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The Complete Guide To Building A Large Email List: How I Added 26,000+ Subscribers In 30 Days

Email Marketing, Digital Marketing

by Navid Moazzez

Last Updated:
May 28, 2020

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Email List Guide

One of the most common questions I get asked is "how can I build and grow a large, engaged email list from scratch?"

Think about how a normal, grassroots online business is built.

You’re told to blog or podcast for two or three years.

Or pour an insane amount of money into advertising…

Only THEN can you build and grow an email list large enough to generate liveable revenue from.

It’s crazy.

That’s trading between a lot of time or risking a lot of money.

Four years ago I was stuck in this cycle of creating and releasing great content but not getting enough results for my efforts.

It was driving me crazy.

Maybe you’re in the same position.

Maybe you know what it’s like to grind all day and late into the evening, only to be awarded by a small email list months, even years after starting.

It’s frustrating, no?

Well… it turns out there’s another way.

And I’m not exaggerating when I say it changed my business and life forever (and 100's of students along the way).

Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow's reality.

~ Malala Yousafzai

Post Contents show


Starting my online business sucked for quite some time.

I tried everything to build my email list.



Posting and “building my community” on social media.

Nothing worked, at least not at the speed I wanted.

Sure I’d get some subscribers here and there from a blog, but I put SO much time into those just to watch them flounder and get a few “nice job!” comments from other wantrepreneurs stuck in the quagmire trying to build backlinks to their own businesses.

It was frustrating.

But then I stumbled across something that shaped by life forever and eventually became the entire foundation of my business.

And that’s exactly what you’re about to discover in this guide 🙂

Today I have a mailing list of more than 40,000 highly engaged people.

Email List Subscribers & Engagement

And I don’t just have anyone on my email list. 

I have an email list of buyers.

That’s how I’ve been able to generate well over $1 million from my online business in a very short time.

And that’s almost exclusively through the virtual summits I’ve hosted and the premium online training programs we offer alongside them.

I know.

It sounds like bullshit, frankly.

And I thought so too until I dug my heels in and really invested in virtual summits.

So if you want to make this type of progress in your own niche, believe me when I say you can.

All you have to do is jump in.


In short, because I wish this existed when I was starting out.

All those nights of binge google searches and Chrome crashing from tab overload would have been saved.

Time is our most valuable asset, and if I can save you even a moment of yours by writing this guide, then it was worth writing.

My goal is for this to be transparent and simple to understand but also thorough enough to be useful.

I want you to be able to take this and run with it.

But why would I have my team create something this expansive and useful and then give it away?



That’s it. This business is built on trust and service, and much of my life and job satisfaction is found through seeing people succeed.


Of course this guide helps position my brand as an authority on list building and online business, and it’s definitely going to help my business, but that doesn’t make it any less useful to you.


My favorite things to work on are helping my students and clients to grow large, engaged email lists of buyers.

We do that by helping them implement our proven VSM Summit Funnel strategies. 

We cover how powerful virtual summits are in this guide, and if you find yourself intrigued and interested in more advanced summit strategies, then we should talk.

Don’t worry, I’m not hiding anything in the guide — quite the opposite. I think certain types of heavy-handed testimonials and clickbait educational courses are antiquated.

You all are too smart for that, and it’s just not good business.

I’m opening my doors and showing you how you can do this for yourself, but some people work faster and better with a mentor and guide during implementation periods.

Those are the types of people I tend to work with, but obviously you’re free to use this any way you see fit.

Also, if you enjoy this, share this guide with your friends or anyone else you think could benefit from it. Use this as a chance to provide value to your own community, the same way I am for mine 🙂


This guide is for people interested in fast-tracking their online business while establishing long-lasting authority through relationships with industry leaders and getting immediate sales.

That includes people who have been building businesses for years to people who are just starting out.

We find that people usually fall into a few different main categories:

You’re just starting out. An online business is on your mind, but you don't yet have an idea, email list, product or where to go from here.

You're in the early stages of your online business. Maybe you’ve started laying the groundwork, but you don't yet have much of an email list or revenue, and been struggling to figure out the best place to put your energy.

You have an existing online business that's doing well. You already have a solid email list and product but you're looking for help to scale a lot faster (grow your email list, influence and revenue etc.).

If you fit into any of those camps, then you’re in the right place.


Let me introduce myself quickly...

Hi, my name is Navid Moazzez.

I'm a lifestyle entrepreneur and virtual summit strategist. 

In other words, I help people exponentially grow their email list, influence and revenue with virtual summit funnels. Don’t worry, you’re about to learn all about that.

Using my Virtual Summit Mastery Implementation Program, I’ve helped my students generate hundreds of thousands of leads to email lists and millions of dollars in sales in the past year alone.

I love it, and nothing makes me happier than helping my students grow large, engaged email lists of buyers to take their online business to the next level.

Rapid Email List Building Success Stories

My clients and students have generated 100,000's of email subscribers and earned millions of dollars in just the past year alone.

Here are what some of them have to say about my work (notice their rapid email list growth after working with me!):


Something to note:

This guide is huge (11,000+ words), so you probably won’t be able to read it all in one sitting.

Take breaks, bookmark the guide, and be sure to download the epic cheat sheet with the exact steps I took to build and grow my email list quickly in a very short time. 

Below you’ll find a table of contents with everything that’s included in this 11,000+ word ultimate guide.

I talk about the basics of what an email list actually is, why you need one and traditional methods of list building before diving into my specific technique. We've got a lot to cover!

Ready to get started?


Part 2: The Complete Guide To Building A Large Email List


Email lists.

The coveted IP of any online business.

The constant source of discussion between “are EMAILS DEAD!?”

And “emails are THE only way to grow your business!”

Well, I gotta say...

If you run or are planning on running an online business, you will live or die by your email list.

I mean that. It’s really important.

Sure, there will always be exceptions to the rule (e.g. manufacturing businesses using Facebook as a sales hub), but even with companies like that I’d argue they could be selling much more and with more security with an email list.

Put simply, email lists provide the best ROI and security for online businesses.

Different people have different tactics, sure, but almost all of the success stories where people “make $10k in 24 hours” or “make $220k in 10 days” boil down to one thing: selling to an email list.

Different people have different tactics, sure, but almost all of these success stories boil down to one thing: selling to an email list.

Email marketing often gets a bad rep because of spam and phishing.

Honestly, those people are just bad at marketing. There will always be bottom feeders scraping by, but if you know what you’re doing, email marketing is still king.

The truth is most online entrepreneurs don’t have the humongous lists they daydream about.

Despite what they read online about list-building tactics and how easy building a massive list can be, most of them tell me they’ve tried different things, but lost hope.

Most commonly, people try guest blogging, and when the traffic from even the most popular sites only trickles back to their landing page… and a mere 0.5% of that trickled in traffic converts, they lose hope.

The ROI spent on those guest posts just doesn’t seem to be worth it, and because it’s something they put so much hope in, they feel defeated.

Which is no way to feel when you’re trying to create a massively successful online business.

But before we dig too far into how to approach building a list, let’s get down to the basics first.
  • What is an email list?
  • How does it apply to today’s businesses?
  • What’s changed in the past few years?
  • Is this the same as having a newsletter?
  • How relevant are email lists these days?

It seems like everybody wants one, but no one can agree on how to start one.

What an email list actually means

An email list is the freely given collection of email addresses that you’ve collected for your business for the specific purpose of developing relationships, marketing, and selling.

Notice a few things I said in there.

We are NOT talking about buying email lists. That’s shady. Outdated. Unethical.

A proper email list is collected via voluntary submissions.

People need to care about what you’re offering, otherwise why even bother having them on your list?

If someone isn’t interacting with you, then leave them be. They’re not who you’re after.

