Transcript: Email-List Growth Strategies That Will Transform Your Business

July 2, 2020

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AMY PORTERFIELD: “My suggestion to you is to use pop ups on your website to get new subscribers on your email list. I know what you're thinking already: ‘Pop ups are annoying, Amy.’ And, yeah, they can be at times. But trust me, when you do them right, they work. In fact, they work really well when you use them in a way that resonates with your ideal customer. On average, I see my email list grow by 1,000 subscribers every month, just from one pop up on one resource page on my website, not to mention the 2,000 average subscribers who sign up through a pop up to grab our podcast lead magnets.”

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-million-dollar business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, money, and time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and helps you create a life you love, you're in the right place. Let's get started.

AMY: Well, hey, there. I'm feeling a little like a kid in a candy store today because we're talking about one of my favorite things: building your email list. So if you're struggling to grow your email list right about now, you might be thinking, “Amy, why do you love this topic so much?” Or you might be saying to yourself, “List building, or my lack of list building, totally stresses me out.” And I get it because when I didn't have an email list, it stressed me out, too. However, I love the topic now because when I finally put effort into growing and nurturing my email list, that's when my business really took off and allowed me to build the multi-million-dollar business I have today. Make no mistake of it: I would not be as profitable as I am today without an email list. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. So when I share strategies for list building, it's because I want you to avoid my mistakes and build your business a whole heck of a lot quicker than I did. So today I'm going to share three strategies to grow your email list.

Now, these strategies do require that you have a lead magnet already created, and if you don’t have one yet, I want you to check out episode number 214 right after this and get your lead magnet created. Now, if you're just starting out, I want you to keep it simple. It doesn't have to be some big, crazy thing, but you do need a lead magnet to give away for free to attract your audience and grow your email list.

You'll also want your email-service provider set up, which I go into in episode number 320. So, again, once you're done here, head on over and check out episode 214 to create your lead magnet and episode 320 to put together your email-service provider.

Listen, I'm a one-stop shop. I've got what you need here. So if you need to know how to grow your email list, I'm going to show you step by step.

Okay, so the three strategies that I'm going to walk you through are really quite simple. So whether you’re still working on filling up your email list and hitting your first 250 subscribers, which is the goal I suggest for all my new list builders, or maybe you have a few thousand on your list, which is awesome, no matter where you are, you'll find these strategies today doable and effective.

Now, the first one ties into search-engine optimization, SEO, and how to use it on your website to grow your email list, the second is a social-media strategy, and the third is an effective approach that you can use to get your website visitors onto your email list. And to wrap up this episode—I couldn't help myself—I included a little bonus strategy that will literally take you less than five minutes, and it will help you start growing your email list right away. So let's get to it.

The first insanely simple way to grow your email list is to use SEO to boost website traffic and to gain new leads. SEO, search-engine optimization, is a smart way to gain some real-time, tangible insight into what words could potentially drive traffic to your website and in turn get the right people on your email list. If you're tensing up right now at the mention of SEO, stay with me, because despite what you might be thinking, this strategy is simple, I promise.

Here's how you'd use it. Pull some of your main keywords from your lead magnet. When I say keywords, I'm talking about the words that are important in relation to what your lead magnet is about, or a word that is significant in your industry. So looking at the results for specific keywords and phrases related to your area of expertise and niche will help you to better understand what your potential customers are looking for to help solve their problem or meet their need.

For example, one of my Digital Course Academy®️ students, Nakita Attard Vassallo, helps busy moms create a life they love by reclaiming their time with effective time-management strategies. She has a few lead magnets, but one of them is called 100 Simple Recipes. Now, this free resource shows her ideal-customer avatar, busy moms, how to meal plan without feeling overwhelmed or requiring a ton of time. So she could use keywords such as meal planning or meal prep or busy moms or simple recipes or family-friendly recipes or quick recipes and other words or phrases that are similar.

So for you, I want you to take a moment and think about what your keywords would look like and just know that you don't have to create an exhaustive list, because I'm going to show you how to get other keyword ideas. Once you have a few keywords in mind, I want you to head on over to It’s a fantastic free keyword-search tool created by Neil Patel. And I want you to type in one keyword at a time. Now, remember, these are keywords that you're using in your lead magnet. That part's important.

