My largest online store has an email list with over 130,000 people, over 85,000 of which are now customers.
It wasn’t always that way. It took a consistent investment.
Not only was is this a major sales driver every day, it gives me a conversion without variable cost, which allows me to dump money right back into acquisition.
When your email list is strong, it’s substantially easier to scale.

The Primary Ways We Did It

1. Giveaways

The easiest and most cost effective way to get emails by the thousand when you’re starting out is to host a giant giveaway.
If the audience is cold and unfamiliar with your products, you can add a complimentary product that is popular within your target audience to your giveaway to get more momentum.

No need to get complicated.

Create a flyer. Create a landing page where you can collect emails. Run traffic to the landing page from the cheapest sources that are still targeted (think Facebook Ads & Instagram influencer buys). Collect emails. Repeat.

2. Acquire Customers (and their Emails) with Extremely Low Cost Offers

This part makes many people uncomfortable, but when you’re starting out, don’t sleep on acquiring customers with discounts.
Sure, you could be training them to wait for discounts. Or, even worse, you could be only attracting sale-hunting, low lifetime-value customers.

There absolutely is a fragile balance.

But, a previous customer is worth many times more than a giveaway email, and a giveaway email is worth many times what cold traffic is worth.

Some of these emails, if you treat them right, will buy over and over again.

If trained, these customers will be worth many times their initial purchase to your business. Give them an excellent experience with the first purchase, and watch them return for your higher margin products.

The cherry on top is that you may be able to make a profit on their first purchase, too!