How to Build Your Email List

Email marketing helps you build a relationship with your customers. Here’s how to combine pop‑up forms and Facebook ads to start growing your list in a few simple steps.

Hero image for How to Build Your Email List

Email marketing helps you not only to build a relationship with your customers, but gives you a proven way to nurture leads and convert them into long lasting customers. 

No matter what type of business you operate, an email list is the most important element of a successful marketing strategy. With that list, you can share your story, promote your business, and showcase your products, all while turning subscribers into paying customers.

Online businesses that want to attract potential customers can use opt-in forms in their website to attract sign ups, experienced content marketers use lead magnets to generate leads. You can also combine pop‑up forms and Facebook ads to start growing your email list in a few simple steps.

In this recipe, you’ll learn how to quickly build a list from scratch by combining 2 of Mailchimp’s most powerful tools: pop-up forms and Facebook ads.

TIME: 50 minutes or less

First, create a branded opt-in pop-up form for your website

Pop-up forms provide visitors with a quick, convenient way to share contact information and subscribe to your list while they’re browsing your site, making them a powerful tool for audience growth. They’re easy to add to your site, and they’re proven to work—our research shows that Mailchimp users have seen their list growth rate increase by an average of 50.8% after adding a pop-up form to their site.

Here are few tips to take into considerations before you start building opt-in pop-up forms:

  • Choose an attractive headline: Make sure to include a good headline that will describe one important benefit that your potential customers will have by subscribing to your email list
  • Relevant description or Tag line: include a brief and clear description line, that will help you increase the conversion rate for your subscription.
  • Simple form: Include only the necessary contact information, like name and email address.
  • Include a call to action into the subscribe button. Make sure to use non-generic call to action that will invite visitors to click right away.
Mailchimp users have seen their list growth rate increase by an average of 50.8% after adding a pop-up form to their site.

Build a pop-up form in 3 steps

TIME: 20 minutes

  1. Design your form.

  2. Set your display timing.

    • Tip: Align the timing of your pop-up form with the average amount of time a visitor spends on your website. Set the form to appear immediately (or with a 5-second delay) if people aren’t inclined to spend much time on your site. If visitors have a tendency to browse, consider a 20-second delay or a scroll-based trigger when someone reaches the middle or bottom of your page.
  3. Generate the code and, if necessary, paste it into your site’s HTML or through your website builder.

Build A Pop-Up Form

Set the form to appear immediately (or with a 5 second delay) if people aren’t inclined to spend much time on your site. If visitors have a tendency to browse, consider a 20-second delay.

Next, create marketing campaigns to find your people with Facebook ads

Every marketing expert knows that Facebook ads help you reach new audiences—and find new customers—by targeting people who’re similar to your existing contacts. In fact, we’ve found that targeting an audience that’s similar to your Mailchimp list can lead to a 29% better ROI than interest targeting alone.

But Facebook ads aren’t just used for selling stuff, but also to generate leads by collecting emails through ads that link to your landing pages with opt-in forms. In just a few steps, you can create an ad that drives people to your site so they can quickly and easily sign up for your email list.

Create a Facebook ad in 3 steps

TIME: 30 minutes

  1. Target people with similar interests.
    • Tip: You’ve collected a lot of information about your existing customers, now you have the opportunity to put that data to work for your business. Facebook analyzes the profiles of the contacts on your Mailchimp list, then creates a lookalike audience based on shared interests, behaviors, and demographics.
    • Tip: You can A/B test to compare how a custom audience of your recent website visitors and lookalike audience of likely subscribers perform when trying to generate leads to increase conversion rate optimization.
  2. Design your ad, complete with your website URL.
  3. Set your budget.
    • Tip: Your budget represents the maximum amount of money you want to pay to run your ad. You can choose to spend any amount you’d like—even as little as $5—and you’ll only be charged for each person that clicks your ad.

Create A Facebook Ad

Measuring your success

After publishing your pop-up form and Facebook ad, monitor your reports to keep track of your progress and learn exactly how many new people join your email list. Once you have a baseline, consider adjusting your messaging, timing, improving user experience and other variables to see how your conversion rate is affected.

Bonus: Turn on a welcome series

Now that you’ve got the pieces in place to start growing your list, you’re ready to start using some marketing automation features and create a welcome email that automatically sends when new people subscribe. You can use this email to offer a discount or exclusive content, promote your newest or best-selling products, sharing success stories or simply thank new subscribers for their interest in your business.

TIME: 15 minutes

In just 3 steps, you can design the email, determine your segment and timing, and start the automation. Learn how.

Create A Welcome Automation