MaxWeb Academy

Email Marketing – How To Build an Email List From Scratch

Become an Affiliate

Finding the right audience for your offers and campaigns can be an incredibly hard job. Most people just don't want to interact with the products affiliates offer, so finding the right people can be a real game-changer. This is where email lists come into play. Even though most people think that email lists are slowly becoming a relic of the past, in reality, they are as effective as ever, and having a solid email list can help any campaign immensely. 

Before covering how to build an effective email list completely from scratch, let's explain what email lists are and why they are so important. 

What Are Email Lists And Why Are They So Important?

Email lists are something most affiliates should be familiar with. They are pretty self-explanatory, they usually are a list of emails and additional data of your leads or potential customers. This list is made by gathering emails from people that sign up or subscribe to any of your services or ads. These are usually people that are likely to interact with your content, so you should consider them the ideal audience for your email marketing campaign.

Email list building is almost essential for marketers that want to reach more people and lower their marketing costs. With them, you can make easier and quicker sales, remarket your products, build relationships with your audience, target your audience more effectively, and market your products more efficiently. 

Email lists are incredibly beneficial to any business person, so investing some time into building an effective one is a no-brainer. Especially when you consider just how big the ROI on your investment can be!


What Do You Need To Know Beforehand?

Building your list can be a difficult task if you aren't used to making such lists, so here are some important things to note before trying to build a list yourself. 

1. You need to have these things before you start

Before committing to building an email list, consider having the following:

  • An audience that is somewhat interested in what you have to offer
  • A website with a landing page that has some of your offers inside of it
  • A product or service that people want to have or can find useful

These might sound simple enough, but you would be surprised to know how many marketers start building their lists without satisfying these base requirements. 

2. Don’t try to buy email lists

We all know that buying things is much faster than doing the work for ourselves. Sadly this is something you should avoid at all costs when it comes to email lists. These lists can have a lot of issues, and the quality of the leads is often awful. The shady people selling these lists have the incentive to have as many email addresses as possible, and the addresses being legitimate is not an issue for them, but the buyer. 

Even the email addresses that are legit often don't fit all your products or services at all, so they will probably be next to useless for your campaigns. The list that is sold to you is probably already sold to other marketers as well. The quality of the leads will be awful. As you can see, it's just a bad idea so don’t buy lists, build them yourself!

3. You will always need to keep your lists fresh

People sometimes change or stop using their emails after a while. I am sure most of us have at least one email account that they don't use anymore. For this exact reason, you will have to periodically clean your list and refresh it. 

This can often be done through some email marketing solutions like Aweber, Constant Contact, Sendinblue, Omnisend, or SendGrid. Do this periodically to keep your list fresh.

So, How Do I Build My List?

Building your list can be done in a couple of different methods, but today we will cover some of the most important and simple ways, so you can get your email list going as soon as possible.

Create a custom Call to Action Button for your Landing Pages

Research showed that CTAs are incredibly effective at capturing leads, so use this to your advantage. These buttons are usually placed at the middle or end of your post so you catch the attention of your audience members that read through the content and engage with it. 

The CTA doesn't have to be complicated. A button simply labeled “Subscribe to our mailing list” could be more than enough. But if you have something to offer to your audience, this might be even more effective. For example, if you have free to download content for your audience, you can create a button that requires them to leave their email to get the content you are offering. This is incredibly effective as it is free for your audience, so they are still getting value while you also benefit by getting new email addresses for your list. This is great for blogs or sites that offer a free course or video that the users can claim. 

Consider Making A Survey

A popular strategy that is gaining traction is pop-up mini-surveys for landing page visitors. These surveys appear after a certain time or percentage of a site viewed. They ask a simple set of questions or just simply give the opportunity for users to sign up for a newsletter or get some additional value by leaving their email. They are easy to implement and as far as the data is concerned, highly effective!

Try Making A Pop-Up Form

Pop-Up forms can be a valuable tool in your marketing arsenal. They might seem like annoying relics, but they can be incredibly useful if implemented correctly. You can use them inside of your landing pages to give your audience a chance to sign up to your email and capture them as leads without hassle.

Making it yourself is simple and it can be done under an hour easily. You need to design the form or pick a premade design using a service like MailChimp, GetRepondse, or others. Then you need to set your display timing so that the pop-up appears at the right time. Some consider 20 seconds after visiting the page to be ideal, as the lead is already interested in your offer and they are most likely to convert at this time. 

Utilize Social Media

If you have any sort of social media presence, then you should utilize it and maximize its potential. You can periodically ask your audience to write you a mail or simply tell them to subscribe to your newsletter and get their email that way. Most of the people already following you should have no issue doing this.

You should also consider that if they are already following you, they are highly likely to have purchased something from you, or they plan to do so shortly, making them the ideal target for your future re-engagement campaigns.

Don't Overdo It!

The worst thing you can do is try too hard with gaining leads. This will quickly annoy people and you will get diminishing returns and a bitter audience. Try being less imposing and more natural so that your email list consists only of people who care for your content instead of people who clicked something on accident!


Email lists are an incredible tool that every single marketer can use to improve their business in one way or another. They are relatively simple to build and with some proper set up all of the work that needs to be done should happen fully passively, without you having to actively interfere with anything. 

Growing these lists can often take some time. There are no ways to speed things up easily without endangering your credibility or completely wasting your money. 

Even the best email list won't help you if you don't know how to utilize it properly. So before building your list, inform yourself on how you can best use it and what you can use it for. There are hundreds of use cases for the lists that can make a huge positive impact on your campaigns!

Have you ever built an email marketing list? What are some of the key takeaways for you? Share your knowledge with us in the comments below!