How to build a subscription base: 40 ways to get high-quality contacts

Collecting contacts. Useful tips and practical ideas

We have already written about how to make a beautiful letter for mailing. Today we will share how to build a subscription database.

A high–quality subscriber base is the basis of any email marketing. In order for you to be able to promote some resources or ideas, it is necessary to have people who will receive and read your information. Subscribers are a “warm” audience that you can and should work with. But first, they need to be taken from somewhere. Useful tips and practical ideas are waiting for you in this article.

Collecting contacts: who needs it and why

In email marketing, subscribers are a key factor in the application of efforts. The more extensive the subscription base, the higher the potential conversion. Simply put, the more different people receive the newsletter, the higher the chances of getting additional profit or achieving some other goals.

It’s not enough just to collect the email addresses of some random people. The database should be of high quality, consist of a target audience, i.e. of people who are interested in your products and services. Only in this case they will read your newsletter, some of them will become buyers, customers or perform other targeted actions.

With a low quality of the email database, recipients perceive emails as ordinary spam. The result of such actions is zero or even negative.

How to build an email database from scratch?

Collecting a database from scratch implies organic receipt of contact data. People themselves, quite consciously, leave information about themselves and agree to receive letters from the project with interesting articles, announcements of some events, etc.

The organic approach itself works slowly, especially for new projects. But you can speed up this process, for example, with the help of contextual advertising or cooperation with successful colleagues. So, it is possible to promote an e-book, notify about an upcoming event or share announcements of interesting articles through a mailing list based on subscribers who are close in subject.

The main purpose of such actions is to speed up the collection of contacts of the interested audience. How to do this as efficiently as possible, we’ll talk below.

Basic tools

So, you need to get an email from a person, as well as some information about him, at least a name, so that in the future you can personally contact everyone. How to do it?

Subscription forms

Such HTML forms can be seen on the pages of many sites. In them, the visitor is asked to fill in contact details, for example, for registration or purchase of goods. At the same time, he agrees to receive the newsletter.

The forms are very different:

  • User Registration;
  • Form for downloading information;
  • The form is fixed or when scrolling;
  • Offer to leave contacts at the exit.

The choice of the form type depends on the specifics of your project. Carefully study the possibilities of each option, test different approaches. In addition, it is very important to choose the optimal design.

When it comes to design, not only the design is important, but also the number of fields. On the one hand, the more information you can get from a person, the easier it will be to give him targeted, really interesting information in the future. On the other hand, forms with a large number of fields are filled out much less often than the simple “name + email” option.

So, in the B2B sector, people easily fill in the name of the organization, the name and phone number of the contact person, write questions in the form for a text comment. Individuals are rarely willing to spend time on complex registration. You can track their interests based on the analysis of behavioral factors. For example, you can see in the statistics from which page a person went to the registration form, which sections he viewed before, by which search query he entered the site, etc.

The basic rule: the more fields in the registration form, the more accurate the information, but the smaller the number of subscribers. Determine what is really important and reduce your form to the necessary minimum.

Landing pages

Landing pages (landing pages) are one of the most common options for generating leads in email marketing. These are individual sites or pages on a large project, where detailed information about a product, service or event, a call to action, a “buy” button and a request form are located. The use of landing pages significantly increases the conversion rate and also makes it possible to replenish the subscription base.


Webinars are online conferences, meetings or seminars where you can meet your target audience and invite them to your contact base. In this case, you are offering to receive some valuable information in exchange for a subscription.

The development of the webinar program requires special attention. People are attracted to high-quality content. Otherwise, the idea just “won’t shoot.” It makes sense to advertise the event using all available marketing channels.

Lead magnets

Lead magnets are some useful things that a person can get in exchange for providing contacts. The main goal of lead magnets is to replenish the mailing list database with high-quality contacts. You will be able to target the audience based on the selected lead magnet. I.e., downloading the information itself allows you to understand what exactly a person is interested in. Working with leads becomes as targeted as possible and, as a result, effective.

What can be a lead magnet:

  • E-books and reference books;
  • Training materials;
  • Reports and checklists;
  • Useful tools;
  • Collections of thematic resources, etc.

In principle, any information or software solution available only to those who leave their email can become a lead magnet. The main thing is that this “magnet” is interesting to your audience.

Practical ideas: how to build a subscription database

Below we have collected the most effective email collection ideas. Some of them are probably known to you, others you might not have thought about. For convenience, we have divided them by types of online and offline tactics, as well as by types of media used.

Online Tactics

Own media

Use your own website and blog to collect the mailing list database:

  • The subscription form can be placed on all important pages of the site or, alternatively, add it to the “header” in the form of a button. An example of such an option may be the “buy” button in online stores.
  • Add a pop-up form to the site with motivation to subscribe. In it, you need to tell as accurately and convincingly as possible what exactly a person will receive in return for a subscription.
  • Organize a newsletter of announcements of new blog publications. This way you will be able to receive new emails from interested readers, keep in touch with existing subscribers and increase blog traffic.
  • Collect email at all possible points of interaction with potential buyers, including when contacting through the feedback form, online assistant chat, etc.

