How To Build An Email List From Scratch


My email list is the number one driver of profits in my business by a LONG shot… 

And if you’ve been dying to start your own email list, but don’t know how—THIS tutorial is for you. 

I’m going to take you through the process from start to finish… 

Hey guys, what’s up? It’s Alex. 

Coming at ya this week for so many reasons. And I truly believe that every brand, business, freelancer, and service provider should have an email list and communicate with it on a regular basis.

I made nearly 6-figures on the first offer I ever launched – I didn’t have a large social following… I barely had any YouTube subs… but what I did have was a super-engaged email list of 2350 people. 

I sent out 8 emails and brought in $84,000 in revenue. 

And even to this day – with a much larger social media following and hundreds of thousands more YouTube subscribers – it’s STILL my email list that brings in the most revenue during promotions. 

So if you want to promote products or services… or you think that maybe one day you might want to promote products or services – then having an email list is ESSENTIAL. 

Today we’re going to talk about the 5 steps you need to do to start an email list from scratch.

And if you want to see more blogs like this one, make sure to join my own newsletter to be notified when my next tutorial goes live. 

Now, the very first thing you need to do is… 

#1 – Sign Up For Email Sender

First things first – you need to actually sign up for email marketing service. There are many out there – MailChimp, Convertkit, Active Campaign, Flodisk, Klaviyo, and the list goes on and on. 

There are so many options out there you guys, and I’m not going to pretend to know the best one…

So you’ll have to do your own research here to determine which platform has the capabilities you want AND is within your budget

I started my list with MailChimp, but now that my business (and list) has grown, I’m looking into switching to a different platform that allows for more segmentation, conditional sending, fancier logic, etc… 

And that’s no shade on MailChimp. I actually think it’s a great tool and a great place to start if you’re brand new because there’s a free option and it’s super easy to use.

Every platform will have some pros and cons to them, but ultimately they will all do the trick. So consider your business goals and select the tool that allows you to get started asap.

Alright, with that out of the way, move onto…

#2 – Create A Valuable Freebie

Now that you have an email sending tool setup, the next step is to figure out HOW to get people excited about joining your email list.

Most people don’t go around just looking for new email lists to sign up for…

We all get enough emails as it is, and we ain’t looking for anymore, am I right?

But what we WILL do is exchange our email address for something useful.

And that’s where a valuable freebie—or lead magnet—of some sort comes in handy.

The idea here is that you offer something VALUABLEfor free—in exchange for an email address.

What this free valuable thing is totally up to you and largely depends on what it is you do, what type of business you’re starting, and what you have a lot of knowledge about and can help others with… 

You’re simply creating something valuable to give your audience. It could be a:

  • Free Guide or Template
  • Masterclass 
  • Webinar 
  • Training Video
  • Mini-Course 
  • A coupon code
  • Free Sample or Trial
  • A giveaway

Once you know what you’re freebie will be, it’s time to actually create it – I have a full tutorial breaking down my 3-step formula for creating great lead magnets.

Now when it comes to design – I love using Canva to design all my free PDF guides. But you’re not done yet… 

You also need to build the landing page.

The landing page is exactly what it sounds like. A page that new leads LAND ON. You’ll also hear it sometime called an “opt-in page” or a “squeeze page”. 

The ONLY purpose of this page is to get the visitor’s email address. 

They’re usually pretty short and sweet… and look a little something like this. 

You can see this is a Landing Page for my Ulitmate Email Marketing Cheatsheet:

  • There’s a headline that clearly outlines the benefit of getting this free guide along with a CTA above the fold…
  • Followed by a credibility banner and some juicy benefits about what they’ll learn in this free guide… 
  • Followed by an authority bio and ending with another CTA. All the buttons on this page prompt a pop-up that tells people to sign up to get instant access to this free guide. 

Simple and straightforward. 

AND if you want more help creating your landing page, I have an entire video that breaks down exactly how to create an optimized Landing Page.

Alright. So now you’ve created a freebie and have a landing page ready to collect those emails…

You can start building your list now – right?!


