Marketing Tips

Why and how to start an e-mail marketing list


Why and how to start an e-mail marketing list

If you are serious about your business, starting an e-mail marketing list is a smart move. It is a way how to reach your potential customers, remind them about your business and get more sales. Are you ready to learn more about it? Keep reading!

What is an e-mail marketing list

An e-mail marketing list is a database of people who have freely given your business their e-mail addresses so you can reach them with offers, deals, and other information. A customer has to consent to giving you their e-mail addresses and other personal information and it has to be disclosed before submitting the form. Also, keep in mind that buying e-mail lists is usually illegal. If you do so, you can end up in legal trouble, create a bad PR for your company, and overall the list might just not work (for example, all your e-mails going straight to the spam folder).

Why start an e-mail marketing list

Now that you know what is an e-mail marketing list, let’s talk about why start one.

Get sales

First and foremost, the goal of an e-mail marketing list is to make more sales. It is a channel through which you can reach people who are truly interested in your product and business and those are people who have already taken action – subscribing to your e-mails.

Realizing your loyal customer base

More or less only loyal customers will subscribe to your e-mail list. And it is perfect! They are the people who will support your business, buy all the new products and product additions, and give you honest reviews. This group of people is often ready to recommend your products to friends and family, educate about your business, and defend it when necessary. They are the customers you want more of – loyal, active, and engaging. To have more sales, it is wise to grow the list of loyal customers, and an e-mail marketing list is the first step.

Direct access to client inboxes

With e-mail marketing you have direct access to your customer inboxes. And we all know that an e-mail inbox is a sacred space – people don’t allow anyone to wander in there. With modern e-mail marketing tools, you can easily personalize the e-mails you send out by segmenting e-mail receivers (for example, first-time subscribers, long-time loyal customers, fans of specific products, etc) and by addressing the e-mail owner by name.

Maintain relationships with customers

E-mail marketing can help you maintain relationships with customers and clients that have visited your webpage. They can be people who have made a purchase or who haven’t. Either way, you know that when you send out a marketing e-mail it will reach a person who is already familiar with your business and products. It is always nice to talk to a returning customer – you don’t need to convince them of anything, they are already interested. That is your e-mail list in a nutshell.

Relatively cheap marketing strategy

Another notable benefit of having an e-mail list is the fact that compared to ads and other marketing channels, it is quite inexpensive. To have an e-mail list you need to invest in:

  • an e-mail provider which can range from roughly 0$ to 300$ a month depending on the size of your e-mail list and the e-mails you want to send out;
  • salary for someone who will manage the list – create e-mails, send them out, etc (if that is you, then you have to invest just your time, not money!);
  • (optional) a creation of freebie to motivate people to sign up (more on that later).

And not only the investment part is relatively small, but the return on sales can also be very high if you play your cards right.

You own your e-mail list

And last but not least, a very important benefit of having an e-mail list – it belongs to your company. That means that you are not dependent on other businesses to run yours. You don’t have to worry about Facebook’s ad policy changing or the new Google algorithm. That means you can easily reach your customers, who have given you their e-mail when you feel like it. Having complete control over a customer database is a true win in today's online marketing.

How to start an e-mail marketing list

Now that you are informed why to start an e-mail list, you are probably pretty excited to begin growing one. The question is though, where to start?

Find your e-mail marketing provider

To start an e-mail list, you need to find a service that will help you to send out the e-mails, manage the database, and will provide you with good analytics. A popular choice is using Mailchimp services, but you can also go for another e-mail marketing provider, for example, MailerLite or another.

When you are choosing your e-mail marketing provider, pay attention not only to their pricing but also to whether their services are compatible with your website. That will ensure that you can gather data on your website but send out and analyze e-mails through the provider’s system.

Sign-up forms on your webpage

Next you have to add sign-up forms to your webpage so you can get the e-mails from your site visitors. Don’t have just one place for a sign-up form, spread them out through the whole website!

