Let me guess: you’ve heard the line that you need an email list to grow a profitable digital product business. I have to tell you… it’s not a line. It’s the truth! Today, I want to show you a simple and effective way to grow your email list and get your first 1,000 email subscribers quickly so you can start selling your products. There’s a lot of noise, tactics, and strategy floating around – today, let’s cut through the noise and get to work.
Email List or Product First?
One of the most common questions that I get asked as a digital product creator is: should I create my digital product first or build an email list first? Let’s break down all of the steps and find out!
The first thing you need to do to grow an email list is start with the end result: your digital product. What are you dreaming about selling? Think about the product you’re going to sell, the transformation you’re hoping to achieve, and what that actually looks like. Determine if you’re creating a digital download, a course, a membership, or whatever else. This helps me create a better email marketing system so that I can connect the dots between the person I’m selling to, the product, the problem it solves, and the transformation it provides.
Create Your Opt-In and Share it
Once you know what you’re going to sell, you can create an opt-in that perfectly and tightly aligns with your digital product. It needs to be really aligned with what you plan to sell because you’re going to use that to grow your email list of potential customers. You want those people to be interested in what you’re going to try to sell them later on. I find the best way to create that opt-in is to pull one piece out of the total equation and hyper focus on solving that problem in the opt-in. Your opt-in should make your consumer feel like they can quickly accomplish something and provide a tangible result.
After they’ve downloaded that opt-in, you’re in a perfect spot to start priming that new subscriber. You can show up in their inbox with more emails about your niche, what you do, and steps they can take. They’ll start to see you as the expert because your opt-in gave them a quick win and they know what you’re going to provide them will be helpful in the future! Remember: connect the dots.
Priming Your Audience
Once you’ve got your opt-in and you’ve plugged it into your email marketing software (I use Kajabi for my emails and you can read more about that HERE), it’s time to create content that lines up with your future offer. These pieces of content will happen on whatever platform you use – blog, YouTube, or a podcast episode (make sure you embed the video or episode on your website somewhere if you’re doing that). The point of this core content is to be able to share with your audience and build authority about whatever it is that you’re going to sell. These should be really in-depth articles… you only have to make 5! At the end of these pieces of content, share your opt-in.
After your core content pieces are finished, distribute them. And really do it! Share it on Pinterest, post on Instagram about it multiple times, do a Reel or TikTok video. Add it to Facebook. Make sure that people get to see your content, which they’ll read and hopefully then sign up for your opt-in. And then you can get them onto your email list. See how it’s a full journey for your audience? I know that this step can feel annoying – you feel like you’re just talking about the same thing over and over again. But, that’s how you know that you’re doing it right!
You have to remember that just because you create something… it doesn’t mean people will come. YOu have to tell them it’s out there and bring them to you and that offer! This can take months, and that’s okay. Make sure you give yourself time to build traction for 3-6 months before you put a new offer out there.
Back to our question: content or email list first….
It happens at the same time. While you’re pushing all of this content out and driving people to your opt-in, you can be creating all of the resources for your product. That means that when you’re ready to offer it to your email list, everything is ready to go AND you’ll have subscribers to sell it to! So, as you can see, building an email list requires you to know the product you want to sell in the end… and a lot of steps in between. But, when done right, you’ll be able to launch a new digital product to your brand new full email list!