How to Build an Excellent Email List from Scratch?

Author Image By Ashish Dwivedi

Last Updated: December 19, 2023

7 minutes

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The email list is an assortment of email addresses that businesses make to send promotional emails. These email addresses are a combination of customers, leads, and website visitors. Building an email list is the first step of email marketing. 

It is made on the basis of several factors like location, demographics, interests, behavior of the person, etc. The main purpose of building an email list is to have a targeted group of people to send promotional emails and increase the number of leads. 

Benefits of an Email List

  • Affordability- Sending your subscriber’s emails regularly is much cheaper than digital ads which are way more expensive. 
  • Personalization- You can personalize emails for your subscribers by analyzing their behaviors and email automation software
  • Segmentation- Targeting the segmented audience gets a proper structure and form. This way it becomes more precise. Email automation software helps you in studying and segmenting the audiences based on the criteria you set. 
  • Efficient- You don’t have to look for the target audiences every time on multiple platforms. You will have a list; accordingly, you can send them emails and from time to time you can add more people based on your searches.

Tips To Build An Email List

  1. Choose an Appropriate Email Marketing Platform

Firstly choose the appropriate email marketing platform that has all the features and functionalities according to your requirements and preferences. The software should also be of reasonable price and have features according to its price.

  1. Embedded Signup Forms For Your Website

Embed signup forms on your website. This is the oldest method but still very prevalent. These forms should be placed on the pages which have high website traffic and in visible areas like headers, footers, and sidebars. This motivates people to subscribe to your brand.

  1. Use Pop-ups of Different Types 

Pop-ups increase the conversion rate as they have a conversion rate of 11.09%. While creating pop-ups you have to take into consideration Google’s Interstitial ad guidelines. The types of pop-ups are 

  • Welcome pop-ups – This pop-up appears within the first 15 seconds when you land on a website and an immediate call to action is required here so that it doesn’t disappear. Examples include a sales notification, discount offers, and some form of value exchange for a visitor’s email address, etc. It should be kept simple and precise. You can use Google Analytics to find the average time that a visitor spends on a webpage which will further help you in creating your popups. However, with this pop up a visitor might leave a page early hence for pages that contain information about products and services where people stay longer. These pop-ups should appear after 7 seconds when a person has scrolled 30% of the page.
  • Exit intent pop-ups- This pop-up is made using exit intent technology that monitors when a user interacts with your website and detects when they are about to leave. According to a study, 10-15% of lost website visitors can be saved with exit popups. When this pop up a user stays long on a website as he/she fills the form by opening the pop-up. Offers and discounts also make it more enticing for the users to fill out the form.
  • Promotional pop-ups- These pop-ups appear throughout the customer’s journey and make use of offers and discounts. It appears after you have arrived on the page and stays there until you are about to leave the page i.e. in between welcome and exit intent pop-ups. To make this pop-up more effective you have to study your customer’s and leads journey from the database stored in your CRM and then give offers and discounts to them accordingly.
  • Timed Pop up- This pop-up is basically for those who show a lot of interest in your brand i.e. they visit your website a lot. It keeps appearing on the website when a regular visitor visits it. And if the visitor bounce after 5 seconds which means that he/she isn’t interested much then this pop-up doesn’t appear after that. You can use Google Analytics to figure out who are regular visitors of your website and for them, you can frame timed pop-ups along with exclusive offers and discounts.
  1. Apply Gamification

It is a process of list building. It is the process of applying interactive elements of games like you are playing a game to encourage the engagement of the visitors with a lead capture form. Examples include quizzes, tests, surveys, spin-a-wheel, scratchcards, etc. Users get exclusive offers and freebies through this. They can claim these by entering their email address. Customers and leads are motivated by the prizes they get to be connected with your brand. 

  1. Add Squeeze Pages

A squeeze page is a lead capture landing page that squeezes out the user’s information. The user is required to fill out their information on the squeeze page and then access the webpage. Some websites cannot be accessed until the user fills out his/her information. However, this has high exit rates. But if your website has unique content and your brand has high brand awareness then you can use this strategy. If you do want to give visitors the option to browse other pages, then you can include a link to the homepage or product category pages.

  1. Include Sign-up for Notifications

Always ask visitors for notifications so that they may subscribe in the future. The notifications are of various types.

  • Pre-sale notifications- Here marketing psychology tactics such as urgency, scarcity, and feeling of exclusivity are used to make people motivated to subscribe to you. Many times people don’t have time to check your page from time to time. Hence you can send them updates regarding your brand if they are interested in your brand.
  • New collection notifications- You can send notifications regarding new products and services whenever launched and give people offers and discounts on them.
  • Back-in-stock notifications- Sometimes people really want to purchase a product from your brand but you don’t have that particular thing in your stock at that time. Hence you can give back-in-stock notification options to them accordingly and notify them whenever the product is back in stock. This way you won’t lose your customers and leads.
  1. Content Upgrades

Time to upgrade the contents of your website and products and services according to the current market scenario and current demands of the people.

  1. Opt-in and Opt-outs 

As per GDPR guidelines, always take permission from the people before sending them promotional messages. Similarly always give them the option to opt out in case they want to unsubscribe to your brand.

  1. Referral Programs

It helps in boosting your subscriber list. Referral programs are when your customers and leads can refer another person about your brand and if that another person joins or subscribes to your brand by mentioning your customers and leads name or code in the reference then your customers and leads are given incentives by your brand. Also, people listen more to their close ones. Hence they are more likely to subscribe to you.

  1. Utilize Social Media Platforms

Nowadays most people are active on social media hence this factor makes social media one of the best channels to get more subscribers. You can utilize this platform for your benefit by posting your website’s advertisement over there and asking people to subscribe to you. Approximately 15% of the subscriber’s businesses generate from social media.

Foolproof Strategies to Build Email Lists

Email List Strategies
  • Viral Contests

Contests allow more and more people to cooperate and collaborate as they get many benefits from participating together. Many people come together to participate in a brand contest and participate together to talk and learn about the brand and ultimately subscribe. Businesses approximately get 35% of their subscribers through this strategy.

  • Giveaways

Giveaways are a powerful strategy to get more subscribers. Announce giveaways with exciting prizes and advertise them on different social media platforms. Ask more and more people to participate in it and subscribe to you and share this giveaway with other people as well. This gets a very good response and businesses are flooded with new subscribers approximately 30%.

  • Quizzes

Add a quiz or survey form to your website or social media advertisements along with freebies. People love freebies and will definitely play it and subscribe to your channel plus the answers of people will also help you to understand them better.

  • Free Trial Offers

Offering people a trial of your products/services will encourage more people to subscribe to you as they don’t have to pay anything upfront. If they will be impressed by your products/services then only they will proceed with the payment. Remind them on the 6th day that their trial is going to end tomorrow. This way you can get plenty of subscribers. But perform this strategy only if you have earned enough brand awareness at the beginning of your business this strategy won’t work.


Email list building is the first step of marketing campaigns. But this step in itself has a number of processes in order to have more people subscribed to you. Hence marketers must use proper strategies and lead-generation techniques to get more subscribers and ultimately more customers and leads.

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