Do you want to get your offers in front of more people? And generate more leads? Build an email list! It’s a great way to promote your services.

With social media algorithms changing all the time it can be hard to get in front of the right people. An email list of already-warm leads allows you to communicate with subscribers whenever you want.

An engaged email list can take time to build but there are some quick ways to get started. Creating a Lead Magnet and adding a signup form to your website is the best way to entice people to your list.

how to build an email list

What is an email list?

An email list is a list of contact details provided by subscribers. When people sign up from a website, blog, newsletter or in person they are added to the email list.


Why do you need to build an email list?

You might have heard people say that email marketing is dead, it’s all about social media now. And that couldn’t be more WRONG!

Learning how to grow an email list secures your contacts. You own that list. It’s a list of already-warm leads that have shown an interest in something you already offer.

Whilst social media is excellent at helping to increase your reach and promote your business. You don’t own these platforms or the followers. If a social media platform just disappeared overnight, what would you do? How would you contact your community?

Platforms like Instagram and Tiktok can be really valuable marketing platforms. But there’s a lot of competition. Constantly trying to grab people’s attention on these apps is difficult and it requires a really good strategy – let’s not even mention the algorithm that seems to change daily…lookin’ at you Instagram!

🟡 An email list is arguably a business’s best asset.


What are the benefits of an email?

Learning how to grow an email list is an essential marketing strategy because it allows you to communicate with your potential customers whenever you want – although I don’t recommend spamming them!

Email marketing allows you to build an email list and nurture relationships with your subscribers, attract new potential customers and help increase customer retention. The return on investment is much higher for email marketing than for other types of marketing. It’s estimated that for every $1 the ROI is $36.

It’s important for all businesses to have an email marketing strategy to ensure your audience is receiving interesting and relevant information. What’s interesting and relevant I hear you ask? Well here’s a list to help get you started:

  • Educational information
  • News & updates
  • Promotional offers
  • Behind the scenes of your brand

It is best to focus on sending a variety of topics. Don’t just bombard your email list with sales emails, that gets annoying and people will start reporting you for spam!

Understanding how to vary your email topics is important. You can read more about Content Pillars and how to apply them to your email marketing here.

how to grow an email list

How to grow an email list

  1. Set up an account with an email service provider
  2. Create a Lead Magnet
  3. Build a landing page for people to subscribe
  4. Send an email with access to the Lead Magnet
  5. Follow up with a Welcome Sequence Campaign
  6. Email subscribers weekly (ideally)

The best way to build an email list is to sign up to an email service provider. There are SO many to choose from and just this first step can seem very overwhelming – I’ve listed some good options for small, service-based businesses in this article.

The Done For You service is one of the most popular services we offer, it will support you to build a sustainable email list.

Once your email service provider is set up, you need to start enticing people to sign up. Creating a lead magnet (also known as a lead generator) is the best way to get people interested.

A lead magnet is a value-packed asset that helps your dream clients. It can answer a question, be a guide or checklist or show a new technique for example. You need to ensure the lead magnet gives away enough information that people want to gain access – but not too much that they then don’t need your services.

Once you’ve created a lead magnet you need a landing page for people to sign up to receive it. This can be built in your email service provider or on your website. New contacts then receive an email with access to the lead magnet.

Creating a follow up email welcome sequence to nurture new contacts is a great way to nurture new subscribers. And emailing your list regularly – ideally once per week – helps to further nurture your contacts to become loyal customers.


3 quick lead magnets to start an email list today

Creating lead magnets might seem time-consuming. And some lead magnets do take a lot more planning and time to create – like a course or ebook for example. There are also some quicker to create lead magnets:

roadmap icon

Work flow or roadmap

Provide an outline and plan with a clear outcome. Include milestones and areas of consideration. Workflows and Roadmaps provide value to your audience, showcase your expertise and are quick to create.

template icon


Templates can be a document, spreadsheet or design template your audience would find useful. Templates are an easy starting point because you probably use some kind of template in your business that can be adapted.

quiz icon


People love quizzes! Use a quiz to define an issue related to your niche. There are lots of software programs out there to help create a quiz, iSpring Quiz Maker and Type Form are quite easy to use.

These simple, yet powerful lead magnet options, allow you to start building an email list very quickly.


Which email service provider is best?

There are lots of email service providers available for you to build an email list. They all have their own pros and cons.

Most are easy to use with drag and drop editors to create simple, yet beautiful emails. Here are some of the most popular email service providers for small, service-based businesses:

When selecting an email service provider look for options that suit your business needs. Understanding the costs is a good starting point. Most providers usually charge based on the number of subscribers. The more you have, the more you pay.


Measuring email marketing success

Most reputable email service providers will provide tracking metrics you can analyse.

Email open rate, click-through rate and conversion rates are good indicators of a campaign’s success.

You can read more about what metrics you should be monitoring here.

how much do email lists cost

How much do email lists cost?

The real question should be – how much is it costing your business not to have an email list?

How are you capturing leads and people that are genuinely interested in your offers without an email list?

It can be tempting to buy an email list to get a jump start. I don’t advise this. It’s a terrible idea!

The people on a purchased list didn’t choose to opt in to your emails. You will just be spamming people and this could severely damage your email sender reputation. The email service provider could block your account.

It’s also illegal. There are laws to protect the collection of users’ personal data – the European Data Privacy Act, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the United States 2003 CAN-SPAM act to name a few.

People have to choose to provide their contact details before you can use them. It’s much better to learn how to grow an email list yourself.

How much do email lists cost? Mostly it costs time. You can start a list for free, there’s lots of tools available to get you started from an email service provider, to Google Docs and Canva for creating your lead magnet.

If you choose to outsource your email marketing there is a cost associated. Bringing in a skilled expert to build an email list with you can be a worthwhile investment. I offer a range of affordable services to get your email marketing started.


Top tip when you start to build an email list

đź’› Quality leads over quantity.

Getting the right people on your list should be the focus. You want potential dream clients, not just freebie hunters!

Remove inactive subscribers regularly. This will help keep costs down if your provider charges per subscriber. And it helps make your metrics more accurate so you can have a deeper understanding of your engaged subscribers.



For the skim readers amongst us, here’s the TLDR info you need on how to build and email list:

An email list is arguably a businesses best asset.

You own the list and can communicate with your already warm leads whenever you want, without an algorithm messing things up.

How to grow an email list:

  1. Set up an account with an email service provider
  2. Create a Lead Magnet
  3. Build a landing page for people to subscribe
  4. Send an email with access to the Lead Magnet
  5. Follow up with a Welcome Sequence Campaign
  6. Email subscribers weekly (ideally)

Don’t buy a list – it’s illegal and probably a waste of money.

Quality leads over quantity.

It’s important to remember you can’t build an email list overnight, it takes patience and a strategy to funnel your potential customers to sign up.

đź’› And remember – it’s never too late to start!

Plan 12 months of email marketing content

Plan 12 months of content

Do you struggle with what to write to your subscribers each week?

You dread writing emails and keep putting it off.

Consistency is key with email marketing – the more you write to your audience the more data you will have to work out what they actually want to receive from you. 

Download this free Trello board template to help you organise your content ideas and make the whole email marketing process easier.

Take control of your email marketing and feel confident that you won’t run out of email subjects ideas again! 

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