In this age of digital marketing, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, there’s one point of contact that tops them all—good old-fashioned e-mail. Think about it for a minute. Even though 1.4 billion people use Facebook, everyone who uses the internet (at last count about 3.8 billion people) has an email address, and Facebook’s users had to have an email to join in the first place.

If you’ve got a blog or a website, it’s worth your time to focus on building and using an email list. Even in 2019, email is one of the most direct, cost-effective ways to engage your users and interact with your audience. Although yesterday was the best time to start building your list, today is the next best.

Email is one of steadiest conduits to reach your audience, and it stands the test of time. Whenever a new update rolls out on a social media platform or other things outside of your control happen to affect your SEO metrics, your email list remains unaffected. You own the names and contact information that you’ve gathered from your site and can continue to use it as you wish.

How to Build Your Email List

Best of all, building your own organic email list isn’t rocket science. Here are three simple steps to building an email list:

  1. Direct traffic to your website. Optimize your key words and generate interesting content with a consistent tone and directive. Find your niche and your voice to attract the unique visitors who will be interested in accessing more content from your emails.
  2. Choose an email marketing service. Use a free service or better yet, sign up with an email marketing service like Constant Contact or MailChimp. Using a paid service is often worth it simply for the metrics that they provide so that you know which techniques are most effective. Some services will let you send emails with different subjects to subsets of your email list to see which ones get opened and read more often, allowing you to refine your future emails and improve both of those stats.
  3. Funnel website visitors to a high-converting opt-in form. Once visitors arrive to your site, set up an opt-in form to collect user data for your list. Make it prominent and keep it short, only collecting necessary info to target your users, and often with the promise of access to additional information, such as an ebook or list that your visitor will find useful.

Basic opt-in strategies include a pop-up form when the visitor arrives and an exit form that materializes just before the user is ready to leave. Some blogging platforms offer forms that can appear on sidebars or headers. You can also embed code from other sources to achieve the form that works best for you.

One of the easiest ways to gather email information outside of a fancy pop-up is to close out a blog post or article with an opportunity for the user to access bonus content by providing an e-mail address. By placing it at the end of a post, you can be certain that your new email contact is interested in what you have to say and will likely be receptive to your emails. These leads are generally considered high-quality, with the greatest potential for conversion.

Your Email List—The Gift that Keeps Giving

By inviting website visitors to join your email list you are more likely to get or keep them as customers. Studies show that it takes an average of seven exposures for prospects to buy goods or services. Email keeps you and your message at the forefront of your prospects’ consciousness long enough them to deliver those exposures. With your email list, you can accomplish several things, including:

  1. Deliver targeted content to an interested party. If your visitors have gone through the effort of opting in to your email list, they’re keen to hear what you say. This is why email marketing is so successful and offers one of the highest rates of return on investment. You can even segment your list to further personalize the content that you send.
  2. Land content straight into a prospective client’s inbox. No algorithms rank your content like on social media sites—just a timestamp affects your chances of having that email opened. Everything else, from attention grabbing headlines to stellar content, is within your control.
  3. Reliable delivery. Most internet users check email on a daily basis—often multiple times—so the chance that they’ll see your email instead of scrolling right past it is pretty high.


Although it may seem like a dinosaur, email is a vibrant, cost-effective way to do business. In fact, it may well be the backbone of your marketing efforts. Get to work creating your own email list and tweak your offers and messages. Keep at it—you can do it!

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