How to Make Money With An Email List [Best List Building Tips]

With market value estimated to hit $22 billion by the end of 2025, email marketing is definitely an industry that has skyrocketed in just a few years.  

Every single marketer you see today on any social network preaches email marketing and implementing it in your business and of course, that famous line – The money is in the list! 

After all, you earn $1 for every subscriber you have on your email list, right? 

Well, not exactly. Today, I’ll discuss the best list building tips and strategies, how to make money with an email list, things you should know and bust some myths as well. 

I’ve talked about email marketing a lot on this blog but in this post, I’ll go in-depth, covering every single thing you should know. 

Why an email list is important

There are numerous statistics to show you the benefits of email marketing and having an email list. I’ll start off with a fact that an email list is an audience you truly own.

You see, when you have a Facebook group, Youtube channel, Instagram profile, you may have a lot of followers which is awesome and is indeed achievable but the thing most people in that business don’t consider is that they don’t own that audience.

how to make money with an email list

What do I mean?

Well, your Facebook group is not owned by you. You may be the admin but it’s truly owned by Facebook. There are numerous instances of people losing their income overnight because they relied on Facebook, Youtube or other platforms and then all of a sudden, they’re shut down.

It’s more than enough for you to lose your Instagram profile if a group of people decides to massively report you or a competitor decides to hack your website. For example, this website was under an SEO attack some time ago. Although it was nothing major, it was still unnerving knowing that someone can take you down easily if they just dedicated some time to it.

Although this is not so likely to happen, you have to keep it in mind. When you have a big following, people will come after you, in one way or another.

That is why you always want to make sure that you have a list of contact information from your followers in order to stay in touch with them and also develop a closer relationship.

And it’s not like you have to hassle all day to get people to subscribe because they already want to hear from you by email. Over 70% of consumers would rather receive messages from their favorite businesses via email than any other communication channel.

Emai marketing statistics

Love data? Here is some more. Email marketing generates about $40 for every $1 invested. This is because email marketing itself is not expensive to run. You just need a piece of software to send email automations.

However, getting subscribers can get pricey and it takes time, especially if you’re running ads so don’t think that you can get rich on the same day you start implementing this. Getting subscribers and maintaining them on your list is not complicated but it comes with a challenge. I’ll get into it later on.

But once you build a big list of people with great open rates, it turns into free advertising. You can advertise whenever and however you want to your email list, although you shouldn’t get too crazy with it.

And it doesn’t cost anything to send an email.

Things you should know before creating an email list

Before you jump in right away and start implementing email marketing into your business, there are a few things you have to know.

After all, you don’t want to dedicate time, money and effort into creating a delicious meal and end up with a mess because you didn’t have all of the necessary ingredients ready in the beginning.

1. You need to understand your audience.

You can perfect all of the next steps but if you mess this one up, it would all go to waste. So, what’s this about?

You need to have an audience that you will target before you move forward. You can’t talk to just anyone because nobody is the same and all of us have different problems and needs but there are countless groups of people, big and small, who have some similarities.

This includes everything from obvious things like the same gender, country and age to different hobbies, job titles, income levels, etc.

But probably the most important segments of your target audience are similar struggles and dreams.

In order to speak to a certain group of people and have them actually listen to you and devote some time to check out what you have to say, you need to know what they’re struggling with, their pain, what they want to overcome and ultimately – what they want to achieve.

There are many things that can help you find your target audience but it really boils down to what your product and/or service does and then determine to whom would it be the most helpful from there.

For example, you may sell fitness related products. From here, it’s obvious that your target audience would include people who are into fitness and improving their bodies. But you’re not done yet.

You see, this is still a huge group of people with a lot of different end goals. Although they all want to improve their body, some may want to just lose a couple of pounds, some want to build some muscles and others may want to become full-blown bodybuilders.

This is why it’s a great thing to narrow your audience down even further. A good example of this is a company called BOOM. They sell women’s beauty products.

Now, they could have gone on and targeted all women but they didn’t. Instead, they mostly speak to women in their 40’s and do over 7 figures a month. This is what I mean by narrowing it down.

After narrowing it down, it’s time to answer the following questions thoroughly – what are these people struggling with, what do they want to achieve and what do they need to achieve that.

And if you truly know and understand the answers to these questions, when you speak to this group of people, they will know that you understand them and therefore, listen to what you have to say.


By delivering the kind of content that answers these people’s problems, they will subscribe to your list, stay on your list and when enough time passes – buy your products.

2. You need to have your offers ready.

After you understand your audience and their problems, it’s time to create offers that will solve those problems.

Your first offer will be the one that will get people to subscribe to your list. This offer is called a lead magnet and it’s a small product that has some value in it but you’re going to give it away for free in order to get subscribers.

