How to Build a Killer Email List from Scratch

Build a Killer Email List from Scratch

In internet marketing, every marketer should learn how to establish a killer email list, even if it’s from scratch. Email marketing experts are really geniuses when it comes to developing appealing subject lines and getting readers to click or buy anything from an email. But how did they do that?

Having a killer email list that you can count on is still one of the finest marketing methods any new business should be focused on, despite the fact that a lot has changed since email was first introduced, especially with the rise of social media. Regardless of the product or service that a company sells, building an email list that can help them with future launches and campaigns is critical. Continue reading to learn how to build a killer email list from scratch and get your email marketing off to a great start.

Building a Killer Email List Out of Thin Air

When a company is just getting started, it’s possible that they don’t have any emails on their list because they haven’t sold any goods or services yet. Sending out cold emails to people out of the blue, on the other hand, is not recommended at all. The email receivers may flag the email as spam or report it, preventing you from sending them emails in the future. Our guide is meant to help any beginner out there who understands just how important it is to start growing an email list.

There are many ways of building an email list, but not all of them are free and beginner-friendly. In our guide, we’ll show you just how easy it can be to build a killer email list from thin air.

All case studies and experts claim that email marketing is one of the best online marketing platforms in terms of ROI. It can be significantly more effective than performance marketing. Oftentimes, it’s quite inexpensive to grow your list but once you’ve got a few thousand it can be a consistent stream of income. The most important thing is to be aware that email still has a lot of power and to have someone who knows how to make the most out of it. Let’s dive into what’s important while creating an email list.

Create a Website

The first step in building and developing an email list is to create a website, which is the place you want your email recipients to visit. If having your own website isn’t feasible right now, an Amazon or Etsy store will do the job too! However, keep in mind that the major issue with third-party websites like Amazon or Etsy is that visitors may become distracted by other vendors or deals and abandon their shopping.

Once your website is complete, you can choose between a pop-up or a dedicated page where individuals who arrive via a direct link or a pop-up can subscribe to your newsletter. Before we go any further, it’s vital to note that before you hit the ‘Send’ button on your carefully constructed email, all of the recipients should have given their consent. This means that they either subscribed to your list, are your customers, or have agreed to be on your mailing list.

In the European Union, for example, there are specific rules that apply to personal data (GDPR) that prevent businesses and organizations from collecting and using data such as email and names without consent. Purchasing email lists is also a bad idea because the emails may not be in use for people who are interested in your product, and emailing them will be a waste of time with no results.

The purpose of an email marketing campaign is to get as many people as possible from your list to open your email, read it, and do something. That something might be: buy a product, subscribe to something, share something, or whatever your goal is with that campaign.

Building the Email List with Existing Resources

As we mentioned before that this guide is for beginners and those who don’t have a generous budget that allows for doing sorts of creative things, we’ll be first focusing on existing resources that might be available.

It’s critical to understand that if businesses want to earn money using email, they’ll need a solid and healthy email list to do so, as revenue is dependent on it. You want active people who are interested in what your company has to offer, so they will open your emails and act after reading them. Remember that the primary purpose of developing an email list is to obtain as many leads as possible and then maximize their value.

Before we go into the best practices for building a killer email list, there are three simple rules to follow. You’ll set yourself up for success if you follow them from the beginning.

  1. Make your email look professional by creating a business email account. Third-party software such as Mailchimp, Kalvio, SendInBlue, and others can be your option for email marketing. You can’t merely send emails to a list of persons in CC or BCC from your own address and inbox.
  2. The second step is to keep your email list clean and healthy, as some addresses may be inactive or incorrectly written, rendering them useless. Make sure to keep an eye on your email list and clean it up on a regular basis.
  3. Finally, never purchase email lists. Always prioritize quality above quantity. Build your own list and concentrate on getting genuine individuals to read your emails. This is critical in order to prevent penalties and being marked as spam.

Best Practices in Building a Killer Email List

Now that we have the basic things sorted out, let’s see what are the best practices to start building a killer email list from scratch.

Know Your Audience

Like any other marketing strategy, it’s highly important to know your audience. Ideally, you need to know a few things about your audiences beyond basic demographics such as gender, age, or location.

