Building An Email List: The Biggest Challenge and How to Solve It

building an email list

Building an email list is hard. 

And it’s also one of THE most important things that you need to do for your online business to succeed. 

Having an email list allows you to communicate with potential customers when and how YOU want to.

Whether that’s…

  • Sending them a special discount on your products or services
  • Letting them know about your latest blog post
  • Asking them a question
  • Launching a new product or service
  • Telling them about your upcoming webinar
  • Sending them exclusive content
  • Etc., Etc., Etc.

You have control over your email list.

With other methods, you don’t have the same level of control over how you communicate with potential customers.

Which is why building an email list should be one of your VERY TOP priorities for your online business.


Now, if you’ve already downloaded and read the free Essential Guide to Email List Building, you know that I set out a 4-step process for building an email list.

The first two steps of building an email list are easy – create a lead magnet and put the lead magnet on a landing page.

Those two steps are 100% under your control.

Granted, you still have to build a QUALITY lead magnet, one that appeals to your potential customers.

And you have to build a QUALITY landing page.

With a quality lead magnet on a quality landing page, about 40-60% of the visitors to your landing page will join your email list.

But….here’s the challenge that a lot of online businesses face:

How do you get potetnial customers to visit your landing page?

In other words, how do you drive traffic to your landing page?

That is without a doubt the biggest challenge to building an email list. 

Because without visitors to your landing page, you’re not going to be able to build your email list.

And this is where a lot of online businesses struggle.

No matter what they do, they can’t figure out how to drive traffic to their landing page(s).

Which means that they can’t build an email list.

Which means that they can’t communicate with potential customers.

Which means that their business is struggling and may be in danger of failing.


So what do you do?

How can you overcome the biggest challenge of building an email list?

How can you drive traffic to your landing page?

And not just any traffic, but traffic that consists of people who will be interested in your products and/or services?

In the Essential Guide to Email List Building, I lay out and go into depth on what I believe are the 5 best strategies for driving traffic to your landing page:

  • Being a guest on podcasts
  • Writing guest posts
  • Hosting a virtual summit
  • Responding to questions on Quora
  • Running Facebook Ads

So if you’re struggling with sending traffic to your landing page, here’s a 5 step process for driving traffic to your landing page.

Step 1 - Pick a Strategy for Driving Traffic to Your Landing Page

The traffic strategy that you pick will depend a lot on you and what your strengths are.

  • If you’re a good talker, then being a guest on podcasts is likely your best option.
  • If you’re a good writer, then guest posts or responding to questions on Quora would likely be your choice.
  • If you’re really good at organizing people, then hosting a virtual summit might be the way to go.
  • If you’re already getting a lot of traffic to your website (but not to your landing pages), then you might want to try Facebook ads.

The important thing is that you pick just ONE traffic strategy to focus on.

You do NOT want to divide your time and energy between more than one strategy – that will only increase your chances of failure.

Step 2 - Learn as Much as You Can About the Traffic Strategy That You Choose

Once you’ve picked a traffic strategy, learn as much as you can about how to implement that strategy in order to drive traffic to your landing page and build your email list. 

Make learning about that strategy your #1 priority.

Spend at least 2-4 weeks learning everything you can about it.

  • Look for detailed blog posts about the traffic strategy (focus on posts published in the past year since information can change rapidly). 
  • Sign up for free guides or webinars on the topic. 
  • Buy a course on Udemy or a similar site. 

Whatever it takes, immerse yourself in your chosen strategy and become an expert on how to implement it. 

Step 3 - Implement Your Traffic Strategy for a Trial Period

Your next step is to implement your chosen traffic strategy for a trial period.

Here’s what that could look like:

  • Write and submit 10-15 guest posts over the next month.
  • Contact one podcast host a day for two weeks and make a pitch.
  • Write detailed answers to a dozen questions on Quora.
  • Contact 10 potential speakers for a virtual summit.
  • Run low-cost Facebook ads for a week.

These are just examples but you get the idea.

What you’re doing here is putting your foot in the water and seeing what happens.

Step 4 - Evaluate the Results of Your Trial

After you’ve tested out your chosen traffic strategy for a few weeks (or even a few months), you’ll want to evaluate the results. 

Now, be aware that many of these strategies will take a while to be 100% successful.

For example, you might submit a guest post and the editor of the website may take 2 weeks to respond to you.

And when they do respond, they may say that they’ll publish your post in two months.

So you won’t know right away whether or not that guest post will drive traffic to your landing page.

Which means that your evaluation should be based on more intermediate goals. 

For example, an intermediate goal for guest posting could be: are the majority of your guest posts being accepted or are they being rejected?

If the majority of your guest posts are being accepted, then keep writing more guest posts.

On the other hand, if the majority of your guest posts are getting rejected, you’ll either need to a) figure out what you need to change or b) pick a different traffic strategy.

Step 5 - Once You've Found Success With One Traffic Strategy...Diversify!

Once you’ve found success with a particular traffic strategy (meaning that it’s driving traffic to your landing page), you’ll probably want to stick with it for a while. 

If you’re having success, why change things?

At the same, time you’ll eventually want to diversify.

Partially to avoid burnout and boredom.

And partially because it’s always better to use multiple traffic strategies than just one. 

After all, what will you do if you’re only using one traffic strategy and all of a sudden it stops working?

Better to be prepared than left scrambling. 

So when you’re ready to diversify and add another traffic strategy, just repeat the steps from above!

Oh, and don’t forget to add a “viral loop” to your list building efforts (step #4 from the Essential Guide to Email List Building).

BTW, if you’re wondering what email marketing service to use for your list building efforts, my recommendation is ActiveCampaign. [Full Disclosure: If you purchase through this link, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you]. I’ve been a customer for years and, in my opinion, Active Campaign is by far the best value for the money among the various email marketing services.

Now It's Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed this 5-step strategy for driving traffic to your landing page(s).

Now I’d like to hear your thoughts.

What is your biggest challenge with building an email list?

Or maybe you have a question about something you read.

Either way, please leave a comment below!

Free List Building Guide!

  • Best tips, strategies, and techniques for driving traffic to your website.
  • 4-step process to ensure that you continually add new leads to your email list.
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