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How We Built An Email List Of 12,000 Subscribers Within 12 Months

A strong email list can be an essential piece of a successful marketing strategy, but before you can put it to work you have to create it. Here’s how we did it.

How we built an email list of 12000 subscribers in 12 months

Building an effective email subscriber database starts with a solid plan and takes time and patience to execute properly. Here are some of the ways we built a huge email subscriber database in a relatively short period of time.

What is an email list?

In the simplest form, an email list is a list of the email addresses of people who want/opted in to receive your email messages. The people in your list are often called “subscribers” because typically they’ve subscribed and agreed to receive some periodic emails from you. In addition to email addresses, your email list can also have more detailed information about each subscriber, such as their name, phone number, company name, birthday, and so on. The more information you have about your subscribers, the more personalized you can make your email.

Why should you build an email list?

There are many reasons why your business should think about building an email list. 


The most important reason for building an email list is that it is one of the most cost-effective ways of generating new business. If you have the right kind of email list, a list with a lot of prospective clients, and you send them information with a call to action they can’t refuse, you’ll see great results from your email list. Sending out emails costs next to nothing. You’ll need to spend some time and energy creating quality content for your email, but that’s about it. That makes the “cost per conversion” very low and the reason why over 300 billion emails are sent each day!


Another reason for having an email list is to keep in touch with existing customers and prospects who are interested in your business. An email list gives you an easy way to inform people about your latest product updates, deals, offers, and anything else your audience might like to know about. 

How to build a huge email list in a relatively short period of time

We’re a marketing firm that helps small businesses and it’s important to keep in mind that not every marketing plan will work for every business. If you’re in the B2B sector, the techniques we describe here might work well for you, but they probably aren’t going to be as effective if you’re a B2C business. If you run a B2C company, there are other techniques that you can use that we’ll cover in another article. That being said, here’s how to build an email list if you have a B2B business. 


The first thing you need for building your email list is a good plan for finding prospective clients who you’d invite to join your list and creating quality email content that they’ll enjoy and will lead them to become paying clients.


Once you have your plan, you’ll need to find your prospective clients. Here are the ways we did it and found to be effective.

  • Local Events and Business Expos – We went to a lot of local business networking events. We’d make sure to meet at least 20-30 people, have a quick conversation, exchange cards, and then have a longer conversation at a later time. Doing this consistently allowed us to gather hundreds of prospective client emails each month. Business expos (especially those related to your industry) are another good place for finding prospective clients. Chambers of Commerce also host lots of events that offer a great opportunity to connect with prospective clients.
  • Third-Party Databases – Many industry organizations and trade shows will provide an email database of event attendees for a fee when you sponsor or join their event. We sponsored a few relevant industry events and purchased email databases of the event attendees. 
  • Cold Outreach – We ran cold outreach campaigns that introduced our products to potential clients and asked them to opt into our newsletter in return for special discounts and deals.

These techniques helped us build an email list of over 12,000 subscribers within a year. Even better than that, over 80% of subscribers stayed on the list, and we were able to generate a lot of new businesses.

If you want to know more about email marketing, you can read our article, “Five Steps to Successful Drip Email Marketing Campaigns”, or contact us.

Tags: email list, strategy

Geoff Strauss

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