FOURTEEN High-Converting List-building Strategies that Won’t Cost You a Penny

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Creating an epic Lead Magnet is the first of many steps you need to take to grow your email list. 

Now, here’s what often happens…

1) You spend hours agonising over your lead magnet

2) You sweat blood connecting the tech together and building your opt-in page

3) Then you stay up til 1am five nights straight, trying to piece together the perfect nurture sequence

Finally, you get there.  You hit ‘Activate’ on your autoresponder.  It’s all systems go.  And then…


After all the tears, torture and bloodshed you generate one, single sign-up to your email list by the end of week 1 (and it’s your mum).  Unless of course you’ve got some spare cash tucked behind the sofa cushions to cover the cost of a 6-month Facebook Ad campaign.

Sound familiar? 

If so, you’re not alone.  Building up your email list can feel like wading through quicksand carrying a two-tonne rhino on your back. 

And when progress is this slow, it’s not surprising many entrepreneurs give up on email marketing as a waste of their time.

So, if you’re fed up of watching your email list stagnating below the 100 subscriber mark for what seems like FOREVER, buckle up because I’m about to show you FOURTEEN high-converting list-building strategies that won’t cost you a penny.

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1) Your homepage

When a new visitor visits your homepage to check out what you do, you don’t want to let them leave without taking the next step.  But what do you do if they’re not quite ready to book a call or send you an email enquiry? 

One option is to direct them to a section on your homepage where they can get hold of your free resource.  It’s the perfect way for you to move your prospect closer to buying from you, without asking them to make a huge commitment.

2) A resources page

If you have several lead magnets (and maybe some paid products too), why not pull them all together into a dedicated resources page on your website?  You can create a small ‘shop window’ right on your website, where you can display all your offers together in one place.

3) Pop-ups

Are pop-ups annoying?  Kind of…yes…but the reason so many websites use them is because they work.  You can easily create opt-in pop-ups using a WordPress plugin or an integration from your landing page software.  If you’re worried about your pop-ups being too intrusive, you can also purchase plug-ins which allow you to create more subtle slide-in opt-in forms.   

4) At the end of your blog posts

If a visitor has read all the way to the bottom of your blog, it’s likely that they enjoyed what you had to say and they’re interested in what you do.  What better time to ask them to keep in touch?  They know you’re an expert so they’re far more likely to say yes to your lead magnet after reading your blog post.

5) Your email signature

If email is your No.1 method of communication with your clients and prospects, it totally makes sense to make the most of the valuable real estate at the bottom of your emails.  Stick a link to your lead magnet at the end of your email signature and you’ll start to generate more opt-ins from your regular email flow.

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6) Your LinkedIn bio

Let’s be honest, most people’s LinkedIn bios are duller than an autumn day in Yorkshire.  This is a great opportunity for you to stand out by showing some flair and a flash of personality.  Once you’ve wowed your profile-viewers with a killer story, make sure you leave a link to your lead magnet so they can get to know you better.

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7) Your LinkedIn media links

Every LinkedIn profile has space for up to 10 media links.  Most people don’t make use of this valuable online real estate.  You can use your media links as a place to showcase your lead magnet (or lead magnets) in a prominent spot on your LinkedIn profile.

8) Your Instagram bio

Instagram bios are slightly annoying as they only let you promote one link at a time.  So, you can either use your one link to take profile viewers directly to your lead magnet OR you can set up a LinkTree with a lead magnet button.

9) Facebook and LinkedIn cover images

Wherever your social media profiles give you the option to set up a banner or cover image, it’s a great place to add in a link to your lead magnet.  Although these images don’t give you the option to set up an active hyperlink, you can still use your image to drive traffic to your opt-in page. Simply create a memorable link and type it over the top of your image when you create it in Canva.  You can do this for your Facebook personal page, business page, groups and LinkedIn profile.

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10) Your personal Facebook bio

At the top of your personal Facebook profile is a small bio section, where you can share a snippet of info about what you do.  Pop your memorable link in your personal bio so that anyone checking you out can follow the breadcrumbs until they get to your opt-in page.

11) Social media promo posts

Once a week I like to write a post specifically designed to promote my lead magnet.  But here’s what NOT to write ‘Want my lead magnet? Here’s where you can get my lead magnet.’   Why not?  Because this kind of post is boring, gets zero engagement and therefore zero sign-ups.  Frame your promotional post within an interesting story and you’re far more likely to hook people in and grease them up to download your freebie.

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12) Mention your lead magnet in the p.s of ALL your social posts

Worried that this might be overkill?  Well, I do this in every single one of my social media posts and I STILL get people telling me they had no idea I had free resources on offer.  That’s because people are paying attention far less than we like to think.  Which means it pays to repeat yourself over and over and over again.       

13) In the CTA at the end of your videos or vlogs

If you create a vlog, YouTube or IGTV videos, make sure you instruct your viewers to download a copy of your lead magnet in the Call to Action at the end of your video.  Chances are, if someone’s watched that far into your video, they’re very into you and will be excited to take your relationship a step further.

14) In promo threads in Facebook groups

Some Facebook group hosts will run weekly or monthly promo threads where you have their permission to share your products or services to members of their group.  These threads are a great opportunity to open your lead magnet up to a wider audience.  So, if you have permission – get promoting!  A word of warning – make sure your pitch is top notch.  Most people sharing their offers in promotional threads do a terrible job of selling the benefits of what they’re offering.  Take advantage of their weaknesses and include a killer hook to get other group members to sign up to your lead magnet.

It might feel like you’re banging on about your lead magnet all day every day…and so it should.  Trust me when I say this, you’re not being anywhere near as annoying as you think you are when you keep reminding people about how they can sign up to your list.

As with all your marketing, consistency is key.  The more you promote, the more opt-ins you’ll get and the more lovely sales you’ll generate from your email list.

So, if you’ve been struggling to gain traction as you build your list, make sure you give all these strategies a try.  I mean, why the hell not? They won’t cost you a penny!   

Is your messaging drowning in a sea of BORING content?  

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