We’re all overloaded with email.

A two-year-old email statistics report from the Radicati Group states that the average corporate employee sends and receives 105 emails per day.

That data is from 2011. I wonder how much more email we’re all processing today?

How email overload affects your list growth

The email-overload situation affects us as small business owners who are trying to grow our email lists.

It’s not enough anymore to invite people to sign up for our lists by promising they’ll:

  • Get updates!
  • Get our newsletter!
  • Get exclusive discounts!

People see these promises and all they can think is, “Get more email!?”

To entice people to sign up for your email list, you need to offer something in exchange for their email address. Preferably it’s something you can send immediately. My recommendation?

Create a PDF eBook.

An irresistible solution to a difficult problem

Building an email list is tough, but when you offer instant access to a PDF eBook that solves a problem your prospects are experiencing, it becomes easier for them to hand over their email address.

And eBooks don’t have to be overly complex to create either. The most important element to a successful one is identifying a topic your website visitors are intensely interested in.

Topic ideas for eBooks

Decide which topic works best for your website visitors, and use the ideas below for inspiration.

Recipe eBooks: No culinary degree required to write this eBook! Create “Success Recipes” for your field of expertise. For example, Garden Centers can write a “Recipes for Successful Fall Gardening” eBook.

Resource guides: Write a PDF eBook that serves as a reference guide. It could be a buyer’s guide for people who want to purchase your product or service.

Tutorials in PDF form: Create a PDF eBook with tutorials for working with your product or making the most of the service you offer.

101-style eBooks: What basic vocabulary does a buyer need in order to understand what you offer? What foundational knowledge would serve them well? Write an eBook that serves as a “101” guide to your topic.

FAQs in eBook form: Do you find yourself answering the same questions by email or phone? Create an FAQ-style eBook to address those frequently asked questions. You’ll add to your email list and save time.

Workbooks or quiz eBooks: Do you have a series of qualifying questions you ask of your prospects? Could you create a self test that would help readers identify what they need? Put it in eBook form, and make it available to everyone who signs up.

Interview-style eBooks: Build your network and your email list by interviewing top performers in your industry and sharing their thoughts in eBook form. Or, interview successful customers and share their advice with your prospects.

“Best of” eBook: Do you write a blog or an email newsletter? Gather your most popular posts or articles into a “Best of” eBook that highlights information that readers may have missed when it was first published.

If you’d like to know more about creating eBooks to increase opt-ins to your email list, join me for a free webinar called “From No Book to eBook: How to Write, Create, and Launch an eBook in Two Months Flat.

How about you? Have you tried creating an eBook and offering it in exchange for an email address? Share you experience and your questions in the comments section.

About the Author: Pamela Wilson of Big Brand System helps small businesses owners learn to use strategic marketing and great design to grow their businesses. Get her free Design 101 course and pick up tips for making all your marketing materials work better.