Email Newsletters: How to Build a Subscriber List

You’re interested in an email newsletter program, but not sure how to build a subscriber list. Building the list may be easier than you think.

Making a subscriber list can start by asking yourself, who should get your newsletter? It should be targeted to any customer that has an interest in your business. Building a subscriber list for your email newsletter is possible if you follow a few basic tips.

It’s no secret that companies large and small are tightening their belts nowadays. When it comes to marketing, executives are demanding immediate results and long-term benefits all while reducing staff and budgets. Quite frankly, the calling card of the next-generation marketer will be uber-efficiency.

Social Network Marketing and Email Marketing

target audience

There is no shortage of private presence on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. True Goliath-sized corporate enterprises such as Bank of America, PepsiCo, Target and Wal-Mart establish communications through more conversational social networking messaging. After all, these companies have loud voices, and often-times they’re able to market their products or services directly to customers on a medium that the customers are comfortable on.

Marketing through a social media website can have its drawbacks. For starters, your company better be ready to respond to criticism in complete transparency. If a customer is unsatisfied, they won’t hesitate to head to your Facebook page and post a complaint where thousands of other potential or past customers can see it.

Secondly, with many users on Facebook having hundreds, if not thousands of friends, all while following maybe 300 profiles on Twitter, it’s easy for a message to get lost in the shuffle. That’s why within my first month as a marketing coordinator, I designed and maintained pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and immediately synergized those communications with an opt-in e-mail program. This way, if my company’s customers were simply more comfortable browsing through a social networking forum, there were buttons right there in the message’s body that directed them to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Return on Investment

As I mentioned, the next-generation marketer is uber-efficient, and able to reign in the biggest return on investment. If you work in digital marketing, you know the ins-and-outs of search engine optimization, or SEO, including utilizing keywords, inward links and paid text advertisements. Even with high organic search engine rankings, marketers are on average looking to bring in 80% of their company’s income through returning customers. Not only is e-mail marketing an effective tool to keep customers coming back by informing them of upcoming events, sales or promotions, e-mail marketing nearly doubles the ROI of text click advertising.

According to a study, for every $1 spent, e-mail marketing brought in an ROI of $40 while every $1 spent on SEO produced $22

email marketing roi

How to Start an Email List?

Your house list is the best list to work from because it consists of people that have bought from you in the past. Put your current customer’s names on the list, and all of your prospects that you’ve given a sales presentation too.

Focus on Your Salespeople

Make sure that all of your salespeople give you the names and addresses of their customers, referrals and prospects. Self employed consultants can put all their dormant clients on the subscriber list, because sending them a newsletter might expand the use of their service.

Inquiries and Past Prospects

If someone inquires about your business, these names and addresses should be added to the subscribers list. The best way to turn a prospect into a customer is to send them a newsletter because people sometimes need more information before they will buy from you. Get the names of every prospect and sales lead generated by your small business.

Your Website is Important

Make it easy to sign up for your email newsletter on your website. You must have a way to capture the email addresses on your website. Make sure that all of the subscribers on your list have opt-in to receive an email newsletter from you. “The most important thing to remember is that all subscribers on your list must take some type of action to indicate they would like to receive email communications from your company. You can sign up for an autoresponder service. This service will collect subscriber’s email addresses from your website, manage your newsletter account by sending it to people that requested it.

Incentive to Sign Up


You can have an incentive for signing up for your email newsletter, for an example, if you operate an alarm and security company, you can provide a free ebook on “how to secure your home with these 5 steps”. Give them some benefits for receiving an email newsletter, for example, by stressing the great information they will be receiving from it. You can use an ebook creator like to turn your Word Document article into a nice looking ebook.

Your company must provide a way for recipients to unsubscribe to your email newsletter. You should provide instructions on how to unsubscribe if they did not intend to sign up.

Be Upfront and Respect Unsubscribe Requests Immediately

Do not spam your customers. Ensure that every e-mail communication has dialogue that allows customers to easily unsubscribe from receiving such e-mails. Complying with such requests is one of the provisions in the CAN-SPAM Act passed back in 2003, which mandates all opt-out requests be completed within 10 business days.

