Killer Email List Building Strategies (That Work Fast)

66% of your customer purchases are a fruit of efficient email marketing.

Email Client Market Share

However, to make email marketing into a successful strategy, you first need to develop a customer base. Email marketing is way more effective than promoting on social media sites.

It ensures that your recipients are aware of your latest discounts and promotions, instead of leaving it to them chancing across it.

Sending emails instead of posting on social media allows you more control over the time, content and manner of your promotions. You can send multiple emails with the same promotion to a customer if you feel it necessary.

Of course, all your recipients might not offer a positive response. You might not even have a 100% click-through rate. However, it is precisely for this reason that you need to send emails to as many customers as you can reach out to.

There are several ways in which you can ask people for their email IDs. However, there is one tip that you have to follow. Do not abuse the concept of email marketing.

For example, even for customers who have subscribed, you can probably send them the same email twice or thrice. This is to be on the safe side in case they didn’t have the opportunity to open the first one.

However, if the customer doesn’t respond, you can safely assume that they are not interested and let them be.

This will also allow you to segregate between those you can keep on your list and those whom you have to discard. After all, there is no point in spending your resources, sending emails to customers who are unlikely to buy from you ever.

In that case, you can trim them from your list after asking them if they want to remain subscribed one final time.

However, even if a customer doesn’t respond every time, they will probably be interested in one or two promotions in-between. Just make sure that you send them the promotions that are relevant to their interests.

However, first, let us see how to build up your email list. Here are a few tips that you can make use of:

  • Sign-Up Forms:

 This is probably the most common way to inquire about the email IDs of your visiting customers. You must have come across them yourself while browsing through a new site, right?

newsletter signup popup

You can take the help of some online tool that is meant to boost your email list for this.

For example, you can use the Constant Contact Forms plug-in with WordPress, if you want to add a plug into your site.

The plugin will coincide with the theme that you choose for your WordPress website, making it appear more natural and aesthetic rather than being a forced later addition.

It is also important to remember that whatever plug-in tool you use, it has to be mobile-friendly. Constant Contact Form is completely mobile-optimized and it won’t matter if a potential subscriber is visiting from their phone or computer.

Constant Contact Forms plug-in with WordPress

You will have more opportunities for acquiring emails if customers can subscribe through their mobile phones as well.

Or you can use a Simple Signup Form. You can customize the design the form to your requirements with this. You can also set it to auto-open when the visitor is at the bottom of your page. There are several such tools that you can use to build up your sign-up form.

  • Call them up:

Maybe you have succeeded in acquiring the phone number of a client instead of their email address. You can, of course, call them up to put forward your first promotion.

However, it won’t be lucrative if you have to do so for every promotion from there on.

If the customer appears to be interested, you can end the conversation by asking about their email IDs.

request callback pop up

  • Paper-Signup

 Even in the age of emails, we can begin with the simplest of strategies. Or at least we can keep them as an option.

If your website is not the only place where your customers can access your products and you do have an offline shop or establishment, you can encourage them to subscribe with the help of paper signup forms.

paper signup

You can easily hand them a form after you have finished billing their purchases or while you are at it. If there are any particular details that you want to inform your customers about before they signup, do add them in the sheet.

  • Begin with your personal email list:

 If you have just developed a new website for the first time, it might be a bit difficult to launch any of these strategies at first. You can keep it simple and send the first promotions to your family and friends.

Of course, you have to broaden your horizon eventually and move on to customer contacts. But your friends are sure to provide you with some much-needed support and spread the word around even if they are not interested in the promotions themselves.

  • Put it on your social media pages:

 You can use social media sites like Facebook to collect more emails for your list as well. Some of the signup tools will allow you to post a Join My Email List link on your page.

As it is easier to have more contacts on Facebook than in your contact list, you can give your pursuit a lot more exposure this way.

Moreover, customers who have voluntarily liked your page are more likely to subscribe to your emails and actually be interested in the promotions and products you have to offer.

facebook email list signup

  • Use a Contest:

 You must be used to running contests on social media sites as well. You can collect the email IDs when your customers sign up for the contest. Or you can choose the email of the winner to send a special promotion to.

instagram contests

  • Events:

If you hold regular events to promote your brand, that is a neat way to collect emails IDs for your list.

