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A fella came up to me Starbucks and asked me how he could build his email list from scratch…this is what I told him

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Just had a super nice guy come up to me at Starbucks (who happens to be a new email subscriber of mine) and we got to chatting about what he is looking to do with an online program from scratch.

In a nutshell, he is a successful real estate investor and wants to teach it. Perfect topic and one that can really help people and make a lot of money (double win!).

He doesn’t have an email list yet, so here were my tips to get him started (feel free to steal ’em):

1. Start with a sweet free piece of content: i.e. 7 things to know before you invest in real estate, 7 key mistakes to getting started in real estate, 7 MUST DOs your first 30 days in real estate (something like that…)

2. Turn said content into a PDF.

3. Nab an autoresponder/email-sender (how about that for technical). You can start with something simple like Aweber if you choose. Doesn’t really matter.

4. Nab LeadPages ( and create an opt in page where you will give them this free delicious piece of content in exchange for their email address.*

*you can either use one of their templates and configure it, or nab a freelance graphic designer to create you a fancier one.

5. Use WHATEVER assets you have to drive traffic to the LeadPage. For example: Personal Facebook page, friends (whip ’em an email), any websites you might own, etc.

6. Then, it basically comes down to time/money or both…some other great ways to drive traffic to the page:

A. Reaching out to sites that accept guest blogging, write an article and then link it up to the LeadPage.
B. Reach out to sites interviewing people on real estate, make sure to mention your free giveaway in the interview.
C. Start learning about the power of Facebook advertising and use it to build your list (amazing list builder). You don’t need a big budget to start, you can start with $5 a day.

And that’s it for beginning list building. No need to over think it. No need to spend 3,000 hours on stuff that might work.

Also, remember, everyone’s list started at 0. Get at it.

  1. Sweeney Daniel says:

    Simple but good.

  2. Kevin Geary says:

    I knew this story was going to have some sort of promotion for the latest partner project. I was just wondering how you were going to tie it in. Genius man. Not sure if someone actually approached you at Starbucks, but I can’t knock your hustle 😉

    1. Jason says:


      I can assure you he was actually approached in Starbucks. Thanks for the great chat David!

        1. Kevin – Hint…that person was Jason above 🙂

    2. As much free content that David gives away, you’re really going to knock him for promoting something in the post?! David gives great marketing advice and I’ve never gone wrong in following any of his advice, free or paid!

      1. Kevin Geary says:

        That’s the thing. I specifically said I “can’t” knock him. The whole point of my comment was that watching how he crafted this post was teaching me something. It wasn’t a knock.

    3. Yes, this was obviously a real person. I don’t make up stories 🙂

  3. You’re awesome 🙂

  4. Corey Griffin says:

    Awesome right on point

  5. I think Starbucks is even better than the golf course for sharing business and ideas! I signed up for Amy’s Profit Lab that starts this Monday, looking forward to it 🙂

  6. Jeff Patterson says:

    Thanks Uncle David for the tips, great as always. Definitely need to make a PDF resource myself. Perfect timing.

  7. Jason says:

    It was indeed me (sorry guess I could have made that clearer). Landing page will be up tomorrow by midnight. Thanks again for taking the time David. Talk with you again soon.

  8. Josue Molina says:

    Nice @therisetothetop:disqus We must authoritative in something to make that list grow. Because that list easily die out when ppl want more from you. Great tips.

  9. mywebsiteworx says:

    Hey David,
    Cool post with some easy to implement ideas.
    I noticed Amy was talking about on some of her earlier posts and training that we shouldnt really focus on promoting posts when we first starting out to build up a facebook community. She recommended getting around the 500 like mark before doing such a thing.
    So i dabbled with some facebook ads for my site, 10 dollars a day.
    It works
    The type of people who are liking my page is CRAP.
    They look like they are made up pages or people who are totally not my target market
    Whats your thoughts on this?
    Have you experienced anything like this?
    The way i see it.
    The reason I want to build likes first. ( i also persuade people to join as an email subscriber using a leadpages facebook page)
    Its all about peoples first impression of your page. If they see you’ve got a small following then why would they want your advice as you come across as a small timer.
    Thanks mate, would be interested in what you’ve come across and believe would be the best options.

  10. ledge says:

    Nice & clear, thanks. Just fix the typo in the main headline. All
    the top blogs still have these annoyingly unprofessional mistaks.
    “A fella came up to me Starbucks….”
    Otherwise, keep up the great inspiring work, David & co.

    1. coachbyron says:

      BTW… you mispelled “mistakes” in your comment. “…annoyingly unprofessional mistaks.”

  11. JD Ebberly says:

    Impressive David – Shared on Twitter!

  12. Hey
    I just created my site and just started building my list.. Found your tips very helpful.

    Alta from

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8 Steps to Turning What You Already Know into a Successful Online Course

The 8 step process to the successful with online courses + free gifts for attending!

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