How to get prospects on to your list


The money is in your list and there are plenty of ways to grow your list very quickly. Most of them will lead to a poor quality list with very low engagement, poor profitability and the risk of being labelled a spammer.

Yes the money is in your list, but if it is a large list of poor quality leads, full of people that are never going to buy from you, then finding that money is hard and potentially costly. Even e-mail marketing has a cost to it. And the ultimate cost is getting labelled a spammer and having e-mail addresses and accounts barred.

Data suppliers

You see lots of people try to buy their list with cash. For example, you can buy data from data suppliers. The quality and currency (i.e. how up to date the data is) are extremely variable. And none of the people on the list have asked to be marketed to by you. So you can get large volumes of low potential data.


Another source can be the database of attendees at a trade show or exhibition. Better quality data in that there is a better chance of relevancy to your business as they decided to attend (always assuming there is a strong correlation between your business and the show’s target audience). The increased quality will come at a price though, with a much higher cost per prospect, but we are still talking pence per lead.

Other people’s lists

The next best source of bulk prospects is other people’s lists. This gets trickier to access and much more expensive depending on the quality of the list. If the list is any good, the owner will jealously guard access to it, only allowing people with high quality offerings the chance to use it. They will often charge a premium price and will control the communication. That way you only get the details of people that show an interest or buy. They may also want to work on an affiliate basis and affiliate fees for any sale are typically 30-50% of the sale value. With quality and relevance comes cost.

Build your own list

In reality, the only way to build a high quality, low cost list is to do it yourself. But how do you get prospects on to your list?

By delivering value.

Over and over again

Think about what it is that attracts you to the people you follow. Who’s newsletters and blogposts do you actually read and why. You need to deliver that same sort of knock-out value to your prospects. You need to give them the wow! factor. You need to demonstrate your expert authority in your field.

I do this through regular blog posts like this one. I offer advice and suggestions based on my own experience and the experiences of people I work with and around. I use real examples or case studies. All the time, I’m seeking to help. I always look to get my readers to engage and join in the conversation

Lead Magnet

But providing a good post is probably not enough in itself to get someone to sign up to your newsletter or blog. I give that extra incentive with a useful download or video that my readers can only get if they sign-up. This is your ‘Lead Magnet’. The useful and valuable thing that will attract prospects enough for them to give you their e-mail address.

I must stress the word ‘useful’. A report full of facts and opinions isn’t enough. It has to be something the reader can use. Something valuable. My ‘9 key pints to creating a powerful personal profile’ is full of things the reader can use to improve their LinkedIn profile. My video on ‘6 steps to growing your Twitter following‘ is just that – a proven process to increasing your following. Both are valuable to my target audience. They are absolutely some of my best stuff. You can get them by clicking on the links.

Examples of Lead Magnets

  • How to guides
  • How to videos
  • Online short courses
  • An introductory module from a paid for course
  • A survey with a copy of the report to all contributors
  • Free apps
  • Free samples of products

Many people hesitate to give away valuable stuff, especially their best stuff. They are afraid that people won’t need to buy. But if you give away examples of your best stuff with the clear demonstration there is much more where that came from, people will start to engage with you. Many will take the free stuff and never buy. But they would probably never have bought anyway, but they might tell someone else about it who might. It’s about spreading the word and building your credibility. If you have an abundance mentality you will attract more prospects.

Sign up for my lead magnets, look at the different processes and the content and think about how you could do something similar in your business. The links to some of them are below.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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