Email Marketing 101: How to Build an Email List From Scratch

Gift Vincent
Email Marketing 101 - How to Build an Email List From Scratch

Email marketing may be one of the oldest forms of reaching out to people digitally, but it is still effective for communication to the present.

Despite the increasing usage of social media and other forms of communication, people still use email more than other platforms. It has proven to be the most effective in reaching out to over 4 billion people across the globe among other forms of marketing like SEO, affiliate marketing and social media.

Also, for every cent spent on email marketing, there is an estimated return of investment of about $38 dollars which implies that it is a must-have for every digital business.

What is email marketing

Email marketing is a form of marketing that uses email as the major tool in promoting a business’s products and services as well as building a meaningful relationship with your customers. It allows you to email a large number of people on your list about your service, discount and products.

Why is email marketing important for business?

Email marketing is important for business because it is the most effective way of reaching people who have already shown interest in your products or services.

What are the pros and cons of email marketing?

Pros of email marketing include:

  • It is cost-effective
  • Converts and increases sales
  • Can reach a large audience or targeted subscribers on your list
  • It allows you to send notifications to people who are genuinely interested in your offers
  • Email marketing can be personalized
  • It can be automated

Cons of email marketing include:

  • Poorly designed emails may not deliver results
  • Your message could be tagged as ‘spam’ If you do not target the right people
  • Large file sizes can make subscribers lose interest while downloading

You must ensure that the right design, copy, resources and marketing strategy are together for successful email marketing.

Recommended for you: CPA Marketing Guide – All You Need to Know

How to build an email list from scratch

Quite a lot of people build their email list with non-effective methods and often end up complaining that email marketing isn’t working for their business, hence, buying a list or scraping emails online will not give you the results you desire, instead, you should do the following:

1. Understand your audience

Know who you intend to target before you begin to build your list. You will need to know their age group, demographics, the challenges they are facing and how your business can solve this and improve their processes. This will help you create a marketing persona and you will be able to figure out where they hang around socially. With this, you will be able to get their email addresses easily.

2. You need an email marketing service

You need an email marketing platform in order to build an email list. There are lots of email marketing platforms that you can choose from, you may start simple with less costly ones like Mailchimp, sender etc.

An email marketing platform organizes your email list and allows you to send emails and as your email marketing grows, you will have to do more work on your email list like segmenting subscribers, creating sequence emails, drips campaigns and a lot more. But you should focus on collecting those email addresses in a legitimate way if you’re just starting out.

4. You need an irresistible offer

People need a reason to join your list. Generally, as humans, we expect something in return for anything we are giving out. So think of what appeals to your target audience, which of their challenges can you fix and create content around it. The best offers are e-resources, you can give them access to free ebooks, videos, or anytime that gives value.

5. Reach out to people

After following the above steps, you need to reach out to your audience. you won’t get subscribers if you do not tell people about it or post your links on social platforms

6. Get a landing page or a website

According to wikipedia, a landing page is known as a “lead capture page“, “single property page“, “static page“, “squeeze page” or a “destination page” used for lead generation. This is a must-have for every business that seeks to make people take action online. A website is another great way to gather your potential subscribers without hassles and your funnel is almost incomplete without a website or a landing page. However, you can always leverage a landing page if your business is yet to own a website.

Here are recommended tools.

Tools to create easily customizable landing page in a few minutes

It is important to note that your landing page must have three key features such as a headline, bullet points and an image.

What is the fastest way to build an email list?

There are no shortcuts to building an email list from scratch, though you can try any of the following methods to boost the rate at which people give out their email addresses

1. Social media

You can add your landing page link on your social media profile with a Call To Action (CTA) telling people what they will get in return for an action performed. Also, you can make posts about it across different social platforms and anywhere you think will pull in signups/opt-in. Social media gives you exposure to a wide range of people, but you just need to have a good content strategy. to reach these people effectively.

2. Run paid adverts

This is one of the best ways to build your email list through paid traffic of actual people interested in what you have to offer, hence, as you build your list and create valuable content, you should consider growing your list through paid ads. You might want to consider the below platforms for your ads

  • Facebook ads: Facebook segmentation features allow you to choose your target and narrow their demographics. Although it may cost you a buck for every signup you will surely get your value for money if your ads are set right.
  • Twitter ads: Twitter promotes your tweet to a wide range of audiences- bringing traffic to your landing page and gaining followers.
  • Linkedin sponsored updates: Linkedin’s native ads are quite similar to Facebook ads, though Linkedin’s audience isn’t of the exact nature as that of Facebook. You can try it out.
  • Google AdWords: With Google Adwords, be rest assured that your list can grow ten folds because google gives a wide range of targeted traffic

3. Content marketing

You stand a chance of building an audience that is interested and are willing to give out their email address if you have an irresistible offer for them, coupled with strong content and SEO skill. Furthermore, content marketing works by attracting a targeting audience then inviting them to be a part of your email list or even just giving them a freebie where they will have to share their emails to get access to it.


You can try the above techniques in order to build your email list from scratch. Once you’ve mastered them and started seeing results, it becomes a game. And as you keep growing, you can keep exploring new methods to see which one works perfectly for you.

Nevertheless, do not forget that email marketing is about building a meaningful relationship with your list. To make the best out of your email list, ensure that you’re creating valuable content with exclusive offers and a personalized tone as well.

There you have it! ‘All you need to know about email marketing. Now, let me know in the comments section below if this is helpful, and if you would need other assistance to grow your email list. If you do find this helpful, please subscribe below so you don’t miss out on my latest tips and offers.

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