You probably already know that Google is the world’s largest search engine and most visited website in the world.
But do you know what the second-biggest search engine in the world is?
It’s not Bing.
The second largest search engine in the world is not actually even a search engine at all.
In today’s post, I’m going to walk you through everything you’ve ever wanted to know about using YouTube to build an email list that you were afraid to ask.
These are actionable steps you can follow right now to:
- Get more video views
- Grow your subscribers
- Get visitors to your landing page and capture their emails
Why do YouTubers need to build an email list?
The four major reasons you should care about an email subscriber over a YouTube subscriber, and build a list are as follows.
1. You own your email subscribers
If you run a YouTube channel, it’s not unfamiliar to hear about algorithm changes and regular experiments on the platform. Your video views and subscriber count can drop unexpectedly. Worse, your channel might not align with the network’s policies and get shut down overnight.
Compare that with your email list. It’s solely your audience, and you have direct access to their inboxes. You can broadcast emails, or even build one-to-one relationships by personalizing your message.
2. Email marketing suites offer you powerful personalization features
Here’s the first email that Pat Flynn (affiliate marketer and blogger) uses to learn about his new subscribers. Based on the answer you click, he then shares targeted and relevant resources that suit your stage.
It’s impossible to segment your YouTube subscribers and serve them with personalized content in this manner.
Why capture your YouTube subscriber’s email address?
Email is still one of the best ways to keep in touch with the audience you’ve already earned. Why? Because it allows you to connect with them in a place they check every day: their inbox. Your emails aren’t limited by an algorithm — every person gets every email every time.
When you have your own email list, you’re able to communicate exclusively with an audience of engaged viewers who enjoy watching your videos.
Plus with email, you can let viewers know when a new video is released, or share other content they might find valuable, such as a blog post or ebook. Emails also allow you to build trust with your subscribers.
Getting your subscribers on your email list can also help you increase your revenue through courses, subscriptions, and merch.
15 Ways To Build An Email List From Your YouTube Subscribers
Building your email list will take a few tools, including:
- effort and dedication
- communication skills
- ability to relate to people
- an internet connection with access to YouTube
- one YouTube account
- a word-processing program, such as Word, Notepad, Pages, etc.
These are all things most people have access to. If you do not have a YouTube account, I suggest you make one. It will benefit you in the long run.
Let me show you how to build your email list using YouTube comments in just Ten simple steps.
1. Use YouTube cards and end screens
YouTube offers two built-in features that can help you grow your email list: cards and end screens.
Cards are small pop-up windows that appear during a video, while end screens are customized graphics that appear at the end of a video. Both of these tools can be used to encourage viewers to sign up.
Just add your call out to sign up to receive your latest and greatest video content.
2. Create a Welcome Video
As I alluded to earlier you have the option of setting up a welcome video that will be displayed to every visitor who comes to your channel.
One easy way to create a winning welcome video is to use one of your most popular commercials.
Another way to do it is to create a video where you personally thank the viewer for coming to your page and detail all of the benefits they are going to get from watching your videos before sending them to sign up for your newsletter.
Your welcome video can be a little bit longer than your commercials but should still be no longer than about 90 seconds. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different kinds of welcome videos to see what gets the best reaction from your viewers.
3. Make Commercials
As I mentioned earlier you’ll want to make commercials for your email list. I recommend making at least one commercial each month that describes the benefits of your free gift and signing up for your mailing list. Your commercials should be short, less than 1 minute, and as close to 30 seconds as you can get without making it feel too much like a sales pitch. A nice formula for coming up with these short pitches is:
- A piece of information about yourself such as your love of coffee or your recent back pain.
- A 10-second piece of advice. Something that will make the viewer nod their head or audibly say “Ohhhh interesting.”
- A metaphor about how this piece of advice will help them.
- This a soft pitch to head over to your landing page and sign up.
While that is just a short template, feel free to get creative and experiment with your commercials as much as you want. I recommend creating at least 1 commercial a month and tracking to see which one performs best. Once you have a winning commercial you can turn that into a welcome video, which I’ll talk more about in our 7th point.
4. Add a call-to-action (CTA) to your video content
One of the easiest ways to encourage people to join your email list is to – you got it — ask them. The ask is commonly known as a call to action or CTA. This can be as simple as adding a text overlay or verbal instruction in your video asking viewers to subscribe to your email list for updates, exclusive content, or special offers.
Make sure your CTA is clear and compelling, and consider offering an incentive like a free e-book or discount code to entice people to sign up.
5. Syndicate your videos on Wistia. Then, use Turnstile…
Content syndication is an efficient way to scale your audience, without creating new content. If you’re creating videos, then you could also push them to Wistia. It’s a terrific platform for getting detailed video analytics.
Once you have uploaded your videos on Wistia, it enables you to gate them with landing pages. Here’s a detailed guide on capturing leads using Turnstile.
You could also publish your YouTube videos natively on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram as video updates have a higher reach than links. Then, in the description of the social media update, you can invite users to subscribe to your list.
6. Contact the YouTuber
You can build your list of more than just YouTube comments; you can also contact the YouTuber personally. This works very well if done correctly and with tact.