Start with building a buyer persona as it will also help you in other marketing ventures. A buyer persona represents your ideal customers with all the fictional characteristics of a real person. In case you have no idea about what details to look for when creating a buyer persona, here are some of the most important ones:

  • Job Title and Job Description
  • Salary
  • Education
  • Values
  • Fears and Goals
  • Challenges
  • Family size
  • Hobbies

These traits will be helpful to create a buyer persona profile and it’s very possible to expand those traits. Keep in mind that moving forward, there will be more than one type of client and each type of client should have a buyer persona. Right after the buyer persona is figured out, you’ll know where to find these people and how to target them.

Social media is a great tool to use for various goals especially growth. This is one of the reasons why a lot of SaaS companies target people on social media with ads and creative posts to their website in order for them to then ask for email addresses one way or another.

Build a User-Friendly Website

As previously stated, having a website is essential for creating an email list because it is one of the greatest places to collect email addresses and where you will send customers to buy or perform a specific action. A landing page can suffice if your company is small and just getting started. There are numerous free website and landing page builders available that may assist in the creation of a clean and professional-looking website in only a few hours with no coding knowledge.

Aside from all the basic information about your business and product or service, your website or landing page should include an opt-in form where people can subscribe to your list. This section should be present more than once on your website and even on your blog section or check-out form. Depending on how professional your website is, you can then set up various pop-us or abandon cart sequences that will bring back users to your website or make them subscribe.

A classic strategy a lot of e-commerce brands use is to offer 10% off the first purchase if you subscribe to their newsletter. After you’ve got them to subscribe to your newsletter, you can turn them into regular customers with smart email marketing campaigns.

Now, let’s talk deeper about email marketing campaigns and some reasons why it’s better to use an email marketing service for your campaigns.

Reason to Use an Email Marketing Service

The main advantage of email marketing services is that you can create your business account, upload your lists, and then they’ll do the rest of the job for you. When people subscribe via email, they’ll automatically add them to the list or automatically unsubscribe them from the list.

They also offer easy-to-customize templates and a plethora of cool features that help you tell a good story and make purchases easy for your subscribers. On top of that, some email marketing services allow you to set up special sequences such as “thank you for subscribing” emails “thank you for purchasing” emails “cart abandonment emails” and so on.

Email marketing services allow you to schedule your email which will definitely save your time. Our advice would be to do quick research on Google or ask fellow business owners or marketers about the best options out there for your needs. You can start with something simple and free and then work your way around it.

Another great advantage is the fact that they all have analytics built-in and other partners that help you reach your marketing goals and improve your campaigns. Once you get the hang of them you’ll discover so many hidden things that are there to help you grow. Of course, they are also intuitive in such a way that they’re built to help you grow your list by offering you opt-in incentives such as ebooks, webinars, worksheets, tutorials, and the list can go on.

In case you don’t feel like having extra tasks on your plates, there are plenty of specialized email marketing agencies or list-building services with lots of experience that can help!

Create an Enticing Offer

Since you can’t do successful marketing, especially email marketing without a good offer, we’re reminding you that an enticing offer is a must. People need to be persuaded to join your list, and there are many ways to do that. You can promise them exclusive offers, exclusive access, special discounts, articles, news, and all sorts of incentives that will convince them to subscribe to your list.

Most companies launch products earlier for email subscribers offering them exclusive access to Black Friday sales or announcing all sorts of news in exclusivity via email first. The reason behind this is the fact that people don’t want to have thousands of useless emails in their inbox daily. So anytime they’ll actually subscribe to a brand is because they want to hear from that brand.

This leads us to another secret rule people who start out tend to not realize: don’t send too many emails and don’t spam people with emails. You might have a killer offer that a lot of people might be interested in, but spamming people with 5 emails per day urging them to buy it won’t help you make more money, quite the opposite. When people see their inbox flooded with emails from you they’ll just unsubscribe, and that means that you lost a possible client. Email your list 1 or 2 times per week, depending on the type of product you’re selling, and take it from there.


Email lists can be created from thin air easily if you use all your resources wisely. They are also great to create surveys and get insight from your customers because email can be about giving out things not just selling. They can be a great way to keep existing customers engaged and develop a relationship with them. Use social media, use content marketing, and the power of sharing to grow your list from just a few people to thousands.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll start looking out for new and creative ways to grow your list, because this task will never end. Growing your email list is always on the to-do list no matter how big or small you are. Also, to learn about the best email warm-up tools, you must give our blog a read and step up your email game even more!

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