Email Marketing: How to Build an Email List

Posted on 2023-10-20


Email marketing reigns supreme in 2023, offering unparalleled personalized communication. It delivers tailored content to each recipient, right when they need it, with automated follow-ups based on their interests.


Despite the ubiquity of Google and Facebook ads, email outperforms with open rates often exceeding 20%, compared to social media's 2%. The average ROI? An impressive 4,200%.

But the challenge lies in convincing people to welcome your emails. Stay tuned as we delve into building an email list that drives conversions.

What makes a successful Email marketing campaign list?

What makes a successful Email marketing campaign list?

The process of creating a successful email marketing list lies in two stages: first, you must convince consumers that they want to receive your emails, and second, you must keep them engaged so they want to keep receiving your emails. There’s no point in building advanced email campaigns with amazing design, catchy copy, and special incentives if your email list isn’t properly segmented and targeted.

If you want to start building an email list, you need to consider these three things:


Make sure that the information you're getting is real and genuine, coming from real people. Never buy email lists. Bots, spam accounts, and abandoned email addresses don’t bring sales.


It’s hard enough to convert potential customers who already want what you’re selling to new customers. When building an email list, focus on a target audience of people who are genuinely interested in your products or services. Otherwise, you’ll see leads unsubscribe as quickly as they joined.


Once you’ve checked off the first two priorities, you can start focusing on growing your email list and expanding your reach to include new or wider audiences.

Wondering how you can get email addresses to build your email marketing campaign? Try these easy email marketing tips

Emails are an amazing digital marketing tool. It provides you with a unique way of communicating and connecting with your clients. To begin, you have to find out what your subscribers want from your e-mail. It is difficult for people to develop good emails because they don't have the resources and the skills required for the process and can't create a successful one.

Many good email marketing methods allow for easy tracking and use of e-mail addresses. Our email marketing team has compiled a few of the best ways of increasing a list of subscribers.

Email List Building Strategies: Proven Ways to Grow Your Email List

How to make an email list if I know nothing about it? How do I collect emails from people that might be interested in my business? How do I get them to engage with my email content? How do I avoid spam complaints? How does it lead to increased conversions and a boost in sales?

Keep reading to learn how to build an email list from scratch.

How to start an email list?

Before you start creating web forms and email capture landing pages, you need to set up the technical side of things. Otherwise, there's a high chance the emails will be going nowhere and your emails list won't grow.

Most email marketing services offer various ways to collect email addresses, including web form, or even landing page builders. It becomes a little harder if you don't want to use their templates and decide to push data from your own web forms instead.

Whatever you choose, you'll need to follow the instructions from your email service provider to set everything up.

Collect email addresses through existing relationships.

One of the easiest places to get started is by connecting with existing friends, colleagues, and any subscribers you have already. Not only is this a good place to begin if you’re starting from scratch, but this is also less stressful, as you won't be bothering complete strangers. All you have to do is ask!

Before you reach out to people, there are a few best practices you should keep in mind:

  • Text the people you have established a relationship with.
  • Every time you message someone, make sure to tell them how your content, — whether it’s a newsletter, email course, case study, or something else entirely — will benefit them or their friend.
  • Be yourself. Tell your story, share your feelings, and don't be afraid to be vulnerable and real. People will subscribe and share your sign-up form because they want to help YOU.

Ask friends, family, and colleagues

How to make an email list if I know nothing about it? How do I collect emails from people that might be interested in my business? How do I get them to engage with my email content? How do I avoid spam complaints? How does it lead to increased conversions and a boost in sales?  Keep reading to learn how to build an email list from scratch.  How to start an email list?  Before you start creating web forms and email capture landing pages, you need to set up the technical side of things. Otherwise, there's a high chance the emails will be going nowhere and your emails list won't grow.  Most email marketing services offer various ways to collect email addresses, including web form, or even landing page builders. It becomes a little harder if you don't want to use their templates and decide to push data from your own web forms instead.  Whatever you choose, you'll need to follow the instructions from your email service provider to set everything up.  Collect email addresses through existing relationships.