And once your results come up, you'll click on Keyword Ideas in the left menu bar. You'll then see a section with Keyword Data. At this point, you’ll see a bunch of data in regard to how this keyword ranks when it’s searched online and how often people are searching for it. Without getting too much into the weeds with SEO, the main thing you want to look at is volume, which shows you how many times per month your keyword is searched. You want this to be high.

Now, it doesn't hurt to look at the other numbers as well. And on Ubersuggest they explain what each number means, which is why I love this site, and they also give you other keywords similar to the keywords that you typed in. So this is a great way to find other popular keywords. And I want to continue this process with the other keywords on your list and start to notice what words have the highest results.

Now, I want you to make a list of your findings and use these keywords in any of the content you're creating, especially on your website, to drive traffic to you, your lead magnet, and, ultimately, your email list. This list does not need to be hundreds of words. I mean, just start out with ten words and start using them over and over again. And you can use this information to guide the topics of your weekly content and align it with what your ICA is looking for. So if you're ever stuck with what to create, like, “What am I going to do a podcast episode on this week?” go back to that list of keywords, and it will spark some ideas for you. So you'll pull the top keywords you found and turn them into SEO-friendly content that all links back to your lead magnet.

So speaking of linking back to your lead magnet, here are a few ways that you can do that. One, if you're a podcaster and you create a podcast episode, I recommend creating a recap of the episode with show notes. Now, many of you already know what show notes are, many of you that podcast are using them, but show notes are essentially a blog post that summarizes what you talked about in the podcast episode.

Now, you want to make sure that you've got keywords in those show notes as well as in the actual podcast episode that you created. You can take this one step further: transcribe your podcast episode, and that will ensure that you actually have those keywords that are linked to the show notes. If you want to see how I do my show notes and my transcripts, just go to You'll see my show notes, but check out how I link to my transcript as well. The transcript includes keywords which drive more traffic over to my site.

Now, if you do weekly videos—so you don't have a podcast, but you do a weekly video show—you could create your video and then write a mini blog post, summarizing what the video training is all about. Focus on those keywords in the text of that mini blog post that goes along with the video you created.

You could also write a long-form blog post. So if this makes sense for your industry, offering an in-depth dive into something similar to your lead magnet, and you guessed it, using those hot keywords. Now, if you do a long-form blog post, make sure somewhere in that long-form blog post, in addition to the keywords, you link to your lead magnet two or three times throughout the long-form blog post. You could say something like, “Hey, if you like this, you're going to love this freebie all about x, y, z.”

Now, you can also use these keywords when crafting your social-media post or your ads that you're using, because these are the words that will resonate with your ICA and make them want to click on your post and sign up for your free resource.

Now, let me tell you, I give you a resource, Ubersuggest—again, created by Neil Patel—because it is really easy to use. And so I don't want you to get tripped up, thinking SEO is something that coders and programmers use, and you are not equipped to do so. You can get your list of keywords. You can start using them in your lead magnet, in your social-media post, on your show notes, wherever you are driving traffic to. So this is very, very doable. I never share strategies on my podcast that I wouldn't use, and we are doing this. And I want to encourage you to do the same.

All right. Moving on to strategy number two, and this strategy is all about mingling with your ICA. Now, when I say mingling, what I mean is I want you to find your ideal-customer avatar on Facebook. And I really want you to make an effort to get to know them even more—push yourself here—because eventually you're going to offer them support in the form of your lead magnet, which will grow your email list.

Now, right away, you might be saying, “Amy, my audience does not spend time on Facebook,” or you might be saying, “They spend more time on Instagram or TikTok,” or wherever it might be. And I want to bet you 100 bucks—not really, but you get my point—I'm going to bet you 100 bucks that, yes, they might be spending time on other social-media platforms, but I bet you they are spending time on Facebook. And specifically, I believe that they are spending time inside of Facebook groups. So just be open minded here. Just stay with me.

So if you're still working on building your email list and your business, this is a really great way to find and attract your dream customers. If your email list has stalled out, if it's not growing as fast, you need to get to know your ICA even more. So if you already have a solid email list, I hope you're still looking for new customers to support and engage.

