what is email list building

How to build an email marketing list

Are you wondering how to build an email marketing list? Some people call it internet marketing list building. I am here to share with you what I have learnt and how it works. This is the method used by the most successful internet marketers who are making enviable incomes on the internet.

Have you ever received emails that sell you something that you are really interested in? Did you go ahead and check out the website for more information? Did you eventually buy the products? I have done this many times, although most of the time I did not buy, I definitely found out some useful information some of the time. At the same time there were some very scamy emails that I received which were of no value to me.

The following article before covers the methods and strategies on how to build a list that will enable you to start promoting your products or affiliate products as a first step to start generating money out of the process.

4 Core Skills Required to successful list building

  1. Ability to attract or generate traffic to your website.attract traffic with a lead magnet

    Without traffic coming to your website or product offering there is no way that one can make any income or a business out of online opportunities. It is like having a shop where there is no foot traffic. No one will see your products and therefore no one will buy your products.

    If the butterfly is not attracted to the flower, there will not be pollination and the field of beautiful and colorful flowers will not flourish beyond a season. You need to learn how to attract the butterflies of your business in order to build capacity to be profitable.

  2. Ability to translate or convert the traffic into potential customers (sales leads).

    Once you have received traffic on your website, you need to then make sure that some if not all of the visitors become potential customers. If you see in shops, there are sales people and merchandisers who are there to promote the products and give more information about the offering to increase the chances of the shoppers becoming buyers now or future buyers later.

  3. Ability to convert the potential customers into buying customers.

    Once you know who your potential customers are, you can stay in contact with them so that you can continue to provide them more useful information about your offering. This way they can start to trust you and will be more inclined to trust your products.

  4. Ability to convince the buying customers to buy more products repeatedly.

    Once your sales leads buy the first product from you, if it is of value to them, it increases their trust in you and in your products. They are ready to be sold more products to. So you should systematically offer them more products of value which will result in more sales.

4 Things to keep in mind before starting to build a list

  1. Make sure that there is a market for your products.

    There is no use in having a cool product that does not have a market to sell in. Many times I have fallen in love with cool products and concepts but there was no market to sell the products in. Or the market was unreachable from where I was. Sometime there are good products which sell well offline but no well online. Or maybe they require expensive infrastructure in order to make them viable.

  2. Make sure you target customers whose problems can be solved by your products.

    Business is all about solving problems. It may be a financial problem, a social problem, a health problem, a fun problem and many others. If your product addresses a problems that people have, then that is your target mart market. There may be an existing product in the market but it may not be as good as people want or it may leave a gap that customers want, that is the best product to have.

  3. Make sure there is capacity for growth within the market.

    Sometimes there may be good products in the market, but the market is still so vast that introduction of the another competing product is still viable. Sometimes introducing of a product that gives additional value to the existing ones may be a viable option. Or a product with more features than the competitors. A good example is the smartphone market, the same players are always outsmarting each other with new features on the same products. Then you get new players like Huawei coming and giving the big guys a run for their money.

  4. Make sure that there is some concrete evidence that it is a profitable market.

    Check if there are others who are active in the market who are selling and making profitable income from it. That way you can then have some comfort that you are not going into a area where you will be statistic of failure which others will ride on for future success.

Once you have found a market that is viable, keep the following things in mind

4 Activities that will increase you chances of success

  1. Promote products that are known to sell.

    Unless you are an adventurous inventor of products, it is better to find products that have a proven record of selling profitably. You can then use the information and references of sales and the the reputation of the brand to your advantage. It will make it easier to get your customers to trust you if they can independently verify the product. A know profitable product gives you that leverage.

  2. Make sure that your customers are willing to spend money on your products.

    There are some products which people like the idea of having but may not be prepared to spend money on. Sometimes this happens when you target the wrong set of customers for your products, they will not be willing to buy the product because the product does not add any value to them.

  3. Make sure that you have more than one product to sell.

    sell more than one product

    It would be a waste if you build a list of potential customers and then only sell them one product. You would have built trust with them and then wasted the potential that exists beyond the first product. Have you ever noticed in shops, after your have bought what you needed the cashiers will sometimes ask you if you would want to buy anything else.

    Sometimes at the food outlet or restaurant, the waiters or servers will often interest you in the day’s specials or in a desert of the day after you are done. Then they will offer coffee or a wine. These are good product representatives who try to maximise the sales with the same customer who they know likes their product. There is a high likelihood of you buying that extra thing, and maybe even coming back another day just for that last thing that they sold you.

