CG #42 - A simple way to build your email list

October 22, 2022
Nathan Rodgers
Build your email list by creating a simple, free lead magnet you can give away in exchange for your ideal clients' emails.

I had some big plans for this week.

I was going to create a new application funnel for my business, and start sending some cold emails (both tactics I plan to talk about in future issues).

But my kids got sick and I had to put those plans on hold until next week.

Or maybe I just used that as an excuse to avoid doing something that triggers my doubts and fears.

This week I Tweeted about how even though I've been an entrepreneur for 8 years, there are still five momentum killers I struggle with on an almost daily basis:

- Self-doubt

- Fear of failure

- Fear of success

- Imposter syndrome

- Chasing shiny objects

The only way I know how to deal with these things is just to take action anyway.

So, I have committed to getting that funnel built and sending those first cold emails next week no matter way.

As you read today's issue, you'll see how easy it can be to build your email list, which is a core asset you should be focused on in your businses.

But your own doubts and demons may stop you from taking action.

Or maybe you're so busy that you feel like you barely have time to breathe (a feeling I'm familiar with).

You can do everything I talk about in today's issue in less than 4 hours, and it's something that can pay huge dividends in the future.

You just have to make the time, ignore the dobts and fears, and do it.

So here we go...

Client-Getting Strategy of the Week:



Build your email list by creating a simple, free lead magnet you can give away in exchange for your ideal clients' emails.

How it Works:

I've seen too many small business websites that have some version of a very boring form asking people to subscribe to "stay up to date".

I can't imagine that many people ever fill out those forms.

A better way to get people onto your list is to create a free lead magnet that attracts the kind of person who wants to buy what you are selling by giving them something of value upfront.

A lead magnet can be almost anything someone would be willing to give their email for.

In past issues, I've talked about lead magnets like 5-day challenges, quiz funnels, 5-day minicourses, and a book giveaway.

While these are great ways to get more leads, they are all also time-consuming to create.

In this issue I will share an easy way you could have a lead magnet ready to go by tomorrow:

Create a simple checklist or cheatsheet in a PDF.

Here's how to do it:

1. Brainstorm a list of lead magnet ideas

They should be something you could create in 45 minutes or less AND that solves a problem your ideal client is dealing with.


  • Mistakes to avoid
  • Things to do to get / achieve X
  • Steps to get / do X
  • A summary of a framework you use in your business

2. Choose one idea from the list and write a first draft

Set a 45-minute timer, and get a first draft done in Google Docs or Word.

That's how simple this lead magnet can be. It's something you can draft in less than an hour.

3. Edit your draft and add basic formatting

If you want to make it look nicer, use a Canva template or hire a graphic designer on Fiverr

4. Turn your document into a PDF

Upload the PDF to Google Docs or Dropbox or and get a shareable URL (you’ll need this for the automated email you send).

An alternative to Google Docs/Dropbox: many landing page builders and email marketing platforms give you a way to add a digital product as well.

5. Create a simple landing page

(If you don't already have a website builder or an email marketing platform where you can do this, I recommend ConvertKit.)

Your landing page only needs four things:

A. Headline

A simple formula for the headline is "How to [Result/Goal] in as Little as [Timeframe] .... even if you [Obstacle/Objection]"

B. Sub-headline

Your subheadline should back up the claim in your headline and introduce your lead magnet in 1-2 sentences.

C. Form for first name and email

At a minimum, you need to collect an email address. If you want to personalize messages, you can ask for a first name.

Except in rare circumstances, you shouldn't ask for any more information. Each additional piece of information you request will reduce the number of conversions.

D. Call to Action button

Your Call-to-Action button should have two characteristics:

  1. An action-focused text like "Get my free report today"
  2. A fill color that contrasts with the rest of the page. Red, orange and yellow work well.

Here's an example:

6. Create a Thank You Page

The Thank You Page is a simple page that lets your visitor know their information was received and makes them feel good about doing it.

It also tells them what to expect next.

7. Tag the contact and add them to your email list

This marks the contacts so that you know they came from this lead magnet. In the future, this segmentation will help you know where people on your list came from so you can send messages accordingly.

8. Set up an automated email to deliver the lead magnet

You need to create an automated email that delivers your lead magnet.

If you don't do this, you'll have to manually send an email each time someone subscribes, and that would be a painful and inefficient way to do it.

The email should include the download link for the PDF.

Now you have a lead magnet you can use to build your email list.

You can also go back to your website and replace that old "subscribe to stay up to date form" with a button or link that takes people to your lead magnet landing page.

(You can also create a form or popup directly on your website to give it away.)

Keys to Success:

Solve a real problem

Your lead magnet should provide quick value to your ideal clients by helping them solve an immediate problem related to the service you are offering.

If it doesn't work, test

If you're getting traffic to your page, but not many opt-ins, start testing.

Try different headlines.

Try different sub-headlines.

Try different Calls-to-action.

If nothing you try brings in more conversions, then you may have to try a new lead magnet.

Just don't give up.

Additional Resources:

To learn the full detailed steps of how to create a lead magnet, a landing page to give it away, and set up an auto-responder email (with a template), check out my Beginner's Guide to Getting Started with Email Marketing.

Something Else You Might Like

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That's it for today.

- Nathan

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