How To Create a Free Email List Even Without A Website
This paradox is what many business owners find difficult to accept: While you’re supposed to build your email list before you launch, how do you get leads for something that doesn’t exist online?
This is basically saying, “Hey, sign-up for my thing.” It’s going to be a thing, I swear!
Imagine if I told that Harry’s shaving brand collected 100,000 email addresses before the product was available for purchase. Below is how it was done. But that’s only one example of many that show that email marketing can be done without a website.
Below are five strategies that you can use to build your email list without having to have a website.
1. Host a Giveaway
Giveaways are a great way to grow your list quickly. There are a few reasons giveaways work so well:
People love to get free stuff, so you can offer something before the product is ready.
Your campaign will feel more urgent due to the deadline-driven nature of giveaways.
Partnering with other businesses or influencers can help you increase the virality and reach of your giveaways.
You can use the products of your partners even if you don’t have your product ready.
Are you still skeptical that this stuff works? Rafflecopter’s own giveaway software helped it grow its email list from zero up to 35,000. By partnering with brands, Who Needs Maps was able to double its email list in just seven days. In just ten days, Foundr had 13,603 signups for email.
If you don’t have a product, find a giveaway prize.
It would surprise you how many businesses are willing to give their products as prizes in your giveaway. It’s up to you to ask, “What’s in the deal for them?”
Sponsors are often attracted to giveaways if they can be proven impressive by sharing their email lists or social media followers.
However, if you are reading this post, chances are you don’t have much reach. Another option is to offer to share email addresses collected from the giveaway with the sponsoring company. This will allow you to inform participants that third parties may have access to their information.
Mariah Coz, Femtrepreneur, explains how she did it. After she had launched her giveaway and collected new email addresses for her main mailing list, she kept her giveaway separate. Her target audience was business owners who were interested in webinars. The first email she sent to her new subscribers included a call to action for them to unsubscribe if that wasn’t their preference.
The launch sequence included three emails promoting her online course, How to Use Webinars in Your Business. Those who stayed on her list were then sent three more emails. Here are the exact templates for her post-giveaway email sequence.
How to host a giveaway even if you don’t have a website
Even if your website is not available, you can still host a giveaway using these sites.
The giveaway will be hosted on their platform. You’ll receive a link that you can share or embed anywhere else.
Giveaways are a great way to increase your email list. People love getting free stuff. The downside to using giveaways for growing your email list? People love free stuff.
This means that you will likely attract many people who signed up only to win the prize. It’s okay. This means that you must filter out people who aren’t interested in your business.
2. Create a simple landing page for ‘Coming Soon.
Although building a website for your business is time-consuming, you don’t have to stop at a landing page that collects email addresses and allows you to launch your site right away.
Our friends at Harry’s! The brand was launched to over 100,000 subscribers via email in March 2013. Jeff Raider, the co-founder of the brand, explains how they did it in this Tim Ferriss blog.
Harry has created a 2-page “microsite” using these elements.
A splash page that stated “Harry’s is Coming” and requested an email address to be the first to Know.
Another page with a referral reward program. It had a shareable link—the more people who subscribed, the greater the prize for the entrant.
Raider doesn’t mention paid advertising for their microsite pre-launch. It sounds like word-of-mouth marketing was their best friend during this phase due to the virality of their referral rewards program.
How can you achieve something like Harry did?
Step 1: Pick a landing page tool.
Instapage and Leadpages allow you to quickly set up a one-page website to collect email addresses.
How to create an email list using Leadpages
Step 2: Choose an email marketing service.
There are several options:
Get a Response
MailChimp is a free service that allows you to have up to 2000 subscribers. I recommend it.
Step 3: Integrate your email service into your landing page.
You will now need to link your email service to your landing pages. Search the helpdesk for your landing page tool to learn how to do this. This guide will show you how to link Leadpages and MailChimp.
Step 3.1 (Optional): Add referral capability.
You can really increase the number of subscribers to your list by creating virality on your landing page. Referring subscribers to other subscribers can be a way to do this.
Harry has done this without any technical knowledge. You can use their pre-launch campaign code here if you have that knowledge. There’s an easier way if you don’t have access to a developer. KickoffLabs AnyForm integration can be used to give a viral boost to referral tracking to Instapage or Leadpages.
Step 4: Tell your family and friends.
Send a personal email to your family members and friends asking them to spread the word. If you have contacts in your industry, don’t forget to email them. Harry was fortunate to have this connection. Do not be afraid to try. Start somewhere.
This is the quickest way to set up an email opt-in landing page.
If you find the above steps a little too tricky, your email marketing service has an easier, faster, and cheaper way to create an opt-in landing page.
Each MailChimp and Aweber have built-in landing pages. They won’t allow you to manage referral programs and will not be as customizable, but they can be used for simple purposes like sending people an invitation to join your email list.
This is how it looks in MailChimp. Simply go to Lists > Signup Forms:
MailChimp allows you to create an email list with no website.
Select Form Builder to create a signup page that will give you a unique URL.
If word-of-mouth marketing isn’t enough, you might consider investing in Facebook ads or other social media sites to drive visitors to your landing page.