribers that I’m here to help them and I’m going to listen to them. This is not just a faceless email newsletter that’s going to bombard them with offers.

In order to be efficient at list building and create a strong relationship with your readers, you need to engage with them.

This is really not rocket science: to engage with your audience, you can ask them to reply to your email, or you can ask them to reply to a short survey (keep it super short, less than 5 questions and only 1 page, if you want people to complete it).

Engaging your audience is essential: it allows you to continue the conversation with them, it makes your email subscribers feel important and it gives you feedback that you can use for your own social proof.

Another excellent way to connect with your email subscribers is to address them by their own name. If your email subject includes their name, they are most likely to open it. If the email starts with their name, it looks like it was sent to them on purpose.

We all know that names are included automatically in this kind of emails, and yet, having a name at the beginning of the email makes it a lot more personal.

With Aweber, inserting your subscriber’s name is extremely easy. All you have to do is use the variable {!name_fix} where you want the name to be displayed.

The default variable is {!name} but using {!name_fix} will automatically fix the capitalization of your subscriber’s name.

Providing Value

providing value

In order to keep people subscribed to your email list, you need to provide them with tons of value. As a rule of thumb, I’d advise you to send no more than 1 offer each 10 messages.

It means that the secret to list building is: 9 times out of 10, you are going to deliver something valuable to your readers. Something that will help them achieve their goal, without putting any money in your pocket.

It might sound counter-intuitive, but it’s yet another way to show to your subscribers that your first goal is not to make profit from them; it is to genuinely help them.

By providing value without waiting for anything in return, you are building the relationship with your subscribers, and you are also building your own reputation as an expert in your field. That’s a perfect win-win list building situation.

You see, if you want people to follow your advice, you need to convince them that you know more than them about your subject. It’s not as complicated as it sounds because even if you know just a very little more than them, you’ll still look knowledgeable. (This is exactly what’s happening with this list building guide).

It makes complete sense…

When you need advice to buy a new flat screen, who are you asking? Your friend who’s passionate about technology, or you go to some technology websites, or you go to some review sites.

When you need advice before starting a new workout routine, who are you asking for advice? Your friend who’s always at the gym, a fitness blogger, a fitness forum.

To sum it up, you ask someone who knows more about this particular subject than you. It doesn’t have to be the most knowledgeable person in the world. It’s just someone who knows more than you do.

Providing value for your email subscribers is serving these 2 goals: building the relationship and positioning yourself as the go-to expert in that field.

Promoting Offers

promoting offers

Once you’ve established yourself as the expert and you’ve building a relationship with your email readers, you can start promoting products.

You can promote your own products or some affiliate offers.

A word of caution: be careful with the products you are promoting and make sure you’re not endorsing some crappy products. It takes a long time to build a relationship, but it takes only 2 minutes to destroy it.

I’ve read and experimented several patterns to do some product promotions after list building. Some worked, some didn’t. In order to save you a ton of time, I’ll describe only one of them.

I invite you to not copy this exact method word for word (it will probably just harm your list). Instead, use it as a blueprint to come up with your own system.

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to product promotion through list building is to advertise a product with a single email.

Don’t get me wrong, it might work in some cases.

However, if you really want to make as many sales as possible from your email subscribers, you need to push it further.

The system I’m going to describe is using 3 emails sent with a 2 days interval, but it’s up to you to adapt it to your needs and audience.

Email Promotion Blueprint

email promotion blueprint

1/ Email 1: The Introducer (Day 1)

When people are interested in the products in a particular niche, it’s ALWAYS to fix an issue they are facing or to improve themselves.

The goal of this first email is to acknowledge this issue and to share your personal experience to make your subscribers understand that you are in this boat together.

Once you have acknowledged their issues, you want to slip in the idea that you have a fix for this exact problem.

Let’s take a real example from Dukeo. I could send a first email like this:

Title: John, see what’s coming (exclusivity)


In the very first email I sent you when you joined Dukeo, I asked you to tell me what you’re struggling with right now.

The most recurring answer I receive is Traffic.

And believe me, I know exactly what you’re going through… I’ve been struggling for ages to get some visitors to Dukeo. I felt like my hard work was not paying off. I got discouraged and I wanted to give up.

But after many years online, I learned a lot about traffic generation and I am now able to pull thousands of visitors on my blog daily.

I decided it’s time to give back, and it’s an exclusivity for my newsletter’s subscribers. It’s going to be a tremendous help for you to grow your blog.

I’m super excited about this.

Stay tuned. I’ll let you know the details very soon.


You see, in that email, I first explain that I’m going to address a particular issue because my subscribers asked about it. That part makes me sound more generous and altruistic since I’m going to bring something of value to the table to help them.

Then I explain how I understand the pain they’re going through because I was there at some point too and I was struggling.

After that, I explain that my struggle is over thanks to my years of experience.

And finally I’m going to share my experience with them in exclusivity so they can take a shortcut to success.

The goal of that email is not to pitch a product. It’s all about reinforcing the bond with subscribers and getting them excited about receiving my next email.

2/ Email 2: The Seller (Day 3)

With this second email, you want to show to your subscribers that you’re going to deliver something amazing for them.

Title: John, here it is!


After my last email, I got flooded with thousands of emails from people wanting to get traffic to their website right now.

To make sure I help you as much as I can, I asked a good friend to take a look at my guide “Traffic Explosion Blueprint“. Here is what he said about it:

Sté, this guide tops everything I read about traffic generation before. While I was reading it to give you feedback, I started implementing some of your traffic generation tactics and I am already receiving hundreds of visits each days thanks to your tips.

That’s awesome! John, after you start implementing my tactics, make sure you keep me posted on your results.

