Building a list of responsive prospects and contacts for your email marketing activities in your IT Service business is a tough challenge, I'm sure you'll agree.

In this article, I'm going to outline a strategy and the tactics you can use to build an incredibly responsive list of contacts that will look forward to receiving your email and, more importantly, help boost your sales at the click of a button.

Ask any email marketing expert, and they'll all give you different answers on how you should be building an email list, but the one thing they all agree on, which is a golden rule, is that you need high-quality lead magnets. As a bonus, I'll give you an example of a lead magnet that's worked for many of our members here at IT Rockstars.

Would you walk up to someone in the street and immediately start pitching them your IT services?

No - so why would you do it with your email marketing? Many MSP's have been told that they need to buy a list of data or scrape their LinkedIn connections and build an extensive old fat list of contacts that they can blast out their message to.

This is the worst strategy.

It will piss off many of the contacts on the list. I've personally seen MSPs that have been in business for ten years plus use this strategy only to find out that they are bombarded with spam classification on their domain which soon enters a black hole.

Many of the email marketing platforms will attempt to stop this type of strategy, but it's usually too late - you'll get banned from the platform, or worse, your domain will get blacklisted.

This is the nightmare scenario because you need your domain to operate effectively and not land in the junk box - it's not just about marketing but simple business operations like invoicing etc.

How can I build an email list for my MSP?

There are three sources;


  1. Targeted lead magnets
  2. Existing clients
  3. Events

Lead Magnets for Managed Service Providers

I'm sure you know what a is a lead magnet is. It's simply an ethical bribe - when a prospect visits your website or sees an ad you are running that offers something of value that the prospect wants in return for their email address.

Lead magnets come in many forms - here's the best three we use right here at IT Rockstars:

1) MSP Business Directory (This is a business directory specifically for IT Businesses where they can promote thier company for free)

lead magnet example 1

2) Website Sidebar (You'll see this across our whole site - it's a huge list of keywords specifically for MSPs to use in SEO & Google Adwords.)

lead magnet example 2

3) MSP Marketing Masterclass (In this on-demand class you will learn an MSP Marketing strategy to beat your competitors).

lead magnet example 3

All 3 of these lead magnets probably sound tempting to you, and I bet I've spiked your interest in at least one of them.

You have to get into the minds of your prospects and figure out what they would love to receive—something of genuine interest and use to them.

Some examples we've provided members of IT Rockstars include:

Cloud Migration Guide For Business Owners

Cloud Migration Guide

Lead Magnet Example: Moving Those Pesky Old Fashoned Server Into The Cloud

How To Map Out Where Your Company Data Is Stored

Secure Company Data From Cyber Crime

Lead Magnet Example:Data Security Guide For Business Owners

Keyboard Shortcut for Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Keyboard Shortcts

Lead Magent Example: This was part of a downloadable flyer prospects could print off and use for Microsoft Teams

These lead magnets do one thing - attract local business owners to your website where they are willing to hand over their email addresses in return for the information you provide.

Then it's just a simple case of having an autoresponder in place (something like ActiveCampaign) to email them the content and start the task of email marketing.

Existing Clients & Failed Sales

Adding your existing clients to your email list is probably one of the most effective strategies you have right now to upsell and cross-sell your tech stack and solutions.

I've talked about this numerous times, but the easiest sale you can make today is to your existing clients. No lead magnets, no marketing tricks, just common sense.

As an added bonus, you should be trawling your sent items folder for all those quotes and leads that never responded or just put off the sale.

Those contacts are gold.

They've already enquired, and for one reason or another, they did not buy from you, but you should still be marketing to them on a consistent basis.


This applies to both online events and offline events. I'm not going to get into the nitty-gritty of setting up an event and promoting it- that's not our bag here at IT Rockstars. However, it's one of the most effective ways to build a high-quality list of contacts for your email list.

In fact, I'd go far as to say running an event and then using the contacts that attended the event will more than likely be some of your most responsive contacts on the list- why?

It's simple if you can pull off a fun, educational event that people enjoy, then they will want to hear more about you and your business.

Action Points

  • Trawl your sent items for those failed sales quotes & existing customer email addresses - add them to your list.

  • Deploy effective lead magnets that you can promote across your social media channels with an autoresponder sequence (needs some lead magnets? Get them for free here for a month)

  • Be consistent - the methods and actions you take on the above advice should be carried out on a quarterly basis. Make a point of slowly building your list, and you'll find over time, it will grow in size - just like your MRR.

I'll leave you with this graph - to date, we've built over 1,000 contacts this is over a 30 month period - it's a slow build and something you can't rush, but if you can keep to an organic strategy, you'll find that the list will become a valuable asset you can tap over time.

Growth of the IT Rockstars email list - all tactics have been organic, no list buying. We used the steps outlined above.

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