5 Golden Nuggets For Growing Your Email List From Zero to 32k In One Year

Your sales are not on a level you anticipated?


Have you tried social channels, funded ads, even tried email marketing but still not budging?


Let’s face it; marketing has become tricky. We’ve seen it all, plus you are on a battlefield with pro agencies and experts, so what can be done?


First off, learning from successful businesses is an excellent way to get inspired and gain confidence. That’s why we'll talk about those.


Second, if done right, simple tips and tricks can get you ROI in less than six months, plus start growing your revenue.


I hope you are ready to pull up your sleeves and dedicate one year to hard and smart work to build your list to 32k subscribers because we won't be recycling Google articles nor tell you it is easy.

5 actionable steps to grow your list from zero to 32k in one year + best practices

Regardless of your business, email marketing is a leading channel for ROI, and marketing automation is a must.

1.  Sign up for a marketing automation platform

The sooner you opt for a marketing platform, the faster you can start automating responders, deploy lead magnets, create sales funnels, run ads and social posts, and of course, set payment options.


Most marketing platforms feature free plans or trials. However, these are limited in the number of contacts, features, and integrations, so the main question is how much will your monthly cost be when you reach the limits.

How to know what marketing platform to opt for?

This is quite a personal decision; however, there are a few things to look for:


  • UX/UI design – you should feel comfortable using the platform; easy navigation and loading time should work to your advantage.
  • Free start – platforms that feature free plans are perfect for testing the features. For example, GetResponse allows advanced features in a free plan for 30 days.
  • Cost of the paid plans – down the road, you should be able to afford the plans, so check the pricing and possible discounts for an annual payment.
  • Landing pages builder – drag and drop landing pages builder is a must for product and services promotion.
  • Email automation – starting with pre-designed templates and autoresponders up to transactional emails, geo and behavioral trackers, the selected platform will be your personal assistant for email marketing.
  • Funnels – funnels will keep you organized, and it is easier to track activity.


2. Warm over cold emailing

Anyone can send cold emails; you most likely see them in your promotions tab.


It is ideal to collect leads and get prospects to signups for your newsletter or an offer through signup forms. 


Whatever lead magnet you deploy, just make sure that the signup form offers value.

For example, a free ebook that is short and simple – don't worry about data collection because we'll get into details in a second.

Reverse engineering lead magnets – email marketing vs. social media marketing


This means working backward from your core offer.


If your main product is, for example, a podcast, you want to feature a free download offer on your website so your audience can sign up for it, listen to it and possibly review it.


Once you have their emails, it is easier to pitch the main product.


Not to mention that this is consent-based marketing.


Why is this reverse engineering when it's just logical?

Because in most cases, people will spend a lot of time on social media trying to engage the audience. But still, you have to lead people from social media to a website to collect emails.


Emails have higher conversion rates.


Social media works better for established brands, meaning your audience already knows about your products.


Social media requires a lot of time and multiple channels such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tiktok, etc.




So the idea is to first focus on email marketing and then social media once your list starts growing.

3. Hyper-personalization strategy – an AI-driven real-time data analytics

You'll need more than just a name and location to stand out.


Platforms are shifting to an AI-driven mode and will assist you with collecting precious data such as products viewed, products purchased, site visited, and even mouse clicks.

How to develop a hyper-personalization strategy?

1. Collect quantitative and qualitative data – meaning collect all the data you can - quantitative (visits, purchases, locations, times spent on the computer, etc.) and then find out how your customers feel - qualitative (reviews, surveys, post-purchase interactions, etc.).



2. Customer segmentation – the better you segment customers in smaller groups, the better you can hyper-personalize messages. You can create groups based on location, interests, average spending, purchases, etc.

3. Customer journey maps or funnels – this automation will help you lead prospects or customers to final purchases with nurturing messages and actions. Based on prospect/customer interaction, you can adjust, change or continue with your design path.



Now that we covered these technical aspects, it is time to talk about messages.

3. Hyper personalized messages based on data collected

Let's talk about email templates because these are hit or miss.


When you are receiving emails from your friends, family, or even work the email will be simple, short and will not contain many links – that's why chances for them to end up in spam are minimal.


Engines can detect promotions and spamming – email templates are somewhat promotional. They will contain images, videos or links, but using templates will save time and you know they look good.


If you decide on a template, follow the pre-built pattern.

  • Avoid adding more images and links (just one link leading to a core offer is more than enough).
  • Always make sure you are not sending cold emails with offers, only send these to segmented groups - those that provided their email address.


Here’s an example of hyper-personalized email using a template:

Venture Harbour


4. I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine – affiliate and influencer marketing

Sometimes we need a reminder that we are not all alone. So many businesses are building their list and growing audiences and we all need a back scratch sometimes.


Affiliate marketing is exponentially growing, but before we start, it's worth mentioning that, for example, Mailchimp is not pro affiliate marketing, while GetResponse, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit are. 

Affiliate marketing is not only a source of additional income, it is also a good way to get new subscribers, promote your brand and feature your top products or services.


A well-established way to approach affiliate marketing is through influencers.

Whatever your products or service is, there are bloggers, YouTubers and social media influencers willing to work with brand owners.


5. Make a newsletter and promote it as a product

The newsletter is a perfect product for getting more personal and connecting with your audience, gaining subscribers, and getting more conversions.


Like with emails, you can use templates, but the more personalized messages you write, the better results.


Newsletters should be treated like an actual product you own, next to your core products and services.


Here's how musician Alex Terrier got 19% signup rate by providing high-quality free content.

The other successful example is the Contrarian Thinking newsletter by Codie Sanchez.


This newsletter is about lifestyle, finances, tips and tricks for entrepreneurs, business owners and anyone who would appreciate a unique approach to these topics.

Its sign-up form is also a great example of how to offer value in exchange for an email address.

Quick Summary and takeaways

  • Before growing your list, decide on the email marketing platform for fast data collecting, email automation, and brand awareness.
  • The lead magnet should offer value. Potential ideas are free downloadable docs, discounts, or contests.
  • Hyper personalization of content and strategy will help you deliver messages based on the correct data and your customers’ interests.
  • Influencer and affiliate marketing are good ways to spread brand awareness and get new subscribers.
  • Newsletter should be another product that you will promote for customer engagement and obtaining more contacts.


This will be a year full of hassle, but it will bring results. Email marketing is a great stepping stone for conversions, and the right platform to partner with will help you automate the processes and reduce working hours.