Growing Your Email List to 1000+ When You’re Starting from 0

Let’s be completely honest.

You want to grow your website so that it’s making you millions of dollars.

I’m not saying that money is everything, but if you had the chance to grow your website to become your primary source of income, you’d do it in a heartbeat.

To do this, you’re going to have to find your tribe of people who love what you do. Those are people who will share your content regularly, comment on the articles you write and pretty much follow everything you do.

Who are these people? They’re the ones who will opt into your email newsletter.

Here’s a slideshow presentation for all the information in one place: Building An Email List For The Average Joe

Why Build an Email Newsletter?

The click-through rate and ROI (Return On Investment) are both much higher for email subscribers than those who find you on Google, Facebook or Twitter.


  • You want to find your most loyal audience
  • You want to grow your traffic through them
  • You want to establish trust and authority with that audience so that down the road, they’ll become customers

You’ll need to write some great content and provide some real value to readers, but once you’ve gotten the hang of that, you’ll be off to the races!

What Kind of Newsletter?

This is something you’ll want to decide before moving forward. Have a plan that you’re ready to execute with regards to what kind of emails you’re going to send out to people on a regular basis.

  • Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
  • Industry news? Opinion pieces? How-to guides?
  • What value are you providing in your industry?

Email Tools

Now that you have an idea of what kind of email you want to be sending out to potential customers, it’s time to select an email management tool. These are some of the most popular and effective on the market.


WordPress Plugins

Now that you have your email management set up, you’ll need a way for your visitors to opt-in to your list. Here are the best plugins available to connect the visitors of your WordPress site.


Decide on A Freebie

Everybody loves to get something free! Here are a few options of freebies you can offer to your visitors for subscribing to your email list.

  • Content (PDF)
  • Course sign up
  • Product / Service
  • Exclusivity
  • Giveaway


Optimize For Conversion

Now you need to add opportunities around your WordPress site that will entice people to sign up for your email newsletter. You can follow this guide, but here are the main points.

  • Add opt-in opportunities across site
  • Offer freebie with newsletter sign up
  • Test and use data to drive decisions!


Create a Tracking System

Most people stop here! I can collect email addresses now, so that’s a win, right?

Not quite. You need to be able to measure how many people are signing up to your email newsletter and compare that number to your overall traffic. 1/10 visitors signing up is going to get you somewhere, but 1/1000 is going to leave you spinning your wheels.

  • When someone opts in, send them to a Thanks / Almost Finished page
  • Ask them to check spam!
  • Tracking this as a goal in Google Analytics



Welcome Series

All the email tools we mentioned above have the ability to send out a set of emails automatically to new subscribers. This is your way to start building a trusting relationship with potential customers.

  • Set expectations
  • Link to your best content
  • Start relationship building
  • More touches with potential customers


Get Targeted Traffic

Now’s the time to start increasing the traffic on your website. There are thousands of ways of doing this, but here are a few that have helped me grow WP Buffs.

  • Facebook / Twitter ads
  • Google AdSense
  • Guest blogging
  • Answer questions on Quora
  • Reach out to people with klout (with something awesome)
  • SEO

My golden rule is to try 3 non-paid marketing strategies for at least 3 months before moving on to something else! It takes a bit of time to gain traction, visibility, and some notoriety so give yourself some time to be successful.

Answering questions on Quora didn’t pay off immediately for me, but after about a month of answering questions in detail, my posts are starting to win me viewership.


I’ve also done some guest posting, which brings traffic back to my site every month. How to Get Quality Backlinks to Your Site brings regular visitors to my website!

Always Be Building Relationships

Last but certainly not least, always be reaching out to others in your industry. Developing personal relationships with others will help you find cross-promotion opportunities on social media and in other newsletters. This is a win-win situation, so make sure you reach out and keep in touch.

I email my close contacts in the WordPress community regularly just asking how I can support them. We help each other out, and all our businesses grow.


Email marketing can be one of the most powerful growth opportunities for any online business. Try it out for yourself and take your time to let your list and audience grow organically, and you’ll be receiving repeat visitors from your most loyal fans before you know it!

jhhJoe is the Head Buff at WP Buffs, where customer websites are kept happy and healthy 24/7/365! WordPress technical support that offers unlimited edits, daily maintenance / cloud backups and a full suite of security – what else could your website ask for? Start your 7-day free trial today!