Building An Engaged And Large Email List (Part 1)

When I think about the brands I enjoy, such as Nike, J. Crew, Spotify, American Eagle, Amazing Grass, CLEAN, DICK’S, and Athleta, I know I’m not a loyal brand advocate because of their products alone. I can probably get cheaper clothes, supplements, music, and groceries from plenty of other places. 

Ultimately, I started to become an advocate of these brands because I believe to some extent in what they promote and I feel invested often in their intentions and stories related to their company and personal life. 


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I relate to their brand messaging.

One of the ways these brands cultivate customer loyalty is through valuable content. While there are many ways to do this, email marketing is one of the most potent ways to reach your target audience — when done correctly.

I subscribe to J. Crew’s email list to get their “Flash Sale” offers. 

I subscribe to Spotify’s newsletter to receive special promotions. 

And I subscribe to Athleta’s emails to hear about unique sales items near me.


Have you joined Quora yet? To speak your mind, ask questions, and display yourself as an expert there.


In short, I subscribe to their emails to get value.

If you’re starting from zero, building an impressive email list can feel like an impossible feat!

Here, we’ll cover some high-quality strategies to build an email list from scratch. 

Best of all, these strategies are designed to cultivate a loyal email subscriber base, so you can use your emails to attract better long-term customers.

Building Your Email List Tips:

  1. Create a personalized CTA (call-to-action) for each blog or landing page.

HubSpot has found personalized calls-to-action have a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than calls-to-action that are the same for all visitors — that’s almost double your potential email subscribers.


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It makes sense: the people who visit your blog post or web page are looking for something specific, so your CTA needs to meet those unique needs. For instance, if you’ve got a ton of traffic visiting your “Email List Building Strategy” blog article, why not create something special for these people to subscribe to your email list by including a straight-forward CTA like this: “Click here to download a free email list building toolkit.”

Of course, personalized CTAs only work if you have the resources to create that quality content, but this process does not have to be time-consuming or expensive. 

Instead of a toolkit, we could offer a fun quiz, an e-book, or an exclusive article from your CEO on list-building strategies.

If we can start to offer content directly related to our visitor’s needs, our email newsletters will feel warmer and less like a salsey or gimmicky advertisement. 

Instead, it will start to feel valuable and helpful — key principles for long-term clients and subscribers’ retention plans.

  1. Create a slide-in or pop-up for each page of your website.

A pop-up might sound initially bothersome to some of our visitors, but we are not writing here about those pop-ups that promised we would “Become a Millionaire NOW”.

Actually, I’m writing here about well-timed pop-up ads or onsite retargeting. After a user spends a certain amount of time on a specific website page, they can then receive a pop-up relevant to the content on that page, or to their behavior. Some examples include CTA pop-ups, slide-in pop-ups, inviting pop-ups, and exit pop-ups which appear when a user tries to leave the page, or scroll pop-ups, which appear after the user scrolls a certain percentage down the page.

The resource Digital Marketer conducted a case study to determine the value of onsite retargeting. For this experiment, in particular, Digital Marketer introduced a pop-up ad to returning visitors only, which appeared after a visitor spent fifteen seconds on their site:

Digital Marketer ensured this pop-up didn’t show up if someone came to the page from the newsletter (in which case, they were already signed up), and also didn’t pop up on a sales page (which could interrupt someone’s purchasing decision).

As you can see, Digital Marketer also took the time to offer meaningful content, a digital marketing toolbox within their pop-up ad. With an impressive offering to website visitors, our pop-up is no longer obtrusive or interruptive — it’s actually helpful.

Their campaign generated 2,692 leads in two weeks and increased their average time on page by 54%. Pop-ups do not have to always be salsy or gimmicky, and if done well, we are able to appeal to your visitor with quality content when and where they need it.

  1. Create a timed pop-up survey.

Often times people do not visit a new website and think, “Hum, I wonder where the email sign-up form is?” 

Often, we need our viewers to feel invested in our content before we present them with a request for their emails.

To build our email list, you might want to reach out to visitors on specific pages with surveys related to that content. 

I’m more willing to answer an “A or B” survey question if I’m already invested in the content — it feels like a fairer trade-off.

For example, the University of Texas’s email subscriber list grew almost 700% in one year, with implementing well-timed pop-up surveys they implemented:

The University of Texas’s pop-up survey appears when a visitor has been on the page for 10 seconds. After the 10 seconds then the viewers receive some value from the content, which means most likely they’re more motivated to sign up for emails from the website.

The University of Texas’s survey pop-up is also one of the easiest forms I’ve ever seen. You enter your email and you’re done. People are often deterred from signing up when the form is too long and they don’t have the time, so a simple yes or no question might be your best bet for growing your email list.


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  1. Use humor in your CTA’s “no thanks, I don’t like email lists,” copy.

We have been bombarded with “Yes or No” web offers on a daily basis, that we barely see them anymore. To increase your email lists, you might want to try injecting some personality into your CTA copy.

I always stop for second and laugh the times I see a CTA with a small, “No thanks, I don’t want to have a bigger email list, (for example),” button underneath a big “Yes, I want this!” button link. It reminds me there’s a human behind the button, and, while it’s meant to be a joke, it also motivates me to hesitate before clicking “no, thanks”. It’s easy to click “no” when the CTA is “sign up for more emails!”, yet it’s a little harder to say no to losing weight or getting richer.

I was reading an another blog post recently, and this CTA popped up:

I was all set to click “No” without another thought when I read the “my business isn’t important” part. This made me hesitate, made me laugh, and, most importantly, made me reconsider my almost immediate decision to exit the offer.

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week where we reveal 5-10 on the list!


Your Businesses ROI

All of the coaches and the female-led businesses who implemented Empire Life’s business strategies in client leads, monthly income (often a 20X increase from when they started with Empire Life’s support), and client retention after having Empire Life Mentorship, apply here.


 Hoping this article finds you well, and as always we love to hear from you in the comments!


You can also find more information about Allison Ramsey, Facebook Digital Marketing Professor & Empire Life Founder at Instagram, LinkedIn, Website, and Twitter

To learn more about getting started with Empire Life in launching and scaling your online empire you can contact Allison, Founder of Empire Life, on Instagram and LinkedIn.


Often, we need our viewers to feel invested in our content before we present them with a request for their emails. 

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