how to build an email list for freePin

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Benefits of Building an Email List

You might know that email traffic converts well, and it performs even better when you have a targeted email marketing list.

If done correctly, email marketing has massive returns on investment of more than 3800%. (Source: Campaign Monitor)

However, you may ask why to build a targeted email marketing list.

You can use the mass mailing or do spamming with an email blast. Even you can buy an email list.

But it can hurt your business in the long-term.

(Yes, I have one that contains around 56,000 leads. However, I have never used it for a single time.)

Mass Mailing List ScreenshotPin

For a sustainable business model, you should build your targeted email list.

Building a targeted email list is also known as permission marketing.

Because it’s like someone has said: I want to receive your email communication and you can send it to me whenever scheduled.

Do you know, a majority of the internet user (your potential customer) checks his/her mailbox 1-3 times a day on an average. (Source: Statista)

Moreover, unlike most of the other marketing channels, email is personal similar to SMS/calls. So, it does not get lost because you are offline for a while and goes directly to the inbox.

This makes the process of attracting visitors to become your leads and converting them into customers ridiculously easy.

Plus, by investing a tiny budget, you can automate the entire process.

Now, the important question:

How to build a targeted email list to improve your website traffic and make more money?

You don’t just need email subscribers to inflate your metrics/numbers/count.

Do you?

You need loyal followers who will buy from you and refer more people to your product/services by spreading word of mouth.

Am I right?

And, you can do that all in just five simple steps?

Here in this article, I have shared a complete step-by-step guide for action-takers who want to see good results by taking small efforts in the right direction.

Are you an action-taker?

Go and read this post and get to know how to build a targeted email list and monetize it to create a substantial income stream.

How to Build a Targeted Email Marketing List

If you want to build a list for email marketing that converts, you should know how it works, which tools and services you should consider to buy, how to create opt-in forms to capture leads and how to automate the entire process to save yourself from manually checking your admin dashboard every time.

Although many people claim that building a targeted email list is quite an easy task, it isn’t.

For the beginners learning phase is an integral part of their email marketing business.

So, here I am going to share a step-by-step tutorial to get a ton of visitors through email marketing who trust you and would buy your recommended products/services.

The entire process is divided into five steps for a better understanding of the email marketing process.

Step 1: Get to Know about Email Marketing Basics

Almost everyone has used Gmail/Yahoo/Rediffmail at least a single time in his/her life to send and receive an email.

It’s similar to sending an SMS from your phone using the internet.

But email marketing has evolved tremendously, and you can see different advanced technologies and techniques that are being used nowadays.

Right from picking a reliable and affordable email marketing service to advanced automation and segmentation needs an in-depth study of various factors.

For Example,

If you are a nutrition consultant, and you have a blog related to health and nutrition, you can develop a targeted email list.

But first of all, you need to pick an excellent opt-in form as well as an email marketing service and integrate it with your website.

Plus, you need to set up various targeting options to create different lists/segments according to the visitors’ behavior.

The next part is automation for lead nurturing and improving the engagement.

Here, you’ll need to know how to write email subject, copy, and overall optimization, including different tags and work-flow.

Lastly, when people impress with your emails and decide to return to your website or purchase from you/your affiliate link, how you make them comfortable and easy to navigate is also an essential thing in your campaign.

Finally, analyzing the campaign and measure ROI make this process complete.

However, you should not stop there, email marketing is a continuous process, and if you are offering value to your customers, definitely it will bring you a long-term and stable business even you have a small targeted list compare to the large mass-mailing database primarily used for email blasts/spams.

I know it’s not easy to digest for the very first time.

So, you can get a completely free email marketing course to learn the basics of email marketing.

build a targeted email marketing list
GetResponse Email Marketing

Or, you can go with Advanced Email Marketing Course build for intermediates and pro-level marketers to improve their metrics and ROI.

Step 2: Pick a Reliable Email Marketing Service

Yes, you’ll need a perfect email marketing solution to build your list faster.

Currently, there are more than hundreds of major companies providing email marketing and automation services.

