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What is an email list? Definition, benefits and strategies

Email marketing is one of the most adopted techniques by businesses. Why? Well, there are numerous reasons for that!

The first one being the increase in email usage. As per Statista, the number of email users is increasing year by year. And, this number is expected to reach 4.6 billion by 2025.

Number of email users worldwide

Before you plan any email campaign, you need to first create an email list of your target audience that is more likely to convert into paying customers. So, to achieve that you need to first build an email list from scratch.

To help you gain insight into building an email list, we’ve crafted this article that’ll provide information on how to craft an effective and solid email list. Moreover, we will also explore some unique strategies to develop an email list!

What is an email list?

An email list contains email addresses and other crucial user data of your visitors, prospects, and existing customers. This email list is created by marketers to execute campaigns targeted at email subscribers to share the latest offers, news, upcoming events, etc.

Along with email addresses, the email list can include names, locations, services opted for, products purchased, gender, etc.

To get maximum benefits out of your email marketing strategy, you need to ensure that every person on the email list is genuine and interacts with your emails. It can be done by monitoring open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, and various other email marketing KPIs

What are the benefits of an email list?

Many of you might not be aware of the fact that a well-curated email list can do wonders for your business. And how does that happen? Well, keep on reading and you’ll find out how an email list can benefit your marketing strategy!

1. It allows direct connection

There are various marketing techniques like SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and more. But not every marketing approach can provide a direct connection with your email subscribers. You can no doubt gather the analytics for your campaigns, but detailed insights aren’t available. 

Now, email marketing allows you to know exactly who clicked on the link or opened your email. And your email list can help you in streamlining the data. With an email list, you can assure that your email reaches the right inbox. 

A good example of this is a personalized email where you address your email subscribers by their name. This practice makes the email more personal and directed at that single person. 

2. You can cater to a wider audience

Around 58% of people check their emails first thing in the morning. Moreover, 99% of email users check their inboxes every day. This data clearly reflects that you have a greater chance of reaching a wider audience by creating an extensive email list. 

Making an email list is not just about collecting emails. It’s about carefully showcasing your company values to your email subscribers before pitching any offer. An email list that is built organically through personalized campaigns will help you cater to a wider, potential audience. 

3. It is easily shareable

One of the main benefits of building an email list from scratch is that you can share it with your team as well if required.

For instance, if you want to assign your email marketing tasks and campaigns to a third-party company, you may have to pay them extra for making an email list. However, if you already have a well-maintained organic email list, you can save on that front and utilize the existing data.

4. Lower cost per lead 

Cost per lead is defined as the ratio of total marketing revenue and the total number of leads. 

Cost per lead = Total Marketing Revenue / Total Number of Leads 

Cost per lead

The main thing you need to focus on is that if you have built an email list from scratch, you can be certain that the subscribers will at least acknowledge your email. This means that your maximum investment in this strategy will prove to be fruitful and you’ll get higher responses. Thus, lower CPL.

On the other hand, if you are sending emails blindly without any potential email list, the probability of lead conversion will be less. Hence, it increases your CPL. 

5. You have full control over the list of email subscribers

If you are implementing SEO, you don’t have any control over the people who visit your website. Even in social media marketing, you don’t have any control over your followers as they actually don’t belong to you. But, in email marketing, you have your own list of email subscribers, including existing customers and new subscribers.

If you have built your own email list, you have complete control over them. You can add, remove, modify, implement email list hygiene, and do much more! 

6. Deliver highly-targeted emails 

An email list enables you to send emails to the right audience. For example, if you are sending emails to random users, you may not know what would trigger their thought process. But, if you have an email list, you can send them targeted emails based on the segmentation. 

With segmentation, you can divide the user based on various factors like age group, interests, location, etc. These aspects make it easy to send targeted emails. 

8 Proven ways to build a solid email list from scratch

Now that we know the benefits of building an email list, it’s time to look at how you can execute it. But, to get these benefits, you need to build one. So, the question here is, how to build an email list for marketing? 

Let’s find out! 

1. Using web forms

If you have noticed, some of the websites ask you to fill out a form if you want to read their content. That is called an opt-in form, to collect email addresses using web forms. Web forms are one of the most effective ways for bringing in new subscribers and increasing the email list.

