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[Ultimate Guide] Build An Email List Fast

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The money is in the list and you need clients for your freelance business. So when you combine both things together, magic happens. Build an email list and create relationships with potential clients. Problem is, you don’t have the money to throw at paid ads. So check out this guide to learn how you can build an email list fast and for free.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links’. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Sign up to email marketing software


Email marketing software is a tool that you need so that you can get email addresses and monetize them.

Monetize your email list by following up with your lead. Pitch your services to them. If that doesn’t work you can continue to send newsletters that sell products you create or are an affiliate of.

If you’re not too sure what an affiliate is. An affiliate is someone who promotes a product that someone else has created. If a person buys the product through your affiliate link, you get a commission in return.

But you’re a freelancer, you want to be selling your services first. That’s what your goal is first.

Though as a freelancer, you want something that’s affordable. Affordable if you’re stuck in the famine or feast cycle. Or you could end up right back there.

Get Response is perfect for freelancers who are seeking affordable email marketing software.

With Get Response, you can create

  • Landing pages
  • Autoresponders
  • Newsletters
  • Add files
  • Build a website

and so much more…

It really is the tool that freelancers need to grab those leads and then follow up with them. Watch the video below.

Claim your free trial of GetResponse

GetResponse will give you a 30-day free trial when you sign up here.

With the free trial, you’ll be able to use Get Response as if you were a paying customer.

Give GetResponse a go for free and turn your website into a lead-generating matching.

To get started, you can create a list inside GetResponse. Then using the tools available, create an autoresponder so that you follow up with your leads.

But to get those leads, GetResponse has tools available to put popup forms onto your website. So whenever a lead lands on your website, you can get their email address to follow up with them.

By the end of your 30-day free trial with GetResponse, the email marketing software will be paying for itself. You won’t be left with a small monthly charge.

Instead, you’ll have a stream of clients. A stream flowing from your website to you asking to work with you.

Setting up your GetResponse account

Setting up a GetResponse account is easy to do.

Sign up to get your free trial using your email address and verifying your phone number. Also, give some basic details about you. Really, that’s all you need to open an account.

After you’ve opened your account, you need to set yourself up for success.

Firstly, you need to create a list. This is the list that will hold the email addresses of your leads that you can send emails to.

Create a list

build an email list with Get Response

Once you’ve clicked ‘Lists’ you can create your first list. When naming your list, stick to lowercase letters, numbers, and the underscore. Otherwise, the platform won’t accept it as a list name.

Now you have a list, it needs filling up. But before you start filling that email list, you need an offer.

Your offer is the reason why the lead will give them your email address. This is known as a lead magnet.

Create a lead magnet

To build an email list, you need to give people a reason why they should sign up for your email list.

This is where lead magnets come in. Lead magnets are tempting offers that make people want to sign up to your email list and become a lead.

What are lead magnets?

According to GetResponse, 58.6% of marketers claim that short-form written lead magnets (newsletters, checklists, copy examples, smaller files, ebook samples) make for the highest conversion rates.

Only 41.4% say that long-form written content (guides, whitepapers, reports, email courses, spreadsheets, curated or personalized reports) makes for the highest conversion rates.

Lead magnet ideas

Has this data got your juices flowing?

Before you start creating a lead magnet, you need to look at the big picture first.

Take a look at the aim of why you’re getting the lead and what problem the lead is wanting to have solved.

For example, if you’re a freelance copywriter trying to get leads, you need to give a quick fix first to the lead. A quick fix can be a template to write copy or a list of power words to use.

Then to convert that lead into a client, you follow up with the client by pitching to them your copywriting services.

Check out these 5 high-converting lead magnet ideas.

Following up with your lead

For a successful follow-up, you need to include

  • Introduction to you
  • Pitch your services
  • Answer any questions people will have
  • Testimonials using storytelling

Whenever you write your follow-up emails, you need a call to action. Call to action where the client can book a call with you to discuss further or something else that means they’re moving one step further up the pipeline.

But you need to get the right leads in your pipeline. You want targeted leads who will buy your services.

Using SEO will go a long way in helping you build a list of targeted leads.

Build your email list with SEO

SEO (Search engine optimization) is what entrepreneurs like you are using to get found on the search engine.