One of the easiest strategies to build a great email list for marketing is to ask people in your family, place of work, friends, and others to join your list. Leveraging your network is a great way to steadily increase your email list, and is often the best place to gain traction, especially when you are just starting out. Of course, you need to have built your social capital to a good extent to optimally take advantage of this.

Although some of your people may not be interested in the email content themselves, they might know someone who is. Tell them you’re starting an email list and watch them build it for you.

Ask customers and prospects.

When current clients or potential customers buy something from you or connect with you, you can ask if they’d like to sign up for your email or newsletter for marketing purposes. To further grab their attention, you can provide something that they could directly benefit from, like a free ebook.

Face-to-face connections are still the most effective tool for converting leads into customers. Your in-person interactions can help you build your email list, leading to more digital sales.

For instance, you can organize networking events, bring a clipboard and ask people to write down their names and email addresses. You can even include a call-to-action on your business cards to increase email signups.

Clearly articulate your purpose and the benefits


Be clear and concise about the purpose of your email content, and what they stand to gain from it. Avoid communicating like a robot. Instead, talk like you do in real life. It will help your customers relate to you better.

You can start out by making email templates, but be sure to curate them based on your relationship with the person and how you are addressing them. Depending on where a conversation is happening, people communicate very differently. When you text someone, you should be more casual than in an email. If you’re talking to someone in person, you shouldn’t be reading from a script.

Capture emails from your email signature/closing

How many people do you contact personally via email every day? These contacts might not be on your business email list for marketing yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t suggest that they sign up to receive your email newsletter. For website visitors, include a brief call-to-action and a link to a form or landing page in your email signature.

This is an easy, passive way to capture email addresses if you’re emailing people regularly.

Encourage forwarding of your emails


Word-of-mouth is one of the oldest and most powerful means of advertising to attract customers, and email offers the perfect venue for suggesting it to your subscribers. If they’re on your list and getting value from your messages, chances are they know others who would also benefit. Reach out to current subscribers and encourage them to share your email with people they know.

However, it's also important to ensure that your emails are easy to share and subscribe to. Do this by including share buttons to your social media accounts in your email template. Also, in your newsletter, you can encourage subscribers to forward your message. Then, include a link to your sign-up page so that prospective email subscribers can sign up directly from your email. This is an effective way of collecting email addresses.

Signup form on your landing page or website


One key to capturing new subscribers for your email list is giving visitors a lot of chances to do so. That’s why in addition to a homepage or product page pop-up form, you should also consider adding an email signup form on your landing page or across every page on your website.

Most website platforms enable you to place sign-up forms in locations where clients look for additional information about your business. Because these forms are often subtle and located below the fold, your conversion rate will likely be low overall. However, the contribution they make to building your email list can add up over time.

To boost your conversion rate, make sure you’re adding a strong call to action. You can also add giveaways like coupons, exclusive content, or regular news and updates. As a customer makes their way down to your website’s footer to learn more about your brand, what sorts of offers might catch their attention and encourage them to subscribe? Include them there.

Optimize your current form placement

As noted earlier, you should have sign-up forms on your website. However, it is not enough to simply have it - test its location on various page templates. For example: if your blog post only has a sign-up form at the bottom of the post, the form isn’t getting nearly as much visibility as it would in the sidebar or halfway through the post.

Basically, make sure that your sign-up form is easy to find on your page.

Keep the sign-up form short

Studies have shown that the length of sign-up forms will impact the number of signups you receive.

Keep the email signup process short and very easy for new subscribers. Only ask them for the details that you really need, so that they won't be turned away. This doesn’t mean you can’t collect information to help you personalize your email send. Just make sure that asking for that information will not become a hindrance for your customers and yourself.

