A graphic showing the cycle of subscribing to an email list using an autoresponder
Building An Email List

Building An Email List: The Basics

How do you go about building an email list? And what are the best marketing techniques to ensure that it continues to grow?

The Autoresponder

You need the most important tool for building and managing a mailing list — an Autoresponder.

An autoresponder is software that automatically manages a mailing list on your behalf, based on parameters that you have set-up. It saves you a massive amount of time in the long run and it is really not an option to go without — if you want to be successful.

An autoresponder is what you will use to create your opt-in form. This is where your visitors will enter their names and their email addresses in order to subscribe to your ethical bribe (course, PDF, video, etc…). The autoresponder will be where the database of users is stored and it is where you will send your messages to be distributed at a selected interval. These tools allow you to manage lists of less than 10 to huge lists over tens of thousands.

Also, autoresponders give you lots of statistics regarding your emails — for instance they can tell you what percentage of your sent emails are actually opened. They also provide you with other powerful features, such as the ability to include the recipient’s name inside the messages. This way, you can customize your email to say ‘Hey John!’ instead of being generic and the same for all subscribers.

Autoresponders also allow you to implement a ‘double opt-in’, meaning that subscribers need to respond to a confirmation email to confirm their interest. This protects you from spam and from people who aren’t really interested in reading your messages. More important, autoresponders allow people to automatically unsubscribe, rather than requiring you to manage it manually.

For all these reasons, an autoresponder is an absolutely essential tool and not something you can do without.

Here are a few autoresponders that allow you a limited time free trial. Click the link below to be taken to the Registration Page for the free trial of your choice:

  1. ActiveCampaign
  2. AWeber
  3. GetResponse

The right choice for you will depend on how big you expect your mailing list to grow and how quickly. The good news is that you are able to export your list and easily move to another provider if you desire or decide you want to go to a “All-in-one” provider (more on that in a different post).

Landing Pages and Embedding Your Opt-In Form

Once you have your free trial set-up with an autoresponder, the first thing you will want to do is to build your opt-in form. You will then get a piece of code that you paste into your HTML to embed the form onto your website, (harder than it sounds-it is actually very easy).

One place to use an opt-in form is on your landing/squeeze page. This landing/squeeze page is a single page on your website that is entirely dedicated to getting people to sign up to your list or leaving altogether. There are no external links and no advertisements for other products or anything else to detract the visitors attention. The idea is that you can then use PPC advertising (pay per click) and other forms of marketing in order to ensure that you’re driving traffic to that page, to collect the email address, in order to market products or services that the subscriber would be interested in. *For example — if your prospect subscribed to a ‘newsletter’ about Dogs, do not send them marketing for Cats.

You can also use your opt-in forms on your blog or on your website, where it should be prominent. The best marketers know that their mailing list is their most valuable asset and they are alway building their list.


A pop-over is like a pop-up, except it doesn’t open in a different window. Instead, it pops up within the browser and sits on top of the content of the website. Your visitors will then need to either enter their e-mail or click ‘close’ in order to continue browsing.

Keep in mind that pop-overs may annoy some of your visitors. You will want to split test (more on that in a different post), to see if it has a positive or negative effect. Also, use smart algorithms to create pop-overs that show only when the visitor has spent a significant amount of time on your site, or when they have scrolled down the page a certain amount or show exit intent.

Content Marketing

You can also embed the opt-in forms directly into your content. Your intention is to make your articles and blog posts enticing enough to get the visitor to not want to miss your other content and subscribe to your mailing list. The general idea is to show your audience that you are worth listening to and that you deliver value-always provide value to your target audience.

Always actively encourage people to sign up to your mailing list. “The money is in the list”; that is why it is so important to build and nurture a relationship with your audience.

If you are interested in learning about Affiliate Marketing — check out my Affiliate Marketing Crash Course. It’s FREE!!! The only thing it will cost is your email address and some time to read and implement the steps.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases.



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Steve Gibson

Steve Gibson


Helping Entrepreneurs to get started and succeed in the worlds of Network Marketing and Affiliate Marketing, through Duplication, Coaching and Mentoring.