How to Build an Email List

how to collect emails

After learning know how to select an email marketing provider, it is important to establish how you are going to build email lists for your campaigns.

From this eMarketer data from 2005 and 2008, you can see that people are comfortable with receiving emails that they have registered with. Even though they may not read it right away, they will still save those emails for review at a later time.

Hence, it is important to learn how to build an email list for your campaigns. Here are 4 ways how to do it.

1. Provide a sign-up form at your site.

email signup form

Often, this is an overlooked way to build an email list. Depending on your site structure, it may or may not be possible to include an email subscription field or form on the homepage. You should evaluate where is a good place to insert the form. It could be under you “Contact Us” page or it may be just a series of check boxes before completing a transaction. Make sure to provide clear options to your site visitors about what they would sign up for.

 2. Provide a freebie via email.

fitz and the tantrums

Musicians use this technique all the time. For example, Fitz and the Tantrums offer special versions of their songs (e.g. acoustic) for free download via email. To get the link to the download you need to provide your email for delivery. There are companies that specialize in the logistics of this process but you could handle it by yourself. The critical point is that you need to provide a truly valuable reward (sorry, a 10% coupon will most likely not cut it!) so that people would be willing to provide you their contact information.

3.  Purchase an email list.

purchase email list

Given the high demand of email lists, it is not a surprise that there are companies that specialize in the building, maintenance and sale of specialized email databases. Just like in any industry, it is important to read the fine print. When evaluating email lists for sale, look for a company that pays attention to obtaining proper authorization for communications from third parties. Due your due diligence and select a company that not only meets your needs but also can provide you a steady business relationship. To keep your expectations in check, research what are the average open and click-through rates of your industry. Remember that not every email will become a conversion!

4. Provide your contact information.

email us

Just like it is important to have a place in your site, where people can sign up for you to contact them, it is critical that you provide your email at your site. The best type of leads are the ones that directly contact you. If you don’t make it easy for potential clients to find your email, they will find somebody else who will.  If you’re not comfortable sharing your own email, why would you expect people to share theirs with you?


It takes time and effort to build an email list. Make sure you leverage all possibilities.

Author: Damian Davila

Ideas and concepts from Damian Davila, Ecuatoriano thriving in Hawaii. Pro marketer and blogger. Find him at @idaconcpts on Twitter.