But typically, people find freelancers by typing in a problem that they to have solved quickly.

So how on earth do you get onto the search engines?

You can do this with or without a website. You just need that landing page you create in GetResponse to grab those email addresses.

It all comes down to one thing as to whether or not you can use SEO to build your email list.

What’s that one thing?

Keyword research! With keyword research, you discover the exact keywords and phrases your target market is putting into search engines.

There are 3 different ways in which you use keyword research. These are

  • Blogging
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest

Yes Pinterest, because Pinterest is a search engine first. Popular belief is that it’s a social media platform, but in fact, it’s a search engine.


Blogging is a powerful way to build an email list. With blog posts, you’re targeting specific keywords that are your target market’s pain points.

When you give quality content that answers the potential client’s pain, then you’ve got a lead.

There are 2 ways in which you can do blogging

  1. With a website
  2. Without a website

Both ways are just as effective. But depending on how you’ve set up your freelance business as to which is the right choice for you.

Blogging with a website

Having your own website allows you to have control over your content. Because when you put content onto other platforms, it’s a risk.

Risky because you lose that piece of content if the platform just shuts down overnight.

So what blogs should you write? As mentioned earlier, using keyword research will help you identify what blog posts to write that answers your target market’s pain points.

To get those email addresses whilst you’ve got someone reading your blog, you want to offer that lead magnet.

This is where signup forms become very useful.

Signup forms

You have your own website, so you can put signup forms on there.

Create a signup form inside your GetResponse account that’s linked to your list.

Customize the design of the templates that are available to you with your branding and message.

Your message is to tempt people into signing up to your email address.

You can have signup forms appear when someone visits your website or when they are indicating that they want to exit.

Exit signup forms are more effective than when someone first sees your website.

Because when someone is showing that they intend to leave, they’ve consumed your content and have seen your expertise in your niche. Making them more likely to leave their email address in order to get something for free from you.

If you don’t have a website, but still want to use blogging to get leads. You can do this!

Blogging without a website

To blog without a website and still get people onto your email list, there are 3 different ways in which you can do this.

  1. Guest posts
  2. LinkedIn pulse
  3. Medium

Each of these 3 methods is a fantastic way in which you can quickly expand your audience and get higher search results.

Guest posts

Guest posts are when you write an article that’s published on a blog or magazine that belongs to someone else. This is beneficial to you as they have thousands of people reading their publication.

So you’re expanding straightaway the number of people you can get in front of very quickly.

Typically, you want to write guest posts that are

  • Discussing a trending topic
  • A topic readers of that blog/magazine care about

Whenever you write a guest post, you need to make sure that this is an audience you want to get in front of.

So research blogs and magazines that are in the niche you’re targeting.

Then subscribe to that blog or magazine and build a relationship with that publication on social media.

By building a relationship, when you’re ready to pitch your article to them, they’re more open to the pitch.

To use guest posting to build your email list, you’ll get an author bio. Your author bio is a quick pitch about who you are and how readers of that article can learn more about you.

So you can leave a link to your landing page or social media profile.


YouTube is a fantastic way of connecting with your audience who prefer video content over text-based content.

Deciding what video content to publish on YouTube is similar to how you decide what blog posts to write. It’s all about that keyword research again.

Using keyword research and checking the competition to check that there is a demand for video content in your niche. You can check demand by looking at your competitor’s YouTube channels.

Check out how many views and subscribers they have. All of this information is given to you. There are no underhand tactics used for this.

If there are a high amount of views on your competitor’s channel, you need a strategy. A strategy to stand out, be different, and get email subscribers.

To get email subscribers this is done by telling people at the start and end of the video about your offer. Give a quick pitch as to what the lead magnet is and why they should get it.

Then link to the landing page for the lead magnet. Again having that compelling message as to why they should get the lead magnet.

Create consistent content for YouTube and build a real following and you’ll be getting email subscribers very quickly. You can’t just post one video and expect instant results. It’s all about consistency.

If however you much prefer images as a form of content, then Pinterest is the platform you should be using to capitalize on SEO.


Pinterest is a very visual platform. Users of the platform post graphics and videos which help them get found on the search engines.

Like YouTube and blogging, to use Pinterest effectively you need to do keyword research.

