Ultimate Email List Building Strategies To Get Your First 500 Subscribers

by | Apr 5, 2020 | E-mail Marketing | 4 comments

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I know you must have heard millions of times about the importance of email list building and how you can use it to make money with your blog and online business.

But when you are just starting out, it gets really difficult getting your first few hundred email subscribers to get the momentum.

Once you get your first 100-500 subscribers, you can easily start monetizing your email list and use that money to grow further.

So, how to get your first 500 email subscribers easily?

In this post, I’m going to share the ultimate email list building strategies that you can use to get your first 500 email subscribers.

Choosing The Right Email Marketing Platform

If you have already choosen an email marketing platform for your blog, you can skip this part.

The very first step towards building an email list is choosing the right email marketing platform to do so.

There are many options for you to choose from, but there are a few things that you should consider before choosing an email list building tool for your blog.

Choosing the wrong or cheap platforms like Mailchimp can cost you a lot of time and money later. A few reasons for not choosing them are –

  • Poor deliverability rates
  • Affiliate links not allowed
  • Switching your email marketing platform will get really difficult once your email list starts growing and you have many email sequences in place

This a mistake that you can’t afford to make at any cost.

That’s why I suggest you go with a reputable email marketing service like Convertkit. And the best part? You can now start for free with them. Convertkit is one of the most popular & highly recommended email list building tools among bloggers and content creators.

Convertkit - Email list building tool

Setting Goals

What are your specific goals for building your email list?

10 subscribers a day? 50 subscribers in a week? 300 subscribers in a month?

Whatever it is, that you find achievable, just write it down on a paper and keep it near your wordspace. Be as specific as possible.

If you’re getting 100 visitors per day, your goal should be converting atleast 10-15 email subscribers. That’s easily achievable.

Email List Building With Content Upgrades

Getting email subscribers is more than just asking your readers to subscribe to your email list.

You have to provide something valuable in the end as bait for your readers to join your email list. This is what we call a content upgrade.

Your content upgrades should be useful, actionable, and something that couldn’t have just as easily been made into a blog post.

A few ideas for content upgrades are –

  • PDFs
  • Workbooks
  • Video tutorials
  • Checklists
  • Cheatsheets
  • Planners

Providing actionable content upgrades show that you’re willing to go above and beyond to provide value for your readers.

Also read11 deadly opt-in freebie mistakes you should avoid

Switching up your content upgrades

When you’re just starting out, you have no idea what your audience will love and what is going to work for you.

That’s why you need to create a bunch of freebies & content upgrades to switch them up and figure out the best one.

If a content upgrade is not converting atleast 10% of your readers, then you need to switch it up.

Means – 10 out of 100 readers must subscribe to your email list for a particular content upgrade.

Wait till 500 people read your post, and if you didn’t get at least 40-50 subscribers then it’s time to change your content upgrade.

Chances are, certain types of content upgrades will appeal to your audience more than others.

Be flexible, and try out a different types of content upgrades with different formats until you start getting what you want.

Using Lead Magnets to Grow Your Email List

A lead magnet is slightly different from a content upgrade.

While a content upgrade works with the content itself and is related to the blog post, lead magnet works independently.

You don’t need to create multiple lead magnets for now. All you have to do is to create one or two and promote them as much as you can.

Here are a few ideas for your lead magnet –

  • An Ebook related to your niche
  • An email course
  • A video series

These three work best when it comes to email list building for your blog.

Landing pages

You’ll definitely need a landing page to collect your email subscribers, once you’ve created your lead magnet.

This is a page where your audience will land after seeing your offer and acting on it.

To make it a high-converting one, make sure to design it beautifully and include reviews or social proof to gain trust (as well as appealing offers, images, and insights).

If it’s not converting atleast 20% of the visitors, then you definitely need to change something about it.

Make sure that there are no distractions at all on your landing page. The visitors should only have two options – subscribe or leave.

If your theme allows you to create landing pages (Divi theme that I use on my websites allows you to do so) then it’s awesome. Otherwise, you can easily create landing pages with Convertkit.

Creating a Resource Library

Who doesn’t love a bunch of valuable freebies put together in a place more than a single freebie?

Create a password-protected page and put together a bunch of freebies. Your readers will get the password once they sign up for your list.

Since everyone really loves free stuff, the more you provide the better it’ll be.


