Client attraction. Business growth. Pretty profits.

5 Things You Must Do Before Building Your Email List

Before building your email list you'll want to have these five foundation elements in place. Given you’re reading this I feel confident that you want to build your subscriber list the right way.

Not simply getting whoever, wherever to sign up but a list of people who are most likely to buy from you in the future.

You want to see actual tangible results from your efforts and by results you mean dollars, cold hard cash.

You’ve come to the right place.

To build an efficient and profitable list you need great foundations so following are the five things you must have in place before building your subscriber list.

Better still – each item has an action step to get you moving forward.

(Note: opt in incentive and freebie are used interchangeably and refer to the same thing).

1. Ideal client and offer clarity

The mistake I most often see business owners make when it comes to building their lists is to start with their opt in incentive – the freebie.

This might seem like the obvious place to start – you want to build a list so you need something to encourage people to sign up. What can you bribe them with?

Here’s the deal…

You’re actually approaching your list building back to front.

If you start with your freebie without knowing who your ideal client is and the paid offers (products and services) you intend to sell you, you’ll probably end up with a list of people who are never going to buy your offers.

There will be a disconnect between your opt in incentive and your paid offers.

Sounds awful right? All that work for no return.

A high performing opt in isn’t necessarily the freebie that gets the greatest number of sign ups. Numbers alone aren’t enough.

You’ve got to get the right people signing up to your list. Even if it means less people. Targeted is better than volume. Quality over quality.

What does all this mean?

You must know what problem, what need your paid offers solve. This will be different for each offer.

(Hint: you’ll need a different opt in incentive for each paid offer otherwise the freebie won’t be specific enough to convert well.)

You must know exactly who your ideal client is. What is important to them? What are their values? Where do the spend their time (on or offline)? What are the problems they want solved urgently? Again, your ideal client might be different for each paid offer.


Get out a pen and paper. Brainstorm everything you can identify about your ideal clients. Brainstorm the problems your ideal clients have.

Now circle the ONE problem each paid offer solves.

(That’s right, you should only ever solve one problem per offer.)

Next, identify the problem your ideal client faces prior to being ready for the problem your paid offer solves.

You’ve now identified your opt in focus.

You many like to colour code the respective opt in and paid offer problems so you know which belong together.

Get 1k subscribers and convert them into buyers in three simple steps

2. Your freebie

Woo, step one done. Good work.

Let’s have a look at an example of the relationship between opt in and paid offer.

Say you’re a kinesiologist. Clients come to you for, among a whole range of things, long-lasting relief from panic attacks and anxiety.

To build rapport with them in the first place though, your opt in may teach them one simple strategy to return to calm from the height of a panic attack. Even though it doesn’t prevent the panic attack itself, it does create a positive result (relief and calm) leading to trust.

Trust is an essential factor before ideal clients will buy from you so having consumed the opt in the individual will be more willing to invest in sessions with you to prevent the panic attacks occurring in the first place.

Now you know how the two problems align, it’s time to work out how you will deliver the opt in incentive (solution to their problem) to your ideal client.

Here are the two keys to success:

A. Identify how your ideal client would like to consume the solution when facing the problem your freebie solves.

Is it video, audio, text or a combination of formats?

For the ideal client with panic attacks, you know that they will search for a solution after a panic attack because they want to prepare themselves prior to the next event.

Therefore your freebie might be a short video they can watch in private teaching the about the strategy and then a print out they can keep in their wallet to remind themselves of the steps to return to calm when a panic attack occurs.

B. Make sure the name of the freebie tells the ideal client what they get PLUS the major benefit.

For example, I have an opt in called:

3 Steps To A List Of Buyers (Not Just Browsers)

It’s very clear that the focus is list building but also, that you are going to ensure the people joining your list are potential buyers not just freebie seekers.

Another example is public relations expert Alana Dagwell’s Get Famous! checklist which promises to raise the profile of your business without spending a cent on advertising. 

Alana Dagwell Get Famous! Checklist


Marry your freebie’s focus with the format and a benefit focused title then get stuck into creation.

Canva and Picmonkey are brilliant for creating PDFs.

Camtasia is ideal for creating videos and audios – you’ll get way better sound and picture quality than free tools like MovieMaker.

3. Landing page, email platform and thank you page

This step is all about persuading your ideal clients to subscribe plus the mechanics of how it actually happens.

The landing page is where your subscriber signs up for your freebie.

The thank you page tells them the freebie will be delivered to their email plus encourages them to promote your opt in to their community.

