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Email List Building Tips: Quality Over Quantity

Email List Building Tips: Quality Over Quantity

Email marketing is one of the most efficient and effective ways to connect with your customers one-on-one, assisting in the development of loyalty and retention.

However, there is a constant tension between quality and quantity when it comes to growing your email list. So, how do you keep growing your email list while ensuring that the new contacts coming in are of high quality?

Essential Tips for Building and Maintaining a Healthy Engaged Email List

Pay Special Attention to Engaged Subscribers

While it is important for your email list to grow, quality should always take precedence over quantity.

A small list of engaged contacts actively converting is preferable to a large inventory of unengaged contacts not generating revenue. Non-engaged subscribers will eventually harm your program.

We understand that an extensive list can appear impressive, especially to the C-suite, but if a large portion of those contacts is not engaging with your emails, they may have more costs than benefits.

Some ESPs charge additional fees as active contact counts increase, and if a large portion of that list isn't opening your emails, you're more likely to land in spam traps or have deliverability issues.

Emailing engaged contacts increases engagement, which improves and protects deliverability.

Improve Your Onsite Email Capture Strategies

Onsite email capture is the most effective way to grow your list with high-intent leads.

Contacts who have already visited your website have expressed an interest in your brand and product, and they are highly likely to convert if properly nurtured through email campaigns.

You can capture email addresses in a variety of ways on your website, including:

  • An email capture pop-up on your homepage that appears when new visitors arrive.
  • Returning visitors can see the same pop-up or a variation on the new visitor creative.
  • In the checkout flow, a sign-up checkbox to encourage customers to stay in touch while making a purchase.
  • A form in the footer of your website that allows customers to sign up for emails regardless of which page they are on.
  • A pop-up exit intent on your cart page to encourage customers to complete their purchase before leaving your website.

The pop-up is typically the most effective of the above tactics. A difficult-to-ignore call to action combined with enticing language (a sign-up discount, promises of early access to sales or new arrivals, etc.) is guaranteed to generate a high level of engagement.

Always require an email address, but consider adding an optional field to help populate data you can use for future retargeting and personalization, such as first name, birthday, or product category of interest.

Collect useful information, but be wary of adding too many fields, as this may reduce the signup rate.

Discover Your Incentive Sweet Spot

Incentives are a great way to increase email sign-ups, but you must plan your promotional strategy carefully.

A too-steep discount will attract low-intent subscribers looking for a great deal.

Free shipping or a gift with purchase are safe bets, but percentage or dollar discounts should be tested to ensure you're striking the right balance of lead quality, sign-up rate, and margin.

Avoid Building Your List Through Sweepstakes

When running sweepstakes or giveaways to encourage email subscriptions, the risks associated with high sign-up incentives are present.

While this may temporarily increase the size of your overall email audience, the likelihood of generating leads who will stay engaged and eventually convert is low. Giveaways attract window shoppers looking for a freebie; if they don't win, they may remain on your list without engaging, tarnishing your deliverability.

If you must run sweepstakes, do so with caution. Make sure that any new sign-ups are segmented or added to a separate list so that you can track engagement and conversions over time to determine the efficacy of running future sweeps. Be aggressive in offboarding unengaged contacts. If they do not open an email within the first few weeks, place them in a re-engagement series and unsubscribe those who do not respond.

As with any capture tactic, you'll want to keep anti-SPAM and privacy laws in mind by making it clear that entering the sweepstakes entails opting into email marketing campaigns.

Never, Ever Buy an Email List

Purchasing an email contact list can be very appealing; it's a quick one-time boost to your list counts. But please, please, please do not buy an email list!

This can undo all of your hard work in developing your email program.

Contacts on a purchased list did not request to be emailed. Receiving an email from a brand to which they have not subscribed can make these contacts feel as if their privacy has been violated, and they are likely to delete your emails immediately or, worse, mark them as spam. These lists may also contain dead or inactive email addresses, resulting in high bounce rates, a lowered sender reputation, and major deliverability issues.

Remember that it can be difficult to rebuild your reputation after experiencing deliverability issues. The best way to grow your email list is to build it organically by gaining subscribers directly from your website traffic.

Email List Hygiene on a Regular Basis

Unengaged subscribers should be removed on a regular basis to maintain the quality of your email list.

Even though it is difficult to remove hard-won subscribers from your email list, quality is the goal here.

It is important to note that a healthy engagement window will vary depending on the business and the product. While 12 months without opens is a common threshold for contacts to be considered unengaged, your engagement sweet spot should be determined by your repurchase rate, the seasonal nature of your products, and your customers' ordering habits.

Run unengaged contacts through a re-engagement series as a last-ditch effort to reactivate these subscribers, and remove anyone who hasn't engaged yet.

Because many contacts regularly update their email addresses, routine list hygiene removes not only unengaged contacts but also dead email addresses that are no longer in use.


The quality of your email list can make or break your email marketing campaign.

It is critical to maintain a focus on acquiring contacts who will be engaged with your content and likely to convert rather than focusing solely on fast growth.

While it may be difficult to see your list shrink as a result of hygiene efforts, you will be ensuring the long-term health of your email program, with engagement and conversion metrics to prove it.

Email List Building Experts

Building a strong email list is an essential component of any successful digital marketing strategy, and BizzDesign is here to help you every step of the way. Our expertise in email list building can assist you in harnessing the power of email marketing and driving tangible results for your company.

We can walk you through the process of building and growing a high-quality email list using our extensive knowledge of proven techniques and best practices. We have the tools and expertise to help you build a valuable and engaged subscriber base, from creating compelling lead magnets and optimizing landing pages to implementing effective signup forms and utilizing targeted opt-in strategies.

At BizzDesign, we understand that every business is unique, and we tailor our approach to meet your specific goals and audience. Whether you're looking to nurture leads, promote new products or services, or build long-term customer relationships, we can assist you in creating customized email marketing campaigns that resonate with your audience and drive conversions.

Furthermore, we prioritize compliance with data protection regulations and best practices to ensure that your email list-building efforts are not only effective but also ethically sound. Our commitment to maintaining high standards of data privacy and security ensures that your subscribers' information is handled with the utmost care and respect.

When you work with BizzDesign, you gain access to a team of email marketing experts who are committed to helping your business thrive. We stay current on industry trends and advancements, constantly optimizing our strategies to deliver measurable results for your email marketing campaigns.

If you're ready to take your email marketing efforts to the next level and build a valuable subscriber base, trust BizzDesign as your reliable email list builder partner. Contact us today to discover how we can help you build an email list that drives engagement, builds customer loyalty, and accelerates the growth of your business.