What If I Had To Build A List From Scratch?

Someone asked me what I would do if I had to build a list from scratch.

And the answer is straightforward.

There are three major steps I’d take to build a list from scratch.

#1 Decide EXACTLY Who I Want On My List.

The first thing I’d do is decide who I want on my list.

Most people never think that far ahead, and they get a hodgepodge of people that may or may not be good customers.

Smarter people tell themselves: 

  • I want authors! 


  • I want web developers.


  • I want _____.

Before you skip this step, know that it makes a huge difference in your results.

So, if you’re starting a list from scratch, decide who your ideal customer is before you start trying to attract just “anybody!”

#2 Identify The RESULT My Audience Wants!

Second, I’d figure out the result my audience wants. There are a lot of ways to get at this, including:

  • Pain points they want to eliminate…
  • Problems they want to solve…
  • Desires they want to satisfy…

All these can help you discover what they want, but they all involve research.

Knowing what result they want tells you exactly what you need to offer them to create a value exchange.

People will subscribe to your list because you gave them something they want (a valuable result!).

Figure out what that is!

#3 Identify What I Will Offer Them In Exchange For Getting On My List.

Third, I’d figure out my offer (the thing I’ll give them in exchange for their email) to help them get the result they want. Here are some great things to offer people:

  • It could be a webinar, which is an excellent way to build a list because people know they MUST sign up for the webinar in order to log on and view it;
  • It could be a lead magnet like a video;
  • It could be a downloadable PDF;
  • It could be a mini-course that delivers a specific result.

Once you identify what you’ll offer, you build the funnel and start driving traffic.


These are the three steps I follow to start building a list from scratch.

  • Decide who is the ideal person you want on your list;
  • Identify the result THEY want;
  • Build your offer.

Side Note:

Will you offer them something for free or offer them something for a price?

The best list is a list of people who have purchased something from you. Because if they purchased once, they will purchase again if you treat them right!

By the way, we talk about stuff like this all the time in my Sales Copywriting and Content Marketing Hacks Facebook groupCheck it out.

7DayEbook-Version 2This course in particular delivered exactly what it promised.

Jim Edwards has always been one of my favorite teachers. He’s a down to earth guy that doesn’t waste my time telling me how good he is, but showing me what I can do to become as good as he is! 

He is detailed and comprehensive without being hard to follow, so it is easy to understand his instructions. He is also very sensitive to the needs of his individual students and does his best to answer everyone’s questions. 

This course in particular delivered exactly what it promised. Jim gave us step by step instructions and explained WHY each step was necessary. 

He also gave supporting examples and real time online demonstrations of what he was teaching us… I look forward to Jim’s next course.

– John Vincent Palozzi

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