For any company that uses media to sell (which is most of them), your key asset is your audience.

It’s up to you to maintain a positive relationship with them while using it to push sales.

It’s not always easy to strike that balance, but by building an email list on the principle of reciprocity — giving and giving until it’s the right time to “ask”, you’ll be off to a great start.


Part 3: The Complete Guide To Building A Large Email List


If you want to build an online business, or do anything online that generates significant revenue for that matter, you must build an email list. Period.

I wish I started taking it seriously a lot sooner, but I was quite frankly using a lot of very ineffective list building strategies in the early days.

Here are a few reasons why you needed to start building an email list yesterday:

Reason #1: Email lists are unique intellectual property that you have complete control of.

When it comes to growing an email list, there are no whimsical, Zuckerbergian alterations that affect your ability to communicate with your audience.

There’s no pay-to-engage aspect of email marketing. Once someone agrees to communicate with you, then nothing is in your way.

In today’s digital marketing world, this relationship is unique, and it’s up to you and you alone on how to use it.

Open rates, click rates, and deliverability rates are almost entirely determined by you, and that’s advantageous for today’s businesses.

Reason #2: Email lists are still the biggest converter of sales for most online businesses.

Email lists really come to life through the power of segmentation and education.

When you combine context and value with a smart product, you will see sales, and email has continually proven itself to be a key player in the eCommerce and online business world.

“Out of all the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them.

~ Neil Patel, Co-Founder of Neil Patel Digital

“Unbounce’s email list is the biggest asset we have for driving new acquisitions.”

~ Corey Dilley

“AppSumo.com is a 7 figure business and 90%+ of our revenue comes from emails.

~ Noah Kagan, founder of Sumo

Reason #3 - You know every person you send an email to is receiving it.

When you post on Facebook or use paid advertising, it’s difficult to know if the post actually reached the people in your audience or who saw what and when.

That’s different with email.

You know who opened, when, what they clicked, and where they went. This opens up a whole world of marketing possibilities.

Reason #4- The data and experts all agree

Email Marketing Wins Over Social Media Marketing Every Time

Quite a claim, I know.

But when you dig in to the data, it will all make perfect sense to you if you’re in doubt.

And when you consider the low barrier of entry and expertise required to begin taking advantage of an email list, these numbers get even more impressive.

Here are some other interesting statistics via Wordstream.

In the US, every one dollar spent on email marketing has an ROI of $44.

73% of millennials identify email as their preferred means of business communication.

Consumers who purchase products through email spend 138% more than those that don’t receive email offers.

80% of retail professionals indicate that email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention. (The next closest channel? Social media, identified by just 44% of those same professionals.)

77% of people prefer to get permission-based promotional messages via email (versus direct mail, text, phone, or social media.)

And here’s what some email marketing experts said about the importance of building your email list today:

"If you’re not building an email list, you’re an idiot! "

~ Derek Halpern, Founder of Social Triggers

"One of the biggest mistakes I made as a blogger and business owner was not starting an email list right from the start."

~ Pat Flynn, Founder of Smart Passive Income

"If I have one regret as a business owner, it’s not focusing on building our email list earlier in the process."

~ Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute

"Even if all of my search rankings disappeared tomorrow I’d still be able to promote my blog to tens of thousands of people via email."

~ Ramsay Taplin, Founder of The Blog Tyrant

"Building an email list is crucial because it’s the best way to build a relationship with potential customers in an intimate way. You’re not just a status update that’s there and gone, you’re right in someone’s inbox, where they receive other important communication from their work, family and friends."

~ Nathalie Lussier, Founder of AccessAlly

The good news is that you’ve already started smart list building by being here, and you’ll be a world away from where you are now by the time you finish this guide.


Part 4: The Complete Guide To Building A Large Email List


If you’ve been working in or around internet businesses from anywhere in the last twenty years until now, you’ve probably come across people building their email lists.

There are five traditional techniques that have been so overdone it’s almost suffocating. They are:

Social Media
Paid Advertising

Look familiar?

I thought so.

Let’s look into these a bit and why they are NOT the path I recommend you to take if you want fast results. 

Traditional Method #1 - Blogging


It’s all about consistency and quality.

The more posts you write, the more traffic you get.

All you need to do is research keywords that have low competition, figure out what posts are ranking for that keyword, write a better article, release it, grow your authority via backlinks, and voila!

Simple, right?

Except that it can take years to generate an audience big enough to have a profitable business. 

Most people tell you to wait for 2-3 years before you should expect to see real results. SEO can also get very expensive fast... and the moment Google changes the algorithm for determining SEO rankings -- which they do multiple times a year -- you could be back to square one.  

Don’t get me wrong, when done well blogging can have a huge impact on lead and traffic generation, but it is ultimately a slow-growth machine, excluding articles that go wildly viral.

What about guest posting? This method is infamously hit-or-miss.

A great guest post can land you about 500 new email subscribers. Which means you’d need about 40 home-run guest posts to attract as many subscribers as people get from more effective list building methods like I'll share later on.

No thank you.

Traditional Method #2 - Podcasting

Podcasting can be a good avenue for growth, too, but it’s similar to blogging in its speed.

When you first start a podcast, it can be difficult to get listeners and guests on your podcast without having authority from other ventures.

You won’t be able to directly monetize a podcast until you have at least a few thousand listeners per episode, and that can take a while without a previous network to piggyback off of.

If you started a podcast years ago, it would have been easier to get traction. Today the truth is that it's amazing for connecting with your existing audience (when you have one), but it's not the best to actually grow your email list.

The method I'm going to share with you in this guide is at least 10X faster.

I'm speaking from personal experience here. It took me 18 months of podcasting and blogging to build a list of close to 1,000 subscribers... and I simply didn't generate enough income to quit my job by doing this.

I'm sure many of you can relate if you've been podcasting or blogging for a while already... that it's not the best for building a large email list quickly.

Traditional Method #3 - Social Media

Depending on your business, social media can be a fantastic way to grow your brand.

But here’s the thing: You have to be damn good.

You need to find an angle and do it differently or better than anyone else in your space. It’s time-consuming — especially if you need to outsource the creatives, editing and much more.

I think social media is fantastic for actually connecting with your existing audience.

Of course you may hear stories here and there of people who leveraged Instagram or YouTube to grow their email list quickly, but honestly, there are not many who started RECENTLY who did that (they have been in the game at least a few years doing it consistently and that's why they're growing so fast).

What I'd recommend is usually to complement what you're doing to build and grow your email list with social media, but you shouldn't rely on it for list building.

Then you'd most likely be very disappointed on the results you'd get... and it will be painfully slow to build up your email database of engaged people who're interested in what you have to offer.

Traditional Method #4 - Publicity

People tend to think if I could only get featured on a larger website or major publication, I will be able to build my email list quickly. That couldn't be further from the truth.

I’ve been featured in Business Insider, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc Magazine, The Huffington Post,  and many more.

While it’s been great for credibility, none of those features did much to grow my audience.

Only one feature helped me grow my email list (and that one went completely viral), but it was mostly not the right people anyway who ended up on my list, and they were not interested in my products and services.

Traditional Method #5 - Paid Advertising

Then there’s the big one: paid advertising.

Many experts say buying ads on Google or Facebook are the best way to grow your email list.

But even after dozens of tests, it can still cost at least $4,000 dollars or more to get 1,000 subscribers. And since cold traffic is so hard to convert, the vast majority of them will never buy from you!

Paid ads are so much more efficient with a solid base and foundation to build from when you can retarget your existing audience.

While it is possible to use them to build your foundation with smart advertising (having your ROI pay for your ad spend and build lists for net zero), that takes a lot of expertise and can take quite a bit of time and money at the beginning to really work.

These techniques are not wrong!

