The Best Step by Step Guide to Building an Email List

Step By Step Guide to Building an Email List


Nurturing leads raises the opportunity for sales by 20% and at 33% less cost than unnurtured leads. You also gain the advantage of making additional sales of up to 50%.

Amongst the three often applied lead generation strategies, email lead generation is the leading with 78%. Event marketing follows with 73%, and finally content marketing with 67%. Additionally, the global number of email users is expected to exceed 4.2 billion (over half of the world’s population) by the end of the year 2022. It is an implication that if you are not investing in generating leads through electronic mail, then you are going to end up losing a lot.

The internet is a far-reaching platform that allows businesses to connect to their customers from anywhere in the world. Within the internet, there are effective methods that connect you, the business owner, to the potential customer. Email marketing is a very powerful tool that can promote sales and bring revenue to your business. Email open rates are the highest they’ve been since 2007, and are growing year-over-year and month-over-month. 

It can be the difference between a business that barely keeps its head above water and one that thrives. It’s a crucial part of every successful marketing campaign. While it is an expenditure, the rewards are highly lucrative. For every dollar spent on email, the average return on investment is about $40. As a business owner, one of your primary goals is figuring out exactly how to drive revenue into your business.

In this guide, you are going to learn exactly how to build an email list, as well as what type of content will best translate to revenue for your business.

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Importance of Email Lead Generation

Generating leads is not a guarantee that they will be converted. Typically, the majority (79%) of your generated leads are not likely to spend even a cent on your products. But it doesn’t end there;

Assuming you had 1000 leads generated through email, and that their average rate of conversion was 5% on purchases, it means only 100 of them were converted. Now, supposing they were 20000 and the rate of conversion remained the same, the sales would have been 1000!

Which case would you prefer? Of course, you will go for the second option of a thousand conversions. Therefore, email lead generation enhances the opportunities for sales generation.

What is an Email List?

An email list is the tool of choice for online businesses to reach potential customers and prospective customers. It essentially creates a direct pipeline from the business to the consumer.

This personalized access allows the business owner to not only be closer to the audience in which they are selling their wares, but also establish brand loyalty. It does this by creating a sense of importance for the consumer. The email is addressed specifically to them and is for their enjoyment and betterment.

How can Email Marketing help you to Generate Leads?

Invest in finding out the ideal way of lead generation via email marketing. It’s often less costly compared to other approaches and offers a higher return-on-investment (ROI) of 3800% with regards to the targeted group.

There is a multitude of reasons why building an email list is the absolute best course of action for your business. First and foremost, it is an extremely effective tool for outreach. It makes it easy to obtain an email address, and people are often willing to give you their email address. It is less personal than a phone number but grants the business owner the same level of access to the consumer. 

Based on a consumer survey, 72% of adults in the U.S. prefer email marketing attempts over other modes of communication used by businesses. This is extremely important information. As a business owner, isn’t is prudent of you to use the best and most socially preferred method of business outreach?

Building an Email List

Each person starts from zero, regardless of whether you are starting up or have an existing list in another venture. The list in existence is likely to completely differ from the intended one in terms of interests and taste; so you don’t gain the upper hand from that.

Let that not dishearten you, since it is an opportunity for you to grab. Begin by directing people to your site and engage them with the contents of their taste or interest on how their needs can be met.

At that point request for their email addresses, but try not to be aggressive about it. Just go slow to ensure you get the best out of it. Otherwise, you might end up driving them away instead.

Process and Steps to Build a Large Email List:

1) Establish who your buyer is:

As you begin to think about creating an email marketing list, it is extremely important to figure out to whom you are selling. You can do this by creating a marketing persona. Your persona will be what one of your typical customers will be like. When creating a marketing persona, it is important to answer these specific questions so that you are able to effectively select the best tools to market to them.

Those questions are

  • Who is your buyer?
  • What do they want to achieve?
  • What are the motives behind their behaviors?
  • How do they see the world?
  • How do they make purchases?
  • When do they make purchases and where do they make them?
  • Why do they make decisions when it comes to purchasing?

By figuring out exactly who is buying your product or service, you can tailor your efforts to that exact person. Consumers love content that is specifically geared to their betterment.

2) Create a website or blog:

You need to have a place where pre-existing and potential members can gather. This will be a place where you can advertise your business and keep the consumer engaged. You want to incentivize them to subscribe to your email list as well as buy your product. A great way to do this is a blog. It helps drive attention towards your business, and you can use it as a place to market your product. A blog can also serve as a place where you gain subscribers to your

email list. You do this by having a prompt of some sort that encourages the reader to subscribe. The blog needs to offer some sort of information that the reader wants or needs. There should be high-quality content in constant production on your blog.

