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How To Build An Email List From Scratch: Beginner’s Guide

build a massive email list

Email marketing remains one of the most powerful ways of lead generation and conversions. Having an email list on your blog is, needless to say, going to be highly useful. 


There are never-ending advantages of an Email List which will help you find the list of all those audiences who are ready to be your loyal customers.


However, with the prevalence of various marketing and advertising platforms, some people have doubts. Building a powerful email list is possible, even if you are starting from level zero. Here are several methods for growing an email list from scratch.


Better, these methods are designed to cultivate a loyal email subscriber base, so you’ll use your emails to attract better long-term customers. In this post, we are visiting to learn how to create an email list and the dos and don’ts.


While comprehensive email lists can’t be generated overnight, there are equally fast and reliable ways to grow email lists that transcend traditional methods. Below are the steps in building an email list:-

  • Use embedded signup forms

  • Exit intent pop-ups

  • Squeeze pages

  • Loyalty and referral programs

  • Social media


Embedded forms are the traditional way of attaining email subscribers. Embedded forms should be visible where they can generate high traffic, like headers, footers, sidebars, and splash pages. 

The advantage of embedded forms is that they’re non-intrusive. They serve as a humble reminder for the visitors who can sign up and nothing more. 

That’s why they’re best used, along with the dynamic list of building strategies we’ll discuss below.


Studies have shown that, on average, pop-ups have a conversion rate of 11.09%, with the highest 10% converting at around 42%.

While these statistics are surprisingly huge on their own, you would like to be careful with your use of pop-ups and consider Google’s ad guidelines. 

If you don’t, you risk a browsing penalty. The rules below outline the ‘correct’ use of pop-ups from Google’s viewpoint. The main points are:

  • Only show a pop-up that mostly covers all the content straight after a user clicks the page from search or while moving down the page.

  • Only display a stand-alone interstitial that the user must close before accessing content.

  • Don’t use a page layout where a the-fold section of the page appears almost like a stand-alone interstitial, but the first content has been inclined underneath the fold.

However, Google stated that the penalty wouldn’t impact these interstitials when used correctly. Some samples of correct usage are below:

  • Interstitials that require appearing due to a legal obligation. For instance, cookie usage or for age verification.

  • Log-in requirement on sites where content isn’t publicly indexable. For instance, paywalled content.

  • Banners that are deemed to use an inexpensive amount of screen space and easily be removed.

Now that you know what NOT to do when creating or adding pop-ups on your website, let’s check some of the most commonly used pop-ups and overlays used by businesses to grow their email lists substantially.

  • Welcome pop-ups

  • Promotional pop-ups

  • Timed pop-up forms

  • WELCOME POP-UPS: Welcome pop-ups are meant to appear to the visitors on site mostly within the first 25 seconds of them settling on the page. 

A robust call-to-action is important for a welcome pop-up so it doesn’t get removed as disruptive. Best practices include offering a reduction, or a sales notification, for the visitor’s email address. 

The welcome pop-up should be kept as simple as possible to reduce this. Most feature one field asking to enter an email address. Complicated forms with different fields and soft copies are less likely to be converted.

If you’re doing this on the home view page – a page where visitors are meant to stay longer your welcome pop-up should be as quick as possible.

However, if your new visitor lands straight on a product page meant to last longer, you’ll set the welcome pop-up to appear after 10 seconds or once they’ve scrolled 20% of the page.

  • PROMOTIONAL POP-UP: Promotional pop-ups can appear throughout the customer journey and use exclusive discounts and offers. 

Unlike welcome pop-ups that appear once you first enter the site, or exit intent pop-ups that show up as soon as you are about to leave, promotional pop-up shows as you’re actively browsing. 

To make a high-conversion promotional pop-up must achieve relevancy.

Start by understanding what stage of the buyer’s journey your customer is still in, then match your promotion to nudge them further; beat all; advertising pop-ups frequently exploit feelings: 

People are more vulnerable when they exchange their data to receive something unique.

