Email Marketing

How To Build Your Email List: 5 Lead Magnet Ideas For Affiliate Marketers

If you want to build a successful online business you will need to know how to build your email list. One of the best ways to build your list is to offer something of value in exchange for a reader’s email address. This is typically referred to as a lead magnet. I previously wrote about email marketing for affiliate marketers, which you can read here. It wasn’t until after I wrote this article that I realised that I didn’t really cover off on how to actually build an email list.

If you’re wondering what an effective lead magnet is for affiliate marketing, then I’ve got five ideas to fire-up your imagination.

Lead Magnet Idea #1: Email Templateshow to build an email list affiliate marketer

I thought that this idea was pretty meta… Imagine if you could build your email list by offering email templates to your list. Well, you can. If your niche is helping other affiliate marketers, then you could offer email templates that these affiliate marketers to communicate with their niche. If your niche is in the business space, then it should be pretty easy to think of ideas of email templates you could share.

If your niche wouldn’t benefit from email templates, then one of the following may be best suited for you…

how to build an email list affiliate marketerLead Magnet Idea #2: Checklist

A checklist is a documented process that you follow in order to achieve the desired outcome. Most of us take our knowledge for granted, however, if you have any of your processes documented, then I am certain that there is someone out there who would appreciate your checklist in order to provide them with a shortcut.


Lead Magnet Idea #3: Ultimate How-To Guidehow to build an email list affiliate marketer

This is my personal favourite lead magnet idea. I like to offer “ultimate guides” to areas within my niche. For example, I may compile the Ultimate Guide To Email Marketing For Affiliate Marketing or the Ultimate Guide To Marketing Automation. I believe that any niche can publish an Ultimate Guide. For example…

… if your niche is dog food, then you could offer the Ultimate Guide To Selecting The Right Dog Food For Your Furry Friend…

… if your niche is yoga, you could offer the Ultimate Guide to Yoga For Beginners…

… if your niche is fat-loss, you could offer the Ultimate Guide to Burning Off Stubborn Fat…

… I’m sure you get the idea by now.

If you’re struggling to come up with an Ultimate Guide idea, leave your niche in the comments and I will brainstorm some ideas for you.

how to build an email list affiliate marketer cheatsheetLead Magnet Idea #4: Cheat Sheet

A cheat sheet is simply a shorter version of the ultimate guide. It’s usually only a page or two and cuts straight to the point. It communicates what you should do in order to achieve the desired outcome. For example, I might offer the Getting Started With Business Automation Cheat Sheet.


Lead Magnet Idea #5: Course

how to build an email marketing list course

A popular lead magnet if a mini-course. This may be a series of videos or emails being drip fed to your prospect, teaching them a desirable skill or some other form of training. It can be a great lead magnet to build authority with your audience and to seed subsequent courses or information products. Likewise, you could film a short course on how to use a particular product.

K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Short)

Typically, a high-converting lead magnet is short and actionable. I remember a few years ago being told that the longer the lead magnet, the better, however, I think our attention spans have decreased and it seems that shorter lead magnets encourage action.

Don’t feel like you need to produce an immaculate lead magnet, especially for your first one. Done is better than perfect, so get something completed and out in the world and start collecting leads!

Author: Shane

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  1. Very good post and great info.

    This will help me because my business has growing now in the way that I can start to perform email marketing.

    Now my problem was how to do this to attract people and how to keep them interested.

    I’m happy I stumbled across your post because the tips you gave will help me a lot!

    Thank you very much for sharing it!

    1. Hi Emmanuel, 

      Thanks so much for commenting, I really appreciate you taking the time. 

      I’m glad the article was able to help you! Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.



  2. Never had any real success through email marketing – it’s the only form of online marketing I’ve failed at really! 

    So, this article is extremely welcome and timely for me. I quite like the idea of offering ultimate guides, because I am often drawn to these sorts of guides myself (i.e. they work on me!). 

    How long would you suggest each guide being?

    1. Hi Chris, 

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on my blog, it’s greatly appreciated!

      With an ‘Ultimate Guide’ I believe that it should be as long as necessary but as short as possible, i.e. all killer, no filler 😉 There is a great article on the Thrive Themes blog about ultimate guides and a strategy they refer to as the ‘open PDF’. That’s a great read if you’re looking to start writing Ultimate Guides. I’ll be doing an article on them shortly as well.

      Thanks again Chris. 



  3. Hi Shane, What a super helpful post! I was not sure that I would be able to fit anything like this into my particular niche, but you have helped me to better understand how. Using the Ultimate how to guide is a great idea. thank you for sharing this well thought out and easy to follow post. Do you think a website should have matured a little before starting this type of thing?

    Cheers Cass

    1. Hi Cass, 

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it. 

      To answer your questions, I don’t think you should wait for a website to mature before implementing lead magnet ideas. The earlier you start to build your list, the larger the benefit you will receive in the future. 