And keep in mind that this is a great task that you can give to a virtual assistant. So if you're more advanced, if you're making more money, if you have a virtual assistant, then give them this task that I'm going to share with you right now. Heck, give them the SEO task I gave you as well. You don't have to do all of these. If you have a V.A., you can ask them for support as well.

Okay, so I'm taking you back to Facebook groups. Facebook groups are a fantastic way to find your ICA because people genuinely use them for everything these days, whether they have questions about parenting, they want to discuss certain books, or they want to learn a new hobby. People are spending time in Facebook groups. Yes, they're spending less time on your Facebook page. I get that. But they are spending time in Facebook groups. And remember my hundred-dollar bet? I do believe that your audience is spending time in Facebook groups, no matter where else they're spending time online. Think about it. You're probably a member of at least two or three Facebook groups that you frequent at least once a week. I know I am. And I spend tons of time on Instagram. But when I go to Facebook for my business or for me personally, I do not spend any time in the News Feed, and I definitely don't spend time on people's Facebook pages, but I jump right into groups that interests me. I go right to my tribes. And I think that is a very normal behavior for most people that spend any time on Facebook.

Okay, now this strategy I'm going to share with you, it will require you to spend a little time researching and interacting on Facebook in order to connect with your ideal customers. But trust me, it is worth every minute of your time. The beautiful thing about this strategy is that you can use the keywords that you find in your SEO search in strategy number one.

So let me explain how this works. Using the popular keywords and phrases that you came up with before, you can type those into the Facebook search bar. Once the results come up, make sure you click on Groups in the navigation bar. The Groups icon is a circle with three blue silhouettes in it, just in case you're new to all this. Now, if you're in the old Facebook layout, it will just say Groups, but most of us are in the new layout, so you’re looking for that Group icon.

Now I want you to spend a little time looking over these groups and exploring them so that you can get an idea if they would be a good place to connect with the type of customer that you want on your email list and in your funnels. So here are a few ways to determine if it's a group worth your time. Start by checking out the description to get an idea of what the group is all about—who's it for and if it relates to your business. Also, always take note the level of engagement and if there are recent and up-to-date posts. Many groups can just be living on Facebook but haven't been touched for years, so just make sure there's current activity. And another thing is to pay attention to how much engagement is happening. Are people liking and commenting, and are people really resonating with the post? Only groups with a healthy level of participation are worth your time. And then lastly, specifically look for your ideal-customer avatar by reading some of the posts and comments. Do you see anyone with the struggles or desires or needs that your ICA has? If so, you may have hit the jackpot, and you found a promising group to join.

And once you have, let's say, three to five, no more than five, schedule just thirty minutes at least once a week to go in and interact in these groups. You want to spend a little time in each group answering questions and offering value. And as you offer value, you'll start to identify people who could utilize your lead magnet. Now, the great thing that happens here is if you genuinely show up just to offer value and you're vocal on a regular basis in these groups, people will want to check you out. So they'll click on your name in the group, and they'll go either to your Facebook page or your profile. And, hopefully, you have some information there where people can find out more about you, like your website and your lead magnet and what you're all about. So just know that people, when you become helpful, will want to check you out, so that's, like, an organic kind of activity that happens.

But also, eventually over time, you can connect with them and ask if you can direct message them. And when you do, if it's appropriate, you could say, “Hey, I know exactly what you're looking for and how I can help. Here’s a freebie that you can dive into.” So that's what I call getting really scrappy, and I love that kind of behavior. And if the group allows it, you can provide a link in the comments of a post to your lead magnet. But read the rules because that's not always allowed.

What's important is that you don't rush this. So make sure you're providing tons of value and showing up consistently in these groups before you start offering your lead magnet as a solution. But be sure to use these groups in a relevant and a valuable way, like helping someone solve a problem or achieve some kind of goal that they're going for. You're not just posting a link to your offer without any context. You would never do that. But this strategy is twofold. Number one, you're in the comments. You're learning more about your ICA. You're finding out the words they're using, which might be another keyword that you add to your list after you go to Ubersuggest and see if it's a good one. So you're learning about your audience.

