How to Build an Email List From Scratch in 11 Easy Steps (Ultimate Guide for 2023)

Want to leverage your business through a compelling email list? Then take a look at this guide on building an email list from scratch.

Building an email list is a common theme in online marketing. Collecting email addresses to maximize the user database can empower business growth. Apart from that, an email list helps in almost all parts of your business.

Email marketing is a strategy-based technique done by highly prolific marketers. 59% of customers state that email marketing has a positive or negative impact on their purchasing decisions.

Email building is a complicated task that requires a strategy, and you cannot expect thousands of subscribers from a single strategy you executed to build an email list.

What is an Email List?

An email list is a list of prospects’ email addresses along with their basic information such as name, gender, location, etc. Email lists are built by collecting their data, including the email addresses of potential customers. Marketers collect email addresses via websites, events, advertisements, and social media.

You can build an email list by having a website, and that website should have pop-ups, embedded sign-ups, and other forms of collecting visitor data. In this guide, we will take a deeper look at how you can build an email list from scratch.

Why Building an Email List is Important?

Whether small or large, all types of businesses need a compelling email list. The prospects in the email lists hold importance in shaping your business and its growth. This email list provides performance metrics such as click-through rate, open email rate, and conversion rate, which are useful for marketers. It allows the marketers to gain helpful insights and analyze what needs tweaking.

For instance, the click-through rate of email can tell whether the person is interested in the content they are producing. Email subject lines of A/B testing such as “20% off” or “free shipping” give helpful insights that marketers can analyze to evaluate the value proposition that fits the best with their target audience.

How to Build an Email List From Scratch in 11 Easy Steps

1. Choose A Trustworthy Email Marketing Platform

You must choose a robust and reliable email marketing platform for your business. While most email marketing tools provide fundamental features of sending emails, you must opt for a marketing tool to handle your marketing needs as you grow your business.

Profitable online business has sturdy email marketing tools that offer automated email campaigns and acquire high-quality email lists. Many entry-level email marketing tools lack such abilities; hence it is hard for marketers to turn visitors into paying customers.

You have to choose a trustworthy email marketing platform if you are serious about your business. You cannot just go with any email marketing platform and expect quality email lists. With the right email marketing tool, you will save a lot of time, but you will also build an email list from scratch. In addition, you will capitalize on your overall email campaigns.

Constant Contact is our recommendation because it has excellent deliverability scores. It has the highest deliverability rates among all top email marketing platforms. Moreover, the tool has all the niche features marketers need for email campaigns. You can also make logos and schedule social media posts with constant contact.

2. Create Lead Magnets

In the online marketing world, getting the email address of prospective clients or customers is a valuable transaction. With these emails, marketers can convert visitors into paying customers. However, most people are skeptical about sharing their email address unless they find something valuable in it. This is where lead magnets come into play.

You have to create an eye-grabbing lead magnet that ensures visitors get something valuable in return when they share their email addresses. You can offer them a portion of what you are offering for free, and this will help you build an email list and make them more attractive in your product or service by giving them a glimpse of them.

When making a lead magnet, you have to choose your buyer persona and identify your value proposition. Creating a lead magnet for buyer persona should mainly focus on their needs. As a result, it will not require much convincing on your part since they already need what you are offering in your lead magnet.

Give your prospects a compelling reason to share their email address. After getting an email address from prospective clients, ensure that you deliver what you have promised.

3. Use Embedded Sign-up Forms

No email marketing establishes its business without using email sign-up forms, and it is the starting point of the whole email marketing journey. Embedded sign-up forms hold a lot of value in building email lists. So why would visitors want to give you their email address right away? If you provide them with something engaging that sparks their interest in your brand, they will likely give their email address.

Firstly, to make an excellent sign-up form, you have to choose a tool that creates professional sign-up forms. Visitors can tell if the website is legit or not by looking at the overall visuals of the site. You have to make sure that your sign-up forms look professional as well as easy to make the subscription.

If your sign-up forms make the visitors take a few minutes to complete the subscription process, then they will not go through it. Users should be able to subscribe to your newsletters in a few seconds.

Apart from that, your brand should create a good first impression by providing a bug-free, smooth, and clean user experience. After that, you have to embed your sign-up forms in strategic locations, and this goes to all your social media, emails, and widgets of your CMS.

4. Give People Incentives to Sign Up

You have to cover many factors after choosing the email marketing platform for your online marketing business. You will not receive emails because you have tools to build email lists. It would help if you gave prospective clients and customers a reason to sign-up.

After properly setting up your sign-up forms, you have to create a lead magnet. This lead magnet is the incentive that you will be given to subscribers. Giving people incentives to sign-up is a lot more effective than just saying ‘Sign-up to our email lists to receive latest offers”. There will be a very low conversion rate, and you won’t grow your online business.

Now, what incentives should you give to your subscribers? There are many options, and you have to recognize what type of incentives will be the best for your visitors.

A great example of these incentives are free ebooks, checklists of steps, PDFs, cheat sheets, webinar registration, worksheet and free course, etc. All these are great ideas for incentives that you can give to your subscribers.

You can choose a combination of such incentives if you are confused about which one to choose. Moreover, you can offer an additional bonus piece as you grow your email lists and business.

5. Gamification

Gamification is the process of adding gaming elements in a lead capture form. It is an intuitive way of building email lists and can generate lots of leads. The average conversion rates are high if gamification is done right.

You can use gamification in the form of quizzes, surveys, spin to win, scratchcards and tests, etc. If your website is catered to the young generation, implementing gamification is a must.