Here’s the thing. These techniques do work.

There are successful players that have built powerful internet businesses using each or a combination of all of these.

Think about Gary Vaynerchuk on Twitter or Neil Patel writing an insane amount of marketing blogs early on.

But all of these methods (excluding people will extremely high advertising budgets) are so slow.

People often recommend blogging consistently for 2-3 years before expecting any serious results or revenue.

That’s a hell of a long time to get a few thousand email subscribers.

That’s longer than I've been living in my current apartment.

That’s all of middle school.

And it’s tough to work that long without any serious results.

You’ve gotta really hustle.

And I’m all for hustle, don’t get me wrong, but what if there was a way to rapidly grow your list and authority in a fraction of the time?

I'm talking generating thousands of targeted email subscribers and making 5 to 6-figures in just a few short months.

Wouldn't that be a much better use of your time?

That way you can establish your audience and move directly into a profitable sales funnel at the same time?

Well, as you’d expect me to say...

There is.

And they’re called Virtual Summits.

Using the Virtual Summit Mastery Method, I was able to grow an email list of over 26,000 subscribers and multiple 6-figures in revenue in just 30 days... and well over $1 million in total sales from just one virtual summit (counting all sales directly coming from that summit to date).

Note: It took me about 2 months personally to implement the strategy, but when I launched the summit, I got results very, very quickly as you can see and it was like this awesome ripple effect... if you're new you can get results in 2-4 months using this strategy, average being around 3 months for most of my Virtual Summit Mastery students).


Part 5: The Complete Guide To Building A Large Email List


Again, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the traditional email list building methods, but for me, I was so excited about building a new business and wanted to see results as quickly as possible.

Virtual summits were a game changer for me.

I love them so much, I actually changed by original idea and built my entire business around them.

I’m serious.

They are the perfect way to rapidly grow your email list while bringing in short-term revenue, establish authority, and build a foundation your online business can rely on for years to come.

They are incredibly value for both large and small businesses, and they’re now what I’m known for.

So what exactly is a virtual summit?

A virtual summit is an online event where you interview a number of industry leaders and experts on a topic relevant to your audience and get them to share their best tips and strategies.

During the summit, all of this valuable content from the speakers is given away for free to everyone who has registered with their name and email, which is the key ingredient for you to build your email list. 

This is an incredibly enticing offer because people get access to the best minds in the industry, for free. It's no wonder that the conversion rate to get people to sign up is so high. 

But  that's not all... 

You also get to generate revenue at the same time as building your list. What other list building method allows you to make a profit so quickly?! 

As soon as someone opts in, they’ll be presented with the option to buy the All-Access Pass straight away to get LIFETIME access to everything, including all the bonuses that you’ve put together in an irresistible offer.

During your summit, several sessions are usually released every day for people to watch free-to-view for a limited time (e.g. 24 hours) before they are locked away only for people who have purchased the summit All-Access Pass.

The beauty of the summit model is that you provide the value upfront - people can watch everything for free - but they will WANT to upgrade when they get a taste of the value on offer.

A virtual summit is like a webinar or podcast on steroids.

Click to Tweet

Unlike conferences or traditional summits, virtual summits are much more cost effective and convenient.

Attendees can watch as many of the lectures of talks as they like without having to travel or pay high ticket prices due to the host’s high overhead. They get access to  the best experts on the topic who are teach their hard earned knowledge and secrets. 

They can view the summit from wherever they are and don't need to travel to attend. It doesn't matter how far away from the host they are or if they have other commitments during the event. All they need is an internet connection and they can listen in to the sessions. 

There is also no limit on the number of people who can attend, as there isn't a physical location with real caps.

Even better, there's no limit to the number of speakers who present at the summit, either.

I had 88 speakers at the very first virtual summit I ever hosted, called The Branding Summit. It was so much value, and I could have never fronted the cost to have them all attend a physical event.

Email List Guide - The Branding Summit Example

My very first virtual summit that helped me finally go full-time with my online business!

This all sounds great, but there's a glaring question that you're probably wanting to know the answer to. 

What’s in it for the speakers?

Why would they agree to give up valuable time in their day to help you create content and build your email list? 

How can you get them to say yes if you're new and don't know anyone yet? 

It's all about positioning your offer in a way that benefits THEM. 

When you do it right, the partnership between a virtual summit host and speaker is mutually beneficial. 

Here are four good reasons that influencers might want to speak on your virtual summit: 

  1. Exposure and free publicity to all summit attendees (this could be thousands of engaged subscribers!) 
  2. Free and valuable content to share with their audience and increase trust. 
  3. Commission as an affiliate when they promote the summit to their audience. 
  4. Good relationship that makes them want to help you. 

Each speaker can promote the summit to their own respective audience and email list using a unique affiliate link. (In fact, this is often where the majority of new subscribers come from.) For every sale that comes from their audience, you split the profit 50:50 (or whatever commission rate you agree on.)

This is a great incentive for people to promote. Just a couple of emails can bring in thousands of dollars in revenue. 

I've had speakers share my summits with their lists with 10,000s of subscribers. Once you get a few shout outs, things can snowball quickly. 

Email List Guide - ConvertKit Promotion

ConvertKit's email promotion for one of my recent summits 🙂

Plus, they get lots of exposure to others in their target audience since all of the other speakers are actively promoting the summit to their lists too.

Pretty cool, right?

One of my Virtual Summit Mastery students, Caitlin Pyle, did such a good job of rewarding her speakers and making it a real win for them that I just had to share it here. (I will probably do another deep dive case study on this one later too!)

She got 60,000 new email subscribers for her Work-At-Home Summit in just two weeks, largely because she focused on making it a MASSIVE WIN for her speakers and partners to participate in the summit.

Email List Growth Caitlin Pyle Summit Speakers
Email List Building Success Story
Email List Building Success Story

One of her goals was to help her speakers to grow THEIR lists (at the same time as growing her own!) 

And she blew it out of the park!

One speaker got 1000 new subscribers in 24 hours. Another one got 5 times more traffic than usual. Someone else's site crashed from the influx of visitors. 

This is a great example of a beneficial partnership that helps both sides.

My own experience hosting virtual summits has been nothing short of amazing.

Before I go into all the details about how I generated over 26,000 email subscribers and earned multiple 6-figures in revenue from a virtual summit, let’s dig a bit deeper into why virtual summits work so well.

Why Virtual Summits Work So Well As An Email List Building Strategy

So before we cover specifics on how you can replicate this for yourself, why do virtual summits work in the first place?

What’s so special about them, and why are people so willing to engage?

Well for starters…

Deliver Unbelievable Value

The way the VSM Virtual Summit Model works is that people can opt-in for free so that you grow your email list quickly...  and then they are presented an opportunity to purchase an all-access pass for unlimited viewing later (plus additional bonuses).

Many of them will upgrade to an all-access pass right way, while others may want to watch a few sessions before they decide if it's worth it.

That means you will not only build and grow your email list fast, you'll also build a list of buyers who will be much more likely to buy your more premium products and services afterwards. 

You can present people with a one-time special discount offer when they first opt in so that it's a no-brainer to upgrade.

There are special tools to set this up (check out the tool recommendations at the end of this guide) and so that people can only access this special offer once.

No matter what the topic of your summit, the value of content that your speakers will share (for free during the event!) will far surpass the price that they will pay. 

Take yourself back to when you were first learning about business or marketing.

Now imagine if there was an event with virtually every person you’ve been learning geared toward people starting out?

The sheer number of names you’d recognize and expected value make it easy to understand why people would want to attend.

And that’s part of the key.

Because you deliver so much value and you (and your name) will be associated with EVERY speaker at the event, you will instantly develop authority AND give insane value to your new subscribers.

