How To Build An Engaged Email List

Bringing your business online opens tons of new sales opportunities. Email marketing is the strategy you can rely on to reach the right audiences (consumers eager to know and contribute to your business growth). Mix it with personalized marketing strategies to ensure you will build a solid and long-term relationship with them.

After establishing your email marketing goals, you can build your engaged email list. As the name implies, an email list is a collection of your prospects, visitors, and patrons’ email addresses. They are usually captured from your business websites and social media channels.

If you already have existing customers, you can simply import your customers’ details into your chosen email marketing software. But if none, you can always start from scratch.

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9 Tricks To Create An Engaged Email List

If you’ve never built an engaged email list before or run out of creative ideas on how to do so, here are nine proven tricks that will save your time.

1. Give clear value

According to Benchmark email marketing statistics, more than 347 billion emails will be sent every day this 2022. Most of them are used for lead nurturing and sales outreach. This result only proves how tight the competition is in getting consumers’ attention.

But there’s nothing to worry about because you can still have the advantage by offering clear value upfront. It’s proven that people highly open an email campaign or engage in a website when they know there’s something in it that will benefit them.

The value you offer will serve as the perks your prospects get when they share their email address and other valuable personal details.

The value you can offer can be in the form of:

  • Informative resources – Product knowledge, presentations, tutorial videos, step-by-step guides, and other articles that help visitors understand your products or website functions
  • Newsletter – Provide relevant information for consumers knows about your business’ credibility and authority (company/industry reports, case studies, etc.)
  • Special offers, complimentary gifts, and discounts
  • Host events or contests/giveaways

Take Preset Love’s Adobe Lightroom preset pack as an example. Their goal is to gather the visitors’ email addresses, so they added a sticky top bar to their website. It may be simple, but it’s very noticeable and non-intrusive; visitors will surely see it every time.

Preset Love Sample: Sticky Top Bar

When visitors submit their email addresses, they can get more free presets. If you use the same approach for email campaigns, ensure to create a dedicated landing page to educate them further about your topic (business or products).

Personalized marketing is also great to add to make each product experience and content feel unique per target prospect.

2. Create compelling content

Providing an irresistible offer to the right target audience can lead to explosive business growth and profitability. However, all your efforts can still go to waste if you fail to present them right. Make sure to take the time to create compelling content.

Compelling content itself is powerful enough to entice your visitors to join your email list. With the added incentive, your target audience will not resist becoming subscribers or even turn into brand advocates.

Here are a few ideas on the type of content you can create:

I. Value-based content

The free, actionable content that you consistently share with your email list. In the #1 trick, I have mentioned a few types of content you can use. Aside from those, many use it to tell stories or experiences relevant to your brand.

This is an effective method to make your brand more human and strengthen the relationship with your customers. Other value-based content you can share is listed as follows:

  • Reviews
  • Answer the most asked questions
  • Infographics

II. Goal-oriented content

The type of content that aligns with your meaningful business goals. Since you are building an engaged email list, you can set your goal for engagement.

As a general rule of thumb, all written content must bring out the emotion of your readers.

Make it as relatable as possible. If you can share a true story, the better outcome you can receive. Don’t forget to make it visually appealing by adding various relevant visual elements.

Here are a few of the best content types for goal-oriented content:

  • How-to Guides
  • Blog articles
  • Online quizzes
  • Videos

III. Purpose-driven content

Did you know that the human mind can hold three to four ideas at once? It’s true. That’s why it’s essential to have a purpose in mind to prevent getting lost on your train of thought.

There are four purposes that you can use that appeal greatly to consumers, and those are:

  • Convince
  • Educational
  • Entertaining
  • Inspiring

Let’s take Unscramblex’s word finder as an example.

Most people go online to find something entertaining. The company took advantage of that reason and created excellent website content specifically for that purpose. They also make it informative to ensure the readers can quickly learn how to use the word unscrambler tool and what types of games it’s most useful.

You can always use your website visitors’ interest to identify the purpose that most of your visitors find valuable and appealing. This is part of the personalized marketing strategy that ensures the content matches your target audience’s needs and wants.

3. Create opt-in forms for your website

Opt-in refers to a marketing campaign that uses permission-based email collection to capture lead data. There are two methods of opt-ins available, and the most used is the single opt-in.