3) Find an Email Marketing Service:

The majority of the leads, (79%), don’t convert because they were never nurtured. To counter that, find software that joins the generation and nurturing abilities of leads for the primary purpose of qualifying and converting the leads. It enables you to maintain records of emails sent to specific consumers or with individual subjects.

Those records help you to customize emails on time and establish a healthy relationship with the targeted groups through effective communication. It will help in imparting trust into your leads about your brand and motivate them to prioritize your products whenever making purchase decisions.

In order to have an email list, you need to have a platform that serves two purposes, 1) Organize your email list and 2) Send your emails. While you as the business owner could do this manually on a spreadsheet while your email list is relatively small, as your list expands it makes the job almost impossible for the average person. 

This is where an Email Marketing Service would be useful. While there are many of them, they all serve the same few purposes. As your email list expands, the level of functionality you need from your EMS also expands. But at this moment, you simply need a legitimate and functional way to collect email addresses.


4) Optimize Your Content for Search Engines:

Part of what helps drive viewership to your website or blog is how high they come up on the search engines’ search page (SERP). Search engines have built-in algorithms to bring the best-matched website to the consumer. You can use this algorithm to your favor in a lot of cases. You do this by using keywords that draw in traffic. Words like “deal”, “savings” and “bargain” are a great exemplar of this. By generating traffic to your website, you can get more people to join your email list.

5) Offer a Resource Free of Charge

By doing this you make the reader feel as though you are operating in their best interests. People are more likely to make a purchase from an entity that they trust. That being said, the resource you offer needs to be valuable, but not to the point where they don’t need you after they obtain it. This is a crucial aspect of the process.

6) Build a Lasting Relationship with your Email Subscribers

After you’ve gained subscribers on your email list, it is important to keep them returning time and time again. This means that you need to figure out a way to keep them engaged. You want to stay consistently fresh in their minds. Be sure not to overwhelm them with your presence though. You should be sending out emails on a once to twice a week cycle. Enough that they remember your brand, but not so much to where they dread your emails, or even worse, unsubscribe. This is how you cultivate a repeat customer base.

Lead Magnets:

While getting into someone’s inbox is important, it is also important to provide quality content that they want. You don’t want to be a nuisance, you only want to market to those that want you to. It’s important to have a purpose behind your emails. The way you cultivate this is to use a lead magnet. A wl-thing”>lead magnet is a specific resource that you offer that the consumer wants. The kicker is that in order to get the resource that they want, they must subscribe to your mailing list. There are many different types of lead magnets, but here we offer some examples of some.


The eBook is the go-to Lead magnet for many email lists. It can offer a magnitude of content in a cost-effective manner. It also gives the reader a resource that they can reference many times. When offering an eBook there are some things that are important to keep in mind. You need to make sure to make it’s aesthetically pleasing. If the eBook doesn’t look appealing to the eye, then people aren’t going to want to read it. Also, people are more likely to share something with their friends and family when it is appealing to the eye. You also need to make sure that the eBook is chocked full of useful information. It needs to have what you said it’s going to have. If the subscriber feels ripped off, then they are less likely to do business with you in the future.

Cheat Sheet:

The cheat sheet is good for when you want to offer an extremely valuable resource to your potential subscriber. With the cheat sheet, it is important to offer something that the reader wants. The sheet will be used to act almost immediately. They work off of the user’s desire to receive instant feedback and results.



A webinar is a great way to offer a large amount of valuable information to the reader. It offers live training to the reader. It also demands the readers’ full attention, so they are more likely to connect to your brand and from there, they can make purchases related to it. It also instills a sense of urgency within the reader. The information won’t always be readily accessible, so it’s important for them to tune in. They also offer a platform where they can see you directly and interact with you in a meaningful way. They see you and therefore are not only able to connect to your brand, but the person behind the brand, you.

Product Giveaway:

A product giveaway is a great way to show commitment. Giving away their product has been a staple for entrepreneurs for the longest time. It shows that your product is so good that by giving it away you can almost guarantee that the consumer will be back for more. This Lead Magnet is good for a business that produces content on a regular basis. The reader gets a taste for what you’re about and you have the potential to gain a customer. It’s a win-win situation.

