Build mailing list by collecting email addresses

Build mailing list by collecting email addresses

Email marketing is dependent on building a mailing list by collecting email addresses. Newsletters and other email marketing are more effective than most people think. But if you are not good at building a solid mailing list, the communication goes to one too small to have a good effect.

Here you can read more about different ways to collect email addresses and build a mailing list so that your mailings get the largest possible readership.

Some methods of building mailing lists that we will look at in this article are:

  • Form on website
  • In connection with a purchase
  • Social Media
  • Offline, for example, at trade fairs or in stores
  • Offers or competitions
  • In exchange for content or courses

Why Email Marketing?

At first glance, newsletters and other email marketing can feel old-fashioned. Sure, it’s an old-fashioned medium compared to social media. But that does not stop email from being something almost everyone uses.

Research on the ROI of newsletters shows that it can be a very profitable investment. 

Form on website

We start with the most basic: use a form on your website where visitors can begin subscribing to a newsletter or otherwise become part of your mailing list. It is an excellent way to convert the traffic you get on your website into subscribers that can be reached in the future.

The advantage of this method is that you can start building your mailing list even before you know exactly what to do with the email addresses. It is only important to be clear about what the email addresses are to be used for so that you do not send out something perceived as spam or otherwise disturbs the subscribers.

Forms on websites are mainly used in two different ways. You can place the form as a fixed part of the content, for example, as part of an article or a blog post. It is also possible to use plugins such as – for WordPress and create forms that appear on top of the content after a certain time.

Regardless of which method you choose to build a mailing list through forms, there are things to consider.


When designing and placing a form and other elements in content, one should think about conversion optimization; to get as many people as possible on the website to sign up for the mailing list. A newsletter subscription is an excellent KPI for a website, but you should not be satisfied until the form has a high conversion rate.

Some examples of things that can affect the conversion rate of the form are:

  • The number of fields you have to fill in – long forms scare away visitors and result in fewer conversions
  • Language choice – be clear about the value and what you can get out of being on the mailing list
  • Colours – colour choices and other design elements can make the form more inviting and, above all, more brand-bearing
  • Timing – adapt the forms to different articles and time to hit right in e.g. buying processes


If you make popups that end up on top of the content, it is important that they can be closed in a good way. They should also be mobile friendly so that they do not make people leave the page in frustration. Be sure to test and perform web analytics to make sure the forms do not cause usability issues.

Many people have bad memories from popups at the beginning of the internet, and this is the last thing you want to associate with your website and your marketing.

In connection with a purchase

A closely related way to the pure opt-in forum teachings we discussed above is to build a mailing list when buying. Many e-commerce companies handle an incredible number of purchases every day. Email addresses are almost always part of the information collected.

Including the ability to communicate with the customer as an alternative when buying can help build a mailing list. Just be clear about what communication means.

Build mailing list through social media

Social media can be a great way to build a mailing list, provided you have a sufficiently large number of followers. If you do not have enough people to get an effect, you can market your posts to get more reach.

Social media can work extra well if you set up competitions and other interactive incentives that require you to share posts to participate. In this way, you increase visibility and get another opportunity to narrow down email addresses through your posts.

Build mailing list offline

Why “build mailing list offline?”. Well, one of the best ways to build a solid mailing list is to get the information face to face. You can, for example, ask for email addresses in stores or at trade fairs. The results are often unexpectedly good.

A tip is to enter the email addresses on, for example, an iPad or smartphone. If you receive them by hand, it is easy for misspellings and other problems to arise during the journey.

Offers and competitions

You can also build a mailing list by offering value if you want to twist it a bit. Quite a few are willing to give away their email addresses if it means that you get something for free or at a discounted price. The email address can also be something that you give to participate in a competition. 

Content or courses

As a digital marketer, I see many who offer their content or skills-enhancing courses for an email address. A common way is to read the beginning of an article and then give your email address to read the second half. It is a type of digital cliffhanger that can work to build a mailing list.

Another type of content that is a typical exchange for an email address is e-books or courses. You can also offer subscribers priority for blog posts or upcoming newsletters.

Do not forget the opportunity to stop subscribing.

When you send out a newsletter or other communication via email, some often no longer want to hear from you. Make it easy to stop subscribing and ensure that those who said no are really off the mailing list.

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