MailChimp, GetResponse, AWeber, and ConvertKit are a few of them.

However, you can go with any email marketing service depending on your requirements and budget.

Today, almost every company offers a free trial for its services, and you can test a few of them to know the best fit.

MailChimp, Mad Mimi, SendinBlue, and MailerLite are excellent options to start for free.

Otherwise, you can choose any premium email service to get advanced features like automation, workflows, segmentation, and personalization, etc.

For premium email marketing service, I would recommend the GetResponse for Beginners, which is easy to use and affordable than many other services and  ConvertKit or Drip for advanced marketers.

I’m going to explain a bit more about all the email services I have mentioned in this article.

Free/Freemium Email Marketing Services

1. MailChimp

If you are a blogger or email marketer, it’s hard to believe that you haven’t heard about MailChimp.

MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing services in the world. It offers you a free platform to save your email contacts and send emails up to 2000 subscribers and 12000 emails/month.

It also offers API support to automate your list building. However, for advanced automation and remove sending limits, you need to upgrade to one of its premium plans.

2. MadMimi

When I started blogging a couple of years back, MadMimi is the first email marketing service I have tried.

It’s super user-friendly and reliable email marketing solution with some useful features.

However, it offers to save only 100 Contact for free, and after that, you need to upgrade to premium plans.

3. SendinBlue

SendinBlue is another good company offering a free platform for email marketers.

You can save up unlimited email subscribers and send up to 9000 emails/month with their free plan.

Now, two other companies offer free email solutions with automation.


Yes, MailerLite And Drip are two well-known email services that currently offer a free plan with automation features.

4. MailerLite

The first best thing about MailerLite is that you can unlimited emails per month up to 1000 subscribers and you won’t we charged a single dime.

It’s insanely easy to integrate as well as offers advanced autoresponder with its free plan so you can save yourself from getting trapped in some expensive service with their free trial bait.

MailerLite’s advanced automation and segmentation help to build a targeted email list quickly, and if you start getting a ton of subscribers, the upgrades are also really affordable than competitive services in the market.

I have used it and not seeing any problem to recommend it. However, you can choose any that suits your business needs.

Premium Email Marketing Services

1. GetResponse

It’s an outstanding and VFM service to every dollar you spend.

GetResponse offers different plans according to the clients’ needs starting from $15/1K subscribers to $165/50K subscribers. You can also request custom pricing for enterprise-level plans.

I love GetResponse because the features they provide at the price point are often not available in other services.

These features include time-based autoresponder (visual and easy to use), Landing pages, webinar hosting, etc.

Plus, it offers a free course to build a targeted email list in just three months.

It’s worth trying, and I would definitely recommend GetResponse to all bloggers and email marketers who need an easy to use and affordable email list building service.

2. ConvertKit

Once you get familiar with email marketing basics and want a more sophisticated alternative to GetResponse, you can opt for either Drip or ConvertKit.

I have already talked about Drip, but ConvertKit seems a reliable option too.

It’s priced correctly for bloggers and internet marketers who sell online courses or digital products and comes with some advanced features.

It may be a little expensive for those who are just starting, but you can choose any plan depending on your requirements.

Remember, it’s a perfect solution for targeted list building where you want to sell your products/promote affiliate products.

But it may cost you a lot and not ideal if you’re promoting simple campaigns like weekly newsletters and blog post updates only.

My Recommendation

In fact,

You should choose an email service closely related to your needs, and if you haven’t picked one, it’s time to roll on.

Go with MailChimp to learn basics or try MailerLite’s free plan.

Both options are fantastic for those who are beginners in email marketing.

In case you want to create a targeted list in a short time, give a try to GetResponse.

However, the seasoned email marketers who want to achieve significant improvement in their ROI can choose ConvertKit.

Go signup for any service you like and try to capture high-quality leads on your list.

I’m waiting to see your amazing results.

Step 3: Get Targeted Email Subscribers

On one of my websites (Membership site), I receive 10+ new leads daily without doing anything, and in the last month, I got around 450 email signups for my free membership plan.

