8 Effective steps to build an Email List from scratch

The foundation of effective email marketing can always be traced back to email list building. The process of getting to your target audience and triggering their interest in your product or service energizes your revenue channel. 

This article’s goal is to give you a clear step-by-step guide on how to build an effective email list and make the most out of your email marketing.

1. Make your newsletter a valuable product 

You need to make your newsletter worth the effort and time if you want people to sign up for it. That’s why I’d suggest serving your newsletter as a product. I’d recommend creating a great product first and showing the benefits of using it. 

There are one or two rules to follow when it comes to newsletter design but in my own point of view, you can boil it down to these 3: 

i. Focus on your target audience 

People who are likely to become your customers should be your main focus. Always learn about their information needs and develop the right content that corresponds to their daily challenges. 

ii. Make it useful 

Help to solve real-life challenges with your content. Transform your resources into valuable content for your target audience. 

iii. Engage with your contacts and ask for feedback 

Your newsletter can serve as a two-way communication channel, e.g. send out emails that people can ask questions or reply to, organize webinars, run surveys, and so on. Remember that the closer you are to your customers and potential customers determines how much information you know about them. You’ll see higher conversion and engagement rates when you provide valuable content for your contacts.

2. Promote your newsletter like a product 

You can advertise your newsletter once it is ready and run promotional campaigns via the available channels (just like you would do with a product)

Social media pages: Attach the signup link of your newsletter or a banner promoting your lead magnet to your email signature including all your key social media profiles. Most platforms allow you to customize your business page or bio in your personal profile.

Here are some more ways you can build an email list with Facebook and another on how to create a Facebook Landing Page. 

Blog:  people who land on your blog organically are very likely to be considered as your target audience.  If they like the content on your blog, you can invite them to join your email list to get more updates

Podcast: Tell people about your newsletter if you happen to run a podcast and provide a subscription link. You can also create a separate email list for podcast audiences and give them a VIP experience. 

Online conferences and events: Due to the Corona Outbreak in 2020, most events and meetings have been scheduled to be held online. Even though we’re not able to talk and exchange business cards in person, we can still add a slide about the newsletter to our presentation deck. 

Partnerships: getting the right partners may seem kind of challenging but it is very crucial for our well-being. Write guest articles with the people you consider running cross-registration campaigns with. Build a list of potential partners and put outreach on your weekly agenda.

3. Create lead magnets 

A lead magnet is something of great value that you offer your target audience in exchange for their contact information. The lead magnet’s purpose is to provide someone with an incentive for giving you their information and maximize the number of targeted leads captured via a web form.

Lead magnet examples:





Resource kit 


Educational materials

Of course, there are other types of opt-in and freebies bribes you can offer. 

The motive behind this is that you need to create content that your audience will want to trade their email addresses for if you want to grow your email list. 

4. State the benefits of joining your email list 

 I’m sure that at this point, you should be able to answer questions like why should anyone join your contact list? But how do you clearly reach out to people who haven’t heard about your brand yet? 

Grow beyond the “sign up to our newsletter” stuff by simply giving a few reasons such as a pop-up inviting website visitors to enter a contest.

Come up with many reasons, like a loyalty program, discount, or contest and test which one proves to be most effective. 

5. Build a landing page for the newsletter 

A landing page, also known as a “lead capturing page” is a single web page designed to build a contact list. Build a lead capturing page for your newsletter.

Let’s see some examples of a short landing page that could consist of only two fields – name and email address – and offering a free ebook.

There are numerous ways to build lead capturing pages but the most convenient of them all is to use a lead capturing page creator. 

6. Include Subscription Forms to Website and Blogs

A web form, popularly known as a signup form is an HTML form that is installed on a website that allows visitors to sign up. There are various kinds of forms to pick from, for instance, a subscription form, a download box, or even an exit pop-up. 

Attach a fixed bar or a pop-up form to a  page that converts the most, like the product page and about us. This enables people who are interested in your offer to sign up and receive more relevant information. You can either build a web form using an email list builder or code it from scratch.

You can find various email list builder tools and templates online to choose from and an automatic editor that’ll let you customize your web form to fit the style of your website. 

Think about the quality and quantity ratio when designing your web form. You might need to create a longer web form if you want to reach a specific target audience, for instance, to generate B2B leads, asking for more details like company name, company size, position, and so on. On the other hand, you might only ask for basic information like name and email address if your goal is to reach a broader audience such as potential eCommerce customers. 

The principle of thumb explains that the longer the form, the fewer people subscribe, and the shorter the web form, the more sign-ups you get, but you can’t be sure how many people meet your criteria. The trick of the whole thing is knowing your goal and only asking for important data to balance the quality/quantity ratio accordingly. 

7. Conduct a webinar for your target audience 

A webinar could mean a “web conference”, an “online seminar”,  or an “online meeting” and it has helped to build an email list with high-quality contacts in such a great way. The idea is quite easy– Everyone who signs up to your contact list gets the offer of your valuable information.

Carefully planned webinar content will surely attract your target audience. You can boost your webinar through other online marketing platforms to maximize outreach.

8. Create a list-building funnel 

Looking for a smarter, quicker way to generate leads? Check out the conversion funnel – a clear way to create a list-building campaign. 

List building funnels are categorized into 2 kinds: 

i. Lead magnet funnel 

You can host your lead magnets with lead magnet funnels, build a landing page, create autoresponders, and promote them with Facebook Ads — all this in just a few minutes. 

ii. Standard opt-in funnel 

Even if you don’t have a downloadable opt-in incentive, not to worry, these list-building funnels can help you set up a full lead generation campaign. Utilize them to promote your newsletter, an email course, or a monetary incentive.


You now have everything you need to start building your email list. Simply follow the steps in this article and build yourself a reliable revenue stream. Generate lots of leads with email marketing and make 2021 a great year for your business.

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