How to Build A Mailing List with 3 Easy Strategies

How to Build a Mailing List and Why?

Some might say that email marketing is a thing of the past, a dinosaur, outdated, old and unworthy of time, effort and money.  But the reality is, email marketing is a leader in internet marketing. Email marketing still provides some of the best ROI rates available. Here we will show you how to build a mailing list that can return results for your business.

1. Offer incentives to sign-up

For Example

A free downloadable book is great. It not only shows off the quality of your content, if it is good content customers are more likely to buy other premium content you provide. Using this method you can see a dramatic increase in your conversion rates.


Write up a book about a hot topic in your niche. Don't just throw something together, take your time, write out something that would be helpful to you if you were a customer. The key here is content (of course). Write something worth while and offer it for free. This will help label you as an industry leader, and that kind of title garners respect and loyal viewership. Offering free products and information for download is a great way to build a mailing list from scratch.

Service Templates / Automated Quote Systems

You might want to try creating a service template or automated quoting system of some sort for your niche. Every company needs some automation, and creating templates can garnish a lot of repeat traffic. Service companies can use this type of content to entice users into entering work details into online forms that are easily printable, enabling a potential client to get professional quotes/service templates of their work details. These types of forms also help you gain relevant, usable information into there business needs as well.


Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” marketing messages. – Epsilon Email Institute

Email Gated Content

If you have good content, and you can show your visitor your content is good you can set up a system within your website that is only accessible after signing up. This doesn't necessarily mean a visitor will have to pay to view the content, but they will have to submit their email address to view the content. You can use this method very effectively if you are viewed as an industry leader. Great content can also serve as a subscription service. So again, good content is key!

Facebook or Other Contests

Users tend to be more responsive when they feel they may get something in return for free. This is why using contests are a good incentive for visitors. Facebook has an easy platform to do this on.

2. Make your current content shareable

A big part of how to build a mailing list that is valuable is by retaining emails of potential customers. Adding emails should be done strategically. Adding items like buttons, and share buttons to your content is a good email marketing strategy. Users can share the information with like minded individuals that they know and trust themselves.  Here are some tips that can help you get your content shared.


"Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media, with a 17% higher value in the conversion."

"Email is nearly 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter at acquiring customers."

(McKinsey & Company)

Add a share link: Share links that are easily viewable, without scrolling, in your email, preferably in your header can entice your users to share your email. It's important to make it easy for your viewer to share your message, and remind them to do so. A lot of times people don't even think about sharing emails, so reminding them does help. In addition, you will want to make sure you have a subscribe button on every email you send out.

*Quick Tip: You can put this subscribe link in your email signature so that every email that goes out has this link included automatically.

That brings us to social media: Again, ask people to share your messages. Facebook and Twitter make sharing posts easily, and if you are posting good, quality posts that catch people's attention they will share it. If you are asking and people aren't sharing your really need to take a good, long look at your content. It's smart to refine your content periodically, people love to share knowledge, and it's your job to give them that knowledge.

Write headlines that grab your attention: I've written an entire article on this subject, that's how important this step is. (You can view the article from the above link.) Headlines are what captures a users attention. You can learn how to build a mailing list if you can't create eye catching content that provides a service to your visitors. A poor headline will get looked over time and time again. A poor heading could cost your thousands of dollars in lost revenues too! Take the time to learn about best practices for enticing readers to open your links. Take the time to research your market and competition and find what every seems to be working in your niche. Look up similar ads in Google and try to mimic them to some degree. To learn more about headline, check out the post linked above, it will really help you refine your headlines to capture users attention.

3. How to Build A Mailing List with an Online Webinar

People like live content from industry leaders on topics that are interesting and helpful to their own personal interests. So host a webinar, it doesn't have to be a huge process, start with a 30 minute presentation about your business, and outline some case studies or industry best practices. Provide information of interest to your niche and let viewers ask questions. It's a good idea to have these webinars recorded and uploaded to your website as a free download. Make sure to ask for an email address before viewing, of course! To learn more about planning your own webinar, check out this article from It details a lot of information on planning and refining your webinar, including tips, content ideas and marketing ideas. It's a bit long, but if you are interested in doing an online webinar, it's worth the read.

*Bonus Tip: Optimize for Mobile Viewing


About 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. – Campaign Monitor

More people are moving to mobile platforms, so you really need to make sure your content is mobile friendly. Checking to ensure your email sign-up forms are easily usable for mobile users is critical. Leave the long sign-up forms alone and go with easy sign-up forms, containing only fields for a Name and Email address.


I want to give you one big tip on what not to do when trying to obtain an effective email list and I will probably get some crap for it.

Do not buy an email list

This is probably the easiest method available, and there are tons of email list companies just hoping you want to go the easy route. This is not how to build a mailing list though. And while I say this route is easy, I will not say this is an effective route. The problem with paid email lists is that you are effectively cold-emailing a ton of people you have absolutely no information about. This actually could work well in location specific service companies, such as landscapers, heating/ac, plumbers, etc. But it really never did me any favors, and yes, I did test out this method in my earlier days.

The email list I purchased was of poor quality, and while cheap (I only paid $100 for 30,000 contacts), I found the contacts to be out of date. The companies did not reflect my target audience and I had a lot of bounce backs. Nonetheless, if you do want to try this method, research your target market thoroughly first. Refining your list criteria before you buy can greatly cut costs, as well as the time you spend refining your mailing list.

What I Found When I Purchased A Mailing List

I believe after mulling down the list I bought I ended up with a little under 1,000 loosely usable names. This may sound like a decent deal ($100 for 1,000 potentials), but it really did take a lot of work to pull these potential customers off this extremely large list. The other methods I outlined above can return much better results.

Now you know how to build a mailing list, or at least have a good idea of how to get an effective one started. With so much to gain from email marketing, their is no reason not start building your email list today. Should you need help figuring out which methods are best for your company, or planning out an email marketing strategy, call RG Web Solutions. We can help get you pointed in the right direction to increased sales and visibility for your company and brand.

About RG Web Solutions

RG Web Solutions is a Maryland Web Development company, specializing in web and how to build a mailing list. We offer start-up and ongoing website support and training for small to mid-sized companies. All questions related to web services, media inquires or business opportunities, please email us at Thank you!

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