The goal was simple enough: Bring together long lost friends for an Epic Dinner of reminiscing and catching up.

Simple soon became difficult.

I was connecting with one by text, one by Facebook, one by focused thought (for some reason, that one never showed up to our previous dinners), and one by email. Then it hit me: Why not practice offline what I preach online?

I ditched the phone, closed Facebook, stopped thinking, and sent a single email to the entire group. Difficult returned to simple and plans are now swiftly moving ahead.


In How to Get Your First 1,000 Subscribers I talked about the dominance of email in online business. As much as certain gurus downplay its importance, email remains the best way to inform and interact with your audience.

Like a Ferrari in the carpool lane, it zooms past the clutter and congestion, placing your message directly in front of its intended audience.

I know the joys of having a massive audience and the pains of having it disappear (because of a gut-wrenching turn of events, I once lost 65,000 subscribers in a single afternoon). Take it from me, the bigger your list, the better your life.

To help you on your way, I’ve outlined six simple strategies you can get rolling in sixty seconds or less to build your email list. Running an online business can be a rough road, but like planning my Epic Dinner, sometimes difficult can be made simple.


Promote your website or, better yet, your lead magnet in your email signature. A few lines of compelling copy, along with the appropriate web address, is a quick and easy way to gain more attention and subscribers with every email you send.

One of my star clients, Joshua Wayne, puts this tip to use perfectly:

Joshua Wayne
Creator, Your Successful Teen

Are You Making These 7 Parenting Mistakes?


Include social share buttons on your lead magnet landing page. You do have a lead magnet, don’t you? And you have a dedicated landing page for said lead magnet, right? If not, you’ve got some explaining to do. If so, spend a minute adding the ability to “Click to Share” to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.


Invite new subscribers to share your website or lead magnet. As a member of my community, chances are you downloaded my free blueprint. Within it you’ll see two pages that invite you to spread the word with clickable links for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I added this feature in under a minute, but the benefits will last for years.

The PS of your first email to your new subscriber is another great place to ask for a share. Something along the lines of…If you liked your free guide and want to spread the word, click here…or…Know someone who could use XXXX? Click here to spread the word…will effortlessly bring you new subs.

(Tip: The link in the welcome email can connect directly to a social network or to a dedicated Share Page like this one.)

4. Content

Include a call-to-action in every piece of content you create. Add a sign-up box or link at the bottom of your blog posts. Include a note at the beginning or end of your podcast sending listeners to an easy-to-recall URL. Mention your list or lead magnet at the end of your videos, with the URL on screen and linked up in the show notes.

While many readers, listeners, and viewers will already be subscribers, many will not. A well-placed call-to-action will change that.


Include a teaser and link to your lead magnet on the back of your business cards, at the top or bottom of flyers, and any other offline material you produce. With the absolute saturation of smart phones, people no longer need to be sitting in front of a computer to consume your yummy material. Business card in hand, they can hop on your site and join your list in minutes.

As the world goes online, never forget the power of stepping off.


Promote your website or lead magnet on a colleague’s thank-you page. This is a wonderfully simple, yet strikingly effective way to boost subscriptions. With just a minute of work you can put your brand and business in front of thousands of new eyes, drawing a great many back to your site and into your world.

You need only a friend in your market who is willing to promote your website or lead magnet on the page their new subscribers see after successfully joining their list. You then return the favor. (It goes without saying that you only promote the work of people you greatly admire and respect. The wrong partner can do irreparable damage to your brand.)


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