Embed sign-up form in your website

Embedding a sign-up form is the easiest way how to add a sign-up form to your website. You can have it in the sidebar, in the footer, in the middle of articles, or part of a page. Keep it clean and simple, but at the same time noticeable. You want the sign-up forms to be visible, not blending in with the rest of the page seamlessly. People need to notice it for them to sign up!

Pop-up windows

If you are serious about getting subscribers to your e-mail list, a pop-up window is a way to go. Even though they might seem annoying at times, but despite that they are proven to be very effective in turning website visitors into e-mail subscribers.

When using a pop-up window, make sure you choose a good moment for it to show up. You don’t want your pop-up window to show up right after the page is loaded. You want your website visitors to have the time to roam around the page and get acquainted with your products and services. The pop-up window could show up right before they want to leave or after a minute or two since the page has been opened.

Having a check box with a purchase

People who are making a purchase are already committed. They might be open to committing a little bit more to subscribing to your e-mail list to get more good deals and exclusive offers. You have nothing to lose by adding a subscription box to your “thanks for the purchase” page. You can just gain a few new e-mail list subscribers!

Keep reminding

A golden rule to any sale is not to give up with the first no. The same applies to e-mail list subscriptions. You want to keep reminding your customers of this option. Don’t be pushy, keep it casual. Add a “...and if you want to know first about our annual sales or gain rights to exclusive offers, join our mailing list!” to e-mails you send out, to social media posts, in the footer of your webpage, etc. Find the best way for yourself to remind your subscribers about your e-mail list.

Sign-up form information

Just a sign-up form on your webpage unfortunately won’t guarantee that you will get new e-mail subscribers. You need to make sure your sign-up form looks irresistible and legit.

Keep it short

Make it easy for people to sign-up! Keep the form extremely short and relevant. Ask just for an e-mail and their first name. The first name will be useful to insert in the e-mails to make them more personal.

Legal check-box

Very important, your e-mail subscription box has to have a link to your privacy policy and GDPR notice. People who sign-up have to agree to the terms on how you will process their data. 

A gift for signing up

A short subscription form is the first step to convincing people to sign-up. Another thing you can do is to add a freebie for people who do it.

Something of value – an e-book, a video, a lecture

The best freebie you can offer is some exclusive content. It can be a short e-book, a video, or a lecture. Make sure it is relevant and intriguing, and that people cannot get this material any other way than by signing up to your mailing list. Keep it exclusive!

A promo code

Another option is offering people a one-time promo code as a gift for signing up. It is a strategy that works, but it can also attract people who will just use the code and unsubscribe later. However, it is a way how to show people what your e-mails are like and they might stay for the quality content you offer.

Use social media to get people to sign-up

Even though the basis for getting subscribers to your e-mail list is your webpage, don’t be limited by just that. Use other marketing channels as well!

Social media ads

Facebook and Instagram ads are popular way how to add more people to your e-mail list. Create a great post, offer your freebie, and ask people to leave their e-mail. This way you will get some people who are not that familiar with your brand, but you can convince them with your stunning e-mail content.

Social media content

Speak to people who already follow you! You will be surprised how little they know about what you offer. More than half might not even know that you have an e-mail newsletter with lots of goodies! Add a prompt to sign up to your e-mail list to your social media posts. And make it easy for people to travel from the social media channel to the subscription box. It has to be easy to find and fill out.

Live events

Do you have a physical store? Maybe you are attending trade shows, fairs, and festivals? Ask people in real life to sign-up for your e-mail list! Just make sure you have printed out the terms and conditions of how you process data, and people are able to read them and affirm that they comply with a signature.

Taking care of your e-mail list

Once you have the e-mail list running, all that is left to do is to take care of it. Create e-mails, send them out, analyze the data, remove inactive users, interact with loyal customers, etc. If you are interested to learn more about how to create a successful marketing campaign, follow these 5 tips!


An e-mail list can be a very important part of your marketing strategy. It takes time to build it but once you get the ball rolling you will get subscribers (and customers) for life! Just make sure you put out quality content, have an easy sign-up form, and keep reminding people to join your mailing list.

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