Since it only requires one action to meet, the users can get the incentive in a few simple clicks – type the email address and click submit (standard steps). On the other hand, the double opt-in method uses a single opt-in and a confirmation step.

When visitors fill out the online form, they will automatically receive a confirmation email. Once the visitor clicks the link to confirm, they will be added to your email list. The double opt-in may not be as popular as the single opt-in, but it has a lesser chance of sending your future emails to the spam folder.

The double opt-in is recommended for businesses that have received abuse complaints in the past. After setting the method to use, you can now choose the type of opt-in to use. There are several options available, but here are the options best for websites:

I. Squeeze page

A squeeze page is a type of landing page used to collect email addresses from prospects and visitors. It’s often written short with the following elements:

  • A catchy headline – Clearly states the value it offers
  • Supporting information – Additional details that can help the readers to make the final decision (paragraph or bullet list format)
  • Embedded form with one to two fields – The area where readers will fill in their name and/or email address)
  • Call-to-action button – Include an actionable phrase to entice the readers to complete the process
  • Visual designs – Add relevant and appealing graphical elements to make it more engaging (teaser video, colorful images, etc.)

I have shared a screenshot of Pixelo’s squeeze page for its letterpress and stamp font offer to give you an idea of its appearance.

Like the standard landing page, you can use A/B testing to optimize your squeeze pages.

II. Header opt-in

It’s said that people only spend 15 seconds or less on one website. So, the header opt-in gives you the advantage of being seen no matter how long your visitor stays. You can also choose other opt-ins that are placed above the fold.

4. Create opt-in forms for your eCommerce site

There are different types of websites you can create online. If you choose to have an eCommerce site, here are the available opt-ins to consistently engage your audience:

I. Exit intent pop-up

Pop-ups usually do not receive the highest appreciation because it’s intrusive or distracting. But visitors can feel differently with the help of personalized marketing strategies. It allows you to create and send relevant content to the right audience at the ideal time.

Another option available is the exit intent pop-up. This type of opt-in form only shows up when the visitors show signs of leaving or closing the window tab. It’s ideal for adding a special incentive to encourage your visitor to sign up.

II. Footer opt-in

A footer opt-in is the easiest to implement and maintenance-free. However, not many implement it because they think it doesn’t work. Well, they are wrong because it produces consistent, high-quality leads.

It’s ideal for websites with long-form content. If you place the opt-in form above the fold, it can quickly drown into the content. The footer section gets the advantage because it’s fixed.

Also, not many users have the patience or time to reach the bottom part of the website. So, you may think that there are no regular users who will look for them. You’re mistaken again.

Experienced internet shoppers and discount hunters always go straight to this section because they know it contains special offers.

III. Push notification opt-in

Most eCommerce sites provide desktop and mobile applications. If you have one too, or planning to build your own app in the nearest time, it’s recommended to add a push notification opt-in. This is a type of opt-in form that asks permission from the users whether they want to receive push notifications or not.

Once the users are opt-in, short messages will pop up on the user’s screen (browser or mobile). The message may contain the latest news, special offers, and other helpful information relevant to your online store.

Personalized marketing also comes in handy to create a message based on your behavior-related insights (everything you have gathered from your analytics tool).

5. Spread out the opt-in opportunities across your website (all types)

Now that you know the best opt-in forms to add to your website, the next step is to add them to the right location.

No matter how effective your opt-in forms are, they will not produce the result you wanted if no one can’t find it. As a general rule, it’s best to place the opt-in forms on hyper-active web pages such as the:

  • About us
  • Blog
  • Contact us
  • Homepage

For the blog, it’s best to add the opt-in form in the sidebar. You can use in-text or as an image for longer posts. Since websites are created differently, there are more unique web pages included.

You can determine which one is best to add opt-in forms by relying on your analytics tool. Find and target all high-traffic web pages.

There is no specific restriction on how many opt-in forms you can use per website. However, it’s ideal for adding it to pages where it makes the most sense and doesn’t interrupt the user experience.

6. Get the right data

In the age of digital disruption, every business aims to accelerate innovation to face and respond to any challenges effectively. The key is focusing on what matters. You can implement this on email list building by collecting and prioritizing the right data.

Before starting the collection process, ensure to consider the following aspects:

  • Type of business
  • Products
  • Goals

The information you will gather can help you identify consumers interested in the type of products or services you are offering. It’s a plus that it can also help you create a successful, hyper-personalized content and marketing campaign.

