How to Build an Email List From Scratch: 9 List Building Steps to Follow in 2022 Infographic

A webinar signup landing page.

How to Build an Email Marketing Contact List

A targeted email marketing contact list is integral to your business’s marketing strategy. You can use several tactics to create a successful email list in order to effectively connect with consumers.

The process of generating a successful email marketing list is twofold: 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.

A study by Mailchimp showed that the average email open rate is only 21.33%, and click-through rates are even lower. With such low rates, your business must have a good pool of prospects to make your email campaigns worthwhile. [Related: How to Create an Email Drip Campaign]

The way you obtain consumer email addresses, and what you do once you have them, is important. There are right and wrong ways to set up a marketing email list. First and foremost, only send emails to consumers who have volunteered to receive communications from your business. Sending marketing emails without consent can hurt your business, as it will likely result in unhappy consumers and may cause your emails to be filtered as spam. Learn more about how to reduce email campaign mistakes.

So how do you get subscribers? And what can you do to make sure they never click that unsubscribe button? Here are 10 tips for building an email marketing contact list that will grow your business.

Have multiple locations for consumers to sign up for your emails.

One of the best ways to create an email list from scratch is to offer customers multiple calls to action (CTAs) to sign up for your promotions. Placing an opportunity in an immediately visible place is wise, but you should also cover your bases and place additional CTAs in alternative paths a customer might take to arrive at your webpage. These also serve as a reminder to website visitors who skipped the first CTA. Don’t overdo it, though. Limit your CTAs to two to four spots on your website, such as these locations:

Did you know? Receiving consent before sending emails is not only an email list maintenance best practice, but also sometimes legally necessary. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) only allows processing if the data subject has given you consent or you have another legal basis for using the information.

No matter where you place your email capture, use a double opt-in process. This process means your email service provider will send a confirmation email to new subscribers to ensure they want to be on your list.

  1. It builds trust. This strategy ensures that customers know you are using permission-based email marketing. This creates trust among your subscribers and strengthens your reputation. When a subscriber trusts your brand, they are more likely to interact with it. This can increase email deliverability and improve your email open rates.
  1. It builds brand recognition. When your subscribers use a double opt-in process, you force them to acknowledge your brand and clearly identify what your content looks like in their inbox. This raises brand recognition for your marketing emails and limits the potential for your emails landing in the junk folder.
  1. Itreduces spam. The double opt-in process prevents bots from adding random email addresses to your list. This is important for building clean, effective email lists.

Although the idea of scaling your email list without an opt-in strategy can be enticing, a double opt-in process will be more beneficial to you and your customers in the long run. [Need help with email marketing? Check out our best picks for email marketing software.]

Promote your newsletter like a product

Screenshot of a signup form on GetResponse blog.

A signup form at the bottom of an article on the GetResponse blog.

  • Podcast: if you run a podcast, tell people about your newsletter and provide a subscription link. You can even create a separate email list for your podcast listeners and provide them a VIP experience.
  • Online conferences and events: in 2020 we moved our events online. This format means that we’re not able to talk and exchange business cards, but we still can add a slide about newsletter to our presentation deck.
  • Partnerships: finding the partner is not easy but crucial for our well-being 🙂 Think of the people to run cross-registration campaigns and write guest articles with. Create a list of potential partners and put outreach on your weekly agenda.
  • Ecommerce customer profile: make sure that people can easily sign up for your newsletter when they register with your ecommerce platform.

Present the benefits or joining your email list

Why should anyone join your contact list? I’m sure that at this point, you can quickly answer this question but do you communicate clearly to the people who haven’t heard about your brand yet?

A short squeeze page form.

Example of a short squeeze page containing only two fields – name and email address – and offering a free ebook.

Conversion tips: keep your landing page simple by providing a single call to action. Create A/B variants of your landing page. Run tests and see how content type, copy, or design changes influence performance.

Ways To Use Your Email List To Make Money

Grow your email list to grow your business

Here are some strategies to help you make money with your email list:

Sell Your Products or Services

Re-run Old Campaigns And Strategies

Create Creative And Engaging Content That’s Worth Paying For

Interesting products/services can be marketed in very creative ways. Content is one of the most important factors of any business or brand and if your content is crappy then that directly reflects on every other part of your business.

Segment, Segment, Segment

How to segment your email list

You can segment your audience according to their interests and needs and offer them products or services, respectively. This will give a much better response to your marketing strategies.

For instance, if you are a business coach and have a number of entrepreneurs on your mailing list, you could pitch them your products that are most relevant for these entrepreneurs, resulting in instant sales.

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