How to Build Email List From the Scratch

finger pointing at @ symbol

“The money is in the list.”, says the marketing quote. There’s the fact that the ROI for email marketing is $40 for every dollar spent. Far more than any other channel could make you earn. If you don’t have an email list yet, you need to build it. 

Not Just Any Email List

In general, an email list consists of email addresses from people who have subscribed to your website, blog, or newsletter and other addresses you have collected in other ways. 

To have a list that is providing the revenue, you need to have contacts that are active and interactive with you. This means that the addresses should be active. People change their emails rather often.

Your contacts need to be relevant for your business, the clients that regularly engage with the content you are sending out. 

What Do You Need to Start?

Solid Traffic to Your Website

Surely you have a website for your eCommerce or your business. It should be designed in a way that draws attention by representing your business in an appealing way. The more visitors you have, the better are the chances that you will create a useful email list.

There are many ways to draw traffic to your site. You can use promotion via SEO, or the ads, or publishing your advertisements on various channels.

  • Use SEO when creating your website. This is the slow strategy. You should continuously create engaging content, publishing it on your website, designed to be easily tracked down by Google and other search engines. The benefit of this strategy is that it is independent of social networks and platforms. Although the traffic is growing slowly, it is continuous and solid, and it is free.
  • Using ads gives you the possibility to reach the targeted audience on the right platform and at the right moment. The cost of this kind of advertising may vary on different platforms. The most suitable is Facebook, as it offers more cost-effective ads and surely has the largest group of users.
  • You can create engaging content to post on various channels. It is very important to have included an effective call to action and a direct link to your website.
Person handwriting and email list
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Value of Sign-Up Forms on Your Website

First of all, it is essential to have a reliable email marketing provider. It is very significant that it offers you a variety of sign-up forms and the possibility to send the signup to different lists. Furthermore, you need to have insight into your subscriber group, their behavior, and how useful are each of the sign-up forms. 

The Healthy List

The healthy list includes people who are interested in your brand and have signed up for your newsletter. That kind of contact can lead to favorable conversion rates and revenue. You should check your email list time after time and keep only the active subscribers. 

Strategies to Create Your Email List

  1. Opt-In Form

The standard opt-in form is a default on your site. You can see it on every eCommerce site composed of website design. It is usually placed on top or at the bottom of the page.

Although it seems a bit old-fashioned, it has notable effects.

  1. Use the Lead Magnet

You can offer your potential customer valuable resource such as an e-book, gift guide, stock images, etc. In order to get it for free, they need to sign up for your newsletter. 

  1. Give an Extra Incentive

You can offer a time-limited benefit like a discount or free shipping to clients who subscribe to your email campaign.

  1. Create Targeted Landing Page

The landing page is being made with the aim to make high conversions for one specific product. The focus is on the funnels targeted for precisely defined clients.

Once the potential customers visit your landing page, they will need to subscribe to your email list if they want to get that product.

  1. The Pop-Up Effect

The Pop-Ups are dynamic with the element of surprise. They are attracting attention immediately. You can set them up to appear after a number of seconds or on every page of your site. Pop-up can deliver a lead magnet, a time-limited offer, or a survey that includes a subscription to your mailing list.

  1. Referral Program

The referral program gives benefits to the subscribers if they refer your offer to their friends, family, or elsewhere.

You can create referrals with no costs for you by adding an option to share your newsletter. Also, you can incorporate the share option in your lead magnet at the end.

Much more effective will be to offer a gift, a coupon, a discount, or other benefits in exchange for sharing your advertisement.

hand accepting virtual letters
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Create the Targeted CTA

CTA itself is giving an incentive to the audience. Personalized CTA aims at a particular pain point, giving a unique solution. If you offer content specified for your visitor’s needs, a subscription to your newsletter will give the feeling of getting value. That can be the beginning of long-term engagement with your business.

Another tactic is to convince your client that they are getting value from a subscription to your email list. However, you should avoid the terms “sign up” and “subscribe.” Instead, try to use “Download,” “Access,” or “Exclusive,” giving the impression that by receiving your emails, the client will have access to special content.

Build in the CTA on your “About Us” page. When a reader visits the About us page, he can learn more about your business and your company. The CTA that will suggest the newsletter subscription may have rather a significant conversion potential.

Promote Your Email Newsletter on Your Social Media Account

You already have an account on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, and you have a number of followers. These people are interested in your content already. You can upgrade that interest in promoting your newsletter subscription directly on your social media profile.

In case you find it too direct, you can add a link to your landing page or your website, where the audience will find the offer to join your mailing list.

  1. Offline List Building

Nothing is more persuasive than personal contact. Even though you have a solid online campaign, you will want to attract new customers and detain the old ones whenever you have a chance.

You can have prepared the business cards you will exchange at the meetings, seminars, and gatherings related to your business. 

You can also use the registration forms or verbal consent to include your potential client in your email list.


The goal of list building is to have at your disposal a significant number of active contacts. Having secured constant communication and engagement with your content, you have a big potential to convert readers into customers and then into permanent clients.