Thought Of Building Your Mailing List?

Question For You

Do you wonder why you keep receiving emails from organisations you use often?

Take supermarkets for instance.

Most of us visit a supermarket and a lot of us have joined their loyalty program. We are loyal customers. Yet we keep getting emails.

Why is that?

The loyalty program is not just about getting discounts when you pay for your products or collecting points to get money off a shop.

It is also used by the supermarket to inform us of upcoming promotions we might be interested in.

Supermarkets like other organisations use their lists to market to existing customers. The expectation is that a certain percentage of those on the list would take action by visiting a site or location, which would then lead to sales.

When To Start Building Your List

So, when is the best time to start building an email list?

When you ask this question to those who have built their list to a sizeable figure, you will more than likely get the same answer.

That answer being, you should start building your list as soon as you possibly can.

Building a list takes time and the reasons people join a list varies.

Some join because you are offering something they want;

Some join out of curiosity;

Some join for more fickle reasons like wanting to get rid of that pesky pop ups that appear on the screen.

No matter the reason they join, once you get people on your list, you then need to nurture them so they do not unsubscribe.

Maintaining Your List

Once people get onto your list, you’ll need to start communicating with them.

Doing this doesn’t mean bombarding your list with emails multiple times a day. In fact, no matter how interesting your emails are, sending too many emails in quick succession, i.e daily or multiple times a day, is a sure fire way of getting large number of people unsubscribing.

So, by all means send emails just don’t flood people’s inboxes.

To keep people interested in what you have to offer, provide your subscribers with a mixture of informative emails and emails that ask for their opinions. That way people do not feel like the communication is just one way.

How Many People Should You Have On A List 

Having a large list is not a guarantee of increased sales if those on the list are not relevant or interested in what you have to offer.

So, when it comes to how many people to have on a list, first step is to find relevant people and then get as many of them as you can. In other words, never stop building your list.

From listening to podcasts and reading about list building in general, there are many factors to take into account when determining how many people to have on your list.

As there is no real straightforward answer, on an absolute number, a method to use is to work backwards from your end goal.

An example of this would be to determine:

How much traffic you would like to get each time an email is sent out;

And what your email list click-through rate will be.

To get click-through rates, you can download this click-through rate chart. If you are unable to find your industry, you can use the overall click-through rate shown at the bottom of the PDF.

We’ll use an example to determine how many people should be on your email list.

Let’s say the click-through rate for your industry is 2% and you want to get 500 site visitors from each email you send to your list. You would need to have a list of 25,000 to get to your target site visitors.

This is calculated as follows:

Target site visitors / Industry click-through rate = List size

500 / 2% = 25,000

That does seem like a lot of email addresses to collect, especially if your list is currently less than 100. Which is why list building is an ongoing activity.

Where To Start When Building A Mailing List

Starting a mailing list involves using a number of different tactics. Here are a few you could try.

Asking Friends and Family

The most obvious place to start when building an email list is by asking those you know to join your list.

This will get your numbers up. However, are your family and friends really the type of people you want to have on your list?

Are they your target audience?

Running Ads

You can run ads on social platforms where you offer people a lead magnet in exchange for email addresses.

This method is becoming less effective as laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now require the lead magnet to be given to people who want it, regardless of if they sign up to your list or not.

Also, explicit permission needs to be given by those taking up a lead magnet offer, agreeing to be contacted, before a business can email them.

Word Of Mouth

You can increase subscribers to your mailing list by getting those in your network to tell others about what you have to offer.


Here you can get together with other businesses and collaborate with each other using each other’s networks, with the sole purpose of gaining subscribers to a list.


Building a list is not just about how many email addresses you can get on your mailing list.

For a list to be a true asset for your business, it needs to have people on there that:

  • Want to be on the list;
  • Interested in what you have to offer, this is reflected in click-through rates;
  • And are your target audience.

If you would like to collaborate with SloppySuccess to build your mailing list, leave your details and we’ll be in touch. You can also read our FAQ collaboration page.

Links on this post may be affiliate links, which will provide me with a small commission if you make a purchase using my link. Images were created using Visme.

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