The 3 Phases of Growing Your Email List

How do you go from no e-mail list at all, to adding a few people here and there, to adding hundreds or thousands at a time?

Here are the 3 phases of list-building as I see them, and some of the most effective list-building tactics in each stage…

three phases of growing your email list

PHASE 1: Getting Started

When you’re just starting out, I recommend reaching out to your sphere of influence and inviting them to receive your special newsletter or tips (whatever valuable free goody you offer on an ongoing basis).
Here are some places to start:

  • Stacks of business cards you’ve collected
  • Contacts in Gmail (or whatever e-mail provider you have)
  • People in your cell phone
  • Facebook friends
  • LinkedIn connections

Send them an e-mail message to reconnect, inviting them to opt in to your list. I share some specific templates for this in my free report, “How to Jumpstart Your E-mail List.

By the way, you need PERMISSION to add someone to your e-mail list. Otherwise, it’s considered spam. When someone gives you their business card, it does NOT mean they’ve opted in to your list (unless they specifically say, “Here’s my card… please add me to your list.”)

PHASE 2: Launching

Just like a rocket uses most of its fuel to get off the ground, adding the first 1,000 people to your list is the hardest, in my opinion.

You can accelerate your results in this stage by asking for referrals, regularly posting on social media, public speaking, attending networking events, and investing in paid advertising, like Facebook ads.

If you’re really ambitious, you can add hundreds or thousands of people to your list in a relatively short period of time by hosting a telesummit where the speakers that you’re interviewing help promote the event.

PHASE 3: Leverage

As your list gets bigger and bigger, it’s easier to find strategic alliances and affiliates with bigger lists to promote you and vice versa.

Once you have an online sales funnel that converts well, it’s less scary to invest more money in paid advertising as well.

Therefore, once you’ve reached this stage, it’s a lot easier to add hundreds or thousands of people to your list at a time.

My intention with the List-a-Palooza 90 Day List-Building Challenge is that it will help you get to Phase 3 more quickly or accelerate your results in Phase 3, if you’re already there.

Please leave a comment below. I’d love to know what you think of this post! : D


This is a guest post by PJ Van Hulle. PJ Van Hulle works with speakers, authors and coaches to grow their e-mail lists so that they can attract more clients and sales with less time, effort, and stress. She’s the creator of the List-a-Palooza 90 Day List-Building Challenge.