Read here how you can use Pinterest for business to boost your marketing.

You may think that Pinterest is all about hair, beauty, and family. But that’s just a really big misconception. Pinterest is being used by all businesses.

If there’s a keyword in your niche using the Pinterest search bar, then there’s a place for you to create a pin.

To build your email list with Pinterest follow these simple steps

  1. Create a pin for the keyword
  2. Optimize your pin, board, and Pinteresst account for your keyword
  3. Leave a link to your lead magnet

If you use Pinterest and create consistent content, then you really can drive traffic from your Pinterest account to your lead magnet.

Hit the banner below to get the free trusted tool that can drive even more traffic to your lead magnet.

Build your email list with social media

Social media is the place to go and connect with people. This is why businesses love using social media to increase their brand awareness.

Increase brand awareness, get talked about and attract a whole new audience to you.

This new audience wants to know more about you. So they follow you, take a look at your posts, and then decide whether or not they can trust you to give their email address.

Social media is not about constantly sending messages to people who have never interacted with your freelance business.

Social media is the place to increase brand awareness, this is how you build an email list.


According to Statista.com they predict that by 2023 there will be nearly 1.2 billion Instagram users worldwide.

That’s a huge amount of growth and a lot of potential for you to connect with your target market.

So how do you go about growing an email list on Instagram?

Firstly, you want an optimized profile that tells followers exactly who you are and can help them. Always keep in mind they are just thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’.

Next, link to your lead magnet. Or if you’ve got multiple links, use linkt.ree where you can make a tree of multiple links. But you now have one link to that tree. This is important as you’ve only got one link you can put on Instagram.

Facebook groups

Facebook groups are still popular and very effective at building an email list.

What I find effective in getting clients in your freelance business is to use other people’s Facebook groups.

Get started by using the search bar on Facebook and type in the specific niche you’re looking for. This search could be for digital marketing, graphic design, or copywriting. Whatever your niche is in.

Another way to search for specific groups is to search for small businesses or entrepreneurs. Whatever term your target market will use to describe themselves.

Now you’ve got the search results, it’s time to filter through them.

Filter by seeking groups that don’t have over 10,000 group members. This is usually a red flag of a group filled with spam.

Check the group description out and posts (if possible) and see if it gives you that gut instinct you should be in the group.

Don’t join every group under the sun. Join a small number of groups. You are going to start participating in these groups and you don’t want overwhelm.

Build email list with Facebook groups

So you’ve got inside the Facebook groups, now it’s time to start building your email list.

Firstly, turn on the notifications for the Facebook groups. You want to get notified every time a new post is created. Do this so you take part in conversations, this is how you’ll get noticed.

People will start to notice you and if you leave valuable comments on posts, they start to trust you.

Building trust is so important as without trust they won’t join your email list.

You’ve got that trust and when they have started to interact with your posts. You can get them across to your DM’s on Facebook.

Depending on the situation, you can pitch your services or your lead magnet (if there isn’t an instant need for your services). Just make sure you check out their business first and do your research.


Twitter is fantastic at getting instant traffic to your blog and building relationships with people in your niche.

Like with Instagram, optimize your profile and leave a link to your lead magnet or link tree.

But to make the most of Twitter, you want to create a network of people in your niche.

Your network is your net worth

To build your network, comment on posts that are in your niche. Retweet and comment on posts with your opinion. You want to build a feed on your profile that’s positioning you as an expert in your niche and again creating brand awareness.

My favorite thing to do on Twitter to build an email list is participate in Twitter chats.

Twitter Chats

Twitter chats is where an account hosts a chat. Then people who follow this account can participate in the chat.

Typically, these chats are done for one hour a week. The host asks a question every 10-15 minutes.

What you want to do is answer the questions and then comment on other people’s answers.

As long as you give a valuable comment, then you’ll expand your network further.

To join Twitter chats, look for chats that have your niche in. Your niche of ideal clients and your industry niche. Just like with your search for the ideal Facebook groups.

In A Nutshell,

Now you’ve learned the exact steps freelancers are taking to build an email list for free. Even better you’ve built an email list with people who’ve already got that know, like, and trust factor. Take the next step and use these 39 email templates that have helped me turn email subscribers into sales.

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