Last week I talked about three reasons why you need an email list as a business owner. Now that you see why you need one, I want to talk about how to actually grow that email list—starting with the WRONG way to do it.

Above all, the wrong way to grow your email list is to not grow one at all. As long as you aren’t participating in any sketchy practices, there are actually a lot of good ways to grow your email list. 

Also, spoiler alert: ALL the ways include some form of list-building funnel! However you’re growing your email list, it’s important to make sure you have a welcome sequence for your new subscribers so they can grow to know, love, and trust you so they will eventually become a client or a customer—which is the end goal of our list! 

I can’t cover every list-building option out there, but I do want to talk about three main ways I’ve seen it successfully done:

1. Freebie + Welcome Sequence

The first way I see people growing their email list is the obvious one: throw up a freebie and follow it up with a welcome sequence. This is your basic list-building funnel. It sounds simple because it is—and it works!

Your free offer could be a checklist, a printable, a private audio feed, a mini-course, etc. Sometimes it’s called a lead magnet, or an opt-in, but however you refer to it, it’s a free offer that someone opts into from a landing page. They get the freebie and then you send them a five-to-seven email welcome sequence that hopefully keeps them interested in your business. This method is a go-to, tried-and-true way that can work for most people.

2. SLO

The second way I see people grow their email list is through an SLO. (I’ve always pronounced it S-L-O, but I’ve heard other people say “slow.”) SLO stands for Self-Liquidating Offer. They’re sometimes called tiny offers or pocket products. These are all of those $7-$47 products that you see offered.

The process for building your email list through an SLO is very similar to the freebie version of the list-building funnel. The main difference is that often people run ads for their SLO. The money you make from the SLO essentially pays for the ads themselves, so you don’t make money on your offer, it’s just a way to fund your marketing. 

I typically don’t encourage people to rely on ads (I prefer affiliate marketing so we are paying our business peers rather than tech giants) and, to be honest, I feel like these had a big moment but now aren’t always as successful as they used to be. But SLOs still work for some people, so if you want to give it a shot, go for it!

3. Just ask!

Sometimes people are able to grow their email list just by asking their audience to join it! This method really only works if you already have a strong, engaged audience and you know people are interested in learning from you. If that’s you, there’s nothing wrong with just asking them to join your email list and promising them value when they do.

Just be sure that when you invite them to join your email list you have a welcome sequence ready to go because the true wrong way to grow your email list is to grow an email list and then not do anything with it

So make sure you have a five-to-seven email sequence ready to welcome them. Use it to introduce yourself, share additional educational value, and testimonials and success stories. Then finish with an offer at the end that moves them down the path of getting to know, love, and trust you, and eventually becoming a customer or client! 

Want to know more about growing your email list? Join my FREE 5-day challenge coming May 9th!