Building an Email List

The Do’s and Don’ts

Building an email list takes time and can be a daunting task for a new business. There is no end to the techniques people use, and some certainly work better than others. We’ve compiled a list of things you should and should not do to build an email list for yourself, so you can get to the all-important email marketing campaign.

DO: Write new content.

The internet is a huge place, and everyone everywhere is trying to get people on their email lists. Creating fresh, exciting content for people is a great way to get them wanting more. If they like it, a simple call to action will get the job done a majority of the time.

Regurgitating content that people can find anywhere and everywhere isn’t going to get anyone to opt-in to your email list, which makes it very difficult to have a real shot at an email marketing campaign.

DO NOT: Have Awful Opt-In Placement

Literally no one on the internet wants to feel pressured into opting in to anything. Having a giant, blaring “ENTER YOUR EMAIL HERE TO LEARN MORE” button that scrolls along with you? Awful. Fun fact: that scrolling sidebar is one of the lowest converting tools for conversions, coming in at around 0.5%. Unless you have a huge amount of traffic, that number means nothing.

Likewise, peppering opt-ins throughout your content simply doesn’t work. Make it concise, get to the point. People appreciate that and are far more likely to continue to read your content than if they’re faced with blatant “join my email list for more!” nonsense.

DO: Have Well Thought Out Placement

This seems like kind of a “gimme” tip, but it remains one of the most important. Thinking out your plan for your opt-in forms is absolutely crucial. For example, Neil Patel’s blog have a few different CTAs that aren’t intrusive at all. Here’s some examples:


They’re basic, clean. The smaller one hovers at the top of your screen while you read, and doesn’t distract from the meat of the content like the side scrolling form does.

These are things you absolutely need to take into consideration when building an email list, or really just outputting content in general.

DO NOT: Use the Default Opt-In Form

  • Click Here!
  • Subscribe
  • Submit
  • Join Here

These are examples of default calls to action that just don’t work. Reader Blindness is a real thing that has to be combated at every turn, and a lot of these common CTAs are included.

On top of that, they’re vague. People want to know the value they’re getting when they subscribe to your newsletter, or want to know more, etc. Don’t be vague, address immediate concerns. Tell people how you’re going to solve their problem, make them want to give you that information.

You aren’t going to get from content, to email list, to email marketing campaign unless you give the people what they want: a solution.

DO: Create Bonus Content

People love content. Text is the single most popular form of engagement on the internet, and that’s not changing any time soon.

So, let them read your content. Gating it behind an opt-in form doesn’t do anything but upset people, and has a very low conversion rate. Instead, let people read the vast majority of your content with no strings attached, and those that are interested in learning more, can.

When they give you your information, having bonus content ready and waiting is absolutely key. It needs to be high-quality, and something that is truly worth the information they gave away. Make it a real solution to a real problem. We’ve all heard “create value first,” and this is no exception.

If nothing shows of value up, they’re not exactly going to be happy when they see a new email marketing campaign, are they?

And that’s about it.

If building your own email list from scratch sounds too time consuming you can always get a head start. Buy verified deliverable business email lists that don’t bounce, get delivered & most importantly produce an ROI.

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