How to build a strong email list for free from scratch

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Email marketing in 2023 is one of the most effective ways to reach and engage with your audience. But before you can start sending emails, you need to build an email list. In today’s business world, email marketing has become a crucial part of a business’s success. For every dollar you put into email marketing, you will get an average of $36 return. So is that worth it for you?

7 Steps to Follow

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Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on

Before you can send out a proper email to your traffic, you need to get through these seven steps or else the email list wouldn’t be useful at all.

Define your target audience

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The first step in building an email list is to define your target audience. This means understanding who your ideal customer is and what they are interested in.

Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can create content that resonates with them and encourages them to sign up for your email list.

You can determine what they are interested in by putting a Google form to know what people are subscribed to your email list for.

Choose an email marketing platform

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There are many email marketing platforms to choose from, each with its own set of features and pricing.

Some popular options include Mailerlite, Moosend, and GetResponse.

You may also choose free tools such as Mailchimp or Woocommerce which they can also easily allow you to export contacts to build your email list elsewhere.

Choose a platform that fits your needs and budget and allows you to easily create and send emails.

Create a lead magnet

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A lead magnet is a free resource that you offer to your audience in exchange for their email address.

This could be an e-book, a checklist, a webinar, or anything else that provides value to your audience.

Your lead magnet should be relevant to your target audience and solve a problem or meet a need they have.

Design a landing page

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A landing page is a dedicated page on your website that is designed to convert visitors into subscribers.

Your landing page should be simple, visually appealing, and include a clear call-to-action that encourages visitors to sign up for your email list. Use an email opt-in form that collects the name and email of your subscribers.

Drive traffic to your landing page

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Once you have a landing page, you need to drive traffic to it.

You can do this through social media, paid advertising, guest blogging, and other marketing channels. Make sure to promote your lead magnet and highlight the benefits of joining your email list.

Nurture your subscribers

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Once you start collecting email addresses, it’s essential to nurture your subscribers.

This means sending them regular emails that provide value, such as exclusive content, special offers, and helpful tips. Use segmentation to personalize your emails based on your subscribers’ interests and behavior.

Track your results

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Finally, it’s crucial to learn how to track your email marketing results. This includes open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

Use this data to optimize your email campaigns and improve your overall email marketing strategy.

Where to learn from to build an email list

There is a ton of information you can take directly from the Internet to learn about email marketing. However, here are the ones I’ve tried and tested which prove to have great results.

Online courses/ Videos

There are many online courses that can teach you the basics of email marketing, such as Hubspot Email Marketing Certification, Udemy Email Marketing Mastery, and Coursera Email Marketing. These platforms have many experts who are willing to share their trait secrets and maybe share their email list with you. The power of using courses to help you build an email list is how precise the information given to you is.

You can also choose to watch videos on Youtube. There are a ton of email specialist out there as well but do note that the information they provide are mostly vague and doesn’t give you detailed answers to your questions. Here’s a great video on building an email list.

Blogs and websites

Many marketing blogs and websites, such as Hubspot, AWeber, Mailchimp, and HustleVenture provide free resources and guides on email marketing best practices. These websites have email specialists with over 10 years of experience crafting high-click-through emails. Do click on the link to learn more about email marketing.


There are also many books that cover email marketing strategies and tactics, such as “Email Marketing Rules” by Chad White, “Email Persuasion” by Ian Brodie, and “The Email Revolution” by Dylan Jones. If you are looking for in-depth information with over 150 of the best practices when it comes to email marketing. You need to get the book below!


Finally, the best way to learn email marketing is to practice it. Trust me, your first 10 emails will have little to no check-through rate at all. But as you go along and practice. You will learn to master creating email campaigns, test different strategies, and analyze your results to continually improve your skills and knowledge.


How often should I send emails to my subscribers?

It’s generally recommended to send at least one email per week to keep your subscribers engaged.

How do I make sure my emails don’t end up in the spam folder?

To avoid spam filters, make sure your emails have relevant and valuable content. Use a recognizable sender name and email address, and avoid using spam trigger words in your subject line.

Can I buy an email list instead of building one from scratch?

Buying an email list is not recommended as it can damage your reputation and result in low engagement and high unsubscribe rates.

How can I grow my email list faster?

You can grow your email list faster by offering multiple lead magnets, using pop-ups and other opt-in forms, and leveraging social media and other marketing channels.

Should I segment my email list?

Yes, segmentation allows you to personalize your emails and provide targeted content to specific groups of subscribers. This can lead to higher engagement and conversions.

What is a good open rate for email marketing?

The average open rate for email marketing varies by industry, but a good benchmark is around 20%. However, the most important factor is not the open rate but the engagement and conversions that result from your email campaigns.

How can I reduce the number of unsubscribes from my email list?

To reduce the number of unsubscribes, make sure you are providing valuable content that is relevant to your subscribers’ interests. Also, avoid sending too many emails or emails that are overly promotional.

Is it legal to send emails to people without their permission?

No, it’s not legal to send emails to people without their permission. This is considered spam and can result in legal penalties and damage to your reputation.

Can I use emojis in my email subject lines?

Yes, you can use emojis in your email subject lines to add personality and visual interest.


Building a strong email list is an essential part of any effective email marketing strategy. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a high-quality email list that engages and converts your audience.

Remember to define your target audience, choose an email marketing platform, create a lead magnet, design a landing page, drive traffic to your landing page, nurture your subscribers, and track your results. With persistence and dedication, you can build an email list that helps you achieve your business goals.

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