How To Start Building An Email List To Get Your First 100 Subscribers

How to start email list

Do you want to learn how to start an email list? Building an email list is worth your effort.

Online businesses that want to attract potential customers can use opt-in forms on their website to attract sign-ups, others use lead magnets to generate leads. So you can also combine pop‑up forms and Facebook ads to start growing your email list in a few simple steps

Email marketing helps you not only to build a relationship with your customer but gives you a proven way to nurture leads and convert them into long-lasting customers.

If you’re serious about email marketing, you need to work with an email marketing service provider. Working with a provider is the only way your business can leverage email marketing automation to effectively deliver messages to large groups of contacts or subscribers.

Let’s get started!

Step 1-Pick Your Email Marketing Provider

Email marketing is the best way of selling and advertising your services. Thus learning how to building an email is worth your effort.

So if you are want to start building an email list, you need an email marketing tool that will help you effectively manage your lists, connect, and campaign.

What To Consider When Choosing Email Marketing Software

When choosing your platform, these are three things you should consider…


Updating lists and sending emails manually is time-consuming. So before you start building an email, you need to choose an email marketing tool that offers hassle-free solutions for managing valuable content and customer data.

It should also provide you with an overview of key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates to see which campaigns are performing the best.

So choose an email marketing tool with mobile-optimized templates. If someone opens an email on their mobile device and it can’t display correctly, they’ll bounce immediately, and your efforts will go down the drain.

Response Handling

If you handle large amounts of emails, choosing email marketing software that will allow you to send automated responses or aggregate customer responses into tickets will be beneficial.

Email Marketing Options

Now that you understand what you’re looking for in your email marketing software, let’s look at some of the best tools available for the job.

1. MailChimp

Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing platforms in the world today which can be used to start building an email list, with around seven million users worldwide. This tool is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses managing weekly or monthly newsletters, and regular campaigns. 

MailChimp integrates with the likes of Salesforce, WordPress, and GA. Thus this platform also works seamlessly with Hootsuite, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

The platform allows you to automate templates, customize emails, and add designs with ease. However, it allows for a little more backend development. 

2. GetResponse

GetResponse is a scalable email marketing tool that offers an awesome return on investment as your price plan will depend on the size of your company and how many contacts you have at the time of sign up.

It has 500 pre-designed templates powered by user-friendly editing software plus intuitive list-building tools. So it’s possible to create fully integrated, interactive campaigns with limited technical knowledge when you just start your email list. 

GetResponse will allow you to export files from several formats and offer in-built statistics including best-performing emails and cart abandonment rates.

3. SendinBlue

It’s ideal for e-commerce businesses. This platform offers user-friendly email design tools and plenty of backend scope for developers looking to add extra functionality to their email campaigns. 

SendinBlue allows you to synchronize contact lists from most major platforms. So you can manage your content with ease. Analytics include insights on where emails have been opened and device type.

Nevertheless, a  little technical know-how is needed to open up SendinBlue’s full potential.

Step 2-Create Your Email Marketing Account

Sign up with your chosen email marketing provider and create an account. 

Step 3 – Design An Opt-In Form For Your Website

On your form, describe in a few words what people can expect when they sign up. As you start building your email list, make the form engaging and fun. 

1. Make Your Lead Generation Form Visually Appealing

If you’re looking to increase the conversion rate, you’ll need to grab the attention of your visitors as quickly as possible with a beautiful opt-in form.

2. Increase Perceived Value With Compelling Content Upgrades

What is the most important thing that encourages people to subscribe to your list?

In order to encourage sign-ups, make sure you offer something valuable which your prospects can’t refuse. 

So make sure your users can easily differentiate your call to action from the rest of the opt-in form elements. Thus this strategy can help to grab the attention of your potential leads and encourage clicks.

3. Make the CTA Button Stand Out

Make sure your users can easily differentiate your call to action from the rest of the opt-in form elements. Therefore, this strategy can help to grab the attention of your potential leads and encourage clicks.

