How to Build a High Quality Mailing List

Mailing lists are the foundation of your entire email marketing program. If you have a solid, well sourced, fully opt-in list you’re going to see a boost in performance regardless of the content you send out. While if you have an old, questionable, not-exactly-clear-how-anyone-signed-up-for-it list then you’re not .

How do you end up with a good list instead of a bad one?

Well, first-and-foremost, we do not allow the use of third party mailing lists in our system. If you bought a list or borrowed a list or another company gave you their list to use, these are all against our Terms of Service ( and can lead to the immediate termination of your account. Any list you upload to our service must be a list of opt-in subscribers and/or your customers (or the customers of a company on whose behalf you’re sending the messages), no one else.

Why do we have this restriction? 

Because purchased, borrowed and old lists always perform poorly. Not only that, they lead to tons of spam complaints. A pretty small number of such complaints can cause email providers (like Gmail) to block your mail. We want to make sure your email is getting to as many of your customers as possible.

So how can you grow your own list?

There are really four groups of people you can mail without trouble:

  1. Subscribers who sign up to be part of your mailing list through an online or offline form.
  2. Paying customers.
  3. Family.
  4. Close friends.

It’s pretty clear how you grow the last three groups on that list, so the first one is where to focus your efforts. How can you get more people to willingly sign up to hear from you?

Add an opt-in form to your site.

The Weebly opt-in form element is an easy way to allow visitors to sign up for your list and automatically become part of your Promote account so that they’re there waiting to be mailed next time you send out a message.

Go here to learn how the opt-in form works.

Give that opt-in form an actionable title.

The most common title for an opt-in form is “Sign-up for Our List.” But unless you really love the company whose site you’re visiting, there’s nothing particularly appealing about being asked to join a list.

Sign Up to Hear About Our Sales!
Be Notified About New Products!
Get New Recipes with Our Newsletter!

Tell visitors what they’ll get if they sign up. Your emails have value and you should let people know that. You don’t have to tell them everything, just something about why signing up is a good idea.

Put that opt-in form in a highly visible place.

Don’t make visitors go looking for where they can sign up to hear from you. Put the form on highly visible areas of your site. Near the top of your first page, in sidebars alongside interesting content, wherever it feels appropriate.

Notice we said areas and not area?

Use multiple opt-in forms or link from several places to a single opt-in form page.

There’s no reason to only refer visitors to an opt-in form once. Link to it or actually display it on as many pages of your site as you feel is appropriate. Don’t make visitors go looking for where to sign up, show them.

Make an offline opt-in form.

Do you have a storefront? A cart where you display various wares? Weekly shows? Any place where you occasional show off your products / services in person to the general public? Then give people an opportunity to sign up.

And the same rules apply here. If you have a fairly big storefront, allow customers to sign up from multiple places. Put a sign above your form that tells people the value of your list (Hear About Our Sales!) instead of simply imploring them to join a list.

A note on older lists

You may not realize this, but people do change their email addresses. If you have a mailing list sitting around gathering dust, be careful. If your list hasn't been used in over a year, we'd recommend splitting the list up into smaller chunks and then send mail out to these smaller lists over several days. Don't be surprised if your bounce rates are high when mailing to an older list. For more details on your Bounce rate, please see our help guide here

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