This gives you a huge head start the consumer psychology strategy known as reciprocity.

In other words, by giving so much on the front, people are more likely to give you something back when you ask (like purchase a product) and increase your customer lifetime value.

The lifetime value (LTV) of a summit attendee, and especially an all-access pass customer is super high (which is why my students and I have been able to bring in multiple six figures in revenue  from just one summit... and the compound effect when you host several is even better!)

With virtual summits, you not only jumpstart a business with thousands of subscribers, but those subscribers are engaged and ready to be sold to. 

The Sum Is Greater Than Its Parts

One interview with one speaker won’t get you that far in most cases, but having dozens of speakers and partners will.

What’s cool is that as your summit grows, the level of effort your speakers have to give stays the same.

The only person who has to work a bit harder (but for a much greater return!) is you 🙂

Think about it from a guest speaker’s perspective. All they have to do is commit to one interview.

How much they promote and sell to their own audience is entirely up to them — and that doesn’t change if you have 10 speakers or 50.

I recommend you start with around 20-30 speakers for your first summit. There's an incentive for the individual speakers to promote because they’ll be:

  1. Proud to be a part of something so large & valuable.
  2. Realize that there is a substantial amount of money to be gained from participating fully.
  3. Want the brand recognition and exposure that a virtual summit provides.

There’s a tipping point involved in virtual summits, usually after you get an agreement from the first big-name speaker.

Once you have that, get ready for the ride.

Gain Incredibly Valuable Exposure, Networking Benefits And Experience

Virtual summits aren’t just about building your email address list and selling products.

At least half the value is from the relationships you build with the speakers you have on.

By running a profitable venture with them, you earn their trust for future product launches and collaborations — establishing a mutually beneficial relationship for years to come while placing yourself into a position of authority with your target demographic.

Authority is a byproduct of two things:

  1. Expertise
  2. Association

Authority establishes the belief of value, and it’s what all information-, coaching-, and any expert-based businesses are built off of.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling cookbooks or advising Canadian mining companies on best drilling practices for diamonds, if you don’t have authority, you won’t sell your product or service.

Association can be earned through a variety of channels, but often times it’s found by becoming part of the “thought leader” or “expert” crowd — it’s a public and active participation in the public conversation around your sector.

All industries change; all industries talk about these changes, and if you want to build a business that really lasts, you need to be participating in some form or fashion.

Since I operate in the entrepreneurial online marketing space, having people like Neil Patel, Melyssa Griffin, Ryan Levesque and Nathan Barry involved was huge for my career.

Here are just a few of the emails and promotions that were sent for the summit I hosted (hopefully you can see how powerful this really is by now):

Email List Guide - Melyssa Griffin List Building Promo
Email List Guide - Nathan Barry List Building School Promo
Email List Guide - Ryan Levesque List Building School Promo
Email List Thinkific LBS Promo

The associated exposure has been huge, and that’s why virtual summits are so effective.

Virtual summits are by far the quickest way to build up credible authority in your space.

Click to Tweet

Imagine it from the consumer’s perspective.

Virtual summits are sort of like an educational, marketing blitzkrieg.

Seemingly out of nowhere, your target customer will begin noticing everyone they respect in their space talking about one event, and that event is hosted by one person — you.

It doesn’t matter if they don’t know who you are. They immediately place you into the same respect-space that they have for other industry leaders, they’ll just assume they haven’t heard of you for some reason or are at the very least someone worth talking to.

Think about it in terms of numbers.

For me, I had 60+ Masterclass or Panel speakers and 100+ promotional partners. Let’s imagine adding all the lists together, assuming an average of somewhere around 3,000 per speaker.

That’s 450,000 relevant members of your target demographic seeing your name and brand.

That’s what makes virtual summits so enticing for the speakers as well as the hosts.

The cumulative reach is staggering, and everybody wins if you do it the right way — even without the affiliate profits to boot.

And if you offer a great product, there is a lot you can do with even 10% of that figure hitting the summit landing page with Facebook retargeting.

Not to mention that 80 of those promotional partners made at least one sale during the List Building School summit! 🙂

You may be skeptical about your ability to convince speakers to get on board if you don’t have existing authority, so let’s talk about how to actually convince speakers you’re worth it.


Part 6: The Complete Guide To Building A Large Email List


This section of the guide is all about how I got over 26,000 email subscribers and 2,100+ customers in just 30 days from one online event I hosted.

We talk a bit about what I did, what I think made it so successful, some of the lessons we learned, etc. without writing about every detail about how to host a summit, since we have a specific ultimate virtual summit guide for that.


Now I’m going to show you how I hosted a virtual summit that generated over 26,000 subscribers and 2,100+ customers in just around 30 days.

How I got promoted by the absolute top influencers in my space and created wildly valuable business relationships and opportunities.

First off, let’s start with some pretty awesome stats:

With this virtual summit, I:

  • Generated 26,070 new email subscribers in 2 weeks (and even more afterwards).
  • 226,693 page views in less than a month.
Email List Traffic Stats
Email List Traffic Countries
  • Had a a summit registration page conversion rate that hovered at 60-70%.
  • Had a 70-80% conversion rate for my List Building School Playbook PDF landing page. 
  • Made 2,135 all-access pass (and downsell) sales during the time the summit was running.
  • Generated around $180,000 with two main price points; $67 & $97.
Email List LBS Summit Revenue
  • Had over 50 world-class entrepreneurs and email marketing experts participate.
  • 100+ Promotional partners with 80 bringing at least one sale.
  • Backend sales for Virtual Summit Mastery and related affiliate products directly coming from List Building School: well over $700,000
Email List VSM Backend Launch

Backend promotion of my flagship program Virtual Summit Mastery.

This wasn’t my first summit, so I relied on previous connections and lessons learns to produce these results, and that’s why we’re here — to show you how you can replicate these numbers (over time, depending on where you're starting from) with the right pitch and diligence while avoiding all of the mistakes I made along the way 🙂

And to be fair, my very first virtual summit a few years ago wasn’t that bad either (and I had almost no email list before that summit, and was able to grow because my speakers and other affiliate partners shared the summit with their bigger followings and email lists):

  • 3,000 new, dedicated email subscribers
  • $20,000 in profit which turned into another $40,000 the month right after the summit (so $60,000 in two months from my first summit)
  • 88 fiercely loyal people in my network
  • That first summit enabled me to quit my job, move abroad and go full-time with my online business!

Implementing the PROVEN "VSM" SYSTEM made List Building School Summit a massive success...

Organizing a virtual summit takes work, but the short-term and long-term ROI is incredible. 

Sure, I generated 26,000+ subscribers in just about 30 days, but there was an intense 2 months of prep beforehand (which was well worth it... I haven't seen another marketing strategy that can produce this level of results so quickly at least).

It’s like cooking. You should always prep everything beforehand when following complex recipes because solely focusing on execution will always produce a better meal.

You should map out your audience journey throughout the entire summit so that you can plan everything out and make sure each step in the process is smooth. 

Here is an overview of the VSM Funnel Map that I recommend for my Virtual Summit Mastery students: 

Pre-Summit Phase

The Summit Phase

Post-Summit Phase

The most important part when it comes to building your email list with a virtual summit is the Pre-Summit Phase.

This includes the promotional methods of how people will find out about your summit and what happens when they first sign up. 

As you can see in the VSM Summit Funnel, the most important promotional methods are: 

  • Your own audience (email list, social media, personal network)
  • Your partners and speakers
  • Paid advertising

Once people land on your summit registration page, this is what their journey on your website would look like: 

  1. On your registration page, they can opt in with their name and email address (List Building Mission Complete -- but there's still more to be gained in this process!)
  2. They are then taken to a thank you page with a special limited-time offer for the all access pass if they want to upgrade to get lifetime access to the summit sessions and bonuses.
  3. If they decide not to upgrade right away, they'll have the opportunity to do so later on with on the sales page throughout the summit. 