  4. Expand you potential list of customers continuously.

    Once you have your list building and sales process nailed down, it would be prudent to continue looking for more potential new customers to build relationships and sell more products to. And if you can increase the rate of your list growth while making sure you have the capacity to service them. You would have set up a great business for yourself.

4 Steps to get started on a list for beginners

  1. Buy Traffic from reputable list owners and send to your squeeze page.

    So how can you get the skill of generating traffic referred to earlier. You are a beginner, and attracting traffic through google ranking and authority status is not exactly in your favor. Do not fret, do not stress, there is a way to achieve it with little hustle.

    All it takes is just a little bit of money and a little bit of research. You can buy traffic through purchasing a list of emails of people who are looking to buy your product from someone who has already taken the time and skill to build a viable list. There are places where you can find such  lists and you can get started right away and get into the game quickly.

    Once you have bought the list you can send them to your squeeze page, also known as a lead capture page on your website.

  2. Build your list by offering a lead magnet in exchange for an email address.

    Once this newly acquired traffic arrives on your squeeze page, not everyone will want to sign up to your list. You have to offer them something of value that can be useful to them in exchange for providing you their email address. Only a portion of those who will arrive at your site will take up the offer. Usually you would get a minimum signup ration of 10% of those who visit your site. If your offer is very good and it is the right kind of audience, you can be able to get higher signup (conversion) rates.

    Make certain that you put a strong call to action, that is an enticing title and request for them to act with something that is meaningful for them. For example if you promote weight loss, you could put something like “Are you tired of working out without losing belly fat? Capture you email below and we will send you 4 ways to effectively reduce belly fat and get fit in the process

    After they have captured their email, you send them the link to download the report, or video or ebook that you promised. Once again, you should make sure that the report offers something concrete for the potential customer. This way they will begin to trust that you know what you are talking about and lays a foundation for them to build a relationship going forward.

  3. Build a relationship with your list to develop trust.

    Once they have received the first valuable product form you, they are ready to go forward. It is like with dating. Once you have made a good impression on the first date, the other party is ready to take the relationship forward. So you stay in touch and go for the second date, then the third e.t.c. Trust develops between the two of you and you can then be free to do more things together. If things go great you start seeing each other more often and probably move in together or eventually get married and live happily ever after.

    That is the kind of relationship you want with your customers. They believe you add value to them so they will be prepared to work with you to achieve your objective through solving their problems.

  4. Sell your products to your leads as trust increases.

    People buy from people they trust. So once you gain the trust of your potential customers, your leads are ready to buy from you. They found your free product valuable, and your subsequent correspondence also added value to them for free. It then becomes a foregone conclusion that the products you sell are going to add more value to them. And if the sold products are valuable, trust increases.

    As indicated before, you should have more than one product to sell. It would be a waste for you not to continue selling more products when your leads trust you.

    And further, you should continue getting more leads. Buy more traffic to increase your potential leads. This is the process of gaining more market share as you grow your customer base. When that is going very well you can also look to increase your product offering in order service the existing leads more and also to attract more potential leads.

4 reasons why you should buy traffic

  1. Email lists are tangible.

    When you buy a list it is like getting a physical product. You can determine how much traffic you want to acquire, 50 clicks, 100 clicks, 1000 clicks. So you know what you are buying and you can measure it and also determine the ratio of success you will get from the acquisition for the money that you have spent.

  2. Email lists are predictable.

    Email list traffic is predictable. There are industry conversion ratios that you can use to estimate effectiveness. You can structure your communication and squeeze pages to reach a desired level of success. Once you apply advanced techniques like testing you can predict your success and failure rates quite close to accurate

  3. Email lists are scalable.

    Once you have achieved a certain result with a email list of a certain size, you can then scale it up buy purchasing more or multiples of email list sizes to achieve multiple of success. For example with a conversion rate of 10% on a list of 100 emails, if you want to achieve a 100 leads you can buy 10 times more emails of a 1000 and you should be able to achieve the desired success.
    If 20% of the leads buy your product at $19 a piece, it means in the first instance your revenue will be $19 x 10 = $190. Once you scale up by a factor of 10, you will get 100  leads and your revenue will be $19 x 100 = $1900.

  4. Email lists are quick and easy.

    People buy from people they trust. So once you gain the trust of your potential customers, your leads are ready to buy from you. They found your free product valuable, and your subsequent correspondence also added value to them for free. It then becomes a foregone conclusion that the products you sell are going to add more value to them. And if the sold products are valuable, trust increases.

I really hope this gives you some insights on how to build a list and why you need to build a list.

In the next post we will be looking at some of the practical options on of where you can buy traffic, then what list building tools you can use and where to find products to sell.