Step 4-Write Your First Newsletter

Before you start sending notes to your email list, think about how you can best serve them. Thus you have a mammoth responsibility of promoting value to your subscribers.

Here are 6 key tips to consider when writing your newsletters:

Provide content worth reading

When you start building an email list, make sure that you are providing some useful and interesting content that your subscribers might actually want to read. Hence, if you can provide tips and advice, or industry news, these are key things that your subscribers may be interested in.

Grab the reader with the headline

Make sure that your readers want to read your newsletter as soon as they see it. Otherwise, they probably won’t read it at all.

Establish trust

Make sure that your subscribers trust what you have to say and treat you as an authority on your subject.

Write for your audience

You are an expert in your field, your subscribers probably are not. So if you really want to start building an email list, you must explain everything in layman’s terms and explain any industry terms, abbreviations and acronyms.

But be careful and proofread your newsletters looking for any assumed understanding and explain it better.

Keep it short and simple.

Make sure that people get the information they need from your newsletter quickly and easily.  So don’t cram your newsletters with too much information and too many different articles.

Keep them regular.

Somewhere between once a week and once a month is usually considered right. The exact frequency will need to be down to you to decide what you think your subscribers want.

Step 5-Think Of A Welcome Message

 #1 Make your welcome messages personal

There are many marketing strategies built around calling your user by their name, and welcome greeting messages are no exception.

So start with calling them by their name right away when building an email list. And not only that, you can use other data that your customer so helpfully provided, too.

#2 Demonstrate the benefits

If you tell your customers how those features can help them achieve their goals, the results won’t belong in coming.

#3 Make a limited-time welcome offer

An offer will urge them to start shopping or, at least, browsing immediately. And if the offer is time-limited, that’s an additional motivation to shop while the offer lasts.

#4 Add the Unsubscribe option

Users who do subscribe will appreciate knowing that they can always opt-out. It should have both the link to the company’s website and the Unsubscribe link at the very bottom. So a clear Unsubscribe option helps to build trust with the customers.

#5 Welcome customers back when they return

Set up a “welcome to our website” message to pop up when a customer whom you have not seen for a while visits your website again. Nevertheless, don’t forget to call them by name!

#6 Thank your customers for joining

This technique may seem obvious but is often overlooked. A simple “thank you” email maybe that little thing that makes your customers remember you.

Step 6-Design A Freebie

People love getting freebies. Offering someone an unexpected gift is one of the quickest ways to form a bond with that person. Instant love and connection happen. So using a freebie is great to start building your email list.

Here are a few common types of opt-in freebies:

  • workbook
  • checklist
  • cheat sheet
  • PDF guide

If you’re feeling stumped and not sure what kind of freebie would be ideal for your customers – here’s a great question to ask yourself:

What is the biggest thing my customers are struggling with?

And what’s one gift that could help them with… that?

It probably won’t be the full solution. So you should encourage your subscribers to come to your classes or workshops for additional support but it could be a great start.

The key is to find a topic and format that your subscribers strongly resonate with and are happy to hand over their email addresses for.

4. Set up your welcome email

Your welcome email is the first message your new email subscribers receive from you.

Welcome emails are especially important because they serve as your first impression and reach people at a time when they’re highly engaged with your business. So you can expect a higher than average open rate for your welcome email, so make sure you’re delivering value right away.

Start with a warm greeting, provide an overview of what they can expect to receive from you in the future when they join your email list and offer them something useful right away.

Once set up, your welcome email will be sent to all new contacts automatically.

5. Create a reusable email template

This is the fun part! Even if you’re not a designer, you can send beautifully designed professional emails that look good on any device.

But Constant Contact has hundreds of email templates for you to choose from – including timely templates to stand out in the inbox.

When choosing a template, look for a layout that is clean, eye-catching, and will get your message across fast. People scroll through the inbox quickly – often while on the go – so choose a mobile-responsive email template that looks good on any device.

Next, customize your template with your brand by putting your business’s logo right at the top of your email and linking the image back to your website’s homepage. So add in your business’s signature colors and create an email footer with your business name, contact information, and links to your active social media channels.

