How to Build an Email List from Your YouTube Subscribers
Want to grow your email list on YouTube? As the world’s second-largest search engine, YouTube offers a huge opportunity for business owners to generate more leads. In this guide, we’ll share how to build an email list for your YouTube channel.
Did you know that YouTube is the third most visited site after Google and Facebook? There are 3.25 billion hours of video watched each month. If you aren’t getting a piece of that pie, you are missing out on a lot of email subscribers.
Unfortunately, most YouTube channels aren’t optimized properly for email subscribers.
What is an Email List?
Put simply, an email list is a collection of subscribers who choose to receive content and updates from you via, you guessed it, email.
Sometimes people call email lists “subscribers lists” or “mailing lists.”
You can start an email list or grow your existing email list in several ways that we’ll cover later on.
First, let’s take a look at why email list building is essential for your online business.
How to get a YouTube viewer to join your email list
I’ve been growing my email list via my YouTube videos for four years now and have learned a thing or two about how to turn a YouTube viewer into an email subscriber–in fact, 82% of my list has come via YouTube! Here’s my advice on how to grow your email list through YouTube, along with some examples from other YouTubers.
Step 1: Promoting your landing page in your video
There are lots of ways to do this and it’s worth experimenting to figure out what works best for you and your audience. Here’s how I suggest you promote your opt-in incentive in a YouTube video.
First, near the beginning of the video mention the freebie and tell people how they can get it. It helps to show a glimpse of the bonus content on the screen as it will show your viewer visually what they’ll be getting and why they should take action to sign up for it.
Next, put the URL right on the screen, but tell your viewers that they can find the link in the video description too. You should have the link available near the top of the description for easy access, and make sure you paste the full link, starting with the https:// because the URL won’t be clickable in the description if you don’t.
Step 2: Create an opt-in incentive related to your video
A surefire way to convince someone to join your list is to offer an incentive. Often called a content upgrade or lead magnet, incentives allow you to give your audience some increased value related to the content they just watched in exchange for their email address.
What could you offer to go alongside your next YouTube video that would bring value to your audience?
Some ideas for companion material could be:
- Behind-the-scenes content or a “making of” the video
- A PDF worksheet to help your viewer dive deeper into a concept you shared
- Written instructions they can print or reference later to remind themselves of the video content
- An email course that delivers more in-depth lessons
- A downloadable asset that relates to what you showed in the video.
- A checklist to help your viewer take action on the advice you gave in the video
Step 3: Create a landing page to deliver your incentive
Once you’ve created your bonus content, you need a landing page to deliver it when a viewer signs up, and a free account with ConvertKit makes this incredibly easy. Click the button below to create a landing with me right now.
Customize the landing page
Edit the colors and imagery of the template to fit the brand of your YouTube channel. A cohesive experience here will give your viewers a sense of familiarity and trust when they’re on the landing page, which will make them more likely to sign up.
Connect your incentive
To connect your opt-in incentive either upload the file or add a link to the bonus content. When your viewer signs up, they’ll automatically be sent an email with a button they’ll click that will not only give them access to the incentive but will also confirm their subscription to your email list. You can (and should!) edit the content of that email too to make it more personal.
Choose a template.
Perhaps one of the video templates so you can promote your video on the page too, or a template that focuses on the asset you’re offering and has lots of space for you to give details on it. They’ve all been created by world-class designers though, so you can’t make a wrong choice here!
Why Email List Building is Essential
As much as email might seem like an internet marketing dinosaur, email marketing to this day brings the highest return on investment (ROI) for many businesses in the US according to the Direct Marketing Association.
Regardless of the size of your business, prospects on an email list are vital for successful marketing campaigns.
Your email list is your own
Unlike Facebook page likes, Twitter followers, or Google visitors, you own the contact information in your email list.
Sometimes past social media growth campaigns and SEO efforts can go from very successful to completely shut down overnight when those platforms change their policies.
Email is personal
An email lands you directly in your audience members’ inboxes. There’s no ranking system or opaque algorithms here that limits your reach.
Email marketing is a direct and personal approach to communicating with your existing audience and potential customers.
Email is a must-have for most people
There are a ton of eye-popping statistics for the number of monthly active users and total levels of engagement on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.
It’s not so easy to find stats for the number of people who use email every day, but we know just from our personal experiences living in the modern world that essentially everyone on the internet has an email address since they’re needed for any platform that requires creating an account and logging in.
How to Build Your Email List with YouTube
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 five simple steps.
1. Put A Compelling CTA In Your Channel Header
Noah Kagan, a multi-million entrepreneur, found that 400x more people subscribe to his channel from his channel homepage, as compared with videos.
He changed his header with social proof, optimized for “people aren’t familiar with his name yet.” His goal was converting the casual YouTube traffic into channel subscribers.
In our case, we want to convert casual browsers into email subscribers. Hence, you can do something like Miles Beckler does in his channel header shown below.
2. Find Relevant Videos
When you are on the YouTube homepage, you can search for any video topics you choose. I recommend you pick a topic based on your industry or genre—these will be your best potential leads to become customers.
The top videos that pop up all look great, but we want a recent video. Try to look for one that was done in the last year. The video I picked is the most recent, at 5 months. Click on it.
If you find a video that doesn’t have many comments, or the comments are older than a year, pick a different video or narrow your search.
3. 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.
4. 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.
How to Build an Email List from Your YouTube Subscribers
5. Add Annotations
YouTube Annotations allow you to layer text, links, and hotspots over your video. These can be used to add a link to your lead magnet with a compelling call to action (and you can customize the way they look too).
Here’s an example of an annotation that tells the viewer to subscribe and learn how to create a sales video.
To create an annotation, follow these steps:
- Go to your channel Video Manager.
- Next to the video you wish to edit, click the down arrow to the right of the Edit button and select “Annotations”.
- Click the “Add annotation” button on the right.
- Click “Apply changes” when you’ve finished creating your annotations.