Content Upgrades:

This lead builds off your blog. You first write a blog post about something. You make sure that the blog post is detailed and complete, but then you offer more content pertaining to the topic that your blog post centralizes around. If you’ve already captured their attention, this will capitalize on their desire to learn more.

Read our ultimate guide on creating lead magnets


Where to Show Lead Magnets:

The placement of your Lead magnet is important. If you place it in the wrong spot, it may deter the reader from wanting to subscribe to your email list. The following are some options as to where you can put your Lead Magnets.

1) Present a Pop-Up at the End of Your Content

Whether or not a reader decides to subscribe to email lit depends greatly on what is being offered. By putting the pop-up at the end of your content, it allows the reader to get a full sense of what type of content they can expect in their inbox.

2) Introduce a Pop-up when the User expresses exit intent

This type of pop-up occurs as the user is about to exit your site. They have enjoyed your content and are in a prime position to subscribe to your email list.

3) Slide in a Request after a Page Scrolls

This request occurs as the reader scrolls along a set amount of the page. This is a very gentle way of asking the reader to subscribe, but it is also very effective.

4) Display a Sticky Top Bar

A sticky top bar is a noticeable bar that stays at the top of the website and is useful in getting the reader to subscribe. The reader feels It necessary to give their email address and this leads to more subscribers to your email list.

5) Add a Sidebar

The sidebar is on the side of the webpage and gently attracts reader attention. The sidebar has a high conversion rate when it comes to obtaining the reader’s email address.

6) Position a Subscribe Box at the End of your Content:

subscfribe box on footer
Image Source Water Filter Market

This is much like the first one, but instead, the pop-up box will stay in place. It is much gentler than a full pop-up, and sometimes more effective.

7) Submit a Survey

A survey can be used to gather email addresses as well as feedback. It is a very powerful tool for someone trying to draw attention to their email marketing campaign.

8) In-Email Sharing Options

This is a great tool to gain more subscribers. Your already existing subscribers will send out your content to their like-minded friends. This will allow you to cultivate a fanbase of individuals that care about your content.

9) Leverage Social Proof

This makes your brand seems strong, and people are more likely to subscribe if your brand looks strong. You can do this with numbers and data. Large numbers make your brand look vast and strong

marketing planning

Designing Email for Lead Generation

There are some factors you need to consider in the creation of the records aimed at pushing the leads closer and closer to conversion;

1. Images

Email contents that include images have an extra 27.12% chance of being read and, 4.50% of CTR (click-through rates) as compared to those with no images. Therefore, including 1 or 2 images in your mail enhances the potentialities of being read. However, the more images they are, the lower the CTRs, since they increase the loading time due to the increased email size. So you need to keep images at the minimum.

2. Social Integration

If you wish for your content to be shared by the audience, you have to provide links for sharing with social networks like Facebook, Tweeter, and Instagram depending on each reader’s choice.

3. Call-to-Action (CTA)

Towards the end of your email content, you need to summon the readers to take a particular action with regards to the conversion stage they have reached — emails containing even one CTA raise CTRs by 371% and purchases by 1617%. You can use phrases like “click to download your guide” or “enroll for classes” among others.

Best Practices to Generating Leads through Email Marketing

Everyone dreams of generating new leads, but actualizing the dream is a different thing altogether.

To help you out here are 17 of the best strategies for you to consider:

1. Offering an email newsletter with high-value, relevant content

It is impossible to generate leads via email without the email contacts, and you don’t just get them randomly on your website. You need to provide an engaging newsletter for emails with the correct information.

2. Formulating triggered emails/autoresponders/drip campaigns

Such emails are set to activate whenever a visitor performs a particular action, such as making a request. They help you remain connected to your clients and build a long-lasting relationship.

3. Concerning a reader’s behavior, segment your mail content accordingly

Segmented emails have 14.32% more chance of being opened than non-segmented ones. Segmenting your content to the interest of the audience is likely to trigger extra reads, CTRs, and eventually, have a 760% increase in revenue generation.

4. Optimizing emails for sharing

Readers are bound to spread email content to others, particularly when it is easy to do so. You can request them to share or include share links to social networks.

5. Make a regular cleanup of the mail list

Some people might subscribe to your newsletter, but they don’t necessarily read it. Make a frequent check up on such and delist them, since they add no value.

6. Don’t use “No-Reply” in your email contact

Addresses with “no-reply” tend to discourage readers from reading your content. Such contents don’t appear customized to the reader and therefore lack interest.

