Fresh Fuel Marketing

5 Content Ideas to Grow Your Email List

As business owners and marketers, we know that growing your email list is KEY to lowering customer acquisition costs and growing your business. One common way to grow your list is to provide exclusive content in exchange for a prospect’s email. It’s usually the first step in establishing a customer relationship.

What's the Secret To Growing Your Email List?

Just add value.

When you really boil it down, marketing is all about forming relationships with your customers. And the key to starting a relationship with someone is to give them something valuable, in exchange for something small (like their contact info or a small purchase).

Today, we’re going to share five of our favorite opt-in content ideas to help you grow your email list.



1. e-Books

What is an e-book?

Hubspot describes e-books as “[electronic books that] have multiple digital “pages” that people can navigate through… often packaged as a PDF document.” Keeping this in mind, your e-book doesn’t have to be long – it can be 112 pages or 3 pages, doesn’t matter. However, it does have to provide value.

When should I consider creating an e-book?

There are several key situations in which you should consider creating an e-book:

  • If you have a long (and valuable) blog post that can be easily condensed into a PDF

  • If you have a niche topic that you want to discuss in-depth

  • If you have a long case study that would look better in PDF form

  • If you have any existing PDFs on your website, turn them into downloadable e-books

How to Create an e-book Quickly and Affordably:

There are lots of digital tool builder services out there, and most have a free plan. Our favorite calculator builders are Calconic and These calculators charge for lead generation and scale up in price as you get more leads.

2. e-Books

What is an instructional guide?

An instructional guide is an e-book subtype that walks your customers through the steps to solve a problem. Within the instructional guide, you can position your product as a solution to their problem.

When should I consider creating an instructional guide?

Consider creating an instructional guide if:

  • You know your customers are struggling with a specific problem

  • You’re an expert at solving a specific problem and have valuable knowledge that can be shared with potential customers

  • Your product/service is a pain reliever

Example: Hubspot’s content marketing instructional guide walks beginners through applying content marketing to their business.

How to Create an instructional guide Quickly and Affordably:

Consider creating it yourself. You’re the expert, after all! For writing content, this blog post from Sitepoint has seven effective tips to keep in mind when creating an instructional guide. If you need to touch up the design, check Fivver to see if someone can make a nice-looking PDF for $5-10.

3. Digital Tools

What is a Digital Tool?

Digital tools are online tools that help your customers answer a question or solve a problem. The most common type of these is an online calculator. Calculators allow you to send customers dynamic, customized content that meets their needs.

Digital tools also help your website rank higher in SEO, as they’ll allow your site to rank for new terms. Another example of a digital tool is an online quiz that sends results to visitors via email based on their responses.

When should I consider building a digital tool?

You should consider building a digital tool if:

  • Your main marketing goals are improving SEO and generating leads

  • You want the ability to deliver personalized recommendations to your customers

  • You want to make lead generation more fun and dynamic

  • You’re willing and able to pay for a tool-building service

How to Create a Digital Tool quickly and affordably

There are lots of digital tool builder services out there, and most have a free plan. Our favorite calculator builders are Calconic and These calculators charge for lead generation and scale up in price as you get more leads.

4. Templates

What is a template?

Templates are editable documents (usually built in Microsoft Office or Google Docs) that give customers examples or frameworks to solve problems. Examples include ROI calculators, PowerPoint designs, or example emails.

When should I consider building a template?

Consider building a template if:

  • You have a strong internal organization system and can share your knowledge with your customers

  • You’d rather re-purpose something you already use than build something entirely new

  • You have a strong knowledge of Microsoft Office and/or Google Docs

Example: SmartSheet’s Social Media Calendar Template is an editable document that interested potential customers can use.

How to Create a Template Quickly and Affordably

Creating a template is usually free, as you’re just repackaging something you use internally for organization and providing it to your customers for free. To tailor it to your customers’ needs, expect to spend between 2-4 hours creating the template. If you’re making an Excel template, check out this KnowledgeWave article about locking down your Excel spreadsheets.

5. Instructional Videos

What are Instructional Videos?

Think ‘instructional guide,’ just in video form. It walks your customers through solving a problem in an informative and visually-appealing way.

When should I consider creating an instructional video?

You should think about making an instructional video when:

  • A process is complicated and it’s hard to describe what to do without demonstrating visually

  • You want to try something different and stand out from other brands

  • You have the expertise (or the desire) to try your hand at video editing

Example: Benjamin Moore’s “How to Paint” series on YouTube shows viewers how to paint common household surfaces using Benjamin Moore paint.

How to Create an Instructional Video Quickly and Affordably

Despite what you’ve been told, you CAN create high-quality video content with just your smartphone. To make a video, you’ll need to write a script, schedule time to record, and focus on videography principles (check out this article for advice on best practices). If needed, or if you want any sort of animated intros or outros, visit Fivver and search for animation or video editing freelancers.


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