“Navid is probably the #1 person in the world when it comes to hosting virtual summits."

~ Ryan Levesque, Creator of The ASK Method

Step 1: Plan A Strong Foundation

You should have as much possible planned out before you take the first step to start creating your summit and growing your email list.

I recommend that you:
  • Choose profitable summit  topic that will help you to build a targeted list of email subscribers 
  • Research and validate that your summit topic is profitable
  • Define your ideal customer avatar so that you are attracting the RIGHT people to sign up for your email list. 
  • Position your summit so that your target audience in drawn towards your offer (skyrocketing your conversion rate!) 
  • Decide your pricing model for your summit and how you will generate a return on your efforts. 
  • Work out a rough schedule for what you want to get done and when. 
  • Make a list of potential interview topics so that you can find the perfect speakers for them

Once you have a good plan in place, it's time to work on creating your virtual summit.

It takes a long time to build and learn what works for your audience, but being prepped from the get go goes a long way. 

Want every template, every schedule, every automation, and every strategy you’ll need when running your own summit? Check out our Virtual Summit Mastery Implementation Program.

If you have that before you send your first email, you’ll be in a much better place because all you need to focus on is outreach, steering the ship, and conducting the interviews.

Every time I realized I didn’t have something ready to go, it messed up my workflow and made me wish I had developed it before.

Be open to adapting, but come in with a plan! 

I was originally planning on a 5 or 7-day virtual summit, but once I realized I was going to have over 50 speakers, I knew I needed to make it a little bit longer.

The main reason was because I had quite a few live sessions included and it was hard to make the schedule work with a shorter summit (most of my students start with pre-recorded sessions mixed with some live elements as part of the summit). 

I landed on 12 days, which averages just over 4 speakers per day and broke up the biggest names to make sure the beginning, middle, and end of each day was exciting.

Here's what the schedule looked like: 

Looking back, 12 days was a bit too long because I could have achieved the same level of results with a shorter summit (and less work on my end).

I now advise all of my clients and students to aim for a 3-7 day summit with 20-30 speakers. We have students who have more or less speakers too, so it's important to find what works for you.

Pacing is important in virtual summits, and that’s something I wish I would have learned earlier. You need to give your attendees (especially those you haven’t bought a lifetime all-access pass yet) a reason to continue coming back.

The more sessions they attend, the more face-time you have with them, the more value they receive, and the more likely they are to purchase a pass or a course from your backend funnel after the virtual summit ends.

Again, the key to a successful summit is to overload your new email subscribers with value. This sets the tone and pace of your relationship with them moving forward.

Step 2: Reach Out To Influencers To Speak

The first thing I did was utilize my personal network to find the best partners I could sign on first.

These were people I’d had on a previous summit or connected with through various networking groups.

This was super important for those first few YES responses, and all it takes a bit of planning and perseverance.

List Building School Speakers

Above you can see some of the incredible List Building School experts I featured on the summit.

Note: You don’t have to be well-established or have relationships with influencers to host a successful virtual summit. Of course it helps, but with good summit idea and pitch you can go a long way (many of my VSM students had no relationships with influencers before they started and they did extremely well).

To begin with, I created a spreadsheet of everyone I wanted to get in touch with (what I like to call my Dream 100 List).

Here's an example of the speaker outreach spreadsheet that I use to keep track of my relationships with influencers: 

Specificity and knowing what makes your valuable offer to a potential partner are the keys to making or breaking the outreach portion of your virtual summit.

Add these key talking points into your speaker spreadsheet so that you can keep them as a reference when you need them.

For example, if Ryan Levesque had a launch coming up and might be looking for some type of partnership to promote it, this could help you to get an opportunity where he would otherwise say no. 

Which brings me to an important point... how you can actually make the ask and get them to say YES! 

You can’t just send a bland, spammy email out to speakers — especially if you don't know them yet.

When you're reaching out to someone to ask them to speak on your summit, keep the tone friendly and natural.  Make sure to personalize the invitation (one size does NOT fit all) and add your own personality or flair to it. 

Here's an email that I sent out when I was getting speakers for List Building School:

When I was working on this summit, my first goal was to get a few big names on board (since I had already established relationships with some influencers... if I didn't have that I would follow the ladder strategy and work my way up to bigger names after I get a few YES's).

Once I had that, I knew things would get a lot easier (and they did!)

It’s okay to name drop and numbers drop when reaching out to people you don’t know. You need to establish expertise and authority while explaining the value IMMEDIATELY.

(That said, never exaggerate either. That's just not good practice at all, and it's always best to be authentic.)

Start with smaller speakers to practice your pitch and notice the typical questions people have. Then when you contact the big players who are super busy you’ll know exactly how to approach that conversation.

Here’s what I was thinking when figuring out my speaker list:

  • Are they a good fit for my audience and summit topic?
  • Will they attract the right people?
  • Will they help my primary goal?

And most importantly... am I willing to support and help THEM in some way as well?

Make sure to keep track of your reply rate based on the type of relationship you have with that person, and keep them short and concise and provide an obvious next step.

Step 3: Create Your Summit Website Funnel

There are a lot of options when it comes to creating a website for your summit but in this guide I'm going to focus on what you NEED to pull the pieces together for an epic email list building machine. 

You can use something like Thrive Architect (for WordPress) or ClickFunnels to create your virtual summit funnel. 

We even provide our students professionally designed, high-converting templates in Virtual Summit Mastery.

You need  will need: 

  • Registration page to get leads
  • Thank you page with offer
  • Checkout page to sell the all-access pass (I highly recommend you use ThriveCart for your shopping cart and to manage your affiliates. Ready my in-depth ThriveCart review here)
  • Affiliate page
  • Sessions page
  • Speaker pages
  • Legal pages (term and conditions, privacy policy, disclaimer etc.)
  • Members area / online course platform to protect your all-access pass content (use something like Teachable or Thinkific for this)

Here's a look at the registration page that I used for List Building School: 

I kept branding consistently all the way through because this is an important design element that really made a difference for me.

When reaching cold audiences, design is king; it’s another key component of digital authority.

In under a second someone can decide whether or not you’re worth their time, and that is almost entirely judged off of design and whether or not they recognize other speakers.

Brand continuity across every landing page and email is important — everything needs to feel connected and related. If a customer goes from a landing page to a different feeling sales page, that brand disconnect will affect your conversion rates.

Increase Conversions With A One-Time-Offer (OTO)

One of the key ingredients to List Building School having such as high conversion rate to sales was putting together an incredible offer at an irresistible price. 

There were various price points for the summit throughout the launch, but the best offer was presented to people as soon as they sign up. 

Straight after entering their name and email (building my email list) they were redirected to a special offer page where they could purchase the Premium Pass for just $67.

That was an additional $30 off the early bird price and a STEAL for everything that was included in the pass (some of the bonuses were worth that on their own!) 

The one-time-offer works with a tool called Deadline Funnel. It track peoples email address AND their IP address so that people can only access the offer once, even if they try to sign up again later with a different email address. 

That means it's real urgency and works to help increase conversions (which showed in my results!) 

You can read my in-depth Deadline Funnel review here.

Virtual Summits Can Be Life Changing

VSM student Jen Taylor who hosted the Play Therapy Summit and generated over $100,000 from just all-access pass sales alone (she didn't have a backend offer or anything like that in place, and she started basically from scratch building up her online audience and email list).

Here's what she shared after her successful summit: 

Step 4: Record Your Summit Sessions

Now comes the fun part! 

You get to interview the top experts in your niche and ask them your burning questions.

It's basically like a free coaching call... that helps you to build your email list at the same time. 