Try pop-up forms

Pop-up forms can be a simple yet effective way to bring more data to your email list. But it’s important to establish a few ground rules before getting started.

It is important not to interrupt or annoy your website visitors with too many pop-ups. Not all forms have to pop up in the middle of a screen and darken the background content. You can use a “sticky” form that unobtrusively remains on the bottom of the page as a user scrolls, or a slide-in form on the side of the screen.

Think about the timing as well. Ideally, a pop-up form should appear either immediately after the page is loaded or after a user scrolls past the content you wanted them to see. There's nothing more annoying than a pop-up interrupting you when you are in the middle of reading a product description or a blog post

You can also use the targeting options in your marketing platform of choice to disable these pop-ups for previous customers who are already on your list. This lets you focus on new customers only.

Include a newsletter signup option at checkout

This option is a literal gold mine. However, a lot of business owners and email marketers neglect it. By encouraging users to sign up for your email list at checkout, you can turn a single transaction into a repeat customer.

Adding a newsletter signup option at checkout can be as simple as putting a checkbox under the field that customers will use to provide an email for their order confirmation or on the site's footer. Be specific about the value buyers will receive, whether it’s a discount code, free content, free gift, or updates about new products. This will increase their incentive to opt-in, and also ensure you’re in compliance with general data protection regulation (GDPR) and other privacy regulations.

Run a contest to collect subscribers


Running contests or giveaways on social media can help accelerate list growth by turning the act of subscribing into a shareable and winnable event. The added momentum of a contest can be especially valuable in the early days when your list of subscribers is small and you don’t have existing traffic to leverage.

To do this, you can partner with other eCommerce businesses that sell complementary products, or have a similar audience. With the right partner, your products will complement each other, making the offer more compelling than if you ran the contest alone.

You can also leverage influencer marketing. Since influencers often use giveaways for their own purposes, you can contract them to offer your products in exchange for their ability to kickstart your giveaway campaign

Add a sign-up button to your Facebook business page and other social media

People follow brands on social media for many reasons, but the biggest of them given in most surveys is to stay up to date on new products. By adding an option on your Facebook, Instagram, and other social media accounts to sign up for email updates, you can build brand awareness and give followers another way to stay up to date while pulling them into more personalized email nurturing campaigns. Just add a simple email signup option to your page.

For instance, you can include a call-to-action button on your Facebook business page to encourage your followers to sign up for your email list.

For other social media platforms that aren't link-friendly, you can always work around it. On Instagram, you can include all your links in a Linktree account, and fix the link in your Instagram bio. As long as it drives conversion, you're good to go.

Build personalized landing pages


It is possible that different prospective clients discovered your business from different places and will respond to different email sign-up CTAs. It is imperative to create personalized landing pages with opt-in forms and messaging tailored to a particular segment of your audience.

Invest in social advertising

Social media is a powerful tool, especially when you can invest in it. LinkedIn and Facebook ad formats that specifically cater to email signups can help you reach your target audience. Run various Facebook ads and various methods of email marketing. Keep testing these ad campaigns till you're satisfied and you've found what works best for your business.

With the powerful audience targeting tools in Google Ads and Facebook Ads Manager, you can build an offer with an audience already in mind, then tweak attributes like location, age, gender, profession, interests, and more to reach the right people.

Add sign-up forms in YouTube videos

Whether you’re active on YouTube and treat it like a social network or simply use it as a repository for video content, there is potential to earn email addresses.

YouTube offers a number of ways to include calls to action within the video area itself. You can also update the video’s “About” section to include a CTA. Always preview the live video first so you can place the most important information before the “Show More” prompt appears.

Create Group Emails

In the same way you run targeted Facebook ads to suit a specific audience, you can create group emails to target specific segments of your audience.

Each group email should have a specific purpose, and the people in that group should be segmented as repeat customers who enjoy receiving the type of content you are sending them.