At the end of the event, you can ask your customers to sign up if they want to be informed of future events.

If they have attended once, they might be interested in future ones as well.

event signup

On the same note, you can use this strategy at industry tradeoffs as well.

You can even make email IDs a necessity for signing up for the guest list in the first place if you do not want to ask them later on.

You could use this to conduct a survey regarding the success of the event. Or you could always ask for some feedback from your customers so that you can apply them to future events.

Or you could use a lucky draw contest at the end of the event and put in a field for email IDs on the contest slip. That will allow you to collect a lot of emails for your list than paper sign-up or any face to face interaction.

  • Use the Wi-Fi:

 If you offer a free Wi-Fi connection at your store, you can request an email ID when the users log in. This is also an easy way to get hold of their phone numbers if you want to call up your customers.

use the free wi-fi

  • Online Payment:

When your customers are making their first purchases from your website, ask for their email IDs.

However, it is not a good idea to abuse this privilege either. So you can ask them whether they are willing to receive further communication about similar products in the future before you add these emails to your list.


  • Use your Youtube Channel:

If you have a Youtube Channel and receive a lot of viewers, you can ask them to sign up for your email list along with subscribing to your channel.

However, you have to add in the signup link on your Channel so that people are not inconvenienced while searching for it.

They most probably won’t look up your website separately even if they want to subscribe.

Youtube pop up

  • Send Emails to Ask them to Signup:

If you are looking for exclusive subscribers and not just potential customers, you might already have their emails.

In that case, you can send them an email offering them a subscription.

Add in the link to the signup here as well so that the customer can easily access the form.

  • Add a Feedback Form to their Purchases:

After your customers have finished with their purchases at your store, you can hand them a feedback form to fill up.

You can add in a field for their email IDs here.

To be safe, add in a box asking them whether they want to be contacted regarding promotional offers.

feedback form

  • Seminars and Training:

If you host any seminars or training, you can ask your customers to sign up by adding their email IDs.

You can post the information on your website along with social media.

If it is a training session, your subscribers might be interested in further information regarding the subject from your end.

Seminars and Training email pop up


Things you want to do While Building Your Email List

Email marketing is a strategy for developing a better relationship with your customers.

It is not merely an opportunity for sending out more promotions to more people.

While that is definitely included as well, it has to be carefully mingled with other emails concerned with birthday and anniversary greetings, with ‘Ask Review’ email, and other approaches.

All these help to ensure your customer that you care about them and their opinions and not just the products they are purchasing.

It helps to build up a level of trust which would further work to boost your business in the future.

Therefore, there are certain things that you cannot do when you begin sending emails to the contacts from your newly acquired email list.

This will ensure that the subscribers would want to remain subscribed instead of just getting annoyed and eventually unsubscribing.

For example, if you are too formal and too focused on selling your products, your customers will get annoyed. Further, if they have contacted you about any grievances on their end and you didn’t respond to it, it establishes the notion that you are only concerned till you have sold the product.

You recipients receive subscription offers from hundreds of websites and brands in the course of a day. Your website should stand out in a way that makes you their go-to option for their purchases.

They also have to be able to trust you blindly and feel comfortable communicating with you. Here are a few ways you can ensure that your website is customer-friendly:

  • Welcome Them:

For each new email on your email list, make sure to start off with a nice welcome email.

You can automate this email as you add the contacts to your list in the first place. After this, you can work on segmenting the emails according to their specific interests and profiles.

welcome email

  • Keep the tone friendly:

There is no need to sound too posh while communicating with your customers.

A friendly tone helps them to feel comfortable enough to respond to you if they require to.

You can use their first name and start off with a simple greeting.

Most of your customers might not be able to understand if you make the language too complicated and that would just drive them away.

It is better to use an easy tone in your promotional emails. You can even choose to use the language of the specific country of the customer.

Keep the tone friendly

  • Introduce them to What They are Signing up for:

In your sign-upform, you can mention the benefits they would get out of subscribing to the list.

This would ensure that the customer knows what they are signing up for instead of just subscribing accidentally.