I know. I know you've heard me talk about this before. You've heard other marketers talk about this before. But here’s my question for you. Have you done it? Have you really spent, let's say, a good thirty days where every day you're just jumping into a group and you're paying attention, you're offering value, and you're just there to support? Have you done it? And if you're like, “Yes, Amy, I have,” then, great. Move on to the next strategy I'm going to give you. But if you haven't, this is how I learn even more about my ICA in my early days. And this was a strategy that helped me immensely get put on the map as a go-to source because I kept showing up and offering support. Don't skip this step.

Okay, moving on to the third way to grow your email list. Brace yourself because you're going to have opinions about this right out of the gate. My suggestion to you is to use pop ups on your website to get new subscribers on your email list. I know what you're thinking already: “Pop ups are annoying, Amy.” And, yeah, they can be at times. But trust me, when you do them right, they work. In fact, they work really well when you use them in a way that resonates with your ideal customer. On average, I see my email list grow by 1,000 subscribers every month, just from one pop up on one resource page on my website, not to mention the 2,000 average subscribers who sign up through a pop up to grab our podcast lead magnets.

So to be clear, a pop up is that small window that literally pops up within a web browser. Now, you may have seen them as a full-page, as a center-page pop up, or even a sidebar pop up. They all do the same thing. They get your attention, and they entice you to sign up for an email list via usually a lead magnet.

Now, there are various ways to get pop ups on your website. And to keep things really simple, just know that you can create a code within Mailchimp or ConvertKit to embed in your website to enable a pop up. If you use Kajabi, you can also create a pop up right within the platform. Also, most email-service providers offer tutorials on how to setup pop ups, or you can use a search on Google and find plenty of options that will walk you through step by step how to use it. If you use WordPress, there are tons of pop ups that integrate with WordPress.

Speaking of, I'm going to share with you my personal favorite. I love PopupAlly. I'm going to link to it in my show notes. But this one was created by my friend Nathalie Lussier, and her mission was to create pop-up options that were not invasive or annoying and could be setup in ways that aligned with the user's behavior on your website. So the tool is incredible, and I highly recommend it. Again, I'm going to link to it in the show notes, PopupAlly. Okay, to get that link.

Now let's chat about a few different ways to use pop ups and what I've seen work best. First of all, let me give you an example. Kris Carr, who is a health and wellness expert, she uses a pop up that says, did you get your free gift yet? And then she includes a short sentence about what the gift is, and that shortened sentence focuses on those keywords she knows her audience is going to resonate with. And I love this one because it reminds them that it's free. That is a very good word to use in a pop-up box. And also, it creates a little bit of FOMO. Like, wait, what? Free gift? No, I didn't get it. Tell me about it.

So when you're creating your pop up, be sure to use the keywords that you found earlier on, just like Kris does, and be sure that you're saying the things you're ICA would actually say. Like, speak to them as you would speak to a friend in your pop up so it's more casual and conversational. Every single word you choose matters. You don't want a ton of copy in your pop-up box, so choose wisely.

Another way to entice people with your pop-up box is by using bullet points because they grab your readers’ attention, and they can highlight the main points. These bullet points that you use should show why it would be a benefit for them to sign up to get your free guide or cheat sheet or checklist or whatever it is that you created.

Now, if you’re worried about annoying your audience, consider doing a small pop up in the corner of your website. This way, you're still using this email growth strategy but in a subtle way. PopupAlly offers this type of corner pop-up feature.

Now, I want you also to think about the timing of your pop up. Most pop-up software allows you to time it, so it doesn't need to be blasted on your website the minute someone joins. I like to wait, let's say, a minute or even two minutes while they're on your website for the pop-up box to appear. Don't wait too long or you're going to lose out on your opportunity. Also, there are pop-up boxes that allow you to trigger the pop up when someone looks like they're going to exit your website.

So pay attention to the features of whatever tool you use. You've got a lot of options.

And if you are still wary about using a pop up, consider doing the full-page approach. So as a viewer, instead of the opt-in box popping up in the middle of the web page that you're viewing, the full-page pop up fills up the entire height and width of the screen. And if you don't want to sign up for whatever the pop up is about, there's a down arrow or sometimes a No, Thanks button, which allows you to quickly navigate back to the content you were viewing. What worked so well about a full-page pop up is that it demands your web visitors’ full attention. So this is an effective way to get them on your email list because they've got to make a decision right there to either sign up or continue to view what they were looking at.

