How to Build an Email List



how to build an email list

The goal of email marketing is to create loyal customers. That’s important when you understand that it costs a lot more to attract new clients than keep old ones.

Start from scratch and learn about building an email list by reading what’s below.




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Why Email List Building is So Important

Collecting email addresses means more paying customers. Not convinced? Here’s four more reasons why you need an email list.

  • There’s Billions of Users. It’s predicted there will be over 347 billion email users by 2023. That’s a ton of potential new subscribers.
  • They’re Personal. There’s no need for a ranking system to get in front of a potential customer. Once they opt in, you’re in their inbox.
  • You Get Customers. Customers like personalized offers through email before they buy anything online.
  • Emails are Targeted. Once someone clicks on one of your sign-up forms, they are interested in your products and services. That means you can send them targeted information about what you ‘ve got to sell.
Reasons for Email List BuildingDescription
Vast User BaseWith a predicted 347 billion email users by 2023, there's an extensive pool of potential subscribers to tap into. This massive reach offers significant opportunities for growing your audience.
Personalized EngagementEmail allows for direct, personal communication. Once users opt in, you gain direct access to their inboxes, creating a one-on-one connection that doesn't rely on complex algorithms or ranking systems.
Enhanced Customer AcquisitionEmail provides a platform for delivering personalized offers and information to potential customers. Engaging prospects through email often leads to higher conversion rates and customer acquisition.
Targeted MarketingWhen users click on your sign-up forms, they express interest in your products or services. This interest allows you to send highly targeted and relevant information, increasing the chances of conversions.

Don’t forget about compliance with the Can Spam Act. It covers commercial messages.

How to Grow Your Email List: 52 Ideas

Small businesses are always looking for new customers in the form of email subscribers. Following are some list building strategy ideas.

You’ll get in front of potential customers when you learn how to build an email list.


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1. Create a CTA for Each Landing Page or Blog Post

A call to action fosters signups on opt in forms. Use strong action words.

2. Invest in Email Marketing Software

Look for marketing automation abilities. And something that works on a mobile device.

3. Personalize Your Marketing Campaigns

Invite people by asking questions on forms. Address people on email signups by name. A welcome email should have a subject line and personal greeting.

4. Collect Email Addresses at Industry Events

Event attendees can use apps. Meet potential clients face to face. Look for data verification ensuring lead generation. Another way to increase your email list sign up rates.



5. Include an Email Opt in Form on Your Facebook Page

Social media accounts have a place with list building strategies. There’s a simple drop down menu for this.

6. Create More Landing Pages

The more you create the better your email marketing efforts. Every landing page should have a supporting image.

7. Require Website Visitors to Give an Email Address to Leave Comments

WordPress allows you to enable comments and get an email signature.

8. Send Targeted Content

Integrate your CRM as part of a marketing strategy. Use names in subject lines to hit your target audience.



9. Use Ads to Capture Leads from Other Websites

Building an email list from scratch? Add forms and ads on the blogs that get the most traffic. And link to other credible sites.

10. Give Exclusive Access to Subscribers

Offer a content upgrade to subscribers. High quality content is a lead magnet. And there’s generally no cost added.

How to Build an Email List

11. Offer Discounts

A discount coupon during the holidays will help your list building. Offer existing subscribers access to sales.



12.Use Social Media

You can promote a landing page by using a link attached to your Instagram bio.

13. A Contest

People sign up on social media platforms. Run a contest to boost your email campaigns.

14. Quick Videos

YouTube videos can be an effective marketing platform. Add a link in the description to sign up for your email list.

15. Use Share Buttons.

Use mobile optimized buttons.



16. Adopt A Sign Up Sheet

These work for brick and mortar stores to grow and email list. Place several signup page sheets in different spots.

17. Create Custom Content.

Attach your signup form to something like a free ebook.

18. Use the Swipe Up Feature

Share a link to your sign up page from your Instagram business profile.

19. Use LinkedIn

You can have conversations on LinkedIn and send people to sign up forms by sharing links.



How to Build an Email List

20. Use LinkedIn Again

Post snippets of free content from your email newsletter on LinkedIn. Tell people to sign up to get the entire thing.

Read More: how to start an email list

21. Ask for Feedback

On your website pages, ask for feedback. Include an opt in form that will grow your email list.



