How To Build An Email List For Lead-Gen Gold

You have probably heard that email marketing is essential for every online business.

You may have also read impressive stats singing the virtues of having an email list and how it can transform your business.

But, you may not be aware of how to build an email list from scratch. 

Starting an email list leaves you with two issues to tackle.

Firstly, what practical measures do you need to implement to start gathering your email list?

Secondly, how do you encourage website visitors to complete the signup form and become email subscribers?

Attempting to build an email list from scratch may seem daunting.

But we have all the tips and tricks you need to understand how to build an email list that delivers results. 

Read on to discover the essential information you need to attract email subscribers, plus the things you should never do.


Let’s get started.

What is an Email List?

Before you learn how to build an email list, you need to understand what email marketing is and, specifically, what is an email list. 

Email marketing involves collecting email addresses from existing and potential customers.

Customers give their permission to signup for your company emails using an opt in form on your website.

These customers then receive targeted emails from your business.

When you capture email addresses, these are stored on an email list ready to use for email marketing campaigns.

The Benefits of Email Marketing

The Benefits of Email Marketing

So, you know you want an email list as it will be good for your online business.

But what specific benefits can email marketing offer?

As marketing tools go, email marketing campaigns are one of the most cost-effective.

There are very few overheads involved in email list-building and delivering email marketing campaigns.

As you are sending emails to an audience already engaged with your brand that have chosen to subscribe, this low-cost marketing strategy should deliver an impressive return on your investment.

A study conducted by Statista found that every U.S. dollar spent on email marketing delivered an average return of 36 U.S. dollars.

So, if you needed proof that building an email list was worthwhile, this is it!

Here are the potential benefits you can enjoy when you learn how to build an email list and manage it successfully:

  • Increase sales
  • Promote special offers and events
  • Ability to engage directly with your target audience
  • Lead generation
  • Create personalized content for your target audience
  • Increase brand loyalty and engagement
  • Low-cost method to reach potential customers

Develop a List Building Strategy

While it would be great to attract more subscribers without any effort, this isn’t going to happen.

In fact, many website visitors may be unaware you even have an email signup form on your site.

So, to attract new subscribers, you will need to ditch the subtle approach and shout about it.

Here are some tried-and-tested ideas for your list building strategy:

Offer Exclusive Discounts

Everyone loves to save money and feel they are getting a bargain.

Add exclusive discounts as an incentive for new subscribers, and you will be onto a winner.

Offering 10% off of first purchases is a popular way to build an email list and secure sales.

Give Away Free Stuff

The only thing better than a generous discount is getting stuff for free.

Offering freebies is an excellent way to entice visitors to your ecommerce website and encourage them to become new subscribers. 

The type of freebies you give away will depend on the nature of your business.

For an ecommerce store, you could offer free shipping; if you are a service provider, you could give away some snippets of your knowledge in a free e-book.

Simply figure out what you can afford to give away for free in exchange for new subscribers, and you will be ready to get started.

Add a Welcome Pop Up

A welcome pop up that appears soon after visitors arrive at your site is a great way to attract new subscribers from the get-go.

Don’t forget to ensure that your signup forms ethically obtain each customer’s email address data and your marketing activities are GDPR compliant.

Use an Exit Intent Pop Up

It’s no secret that not everybody likes a pop up to appear when using a website.

However, there is no denying the value of using an exit intent pop up to increase your email subscribers.

Triggering pop ups to encourage email signs ups before a visitor navigates away from your site should generate new subscribers with minimal effort.

Introduce Gated Content

Offering gated content on your website can provide a highly-effective lead magnet.

Allowing exclusive access to your latest blog post, online course, or other valuable content could be the incentive your site visitors need to become subscribers.

Use Your Social Media Channels

Knowing how to build an email list may seem complicated, but growing it is much easier when you utilize your social media accounts.

Sharing content on your Facebook page, within Facebook groups, and throughout your business’s social media accounts can help to grow your email list.

Don’t forget to add your call to action at the end, directing potential subscribers to the sign up form landing pages.

Create a Loyalty Program and Referral Program

Encouraging email signups using your existing subscribers is worth adding to your list building tool kit.

Referral programs are an excellent form of lead generation and something you may wish to try.

Offering an incentive to a current subscriber if they encourage two friends to complete the email sign up form is just one example of referral programs in action.

Introducing a loyalty program is another effective list building activity.

Encouraging your site visitors to complete email opt in forms to start collecting reward points for their purchases is great for list building and should drive up sales.

Get Help From the Best Email Marketing Tools

Get Help From the Best Email Marketing Tools

Understanding how to build an email list is as essential for online businesses as knowing how to write a blog post or share content on social media.

