James Sowers Digital Marketing

How to Build an Email Marketing List

How to Build an Email Marketing List
A marketing list is crucial for your email marketing campaign, but how can you build one? This guide explains how to build an email marketing list.

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Some people feel like email marketing is a thing of the past. However, you may be surprised to hear that email marketing actually has an incredibly high return on investment (ROI). For every $1 spent there is a $38 ROI.

With a return rate like this, it’s clear that having an email marketing strategy is essential for businesses of all sizes. If you’re new to email marketing, you may be wondering where you need to start?

One of the first steps in incorporating a strategy is building an email marketing list. You’ll need your potential and current customers’ email addresses to start sending out content! Read on to find out how to build one effectively!

What Is an Email Marketing List?

An email marketing list is a list of your subscriber’s email addresses. These are the people who want to receive your content to their inboxes. Maintaining a healthy list will give you the best results.

When you build the best email marketing lists you ensure that your hard work isn’t going to waste. This is why you need to build your list in a reputable way and cleanse that list regularly by removing inactive email addresses.

Never Buy an Email List

First and foremost, you should never buy an email marketing list. Many of the reputable sites that you use for email marketing services won’t even allow you to use these.

Most emails sent to people on a purchased email list will be flagged as spam. Therefore, you’re doing work for nothing. These people did not give you permission to send them content.

You should also include an unsubscribe button on your emails. There are federal anti-spam laws that actually require you to give people the option to unsubscribe. 

Bringing People to Your Website

Of all the email marketing tools, one of the best and most essential is your website. Your website should represent your business and give people an idea about what you offer. This information should leave them wanting more content from you. This is where the standard opt-in form comes into play. Now, the key is how you get them to your site.

There are essentially two main ways that you can gather website traffic; paid advertising and organic traffic.

Here are a few examples:

  • Paid social media advertisements
  • Traditional advertising
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Business cards
  • In-store promotion

Find an Email Marketing Automation Service

One of the best sites you can use for email marketing automation is MailChimp. MailChimp will allow you to store your email addresses and get analytics regarding your campaigns.

If you’re using WordPress and WPForms to build your website, they offer a MailChimp addon. This MailChimp addon will allow you to connect the two services and send your subscriber’s info to your MailChimp account from WPForms.

Pro tip: You can add tags to certain addresses. This helps you segment your subscribers into different groups. This will allow you to send the best content to your different target audiences.

Implement Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

A call-to-action or CTA is a statement created to get a response from the reader or audience. When you implement personalized CTAs on each of your website’s landing pages, you’re more likely to gain subscribers.

Opt-In Incentives

Simply asking nicely may not be enough to build your list. One email marketing technique you can use is to offer an incentive for opting in.

You’ve likely already seen this done on other websites. The most common incentive is usually a one-time discount on their products. You might also offer exclusive access to sales or free shipping.

Instead of incentives like these, you can also offer access to content. This might be a webinar, guidebook, or some other “exclusive” content.


Although the opt-in forms are great, they don’t always get the job done. That’s because people aren’t automatically attracted to filing this out on their own account. Pop-ups are a great way to put this action right in front of them.

Pop-ups? Those annoying things? They don’t have to be! If you don’t like the idea of a pop-up, you can actually use something called gamification to make them more exciting.

If you’re offering incentives to opt-in, turn it into a game. Spin-the-wheel is a common game where the audience plays to see which incentive they will receive.

Host a Giveaway

This is fun for everyone involved! People love a chance to win something. Take to your social media, get influencers involved, and offer your followers a chance to win something of interest.

You can create a specific page on your site with a form to fill out to enter. This will collect their information and greatly increase the size of your email marketing list.

Furthermore, you can offer them a chance to get more entries by sharing your giveaway on their social media. 

Customer Referrals

Already have a good amount of subscribers? Amazing! They can help you build your email marketing list even more. Ask them to share your products or services with their friends.

You can sweeten the deal for them by offering incentives. A good example of this may be “send a $10 coupon to a friend, you get $20 if they use it.” There are endless ways that you can go about this. Many major companies have benefited from this strategy and continue to do so.

Offline Efforts

If you’re feeling a little more traditional, there are even offline efforts you make to build your list. A lot of businesses have a brick-and-mortar location. Offer your customers the chance to give their info in-store, either by putting it into a system during check out or simply having them write it down on a sign-up sheet.

Attending events where you are set up is a great opportunity to have people sign-up. Exchanging business cards is wonderful too. Simply add their info to your mailing list.

Grow Your Business Through Email Marketing

Too many people underestimate the power of email marketing. If you haven’t started building your email marketing list, it’s time to start! With these email marketing tips, you are on your way to creating a successful flow of information to your potential and established customers.

Need help getting your website started or revamped? Contact us and we’ll get you started on the right foot!

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