  • TIMED POP-UP FORM: Timed pop-ups are great for generating leads because you only show them to people who have been on your site or page for a long time.

 If they bounce less than 5 seconds, then it’s likely that this visitor is not curious about what you are offering and would never become an email list member. 

It will again be important to reference Google Analytics so you can figure out who are the most engaged users within your main audience; to show this type of signup form is a wonderful method to accommodate those who won’t want to sign up because you get to know your engaged users.

Now returning to the steps in building an email list.


A squeeze page might be a term you have yet to hear before.

But the meaning is exposed within the name itself; a squeeze page is a dedicated lead landing page designed to “squeeze” information out of a visitor by restricting access to some by hiding the information or offer behind the so-called “gateway’, i.e. a lead capture form. 

Squeeze pages will include high exit rates, and that’s fine. Their main purpose is to get visitors’ information, so you don’t need to worry about much else as long as your conversion is high.

However, if you want to allow visitors to browse other pages, you’ll also include a link to the page or product category pages.


Strategized loyalty and referral programs can also assist you when growing your email list from scratch.

Programs that provide rewards can encourage brand-new visitors and nudge existing visitors to upgrade, generating more lifetime value.


Loyalty programs are an excellent way to build your email list and drive repeat purchases. Consistent with Technology Advice, people are more inclined to buy from stores that offer loyalty or rewards programs.

However, new data from CFI Group and Radial suggests that 38% of consumers choose not to join loyalty programs due to their lack of value. 

To form the most of your loyalty program and utilize it as an effective list-building tactic, ensure you make it easy to enlist and also offer some not-worthy benefits like access to subscribers-only sales, gifts, events, content, and more. 

Also, ensure to personalize the experience once the person has subscribed.


When you have established a loyal customer base, the subsequent step is to enable the power of the word of mouth marketing. Give your loyalists and members more benefits by encouraging them to refer their friends to your product or service.

After all, data shows that folks are more inclined to trust recommendations from their friends and family than brand communications. 

Referral programs work by rewarding those who successfully refer new people to your business. Usually, you’ll need to offer an incentive for both the referral and the referee.

This will go like this: Give $5, get $10, or Get $25 when you refer a friend who spends $75 or more, etc. The reward will only be issued once the referee submits their referral details or makes a sale.

Another way to make your referral campaign better is to allow users to invite friends and family with a similar interest to pre-sale events. In this manner, you don’t have to discount initially, but you can contact those referred.


This is a budget-friendly approach to attract traffic to your website and get more email subscribers. Social media strategies for generating email subscribers include:

  • Embedded signup buttons on social accounts:  The simplest, no-cost effective to advertise your company newsletter to approved social media users is to add a call-to-action to your media profiles. 

Facebook and Instagram allow you to do it by uploading a “Sign Up” button on your profile, but you can also share posts that invite people to join your email subscriber list.

  • Giveaways and contests: Social media platforms make businesses more reachable, particularly interactive. Instagram stories and reels include polls, quizzes, and Q&A features which will generate user engagement. 

By promoting a contest, giveaway, or maybe a limited-time special event, traffic is often driven to a drop site where subscribers can register to take part.

  • Lead forms via Facebook Ads: Facebook allows businesses to run ads, which means that an individual I can subscribe to without leaving the platform if I convert. Lead-form ads are known to boost quite high conversion rates.


 Into 2022, email list building continues to return the most popular and effective marketing strategies. Engaging on a personal level with subscribers is where email marketing is unrivalled. 

Curated and highly personalized email lists are bound to drive repeat business for your page. Remember to select carefully and review the landing page to capture email addresses and the method you use to build your email list. A test-and-learn approach works well, so feel free to modify things.

If you’re looking for a list-building tool to help you get more subscribers, make sure you carefully consider these options before settling on a provider.

The strategies we highlighted above provide you with an excellent guide on how to start building your email list effectively and also provide you with another way to reach your audience and generate leads.

Keep winning, cheers.

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