What you’re doing here is exchanging this product for their email address. This is the same thing you will do when selling a product, instead the product you’ll actually charge for will be worth more than that lead magnet and then you’ll be exchanging it for money.

As long as the value of what you’re giving is bigger than what you’re asking in return, people will go for it, whether that means entering an email, scheduling a phone call or paying a specific price.

I am not talking about discounts, I am talking about value. Let’s say that you’re selling a course on how one could financially succeed in life. If the course can truly help people do that, the value of that course easily reaches $10.000. But you’ll not charge that amount, you’ll charge less, for example, $1000. Now, that is still a big price but the perceived value is much bigger and that is why it sells.

This is what you’ll see every course seller online do. I’ve learned this from the One Funnel Away Challenge by Russell Brunson so if you’re interested in learning more about the value and price relation and how you can make any price tag look cheap, read my full OFA review.

This is the same thing you’ll do when offering a lead magnet. The value of that product could be, for example, $50 and you’ll give it away for free.

But what is a lead magnet exactly?

A lead magnet is usually an info product that contains a piece of information that solves a specific problem for a specific group of people. It can be an eBook, case study, webinar, etc.

It can also be a coupon or a discount if you’re a store owner. If you’re, for example, a coach, it could be a free 30-minute coaching session that either you or your team member would hold.

what is a lead magnet

Something like this.

Small case study of small value but you’re not charging $50 for it, you’re giving it away for free.

As long as your lead magnet can help people out, they will gladly exchange their email address for it.

Same thing when you’re selling something. As long as your product can deliver way more value into people’s lives than they’d originally pay for it, they’ll gladly buy.

I don’t have a product/service. What do I do?

It’s totally okay if you don’t have anything to sell yourself. An email list you build won’t be there for a day but for months and years to come. This is why there is no need to rush things.

What you can do is become an affiliate for other products and start off that way.

An affiliate is someone who partners with another company and promotes their products for a commission. You’ll get a link that’s unique to you and once someone buys through that link, you’ll get paid.

Your lead magnet could be simply a recorded video of you speaking about some topic. As long it’s a decent quality video, it will work.

What you can also do is use PLR products. PLR (Private Label Rights) products are created by other people and then made available for marketers like you and me to use as our own.

PLR products include everything from articles, videos, eBooks, etc and they exist for every single industry you could possibly think of.

PLR products

You can also use them for any purpose, whether that’s selling them as your own, giving them away as a lead magnet or for distributing content to your list, Youtube channel, etc.

However, I don’t recommend relying solely on PLR. The problem is that the content from these products speaks someone else’s voice, not yours.

People buy from people. It’s very important that your subscribers know, like and trust YOU, not someone else. This is why you want to practice creating your own content. You may suck in the beginning but over time, you’ll improve.

Your content is what will inspire people to buy from you. I’ll get into more about this later on.

These are some of the ways you can get started. As time passes and you make more money and get comfortable, you can start developing your own products and services.

3. Technical stuff

Of course, email marketing will involve a little bit of techy stuff in the process. Don’t worry though, it’s nothing you can’t do.

Stuff you’ll need:

  • Website (Hosting, Domain)
  • Email Marketing Software

I know that creating a website and using a piece of marketing software may sound daunting at first but actually, it’s pretty damn simple. You’ll see why in a minute.

Firstly, you’ll need a website from which you’ll be collecting email addresses.

Now, you could be using a standard website on which you could add a simple email form for people to enter emails in but there is a much better option which is creating an entire page dedicated solely to this purpose.

In other words, a landing page or squeeze page.


Landing pages are pretty easy to create. You’ll need a piece of software (most of which aren’t expensive), a domain that serves as a name and hosting for that domain name.

Just make sure that you go through the entire article before buying a domain and hosting. Later on, I’ll mention something you should know before picking your hosting provider (if you don’t already have any).

Some great examples of landing page softwares are: 

  • LeadPages
  • Landingi
  • Unbounce
  • Fastpages (it has a lifetime offer)

However, some of you may already have a website with WordPress or Wix. In that case, you can just integrate the above mentioned software with your website or you can download Elementor or Thrive Architect plugins which are both great page builders as well.

After you’ve chosen your preferred landing page builder, you can watch tutorials on how to use them on Youtube (there are plenty of those kinds of videos) and you’ll see that it really is not hard to create a landing page.

For email marketing, you don’t really need an entire website, just a simple landing page from which you’ll grab email addresses and a thank you page. These two come hand-in-hand.

The next one is an email autoresponder. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ve said that this is basically the only tool you really need to run your email automations. Add this to the great page builder and it’s pretty much everything you need for this type of marketing.