Before you jump on the call, make sure that you prepare for each session properly so that you can bring the best out in the speaker and get them to share their best content. 

Depending on how well I already knew the speaker, I typically spent 1-4 hours researching them, listening to their other interviews and reading their work to come up with good questions to guide to the conversation. 

It's important to have some decent gear to record your sessions for a more professional feel, but you don't have to go all out right from the beginning, especially if this is your first summit to build your list. 

After making multiple well over $1 million from my summits and premium online training programs I've started to level up the quality of my production (now we record in very high quality with more professional gear and setup) but it hasn't always been this way. 

To give you an idea, my set up has change a lot from when I first started out to what I current use. Check out the difference here: 

My Set Up First Starting Out

Current Set Up

I point this out to show you that you don't need the top of the line camera, microphone and lighting when you're just starting out. 

In fact, I don't recommend you start with the set up that I use right now. It's best to choose the gear that suits your stage in business. 

My Virtual Summit Mastery students get three different levels of recommendations, depending on their stage of business. 

If you're just starting out, I'd recommend you get a quality webcam such as the Logitech C922x / C920 / C930, a good microphone such as the Audio Technica ATR 2100 and a dimmable LED desk lamp to set up your recording studio at home. 

Then you can use Zoom, YouTube Live (Google Hangouts On Air) or Skype + Ecamm Call Recorder (Mac only) to record the interviews with influencers for your summit sessions. 

Keep it simple and don't overcomplicate the tech! 

Step 5: Automate The Delivery Of Your Summit

There is nothing more stressful than manually announcing your daily speakers during the sizzling hotpan of excitement and activity of the live summit.

It’s the host’s job to keep the energy up and always provide opportunities for attendees to connect with each other and the speakers.

During your summit launch, you'll have enough to do without writing and scheduling emails each day, so do this in ADVANCE.

You want your time during the summit to be focused on the community and promotion, and that’s luckily where most of mine was able to go.

You can write the emails and social posts that you'll need and automate them to go out as soon as you have your schedule planned.

I show my Virtual Summit Mastery students exactly how to do this inside the program, and even give them done-for-you templates so that all they need to do it fill-in-the-blanks and tweak the copy to suit their audience. 

Email Schedule For The "Summit Phase" Of List Building School

Here's a peek into the emails that I sent out for List Building School: 

List Building School Emails

This looks all very complicated, but it's really just a matter of writing out the emails and scheduling them with your email service provider. 

Once you've written the emails, you can schedule them all to go out in advance so that it works automatically, without you having to do anything  (this is where the magic of planning + automation happens!) 

Here's a look at the email automation for when someone signs up for the summit:

Note:  I use ActiveCampaign these days because it's the simplest option and I can set things up and test them myself without an expensive email automation team. 

I built separate email sequences for the free summit subscribers and the summit pass purchasers.

Marketing is all about stages and layers. You need to have your key engagement indicators identified before walking in.

If someone signs up for a free summit pass, you need to be promoting the premium pass to them.

If someone is a premium pass holder, you need to help them utilize all of their premium benefits while preparing them for a larger backend sale later on.

By using product tags in my email service provider, I was able to automatically transfer people in between automations based on their actions.

Depending on how much time and how big of an audience you may have, you may not need to go as nuanced as I did. 

That said, it's a good idea to  have:

  1. Announcement emails going out for each session.
  2. Reminding users of the post session chats happening in the community group.
  3. Reminding users that if they liked the summit and want to have access to it forever, to buy the summit pass.
  4. A separate email automation for the buyers so you aren’t selling the pass to people who already have it.

It’s not everything you need, but that will give you a solid foundation to start from 🙂

Want to move even faster and actually implement this? 

In the Virtual Summit Mastery Implementation Program we provide our students with all the done-for-you VSM Email Automation Templates so you can import all emails and everything you need with one click of a button to ActiveCampaign or ConvertKit.

Read my in-depth ConvertKit review here.

“Navid is the MAN when it comes to virtual summits. I rarely endorse anyone or any product, but everyone who asks me if Navid’s Virtual Summit Mastery is worth it, I say ABSOLUTELY. It’s fantastic quality, great instruction, Navid is a natural teacher and he truly cares about his students success . He gets my full endorsement. If anyone don’t have Navid’s Virtual Summit Mastery program yet, they should get in there now. It’s refreshing to see someone who’s teaching really good stuff."

~ Ryan Lee, Creator of FREEDYM

Step 6: Launch Your Summit To Build Your Email List

You've put in the hard work. It's probably been a few months from the time you first came across this post, decided to go all in on this strategy and use a summit to build your email list. 

And now it's time to reap the rewards... 

You just need to get the word out! 

Start With Your Own Audience

The best place to start promoting your summit so that people hear about it is to your own email list. 

As you can see, I did quite a bit of promo to my existing list.

This was key for me to get that initial engagement and momentum for the summit. 

As more people signed up, they saw the value in the offer and shared it with their friends so that more people found out about it. 

A cool thing about email your audience about your summit is that you can tag them when they opt in, so that they won't get more emails from you asking to opt in again. 

That's why I was able to send 14 emails to my audience telling them about them summit without annoying them -- as soon as they sign up they would stop getting these emails and be added to the summit automation instead. 

Social Media and Paid Advertising

My designer helped me to create a whole set of images to use on different social media platforms - the right size for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. 

I posted on social media but, for List Building School, the real results came from Facebook Ads. 

Here's some examples of some of the posts that I used for Facebook Ads to reach cold audiences and get people to sign up for my list.

These posts converted really well and helped to expand my reach and more people, in addition to the promotional efforts of my speakers and partners. 

The real key to advertisements that convert is to TEST. 

I’ve learned it’s generally best to have shorter copy for cold audiences to register and longer copy for sales ads for summit attendees... but the only way for you to KNOW what works for YOUR audience is to test it out. 

Work out a very clear advertising strategy.

Make sure that you have a very clear advertising strategy so that you get the  best results with the budget you have available.

A great thing about having the one-time-offer as soon as people sign up is that you can start to make back your ad spend straight away.

You should break even  bringing in leads and building your email list, and then you can rely on your backend sales and lifetime customer value to continue to bring up your virtual summit’s total ROI.

Before you start running any ads, get your pixel and conversion tracking set up. This will help you with nice targeting opportunities as you run ads...

Imagine you had the free pass and were really looking forward to seeing the Nathan Barry interview but missed it due to a surprise work meeting or family obligation.

Retargeting to someone who both likes Neil Patel on Facebook and is attending your free summit but hasn’t purchased the premium pass or seen the Neil Patel speaker page is the perfect person to advertise a mid-week summit pass too.

We did all sorts of little micro-targeting tricks like these with the biggest speakers, and it really helped bump the sales up during the summit.

Your budget will most likely be split between bringing in new people (by using interest targeting) and retargeting people depending on their actions and page views.

The best bang for you buck is to retarget people who opted it for the summit but didn't buy the all-access pass... they are usually the easiest to convert into sales because it's a warm audience.

Partners And Affiliates

As I mentioned before, I had over 60 speakers at List Building School and over 100 promotional partners... so it's safe to say that there was a good force of affiliates promoting the event. 

More importantly, over 80 partners made at least one sale for the all access pass, the the majority of the affiliates were actively promoting to an engaged audience. 

Your language and pitch will change depending on whether you’re approaching them to be a speaking partner or strictly a promotional partner as well.

Similarly to waiting to reach out to the bigger names until after you have some other speakers on board, I had a much better success rate with promotional affiliate partners after I had at least one big name on my speaker list.

By the way, if you're just starting out, I wouldn't worry as much about non-speaker affiliates.... focus all your efforts at getting quality speakers and encouraging them to share the summit with their audience.