Yes, all happened in automatic mode and continuing. However, I haven’t started charging any fees.

Yes, at the end of 2019, I’ll have an organic email list of 5400 people who are targeted and interested in my service/membership plans.

Suppose, I start charging only $2/month, I can earn more than $10K/month from January 2020.

It’s simple math.

However, I know CVR would affect my earnings, but even I get a 10% conversion from that targeted list, $1K/month of passive income isn’t so bad.

Plus, these results are just organic without investing a single dollar in paid ads.

Let me pause my story here.

Think about how you can build a targeted email list that gives you at least $500/month in passive income.

Getting targeted email subscribers is more important than building a mass mailing list that converts very little.

You need to capture email addresses of those people who want to buy from you or interested in your offers.

The email marketing service mentioned in step 2 gives you the forms to collect lead information and sync with your list.

You can put these forms on your homepage, blog page, or specially created landing page to get email addresses of interested people.

If you are using WordPress, then it’s easier than ever before. You can use any good lead generation plugin and integrate it with the email marketing service you have purchased.


You can use different types and locations for opt-in forms and do A/B split test to check what version works the best for you.

If you need a lead generation plugin that integrates with your email service and works perfectly for any niche site/blog, then Thrive Leads is the best option available.

It offers various unique features and helps to create the beautiful, yet conversion-focused opt-in forms including scroll mat, lightbox popups, info bars/notification bars, inline and sidebar widgets and SmartLinks, etc.

It also offers different triggers, including exit intent, behavioral personalization, page scroll, and inactivity trigger.

Plus, you can ask people to opt-in for the content upgrade or receive valuable information through the email channel.

On another hand, Thrive Leads let you create a conversion-focused landing page where you can ask your potential customer to put their contact information by offering any value prop or goodies.

What Do I Think?

Love it or hate it, but I can say it works like crazy.

Usually, people stumble upon your webpage and never come back.

It does not mean they have disliked your content, but they might forget about you.

So always ask people to join your list by offering some freebies like a crash course, content upgrade, cheatsheet, checklist, ebook or video series, etc.

If you use Thrive Leads perfectly to build an email list, then you can send emails to your subscribers anytime not only to drive traffic but a few conversions/sales too.

There are a few good alternatives to Thrive Leads, including OptinMonster and ConvertPlus, but it’s my #1 recommended lead generation tool for any self-hosted WordPress site.

Step 4: Engage with Your Subscribers (Lead Nurturing)

Usually, when a visitor subscribes or enters his/her contact information in the opt-in form and click submit option, he/she gets added to your email list.

Now, your work starts.

If you have promised to give some freebie, then you must instruct people on how to confirm their subscription and get their gift.

Remember, the person is on your list, and you can send him an email at any time, but that doesn’t work unless you are nurturing them.

You must offer some value before pitching him a sales offer/deal.

Because the key to the effectiveness of email marketing is trust, and, you can build it from the engagement.

When I started blogging, I got 15 email subscribers in an initial month, where I was using MailMunch and MailChimp.

However, I was not serious about email marketing then, so I used to send them a random mail once a month.

What happened?

Only a few of them were knowing me because they are my close friends. But, the rest 13 people might have forgotten who I am.

The people who have never heard from you for a while may forget though they accepted to receive your email communication and treat it as spam.

So, you should engage your subscribers regularly to keep them updated and connected.

There is another scenario where people sign up your list just for downloading the freebie and then unsubscribe.

In such cases, you must thank yourself because it’s better not having them on your list because they might have polluted your campaign.

Because in most of the cases, these people are either spammed by so-called internet marketers or some of them may be non-action-takers who just sign up your list for the sake of freebies.

However, it’s an opportunity for you to convert them by telling how valuable your blog/content is.

Here’s a simple process you can follow to build your targeted list.

First, you need all things in place to attract the visitor to become your lead. Give him a reason to be a part of your list by offering a special gift.

Sometimes, you should ask people to join to click on CTAs.

As soon as the visitor fills your form and click on the submit button, direct him to a thank you page.

