5 Secrets to Building an Email List From Scratch:

Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest blogger, Katherine Salt. Learn more about her in the bio below this post.


the plan buy yachtEmail marketing rocks! Well according to my last post here on Savvy Sexy Social. But you need a list of people to send your informative, engaging and highly valuable missives to.  Generating a list of contacts to email to can be a daunting task and it’s easy to try to look for some quick fixes like downloading all your contacts from Linkedin, importing your personal address book, or horror of horrors buying a list! It’s a common misconception that the more people you have on your list the better and there is an intrinsic value to each email address. If only life were so simple.  If that were the case, you could then just start skimming emails from the phone directory or websites but that will actually get you in a lot of trouble.  The last thing you want is to get a reputation of being a spammer or having your email account shut down due to the number of complaints you’ve received.

Why build your list from scratch?

  1. Email subscribers who opt in to your list are much more likely to read what you send them.
  2. If you buy an email list you have no idea if those people are interested in what you have to say and could mark your emails as spam.
  3. You have no guarantee whether the details on the list you bought are correct or the email account is even still active.
  4. Mass emailing your personal contacts with your business messages can be the quickest way to be taken off their Christmas list.
  5. If you are above the free subscriber limit on your email account then every email costs money to send.
  6. Once you have been blocked by a contact there is no way back!

How to build your list from scratch:

  1. Make it easy. Don’t hide the opt in form. Make it visible on every page and highlight it so it is clear to see.
  2. Don’t ask for the moon. Name and email address is all you will need so don’t go asking for their inside leg measurement.  It you ask for extra contact information people will wonder what you will use it for and may be reluctant to opt in.
  3. Give them a reason. A free report, eBook or webinar can all incentivize someone to sign up for your list. And be clear what they are signing up for. Is it a weekly update from your blog, special offers, or a quarterly white paper?
  4. Promote. Don’t rely on sign ups from people who visit your blog.  If you have a Facebook page it’s simple to have an opt in form added through an app.  If you have an e-commerce site offer an opt in as part of the transaction process. You can even add a link on the bottom of your email signature.

It can take time to build a quality list of subscribers but if you are providing great content then your list will grow and so will your legions of fans!

Do you have any other list building tips to share with us?