Here's an example of an email I sent asking to be an affiliate partner: 

Email List Cold Partner Outreach

Once you've got got your partners lined up, it's time to help them promote. ​

My top tip for a successful affiliate promotion is to communicate clearly and make it EASY for them to promote. 

Let's dive into what this looks like. 

For starters, make sure you have a promo calendar that clearly shows the important summit dates and suggested mailing times. 

Here’s what my promo calendar looked like for List Building School Summit 1.0:

Email List LBS Promo Calendar

Note: This promo calendar was what we used for List Building School 1.0 and as you can see the summit ran for a bit longer than we do now. We have restructured a few things now that we rolled out Virtual Summit Mastery 3.0, and normally recommend our students start with a 4-7 day summit.

Notice the balance between rigidity and flexibility? The summit days and marketing windows were outlined, but the individual broadcasting times were left open.

Not only that, I provided them with ALL the swipe copy and graphics that they could ever need to promote the summit. All they needed to do was tweak it to fit their audience and send it out. 

Making it EASY for speakers to promote is one of the biggest factors in getting them to actually do it. 

Depending on the number of speakers that sign up, you may have to adjust the length of your summit or promotions, and that’s okay. As long as you walk in prepared, it will be much easier to adjust from there.

I made everything as easy as I could for my speakers and partners, and that is key. It needs to feel like a no-brainer.

Do what works for YOU!​​​​

For List Building School, the top 3 promotional channels were my email list, affiliate partners and paid advertising (mostly retargeting for the all-access pass and backend sales, so we got most of the new leads to sign up to my email list for free!).

But it isn't the same for everyone: you have to do what works for YOU and YOUR AUDIENCE. 

Take Jared Decamp, for example. He knew that his target audience for Learn Microsoft One Note Conference tended to hang out on twitter.

So where did he focus is marketing efforts? 

Not FB advertising.

That's right -- He honed in on Twitter and got more traction there because he knew his audience and where he would get the best response. 

The best promotional plan will be different for every single summit because no topic and no audience is exactly alike. 

The trick is to know your audience and turn up wherever you will find them. 

Step 7: Your Growth Strategy

The best part about a building your email list with a virtual summit isn't the actual virtual summit... it's what comes afterwards. 

You've got a new and engaged audience that is tuned into your topic. 

The options for further growth for your business are endless!

Shortly after List Building School, I launched my premium flagship program, Virtual Summit Mastery. 

You can check out the sales page we used at the time below: 

Email List VSM Backend Launch

This worked really well because the list that I'd built up during the summit was my target audience: 

They wanted to grow their email list and my program would give them the skills to get what they wanted. 

If we take another look at the revenue generated throughout the summit, you'll see the biggest peak at the very end: 

That is when we opened the cart for Virtual Summit Mastery as part of the backend funnel. 

And that's not all. I relaunched the program again a few months later and more people who joined my audience from List Building School signed up. 

In fact, people from the audience that I built from List Building School are still joining the program even today. 

Even if you don't have a product yet, you can promote affiliate products.

In addition to promoting Virtual Summit Mastery to my new and engaged email list, I also promoted other products to help my audience. 

As an affiliate, I received a commission for these referred sales.

And for some tools and software I recommend there are lifetime commissions, so I'm STILL receiving the benefits of my work from years ago now. 

This is an awesome strategy, especially if you don't have a product of your own just yet.

There are endless additional benefits.

And let's not forget all the other benefits of hosting a summit that set your business up for exponential growth. 

You can automate your entire summit and turn it evergreen to build your email list of buyers of autopilot, which is something we cover in-depth in my Virtual Summit Mastery program.

You have a wealth of new content from your summit and you can use this in so many ways.

You could turn the content into blog posts, podcast episodes, youtube videos, social media posts, email content or even a book!

This is such as valuable strategy, I created a complete training on this for my Virtual Summit Mastery students, called the VSM Content Multiplier Method. 

You've also got many new connections and relationships with influencers as a result of your summit. You can use this any many ways to create rewarding partnerships for both of you. 



It goes without saying that virtual summits aren’t a fluke.

It's been proven time and time again that summits are the fastest way to exponentially grow your email list, influence and revenue (even if you're starting from scratch).

Watch and read any of those case studies and see for yourself.

Try and find the one that is most aligned with your business!


The whole idea behind a lead magnet is to have something you know your prospects will be willing to trade their email address for.

It has to be something they’d deem worthy of the risk that you’ll reach out and try to sell them something… because if your readers are any kind of web savvy, this is not their first rodeo.

They know how these email exchanges work and why we as business owners set them up.

But just because our “secret” of why we’re really offering our lead magnets has been exposed doesn’t mean the strategy is any less effective.

Far from it, in fact.

Because as long as you promise—and deliver, of course—the kind of information your target audience is desperately searching for, they’ll do anything within reason to access it.

And handing over their email address to access that information for free is totally within reason.

Talking about content upgrades, Tim Soulo of Ahrefs said:

“Without a doubt that is the best converting email list building strategy that the world of online marketing has to offer… It’s the only strategy that has almost 60% conversion rate.”

~ Tim Soulo

And here’s the thing, virtual summits are an incredible lead magnet and business asset.

Think about it.

Depending on the size of your summit, you could have 30+ videos including sessions, Q&As, Recaps, etc. that you can use for anything you want.

You could release a few publicly behind an email address.

You could keep them behind a paywall and sell the all-access pass indefinitely.

You can use the videos in PR pitches, on your homepage, in Facebook advertising…

You could even create an entire evergreen funnel out of the sessions, dripping them over time or using a funnel to continue selling access passes (which is something we also show our students in the Virtual Summit Mastery Implementation Program).

You could transcribe the sessions and release them as blogs. You can take the audio and release them as a podcast.

You could write blogs digging deeper into topics you explored on the sessions — your content creation machine will receive a massive boost and give you tools to use for years to come.

And you get all of that even without making a profit (which you almost certainly will).

Join a community of entrepreneurs changing their lives through virtual summits


Part 7: The Complete Guide To Building A Large Email List

The Top “List Building” Tools & Resources I Used To Build My Email List

It might sound obvious, but in order to build an email list, you need a place to store the email IDs of who people sign up for your lead magnet.

You know, so you can actually use them later for content promotion and selling.

Below is a list of the most popular tools to do this with, and almost all of them will easily integrate with whatever email marketing software you choose. (There’s a list of those in the section below.)

If you’re just getting started, or have yet to build out a really robust business, I’d suggest starting with one of these.

Note: This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products that I have personally used and benefited from personally. Thank you for your support!

Table of Contents

Website Hosting For Your WordPress Site

WP Engine is great for handling high levels of traffic during your summit launch and has reliably fast loading times, awesome support, easy site test environments, and more. If you’re ready to upgrade your site, this is where to host it.

This is the budget-friendly recommendation. It’s not as reliable during high traffic spikes, but it’s easy to use and affordable.

Website, Landing Page Builders & List Building Tools

WordPress is my preferred content management system for building sites. It’s not as plug and play as Squarespace or Wix, but the flexibility and control you get in return is worth it.

Thrive Themes is the fastest and best WordPress-friendly website builder I know of. Its drag & drop interface allows you to make custom landing pages, content pages, and sales pages. I use it for pretty much everything, including my main site and premium program, Virtual Summit Mastery.

ThriveCart Vs. ClickFunnels


If you don't want to use a self-hosted WordPress site for your summit, ClickFunnels is a great options some of my students tend to use. Read my in-depth ClickFunnels review here.

Thrive Leads is an awesome for opt-in forms, most notably being the registration form for your summit. You can A/B test and customize them as you wish, too.