But regardless of how you do it, do a pop-up box on your website, please. One of my most effective pop-up boxes is on my website, on my Resources page. So if you go to and then you go to Tools of the Trade, if you're scrolling down and you're looking at some of the freebies there, a pop-up box will appear, and it says, “Download This List. Find the Right Marketing Tool for Whatever Stage You’re At.” So that pop-up box right there is one of my most effective ones on my entire website. So if you wanted to take a look,, then in the navigation bar, look for Tools of the Trade.

All right. So I've walked you through the three ways to grow your email list. And you've been so patient, so I wanted to share with you that crazy, simple bonus strategy that I mentioned earlier. Now, remember, it's crazy simple, so get ready for it. I want you to add an opt-in link for your lead magnet to your email signature. I know. So simple, right? But most people don't do this. But think about it. How many emails do you send in a day or in a week? Or think about it like this. If you have a virtual assistant, have them add the lead magnet to their signature as well. Customer support. All my customer-support team has a link to a lead magnet in their email signature.

And the reason for this is we all are emailing all day so many emails, and having just a short, compelling call to action right before or after your name, and it invites people to grab your lead magnet, this is a super-effective way because chances are, if you're emailing with them, they're already interested in what you have to offer. Now, if you're really paying attention, you might think, “Why would my customer-support team have a lead magnet in their email signature? Most people they're emailing are already on the list.” Yes, but you need to remember this. When we have lead magnets, lead magnets are, number one, about growing your email list. But number two, they also engage your existing customers, your existing potential customers that are already on your email list. So even if someone's on my email list, I'm still going to encourage them to grab other lead magnets so that I can track what they're most interested in and so that I can track what is trending the best out of all of my lead magnets. So, yes, someone on my email list might also opt in to another lead magnet I have. We track all of that. So if I looked up your name in my email-service provider, I'd see all the lead magnets that you were most interested in because you signed up for them.

So think of lead magnets, number one, as a way to grow your email list. Number two, to reengage those that are already in your community. The more content that they consume from you, the more you become their go-to source. So, yeah, my customer support could be emailing somebody already on my list, or maybe not, but having a really great lead magnet, like just a short blurb of what it's about and a link to it in their email signature, is always a good idea. So do it for yourself, have your virtual assistant do it, have anyone on your team that's emailing potential customers to include a short little blurb and a link to your lead magnet in their email signature. Super simple. You could do it within five minutes, so go do it right away.

So there you have it. Three ways to grow your email list, whether you're aiming for your first 250 subscribers or your next thousand. I want to encourage you to implement each of these strategies. Do one at a time. But if you implement all three of them, plus the easy bonus strategy, you will continuously be growing your email list. Remember, in the beginning when you don't have it all figured out, it feels like a lot of work, and you're really focused on it, getting the foundation set up, making sure you've got the right lead magnets, driving traffic to it. But once everything gets going, it really does feel like autopilot most of the time for me. So I don't think of growing my email list every day. I know I've got enough opportunities out there that will help me grow my email list without me having to get my hands in there and always be tinkering with it.

So it does get easier, my friend. And you will start to really love the topic of list building once you've got things ironed out. So give yourself a little time to set that foundation. You'll get there.

Now, to recap the strategies. Strategy number one, do a little SEO digging and use specific keywords and phrases to drive traffic to your lead magnet. Strategy number two, get into Facebook groups open minded. Remember, I want you to mingle in there and offer value so that you can eventually encourage them to sign up for your lead magnet. Strategy number three, use pop ups on your website to drive attention to your lead magnet and make it irresistible. And, of course, the bonus strategy that you can do in the next five minutes, add your lead magnet opt-in link to your email signature.

I want you to head on over to the free Online Marketing Made Easy Facebook group and share which strategy you're going to implement first, and then give us a little sneak peek into how you're going to use it. This little accountability step, jumping into the Online Marketing Made Easy Facebook group and telling us what you're going to do first, will keep you on track. You do not have to do this alone. There is a group of other like-minded entrepreneurs growing their email list every day waiting for you in my Facebook group. So jump on over. Let us know what you're going to do first.

All right. Thanks so much for hanging out with me this week. I can't wait to do it again same time, same place next week. Bye for now.

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