Why And How To Build An Email List

In the realm of online business, it has been projected, according to the DMA, that for every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect an average rate of return of approximately $42. When comparing the return on investment of other channels like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising at a rate of $2 for every $1 spent, the higher ROI of email marketing makes it an imperative channel.

Why You Need An Email List

No matter the size of a business, email list prospects can provide critical insights in shaping the success of any marketing campaign. Easy to track metrics like conversion rate, email open rate, and click-through rate relay useful data to markets to cover what they are getting right and what needs to be altered.

For instance, the evaluation of open-to-click or click-through rates allows marketers to ascertain whether an audience is interested in the content being produced. A/B testing subject lines including “Free Shipping” or “20% off” offer greater insight into the type of proposition that resonates best with customers.

How To Build An Email List

Although a comprehensive list cannot be generated overnight, there are effective and equally fast ways to grow a list that go beyond simple sign-up forms. Many of the popular methods include but are not limited to:

  • Content upgrades
  • Exit popups
  • Gated content
  • Squeeze pages
  • Referral programs
  • Deals and discounts
  • Exclusive notifications
  • Social media

For most businesses, websites are where the building of lists begins–from embedded opt-in forms to dynamic overlays and popups or specific capture pages for leads.

Yieldify created thousands of campaigns via email to capture big and small clients using a layered approach that saw a 40% increase in revenue.

Healthy Chef took things a step further by adding a slide-in lead capture bar on all checkout pages. As a result, visitors that didn’t engage with prior opt-in forms were presented with an additional prompt at the checkout stage that offered a last chance to receive a 10% discount in exchange for a client’s email address.

1. Embedded Signup Forms

These represent the most traditional strategies to attain an email subscriber. Static embedded forms should be included on high traffic pages in visible areas like headers, sidebars, footers, and splash pages.Β 

The benefit of these is that they are non-intrusive and instead serve as a gentle reminder to visitors that they have the option to sign up. This is why they are best used in tandem with a more dynamic and proactive list-building strategy.

2. Deploy overlays and popups

Studies have proven that, on average, this form of marketing has a successful conversion rate of 3.9%, with the top 10% able to acquire just over 9.7% of customers. Although these may come across as mouthwatering stats, businesses should be careful with their implementation and consider the interstitial guidelines of Google.

These lay out the proper use of popups from the viewpoint of search engines, with the main points reminding advertisers to not show popups that cover the main content either straight after users hit the page from search or while they are scrolling through a given page. Furthermore, businesses should never use page layouts where the above-the-fold section appears identical to an interstitial and inlines original content underneath.

3. Gamification

List building such that interactive elements of games encourage engagement with a lead capture form. Many examples include quizzes, surveys, spin-to-win, scratchcards.

Oftentimes, exclusive prizes like 10-50% discounts or various other freebies can be claimed by shoppers by entering their email addresses. The value lies in the ability to appeal to the psychology of consumers. They are motivated by the more easily attainable prizes, and this enthralls visitors who believe they are getting value at no cost to them. Consequently, they eagerly sign up to take advantage.Β 

In a similar fashion, contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways can be used as a form of gamification in a list-building strategy. A lot of brands like to participate in joint promotions to create a higher value prize and engender more people to subscribe to their database. In fact, 33% of participants are subsequently open to receiving further communication about partners and brands.

4. Squeeze Pages

These are lead capture landing pages designed to squeeze as much information out of visitors as possible by restricting access to offers or desired content by placing it behind a gate. Despite the fact that customers are used to this tactic, and the pages have high exit rates, they’re still useful because they capture the information of visitors, so as long as their rate of conversion is high, you will not have to worry about much else.

5. Sign Up For Notifications

One particular strategy that has proven to work consistently well includes the use of notifications. Depending on the kind of notification, they can be featured as landing page overlays, be statically embedded into pages, or be placed in page headers and sliders.Β 

Pre-sale notifications are convenient psychological marketing tactics that handle exclusivity, urgency, and scarcity. They are reminders to busy customers that may not have time to refresh and browse a store in anticipation of sales. For the purpose of convenience, shoppers will be more than willing to hand over information to not miss out on bargain deals.

Back-in-stock notifications help customers that are ready to purchase but fail to convert due to the availability of a product. Not only is this a powerful strategy to build a loyal following via email lists, but it offers a slew of useful information for product managers due to the monitoring and identification of demand levels across products.

6. Content Upgrades

Also known as lead magnets, these are gated pieces of content that businesses can offer in exchange for an email address. This means anything from exclusive access to actual gated pieces of content like catalogs and guides.

7. Include An Opt-In Field At Checkout

Many different online shoppers have come to expect their checkout pages to acquire personal information, as they feel more secure in receiving an email confirmation of their order by email or text, and the business is easily able to provide updates on the process of an order.


Despite the waves of changes that have shifted the trajectory of internet marketing, building an email list continues to prove itself as one of the most effective and popular marketing strategies. The ability to engage with customers on a personal level is why email marketing is still considered unrivaled. The personalisation and curation of lists are guaranteed to drive repeat buyers to your online store.

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