How to Build an Email List from Scratch in 2024

The key to a successful email marketing strategy is your email list. You want your marketing campaigns to reach the right leads instead of people who are not interested in your products.

And no, having a signup form on your website is not enough.

You need to reach out to people who are genuinely interested in your brand. That’s why you need a good email list-building tactic. This can be a bit daunting, especially if you are starting from scratch.

Read on to find out how it’s done in 2024.

What is an Email List?

An email list is a list of email addresses shared by people who are interested in receiving emails from your business.

As a brand, you will use this list to share newsletters, promotions, updates, and such directly to your subscribers’ inboxes. An email list will help you communicate with your audience directly and efficiently.

5 Tips to Build an Email List from Scratch

1. Choose the Right Platform

Using Gmail or Outlook for your email marketing campaigns doesn’t cut it. You need a platform where you can efficiently manage your growing email list as well as automate your email campaigns.

Platforms like Moosend and Mailchimp come with features where you can manage your list and format everything. Other features you might want to look out for in a good email marketing platform include marketing automation, landing page builder, A/B testing features, and more.

2. Use Incentives

Getting someone’s valid email address is a sale in itself. You offer discounts, coupons, a loyalty program, or free items, and in return, they agree to sign up or opt-in to your brand.

Be assertive in getting their emails if you want to grow your email list as quickly as possible. The math is pretty simple – offer a high-quality lead magnet, and watch your email list mushroom.

3. Add an Enticing Pop-Up

Email lists collected from your website are gold. People got there by themselves and are genuinely interested in your brand.

Use pop-ups to offer an incentive in return for their email. Leverage this opportunity by using quality content and enticing incentives like coupon codes, freebies, etc.

Now, the challenge is to time the pop-up, for which you will need some level of user experience. You can make your pop-up appear shortly after your visitor enters the website, or a surprise pop-up in the middle, or an exit pop-up when they leave the website.

4. Optimize Your Call to Action (CTA)

A good CTA encourages readers to share their email addresses. Craft compelling CTAs in your email opt-in forms to show visitors the value of your incentive.

You can test different CTAs, such as “download,” “subscribe,” “get my book,” etc., to see which works better. You can also incorporate them into your list-building strategy, and A/B test different graphics and languages.

5. Use Referral Programs

A sure way to get strangers to trust your brand and share their email is through a direct recommendation from people they trust. And a smart way to achieve that is through referral programs.

The problem is, most people will do a favor only if there’s something in it for them. So give them special offers, discounts, redeemable store points, or a gift as an incentive.

6. Run a Contest

Run a contest to encourage people to join your email list by offering a giveaway that your audience will want. The more enticing your giveaway, the more emails you will capture.

You can take this up a notch by adding more incentives in return for referrals. This can be as simple as giving an additional five entries for every referral you get.

7. Start a Giveaway

Giveaways are highly effective tactics that a lot of ecommerce stores leverage in order to build their email list. Who doesn’t love a good giveaway, right?

News like these travel fast, and it can bring in tons of emails within a short period.

Instagram and Facebook are two of the most popular platforms to host giveaways. Make sure your giveaway is relevant and something your target audience wants.

8. Personalize Wherever Possible

People respond better to personalized interactions than generic ones. But there is no one-size-fits-all in this. Different leads will respond differently to different signup CTAs.

Therefore, craft your pop-up ads carefully to ensure a high engagement and conversion rate. Insert an opt-in form in your navigation or provide subtitles in your footer to bring in new email leads.

Another great way to capitalize on this is by offering exclusive coupons or content in exchange for their email.

9. Utilize Scroll Boxes

Your quality content might just be the most effective way to get an email subscriber. Make good use of scroll boxes to entice emails from readers on your page.

If your content is good, people will automatically want to join you and continue reading. This is similar to a paywall, but here, all you need to be able to continue is an email, not a payment.

10. Don’t Forget Your Contacts

Reach out to people in your network. Personalize your invitations, as these are people you are already familiar with.

Ask them to further share your brand in their network to expand your reach. Make sure to explain in the email what it is that you do and how joining your email list can benefit them.

11. Use Your Social Media Accounts

In this day and age, if you are not taking advantage of social media, you are missing out.

You can try something as simple as inserting an opt-in form or signup button on your Facebook page to aid in your lead generation. If you are new and just starting out, this can be of tremendous help.

With just the right offer on these platforms, you can even go viral, thereby increasing your reach further.


Besides new businesses, even old and established brands are constantly growing their email lists to expand their sales volume. It’s a lot of effort, so make sure you are using the right tactics to see results.

Remember, what matters is acquiring quality leads rather than how fast you can get them.

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