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How To Build An Email List (From Scratch)

Published By: Uli Iserloh
Date: June 26, 2019

"I wish I had started building my email list sooner."

This is one of the most common regrets of health practitioners (and healthpreneurs in general), so if you feel behind the curve... you're in good company!

In this video tutorial, I highlight how to build an email list from scratch, and the eight key steps to supercharge your list-building efforts.

Why You Need To Own Your Media

The last two weeks have been a true rollercoaster for many health practitioner colleagues, with FB ad accounts getting randomly closed, entire Instagram accounts disabled, and Google’s June 3 algorithm change hosing organic search traffic by as much as 80% for many larger websites in the healthcare space.

  • Imagine if you lost your Facebook or Instagram account today... how would you connect with your tribe, your community?
  • Imagine if your Google search ranking suddenly evaporated... how would you deal with the resulting loss in patient flow?

Yes, you have to play on these social media platforms... but when that’s your only play to build your practice, you expose yourself to massive risk.

That’s why you should always focus on owning your media as much as you can... like your email list.

Now, there’s actually several more reasons why building your email list is smart business:

  • You can say what you want to say. Copywriters know exactly how to get people to take action... and yet when you try to turn that into a FB or IG ad, it likely won’t get approved. With email, nobody’s gonna censor you.
  • You get to present information in the right order. Unlike social media, email provides you with a way to sequence your story in the right order.
  • You need more than seven touch points to go from a "No, Not Right Now" to a "Yes". This is really hard to do on social media, whereas with an email list, you can just email them to get in front of them and deliver the touch points, in the right order in which they need to see it.

Your email list, or more precisely, the relationship that you have with the people on your email list, will be one of your most valuable assets in your practice.

If you only remember one concept from this post, it's the idea that consumers are very careful with their contact information and they really only opt in for those email sequences where there's a clear perceived value.

So when you're considering why people are subscribing to your email list, why do they open your emails, it's really about this concept of relevant value. Said another way:

If your email list isn't growing, it's simply because you're not providing enough relevant value.


How To Build An Email List

During the opt-in, it's critical to make it crystal clear to visitors why they should subscribe to your email list and what they get if they do. This is why a generic "sign up for our newsletter" is a really poor call to action because it doesn't specify what type of information they will be receiving (and nobody wants more irrelevant emails in their inbox). So don't do that.

The other key aspect is to establish relevance and value right away. You can't let your audience figure this out over the course of 10 emails – instead, your thank-you page (after optin) should open with a video that introduces your practice, your mission and explains the next steps and what they can expect. That way you start out the relationship on the right foot.


10in10 Email Sequences

Working with integrative medicine practitioners, we always recommend a "10 Ways In 10 Days" email autoresponder that pre-educates your audience over the course of 10 days about how you are different from conventional medicine practitioners (click here to download our guide with the 3 email automations every integrative practitioner should have in place).

The 7 Steps To Build Your Email List

Provide Content Upgrades In Blog Posts

In the video above, I explain more of the details – but the more relevant lead magnets you provide, the easier it will be to build your email list.

At the end of every blog post that you have, there should be some form of content upgrade that they could opt-in for (in exchange for their email address). As an example, my wife created a turmeric recipe booklet - yet nobody opted in for it when we sent people straight to the landing page.

But when she wrote a blog post about "How to Cook With Turmeric", her readers had sufficient context that made downloading the turmeric recipe booklet the logical next step (to the tune of over 20,000 subscribers!)

This is especially important for high-traffic pages on your website. So go into your Google Analytics and identify your most popular articles, and decide what lead magnet to feature there.


Use lead magnets to build your email list

The more lead magnets you have on your site, the more ways people can get on your email list. It's that simple.

In all likelihood, you won't know if a given lead magnet is really converting well until you test it out, so don't spend too much time perfecting your lead magnets... go with the simplest possible version until you know that you have a winner.


Use clear value proposition in your signup buttons

When you're trying to build a list, every little bit helps... that's why optimizing the language on the buttons is critical (watch the above video for details).


Use clickpops in your lead magnets

In the above video, I cover in much more detail why you should use a popup triggered by clicking on a button (a so-called "click-pop") rather than showing the actual signup form.


You should use popups that trigger after a user has spent a certain amount of time (15 seconds) on your page, or scrolled a certain percentage (75%) down the page.

If you match the topic of the popup to the page content, then the lead magnet will feel like a relevant content upgrade. As an example, one of my wife's recipe pages on "Crockpot Apples" garnered for 5 years running between 30,000-60,000 website visitors each month - so we offered a "recipe booklet with 20 additional crockpot apple recipes".


Feature Your CTA Everywhere

Again, watch the video for details... but in a nutshell, the more places you feature your lead magnets, the more people will opt-in for your lead magnet.


Run Paid Ads For Your Lead Magnets

If you're looking to build your email list with ideal patients in your local community, consider running Facebook & Instagram ads for your lead magnets.

This works even better in the context of retargeting ads, where you show ads for lead magnets only to those people who have already visited certain webpages on your website:


Next Steps

So if you enjoyed this content and you want more of it, make sure you go ahead and...

If you want other practitioners just like you be able to access this information, this knowledge, make sure to you use the share buttons below to share it with someone that means the most to you. Remember, as practitioners, it’s our job help more people understand what we do, allowing us to evolve the future of healthcare.

Uli Iserloh
As one of the leading marketing strategists in the integrative/functional medicine space, Uli Iserloh has been advising many of today’s leaders on marketing strategy and marketing technology for over 23 years — helping health practitioners increase new patient enrollment predictably… even if they cringe at selling, hate to be on social media 24/7 or have never run paid ads. Uli Iserloh is on a mission to equip health & wellness professionals to consistently pre-educate prospects into patients… largely on autopilot. After 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry, he founded Big Boost Marketing, an award-winning digital marketing agency serving many of today’s Functional & Integrative Medicine leaders. He’s the host of the Getting To YES podcast as well as the co-creator of the Evolution of Medicine Practice Accelerator.


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