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Easy Ways to Build an Email List From Scratch

May 4, 2022

Building an email list is at the foundation of any effective and successful email marketing campaign. Email marketing is an ongoing process of reaching your target audience and encouraging their interest in your brand, product, or service, which ultimately helps to fuel your stream of revenue. 


However, before you begin to see the impact of email marketing on your business, it’s important to put your effort into building an email list. The most effective way to build an email list is organically and from scratch. While there is the option to purchase email lists, this can often do more harm than good as you will only be sending marketing messages to people who are not actually interested in hearing from you.

How to Build an Email List From Scratch

The easiest way to get started with building an email list from scratch is to invite anybody who is interested in hearing more from your brand to sign up or opt in.

Adding a simple opt-in form to your website so that visitors who are interested in the content they have seen so far can sign up to receive more of it over time is the easiest way to get consent from people who actually want to be added to your email list and hear more from you.

You can place your opt-in form on your blog or other areas of your website where visitors are likely to be engaged with your content and more interested in finding out more.

Starting an Email List From Scratch For Your Online Store

If you have an eCommerce store, then the checkout process is an ideal place to start collecting email addresses from your customers to send email marketing messages to in the future.

Not only can you collect emails during the checkout process but also data on each customer that you can use to send them more personalised email marketing messages in the future based on products that they have purchased or are interested in.

To improve the chance of customers opting in to receive email marketing messages when making a purchase, focus on making the checkout process easy and simple, without lengthy forms to fill out.

Guest checkout is a good idea since this still gives you the chance to collect the email address and offers your customer the option to create an account later, providing information that you can use to learn more about them.

How to Start an Email List From Scratch With Incentives

While it’s easy to put an opt-in form on your website or a check box in the checkout process to encourage users and customers to sign up for your email list, the truth is that not everybody is going to be interested in just hearing from your brand for the sake of it.

Lots of us get hundreds of different marketing emails per day so there really does need to be something that is worth it available for most people in order for them to be ready to sign up. The good news is that there are lots of incentive options to consider to give users a great reason to add their contact details to your email list.

For example, some of the most popular are a voucher code to use on their next order to get money off at your online shop or access to exclusive content that they will not find anywhere else. You can also give away freebies like templates, eBooks, and more as a thank you for joining your email list.

How to Build an Email List Using Double Opt In

Double opt in is a process that involves asking the people who have signed up for your email list to confirm that they want to continue hearing from you.

While not everybody is going to press that confirm button, which might make building your email list slower, the good news is that you can use this to build a more authentic email list of people who are genuinely interested in hearing from your brand.

The unfortunate thing about a single opt-in model is that when people are automatically added to your email list immediately after signing up on your website, without being asked to confirm, then there’s no way of checking if the email has been spelled correctly, for example, or even if somebody else is signing people up without their consent.

How to Grow a Mailing List With Referrals

You may have seen customer referral schemes as a way to get more people to shop with your business based on the recommendations of your current customers, but did you know that you can also use this type of model to get more people to join your mailing list?

When sending emails to your current email list, it might be worth considering adding a referral link that they can use to share your content with their friends and family that they think might be interested in receiving your newsletter or getting updates from your company.

How to Start an Email Subscription List

If you are just getting started with email marketing, then building your email list is probably the biggest obstacle right now. Chances are that you may have already collected some emails in the past from current customers of yours or interested audience members that you have corresponded with.

It may be worth reaching out to these people with a simple message asking them to click on a link to confirm that they would like to be added to your new email list.

Bear in mind that you don’t need to have a huge number of emails on your mailing list to get started; you can start out by sending just a few and employ different ways to build your mailing list over time.

What are the Best Email List Building Strategies?

When it comes to building your mailing list organically and from scratch, it is worth using a range of different strategies to keep your email list growing.

If you want people to sign up for your email newsletter, one of the main things to do is treat your newsletter like it is a great product and make it worth their effort and time. Some strategies to keep in mind include:

Focus on Your Target Audience

Your main focus should always be on the people who are most likely to become recipients of your emails. Spend your time learning about their information needs, so that you can develop interesting and useful content that is relevant to their questions, problems, and challenges.

When you do this, you are in a better position to help with solving real-life problems with the content that you send out.

Ask for Feedback

Asking for feedback from your email recipients can be an ideal way to learn more about what they want. Ultimately, this allows you to make changes and improvements to your email marketing strategies that may help you attract more sign-ups.

When designing your newsletter, use it as a two-way communication channel and send emails that people can reply to, include links to surveys, organise webinars that people can attend, and simply ask questions.

Remember that the closer you are to your customers, the more you will know about what they need and want.

Promote Your Newsletter

Many companies spend a lot of time and money promoting their products and services but forget about promoting their email newsletter. Once your newsletter is ready, you can advertise it and promote it on the same channels as you would market a new product.

For example, you can use your social media pages for email newsletter promotion by adding a signup link to your social media profiles or design a cover image that promotes your lead magnet.

Create Lead Magnets

A lead magnet refers to something of value that you offer to your target audience in exchange for their contact information. The main goal of this is to provide an incentive for people to subscribe and maximise the number of leads that you capture.

There are several things that you can use as a lead magnet including checklists, reports, guides, eBooks, frameworks, resource kits, educational materials, and more.

Demonstrate the Benefits

To get more people to join your email list, then they will need to know why it’s a good idea for them. While you might be able to list all the benefits to customers who sign up for your mailing list, make sure that you are communicating this clearly to people who may not be all that familiar with your brand.

When it comes to designing your opt-in or sign-up form on your website or landing page from your social media profiles, go further than simply asking people to sign up and provide a few good reasons for them to do so.

When it comes to putting together an effective email newsletter or marketing campaign, the best way to build your email list is from scratch. While it may take some time and require a few different methods, it’s more likely to pay off.

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