The guide consists of 7 sections and it is at a VERY low pricepoint ($27).

Once you get my guide, don’t miss my preferred part: “The 30 days challenge“. It guides you step by step to help increase your traffic in 30 days.

Go here to get all the details and get your copy now


It’s time to explain what I did exactly with this email.

First of all, I want my subscribers to think that there is a very high demand for this guide. If they don’t get my guide, their competitors probably will, and they will be left behind.

Then, instead of going for a hard sale, I share the feedback from someone who already implemented some of the tactics in the guide and is seeing great results.

People love success stories, and there is no better proof that a guide works than someone who actually followed it.

After that, I introduce the price of the guide. Mostly because I want my subscribers to understand that this is not going to be free. Well, they just had proof that someone is seeing tremendous results with that guide so the pricepoint is really super low for something that works so well.

And last, but not least, I put the focus on a particular section of the guide.

You see, this very last sentence has the same effect than when you go to buy a new car and the seller lets you sit in the driver’s seat and go for a ride. The idea is that once you picture yourself having this car, it will be more difficult to not buy it.

My subscriber is already picturing himself going through the guide and reading the particular section I’m talking about. Bingo!

3/ Email 3: The Last Chance (Day 4)

This third email is not completely necessary but from the tests I’ve been running, it’s been bringing a decent number of additional sales.

Title: WOW John!


I can’t believe it. I sent over 2,500 guides yesterday. My site almost went down due to the number of people interested.

This guide is only available until tomorrow at this price, in exclusivity for my newsletter subscribers. If you didn’t get your copy yet, this is your last chance to grab it before the price goes up.

Follow this link to get your copy


The goal of this email is to show that, if they don’t buy your guide, your subscribers are missing out on something big.

In the second paragraph, I use a little scarcity to persuade people who might be sitting on the fence. Don’t overdo it or you’ll just sound pushy.

This last email is not going to bring as many sales as the previous one, but it will most likely generate a few sales that would have been missed otherwise.

Final Word

When you ask any of the A-list bloggers what they would do differently if they were starting today, they always mention that they would start building their list earlier because it’s their most valuable asset.

You don’t have any excuse anymore. You should follow this list building guide today.

Are you going to take action now, register with Aweber and start your list building? Or are you just going to find some more excuses and feel sorry for yourself?

I personally hope that you have found some useful information in this list building guide, and I would love to hear your thoughts about list building and advices that I might have missed.

Don’t forget to share this guide about List Building on all social networks if you think it might help some other people!

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  1. Great article. Found a bunch of useful tips that I’m keen to implement on some of my sites. It was interesting because I was just chatting today with someone about what sites provide a great step by step guide to getting better conversions, and you nailed the email signup conversion here!

    1. Thanks for the nice words Sam. You’ll notice that I go even further than just getting people on your list. I also explain how to actually make money from these people :)

    2. Sam,

      I have found that I get my best conversions from a signup page that solves a problem. Therefore the signups are looking for my solution. And therefore buy more often. And I never use the word free.

      Best Wishes,

  2. Paul Shapiro

    This is a great post. Email has been such a mystery for me. I’m definitely bookmarking this post. Thanks man.

    1. Once you get through it, let me know if you have any question Paul

  3. Liza Shaw

    That has to be the best, most detailed, easy to follow list building advice I have seen.

    Thanks Steven, I’ll be filling the gaps in my list building with your advice.

    1. Thank you Liza, I tried my best :)

  4. Sherman Smith

    Great blog post Steven.. I didn’t realize the power of an email list until just recently and everything you mentioned about exposing your list over and over is right on point! Thanks for the share!

    1. Did you take action with your list yet, Sherman? Or is it still on your to-do list?

    2. Sherman

      I’m taking action each day now. i’m already doing 30% of what you mentioned. I’m emailing my list about 4 times a week with value and am making changes to my blog to make it look more attractive. This post helps a lot!

  5. Natalie

    First of all, this is the best list building blueprint I have read. Like you say:”This is where most list building guides stop. They explain how to start capturing emails, but after that, you’re left in the dark” That was exactly my problem!

    I read this article yesterday and implemented it right away. Spent most of my day perfecting my web form placement. And it worked! As soon as I finished I got new subscribers!

    Just wanted to say thank you and let people know this method really works and FAST.

    1. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience Natalie :) I’m glad you’re seeing good results by following my guide.

  6. THANK YOU for all this information! Practical, easy to understand, and easy to use. I recently signed up with aWeber, and wish I could have read your article on day one. I’ve already started implementing, and I’ll be referring back often. And looking forward to your next emails.

    1. Robbie, I’d be really interested if you can keep me posted on your progress with your list building efforts.

  7. Jean

    Very useful article. I have gained great and new insights about list building that I will definitely try to implement. Will be back to read some of the other posts thanks a lot.

    1. Thank you for your comment Jean! Please share your list building results after implementing my advice ;)

  8. Steve Gewecke

    This is the most concise on point explanation on how to effectively build a list and use email that I have ever seen online. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Rhonda Kronyk

    The timing of this post is perfect! I am in the process of updating my website, which is still very new. Number 3 on my list is an email follow button, which will mean developing the behind-the-scenes support for maintaining a fledgling email list.

    Thanks for yet more great content

  10. Kevin

    Hi Steven, thanks again for the very great information above. I have signed up to Aweber and have my opt-in form up and running. I now have a couple of issues that I need to address
    a. how to get people to come to my site
    b. how to get social proof

    all the best.

  11. Wow this by far is the some of the best advice I’ve read from anyone. I’m going to read through a few more times and take notes. I’ve spent a lot on courses and I mean a lot! I appreciate you giving this for free. I just wish I wen’t through your site entirely before I spent any money. Thank you!

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