How to Grow Your Small Business Email List Without An Lead Magnet
After reading that headline, you may be thinking:
What?!? No opt-in? But that goes against everything marketing coaches talk about??? That’s impossible.
To which I say…
Here’s the deal:
It is 100% possible to grow your email list WITHOUT an opt-in or lead magnet of any kind.
There are two ways to do it in fact, and both of them fall under the same category: relationship marketing. One requires face-to-face interaction and one does not.
So yeah, there literally is something for every level of introvert and extrovert.
Method 1: Social Media Engagement
I’m not just talking about scrolling and liking here, friend. A “like” is not true engagement. It’s action, but so is a smile at a stranger. Doesn’t mean I want to actually talk to them.
In this case, I am talking about engagement by:
→ Sourcing people you can help via hashtags
→ Commenting thoughtfully on their posts & offering value
→ Eventually sliding into the DMs
I say “eventually” because you truly need to establish a rapport and make sure they are replying to comments (on profile or via DM), following you back, and establishing a two-way relationship before you can move the relationship off social.
Once that is built, then you can ask them for an email address to send over a helpful tip, schedule a call, etc. Boom! Email list growth.
Granted, it’s a slower growth process like the farmer approach here, but it WORKS and is therefore a solid option for those who:
→ do not want to make an opt-in
→ do not have money to spend ads to promote it
→ who love to engage on social media
Method 2: Networking
This is the perfect fit for my social butterflies who LOVE to get out and about talking to people.
Here’s what you do:
→ At each event you go to, whether it’s an official networking one or just a social occasion, seek to make three new connections.
→ Get the business cards of those people to connect post-event.
→ Reach out with 1:1 emails a few days later with a followup about what you discussed and how you’d like to continue chatting OR simply how nice it was to meet them.
→ Be sure to mention you’d like to stay in touch via your email list with [FILL IN THE BLANK] information you think they’d find helpful.
→ Add them into your email marketing platform and appropriate segment lists
Do NOT add them to a segmented list or input tags without making sure you have established a relationship. That is how you get spam complaints that will hurt your sender reputation.
If you do not feel comfortable adding them after your followup email, add them to a “New Connections” list first. Then, the first of each month you send out a “what you can expect” email to that group explaining the benefits of staying on your email list.
As long as they don’t unsubscribe, then you move them from New Connections to the other tags/segmented lists where they should live.
Boom! Email list growth.
Two approaches, no opt-in. You’re welcome.