Ways to Build an Email List

There are several reasons why you would like to know how to build an email list. You probably would like to engage with more customers, communicate with current customers, grow your business and increase sales, advertise your promotions, and much more. In this article, you will find out  how to build an email list and why you would want to build one.

What is an Email List?

An email list is a really simple concept. It is essentially a list of email addresses used by an individual or an organization, created to send marketing material. Other similar words to an email list are mailing list or subscription list. You can send your email list material such as special offers, reminders of upcoming sales, good content relating to your brand and company, and more to generate brand engagement and sales.

how to build email list

Why Build an Email List?

There are many reasons why someone would want to create an email list, especially as a business owner.

Great Return on Investment

Email is More Personal

You are able to directly engage with that customer through their email inbox. It is a useful and direct form of communication.

Email is Private

Building on the previous point, email is more personal, private, and direct. It’s a different environment when compared to asking or answering questions on the Twitter comments section for example.

More People Use Email

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are popular but they all require an email to have an account. Even these social media platforms send marketing material and notifications via emails as well. Email use is more common because most websites require an email to create an account. You can reach more people at a lower cost with an email list.

make email list

How to Build an Email List

Now that you know the what and the why regarding email lists, you should learn how to develop one. An easy way to get started by checking  three simple indicators:

  • Quality – Make sure your emails go to real people who actually check their emails on a regular basis.
  • Relevance – Make sure your subscribers are interested in your business or industry
  • Volume – The frequency of your email campaigns should be consistent.

Email Marketing Service

First, you will need an email marketing service. For the most part, free email marketing services are limited, such as only being able to send notifications of your latest blog update. Thus, a paid email marketing service would be better than a free one because of the additional features and benefits. A good email marketing service can do wonders for your business in a more personalized and efficient manner.


  • Ability to send private mass emails to subscribers.
  • You can see subscriber activity and group subscribers by interests, demographics.
  • There are tools that allow you to see which country you have the most subscribers from. Additionally, you can adjust time zone preferences to send emails at the right time.
  • Finally, you can see the email addresses of all your subscribers.

Building a Blog or a Website

Blog marketing is increasingly rising, and for good reason. Essentially, you blog on a website in order to market your business, brand, etc. through quality text, audio, and video content. It is fairly low-cost and easy to set up and can require little to no programming skills. You can figure out what website platform is best for your blog, then get to blogging! You get to engage with your target audience, market your brand, build trust with the consumer, and improve search engine optimization by writing SEO-focused articles.

business email list

Build Your Email List

There are several ways to get customers to subscribe to your email list, and they are all relatively easy.

Create a Pop-up

Pop-up forms are an easy way for users to share their contact info and join your email list while they’re looking at your website. Research by MailChimp demonstrates that their users’ list growth rate increased by an average of 50.8% after adding a pop-up form to their site. Therefore, a pop-up form for your website can be a great asset when it comes to building your email list.

Here are some best practices:

  • Make an attractive headline. This is what will draw in your target audience. If you don’t have their attention at the headline, then they most likely will not read your description or call to action either. Write a good headline describing one benefit for potential customers who subscribe to your marketing emails.
  • Relevant description or tagline. include a brief and clear description line that will help you increase the conversion rate for your subscription.
  • Simple form. Keep it simple by including only the necessary contact information like name and email.
  • Include a call to action into the subscribe button. Make sure to use CTA that will get users to click immediately.

Send an Email Newsletter

This is an email sent out regularly by your business to customers/subscribers. It highlights any new products, services or any company-related news. These email newsletters can provide insights into your company and why they should purchase from you. The benefits of email newsletters are:

  • Low-cost. You would need an email marketing service, but other than that, it is cheaper and quicker than old-school newsletters when you had to send a newsletter to the subscriber via snail mail.
  • Keeps your customer email list up to date. Recipients can unsubscribe if they want, which helps you target consumers who are interested in your business.
  • You control what is in your newsletter. You own your newsletter and control how you portray your business. Control the content, highlight your company’s strengths, highlight products to increase sales, and more.
  • See what a customer clicks on. This provides data into customers’ likes and interests. Analyzing this data provides your company great insights into deciding what products and services to focus on.

It is wise to build your email list early on. Organic email lists built over a long period of time have the best results. Therefore, campaigns have higher open rates, click-through rates, and ultimately more sales.

email marketing

Make Use of Existing Contacts

Send emails to contacts you already have. You can import existing customer contacts from your CRM or contact management software. People always like incentives. You can offer a free trial, discount, eBook, etc. to hopefully get the user to sign up for your emails.


With this approach, you will not actually receive the users’ email addresses. The email list owner will be the one who delivers your emails to the email list. This can maintain privacy of the consumer while creating new customers.

Buying An Email List

This is another way to build your email list, but the email addresses could contain people who may not know or care about your brand. This could lead to a higher spam score – which is what you don’t want for your business. Other cons of buying an email list is that they do not contain quality email addresses, the same list is overused, they sometimes are collected without user consent, and you could potentially face legal trouble. There are better ways for you to learn how to grow your email subscriber list.

Simple Ways How to Build an Email List

  • Encourage subscribers to share your emails. You can include a share button on the marketing emails to ideally get access to the users’ friends and family. Additionally, you can include a “subscribe’ button so they can opt-in for your emails.
  • Promote an online contest. Use your social media and have a free giveaway that requires users to subscribe to your emails. You can also tell them to tag 3 friends in the comments section of your post (ideally to have more people sign up for your email list).
  • Promote your emails in your video descriptions. If you have any YouTube videos on your brand, company, product or services, this is a great way to get new subscribers!
  • If your business has a physical store, you can collect emails there. When they choose to email their receipt, they can choose to opt-in or out of your marketing emails.

email list

Other Considerations

Having an email list and knowing how to build an email list are great ways to engage with current, prospective, and old customers. It is important to remember that content quality matters. Thus, whether it’s you writing the emails or a specialist, it is wise to know how to write great marketing emails. There are several ways to generate sales and revenue for your business. Apart from email marketing, you could follow some eCommerce SEO best practices, tackle shopping cart abandonment issues, and/or rebuild your website. If you would like help designing and creating a blog website, contact us at SEO Design Chicago to help get you started!


  • How do I create an email list for my business?
  • Is it legal to buy email lists?
  • How do I get email subscribers?
  • Can I build an email list for free?
  • How to build a massive email list?

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