The beauty of email autoresponders is that once you set everything up, it all runs automatically.

Personal recommendations:

These are also two-in-one options such as Kartra which has both a page builder and an autoresponder built-in one platform.

I know this may be a big step, especially because you have to spend money on something you’ve probably never used before but believe me, just give it a shot and after a few weeks or even days, you’ll see that it’s not that big of a deal.

Most of these also have a free trial so that you can test a tool out before paying for it which is awesome.

The thing that overwhelms most people is that they don’t know how to start. That is what I want to change with this post.

Let the first step be just signing up for the free trial of some of these tools. After you’ve done that, we can proceed.

Kartra drag and drop page builder

That pretty much sums it up. These are the most important things you need to take care of before you start building your list, bringing us to… 

How to create and build a profitable email list

I’ll use one software from the ones listed above, AWeber, as an example for showing you how quick and easy creating an email list is. Then I am going to get into the fun stuff – building it.

AWeber is the one I would recommend for beginners because it offers a 30-day free trial, it’s not expensive afterward and it’s very simple to use which is crucial for beginners. So, let’s go!

Open an AWeber Account

You can open an account for AWeber by clicking here. There are 3 available pricing plans with the monthly plan being the only one that comes with the 30 day free trial. Afterward, it’s $19 per month.


After you’ve opened an account, you should see something like this.


This is where you enter the basic information. Two things you should pay attention to are:


Sender name and reply to email are the first things recipients see when receiving an email. In fact, a study done by Litmus and Fluent has conducted that out of all email recipients, over 40% of them have said that the first thing they look at when receiving an email is who sent it.


This is why you want to make sure that you keep a professional image and the best way to do that is to include your full name in the Sender name section and to create an email that belongs to your domain.

Avoid Gmail or Yahoo emails. Those decrease your chances of your emails being delivered and also give a very unprofessional look. You can get a professional email for free from some hosting providers if you don’t already use any.

If you do, just Google: “How to create a domain email with {your hosting company}”.

It takes a few minutes, don’t be lazy.

After you’ve taken care of that, enter that email to the Reply-To Email box.

Aweber-Reply-To Email box

This is where you describe your list. Don’t worry about this, just put in the info that is relevant to your business.

Click Next after you’re done.

Aweber-Click Next

That’s it! For further tutorials on how to use AWeber, just check out their blog. They also have amazing support staff ready to help.

How to build an email list?

Now, onto the golden question – how to get email subscribers and make money from your list?

Firstly, I’d like to break one false belief you may have about email marketing.

Some of you reading this may believe that having more subscribers will automatically lead to more money and therefore, you might rush to just get as many subscribers as you can.

While this is true to some point, there is a very important thing a lot of people miss here – the quality of your subscribers.

A lot of people subscribe to an email list just to receive a freebie a marketer is offering. What you want to do is try to filter out as many of these people as you can.

You can do this by simply adding a double opt-in to your email list. This way, you will ask people to confirm that they want to receive further information from you via email.

With a double opt-in, you’ll get way less subscribers but that’s good because those who do subscribe are the ones with much higher chances of opening your emails, reading your content and buying your offers.

double optin

You see, there is no point in having 10.000 email subscribers if only 0.5% of them are opening your emails regularly. Not only would you make little to no money but you’d also pay a lot of money for an autoresponder because in a case of a lot of them, the price goes up when your subscriber count goes up.

You’d be much better off with a list of only 1.000 subscribers but with 30-40% of them opening your emails regularly.

By filtering out freebie seekers with a double opt-in, sending interesting emails and providing your list with great content and exclusive offers, you can certainly achieve that high of an open rate.

How to actually get subscribers

There are several ways you can do this. I’ll start off with the free ones and then get into the paid options.


If you own a blog and you have some readers, you can try this out. By adding a simple pop-up to a blog or by linking people from your posts to a landing page, you can generate subscribers without much hassle.

Just make sure that you write posts that answer questions related to the information you provide in your lead magnet.

email signup form

AnswerThePublic is a great place where you can find questions people are asking in your niche.

Just type in the keyword you want and dozens, if not hundreds of questions will come out. This is a great tool for generating post ideas for your blog and it’s free!



Youtube? Me?

Yes! Youtube is the largest online video content platform in the world with over 2 billion monthly users which means that you can definitely find your target audience on it.

In fact, it’s said that online video will soon completely replace traditional TV.

Starting a Youtube channel can be a daunting task for many but there are countless benefits to it that they outnumber things that could go wrong easily.

To be honest, anything that could really go wrong is a comment from some random person: “You suck!”