You do not want to spam the video creator. You do want to invite them to have a look at your videos or your products because you both are a part of the same industry. This is where you can ask for their feedback or their advice to get the ball rolling.
Some great icebreakers include:
- asking about current industry strategies
- mentioning something from one of their video topics
- discussing upcoming trends in your industry
7. Add Links, Annotations, and Cards
Another easy way to make sure that your viewers join your email list is to use links, annotations, and cards.
Let’s start by discussing links. You’ll want to make sure that you include a link to your email harvesting landing page in each and every video you create. These links can be inserted into your videos with the bare minimum amount of video editing knowledge or you can have someone create them for you on a site like Fiverr for a few dollars. Don’t post another video without a link to your landing page.
Annotations you’ll have to hurry with as YouTube plans on discontinuing them pretty soon but they currently allow you to layer links, playlists, and subscription options over your video starting in the last 30 seconds. Make sure you link all your existing video annotations to your email-harvesting page before May to take advantage.
8. Embed sign-up forms in your video descriptions
You have valuable real estate in your video description, use it to provide opportunities for viewers to join your email list, sign up for your services, or to check out your social media accounts.
One of the options can be to sign up to receive valuable content through email. This works especially well if you’re creating tutorials or how-to videos that offer value to your audience.
In your video description, include a link to your email sign-up page along with a brief description of the benefits of signing up. You can also use tools like Leadformly or Typeform to embed a sign-up form directly into your video description.
9. Contact or Comment
Now that you have a lengthy list of commenters to choose from, select your best candidates and click on their usernames.
This process is the same process you go through with the YouTube video creator.
What you can expect from this process is to repeat it until you build your list.
- Click on their username
- Click on the About header
- Land on the About page
- Initiate contact
Some commenters may not have an About section set up as part of their YouTube account, meaning there is no easy way to contact them. In this case, it’s best to select your next commenter and continue from there.
10. Use YouTube Ads
While I could write a whole post on using YouTube ads through Google Adwords, I’ll leave that for another day and just mention some basics here.
First as you probably already know from using YouTube there are the kinds of ads you can skip and the ones you can’t. There are also ads that are shown off to the side or in search listings (in the display). Once you decide on the kind of ad you want to use YouTube will walk you through the process and the analytics you’ll need to track.
Because YouTube advertising is one of the newest forms of video advertising, it is currently much cheaper than text ads and video views can often be had for a few cents.
As with all PPC ads you’ll want to make sure that you’re split testing your ads and budgeting responsibly so that you don’t end up with a huge bill for a bunch of 3-second views.
11. Ask in your video
Asking your viewers to sign up for your email list directly in your videos.
To make this approach work, you need to lay the foundation for the ask throughout the video by mentioning how your viewers can find more information by signing up for your email list.
This can be done casually and naturally within the content of your video. Then, at the end of your video, you can encourage viewers to sign up for your email list. Remember to highlight the benefits of joining your email list. Also, make sure the signup process is as simple and straightforward as possible.
12. Comment On Other People’s Videos In Your Niche
Last but not least, one of the most consistent ways to get more email subscribers from YouTube is to comment on other people’s videos that are related to what you teach.
By commenting on other people’s videos and adding value you become a valued member of their YouTube page which will encourage viewers to check out your page as well. If you do a really good job of commenting the other video’s creator may even want to discuss setting up a joint project down the road.
I don’t expect you to finish reading an article like this and immediately start doing everything I mentioned, so before we wrap this article up let’s go over the key points, one last time.
We started off by discussing how YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine online, with over 3 billion searches a month.
13. Link to Your Lead Magnet Everywhere
Now that you’ve added your call to action, you’ll need to add a link to your website with an optional form where viewers can go to download your lead magnet.
This can be a simple page with an opt-in form. (For the best results, use a 2-step option and an exit-intent lightbox.)
To learn more about creating an opt-in form for your lead magnet, check out this 63-Point Checklist for Creating the Ultimate Opt-in Form.
14. Make Playlists
One of the best ways to get more engagement from your viewer and get the most chances to convert them into an email signup is through the use of playlists. Creating playlists allows your viewers to quickly and easily find the videos they are most interested in and explore different topics.
Consider creating specific categories for your playlists based on what you teach. You could have demonstrations, exercises, and even testimonials. The idea is to separate them into lists so that your viewer can decide what they are interested in.
On the back end, the analytics on your playlists will tell you what your readers are most interested in so that you can design more videos on those subjects.
15. Create a Lead Magnet
The very first thing you need to do is to create a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is a valuable incentive that you offer to your YouTube viewers for free in exchange for their email addresses. Lead magnets usually offer a small but action-packed piece of downloadable content, such as a free PDF checklist, a report, an eBook, a whitepaper, a premium video, etc.
The reason this is important is that people don’t simply give away their email addresses for no good reason. You need to motivate them by offering them something that they will absolutely love.
One of the most effective types of lead magnets is the content upgrade. A content upgrade is a lead magnet that you create specifically for a particular YouTube video.