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How to Set Up a Mailing List?

Mar 22, 2022

These days, there are several different ways to market a brand online; collaboration software, social media platforms, and online messaging services all come and go. However, one tool is always likely to stay in use among both companies and consumers: emails.

Email has become one of the most effective and most popular ways to communicate and connect with your audience, offering a huge ROI of $42 for every dollar spent.

However, to get the most from your email marketing campaigns and see returns like this, pay attention to the quality and size of your email list. Here’s how to create an email list that will yield great results.

How to Create an Emailing List?

First of all, you will need to set up an infrastructure for your list building. To do this, you will need to choose the right email marketing service provider, design eye-catching email subscription forms to add to your site and social media channels, and come up with great reasons why people should subscribe.

Choosing an Email Marketing Provider

An email marketing service can help you manage all the steps in the list building process. You can use it to handle the design and setup of your subscription forms, collect emails, and dispatch your campaigns.

Come Up with Subscription Incentives

Having an email service provider and sign-up forms is not often enough – it’s important to ask yourself why anybody would want to subscribe to your email newsletter.

Last year, a HubSpot survey found that some of the top reasons why people decide to subscribe to an email list include: to be notified about discounts and promotions, to receive educational and informational content from the brand, to stay updated on company news, or all of these. Most people will subscribe to an email newsletter when they think that it might offer something of value to them.

Some of the top incentive options to consider include:


Most people won’t pass up on a choice to get something for free. Experiments have found that when people are given a choice between paying for gourmet chocolate or getting cheap candy free of charge, they’ll pick the free option.

The idea of getting something for nothing instantly makes us happy and in some cases, we see the free product as more attractive than we’d view it if we paid for it. You can use this to your advantage by offering free guides, templates, reports, eBooks, samples, podcasts, audio recordings, gifts, and more.

Promotions and Discounts

Many new customers will sign up to an email marketing newsletter in return for access to discounts and savings. It is no surprise that almost all online retailers will include a first-order discount as an incentive for getting people to sign up to their newsletter.

Access to Exclusive Content

You can keep your best content reserved for people willing to pay, including access to private communities and groups, special promotional events or sales, or online courses.

Early Bird Access

Similarly, you can grow an email list by promising subscribers earlier access to promo campaigns, special content, or new product launches.

Referral Programs

An email referral program can help you build an email list quickly. You can do this by asking your current email subscribers to promote your newsletter in their circles in return for bonuses and gifts when somebody signs up through them.

How to Set Up a Mailing List Subscription Form

Once you have decided on the incentives you will offer to encourage people to sign up to your mailing list, it’s time to start building email sign up forms to promote on your website and social media profiles.

This is where it is useful to have a good email marketing service provider since most offer tools that are easy to use and intuitive to save you time and money when it comes to designing and publishing your forms.

The best part is that you do not have to be a design professional to get good results.

  • Create a header: Keep it short and to the point and introduce your incentive.
  • Add some body text: Some supplementary text can be used to explain your incentive further and notify the user of any special conditions, for example, when the discount will be valid until.
  • Add a signup form: It is best to ask for minimal information such as a name and email address. This will help you avoid users leaving mid-way through signing up if the form is too long. You can always ask for extra information later if needed.
  • Add a button: Include a prominent subscribe button in a colour that stands out to validate the subscription.

Best Way to Create a Mailing List – Growth Strategies to Keep in Mind

Now you know how to create your email list, but how do you get people to sign up and grow your list over time? Once you have the basics set up, here are some tried and tested strategies that you can use to promote your email list on different marketing channels and encourage more sign-ups.

Landing Pages

When users land on a web page, their eye is usually drawn instantly to the information at the top, including the first screen and the first five paragraphs on the page. This information is quickly used to determine if the page is relevant before the user skims down to the bottom.

Because of this, you will need to be careful when it comes to where you place your subscription form on your website. You can design landing pages for specific purposes, which must be opted into. This will help avoid a cluttered look on your website and prevent visitors from getting confused.

Subscription Pop-ups

While some might consider pop-up subscription forms to be annoying, the truth is that they can work very well when it comes to building your email list. While some readers may be put off by them, a great many others will be converted.

Because of this, it is a good idea to use such forms sparingly and make sure that their placement is strategic, not intrusive.

There are three main types of pop-up email subscription forms that can help you generate subscriptions without ruining the browsing experience. These include:

  • Welcome mat – a full screen email popup that every new visitor will see when they land on the webpage
  • Scrollable – if the reader isn’t interested in subscribing, all they need to do is keep scrolling, and it will automatically disappear
  • Sticky landing page – this type of pop-up requires the user to take action, such as clicking an ‘x’ to close the page, which may be more annoying for some, but does force people to notice and consider your offer.

Exit Intent Popups

An exit-intent popup will help to prevent your website visitors from bouncing off the page without converting – in this case, signing up to your email newsletter.

The main goal of these popups is to try and retain potential customers who are very early in their purchase journey with an offer that is too good for them to ignore.

There are several things that you can add to this popup including mini guides, case studies, time-sensitive discounts, freemium or trial account access, free access to an online tool, or a premium report, for example.

Smart Bar

A smart bar refers to a sticky element that is placed at the top of your website, remaining visible even when users scroll down to the bottom of the page.

You can use it for many different things including a constant reminder of side-wide deals and other incentives that you use to grow your email list.

Blog Newsletter

A blog newsletter may not be as popular as popups when it comes to converting subscribers for your email list. However, these forms might be effective at helping you attract readers who have an interest in your content.

If you blog about different topics, then you might want to think about creating different newsletters for various target audiences.

Subscription Opportunity at Checkout

Many customers are happy when they are buying something new that they want. A good way to take advantage of this is to use this point in the sales journey to pitch your newsletter.

You can further incentivise them to sign up by offering access to a loyalty program or a discount on their next order, for example.

Social Media

There are several ways that you can use social media to promote your email newsletter. On Twitter, for example, you can link to a dedicated opt-in form in your bio or keep a sticky Tweet on your feed with a subscription CTA.

You can also add a CTA button to sign up to your newsletter on your Facebook business page and provide more information with your cover image.

If you want to harness the power of email marketing, then you will need to set up and grow a strong mailing list.


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