There’s actually one more thing to do first…

#3 – Write Day 0 Autoresponder Email & Welcome Sequence 

Now technically you don’t have to do this before you start building your list…

But I HIGHLY recommend you set these up before you get going – because they’re going to set you up for success and help keep your email list engaged right from the get-go.

The “Day 0 Autoresponder” is the email that is sent out IMMEDIATELY after a new lead signs up for your list. 

This email will deliver whatever “it” is they signed up for, get them excited about how it will help them, and also provide a memorable brand experience.

But don’t stop there… 

I also recommend you write out 1-3 Welcome Emails—which you can also set up to automatically be sent.

Now Welcome Emails can sometimes be referred to as “Indoctrination Emails”

These are emails that WELCOME new leads to your list. You want to make them feel as though they’re a part of something bigger, let them know what to expect from you, and build rapport.

If you’ve ever signed up for one of my freebies, then you’ve likely received my 3 Welcome Emails:

  1. The first is to welcome you to the Posse and empathize with where you are at on your copywriting journey.
  2. The second is to communicate the Copy Posse’s mission and rally new subscribers around it.
  3. And the last one is to add awesome value and offer next steps.

I have an entire video about my Indoctrination Sequence Formula and you can catch that as well.

Just remember… 

The goal of these emails is to nurture your brand-new leads – on autopilot! This means you can write these bad boys ONCE, set ‘em, and forget it. 

Okay. Okay. So at this point, we’ve basically just done a bunch of back-end work… 

Now we’re FINALLY ready to get to the good stuff…

#4 – Build Your List

Alright, now you’re ready to rock ‘n roll. 

It’s time to start plugging and promoting your freebie whenever and wherever it’s relevant. 

What this looks like will greatly depend on whether or not you already have an established social media presence… or some other large audience to leverage. 

Here are some ideas on how you can promote your new freebie… 

Put it on your website! I mean obviously, right?! 

But don’t make the mistake of popping just anywhere… 

No, no, no. You want it to stand out and capture attention.

So I would recommend you put it ABOVE the fold, like this example from Jenna Kutcher’s website. 

 Or this one from Marie Forleo. 

You can see they have these opt-in banners right at the very top of their homepage – basically impossible for you to miss it. 

Another option is to create a pop-up invitation. Like this one on Jay Clouse’s website. 

But your website isn’t the only place you should be promoting your freebie… 

Post about it on your social media – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. 

YES! Even if you don’t have a large following. Post to your stories, and add the link in your bio.

Write blog posts about content that’s relevant to your freebie, then plug it inside your blog post when it makes sense.

Ask your friends and family to spread the word and share. 

Do you know anyone else with an email list or audience who would be willing to give you a shout-out? You’d be surprised how many people are more than happy to help a fellow entrepreneur get their start.  

Now let me just say… 

Expect this to be a slow process. 

Your list is NOT going to grow to 15,000 subs overnight. 

It takes TIME. 

But if you stay consistent, you will see your subscribers slowly start ticking up higher and higher… 

And that me to the next step on the list… 

#5 – Show Up Consistently, Add Value & Listen

And this is really the big one… 

You can have the best products, the coolest brand, and the biggest list… 

But none of that really matters in the big picture unless you’re audience is engaged with your content.

Because if you want an email list that actually buys things from you (which I’m assuming you do – or at one point you will)…

Then you HAVE to keep them engaged

This means you need to show up consistently in their inbox, build trust, create rapport, and continue to deliver value in some way shape, or form. 

When I started emailing my list I only emailed once a week. As my business grew I started emailing twice a week. And now I usually send out 3 emails a week. 

I know other people who send out an email every single day… 

And others who only email once a month. 

It doesn’t really matter HOW OFTEN you send an email – it matters that you’re consistent with how often you send them. So pick a frequency and stick with it. 

And before you know it, your audience will come to EXPECT your emails regularly. 

But this begs the question… 

What should these emails say? 

Well… that’s exactly what my free email marketing Cheatsheet is going to help you understand! 

From content emails to sales emails, and everything in between – this cheatsheet breaks down the 7 types of emails that ALL businesses should be sending their list… 

Complete with examples taken directly from The Copy Posse vault. 

Give me a thumbs up if you found this helpful and I’ll see you soon.

Until next time, I’m Alex. Ciao for now!

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