The Importance of Building an Email List

“Out of all the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them.” - Neil Patel, Co-Founder of KISSmetrics, CrazyEgg, and QuickSprout [1]

As you build a website, a question you’re bound to ask yourself is: how can I continuously build traffic?

A quick Google search will inform you there are a number of different ways to go about this. Whether it be marketing through social media or developing a better SEO. However, ask anyone running a successful website and they will tell you it’s all about building an email list [2].


In the words of Nathalie Lussier, digital strategist for AccessAlly, “You’re not just a status update that’s there and gone, you’re right in someone’s inbox.” [1]


The traditional email format might appear as old school. And in many retrospects, it is when looking at the advents of social media all the other ways people send messages to one another.

Yet, there are distinguishable benefits when it comes to email marketing.

To begin, you’re directly marketing your website to someone. It’s guaranteed people will receive the latest update’s your website has to offer. Similarly to how one is always informed about what’s in their mailbox. This is far more assertive in comparison to scrolling around someone social media newsfeed and coming across your post.

Going off that, people are ALWAYS checking their emails [3]. Just think about it. When you wake up in the morning with a cellphone full of notifications, what’s the first thing you do? Though it may not be the case with everyone, a good majority of us are eager to update ourselves on those notifications. So much so, we’re checking our phones multiple times throughout the day just to get the latest updates.

On a side note, people tend to consider email notifications more important than that of social media.

Last but certainly not least, it’s advantageous to understand how customizable you can get with your emails. Not only does this give you the opportunity to stand out but to also have some fun with your email campaign


Understanding you need to build an email list is only the first step in getting your campaign going. Now you need to know how exactly you plan on going about this.

As you do your research, you’re going to find three important factors concerning how all email lists work [4]:

  1. Connection - you want to attract an authentic interest from your subscribers. You want these people to come back to you and your platform on a regular basis. Therefore, it’s important to develop a connection.
    WARNING: You might come across websites offering to fill your email list with thousands of subscribers for a sum of money. These NEVER work! [5]

  2. Standard - You want genuine people coming back to your platform. That means you’ll have to provide them with genuine information. An email list isn’t an easy way to start gaining traffic towards your website. It takes dedication.

  3. Quantity - it’s important to take care of the above two factors before working towards a larger email list.

Once you’ve built a plan as to how you’re going to obtain the above three factors, you can go about building your email list.


When it comes to building an email list, there are five steps you must take [6].

Before we dig into these steps, it’s important to note you should develop a plan before beginning. Once this plan is concrete, it’s vital you start building your list as soon as possible. The sooner you start, the more time your list has to grow.

  • Step 1 - Look Towards the People You Know

    If you’ve spent time building up your website or brand, then you already have a list of existing customers to reach out to. Furthermore, if you have completed an email campaign in the past, you should reach out to previous subscribers.

    This is a great way to begin your campaign!

  • Step 2 - Create an Outstanding Blog

    You want people continually coming back to your website. Even when you don’t have new products or services on the line, you still want them checking out what you already have to offer. One of the best ways to do this is by starting a blog.

    By updating your customers on a regular basis, you not only give them a reason to come back but to also subscribe for future updates. Admittedly, building a blog is a whole other outlet you’re going to need to take the time to learn. However, it will be worth it.

    Once you get your blog going, you can advertise your email list in a number of ways, including:

    • In-line form

    • Lightbox popup

    • Sidebar form

  • Step 3 - Make an Incentive

    Understandably, not everyone wants to hand over to you their personal information. You may find this to be a difficulty when building an email list. However, there’s one easy way to work around it.

    Offer something of value in return for their subscription.

    There are a number of ways you can go about this, including a free eBook, free trials, or a discount to your products and services. Remember, a person is helping you build your website when offering their email. Therefore, it’s important to offer something to them in return.

  • Step 4 - Get Your Subscribers Talking

    As has always been, one of the most powerful ways of spreading information is by word-of-mouth. Though we live in a very digital age, it all remains the same - if not easier.

    When you send out an email, you have the option to feature a “sharing” option within the body. When one person shares your content, you have the opportunity to reach out to their followers.

    Still, it’s important to remember, you can’t just simply hope on a share. You need to offer something to your new potential subscribers all-the-same. An incentive is necessary in order to get people wanting your products or services.

  • Step 5 - Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

    No two email lists are built the same way. There are a number of different directions to take your email campaign and you’re going to have to experiment around.

    Whether it be a pop-up on your web-page or reaching out through external sources, you’re going to have to play around before you get a sense of what works best for you.


[1] Campaign Monitor: 7 Experts on Why Building Your Email List Is So Important

[2] Inc.: Why Building a Strong Email List Should Be Your Number 1 Priority

[3] New York Post: Americans check their phones 80 times a day: study

[4] Paperform: Your Email List Could Be our Most Valuable Asset. Here’s Why

[5] OptinMonster: 8 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy an Email List

[6] Social Triggers: List Building 101: How to Build an Email List… …And Actually Make Money From It