This email marketing tool can increase your sales funnel and generate more leads.

Conduct lead generation campaigns

Lead generation is the process of attracting prospects to your business and nurturing their interests with the goal of turning them into customers. This can be achieved through effective content marketing campaigns with enticing call-to-actions.

You can do either of these as lead generation methods:

  • Sharing a blog post with informational content;
  • Promoting product offerings across social media channels;
  • Offering product trials or coupons that lead to your landing page.

Why you shouldn't buy Email Lists

You'll violate the rules of consent under GDPR


The general data protection regulation basically requires that you must have express consent from your contacts, to send them emails.

However, when you buy your email lists, the people on them haven't been given this option, which makes you non-compliant with GDPR.

Reputable email marketing services don't let you send emails to lists you've bought

If you're using email marketing software or plan to in the future, you'll find that reputable companies will insist that you use opt-in email lists.

You'll harm your email deliverability and IP reputation

Certain organizations have created something called spam traps, which are created to identify spammy activity; they're set up when an email address is old or no longer valid, but still receives consistent traffic.

If you buy a list, you have no way of confirming how often those email addresses have been emailed or whether they have become spam traps.

Good email address lists aren't for sale.

There's a huge chance that the good email address lists aren't for sale. They have probably already been deemed non-responsive or unqualified for marketing outreach.

People on a purchased or rented list don't actually know you.

Most times, the people whose emails appear on a purchased or rented list had their emails scraped from a website. The fact is that they don't know you. Thus, they would find it hard to engage with your email content or might even report it as spammy content.

You can come across as annoying.

If you force your email content on anyone too early, even if you are absolutely sure they're a great fit for your products or services, you risk preemptively losing their trust and their future patronage.

Your email service provider can penalize you.

Buying email lists can put your email account in danger. Email clients like Gmail, Yahoo!, and Outlook don't want to be associated with accounts that recipients repeatedly flag as spam, so they can ban such accounts.

How to Grow an Opt-In Email List for Free

Instead of buying email lists, here are a couple of email list-building tactics.

Create gated assets so there's a reason for people to give you their email addresses


Webinars, ebooks, templates, etc. — these are all good long-form, premium content assets that people may find valuable enough to hand over their email addresses. The more gated assets you have to put behind landing pages, the better — a wider variety of content will make it easier for you to attract a wider range of people.

Create useful tools

If you can't create ebooks or webinars, you can create other tools that can prove useful for your clients. These tools can be valuable enough to some of your website visitors that they'll trade you their email addresses for a free demo of the product you built.

Promote those gated assets on your marketing channels.

Promoting the gated assets or the tools that you have created is a sure lead magnet. Slowly but steadily, it can generate conversions and subsequently, email sign-ups.

Add chatbots to engage with prospects

According to Smart Insights, Autoresponder and triggered emails have much higher click-through rates than general marketing emails.

While it’s still reaching its full potential, chatbot technology already offers a number of effective tools to help you send automated messages to potential clients. This will not only save you valuable time and effort in customer support, but also create unique offers that generate email list signups.

Building an email list is just the Beginning!

We hope that this article helped you learn how to build your email list.

Like running PPC ads, email marketing requires research. Test, test, and test till you arrive at results that satisfy you and can increase conversions.

It is important to understand that there are other forms of marketing aside from email marketing. Make sure to explore!

Share via:
Article by Alex

Senior Klaviyo expert. Buddist monk.

Portugal Office
Portugal Office
Av. Faial 371, Estoril, Lisbon
+351 922 210 245
Ukraine Office
Ukraine Office
Yamska 35/33, Kyiv
+38 095 863 8573
Norway Office
Norway Office
Jacob Aalls Gate 14b, 0368 Oslo
+479 228 0348
USA Office
USA Office
1584 W Crystal Rock Ct Unit 1B, Round Lake Beach, ILLINOIS, 60073
+164 675 718 77