Complying with other regulations in the CAN-SPAM act also mandates that every advertisement is clearly labeled as such and that your business’s physical address is located somewhere inside the e-mail. Be upfront with your customers and don’t use misleading messages in your subject lines. Respecting the wishes and meeting the needs of your customer can lead to a long and valuable symbiotic relationship.

Essential Tools for List Building

The first essential tool is a professional auto-responder. An auto-responder is a program which automatically generates a response when it receives information. The classic use of auto-responders is in email management, but these programs can also be found on websites. They can also be programmed to broadcast messages at any given time – automatically.

Although there are free auto-responders available they are of little value and any internet marketer who wants to be taken seriously needs to use a professional service. The two best known services can be found at:



Auto-responder services can generate a form code that is embedded into a web page and shows up as a subscription box into which the visitor can enter their name and email address, or any other information that is requested. It is possible to generate a variety of lists, each segmented according to the product or market niche that is being targeted.

The second essential tool is an opt-in or squeeze page. A squeeze page houses an opt-in form and provides a place for contacts to find the website, evaluate what is being offered and make the decision to become an active subscriber to an email list.

squeeze page

The purpose of a squeeze page is different from that of a sales page. There is no attempt to make a sale and therefore to provide extensive product information. Rather, the primary focus is on motivating the visitor to subscribe to the email list by filling in the required information in the opt-in box on the page. It is imperative that there is a strong call to action, otherwise the visitor is unlikely to subscribe.

The third tool in the arsenal is an incentive or give-away. The most important component of the squeeze page is undoubtedly the incentive offered to the visitor in order to motivate them to sign -up to the list.

Incentives can take a variety of forms:-

  • Free Reports
  • Free Ebooks (full length or leaked chapters)
  • Free Tutorial Guides
  • Video Tutorials
  • Free or Trial Access To a Membership Program
  • Free Weekly Newsletter Subscription
  • Free templates or graphics
  • Free Audio Interviews, Lessons, Tutorials

The crucial aspect with the incentive is that it must be perceived by visitors as being of high value. The key to creating a successful give-away product is in its overall relevancy and existing demand. The target audience needs to be actively searching for similar information, and that information needs to be in high demand and being sold successfully in the marketplace. Develop that focus and there will be little difficulty in building a massive list of targeted prospects who will be eager to receive future emails and broadcasts.

Launching a List Building Campaign

terms and condition

Once the squeeze page set up and the auto-responder account created, the focus shifts to developing an email sequence that is activated from the moment a website visitor becomes a subscriber.

Your visitor enters in their information via the squeeze page and confirms their request to be added to a newsletter or receive the incentive on offer. The auto-responder then kicks in and emails subscribers a welcome email . it also provides access to the give-away. This is sent out automatically within minutes of their subscription. The auto-responder then continues to email subscribers on pre-set dates, according to the system set up within the auto-responder account. Delivery dates and times are scheduled on the administration panel, and all of the emails placed in the auto-responder account will be sent out to all active subscribers on a regular schedule.

Taking an aggressive approach to email marketing works for some, however for the majority, it’s always best to tread carefully, initially focusing on building a relationship with the subscriber list, and then doubling that up with promotional offers, or recommendations to affiliate based products.

The balance that is used, when mixing up free content with promotional based material is personal choice, however the more value you give to the subscribers, the easier and faster it will be to develop a relationship with them.

Building the list involves using a variety of techniques that will drive traffic to your squeeze page. Some of these techniques are listed below.

  • create multiple squeeze pages
  • implement squeeze pages into social profiles
  • article marketing
  • participate in give-aways
  • co-registration services
  • ezine advertising
  • video marketing


Email marketing and list building is truly one of the easiest methods of building automated income online. With a single click of the mouse, a promotional based email is instantly broadcast to a built-in customer base, without having to worry about the cost of customer acquisition or advertising.

In order to monetize lists effectively however, the focus needs to be on treating subscribers well and developing the trust necessary for them to respond to future offers.