      Thanks again!



  4. Hey Shane,

    Building your email list is a necessary part of building your online business. Affiliate marketing requires hard work but knowing all the tips of how to get people to your site is important.

    I’ve seen these before. These magnet landing pages, the email templates, the checklists are great tools as magnet ideas. You really do have to attract people somehow and all of these magnets will do that!

    The how to guide is an awesome idea. People want to read about this! And the course is a great magnet because people want to learn more.

    When you capture people’s email addresses how often do you send them follow ups?

    1. Hi Rob, 

      Thanks so much for your comment, I really appreciate you taking the time. 

      I recommend weekly high value emails to stay front of mind, with the majority of emails being value delivery and only a small fraction being promotional. 

      Hope that helps!



  5. I am seriously thinking about starting my own email list to aid in my marketing efforts and i think the tips you have given here about building Lead magnets will definitely help me in my efforts.

    On the topic of the Ultimate How To Guide.  I want to take you up on your offer of ideas for “Affiliate marketing opportunities for Caribbean people”

    Thanks for this great post.

    1. Hi Donald, 

      Thanks so much for your comment, I appreciate you reading my blog. 

      With your topic, you could do… The Ultimate Guide To Affiliate Marketing: How People in the Caribbean are Making Money Online

      Hope that helps!



  6. I need to build an email list.  I know it, but I haven’t done it.  Thank you for these tips, it is a great help for those of us learning about making money online. I like the idea of the How To guide.  Most people seem to be looking at How To do something.

    I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with your comment about keeping it super short. (Great variation on the KISS principle – love it). So often, one downloads information only to find that instead of a tip sheet, you receive a 100 page mini novel.  Of course, I never seem to get around to reading it.

    My personal preference is a short, easy to read email sequence.  I often unsubscribe when the email is an essay.

    Isn’t it amazing that we join other people’s email lists, knowing how they have gotten our email address, but never seem to get our own underway.

    Note to self: take on board these great tips.

    1. Hi Kerry, 

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog and post such a great comment. 

      I hope I was able to help in some small way. 



  7. I think the idea 3 was pretty neat and useful idea just as a bridge to communicate to audience .It is also a way to convey and share people personal experience through these ultimate guide . I have to strongly agreed with the K.I.S.S method where people nowadays have the minimal patience on everything.Keep it short and straight will bel the way to convey our content so that audience would still brush through the content just because it wouldn’t take much of their time.

  8. Right now so many people are trying to do Affiliate business. And they don’t realize that building up their email list is important as much as they sell stuff. This article gives a clear view of what has to be done for that. I read through the whole article it sounds awesome and I know it’s going to be helpful for so many people who are in this business.

    Thank you for sharing this article with us. Really appreciate it.

  9. These are some phenomenal ideas on how to get and build an email list. I’ve been thinking about creating a mini-course for my readers to help them with their affiliate marketing. Thank you backing that idea up with this article. The other ones are pretty good to I might try to cheat sheet as well, these are just little simple ideas which can definitely benefit me in the long term. Which one of these ideas do you use to build your own list?

    1. Hi Jag!

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog, I really appreciate it!

      I have a few businesses so I use all five across the different businesses. I find some work bettter than others for specific businesses so I suggest testing which ones work for you. 

      Hope that helps!



  10. Thanks for these ideas and I just bookmarked this page because it is an important aspect of an online entrepreneur. You have to be able to build an email list. It is considered a very important aspect on anyone in the online business space.

    Having a blog is good but if you want to be more closer to your readers never underestimate the power of an email list.

  11. Shane,

    Thanks for presenting these options and examples to go along with them. I am just starting out and have no email list yet, probably because I have nothing to offer. Now I will have. I will either do a list, a how-to guide, or a cheat sheet – maybe all three.

    If the cheat sheet is a shortened version of the Ultimate Guide, do you have any parameters on how long an Ultimate Guide should be, and how long is too long?

    I’ll be sure to contact you if I need some brain-storming. Thanks for the offer!

    1. Hi Rick!

      Thanks for dropping by!

      An Ultimate Guide is as long as it needs to be but as short as possible (i.e. all killer, no filler) but is naturally longer than a cheat sheet because it is, well, an ultimate guide so it generally covers off more areas and in greater depth than a cheat sheet. Cheat sheets are about instant results and quick to implement where ultimate guides are more about learning something more in depth. 

      Hope that helps!



  12. Great article, Since I am at that stage where I am trying to build an email list this article was of particular interest to me.  I was going the traditional way of offering an ebook on a particular subject that relates to the niche.

    I will try one of two of your suggestions.  It is not that I am hearing it for the first time it it just that I have never taken the time out to give other methods a try.  

