how to grow your email list

In this week’s post, we’ll be talking all about how to grow your email list. 

Last week we touched on how to write emails people want to read; but to write those emails and use them to build connections with your audience, you first need to get people on the email list. 

The way that you do this is by pulling them into your world and making your email list a place that they genuinely want to be a part of. And the best way to achieve this is by using a good lead magnet!

I’ll dive into the differences between a freebie and a lead magnet, as well as what goes into creating a true lead magnet for your business. 

The differences between a freebie and a lead magnet

If you have been in the online business world, you’re most likely familiar with freebies or opt-in offers. These are things that you give away to people for free. A lead magnet, on the other hand, is much more thought-out and strategic.  

The lead magnet is all about attracting the right kind of people to your email list with that free offer. This means the focus is on finding qualified leads: people who are interested in what your lead magnet offers, but who are also a good fit for your paid offers.

What goes into creating a true lead magnet?

When it comes to creating a lead magnet, there are a few things to keep in mind…

The lead magnet should do these three things:

It should solve a need or a challenge the person is having. 

Create something that fills a gap that exists in their life or business. Focus on finding a small pain point, a need,  or a challenge that somebody who will eventually be a good fit for your services is facing. How can you solve it in a free way with your lead magnet? Be careful not to give away too much of your secret sauce! It shouldn’t ever replace the need for your services. 

It should also create a desire for more. 

Ideally, the need or challenge you’re solving with the freebie should uncover another need, or at least help the person recognize that there’s a next step that needs to be taken. 

The need you’re solving should be closely related to the next natural step or the paid offer that a lead might be interested in. You might even want to consider different lead magnets for your different offers, because while it might be easy to funnel someone from a PDF download into a mini-course, it would be harder to funnel that same person into a mid-ticket program or a 1:1 service. It’s important to pay attention to where your freebie falls in the greater scheme of things. Does it create a desire for more, and is that desire for more solved by your products or services? 

It needs to sell! 

To do this, you’ll need to start building trust with your audience within your lead magnet. One of the best ways to build this trust is by allowing the user to get to know you and your business, and most importantly give them a taste of the magic you bring with your work. What is the value that only YOU can provide? You’ll also need to ask for the sale, you need to make an offer.

how to grow your email list

How to sell your lead magnet

I see so many entrepreneurs miss out on the opportunity to sell their lead magnet. I know it can sound strange to have to sell something that’s technically free, but you still have to take the time to sell it. 

For example, think about how many people are hesitant or don’t give out their email addresses. It’s not always an easy task to get people to sign up for emails. That’s why, to sell your freebie, it’s important to make it sound worthwhile. 

I recommend applying sales copywriting to start selling your freebie. People need to know why they should want to receive your emails, so it’s important to be crystal clear on why they need to opt-in.

One of the best places to sell your freebie is on the opt-in landing page itself, i.e. the page where you’re asking people to register for your free offer. This gets overlooked often. 

If you’re just slapping something together that says, “Sign up here for my free ebook”, you might get some sign-ups… but you’re not going to get as many as you could get with an optimized landing page. So, get clear on why someone should sign up for your freebie and communicate what’s in it for them!

The importance of following up

How many times have you downloaded a freebie and then never actually opened it? Or maybe you’ve signed up for a webinar or masterclass that you never showed up for? That’s why it’s important to continue selling your freebie even after you’ve convinced someone to sign up. 

We need to be selling the opt-in after the person signed up. To do this, you can check out my welcome sequence email template which helps you sell why someone should use your lead magnet inside of the delivery email.

If you have a freebie in your business already, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Is the freebie acting as a true lead magnet? Does it make sense for the bigger picture of my business and customer journey? Is it helping to attract qualified leads?
  2. Am I doing a good job of selling the lead magnet? Am I applying conversion copywriting principles? Do I understand the value of the lead magnet? 

Coffee Break

For this week’s coffee break exercise, I want you to pull up your opt-in landing page, and take a look at the headline. If the headline just says, “Sign up for my free XYZ”, then I want you to get rid of that completely and instead speak directly to the outcome or result your freebie will deliver. 

Think about the mini transformation or quick win outcome that someone can expect from downloading and using your lead magnet. Then, communicate that super clearly in the headline of your landing page!

How to Grow Your Email List: Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet: The Bottomline

To build your email list it’s important to not just offer a freebie, but offer a true lead magnet: a freebie that has thought and strategy behind it. It’s important the freebie will attract the right people to your business. It’s equally important to make sure that the people who take part in your free offer will also have a future desire for your paid offers.

So often I see entrepreneurs make the mistake of forgetting to sell their freebie offer. This is crucial for your business! Not many people are willing to give out their email addresses, so helping people see why they need to be a part of your email list is key.

welcome sequence email copy templates

Thank you for reading!

If you love what you learned, be sure to connect with me over on Instagram and share your biggest takeaways. I’d love to hear from you! See you back here in the next post — and remember, I’m rooting for you, always. 



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  1. Welcome Sequences: How to Nurture and Invite People Who Join Your Email List — Megan Taylor - […] week, we touched on how to grow your email list with a strong lead magnet. Now that you have…

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Welcome! I’m Megan Taylor — copywriter for online entrepreneurs, bookworm, and founder of The Copy Template Shop. I believe that anyone can write strong copy, and I’m here to teach you how to write words that sell your online offers while prioritizing real connection, serving your audience, and simply being who you are.

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Megan Taylor is a messaging expert and copywriter for online entrepreneurs. She helps her clients stop marketing aimlessly and start building real relationships with the people they feel driven to serve. More 

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