I have a love-hate relationship with pop-ups.

Although they are good for getting a ton of subscribers, they can also harm your user experience and can sometimes hurt your SEO.

I used to have them on my blog, but then I switched to other strategies for getting subscribers. If you want to use them, make sure you go with “exit-intent” pop-up forms. They show when a user tries to exit from your blog.

You can easily create pop-up forms in Convertkit.

Welcome Mats

Welcome mats are slightly an enhanced version of pop-up forms.

Pop-ups cover a part of the screen and can be shown according to the user intent. Welcome mats show as soon as the user lands on your blog and they cover the whole screen.

Promotion Strategies

None of your email list building strategies are going to work if you don’t bring enough people to your posts and landing pages.

Let’s look at some ways by which you can promote your content, bring tons of people to your blog and boost your email list growth.


What better way for getting targeted automatic traffic to your blog than search engine optimization?

Organic search traffic converts more than any other form of traffic because people are looking for answers that your blog posts can provide to them.

Wanna learn about SEO and ranking your blog posts on the first page of search engines? Check out my E-Book – SEO Simplified For Bloggers.

Guest blogging

Pick some high-quality websites in your niche & pitch them a guest post. You have to write an awesome post for them on a topic that your lead magnet is about and put your landing page in your bio link.

Once the post goes live, you’ll definitely start seeing a spike in your subscriber list.

Also read: 3 key tips to get your guest posts accepted quickly

The power of social media

Make sure to constantly share your content and landing pages on social media.

Having the right social media promotion strategy can completely change everything for your blog and email list.

Here are a few tips for promoting your content –

  • When you share them on social media, you need to be very clear about the benefits, and WHY someone should click through and read your post.
  • Update your bio links. In all your social media account bios, make sure you’ve got links back to your landing page included.
  • Share your posts and landing page in Facebook group threads. They have the potential of getting a bunch of email subscribers.
  • Be active on social media every day.


New bloggers often ignore this platform because they’re unaware of the fact that this platform can bring them a ton of traffic + email subscribers.

Don’t make such a mistake, and be consistent with pinning on Pinterest.

Create multiple pins for your blog posts and lead magnet and pin them strategically among your own boards and group boards.

You can also boost your Pinterest presence with an automation tool called tailwind. They have a feature called tribes which are the same as group boards, just with better engagement.

You get to join 5 tribes with 30 submissions with the free version.

You can try tailwind from here for free (you’ll also get your first month free once you upgrade to the paid version).

If you want to learn about using Pinterest to bring tons of traffic to your blog, check out the Pinterest P to T course by Marina Iapichino.

Having multiple opt-in opportunities on your website

Make sure that you place your sign-up forms and landing page link at multiple places throughout your website.

These places can be –

  • Homepage
  • In your blog posts
  • Blog sidebar
  • Footer
  • On a cover page or welcome mat
  • Top navigation

The more opportunities you give to your readers for signing up the more likely they’ll turn into an email subscriber.

Email List Growth booster course

Final Words

Getting your first 100-500 email subscribers can be a little overwhelming at times.

Don’t just give up because of the numbers. Use the right strategies and you’ll definitely achieve that milestone within no time. Know that different niches have different growth rates.

Email list building is all about customizing your content to figure out which things work and which don’t.

Also read: ConvertKit tutorial: a beginners’ guide to get started with email list building

If you found this post helpful, please pin it to one of your Pinterest boards. It won’t take more than a few seconds.

Ultimate email list building strategies to get your first 500 subscribers

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If you’re not building an email list for your blog, then you’re leaving money on the table. However, you’re also letting a lot of money slip through your fingers if too many of your visitors are leaving your site without joining your email list. You want your blog...

Hey there! My name is Rahul Choudhary, the founder of Blog 2 Brand (formerly Your Blog Mentor!) and I am OBSESSED with helping online entrepreneurs and bloggers in making their passions profitable and popular!

I enjoy solitude but I also like to work with like-minded people like you. Make sure to connect with me on social media. 👇


  1. Robyn Jones

    Are their directions for these suggestions? I am a new blogger, so I do not know how to do most of the things you recommend, though I am excited to.

    • Rahul Choudhary

      There are directions in the Email marketing bundle that I offer. Though, I’ll make sure to write detailed posts about every step.

    • Rahul Choudhary

      You are most welcome, Prakash!


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