1,103 subscribers to be exact.

Despite knowing how crucial it is to grow and nurture an email list, it’s never been a major focus of mine – until now. As I spend more time growing my business profiles on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, I’m becoming increasingly aware that I can’t rely on these platforms to ensure that my content has maximum reach. Continually changing algorithms can often hinder this goal. 

Grow Your List


  1. Email is personal
    There is no algorithm that controls who sees your email. It’s also private, helping to build a connection and trust.
  2. Subscribers are Receptive
    They have opted in to receive information from you. Just make sure you provide value in order to keep their attention and trust.
  3. Segmentation
    You can use software to segment your list, providing hyper relevant information to people which increase the chance of conversions (such as sales, sign ups, etc).
  4. Ownership & Control
    The email list is yours to keep and isn’t owned by a social media platform.
  5. Most People have Email
    There are over 3.8 billion email accounts (half the population) in comparison to Facebook’s user base of 1.4 billion.

60% of consumers sign up for brand emails with the expectation of getting promotional emails in their inbox, but the same can’t be said for the 20% of folks who follow brands on social media.

Email vs Social MediaImage by Optin Monster


A perfect example as to why I need an email list is YouTube. People express interest in my videos by hitting the subscribe button…BUT, YouTube’s algorithm decides when to send subscriber notifications based on a number of determining factors.

watch history, how frequently you watch videos from the channel, how popular certain videos are, and how often you open notifications..

This means that not all my uploaded videos will be shared with a subscriber. I stopped uploading videos for many months and when I returned, discovered that a big number of my subscribers no longer received notifications due to inactivity and to this day, have no way of reengaging with them. A lot of hard work and time went into connecting with them.

If I had an email list, it would have minimised this from happening and I could have re-engaged with my subscribers directly.


Mailing List Growth

I started the email list 5 weeks ago and in that time it amassed 54 subscribers. Yes. 54. A smidge over 10 subscribers per week. Pretty dismal I know!

This is the simple popup on my website that receives 125,000 visitors per month. The number of conversions have been low considering the amount of traffic the website receives. It needs some work. It needs something more enticing…

Newsletter Popup

Seeing these numbers encouraged me to really lift my game and focus on growing my list and providing more value to my visitors. For some time I’ve been following Justin Brown from Primal Video to learn how to use my camera gear but I stumbled across his How to Build an Email List Fast video which references his free workshop that covers 3 simple steps to building a list (automated).


The basic principle for Justin’s method is giving away a lead magnet (free valuable content) that is directly related to your existing media. To get access a visitor simply needs to provide their email address and subscribe.

In my case, the lead magnet is a Home Cocktail Bar Checklist and so far I have only mentioned it once in a YouTube video (you can watch it here). The key is providing something of value that your followers/subscribers/viewers will appreciate – get feedback, test it and tweak it. So far my feedback has been very positive with only a few small refinements needed. You don’t need to start with a professionally designed, 50+ page eBook – it can be a work in progress (like mine!). It’s as simple as this (to start with):

Lead Magnet

Getting feedback on the product (Lead Magnet) also develops the relationship with your new subscriber as they are an active and integral part of the refinement process.

The video I mentioned the Home Bar Checklist in has had 4,398 views, the Bit.ly landing page link has had 374 clicks (CTR 8.5%!) and 294 that actually subscribed to the list for a conversion rate of 6.7% of video views. I’m pretty happy with that!

Of course, it helps considerably to have an existing audience to promote to.  Use the relevant channels where you will find your audience.YouTube Lead Magnet

If you don’t have a YouTube channel then you can promote your Lead Magnet in various ways including on your website (blog article, Hello Bar call out, etc.), social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or on someone else’s website (via guest posting, Medium.com, etc.).


Justin runs through setting up the automation for collecting the email address (the landing page) and delivering the lead magnet (PDF file). The automation apps he recommends are either Active Campaign (from $15/month) and Convert Kit (from $29/month). He explains, in great detail, how to set up both these apps for automation. However, I didn’t particularly want to commit to yet another monthly fee considering I’m already paying $130/month for Mailchimp for my other email lists.

Plus, after the success of my first 24 hours, it wouldn’t be long before I would be paying at least double those minimum monthly fees.

If you aren’t already utilising Mailchimp then I’d recommend looking into cheaper options such as MailerLite or SendFox. Both of which incorporate features such as automation and landing pages, making it easy to set up this process and combining multiple features within the suite.


Yes! I use WordPress for my website. There are plenty of landing page plugins out there but I seemed to be endlessly looking for a suitable and simple substitute I could use. My requirements weren’t hard – it had to be inexpensive (preferably no monthly fees), be able to collect emails, deliver the file and look good. Simple.

I downloaded, installed and tested at least 10 both free and paid plugins before discovering they were outdated, clunky, over complicated with features or just weren’t suitable… until I stumbled across Fatcat Apps – I had used their Optin plugin many years ago and I remember how good their plugins were.

Here’s an example of their in-post subscribe box. Go ahead, test it out 😉

Learn the Art of Optimising
Subscribe to receive the latest to your inbox!
We respect your privacy.

The Fatcat team has now created probably the most straight forward landing page plugin currently available, Landing Page Cat (paid version). It’s a no fuss, easy to use plugin and it’s easy as adding:

  1. A background image
  2. List of benefits
  3. Call to action
  4. Connect to your mail provider (Mailchimp + 8 others)
  5. Publish!

The free version is missing only a few features but after testing it, I immediately opted for the paid version so that I could use the redirect feature on submission (redirecting a new subscriber to the PDF file after hitting Download). The paid version is very inexpensive but you can test out the free version first.

Here’s my landing page, which is responsive too. Simple yet effective.

Landing Page


Next, I ran a small giveaway. It doesn’t have to be something huge. I’m currently offering a book that we retail for $37.95 which has so far netted us 809 subscribers within 24 hours.

Great result so far and we have over a week left to go! You can enter the giveaway here.

I stumbled across a giveaway app on my searches, called King Sumo. Yet again, I was blown away with the simplicity and functionality of this app. They thought of every aspect yet it’s so easy to use. The best part is, they have a fully functional version of the app for free. Note that there are two versions available. Avoid the older WordPress plugin. Opt for the new standalone version which is super easy to use, functional and can still be embedded within your own website as you can see here:

Giveaway EmbedThe visitor has to use their email address or sign in with Facebook to enter. On doing so, they are presented with additional options to gain more entries – most of which require sharing on social media which creates a viral effect.

Viral Giveaway

So far I’ve had 860 entrants within 24 hours! The viral effect has been created by people’s desire to get additional entries, resulting in the majority of people sharing. We’ve also received approximately 100+ new Facebook followers and 200+ Instagram followers – all within 24 hours.


Here’s an easy step by step list to make it a little easier to execute:


  1. Watch Justin’s Free Workshop
  2. Create a Lead Magnet (PDF file, how to, checklist, etc.)
  3. Create a Landing Page (& connect to Mail Provider)
  4. Share the link and mention your Lead Magnet!
    (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, website, etc.)


  1. Create your giveaway on King Sumo
  2. Embed on your website
  3. Promote the link
    (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, website, etc.)

Hopefully you found this useful! Let me know in the comments below.

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