Part 3 – This is Part 3 of our free 30-day Email Marketing Training Series.

Now that you’ve learned about what Email Marketing is and you

[hopefully] have figured out which email service provider you want to roll with, we can now move on and cover the topic of building your email list.

The first step to building your email list is actually creating the list—or lists (plural)—you want to use.

But, in order to do this, you need to have already signed up for your preferred email marketing service provider. If you haven’t done that yet, please take the time to do that now and come back to this article after you’ve successfully completed your sign-up.

[Pausing for Sign-Up]

Ok, welcome back! Let’s get started…

How to Set Up an Email List

Now that you are all signed up, let’s start by creating your first list. (If you’ve already created your first list, click here to jump down to how to build your list.

It’s a simple 3-step process:

Step 1

Log in to your ESP, and find the area called “Lists” or if you don’t see that category, look for “Contacts”.

Build Email List

Constant Contact


Build Email List



Build Email List

Campaign Monitor

Step 2

Select Lists or Contacts, then find the call-to-action to create a new list. It may look like:

  • “Enter a New List”
  • “Create a New List”
  • “Create List”
Build Email List

Constant Contact


Build Email List



Build Email List

Campaign Monitor

Step 3

Create a new list by naming it something easy to remember or recall. Let’s call it the “General Interest” list for now. Once you develop a strategy for collecting email addresses, you can create multiple email lists that are direct targeted to your customers. For example, “Customers” or “New Leads”.

And, voila! You have your first email list.

Type of Email Opt-Ins

Now, while you’re setting up your email list, you may run across the option to set the sign-up process as a single opt-in or a double opt-in (confirmed opt-in). Some email service providers don’t even give you the option for this—as they require one or the other—and some allow you to choose the option that best fits your business.

Email Opt-in

Let’s touch base on what each one of these means, so you can make an educated decision when it comes to your business and how you want to collect email addresses.

Double Opt-In

Let’s start with the double opt-in, which is when a user signs up on your email list—via any sign-up form on your website—a confirmation email is triggered and sent to the subscriber. The subscriber then MUST confirm that they actually signed up on your list BEFORE being added to your email list.

Now, you may be thinking, “Oh good, they are confirming that they want to be on my list!” But wait, the problem with this is that there are about 20-25% of people who may forget to confirm, not see the confirmation email or not realize that they have to “confirm” they wanted to be on your list. In my opinion, as a consumer, I don’t need extra work. If I sign up on a list, then I want to be on that list. Period.

However, the reason for this process is so that your email address doesn’t get added by accident (through a misspelling) or by revenge—someone adding you to the list for random reasons. So, for those reasons, it’s a good thing.

Single Opt-In

On the flip side, a single opt-in is when a subscriber signs up on your email list—via any sign-up form on your website—they are automatically added to your email list without any type of double confirmation. They added their name and email address, and that is confirmation enough.

In my opinion, I’m a big advocate for the single opt-in, as I feel like you will end up losing a big chunk of your audience because they forgot to open the confirmation email or they missed it for some reason. However, if you’ve had troubles in the past with spamming a list of email addresses that you uploaded (thinking you were doing the right thing), and you ended up being blacklisted, then you may want to opt for the double opt-in process. This will protect you from being blacklisted in the future, and it will ensure that your emails will get delivered.

How to Increase Your Email Subscriber List

Signing up for the service and setting up an email list is easy, right?

Now for the hard part—you have to collect email addresses to make this work. In fact, collecting email addresses is how you’re going to build your business, so you must focus on increasing your subscriber list at every point in your business: your homepage, your checkout page, your header or footer, your social media accounts, in-store at checkout, at events, etc.

Below is a list of several possible ways you could increase your email subscriber list:

  • Add an email pop-up form on your website.
  • Create an email exit form on your website.
  • Add an email sign-up form in the header, footer and/or sidebar of your website.
  • Integrate your checkout form with your email list to add an optional opt-in checkbox at the end of your e-commerce checkout page.
  • Give away a valuable freebie as an incentive for a user to give you their email address. This could be a free e-book, video series or a discount code to be used on any of your products or services.
  • Offer an opt-in option your blog comments to add users to your subscriber list.
  • Run an online giveaway via your website or your social media accounts to increase your subscriber list. Users must enter their name and email for a chance to win.
  • Host an event (online or offline) and add an opt-in box to your RSVP page on your website.
  • Collect email addresses at your in-person event.
  • Run giveaways at your events to increase your subscriber list.
  • Have a Guest Registry at checkout or at your POS station in your store where customers can write down their name and email.
  • Host a live webinar and register guests.
  • Add an email subscribe form on your social media networks.

If you continue with our 30-day Email Marketing Training Series, then you’ll later learn that email pop-up forms can be a tremendous asset to building your email list. I’ll show you how you can increase your subscriber list by 1,375%! That’s a major bump in email subscribers.

If you’d like to learn more or if you might be interested in an email pop-up form for your website, click here to check out my Email Marketing Starter Package, which includes creating a custom opt-in form for your business. I’ll have you up and running in no time!

Have questions?

Add a comment below if you have any specific questions, and we’ll figure it all out together. Happy emailing!