6 Email List Building Best Practices to Follow for Successful Email Campaigns

Email marketing is effective only if your subscribers are interested in reading and engaging with your emails. And to get higher engagement and conversions, it is necessary to send emails to only those subscribers who want to hear from your brand. Reaching the right audience with the most appropriate message at the most appropriate time is critical for driving the desired results. 

So, how do you make sure you are sending emails to the right audience? 

The first and most important step in email marketing is building a contact list of subscribers and potential customers. Email list building is a crucial step for the success of your email campaigns. It is the process of collecting email addresses and other data such as gender, interests, location, etc., from customers, visitors, and patrons via website pages, sign-up forms, social media accounts, etc.

Why is it important to grow email lists organically?

Nobody likes unsolicited emails in their inbox. It is therefore important to only send emails to those who choose to be your subscribers, to maintain a healthy and engaged list. Sending emails to purchased lists can result in poor deliverability and conversion rates. Moreover, your emails are more likely to end up in spam, thereby leading to poor brand reputation.

Irrespective of the size of your business, an organically built email list can prove profitable in shaping the success of your marketing campaigns. By evaluating easy-to-track performance metrics such as click-through rate, open rate, and conversion rate, marketers will be able to know what’s resonating well with their subscribers and what needs tweaking.

Best Practices for Email List Building

Email list building – it’s one of the most important strategies for a winning email campaign. An organically built email list gives you access to the people who want to hear from you and lets you deliver targeted messages to drive better revenue. The following tactics and best practices must be taken into consideration while building email lists:

  • Use opt-ins

For a healthy email list, it is important to ensure every subscriber is acquired through opt-in. Also known as permission-based marketing, getting subscribers from opt-in forms is critical for boosting conversions. Including a prominent opt-in in the form of an exit-intent, notification pop-up, or a slide-in form are great ways to get more subscribers. Use a concise and eye-catchy copy in your opt-in to capture the attention of your subscribers right when they land on your website or landing page. Create a visually appealing design to make the opt-in form stand out from the rest of the elements of your page. The subscribers you get from the opt-ins are the ones really interested in your emails and brand.

  • Use sign-up forms

Sign-up forms are one of the most widely used strategies for building email lists. Using embedded sign-up forms in high-traffic areas of your website, such as the header, footer, sidebar, etc., is a proven tactic for getting subscribers. If your website, landing page, or social media page meets the customers’ needs and solves a problem, they are more likely to subscribe to your marketing activities to stay informed about your offerings. Hence, make sure you include sign-up forms at places where most users are likely to notice them.

  • Collect the right information

Customers seek highly personalized experiences while interacting with brands. Therefore, collecting just their email address is not enough for engaging them with your marketing activities. Make sure you collect all relevant data about your subscribers and prospects, such as their age, gender, location, interests, etc., to craft highly targeted and relevant emails that they would find useful. Collect the right data depending upon your business, goals, and product or service to run profitable campaigns.

  • Strategically use gated content

If you regularly create blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, and other marketing content for promoting your business or sharing knowledge, it can help you gauge subscribers if you use it as gated content. Restrict your best content so that it can be accessed by the users only if they provide their name and email address. Make sure you provide only well-written and valuable content as gated content in order to meet the users’ expectations.

  • Measure email list health

Once you have a list of subscribers to whom you regularly send emails, check the efficiency of the list by tracking a few important metrics such as the deliverability rate, open rate, click-through rate, spam complaint rate, etc. Keeping a check on these metrics will give you an understanding of how healthy and engaged your email list is. 

  • Cleanse your list regularly

Based on the email performance metrics, you must take necessary actions to cleanse your list. A healthy and active email list improves the deliverability rate, reduces bounce rates and spam complaints, which helps in improving your brand reputation. Email list cleansing can be done by removing inactive email addresses from the list and running re-engagement campaigns for the inactive subscribers who once engaged with your emails. 


An engaged email list is the foundation of a successful email campaign. Follow these best practices to create an active and engaged email list the right way. New to email marketing and need help with building your email list from scratch, hire an email campaign management services provider to help you get going.

Author: Kevin George is the head of marketing at Email Uplers, that specializes in crafting Professional Email Templates, PSD to Email conversion, and Mailchimp Templates. Kevin loves gadgets, bikes & jazz, and he breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on email marketing blog.

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