5 Email List Building Techniques that are Proven to Work

Novices often think that a great email campaign hinges on great design, copy and subject lines. But, if you ask any seasoned email marketer to tell you the secret to a successful email campaign, the resounding answer will undoubtedly be - a quality email list. Without a quality email list, focusing on all the other aspects of email marketing becomes a fruitless affair.

But, what exactly is a quality email list? The established consensus among email marketers is that a quality email list must have the following characteristics:

  • It must have been built through connection with your target audience. You must engage your audience and persuade them to give up their email address. It, therefore, follows logically that lists being sold some Internet forums don’t qualify as high quality because you have no idea how they were collected.

  • A quality email list must also be based on the audience’s registered interest. In essence, the users must have consciously provided their email address based on an interest they had after consuming your content.

  • Lastly, a high-quality email list must be segmented by each person's preferences. The needs of the people on an email list are not homogeneous. They may have the same broad interest but to be really successful, you need to drill down into particular segments so that the messaging that goes out appeals to the unique needs of each identified segment.

So, let’s examine how you can go about building a quality list. The following are five email list building techniques that are proven to work.

1. Give Away Real Value of Your Website or Blog

It is no longer sufficient to place an email sign-up form on your website or blog and ask people to sign up in exchange for a free ebook that contains information they can get with a simple Google search. You must giveaway real value for free if you want those sign-ups. This takes a lot of thought, preparation and considerable time investment on your part. You need to go out of your way and find something that delivers real value to your audience. Think in terms of educational resources, special discounts, a white paper on a subject that’s trending, a fully functional free trial, free enrollment to a training course and similar incentives that offer real value.

2. Content Upgrade

Content upgrade refers to the technique of offering readers bonus content that’s specific to content they are already consuming. In essence, while someone is reading or watching specific content, they get a notification inviting them to download or click on some bonus piece of information that’s related to what they are already consuming. For the reader to access this bonus, they need to provide their email address. Many leading email marketers swear by the power of content upgrades at the end of blog posts. If you haven’t started using content upgrades to build your email list, then you are missing out on an opportunity to build a quality email list. It takes additional work because after creating a blog post, video or podcast, you have to go back and do even more. But, this extra work has been proven to pay off big time. According to one lead email marketer, this strategy increased his conversion rate from 0.54%. to 4.82%

3. Facebook Page Signup Button

Many people tend to ignore Facebook when it comes to building a quality email list. Is every one of your followers also an email subscriber. If not, why not? Facebook is a great medium to grow an audience and you should leverage this power to grow your email list as well. Go to your Facebook page settings and add a "sign up" call action box to collect email addresses.

4. Webinars

Webinars are a great way to communicate with your audience and obtain email addresses. The first rule of a great webinar is to find a trending topic in your industry and then conduct a webinar on that subject. You need to make sure you put in the research and prepare well to deal with any questions and requests for clarification and/or additional information. Market the webinar widely in social media and Google and ask potential attendees to provide their email addresses in order to join the webinar. Webinars are highly effective at building quality email lists if done right.

5. Facebook Contests

You’re probably wondering how this helps build an email list. Well, people just love to participate in contests where there are fun prizes. To participate in contests, users need to provide their contact information. And, this doesn’t have to expensive, the prizes you select can be simple gift vouchers provided it’s something unique. Just remember to have a compelling title, attractive graphics and enticing giveaway before you ask your audience to sign up with their email address.


I hope this changes your entire perspective to building a quality email list. The value of a high-quality email list is that you get to put your brand in front of an audience who have already declared their interest in learning more about your product offering. And, email still remains the most cost-effective sales and marketing channel. It still offers the best ROI and stands head and shoulders above social media. According to McKinsey & Company, Email is 40 times more successful at getting new customers than either Facebook and Twitter. So, dive right in and start building your email list with the techniques above. And, while you are at it, don’t forget to check out GetProfiles suite of tools to help you automate your list building process.

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