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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.

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 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.

puzzle piece with a pop-up form icon
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.
    • Tip: Create forms with the user experience in mind. If you need any design tips or best practices, we’ve got you covered.
  1. 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.
  1. Generate the code and, if necessary, paste it into your site’s HTML.
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, find your people with Facebook ads

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. 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.

puzzle piece with Facebook icon

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.
  2. Design your ad, complete with your website URL.
    • Tip: Choosing the right image for your Facebook ad can make all the difference. Our cheat sheet will help you select an image that looks great and leads to conversions.
  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.

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 list. Once you have a baseline, consider adjusting your messaging, timing, 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 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, or simply thank new subscribers for their interest in your business.

puzzle piece with three hearts representing welcome automation

TIME: 15 minutes

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