Once you have these essential design elements all setup, make a copy of your email and save a version as your master template. With this reusable template, you don’t have to start from scratch and add in your branding every time. This way building an email list becomes easier.

6. Practice writing persuasive messages

This tends to be one of the scariest steps for business owners. I get it – writer’s block happens to the best of us.

So it also helps to follow a repeatable process and break your message down into three important sections:

What are you offering? – Headline

How will it help the reader? – Message body

What should they do next? – Call to action.

7. Spend time on subject lines

Your email subject line is one of the most important lines of text in your whole plan to start building an email list.

Why? Your subscribers see your subject line even before they open your message. Make a good impression and people won’t be able to resist opening. So write something bland and they might skip over your message without a second thought.

Your subject line should be short and snappy — around 40 characters.

You can draw attention by asking a compelling question, including a deadline for urgency, or just teasing your message.

Use these tips to write good subject lines.  

8. Preview and test before you send

Especially when you’re first getting started with email marketing, it’s easy to slip up every once in a while.

Maybe you forget to add in an important link or make an embarrassing spelling mistake right in the subject line. Doh! Unfortunately, there’s no Back button with email, so always remember to send yourself or a staff member a Test Email before sending it out to your entire list.

9. Send your email

When you’re ready to send out an email, timing is an important factor to consider.

Every audience is different and the best time to send will differ based on who’s on your email list.

Based on customer data, we’ve compiled some information on which day and time might work best for your industry.

You can also create a consistent sending schedule and stick to it. For example, if you send out a newsletter on the first of every month, your audience will come to expect it in their inboxes.

If you do decide to follow a set schedule, tell people at the point of sign-up by saying something like:

“Would you like to sign up for our Hints & Tips newsletter? We’ll send you a roundup of our top blog posts, upcoming webinars, and best marketing advice on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month.”

Your subscribers will know when they’ll hear from you next and you can schedule your message to send based on your established schedule. 

Step 6-Design Your Freebie

One of the quickest ways to form a bond with that person. When that freebie that you give someone who signs up for your email list is awesome, a bond is developed. 

So the key is to find a topic and format that your subscribers strongly resonate with and are happy to hand over their email addresses for.

Now that we have dissected various types of welcome messages, let’s quickly refresh what it may contain to serve its purpose:

  • Company logo and/or motto
  • Personalization (e.g. customer’s name)
  • Explanation of what the customer has subscribed to
  • “Thank you” message
  • Special offer
  • Call to action
  • Social network buttons
  • Unsubscribe link

That’s about it, now build your welcome message.

Types Of Freebies

  • Guide/ebook

Write a guide that provides the solutions to their pain points. It doesn’t have to be some super in-depth book that’s hundreds of pages long. 

  • Checklist

A checklist that walks you through increasing conversions on your website can be a lot more detailed. Each checklist item can include instructions and more detail on how to complete that step.

  • Video training

One way to do video training is to just speak with your audience face to face about a particular topic. This method works well for general info as well as providing encouragement. 

  • Audio recording

 If they’re busy and always on the go, an audio recording might be a good solution.

  • Ecourse

Sometimes the content you want to share with your audience can be lengthy and overwhelming. If that’s the case, an e-course is a great way to package it up. 

Here are a few common types of opt-in freebies:

 1. Free eBook

It’s the most popular form of an opt-in, you can create one and give it free to subscribers and sell it to non-subscribers on Amazon.

2. Free Digital Workbook

Compile the top 10 questions they must ask themselves or that you would otherwise ask them in your discovery session and put it together into your workbook.

3. Free eCourse 

 You can write one from scratch and make it truly exclusive! It’s a fantastic way of showcasing your expertise.

5. Downloadable Cheat Sheets

Think about customer FAQs and answer those via a template or cheat sheet.

6. Downloadable Checklists

Downloadable and printable checklists to help them remember the steps or learn the process for something.

