How to Build an Email List for Your Business

Picture of Katie Fleming

Katie Fleming

Co-founder and COO of Owner Actions

A keyboard with a mail button to help owners build an email list

One of the best ways to grow your business is to get in front of your target audience regularly with messages that mean something to them. Email is a great, low-cost tool for taking on this task. When you build an email list and use it to deliver valuable, targeted content, you can keep your business front of mind for your market for all the right reasons.

This article will show you how to take on the first part of this strategy: Build an email list.


Who should be on my email list?

Your list should include loyal customers, one-time customers, and prospects. Each audience will likely require different marketing messages, so in most cases, it makes sense to keep these groups in separate email lists.


How do I build an email list?

There are many ways to start collecting email addresses from your target audience. Here are seven that may work for your business:


Create a call to action (CTA) on every page of your website (and your social media pages, too).

Use your pages to inform your audience in ways that matter to them. Then, encourage them to sign up for your newsletter, download your white paper, access your free checklist, or take part in some other offer that’s highly relevant to the content they’re reading. Signing up will require them to input their name and email address to gain access, which allows you to store it and use it to continuously add value.

Be sure to disclose how you’ll use the info you collect on your website (and, specifically, where your users input their information).

Create timed pop-up ads.

Visitors to your site who spend more than a few minutes exploring the articles and resources you offer tend to be the most eager to engage. Capitalize on this by delivering a pop-up ad relevant to the content they’re viewing that directs them to take the next step. Here, this may be to register on your site or join your mailing list to learn more. Your pop-up text might read, “You seem interested in [topic]. Would you like to receive more information?” Here, again, signing up will require users to input their name and email address, which you can store for future marketing efforts.


Share your email newsletter wherever possible.

Be direct in telling your buyers and prospects about the value your content will provide them. Share a link to the newsletter on your social media pages, on the invoices and receipts you provide your customers, in your marketing materials, and in your email signature line to ensure others see it often.


Host an online or offline event.

Create a reason to bring people together. Ask your audience members to RSVP by providing their names and email addresses on a registry. Then, after the event, thank them for their attendance and share your latest newsletter.


Start a birthday or anniversary club.

Invite your audience to register to receive a special gift or discounts for your products or services on their birthday or the anniversary of their club membership. As a bonus, your club can provide your audience access to exclusive information, articles, and resources they receive by being a part of your subscriber list.

If you plan to give a gift, consider giving away wearable promotional materials. This is a great way to deploy your audience to help you build brand recognition.

Offer a giveaway.

Select a big prize your audience will value. Ask people to enter for it by providing their name and email address. You might consider offering an additional entry to those who share the giveaway with others.


Offer email-exclusive offers.

Create sales that are exclusive to your email subscribers. Encourage them to share the sales with others, who will need to sign up with their names and email addresses to participate in the offers.


How do I store the email addresses I receive?

You’ll need a robust email marketing solution to store and manage your subscriber lists. Popular solutions include:


What’s next?

Once you start to build your email list, you can experiment with content that will provide value to certain segments of your audience. You can develop some ideas for content by asking yourself the following questions:

What do my prospects need to hear from me to build confidence in my brand?

Would testimonials sway my prospects?

What information could I share with my prospects that would help them gain the knowledge they need to accomplish their goals?

Would it help my audience to show videos of my product in action?

Would it help my audience to show videos of others using my product?

What could I do to incentivize one-time buyers of my product to explore other options?

How can I affirm how important my loyal customers are to my business?

How to can I encourage more loyalty from my one-time and long-time buyers?


Need help with this task? Consider working with a marketing firm that specializes in brand voice and content creation. You can check out a few of our favorite firms here:


No Boundaries Marketing

Your Business. Our Forte.

No Boundaries’ team of experts know marketing—in every format. You can count of their expertise and understanding of marketing strategies across a wide number of industries to help your business stand out online and offline and convert prospects again and again. Interested in learning more? Follow the link below to check out some of No Boundaries’ digital marketing services. 

Creative Analytics

Digital Marketing Experts

The team members at Creative Analytics are omnichannel marketing and experts. For more than 15 years, they’ve been helping companies in all 50 states with compelling branding, marketing, print design, and graphic design to win new customers and engage audiences. Check out their work—and start chatting with the team about your marketing and branding needs—by following the link below.


A Designer for Everything

You may already know Penji as a go-to resource for graphic design. The Penji team also offers a scalable service you can use to create digital ads, landing pages, print campaigns, promotional materials, packaging, and much more. Follow the link below to visit Penji’s website. Then, start setting up an unlimited number of projects for one flat monthly rate.

Check this out: For a limited time, you can save up to 15% off the first month of any Penji plan with this coupon code: OWNERACTIONS15. Restrictions may apply. Visit Penji’s website for details.



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