Just ignore them because at the end of the day, you’ll be the one making money, not them. People saying offensive things in the comments are usually the same people who are broke and wish to have the courage to do what you do.

Successful people don’t have time to offend others. They will only compliment you or try to support you with advice.


Don’t let the fear stop you. One of the best and the quickest ways to get your audience to know, like and trust you is through video.

The rules are the same as with blogging, create videos that answer questions in your niche and then at the end of your video, make a free offer to your viewers and send them to a landing page that you’ll link in the description.

Social media

Just like you can use social media to promote your videos and blog posts, you can use it to get email subscribers directly.

Although it’s better to have a blog or a Youtube channel (or both) because whatever piece of content you post there, it will stay there and bring in passive traffic for years. On the other hand, whatever you post on social media dies off quickly.

However, that doesn’t mean social media is useless. In fact, on social media pieces of content can go viral more easily and you can actively engage with whoever you want!

I’ve used Facebook to post content every day and then message whoever engaged with my posts. By actually talking with these people, I’ve got them to trust me and then sold them my affiliate products and earned commissions.

Then I’ve decided to dedicate my time to this blog.

There are various ways you can get subscribers from social media. You can leave a link to your landing page in your Instagram or Facebook bio and then post stories that drive people to go to your bio and click on that link.

You can also post content about certain things within your niche and then ask people to comment if they want a freebie from you.

social media with email marketing

Paid Ads

Have a little bit of extra coin to invest?

Paid advertising helps you achieve results faster than the normal organic way of reach. This is because you’re now paying to be placed in front of thousands of people instantly!

There are various places you could run ads on but the two most dominant platforms are Facebook and Google because they have the most users.

Choosing one between these two really depends on your niche and what type of audience you’re going to be targeting.

For example, Google search ads are great for targeting people with a specific intent and who need to buy a product or a service like a new TV, phone, hotel room, consulting, etc.

Facebook is great for targeting broad audiences. This is better for niches that are much broader and people inside them have a lot of passion like beauty, clothing, working out, making money, etc.

However, go back to the beginning of the post and remember that within an audience of people that share a certain interest, you don’t want to go after the whole pie, you just want a small piece because it’s way easier that way.

From your ad, you can link people to your landing page with a free offer.

adespresso facebook ad example

That sums up the best subscriber-generating methods. Whichever method you choose, just make sure that you start creating content that actually helps people out. This is how you’ll almost ensure that you’ll be successful in the long term.

How to interact with your email subscribers?

It all starts with the first email you’ll send them – welcome email.

Welcome emails have an average open rate of about 50% although there are some statistics that say that the number is much higher than that. This leaves plenty of opportunities for you to make a great first impression.

Why does this matter?

When you meet someone new in real life, your brain forms an impression of that person in the first 15 seconds of the meeting. The impression that is formed then will play the biggest role in you deciding if you will hang out with them again, ask them to go on a date, do business with them… or not.

Very similar principles apply in online interactions as well, except you can’t sense how their breath smells or if they got a fresh hair cut.

Ideally, in your welcome email, you want to introduce yourself, your business and even provide your subscribers with some info about which types of emails will they be receiving further on.

After a great first email, you don’t want to break your promises. You should keep sending interesting emails with awesome content and offers.

Types of emails that do well are educational emails, standalone emails (emails with a clear call to action) and special offer emails.

Also, survey emails where you ask your subscribers to give you their opinion about something can really help both sides out.


However, to ensure that people actually open your emails, you need to have attention-grabbing subject lines.

They play a huge role in your email marketing efforts because if your subject line is not interesting, people won’t open and read the rest of an email, no matter how great it is. It’s that simple.

In fact, according to OptinMonster, almost 50% of people say that they decide if they’ll open an email or not based on the subject line alone.


Different statistics vary on this topic, you could easily see this when I was discussing professional emails but the point is this – subject lines are really important.

The type of subject lines you’ll write really depends on your industry but the general rule of thumb is that they should entice people to read the rest of an email.

Leveraging human psychology tricks like the fear of missing out is a great approach. Saying something like:

“Last day to get xyz until it’s gone!”

Also, you can also try pointing out the pain points of your subscribers WITHOUT offending them in any way.

“No money? Not anymore!”

Anyway, like with anything else in marketing, it takes time and testing to figure out what will truly work for you. It just does.

Note that the average person needs to see a product around 7 times before buying it. If your subscribers were familiar with your product before jumping on your list, great but even then, only testing will show what will truly work for you.

How to make money with an email list: conclusion

The money indeed is in the list, if you build it the right way of course. But no, email marketing is nowhere near dead and there is still plenty of opportunities for you to grab your piece of the pie.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

After you try this, let me know how it went and if I can help in any way.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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