How to Collect Your First 1,000 Email Subscribers

by Jack Paxton

The most valuable asset a business can own is the email list.

It’s pretty much free access to market to people for the rest of time or until they unsubscribe. That’s a hell of a lot better than paying rising CPM’s on Facebook and Google. 

The general eCommerce store should aim to have a breakdown of thirds for revenue acquisition. After seeing behind the scenes of hundreds of eCommerce stores. The most successful ones usually have an even breakout like the below;

30% – paid acquisition (ads etc)

30% – email 

30% – direct / organic / referrals

10% – unattributed / fluctuates MoM

email marketing roi

(source – stated in image)

The key to building a successful business is acquiring assets and having diversity in your revenue. 

Companies that vary outside the blend above run the risk of losing it all. Companies that rely 100% on paid ads have issues with rising paid media costs, companies that rely 100% on SEO run the risk of Google making algorithm changes.

It’s best to have a range of traffic channels so if the rules of one change it won’t wipe out your cash flow. 

Examples & Stats Of Lucrative Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing has stood the test of time and continues to be one of the most valuable marketing tools out there. @vyperappClick To Tweet

Businesses make use of emails to convey personal and promotional information that is considered valuable to the customer. Email marketing allows companies to build stronger relationships with their clients, which leads to improved customer retention.

More reasons for considering email marketing:

  • Consumers prefer using email because it is instant and convenient
  • Email has one of the highest ROI’s out of any acquisition channel
  • Email marketing has fewer restrictions than paid ad networks
  • Email marketing is affordable
  • You keep your email list when changing platforms/providers

facebook audiences ebook

On social media, you are limited to the number of people you can engage with as not every user will get to see every single one of your posts. With email marketing, you can engage your new subscriber from the beginning with a welcome email.

Marketers love this one on one approach as it allows you to serve customers with email sequences that can effectively build a brand.

Below are statistics to back up the effectiveness of email marketing:

  • As of 2017, there were 3.7 billion email users
  • More than 60% of marketers claim that email is their largest source of ROI
  • Around 99% of consumers are checking their emails daily
  • Around 93% of B2B marketers make use of emails to distribute their content
  • More than 85% of business professionals prefer using emails when communicating for business purposes
  • Click-Through Rates are 47% higher for B2B email campaigns than they are for B2C email campaigns
  • More than 80% of retailers claim that email marketing is their most significant strategy for retaining customers
  • Close to 50% of businesses make use of some form of email automation

The Best Ways to Collect Emails 

To effectively run email campaigns, you will require an email list that is relevant to your business.

Putting together random emails isn’t going to work. Firstly, people need to opt-in to your email subscription (or your mails will be considered spam), and you don’t want to spend all your time marketing to people who have little to no interest in your product.

The best approach is to get people who are interested in your product or service to subscribe to your mailing list. That way, you will be talking to a crowd that understands your brand and what you have to offer.

Here are some of the strategies that marketers use to build up their email lists:

collect email subscribers

(source –

Paid & Ads

A quick and consistent way of collecting email leads is using paid ads. You can put your ad in front of the right people and collect their contact information. The only downside is the cost.

For a direct lead, you can expect to pay somewhere in the ranges below.

The average cost per lead qualified lead is $198.

Average Cost Per Lead by Industry

IT & Services $370
Healthcare & Medical $286
Financial Services $272
Industrial & Manufacturing $235
Media & Publishing $191
Consumer Products $182
Marketing Agencies $173
Education $66
Non-Profit $43


This CPL will also depend on the industry we usually see emails collected around $2-5 in the general eCommerce space with paid ads on Facebook and LinkedIn.

So this is a great way to scale your email list if you have capital or investors to fund this. If you’re looking for some more cost-effective ways to collect emails. We have you covered so keep reading!


  • Scalable
  • Targeted and high-quality leads


  • Expensive
  • Requires understanding of how to run ads

Giveaways / contests

A strategy that brands have been using for years to grow their email lists using giveaways and contests. It’s one of the easiest ways to collect a lot of emails fast is using incentivisation. 

Giveaways and contests are excellent ways of gaining followers and engagement on social media. @vyperappClick To Tweet

Giveaways have also proven to be an outstanding means of acquiring emails on a website. When hosting a contest on your website, a visitor can simply enter in their email to stand a chance of winning a prize.

The cost to acquire these emails can be super low as you only pay for the prize. If you do decide to run ads you can get emails for $0.10 to $2 usually. Here’s an example.


  • The quickest way to collect email leads
  • Not much investment needed
  • Most scalable method 


  • You need to use a service to run the giveaway

email marketing templates

(examples of giveaways and contest types)

Blogging / Lead Magnets

Blogging is a great opportunity for businesses to add more content to their website.

The content being articles on topics related to the business and its products. Having more articles on a website will give Google more links to index into its search results, which potentially leads to more organic traffic from Google search results to the website.

The articles in the blog section of a website are meant to offer clients value related to the product or service sold on the website.

If a company sells music production software through its website, then a blog with music production tutorials and tips will offer plenty of value to its customers. These useful blog posts will also appear on the Google search engine potentially bringing in loads of targeted traffic. 

facebook audiences ebook

People interested in reading up on music production tutorials will most likely be interested in purchasing software synths and effects from the website that hosts the article.

If the reader isn’t ready to buy anything as yet, they can subscribe to your email list for future updates. However, you will have to create some form of incentive for the person who is about to give away their email address to you. 

That incentive can come in the form of a Lead Magnet, a free download in the form of an eBook, PDF, or software (^see the ebook ad above^).