The email platform is where you store subscriber details and enables you to send emails to all subscribers or segments of your list.

For this you will need two tools:

  • An email marketing platform such as Aweber, MailChimp or ConvertKit
  • A landing page builder

In terms of landing page builder I highly recommend LeadPages.

It’s perfect for beginners with its templates, all of which have been tested to the enth degree to ensure they’re structured to maximise conversions and are super simple to tweak for your specific freebie.

It’s also fabulous for more experienced online entrepreneurs, especially now it has a drag’n’drop builder (OMG, this is a dream!!!), enabling you to create the exact landing and sales pages you desire.

In terms of persuasion and conversion success comes down to a handful of factors:

A. Knowing your ideal clients’ need (examined in step one).

B. Communicating the benefits of the freebie.

C. Urgency and a strong call to action.

(If you plan to direct traffic to your page through advertising, ensure you include a link to your privacy policy. It’s a requirement of most advertising platforms.)

Let’s look at a LeadPages’ created masterclass landing page:

Get your first 1,000 subscribers and convert them into buyers in three simple steps.

This landing page is currently converting at 80.54% which is insanely high. More common conversion rates would range between 20% and 40% so why is this landing page working so well?

A. The heading tells you exactly what you will get and why it’s beneficial i.e. 1,000 subscribers and an easy way to generate sales.

B. The countdown timer creates urgency. The viewer doesn’t want to miss out on the benefits.

C.  Each of the training elements shared has a direct benefit mentioned.

D. The call to action button stands out and the text is active (Yes! I’m There!) versus passive (Subscribe) – the first version is far more compelling.


Draft your content for the landing and thank you pages then set up with your email provider and LeadPages.

4. Welcome email

Your welcome email is make or break time when it comes to having the chance to build a relationship with your subscriber.

The welcome email has to achieve five goals:

  • Re-sell your subscriber on your freebie so they actually make use of it and gain the benefit / result as intended.
  • Introduce you to your subscriber to start building your relationship (remember you need them to know, like and trust you before they will buy).
  • Let them know what to expect for future emails.
  • Invite them to engage with you.
  • Ensure they see future emails.

It’s a pretty long list for one email, right?

Don’t worry, it’s simple enough to do and I decided to make it even easier for you.


Grab a copy of my welcome email swipe file. You can copy and paste, take and tweak to tailor it for your ideal client.

Download it now.

5. Strategies to promote your opt in

Holy moly!

There are so many options available it feels hard to know where to focus your efforts.

You could go all out on social media but which social media?

You could add pop ups to your website but how are you going to get people there?

You could focus on guest blogging and podcasts but what if the other person’s audience isn’t who you think they are?

Before you get yourself all wound up and too scared to act, you need to know that regardless of which strategies you choose there is no guarantee of success. There are ways to improve the likelihood of success though.

First, remember your ideal client. You know, the one I keep harping on about knowing well. Where do they spend their time online?

Once you’ve identified two to three places, focus your opt in promotion efforts there.

Also, track the results from each of these locations. Which is working well? Which isn’t converting? Consider dropping the strategy with the poorest result and trying another.

When it comes to driving conversions (adding people to your email list) it is truly a process of refinement. Test and tweak. Test and tweak. Test and tweak until you are satisfied with the results.

There is one way to speed up the process of list building though and that’s getting advice from a coach who has built up and profited from email lists previously. You should make sure they’ve been able to replicate success for their clients too.

List tripling testimonial for Better Business Better Life.


Choose two freebie promotion strategies you will focus on to grow your list.

Then do yourself a favour and register for the masterclass Bianca McKenzie and I have coming up on November 3rd.

‘Get your first 1,000 subscribers and convert them into buyers in 3 simple steps’ will cover:

  • The fastest way to grow your list to 1,000 targeted subscribers
  • The number one reason why this strategy alone isn’t enough to explode your sales
  • The simple 3 step technique to move your tribe from subscribers to buyers

Plus a LIVE Q & A Session with Bianca & Caylie: ask us anything about growing subscribers and sales!

Grab your spot now!

Get 1,000 subscribers and convert them into buyers in three simple steps

Action begets results

Do you have these five foundation pieces of building your email list in place?

Tell me in the comments below and if not yet, commit to taking action.

And don’t forget to jump on the free masterclass Get Your First 1,000 Subscribers And Convert Them Into Buyers In Three Simple Steps.

Get 1,000 subscribers and convert them into buyer in three simple steps.

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