As part of the best practice, collecting more is recommended to achieve the highest personalization level. You can get all these data using different digital collection methods, like:

  • Online forms and microsurveys
  • Interviews
  • Sending questionnaires
  • Case studies

If you prefer a direct approach, you can use different digital tools. An email finder is your go-to tool for quickly finding new prospects’ emails and contacts databases. Choosing the email finder that features multiple checks is recommended to ensure authenticity and efficacy.

Assuming you have successfully collected email leads, it’s time for you to determine which leads are worth pursuing. You can use lead scoring software to assign points based on your contact’s profile (location, job title, etc.).

Tip: Have a good understanding of information architecture and artificial intelligence

Today, it’s a must to have a user-centric website design. You can deliver it by creating a better information architecture, the method that allows you to structure and organize website content. Doing so will balance the website’s functionality, navigation, interaction, and visual elements.

On the other hand, most digital tools and platforms feature artificial intelligence. It’s a technology programmed to solve, learn, and mimic specific actions exactly how humans do. You can finally free yourself from labor-intensive and repetitive tasks.

7. Repurposing content

Assuming you successfully collected the data you need and analyzed them, you now better understand your prospects’ and customers’ needs. You can use the data to engage your email subscribers by repurposing content.

Repurposing content, or content recycling, is an excellent method to transform one content into a new format.

The good news is that you don’t have to start from scratch. You can simply cut the content parts into different formats. Here are a few examples to give you an idea:

  • Blog posts into a podcast episode or video content
  • Customer testimonials into social media content
  • Company internal data into case studies

Successfully doing so will place your content in front of more people (new). If you have high-traffic blog posts, you can also upgrade the value offered. For example, your prospects and customers read your ‘5 Ways mock online practice tests help you score better in your exams’ blog post.

You can upgrade the value offer with ‘Download the cheat sheet to help you achieve exam success’. You can create it in a PDF format and summarizes the five ways you’ve discussed in your blog post.

8. Announce a special offer or complimentary gift in great detail

Announcing a special offer and giving complimentary gifts are brilliant ways to entice prospects to join your email list.

When writing the announcement message, ensure to add the following details:

  • Include the offer’s timeline (start and end) and where the recipient can avail of it
  • Explain how the recipient can benefit from the offer
  • Discuss the offer’s specific details (the exact percentage of the discount, what the giveaway is, etc.)
  • Product or service the offer promotes
  • Give a sense of urgency to respond (limited-time offer, 50% OFF until midnight!, etc.)
  • Ask the recipient’s most convenient time to offer personal assistance

It is best to send a special offer announcement via email because it’s more intimate. It makes the recipient feel valued. If you haven’t written an announcement message, tons of templates are available online. You can edit them on a drag-and-drop email builder.

9. Get more email leads using social media

It’s undeniable that people love social media. So, there’s no better place to get more email leads than these platforms. Facebook remains the most used social media platform this 2022.

You can take advantage of it by creating lead-generating Facebook Ads. If running an ad campaign isn’t your priority or cup of tea, you can instead promote gated content.

As standard, you can use gated content to gather lead information like names and email addresses in exchange for exclusive content access. Since you are using it for social media platforms, you can also use it to receive followers and likes.

YouTube is another popular social media platform for video sharing. You can use it to build your engaged email list by creating a lead magnet. It’s a marketing strategy that offers a freebie in exchange for the prospects’ email addresses.

Aside from premium video, you can offer downloadable content such as:

  • Newsletters
  • White papers
  • Free consultation
  • Trial subscriptions

Use a double opt-in form and an exit-intent pop-up form to guarantee the best results. Don’t forget to add a compelling call-to-action phrase so that your prospects know what to do next.


Many research shows that attracting prospects costs more than retaining an existing customer. It can be true if you don’t know the right tactics. The nine tricks I’ve mentioned above are only a few of the many online solutions.

You’re always free to experiment independently to get the results you want. To further increase the efficacy of your email list building process, you must ensure to have a great website (business, eCommerce, or landing page). It must be error-free and have no dead links.

Personalized marketing should be added to ensure it meets your target audience’s needs and interests. It’s also beneficial to get digital tools like a sales intelligence platform to search, gather, and evaluate relevant data consistently.

Updating your email list is essential to ensure it remains healthy and engaged.