With gamification, you can offer your customers discounts, freebies, and other stuff they can avail themselves of after giving their email address. Gamification embarks the psychology of human behavior. Customers are motivated with prize centric concept, and when they win an exciting prize, they will do anything to claim it. In this case, they only have to submit their email address.

You can also use contests and giveaways to build email lists as a form of gamification. Brands like to organize contests and giveaways in collaboration with others simply because it enlists more subscribers.

33% of overall participants are willing to receive future contests, giveaways, and offers from the company. You may give something free to your visitors, but you are also getting a lot in return that you can leverage with your email marketing journey.

6. Create Pop-ups For Your Website

Pop-ups can be annoying for your visitors, especially when the pop-up covers up the area visitors are looking at. Creating pop-ups is easy, but the implementation needs to be done carefully.

You have to place your pop-ups carefully without disrupting visitors’ interest. Another you have to keep in mind when creating pop-ups is the user experience. Make sure that your pop-ups do not hinder the user experience. In order to do that, you can place pop-ups at appropriate places and well-timed the pop-ups.

There are many ways you can optimize pop-ups to build email lists. For instance, you can use surprise pop-ups which can pop up after the user spends some time on the website. The surprise pop-up can also come after the visitor has interacted with a certain page.

You can leverage the creation of pop-ups if you understand your audience. As a result, you can emphasize your offers through personalized pop-ups that are relevant to your customers.

7. Create Personalized CTAs For Your Website/Landing Page

There are only a few people that will specifically search for your mailing list when visiting your website. Therefore, you should create a funnel that leads visitors into your mailing list without them having to search for it. There are many options to lead your customers into your mailing list. For instance, you can use your content or pages that automatically provides the mailing list to your visitors.

If you are into content marketing, then creating a personalized CTA is very important. Moreover, if you have great content on your site, then it would be a waste not to leverage those resources for building an email list.

You can create a great beginner’s guide on buyer’s personas that leads lots of traffic to your site. Now how do you entice those visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter? You can simply create a CTA that says “get two more guides on buyer’s personas” to convert your audience into subscribers.

In this way, they won’t feel forced, and it will naturally occur to them to subscribe to your newsletters.

8. Create A High-Converting Landing Page

When you are building an email list from scratch, you should focus on leading traffic into your landing page. You can create more than one landing page, and you can directly link them to your Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads.

The advantage of creating a high-converting landing page comes when you are offering exclusive free shipping offers to your subscribers. They will never know about those offers if you lead them to your homepage instead of the landing page.

If your traffic is directly coming to your homepage, the chances are that majority of the people will leave, and you will never know anything about them.

This is why you have to create a high converting landing page that should be linked to all your marketing funnels. Be clear about what you are offering and make it the focal point of your landing page. Ask your visitors for things that are just as simple as their name and email address.

Creating a high converting landing page is highly focused on the conversion of people into subscribers. This may not be possible with the vaguely distributed home page.

9. Run A Viral Contest

A viral contest is another great way to build an email list from scratch. You will not only build an email list with a viral contest, but the participants will do the marketing for you. Yes, participants play an important role in exposing your brand if you run a viral contest.

Apart from offering a bonus for giving an email address, participants can refer the contest to their friends and family for more bonuses. This will also eliminate the idea of people seeing your website as a scam because they are referred by someone they trust.

Your user-generated content will grow via this viral contest. These type of contest are authentic and original, as well as has the ability to build trust among your audience. You will get more sign-ups and build a high-quality email list from it. Apart from that, some subscribers will inevitably turn into paying customers.

In conclusion, a viral contest is like a trump card that you can use whenever you need to build an email list. However, doing it more often than not can gradually diminish the results since most visitors have already given their email addresses.

10. Create A Referral Program

Creating a referral program has a major impact on your email building list in a positive way. Not only do you get email addresses, but your subscribers also encourage other people to subscribe to your newsletters via a referral program.

We all know that a recommendation from a friend is far more trustable than a company recommendation. People naturally want to help their friends and family. They can refer to a certain program or product, and they get some form of bonus in return. The company will give incentives to customers who have successfully referred a person.

You can give your new sign-ups a discount, exclusive offers, and coupons when they make a successful referral in a referral program. In this way, you will be able to make high quality and engaging email list.

People who are happy to be a part of your journey and the process will use these referral programs. So make sure to create a very enticing referral program for your business.

11. Host A Giveaway

Hosting a giveaway is one of the most popular ways to expose your online brand, and it is widely used by eCommerce stores and has an astonishing success rate. We all love free stuff, and it is tempting to enter for the giveaway whenever there is one. Participants only have to submit their email addresses to enter the giveaway.

If it does not cost money, people are willing to give anything to get the prize. Since you only want to build email addresses, it all comes down to your favor. You can build tons of email lists with giveaways.

The prize that you are giving for the giveaway has to be relevant to your target audience. In addition, the giveaway should focus on the platform where most of your target audience is situated.

In this way, you are not only building a relevant email list, but you are also getting quality leads that you can use to leverage the growth of your business.

Conclusion about Building an Email List from Scratch

Knowing all the strategies and methods of building an email list is essential for marketers. To this day, email list building is one of the most effective marketing strategies. By engaging with customers personally, email building should be properly implemented by all marketers.

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My name is Ali Mohammad, I’m a full-time blogger and affiliate marketer. I’m sharing every lesson I’ve learned about how to start a blog and make money blogging. My mission is to teach the next generation of online entrepreneurs how to scale their influence at startup speed. Click here to learn more about ai writing software!

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