You can say, it a common in the industry, what’s a special hack.

Am I right?

Many people instruct people to go to their email inbox and confirm subscription. It’s necessary to drive that lead to double opt-in before getting the goodies you have offered to avoid fraudulent activities.

At the same time, you can propose him an irresistible offer because that particular person is most likely to be targeted and have strong buying intent.

If that is not possible, then bring him back to your blog or any other page to keep him engaged for the maximum duration before leaving your site.

It’s a part of a strategy and proper execution of your plan to drive that healthy sequence.

The next part is a welcome email.

You need to send a solid value-packed email without any sales offer. It shows that you are not a salesman but a person who cares about him.

In welcome email should contain a friendly greeting followed by the freebie you have promised.

Besides that, recall them why they have received that email and the benefits of being on your mailing list. i.e., the daily/weekly newsletter, your high-performing posts & curated contents across the web, freebies for active subscribers, etc.

Now, you can have a proper email nurturing sequence to provide value and sales offers alternatively.

Email Nurturing SequencePin
Email Nurturing Sequence

Here email automation services like GetResponse’s time-based autoresponders are beneficial to save your time and efforts in manual activities.

Almost every marketer would agree with that.

However, this step requires A/B testing and in-depth analysis of different metrics like delivery rate, open rate, CTR, and CVR, etc. to see good ROI from your email campaign and automation.

Remember, you should offer 3X value for every sales offering. It’ll help you to gain trust and thus more revenue.

The last thing,

Keep your list active and engaged.

— Because I found that more than 10% of people out of my list of 15K haven’t engaged more than three times in the entire year.

That’s why try to use proper segmentation and don’t mind to remove the inactive people from your list who haven’t responded to you from the last three months.

It’s necessary,

Because your email subscribers list is one of the most valuable assets for your online business.

Even your site goes offline for a while, you can quickly retrieve it back using the mailing list, or you can say a loyal community you have built.

Step 5: Monetize Your Email List

We all know, building a targeted list is not sufficient to earn money, you need proper strategies for monetization where you are selling your fitness products or doing affiliate promotion for Amazon or ClickBank.

It’s just an example; you have a hundred ways to monetize your list.

You are the first person they want to buy from because you have gained their trust and continuously providing them value.


Spamming is completely different.

Don’t do it.


Most of the revenue is flowing online through either selling your own product/service or others.

That’s why decide how you are going to monetize your list before building one.

If you are a business or an e-commerce company, then you will have a proper goal.

But for bloggers, affiliate marketers, it’s necessary to find the products/services that convert.

Depending on the audience demographics, you can either choose the high volume or high-ticket sales to earn maximum revenue in return.


In this article, I covered everything that you need to build a targeted email list and grow it to drive more traffic to your blog/website and make more revenue.

You have heard: ‘The money is in the list’ for thousands of times.

Now, it’s your time to take action.

Get proper tools, build a high converting funnel using an email autoresponder to make a massive list of the targeted email subscribers.

Drive them to your blog, improve your metrics, and start earning more money from your efforts.

I’m sure that you’ve enjoyed the post. So, spare a couple of minutes to share it with your peers on some of your favorite social accounts.

More Resources

ConvertKit Review 2020 | Top Features, Pros, Cons, Pricing, and Alternatives

Marketing Automation, Meet Customer: Driving Engagement on Autopilot

10 Reasons Why You Need Marketing Automation Software

25 Solid Reasons Why Small Businesses Need A Website

A to Z List of Digital Marketing Acronyms and Abbreviations

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  1. Bob Fiskin says:

    Hey, I am for the second time here. I found this post on Pinterest board and it’s really useful. I have generated 233 subscribers in 13 days using the techniques mentioned in this article.
    I hope to give something back to the community and help others as you helped me.

  2. Aasaan Job says:

    Nice informative blog.

  3. Informative blog & thanks for sharing such a blog. I’m going to try the strategies you have discussed in this article.

  4. SajjadKazmi says:

    Thanks For This Post Bro 🙂

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