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How to build an email list fast

Building a mailing list is hugely important for most businesses.  The faster you can build an email list, the faster you can start to monetize your prospects. The list represents a willingly captive group of individuals, interested in your product or service that you can regularly communicate with and sell to. It also protects you against sudden changes in SEO behavior, which can mean you drop lower down search results.

You own your list data and the relationship.

Depending on the cost of your product or service, contacts in a company mailing list can be worth tens, hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars.  Marketing feeds sales with warm leads to develop and close deals. Email marketing is a great way to build initial awareness for a brand, product or service. 

Building a mailing list

Direct email campaigns feeding leads to build your mailing list

How Marketwise can help

Let’s create an example to illustrate our capabilities.

Scientific Products Inc is a fictitious company selling a lab product to scientists typically working in the fields of virology, immunology, microbiology and cell biology.  They run a monthly newsletter, two webinars per year and purchase advertising on LinkedIn. Analysis has shown that the average value of a contact in their mailing list to be $120.  To build their own mailing list faster, they decide to try direct email marketing.  They are only able to spend around $1,000 a month on direct email marketing.

Campaign structure

Marketwise propose the following campaign structure:

  1. 10,000 scientists identified as working in virology, immunology, microbiology and cell biology will be selected from our database.
  2. Month 1, the Scientific Products initial promotion will go out to all 10,000 scientists
  3. Months 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, monthly messages sent to 10,000 contacts. Sign ups, unsubscribes and bounces will be back filled to maintain the total.

What results can be expected?

Results differ according to the message and geography, but a realistic average to aim for would be:

  • Open Rate = 15% to 20%
  • Click Rate  = 20% to 40% of opened emails
  • CTA† rate  = 20% to 30% of the click rate


What is the likely cost?

For a 10,000 contact campaign as described above, the cost would come in at $6,105. This includes sending 60,000 messages in 6 monthly mailings of 10,000 each. Our pricing page has details of how to calculate this.

The critical cost however, is the price per contact added to the Scientific Products Inc mailing list. Taking realistic average ranges of open, click and conversion rates, 10,000 contacts could add 128 contacts each month to the Scientific Products Inc mailing list.

Over the six month campaign period, that’s a total of 765 contacts.  At a campaign cost of $6,105, that…

…works out at only $7.98 per contact.

Email list builder results

Putting the cost well below the Scientific Products Inc value of $120 for contacts in their mailing list.

Do you know the average value of contacts in your mailing list? This is the key to justifying investment in any sort of third party service provider such as Marketwise.


CTA is the Call To Action, in the above case, signing up to the company mailing list.

If you would like to find out how you can build your company mailing list with relevant, highly qualified scientists, click the button below to get in touch.

Further reading links:

Why Building email lists is important

Why Building an Email List is so Important Today

FAQ for Email Marketing


Is email marketing worth it?

Many studies have shown a great ROI for email marketing, averaging at a 30x to 40x return. The key is to use high quality data and send relevant, engaging messages. We can advise.

How do I target email marketing?

Build your ideal audience. Based on what market segment they work in, what they do and what they specialise in. Add in geographic location and you have a well targeted email list. Now you need to send relevant and interesting messages to build trust.

How do I improve email open rates?

Two main factors. The subject line and email deliverability. The subject line should be short, create some intrigue or curiosity and avoid spammy words. You build trust with an audience over time.
Email deliverability depends on good email data and a good email reputation.

How do I improve my CTR?

Some quick tips are:
Keep your message short, to the point and easily skim-able.
Be relevant and create curiosity in your audience
Have a single Call to Action button with a clear message on it "Download the report".

What is A/B testing?

This simply means testing two versions of something. Most common is Subject Line testing. Send out two different versions and see which gets the best response. Testing message content is possible as well. Ensure you only change one thing, so you know what made a difference.

How can I avoid the Spam filters?

Two main causes:
1. Technical reasons, poor email reputation and lack of email authentication.
2. Message content is spammy. Cut out flowery language and keep it professional.

What is contact nurturing?

This simply means sending multiple messages over time, to build up trust and a stronger relationship with your audience. Its rare to be able to send a single message and expect a brilliant response. Build trust with a series of engaging messages.