Matthew Laurin

Building An Email List With eBooks

An email listing building iconWith some good content relevant to an audience you want to attract, some web-based software and a website, it can be pretty easy to build an email list.  Instead of buying emails or making lists out of tradeshow signup sheets, make a list full of prospects that you know are interested in what you have to say (because they asked for that content).

Make an eBook

This doesn’t have to be a novel.  It doesn’t even have to be long.  It does however have to be useful and relevant to prospects for your products or services.

Usefulness:  Write (or have written) content that people can actually use.  For instance if you run an irrigation system installation company, your audience might find a guide on how to winterize a sprinkler system very useful.  Maybe you’re a family law attorney.  Your target market would definitely like to know the top ten strategies on preparing for a messy custody battle.

Relevance:  This refers to relevance for you and who you want to sell to (not so much relevance of content for your audience although that will happen naturally anyway).  Generate a piece of content that will attract people who need your product or service.  For instance an HVAC company that wants to drum up business for summer A/C tune ups might write an ebook on easy central air conditioner checkup tips for consumers.  They then know that the people who’ve traded their email for that content most likely have a central air unit they need serviced at some point in the near future.


  • Don’t give away too much info
  • Don’t spend a ton of time writing it (make it good but it’s not going in the library of congress)
  • If you aren’t a good writer, have a good writer do it for you (you’ll be glad you did)
  • Don’t copy and paste content from other sources
  • Brand it with your logo and contact info
  • Embed links to your website in it
  • Embed links that allow people to share the landing page where they downloaded the ebook from in it
  • Make it easy to digest for your audience

Build a Landing Page

You don’t have to be a superstar programmer to do this.  In fact with some of the tools available out there, you don’t have to know the first thing about any kind of programming code.  For example is an excellent website for creating well-made landing pages that follow the leading edge of conversion best practices (getting visitors to do what you want them to do).

Lead Pages has a button clicking interface with no code involved what-so-ever (unless you want to use code).  You can type in words, click boxes and buttons to change colors or add/remove elements and the interface is all very user-friendly.  The Lead Pages interface even has a template designed specifically for eBook downloads (although you can choose from many, many more).

An Example of a Lead Page from

The service isn’t free and it’s $37/month for the most basic plan but it’s worth every penny.  The basic plan allows you to use all the design features and then integrate the page onto your website using a snippet of code.  If you are using WordPress you can download the Lead Pages plugin and integration is even easier.  If you upgrade to the next package up ($67/month) you’ll be able to export the page as HTML and load it on any site you want.

Simply set up an account, log in, choose a template from one of dozens that are available, style it and you’re done.  You can then integrate it with other parts of your campaign which we will go into now.

Making Your Thank You Page

You’ll want to have some sort of confirmation page for your visitors to see once they’ve finished.  You can make one using Lead Pages or whatever auto-repsonder you decide to use.  You can also use a custom page that you make on your own website.

For example if you have a WordPress website, you can simply make a new page and call it /thank-you.  Then simply publish it and paste the URL into the lead pages interface.

It’s important that you don’t include the download link to your ebook in the thank you page of your process.  This is true for two reasons:

  1. If all that is required is a name and email, people can put anything they want in your fields and get the information.  Then you are left with data that isn’t very good.
  2. You want people to confirm that it’s ok to send them more information after the initial ebook email with download link.  The only way you can do that is by having people confirm their addresses.

If you are going to use an auto-responder service (which we’ll cover in a moment here), you can use thank you page options available with those programs.  I like to use a thank you page on my own site because it keeps users there and they can navigate elsewhere on the site if they want.

Making Your Auto Responder Email

This is a crucial step in the whole process.  You don’t want to manually send an email with a download link to all of the people that opt to download your ebook.  There are automated systems out there that work well with Lead Pages, are reasonably priced and easy to use.  Some popular ones include:

For the purposes of this post we’ll use Aweber.  You can set up an Aweber account for as little as 19 bucks a month which allows you to build a list of up to 500 subscribers and send unlimited emails.  Once you set up your account, go in to the forms interface and set up a basic contact form.

The Aweber Home page

You don’t have to worry too much about styling because you’re going to integrate your form with Lead Pages.  You do however only want to make two fields, one for first name last name and one for email.

Creating a new signup form in Aweber



Example of an Aweber Signup form

Once you have your form made, go back to your Lead Pages account.  Select the account button in the top right corner of the page and select integrations.  Choose Aweber from the list of email marketing services available for integration.

LeadPages integrations menu

Once you have that finished, go back to your landing page and integrate your form in the contact form section of the interface.

Lead pages form integration

Aweber and other web-based email marketing programs are awesome for automatic follow up campaigns.  If you’re so inclined, you can set up other auto-response emails to be sent out to your ebook patrons.

What creative ideas do you have for building an email list?  Share your ideas by leaving a comment below!

Written by:

Loading Facebook Comments ...

No comments yet.

You must be logged in to post a comment.