How To Build An Email List From Scratch In 2021 | Best Ways

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How to Build an Email List from Scratch: One of the biggest keys to building a successful online business is, guess what, building an email list.

The biggest mistake people make as beginners is, they do not focus on building their email list.

What if I told you that for every $1 you invested, you could get a return of almost $42. Yes, that’s true. That’s the power of email marketing.

In this article, we will discuss how you can build an email list from scratch. But first let’s see, why we should build an email list.

Why Build an Email List?

Did you know that on 13th March 2019, Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram were all shut down all across the world for a day?

I believe the reason above can serve as a huge reminder for all business owners and content creators, the importance of having an email list.

The main advantage of having an email list is that, you own your list.

No matter how many followers you have on social media, but you do not own them.

Your social media account could shut down at any point in time. In such a case, you will lose all the contact with your followers.

But that’s not the case with your email list. The people on your email list are not going anywhere until they themself unsubscribe from your email list.

And that’s the biggest reason to build an email list.

Things You Need to Build an Email List

Honestly, people generally tend to overcomplicate the process of building an email list.

There’s just a three-step process to build an email list:

• Creating a Lead Magnet
• Setting Up a Landing Page, and the most important,
• Driving Traffic to the Landing Page

Now, let’s see each one in detail.

1. Creating a Lead Magnet

Basically, a lead magnet is something that you are willing to give away for free, in exchange for someone else to give them your email address.

Build An Email List
How To Build An Email List

A lead magnet should be

Specific – You need to make sure that whatever you are giving away is actually what your audience wants. It should be specific to your audience’s needs.

• Valuable – Make sure your lead magnet should be juicy enough for them to exchange their email address. It should be an absolute no-brainer freebie that your audience will love to download.

• Digital – Make sure your lead magnet can be digitally distributed to your email subscribers. It could be a free e-book, or a video training, or a mini-course, or an audio file, or a checklist.

Always make sure that your lead magnet should be of very high-quality. Remember, it’s your first impression.

It’s the first product which you are going to give to your list, even if it’s free and if it’s lazy, or terrible or doesn’t look good, it will screw up the whole process.

After that, it would be very hard for you to sell something to your subscribers, the reason for which you are building an email list.

2. Setting Up a Landing Page

Now, after you have created a high-quality lead magnet, you need to send people to a place where they can access the lead magnet. And that’s a landing page.

So, basically, a landing page is a place where people enter their email address in exchange for the lead magnet. You can see one below.

Build An Email List
How To Build An Email List

The key to the Landing page is not overcomplicating it. No matter what your business is, just have a few lines which identify your audience’s problem and explain to them how your lead magnet could solve it.

You can build your landing page with the help of landing page software such as LeadPages, or Unbounce.

You can also build your landing pages with email marketing software like ConvertKit, GetResponse, MailChimp, AWeber, ClickFunnels, etc.

Pro Tip: Start with such an email marketing software that allows you to export the email list and the contact information that you get from them.

This will help you maintain all your previous contacts when you wish to make a switch from one email marketing software to another.

Some Landing Page Hacks to Boost Your Conversions

When you are on your way to building an email list, the main factor is the conversion rate. The higher your conversion rate, the faster your list grows.

According to Unbounce, the average conversion rate is just 4.2%, which means the rest 96% do not convert.

• Improve Your Page Speed – Did you know that 50% of the users expect a website to load within 2 seconds.

So, low speed can lose you a lot of leads. Studies show that as page speed decreases bounce rate goes up. So, make sure your landing page loads faster.

• Keep It Simple – Everyone tries to overcomplicate the stuff in marketing. There’s no reason for it. Try to keep things as simple as possible.

• Clearly State Your Value Proposition – It’s the most basic step in creating a successful landing page. Clearly state your value proposition in the header of your landing page.

If you do not catch the attention of your audience in the headline, you are screwed. So, create an amazing headline, but a simple one.

• Use a Single and Focused Call to Action – Just have a single and a focused call to action. Do not confuse your audience.

3. Driving Traffic to the Landing Page

This is the last and the most broad step to build an email list.

You need to traffic to your landing page. Driving traffic is the main and the most important key to building an email list.

Without traffic, you will not be able to grow your email list.

Now, there are two main ways in which you can drive traffic – paid traffic and free traffic.

Remember, fast and free do not tend to go well together online.

Paid Traffic

You can build your email list insanely fast using the paid traffic method. You can pay for websites and people to send traffic to your landing page.

You can run ads on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest which will help you to get tons of traffic. You can also use Google Ads for the same.

Just make an ad that directly links to your landing page and, you are good to go.

But the problem with the paid traffic is, they are a bit complicated. As a beginner, you will need to struggle to learn these platforms.

Instagram influencer marketing is another way to get paid traffic. You just need to reach out to Instagram influencers in your niche and pitch them to promote your website or blog.

You will have to pay them money to promote your website, and they will help you to drive traffic to your landing page.

Free Traffic

It is the recommended method when you are on your way to building an email list if you are a complete beginner.

Yes, this will take you a lot more time than the paid traffic, but it’s the best way if you are just starting out your email marketing journey.

You can use search engines like YouTube, Quora, Google, Pinterest, etc. Create valuable content for these search engines and ask for people’s email address within your content.

The best thing about search engines is, the search engines’ content tends to last for a very long time. So, the free traffic method is the best method for beginners.

Make good use of your social media to get free traffic. Regularly, post your content on your social media and you will find that you have started getting traffic from your social media.

One more good point about this is, it will eventually build a huge social media presence with time.

The best thing about the free traffic method is, your list grows on autopilot. You will tend to get email subscribers from the content which you created a year ago. Isn’t that great?

Two Effective Strategies to Grow Your List Faster

Exit Pop-ups

Whether you love them or hate them, exit pop-ups work. It’s the most effective strategy to collect email addresses.

You can make your exit pop-ups unique you can use an animated GIF in the background. You can make one for free using HelloBar.

The animated GIF should be the preview of the thing which they are gonna get before they subscribe. It makes them more comfortable and they opt will opt-in.

Content Upgrades

When someone is reading a blog post and they want more information regarding that blog post, you can offer it to them. That’s a content upgrade.

A content upgrade must be related to your blog post and you’ll want to place it within the first few paragraphs of your blog post.

If someone is reading your blog post regarding how to lose weight, your content upgrade could be a cheat sheet for how to burn fat naturally.

These are two effective strategies that will boost your conversion rates and help you to build an email list much faster as a beginner.


It’s a necessity to build an email list if you are starting an online business and want to increase your revenue by many folds.

An email list can be really helpful. When you have successfully built an email list, you can continuously sell to them, make new offers, bring them back to your website. It’s an excellent marketing strategy.

Do not overcomplicate the process of building an email list. It’s a simple three-step process. A little bit of work and a good strategy can make it happen.

Remember, the real revenue lies in the list. It’s the most valuable asset for your business. So, build your email list faster.

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