How to Build an Email List: A Complete Growth Guide

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 28/10/215 min read
How to Build an Email List: A Complete Growth Guide

As marketers, you are aware of the immense power email marketing holds. According to Hubspot, 3.9 billion people use email every day. 

Email marketing is also one of the most influential and preferred communication modes for most people. However, for your email campaign efforts to be effective, your email list’s quantity and quality play a vital role. 

This blog will dive into how you can amplify your email marketing efforts and how to build an effective email list. 

An email list means a list of various individuals’ email IDs to send your email campaigns. Before we talk about creating an email list, we should know whose emails should make it to the list. 

Majorly these demographics make it to your extensive email list:

  • Existing customers
  • Subscribers of your website
  • Product subscribers

Why Do You Need to Build an Email List?

Building an email list is an important marketing activity for most marketers. Here is why:

For every dollar you spend on an email marketing campaign, you can expect an average return of 42$. The Return On Investment (ROI) for email marketing campaigns is the highest compared to other marketing channels. According to an eMarketer study, the average email marketing ROI is 122% which is 4x any other digital marketing channel.

This is why creating a dynamic and extensive email list allows you to leverage the power email marketing holds to promote sales. 

How Do You Build a Quality Email List?

Building an email list is not as difficult as it sounds. It is one of the most specific marketing activities. 

The simplest way to get your audience’s email IDs is by asking for them. Here are a few ways in which you can make that happen:

1. The best place to start is your website

Thousands of people visit your website every day. The fact that they are on your website means you offer something of their interest. You can, in many ways, ask for their email IDs. 

  • Sign-up process: This works excellent for e-commerce stores, where each user gets an account on your website through which you get the required information to add to your email list. E.g., A user new on Amazon has to sign-up through which Amazon acquires the email IDs of their users.


  • Contact forms: Most services require personalized meetings with users, which is when contact forms come in handy. This way, you can get contact details like email IDs, phone numbers, etc., to create an extensive list. Email IDs derived from these forms are authentic quality emails of users genuinely interested in your product or service. 
  • Subscribe opportunities: Offer enticing subscription opportunities, trial periods, limited periods, or first-time user offers to gain new users. For example, Netflix offers a one-month free trial for new users, which is a great way to collect data and convert these users into paying customers through marketing efforts. 


  • Collect email IDs from your blogs: Your blog is an excellent place to collect email IDs through subscribing forms. The fact that a user subscribed through the form on your blog means they are highly engaged users. This means quality email IDs for your email list. 
  • Social channels: Social media is yet another great place to start gathering quality email ids. Users socially engaged with your business are quality leads and possibly repeated customers. Their emails are precious. Consistently give your users opportunities to submit their email IDs through forms, subscribe options, etc. 

2. Offer value or incentive

Give your users ample opportunities to subscribe, and maybe an incentive as well. There are endless ways in which this incentive can be hard to resist. 

  • Content: Content can be compelling, and your content can drive users to give you their email id. Increase your content efforts to generate value that your users cannot resist. Be it an informative whitepaper or quirky social media copy. You can dazzle your users with the power of words and drive them to your CTA. 
  • Advertisements and promotional emails: Most businesses run promotional email campaigns. You can leverage people for their email IDs by offering discounts and early sale emails right into their inboxes. This is another way to acquire customer email IDs for your email list. 

3. Growing your email list

Maintaining an email list requires constant effort. You need to update and grow your list constantly. Here are a few ways in which you can grow this list:

  • Understand your audience: Understanding your audience will allow you to offer better incentives, content, and offers that matter to them. This will increase the effectiveness and accuracy of your targeted email marketing efforts.
  • Make subscription opportunities convenient: No matter how engaging your content is, users will bounce before entering their email IDs if the process is tedious or inconvenient. Understand your users’ state of mind when they visit your website and create convenient and simple subscription opportunities. 

4. Segmentation is important

Segmenting your lists is an effective way to stay organized and accurate with your data. Once you understand your audience, you can segment them to what works for your business. It can be something as simple as segmentation based on gender or even based on the source of the data or the purpose of data collection. 

  • Use pop-ups: Pop-ups are highly effective in collecting data from the right audience. They work best when they are extremely relevant to your website user with just the right visuals and content. 


  • Keep lead generation forms short: Once a user opens your form, they should be able to exit the form without submitting it. It is your job to keep your forms clear, simple, and as short as possible to avoid any bounce rates. 
  • Revive your email lists through opt-in campaigns: Old email lists might not be as responsive as new lists. To concentrate your lists, you can send opt-in campaigns to your old emails to get them engaged with your brand. This also allows people who might no longer be interested in your products or services to opt out. This also ensures that only those genuinely interested in your products and services receive your emails. 

Does Your Email List Contain Anything Other Than Email IDs?

Your email list has a lot more data than mere email IDs. An email list with quality data can be a great asset to your marketing activities. Quality IDs can be viewed in two ways: 

  • Quality customers account for repeated monetary gain for your company in the form of regular subscription models or other timely purchases. 
  • Quality IDs also mean more data on your customer, which equals a better understanding of your audience to cater better to their needs. 

Your quality email list will allow you to execute effective targeted email marketing campaigns. The more insights you have on your customers, the better you can target them. 

Some more information about your audience that you should gather include:

  • Location
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Date of Birth

This can be done by adding customized fields to your subscription forms and other data collection models. 


Email marketing has proven to be an effective mode of communication and promotion for many businesses. The first step to creating your email campaigns is by creating a quality email list. 

You can achieve that by:

  1. Giving your users ample subscription opportunities. 
  2. Offering an irresistible incentive for customer email IDs. 

By using these simple steps, you can create a strong email list for your email marketing efforts. 


1. How can you build an email list in under an hour? 

Follow the three steps below to build an email list quickly: 
Step 1: Website Pop-up Forms
It won’t take a professional web designer more than about 20 minutes to code this feature into the website. Keep it simple since people usually enter the website searching for a product, service, or solution. 

Step 2: Social Media Advertisements
Social media ads are instrumental in reaching new audiences. They allow you to market your product or service to individuals who have similar interests as those already on your contact list. You can also use them as funnels to direct audiences to landing pages that have popup forms. You can do this in about 30 minutes.

Step 3: Appealing to Existing Social Media Contacts
Make sure that your followers on various social media sites are added to your email list. They already have context as to what your business is about and most likely have engaged with your services. Besides, it’ll take you about 5 minutes and won’t even cost any money. 

2. How can you add your social media contacts to your mailing list? 

Here are a few ways in which you can do it:
a. Add links on your social media page to landing pages that have a pop-up form. You could display this link in your Instagram bio, for example, or add a CTA on your Facebook page that does the same.

b. Pin posts that contain these links to the top of your page. These are posts that will remain at the top of the page despite posting new content.

c. Send broadcast messages to your contacts with attractive product/service/business updates along with the link mentioned above.

3. How you can build a strong email list in 2021?

a. Personalize your website
b. Check Website speed
c. Actively subscribe to new trends and events & start networking
d. Offer your readers more in exchange for their email address
e. Organize a giveaway 
f. Implement pop-ups on your website 
g. Try influencer marketing and partnership 
h. Leverage social media 
i. Use a testimonial

4. How to attract subscribers via your website?

Thanks to the latest technology like machine learning, and artificial intelligence, businesses can easily find out whether a user subscribed via social media channels or search engines, or through a referral. 
Hence, once any of your potential customers land on your website or blog, it is important to grab the customer’s attention and collect the email address. 
This is only possible by having the right call-to-action button at the right place on your website or pages. 
Having a CTA at the place will give you more than a 40% chance of a view-to-submission rate. 

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