Building an Email List From Scratch: 4 Best Practices

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Building an Email List From Scratch: 4 Best Practices

Targeting your audience through email marketing is guaranteed to improve your ROI and build brand authority. However…

However, not everyone knows how to build an email list from scratch. Building a list is not the easiest task out there, especially if you want to do it legit and super-efficient. 

It doesn’t matter if you recently learned how to write a professional email that guarantees replies or clicks – your email won’t be of use if you don’t have a list of subscribers to send it out to. This article will explore some of the best ways to build a loyal and engaged subscriber base.

Choose a trustworthy email marketing platform.

When building an email list from scratch, the first thing you should do is select a decent email marketing platform. There are so many different tools, making a choice both easy and challenging. To manage your growing email list and send automated email campaigns, you need a reliable email marketing tool and a platform that you can grow with and rely on its features.

A robust email marketing platform is also essential if you want to make the most out of every email and maximize the efficiency of your campaigns. Some higher-end platforms come with more features, templates, and dynamic options that make emails look more professional and engaging.

Reach out to your contacts directly

They say that building a decent list of subscribers starts with your existing customers or followers. These include all the people you work with and the personal contacts you’ve communicated with, which can significantly help you as your first email subscribers.

To encourage them to sign up, it’s best to reach out to them manually, asking if they would like to receive your emails about your latest and greatest content.

Offer incentives to subscribers

Once you have a platform in place and a couple of subscribers, you need to start promoting your email newsletter to get more organic signups. The best way to do that is by offering incentives for people to sign up. Incentives can be discounts, promo codes, coupons, or even actual files such as how-to guides, reports, whitepapers, and ebooks. 

These also present an opportunity to reach businesses, so if you are into B2B marketing, make sure to offer a document like this (or a cheat sheet, webinar invite, template or worksheet, free course, etc.) if you want to see higher signup rates.

Optimize your website with pop-ups

If you only rely on one placement for your email newsletter signup box, you’ll likely experience low signup rates. However, if you invest some time and create pop-ups that urge people to leave their email addresses and subscribe to your list, the chances of growing your list are higher.

Be mindful when it comes to user experience – creating pop-up forms that are too big, not well-timed, without an (X) button to close them, or with too many colors can only distract people and make them leave your website.

Promoting your email newsletter signup box with pop-ups should also undergo testing and research. For example, you could place the call-to-action boxes at the end of each page or blog or show them to people who spent more time on a specific page or scrolled more and interacted with it. If you see users coming to your website more than once without any action, you could also customize a pop-up that offers a discount on their first purchase or a similar incentive.

Host a giveaway

Giveaways are a powerful tactic to get more subscribers to your email list and a strategy commonly used by eCommerce stores growing their subscriber count. It’s no secret that people love getting stuff for free – and offering them that chance in exchange for their email is a win-win strategy for everyone.

To successfully promote a giveaway and get many email signups, be sure to create a landing page and promote it on your social media accounts. The best thing about this is that you’ll acquire qualified leads interested in your product, service, or brand. Additionally, you could explore various plugins for running sweepstakes if you are using WordPress.


Having an extensive email list is a great marketing asset to any business. It can produce instant results and help you build meaningful relationships with your customers. While starting an email list is challenging, there are many ways to deliver value and get more subscribers every day.

Building an Email List From Scratch: 4 Best Practices