If the free offer is valuable enough to a client, they will enter their email address so that they can proceed to download the free content. The emails you collect here will be from clients that are interested in your product or service.


  • Targeted and high-quality leads
  • Very cost-effective if you create your own content


  • Time-consuming and is slow to scale
  • Blogging is a specialized skill set that includes SEO, writing, and web design which will require additional staff

lead magnet and blogging for emails

(example content upgrade)

Popup on Website

An email subscription pop-up is another proven method of building your email list (See some examples). When a visitor to your website moves their cursor to the top of the page to click away, a window with an email subscription form will pop-up, notifying the visitor to opt into the website’s email subscription service. 

There are hundreds, if not thousands of website plugins that offer this pop-up feature, which says something about how popular it is to have. The animation of the pop-up window is enough to get the attention of the website’s visitor. 

If you find that you are not getting enough emails frequently from using this feature, then you can tweak the pop-up window further through the plugin’s settings.

Some websites use the pop-up feature to host their lead magnet, discount codes or even a chance to win a free product or discount in a giveaway.


  • Automated lead generation built into your website
  • Pop-up windows can easily grab users attention


  • Can make a website look informal and unprofessional if not done correctly
  • The pop-up window can interrupt the users reading experience

collect email subscribers

(example – source

Build Your Email List Offline

You can still go the old fashion route and physically ask people in person for their email addresses. If you have a physical store, you could ask your clients if they would like to be added to your email list to stay up to date with future promotions.

Some companies host meet-ups at conferences, trade shows and seminars so that they can meet in person with potential clients. This way, the sales staff can properly demo a product, while getting a feel for the type of person that would be interested in the product. Exchanging useful freebies for email addresses works too.


  • Meet face to face with new clients
  • A chance to demo your physical product on the spot


  • Can be costly and time-consuming
  • Low quantity and hard to scale
  • A hit or miss scenario (what if no one shows up?)


Webinars are beneficial for both the speaker and attendee. The speaker offers valuable information to attendees regarding products and services. Webinars are live online events that companies use to answer questions, conduct training, and sell products. A webinar can also be an ideal opportunity to grab email addresses from attendees.


  • Live online interaction with prospective clients
  • Easier to scale than some other methods
  • Being able to answer questions and persuade people at the moment


  • Technical difficulties either on your side or on the client’s side
  • Usually, need to advertise your webinar
  • Can also be a hit or miss scenario if not prepared for properly 

webinars for email list

(example – used a recording from an event to make a lead generation webinar. Source –

Using a Combination of Email Collection Strategies

Giveaways are one of the fastest and most effective ways of building your email list and can be used with a few of these other options. The incentive and excitement increase the reason for people to hand over their contact information.

Hosting a giveaway to build your email list has proven to work in different businesses and industries.

If you host your product or service on your website, then the potential to earn quality subscribers who could one day become customers is huge. You can set one of your products as the prize, so almost everyone who enters the giveaway will be interested in the products that you sell.

Add the giveaway to the popup, as a lead magnet or a widget on the website so there are plenty of places to sign up.

Having an email list of people who tried to win one of your products can open up a world of possibilities regarding your email marketing strategy. The users on your email list will probably already have an idea of what your product does because they would have seen it while entering the giveaway.

NOTE – Make sure you clearly explain your product and brand on the giveaway page. 

brand page for email

( eCommerce store using a widget popup + giveaway)

Cheap Email Leads

Giveaways are seen as a cost-efficient way of building your email list fast. @vyperappClick To Tweet

You could just purchase an email list. However, this will run you the risk of having to market to people who don’t know who you are.

With a giveaway, lead magnet or popup, your brand is introducing itself to the client. You can then build trust and repertoire through the email sequences that you will send out to your new lead. 

Bonus actions (get followers, UGC, share content, etc.)

If your main objective is to host a giveaway on your website to build your email list, you can expect a massive boost in your website’s traffic. People who enter the giveaway on your website can also stay on your website longer by browsing through your products and blogs to research the prize that they want to win. 

Giveaways are viral content. Heavily promoting giveaways on social media will lead to other users sharing your giveaway among their followers.

This is a fast effective way to get the word out on social media. The boost in engagement will allow people to discover your giveaway and your social media profile which can lead to a boost in followers as well.

Companies also use contests as an opportunity to spark user-generated content (UGC). UGC is any type of content that has been created by fans who in fact are unpaid contributors.

Think of the time when Coke bottles and cans with names. People were snapping up pictures of coke bottles with their names on them and then sharing the images to social media. 

user generated content

Smartphone manufacturers like Apple have photography contests with the hashtag #shotoniphone. User-generated content is an ideal opportunity for brands to produce tons of content through their fans. 

Add incentives in your giveaways for users to create and post content on social. 

Summary / TL;DR

Email marketing remains one of the most crucial marketing tools.

The instant and personal approach allow businesses to effectively build their brands in an environment where most of the actions can be automated. 

Building a list of targeted consumers is the hard part of the email marketing process and can take years to develop. Because of the effectiveness of email marketing, companies spend enormous amounts of money over long periods just to build their email list. 

Giveaways are still considered as one of the quickest and most effective ways of building up that email list of yours.

You can accomplish more in a few weeks than what most companies do in years simply by running a contest. As an added bonus, giveaways also boost traffic to your website which can potentially be converted into sales. 

Full-stack digital marketer and founder with $150 million+ in profitable ad spend with his ad agency His mission is to create awesome marketing software ( and products that help brands scale their customers and revenue.

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