The awesome thing about all of these recommendations is that they work directly with all of the professionally designed templates and funnels you get through Virtual Summit Mastery. If you want to save yourself hundreds of hours and make sure your first summit is the best it can be, then VSM is for you.

Marketing & Summit Funnel Automation

ActiveCampaign is a fantastic email service provider that allows you to segment your audience and build complex automations using a variety of triggers. It’s great for customizing your members area and is cheap and easy to use. If you’re just starting to build an email list, this will get you everything you need to get started.

ConvertKit isn’t quite as advanced as ActiveCampaign on the automation size, but it’s a really great alternative. And by using my link, you’ll get a free month (new users only). Ready my in-depth ConvertKit review here.

I use Deadline Funnel for all my urgency and countdown timer needs, and it’s great for making time-limited offers or one-time offers. You can try it for 30 days by using my link (new users only). Ready my in-depth Deadline Funnel review here.

In my premium flagship program, Virtual Summit Mastery, we make it as easy as possible for you for you to implement everything for your summit. You will get done-for-you email automation templates that you can use for the pre-summit promotion, during summit email and post-summit phase to communicate with your audience. They work seamlessly with ActiveCampaign so that you can import them with a few clicks, tweak the copy get them working for you. This is a game-changer for email marketing - you get the copy and tech automations all-in-one.

Best Course Platform / Student Members Area (for hosting All-Access Pass)

This is one of the best platforms for hosting your summit all-access pass and online courses. It’s affordable, has great templates, and is easy to use. Many of my students use it for all of our courses, premium passes, and much more. A big plus is that it integrates directly with the best shopping cart, ThriveCart (see below).

Thinkific was created by a List Building School speaker, Greg Smith, and is another great option for course building. You can get your first month of the business plan for free with the link below ($99 value).

Best Shopping Cart & Affiliate Platform (aka how to take payments online)

This is my favorite shopping cart and affiliate program. Hands down. There are plenty of payment options, it integrates with almost all major email service providers like ActiveCampaign or ConvertKit and with teaching platforms such as Teachable. Read my in-depth ThriveCart review here.

Record & Editing Your Summit Interviews

Super easy way to record your summit interviews. All you have to do is Skype and turn on the call recorder software!

If you’d rather record all within one platform, then Zoom is a good option. You can record your sessions in HD quality, which is good enough for most summits.

I love Screenflow for editing my summit videos to add intros, outros, etc. You can also record videos of your screen, which is great for tutorials or employee training.

For the PC users out there, Camtasia is a solid option for quick and easy editing.

Recording Equipment

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XRL Microphone
Sound quality is important when recording sessions, and my go-to mic is the ATR2100. Your voice will sound rich and will last you for years.

This is a great, affordable option for recording sessions in HD quality (so much better than just your built-in laptop webcam). It’s also super portable since it just plugs directly into your computer — if you’re just starting out, I’d start here.

Note: This is the exact set up recording gear I used for my multiple 6-figure summit, List Building School and what most of my successful VSM students tend to use as well. I’ve since updated my own setup to up the quality 100 times at least, and as that’s more advanced and cost a few $1,000 I won’t go into it here (I do cover the exact tools and setup I use now in my premium flagship program Virtual Summit Mastery though).

Video Hosting

Vimeo is great for summit interviews/sessions, and it’s easy to restrict the videos to only be viewed on your site.

Audio & File Hosting

Dropbox is great for all of your file storing and sharing needs. It’s free at the start, too. Google Drive is a solid alternative to Dropbox as well.

Similar to Dropbox, you can also host all of your audio and PDF files for your summit on AmazonS3.

Scheduling Tools

Calendly is great for avoiding all the back and forth that happens when trying to book speakers. They can just pick up a time and Calendly will send automatic reminders of the meeting as well.

Website Analytics

Google Analytics is still the king of free website analytics. This is extremely useful for basic demographic research and site flow / page effectiveness metrics.

Creating Promo Graphics & Images

Canva is so easy to make beautiful designs with, and it is very affordable. From social media posts, to banner images, to CTAs, it’s got you covered. Couldn’t recommend it enough.

Chat Support / Help Desk / Customer Engagement

HelpScout is my go-to for customer support and service. Definitely look into this before conducting your first summit.

Team Communication

If you’re working with a team on your summit or list building campaign, then Slack is a great way to keep communications fun and efficient. You can create different channels for different topics and even integrate it with Zapier to ping you when certain events or actions take place.

Task Management

Airtable is the go-to project management tool. It has a great free plan and is wonderful for creating and executing projects.

Process Documentation (SOPs)

Process Street is a super cool way to document your processes when running a summit, allowing you to look back and improve your process for the next time around.

Transcription Services

Transcripts are a great extra bonus to give people who pay for the summit. Rev is U.S.-based and great to work with.

Trint is a cheaper alternative some of my students have used for transcriptions.


Part 8: The Complete Guide To Building A Large Email List


Ultimately, how you build your business is up to you.

There is nothing wrong with the traditional email list building methods — especially if you have a particular skill or unique mechanism that you’re building your business off of (e.g. if you’re a prolific writer then sticking to type as much as possible will be smart).

That being said, a virtual summit would be a fantastic way to sell a book.

I’d encourage you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

Having an omnichannel presence online can do wonders for your business and authority, and that means covering different content mediums (mainly audio, video, and text).

Any one of those can provide an avenue for success, but if you’re like me and a little impatient, then virtual summits are your golden ticket 🙂

As you can tell, it’s a bunch of work, but virtual summits are a digital sprint with a massive payoff. The other side is worth getting to, trust me.

So that being said, if you’re a smart, driven, and passionate entrepreneur looking to build your email list by the thousands and learn how to immediately convert those new leads into tangible revenue within just a few months, then you should check out my Virtual Summit Cheat Sheet PDF.

Join over 40,000 others and change your business forever.


You’ve learned exactly how I built an email list of over 26,000 new subscribers (and 2,100+ customers) in a matter of weeks.

I shared the key steps, strategies and tools I used to to achieve this level of success by hosting a virtual summit in my industry.

In Part 1, I introduced you to this complete email list guide, shared why I wrote it and who it's for.

In Part 2, we looked at what an email list is.

In Part 3, I showed you why you need to build an email list.

In Part 4, we talked through the traditional methods for list building.

In Part 5, I introduced you to the new, fast way to builder your email list in 2018 (and beyond).

In Part 6, I shared my complete email list building case study and walked through how I gained over 26,000 email subscribers (and 2,100 customers) in just 30 days.

In Part 7, we went through my favorite email list building tools.

In Part 8, we talked about your next steps for implementing all this so that you can start building and growing a large, engaged email list... no matter where you're starting from.

Finally, in each part, you also saw stories of my Virtual Summit Mastery students who started from zero and built an email list of anywhere from 3,000-60,000 subscribers in a matter of weeks by leveraging the power of hosting a super an epic virtual summit in their niche.

I hope this ultimate guide inspires you to get started building and growing your own email newsletter list so you can take your business to the next level.

I give away tons of free material about these topics.

I even have a full premium implementation program called Virtual Summit Mastery that takes you step-by-step through the process of hosting your own profitable email list building virtual summit.

The program is closed now, but if you want to get a heads up when it opens again, enter your email below.

Join the waitlist, and in the meantime I’ll send you a special free cheat sheet with all the 7 proven steps me and my students have taken to generate hundreds of thousands of email subscribers and millions of dollars in revenue from our virtual summits in just the past year alone.

And be sure to let me know in the comments below the story behind your email list, and what tactics you’re going to start implementing to rapidly explode reach.



I’m Navid Moazzez. I’m a full-time lifestyle entrepreneur, super affiliate, and creator of Virtual Summit Mastery, living my best life in Panama City, Panama and around the world. If you have any questions or comments for me, just send an email or leave a comment below!

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