22. Blog

Create a blog post with an email sign-up form. Content marketing boosts your ranking with search engines too.

23. Guest Blog

Guest blogging is a great marketing strategy. Don’t forget to add an email signup form and CTA to the content.

24. Put Together A Webinar

Make sure participants need to register for these via email. That’s where you can include the signup forms.

25. Use Print Marketing

You can put a QR code on your printed materials. That’s an excellent lead magnet. Grow your email list by offering additional content.



26. Instagram Posts

Marketing on this social media site works. Schedule videos and photos as well as posts. Create content and link it to your bio.

27. Referral Programs

A large percentage of people will put their name on a sign up form if they’ve heard about it from someone else. That’s why you should use referral programs.

28. Add to You Tube Videos

YouTube offers what are called End Screens. Add a hyperlink to your email subscription form.

29. Use Images

Grow your email list by placing a link under any image. Use a red arrow if necessary.



30. Use A CTA in Your Bio

This works well with Instagram. Use a call to action there and add to your contact list.

31. Deploy A Pop Up

Make sure these don’t cover up the main content. Offer discounts. This company supplies exit intent pop ups using scroll depth.

How to Build an Email List

32. Back in Stock

These can be used on email sign-up forms to entice new subscribers

33. Check Out Opt In fields

Shoppers expect you to ask for personal information at check out in brick and mortar stores.

34. Use Loyalty Programs

A loyalty program is an excellent way to drive repeat sales while building an email list. Offer good benefits like free gifts on these email signup forms.

35. Use Embedded Forms

These are nonintrusive. Plus they’re one of the more traditional strategies to build a subscriber list.

36. Deploy Welcome Pop-Ups

Welcome pop-ups are used on web pages to greet visitors. Make sure they include a strong CTA.

37. Shorten Forms Up

Shortening the length of lead capturing forms makes them more appealing. Keep it down to two or three different fields. Short copy makes for good email marketing campaigns.

38. Test Your Marketing Copy

A/B testing can tell you what you need to tweak including the call to action, sign-up forms. And other features.

39. Use Customer Reviews

Put these on your landing pages next to sign up forms.

40. Promote Another Website

Using a link here can drive visitors to your site and your opt in pages.

41. Grab a Partner

Create an e-book with someone you can share an audience with. That way you can split the leads generated.

42. Go To a Tradeshow

These type of off-line events will allow you to collect sign-ups directly. Meet customers face to face.

43. Try Gamification

Use quizzes and tests to encourage engagement and lead capture.

44. Try Squeeze Pages

These squeeze the information you want out of direct visitors. They also have high opt out rates. But you’ll get a high conversion.

How to Build an Email List

45. Have Pre-sale Notifications

Shoppers are more willing to hand over information. They want to buy from you, but don’t have time to refresh their page. Make it easy for them and increase customer retention.

46. New Arrival Notifications

Visitors want to hear what’s new. And they’re more likely to give out personal information when you provide it.

47. Use Direct Mail

Using a QR code here that sends people to digital content.

48. Show Off Numbers

Social proof highlights how many people have already subscribed. It tempts new people to do the same.

49. Time a Survey

Keep these short. They need to pop up on relevant pages

50. Use Humor

Like A CTA that says: “No thanks, I dont want to make more money.”

51. Highlight Your Value

Use words in the CTA like “Featured” and “Access” rather than just “Sign Up.”

52. Leverage Your About Us Page

People visit this page quite often. It’s a good location for email sign-up forms

How to Build an Email List

Email List Monetization Strategies

Once you’ve built a substantial email list, you can explore various monetization strategies to generate revenue from your subscribers. Here are some effective approaches to consider:

  • Promote Your Products or Services: Use your email list to showcase your products or services. Craft compelling email campaigns that highlight their benefits and incentivize subscribers to make purchases.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Partner with relevant affiliate programs or products/services that align with your audience’s interests. Promote affiliate products through your emails and earn commissions for each sale generated.
  • Sponsored Content: Collaborate with businesses or brands willing to pay for sponsored content or advertisements in your emails. Ensure that the sponsored content resonates with your audience to maintain trust.
  • Exclusive Paid Content: Offer premium, exclusive content or resources to subscribers willing to pay for it. This could include in-depth guides, webinars, or access to a members-only section of your website.
  • E-commerce Recommendations: Analyze subscriber preferences and buying behavior to provide personalized product recommendations. Include affiliate links or direct links to your e-commerce store.
  • Webinars and Workshops: Host paid webinars, workshops, or online courses tailored to your subscribers’ interests. Promote these events through your email list and charge a fee for attendance.
  • Consulting or Coaching Services: If you possess expertise in a specific field, offer consulting or coaching services to your subscribers. Use email marketing to showcase your skills and attract potential clients.
  • Sell Digital Products: Create and sell digital products like e-books, templates, or software tools. Promote these products to your email list, offering discounts or exclusive access.
  • Membership Programs: Establish a subscription-based membership program that provides exclusive benefits, content, or community access. Use email marketing to encourage sign-ups and engage members.
  • Donations and Crowdfunding: If your content or cause resonates with your audience, consider seeking donations or crowdfunding support through your emails.
  • Event Promotion: Promote events, conferences, or workshops related to your niche. Earn commissions or fees for every attendee referred through your email campaigns.
  • Selling Ad Space: If your email list is substantial, you can sell ad space within your newsletters to relevant advertisers or businesses looking to reach your audience.
  • Sponsored Surveys and Research: Collaborate with companies looking for consumer insights. Send out sponsored surveys or research studies to your subscribers and earn compensation.
  • Product Launches: Use your email list to build anticipation and excitement for new product launches. Offer early access or exclusive discounts to subscribers.
  • Cross-Promotion: Partner with other businesses or content creators for cross-promotional campaigns. Promote each other’s products or services to your respective email lists.
Monetization StrategyDescription
Promote Your Products or ServicesCraft email campaigns to showcase your own products or services to subscribers. Highlight the benefits and offer incentives to encourage purchases.
Affiliate MarketingPartner with relevant affiliate programs or products/services. Promote affiliate products to your email list and earn commissions for sales generated through your referral links.
Sponsored ContentCollaborate with businesses willing to pay for sponsored content or advertisements in your emails. Ensure the sponsored content aligns with your audience's interests to maintain trust and engagement.
Exclusive Paid ContentOffer premium, exclusive content or resources to subscribers willing to pay. Examples include in-depth guides, webinars, or access to a members-only section of your website.
E-commerce RecommendationsAnalyze subscriber preferences and buying behavior to provide personalized product recommendations. Include affiliate links or direct links to your e-commerce store, earning commissions on sales generated through these recommendations.
Webinars and WorkshopsHost paid webinars, workshops, or online courses tailored to subscriber interests. Promote these events through email marketing and charge a fee for attendance.
Consulting or Coaching ServicesOffer consulting or coaching services based on your expertise. Use email marketing to showcase your skills and attract potential clients interested in your services.
Sell Digital ProductsCreate and sell digital products like e-books, templates, or software tools. Promote these products to your email list, offering discounts or exclusive access to incentivize purchases.
Membership ProgramsEstablish a subscription-based membership program with exclusive benefits, content, or community access. Use email marketing to encourage sign-ups and engage members.
Donations and CrowdfundingSeek donations or crowdfunding support from subscribers who resonate with your content or cause. Use emails to convey your mission and encourage financial support.
Event PromotionPromote events, conferences, or workshops related to your niche. Earn commissions or fees for every attendee referred through your email campaigns.
Selling Ad SpaceIf you have a substantial email list, sell ad space within your newsletters to relevant advertisers or businesses looking to reach your audience.
Sponsored Surveys and ResearchCollaborate with companies seeking consumer insights. Send out sponsored surveys or research studies to your subscribers and earn compensation for their participation.
Product LaunchesUse your email list to build anticipation and excitement for new product launches. Offer early access or exclusive discounts to subscribers, encouraging them to be the first to purchase.
Cross-PromotionPartner with other businesses or content creators for cross-promotional campaigns. Promote each other's products or services to your respective email lists, expanding your reach and potential customer base.

Use Our Amazing Tips on How to Grow an Email List to Implement Your Strategy

Now you have all the information on building an email list. Remember, this is an excellent way to build relationships with loyal customers and entice new ones.

Image: Depositphotos


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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

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