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How to Build Your Email List

by Justine Pantaleo
Read Time: 7 minutes
Building High-Quality Email Lists

Reaching a new audience is one of the biggest challenges when starting a small business, especially when you need to go beyond friends and family. Now, you may ask, “How do I get email addresses?” That is a common question we get from customers. You can create great content, but if you don’t have an email list to share it with, it won’t be effective. We broke down some strategies for you to build your email list and grow your audience.

When you are building your email list for email marketing; try different techniques to gather them and see what works. No matter if you are marketing to 70-year old, they still read newspapers every day, but check their emails as well; ask grandma🤣. Emails have become a consistent way of communication for people thirteen and up. We are giving you 10 proven and easy ways to build your email list.  


How do I build an email list for free?

As Marketers, you need to find captivating ways to collect email addresses. People need to be enticed to offer up an email address. Unfortunately, it is tough to stop them once they reach for that exit button.


1. Gated content

Gated content is online materials, such as white papers, articles, and videos that require that users fill out a form before they can access them. Securing content and only giving access by providing an email address is the easiest way to gather email addresses from visitors on your website. Give them access but ask for an email address in exchange. There’s no harm in doing it, and I promise it will be huge for your email list.

There are many different types of gated contents and the fields within your form matter. For building an email list, you will want to ask for the user’s name and email address in your form. There are other forms where it can go into more detail about who you are, reasoning on accessing the content, etc. Just remember, not everything needs to be gated, only put your most valuable pieces behind a form. For instance, blogs don’t need to be gated.

Don’t forget to promote your gated content on social. You will generate more leads and start creating a larger email list.


2. Host webinars

Webinars are the ultimate way to convert your audience into customers. A webinar allows you to reach a captive audience that is interested in learning for an extended period of time. It’s all about giving them a valuable offer that entices them to sign up.

Sharing knowledge and information you have gathered is one way to build an email list. To begin, email your contacts and share on social that you are hosting a webinar. Then encourage them to forward it along to friends. Have a sign-up landing page on your website that will gather email addresses as part of registration. Encourage registrants to pass the webinar invite down the vine and collect more email addresses. 

Steer your marketing strategy in the right direction.
Our Ultimate Guide for Small Business Marketing will lead the way.

3. Answer Quora questions

Quora is a question and answer site where anyone can ask a question and get answers. It is a source for all questions that need answers (besides google). 

People from the community answer questions for you and provide you with answers and information. You can look at questions related to your field and respond or comment your link for an opt-in landing page or contact information. Quora helps you generate leads through digital communication. 


4. Email finder

My favorite list building strategy! An email finder is a sales tool to lookup, search, and find email addresses by name in just one click. You can generate and validate email addresses of your leads. I recommend the Hunter app. It gives you access to all the emails that connect with a website.  It lets you find email addresses in seconds and connects with the people that matter for your business. 

It’s as simple as a click of a button! Search companies you want to reach, find email addresses within seconds, and add them to your email list. 

Learn how to build and design an email that will elevate your brand. 

5. Answer questions in Facebook groups

There are 2.7 billion people and 620 million groups on Facebook. There is a group out there for you that has to do with your industry! Find that group or multiple groups and get involved in them. Introduce yourself and respond to questions or comments. Put your name, company, and what you do out there along with a link to a landing page or a form to input email addresses.  

*You must make sure posting your links is allowed by the group admin first.


6. Call -to-action on website pages

call-to-action (CTA) tells your website reader what you want them to do (i.e., try for free, read more, sign up now, download). Having a concise and clear CTA is essential. You want to make it easy for the reader to know what their next step is on your site – without having to think twice. Make the next step lead them to gated content. Even though these are so common, they are very effective. 


7. Lead generating contests

Create a contest! Create content for your audience that will grab their interest and encourage them to interact with your post. On Instagram Stories/IGTV, you can promote contests to collect email addresses. You can create a mixture of different stories, videos, posts, etc. on your page. For instance, you could do a promotional post or an entertaining video. With a CTA in the caption for the contest, include content that encourages your audience to submit their name. That way, they provide you with a name and an email address to enter. 

You can also promote the contest as a business card drop off in your store.


8. Call-To-Action button on your Facebook page

It’s as simple as it sounds! On your Business Facebook page, you have the option of adding a CTA button right under your banner. Encourage people to learn more about your company and drive more sign-ups while doing it. This way, people will be inputting their email addresses, and you can add them into your list.  


9. QR code

A QR code is short for Quick Response. It is a natural extension of the conventional barcode but has many advantages. For instance, add them in your advertisements, printed material, or even stickers. You can easily upload a QR code and link them to a landing page, website, or login. It’s pretty simple and can drive more traffic than you think. 


10. Partnering with other companies

Another one of my favorite email list building strategies is partnerships! Build relationships with other companies related to you or in your industry. If you have the same target audience, why not work together and learn ways to collect and share email addresses. Once you find that partner, decide on an event or promotion to run together. This marketing tactic allows you to access your partners' contact lists.



Start building your email list today!

You can start creating a larger email list than you ever thought before with these 10 email list building strategies. Try out a couple at first, and then build up from there. Small businesses sometimes feel like they don’t always have a lot to work with compared to the larger companies, but we have as much influence as they do. Learn what works for you and what doesn’t and continue to build your email list. Whether you decide on gating content, partnering with companies, or answering common questions on Facebook or Quora, collecting emails to build an email list for free is endless.  This is not a short-term strategy; it's long term. Keep it going and start taking action today!