7. Applying A/B email test on every campaign

Testing and evaluating the outcome is highly recommended. It will enable you to comprehend your audience’s interests and take the necessary actions.

8. Keeping a track of your rivals

You shouldn’t duplicate what they are doing, but it benefits from knowing where they stand. Upon realization of your rivals’ moves, come up with a way of making more significant and better steps than them in order to gain a competitive advantage.

9. Generate lead scores to evaluate your leads

That will assist you in the determination of prospects with higher chances of being converted. Then, you will consider giving them priority due to their potentiality.

10. Provide amazing email content

Delivering valuable content to the target groups enhances the probability of engaging them and opening the mails without having second thoughts. Therefore, you need to amuse and delight them through the provision of amazing content specifically addressing their needs.

11. Let your emails be catchy and designed clearly to have more leads

Design your emails for easy readability without straining, while remaining attractive. Maybe you can come up with content expressed through clear text without including images or links randomly. Only include content where it is relevant.

12. Provide incentives to your current subscribers for referrals

Of course, your present subscribers have friends they can refer, but what do they get in return? To do so, they just need a little motivation. Try offering them discounts, among other incentives, for referrals.

13. Your discounts, offers, and exclusive benefits need to have a sense of scarcity and urgency

People never wish to lose a golden purchase opportunity which won’t last for long. You need to phrase CTAs with scarcity and urgency; for example, “a limited offer.” But don’t lie to your customers. If they are not limited and they find out later that the offers are still available; perhaps even at better prices, they will feel tricked and lose their trust in you.

14. Trigger pop-ups

Displaying pop-up requests for contact details when wrapping up valuable content is an excellent approach to pushing the audience to take action on the spot. It assists in improving on conversions, even to those who were adamant about subscribing.

15. Providing gated content and upgrades to content

Those are perfect methodologies for generating leads. Consider limiting content access and luring the readers to subscribe in order to view the whole content, or optimize the content by hiding it behind a prompt requesting for an email address and then display it upon address submission.

16. Sticky top bars, slide-ins, and sidebars

They help to offer your website users with alternatives to exploring it. You can grab that chance to embed an enticing subscription box which will help in generating more leads.

17. Leveraging social media adverts and posts

It doesn’t matter if it is an e-book, webinar, or any other item; just tell it to your followers and friends on social networks through posts or adverts. Consider also providing links to the items posted.

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Bonus Tips

1. Getting permission

If you are a newbie, you should seek your targeted audience’s consent to send them promotional emails. By permitting you, it implies that they are already interested in what you are offering and need to know more. That is an indicator that they will be converted sooner than later.

2. Customize email content excluding the names

Including names too soon can sound fake and awkward, especially if it is for the first time. On the other hand, what you should consider doing is sending email marketing with content tailored to suit their interests and needs.

3. Limit offers to three or less

In general, people tend to be less focused, especially when confronted with the challenge of time. To take care of that, you need to limit your offers to only three. Any additional offer is likely to confuse the reader.

4. Determine the appropriate time and day of the week to send the emails

You might have read statistics about the appropriate time and day of sending emails to be from 20:00 hours up to midnight and should be over the weekends, but others also see that data. That means you might all be sending emails at once. To be safe, you can consider pushing the statistics aside and determining yours regarding the targeted audience behaviors.

5. Let it be brief

Unless your audience takes reading as a hobby, consider making it short and leaving your contacts for when they feel the urge for further information. People tend to be busy, and many simply like skimming through their inboxes.

6. Personalize the subject lines

Personalizing subject lines on emails increase the likelihood of being opened by 26%. You should make it appealing to the audience, depending on the current need. That way you will trigger a sense of personal touch, and the audience is likely to rely on you to address that particular need.

7. Optimize the content for mobile viewing

Failure to do so makes it likely that 80% of the audience is going to delete it. Besides, over 60% of emails are opened and read by the use of mobile gadgets. Therefore, for your email marketing efforts to be fruitful, you need to act accordingly by ensuring text can easily be read and buttons are clickable.

8. Content needs to be linked to a landing page

Rather than your site, consider providing a landing page link in the email content. The reason being that, the content stands a higher chance of converting; since it solely holds the information to actualize conversion. Then again, if the prospect is linked to the site, he is likely to lose focus due to the other content found, and won’t be able to make a purchase.

Bottom Line

Keeping in mind the factors to consider in designing incredible email content such as graphics and CTAs, put into practice the above strategies, and witness the success of your email lead generation efforts!

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