The best way to create opt in forms is to design a form with limited yet useful information. Users don’t like to put much effort into typing their queries. You can add checkboxes, dropdowns, tags to reduce typing so your website visitors can subscribe for your newsletters.

To nurture them further, you can send them a thank you email once they have filled out the opt-in form.

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2. Use lead magnets 

What would you do if you got a 50% discount on a product in exchange for your email? You would probably share your email address, right? This is the core concept of a lead magnet. 

As per Content Marketing Institute, webinar lead magnets and eBook lead magnets stand second in the most performing ways of getting leads. 

If we go by the general definition of lead magnets, they are incentives that users are offered in return for sharing their email addresses. These incentives can be eBooks, webinar accesses, free tools, free subscriptions, discounts, referral programs, and more. Here is an example of a lead magnet made by Bidsketch!

Using lead magnets in email lists

3. Offer rewards 

Rewards are the best way to capture leads for your business. The ideal way to do this is by offering users some free products or discounted products in exchange for their email. Such rewards can be highlighted on your product landing pages so you can directly collect the visitor’s email address.

The example below shows how just by completing the profile, the visitor can gain 100 points rewards! This encourages website visitors to come back to your website to make a purchase or subscribe to your offer.

Likewise, you get the contact details of genuine prospects. This practice can help you in improving the overall performance of your email marketing campaigns.

Offering rewards to your email lists

4. Create a Call to Action for your landing page and blog post

When you’re creating a landing page or blog post, be sure to include a call to action (CTA) that encourages visitors to subscribe to your email list. This is a great way to build your email list quickly and easily.

There are several ways to create a CTA for your website or blog. You can personalize your CTAs with a visitor’s name, for example, or create a CTA that stands out by using a different color or font using a font generator.

That will help you get more website visitors to fill out the sign-up form. In addition to adding a CTA to your website or blog, you can also add one to your email signature. This is a great way to promote your email list and encourage people to subscribe.

5. Leverage social media channels

As almost everyone is on social media today, that can be leveraged into collecting emails from more prospects and adding them to your email list. You can use social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram in the following ways: 

  • Organize a group chat on your social media based on a topic to target those who are interested. 
  • Run an optimized ad and encourage the users to click on your CTA and fill out the sign up form.
  • Promote your gated content. Attract users to your blog post and seek an email ID before showing the gated content.
  • Organize a webinar and ask for an email to join for free. 
  • Make lead-generating Instagram stories.

6. Use live chat journeys to collect leads

Live chat software can take your business way ahead. How? Through live chat, you can create live chat journeys like product support, product pricing, etc. 

chat journeys

It works like this – If a visitor lands on your product landing page, you can create a chat journey that provides them with two options. One would be to book a demo if they require more product knowledge.

And the second would be if they want to know about custom pricing, they’ll need to share an email. In both ways, you are able to connect with the prospect. 

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7. Create a pop-up on your landing pages

A pop-up is a great way to quickly and easily collect email addresses from visitors. When a visitor arrives on your landing page, your pop-up will appear and ask the visitor to enter their email address.

These days, marketers have leveled up their campaigns, even when it comes to creating a pop-up. Some websites have even personalized the pop-up based on different landing pages.

So, if you want to reduce the bounce rate of your website pages, then you need to get creative and add pop-up on your landing pages that capture your reader’s interest.

8. Create bonus content (free course, whitepaper, etc.)

To get users to give their emails, you can offer them bonus high-quality content like a free course, whitepaper, or membership. This helps you go the extra mile (apart from creating blog post) and add value in terms of providing informational content. Here is an example of a whitepaper offering!

Pop ups on landing page

Once you start attracting more visitors using such bonus content, you can add them to your email list and segment them based on their preferences. This will help you create targeted marketing campaigns in the future.


At last, building an email list is a process that takes time and patience. Hence, you need to take it slow to make it more effective in the long run.

Make sure that you research your business well and in time. Moreover, keep all the mentioned benefits, strategies, and techniques in mind. Email can be as effective as you can make it. 

Jainy Patel

Being an ardent reader and content editor, Jainy draws inspiration from every situation and story. She spends her time developing creative content to invoke the reader's interest. An ambivert with an interest in art, when she's not writing, you'll find her reading or occupied in a creative project.

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