Kindly leave a comment below concerning these 4 step based email list building strategies



  1. Hallo sir,

    I’m just starting out on list building and I have not yet gotten good traffic on Google and other search engines.

    I liked the idea of getting paid traffic form list owner but I fear the cost of doing it. How much does it cost? And where can I good deal on this?

    1. Hi Dave. When you are starting out it takes quite some time to pick up as you work to gain good ranking on Google and other search engines. Paid traffic is not terribly expensive considering returns of traffic. Average conversion rates is about 30%. That is if you buy a list of 100 emails for $40 you could have up to 30 clicks on your website. The conversion rate from clicks will be about 10% depending on how good your offering is. You can look at this post for tips on how to improve your conversion technique.

      Places you can find traffic to buy include

      Warrior Forum Classified Ad
      Facebook Solo Ads Group

      Search for Solo Ads. Read the reviews and see what people are saying in the testimonials and complaints. See the prices and terms and conditions first before you buy. On avergae they will cost $40-50 per 100 emails.

      All the best

  2. Hi

    Great Article with some very useful information.

    So you are saying that you need to try and build a little bit of traffic to your site before you even consider starting a email marketing list?

    I understand you need to generate traffic but they also need to trust both your site and the products you are trying to promote. It definitely makes sense.

    Thanks for the information and I will bookmark this page for future reference.


    1. Hi Chris

      It would be best to build engaging content on your site so that when people visit they will want to come back for more. So if they sign up to your list and you engage them, there will be something of value for them to come to. When you send more info on email, you can link back to articles on your site. So it is quite helpful to have a good base first.

      I plan to post more useful info on the same topic and some reviews as well. Thanks for passing through.


  3. Hi, Tyrell.

    I have been thinking about getting started with an email list, but I wanted to wait until I had more traffic organically. My concern with paying for traffic and an autoresponder is the risk of low conversions. Traffic is not very useful if it doesn’t convert into sales, and trying to get an email list could just add an expense. Should I wait for more traffic, or do you think I should just spend the money to get the traffic?


    1. Hi Andy

      Thanks for that interesting question. It is in the category of the old advertising paradox of do you advertise when you are big and successful or you advertise in order to get big and successful. I understand your concern. You do not want to be spending without prospect of return. I think building up traffic is a good idea as you build more content. You want to have engaging content when people join your list. More traffic will also mean chances of comments on your content. That way they will have good reason to come back to your site even voluntarily as you will have proof that your site is useful. All the best


  4. Excellent article. I have not yet added a newsletter to my new website and at the moment looking for ways to capture emails with as little intrusion to the visitor as possible. Do you recommend a product to do just that? I’ve looked at aweber as a solution but I want to know if there are others that are competing with them on price and features. Thanks for the great article.

    1. I think the trick is how you implement your squeeze page. Especially pop-ups are intrusive and I have always had apprehensions about them in spite of the fact that they do work if used well. Also Google is going to be favoring mobile friendly sites and pop-ups are not very mobile friendly. I have seen some people putting their lead magnets (free offers) on normal forms or within articles as a link without any pop-ups. MailChimp offers code for both pop-ups and embedded forms on your design which achieves the same end result. I am also evaluating other tools and will be posting my reviews in the next few weeks. All the best with your efforts.

  5. I have been very curious about how to do this for a long time, I definitely want my readers to to be notified when I post a new article. Great analogy you used regarding traffic.

    I never considered buying an email list, but now I am definitely considering it. I feel like its one of those things that will pay for itself over time. Thanks!

    1. Building a list is one those central anchors in an online business. I also came to the conclusion that investing in some traffic is worth pursuing. Of course there is a lot of work involved in finding a list with good value but once you have found it the effort and investment can pay off well. It does not take away the duty to work on getting organic traffic, it just gives you an edge and some pace in the effort.

  6. Thank you for your advice on building an email marketing list. Do you recommend starting out building a list when a site is not mature enough to be trusted by the search engines just yet? I was thinking of doing an ad campaign to capture emails and then once my site has matured, I would rely on organic traffic from traditional SEO.


    1. I believe it’s one of those “it depends question”. One scenario is that, if you are committed to be updating your site regularly, then you could go ahead and do email marketing because then you can give your visitors some thing to come back for. 

      Another one is when you decide to do advertising and email marketing to just collect and build a list but not use it immediately. Once you have built enough content and offerings then you can start your engagement with your list and run whatever campaigns you have I’m mind.

      I guess best case scenario is when you have built enough clout and ranking and you use email marketing to capture your organic traffic and run your campaigns.

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