However, if there is not enough of an opportunity to do so, you can immediately send them an email with the details asking them whether they agree with it. If so, you can then confirm their subscription. If there are any newsletters involved, send them a sample as well. However, in this email, skip any promotions or offers. Once they have confirmed the subscription, you can go ahead with it.

mention the benefits they would get out of subscribing to the list

  • Be Fast:

 This won’t be an issue if you are using signup plug-ins or pop-ups. However, in case you are using paper signups or lucky draw offers, make sure that you do not wait too long. Send them an email within the week if you can.

You can just stick to a welcome email instead of any promotions. However, if you wait too long, you may lose the interest of a few customers who might have been looking forward to receiving the first emails.

  • Add a Promotion to your Welcome Email:

 There is no need to wait to send out your first promotions. You can immediately send them a link to a discount or an offer with the very first email. This will help to develop the interest of the customers and let them know the kind of offers they can expect at once.

For this, you can develop a new special offer, if you are working with a new email list. You can try out a new campaign on them as well. This will help you to segment the emails to them later on.

welcome email with promotion

Things to Expect after you Have Built up Your Email List

Once you have sent out the first emails, you need to cater to the customer requirements. There will be no time to test this out once you have sent out the first emails. Therefore, you have to develop a strategy beforehand.

This way, you can explain a little about what they can expect before your customers sign up. It gives you a sense of confidence if you already have a plan in hand. That will assure the people more and more of them will be willing to sign up for your list.

  • Why do People Subscribe

First, consider what do what want from you as they subscribe to your website.

Most of them want to be kept aware of any promotions or discounts that you have to offer in the future.

If you have a newsletter subscription or send out high-content emails, they might also want to have access to the exclusive information.

In that case, make sure that your content is accurate so that people can trust you when you launch your products based on these later on.

There are a few customers who might also sign up just to show their support. They could be your family or your friends. Or they could also be customers who support your cause in case you are promoting one.

Drip email subscriber study

Source: drip

  • Meet their Demands:

Once you have figured out the needs of the customers, you can work to meet their requirements.

For the people who have signed up to be kept aware of the promotions and offers, make sure to figure out their interests first.

You can ask them to fill in about what kind of products they are interested in, in the signup form.

After that, you can easily send them promotions according to their preference.

When you develop your newsletters, the industry news or the information you put should be more or less exclusive. You can add some details about your products or about how to use them. If there are any warnings and tips, you can add that as well.

This will provide your customer with an incentive to be interested in the content you offer.

It would, to an extent, also ensure that the information you provide is limited to your subscribers. That will encourage more people to subscribe in the future.

For the people who have signed up just to support you, make sure to reward their loyalty.

You can host events for your cause that they can attend if they are supporting you because of one. Or you can offer them some special discounts as well.

  • Make the Process Easy

Signing up should require your potential customers to make a lot of effort.

If that is so, most of them will give up in between and you will lose a lot of subscribers as well.

Whether it is a paper sign up or an online one, make the process simple. It should be completed in no more than two or three steps at the most.

sign up with facebook

  • Develop a Script

When you approach your customers on phone or in an event or even at your shop, there is a certain way to ask them for your email address.

Do not engage them in the conversation for too long.

Get to the point. Ask them whether they want to subscribe and then ask them for their email address.

Once you have built up your list, you have to provide them with as much contact details as you can. You can add in your email signature to your emails, to begin with. This is an easy way to put across your willingness to communicate without composing half of the email about it.

After you have your list, you can then segment your emails and send them accordingly

Sum up

While sending a general promotional offer to all the emails at first is okay, it won’t do good for too long.

People will want offers and contents on subjects they are particularly interested in.

If you fail to segment them properly, your customers will just get annoyed and fail to respond at all.

You can judge this through their site behavior, their cart contents and wishlist content.

You can also segment according to the regions and the season.

For example, you can send some Christmas based promotions, irrespective of personal interests to all the emails on your list.

You can even try to generate the interest of a customer in a new kind of product if it is on discount. This is a great way to add more buyers. However, if they do not respond, let it be.

For building your email list, do not stick to just one method. Use a few of them at once so that you can build up a substantial customer base just through email marketing.

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