But to take your email campaign to the next level, it is beneficial to get some extra help.

With help from the best email marketing platform and third party tools, you will be equipped to get the best ROI from your email marketing efforts.

When you start your email list, it may be possible to manage it yourself.

However, if you take growing your email signups seriously, marketing automation software can help.

Third party tools can help your email campaign efforts in two ways; firstly, by building and managing your list, and secondly, by creating email content that builds loyalty and retains subscribers. 

Choose the Best Email Service Provider

Once you know how to build an email list, you need to move on to bringing your campaign to life.

To facilitate this, you must create landing pages, pop up forms, and find ways to organize and manage your email list.

Creating the perfect landing page for your opt in form is vital if you want to increase your sign ups.

Making a dedicated landing page with a professional-looking sign up form is far easier when you use a template.

Online form building software, such as Paperform, is an excellent choice, as you can customize attractive, fully-functional signup forms quickly.

Check out this video featuring email design trends to help you visualize your campaign and spark some inspiration:

Using an email marketing platform, such as ActiveCampaign, will help reduce your email bounce rate and make email segmentation easier, meaning your subscribers receive relevant, targeted email content from your business. 

Create Irresistible Email Content

Designing the best landing pages and email signup forms is crucial.

However, none of this matters if your subscribers don’t read your emails.

To build an email list full of paying customers and prevent them from unsubscribing, your emails need to capture their attention from the start. 

Creating the perfect subject line is crucial when trying to boost your open rate.

Your subject line must be appealing enough to get your subscribers’ attention and engaging enough to make them want to open the email to find out more. 

Thinking of attention-grabbing subject lines is not easy, but the Optimo Email Subject Line Creator can help.

All you need to do is to type in the subject of your email, and the subject line creator will get to work, generating ten email subject line ideas for you to use.

Instead of spending hours thinking of the perfect subject line, this clever tool uses AI technology to provide you with all the ideas you need in seconds.

email subject line creator

In Summary: The Dos and Don’ts of Building an Email List

As you can see, understanding how to build an email list is not always easy.

There are no shortcuts that enable you to magically collect email addresses without putting any effort in.

However, there are plenty of methods that are proven to help you build an email list and deliver successful email campaigns.

Don’t Buy Email Lists

Attempting to build an email list from scratch may feel like an unappealing prospect.

Yes, you may be short of time, and yes, you may want to capture email addresses as soon as possible.

But, implementing list building strategies and taking a long-term approach is a much better way to create a successful marketing strategy.

Capturing email addresses organically may seem like a long-winded approach.

However, when you build an email list based on bought email addresses, it can be pretty meaningless.

Your list is unlikely to work as a lead generation tool, as these new subscribers are unlikely to be interested in your emails, and they are also likely to head straight to the spam folder or simply be spam accounts.

Can spam act on your emails and take advantage of your special offers?

The answer is a definite no. Buying email lists means you waste your valuable time, money, and resources without receiving any benefits.

For your email campaigns to work, you must reach your target audience and collect email addresses from potential customers interested in your brand.

Don’t Miss Opportunities to Collect Emails

Opportunities to grow your email list are everywhere.

Once you understand how to build an email list, you will start noticing ways to increase your subscribers everywhere you look.

Making full use of these opportunities should be integral to your list building strategies.

Adding a strong call to action to subscribe to your email list is really beneficial.

You can get started by adding a call to action at the bottom of every blog post, when guest posting on other sites, your Facebook page, and even your email signature.

Do Offer Incentives to Signup

Research conducted by the Boston Consulting Group shows 90% of consumers are willing to share their email addresses in exchange for an incentive.

The research also shows that consumers find one-time coupons, recurring discounts, and free product samples the most attractive incentives in exchange for sharing their email addresses.

So incentives are definitely beneficial for list building.

Do Provide Exclusive Content

Exclusive content could be an informative blog post with a catchy title to capture the attention of your target audience.

Using a pop up to prompt users to complete the email signup form to allow access to the content is an excellent way to start list building.

Email Marketing: The Next Steps

Now that you know how to build an email list from scratch, you have probably already started to see your list of subscribers growing.

However, successful email marketing campaigns depend on more than just a long list of your website visitor’s email address details.

Taking your time to learn how to continue to build an email list and constantly monitoring your number of new subscribers (as well as those that unsubscribe) is an excellent way to keep your email marketing campaigns running smoothly.

Successful email marketing continues beyond list building. Instead, you must continue pushing email signups while managing your email list to keep it relevant and current.

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