How To Start An Email List [The Beginner’s Guide]

Ready to start an email list? Do you understand the importance of list building?

Studies show that email marketing influences 59% of people’s purchase decisions.

Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income said – “Email Lists Are Crucial For Your Business.”

It also has the highest conversion rate among all marketing channels.

Email marketing is hands down the best way to monetize and establish foundational success in your online business. With that being said, you really should get on the ball and create your own mailing list so that you can collect your visitor’s emails from the start.

why email marketing is important

When you release new products, publish new blog posts, or have any news you want to get out. Email is the absolute fastest way to reach and educate your audience on what’s out and what’s to come. It’s the fastest way to connect with them.

If you look at the stats, when it comes to website visitors, less than 20% will actually return and more than 80% of them won’t bother to look back. And I can vouch that, because I see it inside my own site analytics.

Every visitor you have that reads your blog posts or browses through your site is a potential buyer.

Turning them into your email subscribers is the best way to keep them in your ecosystem.

If you really take the time to build your list, you will not only have a broad audience that trusts you, but one that will follow and keep your business going no matter what happens to your website.

List building is the best way to maintain your following no matter where you go.

In this guide, you’ll learn exactly how to start your email list, step by step.

Starting your email list from NOTHING

Now you know what email marketing is and why it’s important. But you’re new to online marketing and need to know how to start your email list from nothing.

Don’t worry..I’m here to help!

I’m going to show you how to get your first subscriber and more on your list with opt-in forms, lead generation techniques and tools.

Even if you are just beginning to put your online presence together, whether it be your blog or your business, collecting the emails of your visitors is the best thing you can do to get the best results.

#1 Sign Up For An Email Marketing Service

The very first thing you need to have is an email marketing service (EMS) also known as an autoresponder (term I’ll be using interchangeably). Without it, you’re outta the game before you even began.

An EMS/autoresponder will let you:

  1. Create forms to collect emails
  2. Create an email list
  3. Collect email subscribers in that list
  4. Manage your email subscribers
  5. Delete emails from it
  6. Send emails to your subscribers
  7. Create autoresponders to automatically send your campaigns
  8. Tag your email subscribers, create segments, structure a flowchart, drip, and funnel marketing

You’ll soon discover how you can do all that and more once you’ve gotten through the learning curve of your first email marketing service or software.

It’s super powerful, has all the automations you’ll ever need and as you start to grow, it’ll easily scale with your business. It’s was created for marketing professionals and bloggers, which makes it a no-brainer to use

Once you signup for ActiveCampaign, create a new list. Name your list and save it.

activecampaign email service

The best email marketing service is ActiveCampaign.

ActiveCampaign makes email marketing tasks easy for anyone, and that’s why I recommend it to anyone needing a reliable service.

Plus, you can get started with ActiveCampaign free for 14 days. No credit card required.

#2 Create your Automations

activecampaign automations

ActiveCampaign uses “Automations”. You will have to create an automation, which is an email that your subscribers will receive automatically as they subscribe to your list.

You want to build a personal relationship with subscribers, so it’s very important to welcome them as soon as they join your email list. This is very essential when marketing your business online.

First impressions are the most important, so don’t just send anything in your welcome email.

Here’s a preview of one of my welcome emails:

“Hey!Thank you for joining my free email course.If you’ve ever thought about starting a blog, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been blogging since Jan of 2019 and I have learned so much over that time.I started as a network marketer and now I run a successful affiliate marketing blog/business that earns me over $2500 a month, and I foresee it to continue to grow even better into the future.

I started my blog, Brand The Boss, over a year ago and have built a pretty cool asset. It’s allowed my wife and I to earn an additional income to use however we please. So far, we’ve been able to travel more and spend more time with loved ones, and as time goes, we hope to achieve our main goal of early retirement.With this free email course, I show you exactly how to create a blog, from the technical side (it’s easy – trust me!) all the way to earning your first income and attracting followers.

Over the next week, you will receive an email each day that will help you start your blog successfully….”

Mike Garvey Jr.

The purpose of an autoresponder is about building your brand and generating sales with automations. Too few emails to your subscribers and they’ll forget about you, too much and you’ll annoy them.

So it’s about finding a healthy balance and providing valuable information. Not just sell, sell, sell all the time.

activecampaign flowchart

ActiveCampaign has a massive amount of automation workflow templates. You can choose any one of them, so you don’t have to wonder and build it from scratch.

You can send anything in your autoresponder sequence including:

  • Blog post updates
  • Affiliate product promotions
  • Product launches
  • Introduction to new tools

If you plan on promoting products from your blog, I recommend setting up a sales funnel from your blog. Send a few emails a week and create an automation at least 7 days ahead of time.

Save yourself from all the headaches and get it done ASAP.

#3 Get A Mailing List Builder Tool

The next thing is to get a mailing list builder tool.

You’ll use a list building tool to create opt-in forms to display on your blog or website.

If you use WordPress, the best one you can use is Thrive Themes. It allows you to create multiple types of opt-in forms and trigger them with advanced targeting options.

#4 Grow Your Email List

Now that you have your awesome list building tool, you’ve got to convince your visitors to opt-in or subscribe to your email list. 

Generic “subscribe to my newsletter,” “subscribes to get updates,” and “Subscribe to email notifications” won’t work. Not in 2020.

You have to give your readers a reason to subscribe.

You need to ethically bribe them to join your list by using what are called Lead Magnets. These are incentives that you give your visitors as a free gift to join your email list.

Just like I do by adding my 7 Step affiliate marketing guide ebook in my opt-in forms as an incentive using Thrive Themes.

To connect any tool with your email list, you’ll have to enter your API in the integration settings.

In ActiveCampaign, go to your account info to find and copy your URL/API key.

activecampaign api

Using your mailing list building tool (Thrive Leads) create an opt-in form. Use popups, on-click popups, and sliding opt-in forms on your website and include your incentives in it right from the start.

#5 Opt-in Form Placement

It might seem easy to just slap your opt-in form anywhere on your blog, but you have to be a little more strategic with your placement. Your visitors should be able to see it so that they can subscribe through it. So you want to make it easy as possible for them.

Here are some of the best places to put your static opt-in forms:

  1. Your homepage featured section
  2. You’re about page
  3. Your footer area
  4. Below content area
  5. Between your post paragraphs (inline)

thrive leads

Some of the best types of opt-in forms I’ve seen so far are:

  1. Popups
  2. Slides-ins
  3. Scrolling
  4. Page takeover
  5. 2-Step

There is no one-all formula to getting more leads or subscribers to your list. The key is to remain consistent with your strategy and to continue publishing more content to attract more visitors to your posts. The more eyeballs on your site, the more opportunities to convert people into your subscribers.

You’ve made it to the end – Congrats

I hope you’ve found this guide useful and easy to understand. Share this and let me know your first experience in the comments section below.

Mike Garvey JrFounder of

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