    Thanks again for the suggestions especially #4, sounds interesting will do a little more research on it or you could expound what is a cheat sheet a little more me.


    1. Hi Doreen!

      Thanks for commenting on my blog! I appreciate you taking the time. 

      It’s always best to test and measure which lead magnet works for your niche. Give a few a go and stick with the one that works best. 

      A cheatsheet is basically anything that is a shortcut for your audience. So it could be a marketing automation cheatsheet that shows how to set up your first automation or something similar. 

      I hope that helps!



  13. Hey Shane,

    Thank you for sharing your 5 practical Lead Magnet ideas. As l have just launch my website and don’t have much traffic, do you think l should start collecting subscriber now or wait until l have enough visitors.

    Also l have no idea in creating these lead magnet, how can l get these lead magnet from or l create them myself? And which is the best lead magnet for my travel website?

    Your opinion is much appreciated in helping my business.

    Best regards.


    1. Hi Nax, 

      Thanks for swinging by my site. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my blog!

      Yes, you should definitely start collecting emails as soon as possible. Especially since you are a travel website, you’ll be able to et subscribers know when you publish a new article.

      Creating a lead magnet can be a bit of a process – however you can start by typing one up to get your content. When it comes to design, you have a few options – you can hire a graphic designer, try to do yourself on Canva, or easily convert a blog post into a lead magnet with Designrr. I have used Designrr to create lead magnets before so very much worthwhile checking out.

      For a travel site, I think ultimate guides are very worthwhile. E.g. the Ultimate Guide to [insert location]. You could also do checklists of places to see or things to do. 

      Thanks again Nax!



  14. Hi Shane,Thank you for this info,it is going to be so helpful as I go on with building my business. At the moment I am helping a friend to get started on the blogging journey. I have book market your post as we will find it so useful in learning how the build an Email list. 

    It is one of the things I have known I need to do and this is going to come in very handy.

  15. I have had my affiliate site up and running for 3 years now and have yet to come up with any ideas for capturing an email audience. Every time I think of something I think it sounds stupid and I don’t put anything out there at all. I know this is affecting my sales but I just have not done anything about it. I like your idea of a how to guide because I really feel I can do this one with success. Thank you for sharing this, I am glad I came across this post. I am getting to work on my guide immediately. I may be in contact with you for a little help as I move forward if that’s okay.

    Thank You,


    1. Hi Jason!

      Thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to drop by my little corner of the internet to read my blog. 

      I see this a lot – thinking that we’re “not good enough” plagues every entrepreneur/business owner at some stage. To help me get over it, I have a saying – Progression over perfection. This means that as long as you are moving forward in the right direction, it doesn’t matter if what you put out isn’t perfect. 

      My advice is to just publish your first lead magnet and start building your list. 

      You are more than welcome to contact me if you need any help with anything. 



  16. Your explanation makes so much sense, now I understand why I keep getting so many emails from people I never gave my email. Never did I consider the explained lead magnets as how they got my email, now it makes a lot of sense. I only knew of use of a plug in and giving a free e-book as a way of growing your email list. Thank you for this valued information I will surely work on it.

    I don’t mind some help though, my niche is on Wildlife and Tourism, how can I build my email list? Which Lead Magnet is suitable for this niche.

    1. Hi Anita, 

      Thanks so much for passing by my blog. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

      Yep, we often sign up for resources (many of us don’t even consume the resource!) and that’s why we get so many emails. 

      With your niche, you could easily do:

      – The Ultimate Guide to Wildlife Tourism: 7 Places You MUST Visit to Get Up-Close & Personal with Wildlife

      – The Travellers Checklist: Everything You Must Pack Before You Head on Your Next Trip

      – The Tourists Cheatsheet: 5 Things Your Travel Agent Doesn’t Want You To Know…

      I hope that helps. 



  17. I haven’t started my email list and I know I should.  My site is only a month old so I should start thinking about how to put all the content for that together.

    This is a great article about this and I have taken the ‘how to’ approach.

    Time is a consideration when I have to write articles and organize my time for this as well.  Better start organizing.

    1. Hi Stew, 

      Starting an email list when your site is still new is a perfect time! That way, as you publish new content you can push it to your list, bringing back people who may not regularly check your site. This will increase traffic while you wait for your SEO efforts to be rewarded by Google. 

      Thanks again Stew!



  18. What a great list of ways to build your email list.  I really like the Ultimate Guide and check list ideas.  Building an email list is still on my to-do list as I haven’t been working too hard on creating it.  I do have an email champagne created, but it’s just with the templates through Sumo.  I think  that I will strongly take your advice here and start creating some more unique lead magnets of great value that will entice my readers to sign up.

    Thanks for the awesome ideas for my online business!!

    1. Hi Nicki, 

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog and comment. I really appreciate it!

      Yes, you should definitely get to building an email list as soon as possible! It’s never too early to start 😉



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