Step 7-Create A Landing Page

Here are the main points to keep in mind when creating a landing page:

  • Define your goal

Explain what you want your landing page to achieve and stay consistent throughout every detail of your site.  

  • Create visual hierarchy

Decide which elements are the most important and make them stand out.  

  • Generate action with a CTA

Make it clear to your LP visitors what they should do. These call-to-action examples will give you a solid starting point.  

  • Craft a captivating design

Engage your site visitors with an eye-catching design that will make them want to click and discover more. You should also opt for a strategic layout. 

To make this marketing tool more effective and create the best user experience, place your design and content above the fold.

  • Write killer copy

Keep your text succinct and informative, with enticing headers that will give your visitors a reason to read on.  

  • Utilize images

Set the tone and charm your visitors with impactful visuals. They can also help illustrate what it is that you’re all about.  

Step 8-Promote Your Freebie

Today, we’re tackling ways to promote your opt-in freebie to drive readers to your landing page and convert them to subscribers.

Some of these ways are a little more extensive than others, while some are super easy. 

Mix and match different ideas to see what works best for attracting your audience or focus on one way to promote your opt-in freebie at a time. 

The choice is yours!

Now that you’ve created a kickass freebie – it’s time to use it.

There are a million and one ways you can promote your freebie, but here are a few of my favorites:

  • social media posts
  • In your social media bios
  • blog post
  • In Facebook groups
  • guest posts on other websites

If you spend much time creating a freebie and do not spend enough time promoting it. Then your efforts will go down the drain.

Step 9-Draw Up A Content Plan

Here are a few steps to get you started developing your own content strategy.

1. Establish Your Purpose

Before discussing blog posts and videos, you need to determine the overall goal of your content. A clear purpose will inform the many other decisions you’ll make when building a content plan.

2. Conduct Research

Once you have your general purpose, you need to conduct extensive research, both on your audience and on your competitors. 

Before you start talking, you need to deeply understand who you’re speaking with. 

To understand your audience well, and you can give them what they want in a place where they are most likely to find it.

Use competitor analysis tools to monitor how your shared audience is engaging with their content. Researching what works for your competitor can illustrate what your audience prefers and what they’ll be expecting from you.

3. Develop Content Ideas

You should take into account what content will best fulfill your purpose. Similarly, don’t be afraid to try something no one has done before as long as it’s informed by research.

Explore pros and cons. Make sure you’re working with the best of your ideas. Digital media, such as infographics and videos, are excellent for bringing your content to life in a way that audiences won’t forget.

4. Create and Publish Your Content

If your audience seems to prefer Twitter over Facebook, don’t write your social media content with Facebook’s format in mind. Create a schedule and stick to it.

5. Monitor Engagement and Follow Up

With that data, you can analyze what worked well and what you can change for future content strategies. All of that information becomes a resource for future content marketing efforts.

Prove to your audience that their feedback and opinions are important, and you’ll strengthen your relationship with them by building brand loyalty.

Step 10-Test It’s Efficiency 

Taking some time to test each email before you send it out is super important. Read it at least twice and check all the links. This tends to be one of the scariest steps for business owners. 

It also helps to follow a repeatable process and break your message down into three important sections:

What are you offering? – Headline

How will it help the reader? – Message body

What should they do next? – Call to action

Step 11-Track Your Results

Remember – email marketing doesn’t end with a send. You will want to track your open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rates.

If you want to see real results from your email marketing, you need a strong understanding of how each email performs so you can make improvements and learn more about your customers and subscribers.

Spending a few minutes in your email reports will tell you valuable information like who opened your email, who clicked on specific links, and what information was the most interesting to your readers.

While it’s important to know how engaging your campaign messages are, make sure you’re tracking actions that happen beyond your emails. 

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Wrapping Up – How To Building An Email

Is that it? Can you start building your email list with just those few steps?

There are other things you can do. You can techniques such as webinars, giveaways, and popups. The more strategies you test, the greater your email list will grow.

With ever new tactics and innovative methods, you can grow your email list. But it’s never just about growing a list. It’s about building a relationship with the people on your list.

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