How to Set-up an E-mail List

Setting up an e-mail list can seem daunting, but if you follow along, you’ll find that it’s totally manageable and doable.

Why set up a mailing list?

Setting up a mailing list will let you contact people on your terms, when you want to. You don’t have to depend on different social media sites to get your message out to your audience, and this is very important.

The Fine Print

There are lots of regulations around e-mail lists depending on the country you’re in. The most basic guideline is to always get permission to add someone to your list.

If you’re in Europe, your email list set up is guided by GDPR, which stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It basically says that a person owns their data. You should dig a bit deeper to understand the regulations of the country you’re operating in.

Almost all countries have anti-spamming regulations that govern the world of e-mail. Because of this, most e-mail services have checks and balances in place to remind you of the requirements. If you follow these regulations, you should have a good start to being in compliance with the regulations.

How to Set-up an E-mail List

The first thing you’ll need to do is sign-up to an e-mail service. You may want to compare the pro’s and con’s of a few e-mail services. I use Mailchimp so that’s the service I’ll be talking about in this post.

Some of the other e-mail services you might want to consider are:

  • Constant Contact
  • Convert Kit
  • Drip

Mailchimp has a detailed “how to” page on setting up an account with them. So, if they’re your e-mail service of choice, you can check their tutorial out here: Mailchimp’s tutorial for setting up a new account.

Create a Freebie

You’ll want to have a powerful free giveaway that really speaks to the needs of the people you’re trying to serve. Think of the questions you get asked and answer most frequently. Think of the value you can add in your audience’s life and create a free give away. This is an example of one of my free giveaways.

Make an Offer on Your Social Media Accounts

Now, how are you going to get this freebie in the hands of the people who need it most?

You’ll want to offer it in multiple places, including on your social media accounts, to friends and friends of friends who you think might benefit from it and from anyone who might be interested.

Use a Pop-up or a Bar on Your Website

Another place to shoot your shot with your freebie is by using a pop-up or a bar on the top of your website to collect e-mail addresses.

There are many services that allow you to do this like MailChimp, Leadpages, HelloBar and Optin-Monster. You can even use a plugin on your WordPress site to accomplish the same thing.

Create a Landing Page

Once people say “yes” to your freebie, you need to send them somewhere.

A landing page is a good place to start because it’s a focused page on your website that doesn’t give them any options except to say “yes” to your offer or to leave the page. This helps to get them to take the action you want them to take.

Just for your reference, a landing page is often also referred to as a squeeze page. It’s a page that has no distractions. It gets to the point and encourages visitors to the page to take one single action – to sign-up for whatever you’re offering.

Here is an example of a landing page from the website you’re on right now. If you want to know how they work, click on the picture below and check it out!


There are many services you can use to create landing pages on your website. You can use a page builder, like Elementor, that comes with your website template or you can use a plug-in or separate service.

WPBeginner has an article where it compares six landing page softwares. It is worth checking out to see if it would benefit you.

There are a few steps to setting up a landing page, including

  • having a freebie to give away
  • setting up the landing page
  • setting up an e-mail list
  • creating a way to deliver your freebie
  • thinking through “what’s next” after the freebie’s been delivered

So now, I ask you, what’s next?

What’s Next?

After you’ve set-up your mailing list, you’ll probably start wondering, what should I send to these people who are on my list?

I dive deeper into that topic in my article “What to Send Your E-mail List“.

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