Create separate resources for email collection:

  • Conduct webinars, a link to which will be available by email. On the announcement page, place a registration form in which there will be permission to receive the newsletter.
  • Create a landing page, the only purpose of which is to get new subscribers. Alternatively, supplement the existing landing page with a video that will motivate you to leave contact information.
  • Think about what kind of information can become a lead magnet. Often there is not even a need to create something specifically. Everything that users download from your site may be a suitable option.

Conduct email campaigns aimed at increasing the mailing list base:

  • Offer discounts, gifts or other bonuses to customers who agree to become subscribers of the mailing list.
  • Ask subscribers to share interesting materials with friends. You can hold some kind of competition, offer a bonus for the subscribers you have brought, etc.
  • Come up with additional service benefits or discounts only for mailing subscribers.
  • Add the line “Subscribe to our newsletter” to the signature to all emails on behalf of the company or project.

It is impossible to quickly build a subscription base without financial investments. But there is also good news, with a good job you will pay for them quickly.

  • Use contextual advertising to promote landing pages, webinar announcements, etc.
  • Hold contests and sponsor other people’s similar projects. A mandatory condition is to notify the winners by email after registering on your project.
  • Use remarketing. At the same time, do not forget to exclude from the list those who are already in the database, tell the rest about the advantages of mailing or offer a bonus in exchange for a subscription.
  • Use social networks. For example, Facebook has an advertising option designed to collect contacts. You can also use other options – banners, videos, text advertising posts. The main thing is that people show interest in your website and newsletter. One of the advantages of social networks is a short sales funnel. Most of the information you need is already in the subscriber’s profile. You will receive it automatically without manual filling.

Earned Media

You don’t work in a vacuum on the Internet. There are a lot of resources that are ready to help you with advertising mailing lists in exchange for some actions or partnership.

  • Meet other mailing list authors. The ideal option is to find partners whose subject matter is close enough to you, but at the same time does not compete. For example, if you are engaged in street lighting, cooperation with a newsletter for landscape designers is perfect for you. You will be able to advertise each other in emails and exchange subscribers.
  • Exchange links or advertising banners with colleagues on the subscription confirmation pages. It also expands the audience.
  • Cooperate with the catalogues of articles that suit you on the subject. You can add your own publication as an author, and already post a link to the website or a form for entering contact details in it. But don’t forget to clarify in the placement rules what advertising options the resource allows.
  • Take part in question-and-answer projects, for example, in @Mail Answers.Ru, as well as in various thematic communities. Answer questions, get expert status. Use the ability to add signatures to messages to post information about the newsletter there.
  • Advertise your newsletter in email confirmations, automatic replies from the site, etc.
  • On specialized projects of seminars, training courses, fairs or exhibitions, it is often possible to include a form of lead generation. Include a newsletter subscription in it.
  • Add a link to the registration page to the bottom of the webinar page, contest, etc.

Offline tactics

If you work not only on the Internet, you can collect email, including offline.

  • Take part in industry exhibitions and other events. Every experienced marketer knows why this is necessary – advertising, new business contacts and useful acquaintances. At the same time, you can get new subscribers. Just ask people when you receive a business card if they can be added to your database. Commercial mailings are often interesting to potential partners. The email address of the subscription is corporate. Therefore, people willingly give their consent to receive information.
  • Speak at seminars, training sessions, and other events. In this case, you will be able to advertise your project and newsletter to an interested audience. Moreover, now it is not uncommon to use online voting forms simultaneously with large screens and projectors, accessible from a tablet or smartphone to the participants of the event. You can also place a mailing list advertisement there.
  • Offer customers cumulative bonuses or discount cards. When filling out the buyer’s questionnaire, ask for an email and consent to receive letters.
  • On packaging boxes, branded packages, and other promotional materials, be sure to indicate a link to the website.
  • When interacting with customers over the phone, ask for a person’s consent to receive useful information, after which you can safely transfer his email to the subscriber database.
  • Use print advertising: in the mailing list, when adding information in the catalog, even on handouts for street promoters, be sure to write your website.
  • If you send products to customers by mail, add an advertising card to the parcel with an offer of a discount or a gift in exchange for a subscription. Don’t forget to specify the website address.

Optimization of the subscription base

Below we will talk about methods to increase the attractiveness of subscriptions, as well as about opportunities that are not included in any of the categories, but are also worthy of attention.

  • The subscription process should be as simple as possible. In many cases, you can limit yourself to the name and email.
  • Use the login to the site through social networks. These “buttons” are very popular with users. At the same time, you will get maximum information, users – simple registration. Don’t forget to use the “tick” next to the phrase “I agree to receive the newsletter”, because you don’t need accusations of spam.
  • Let us know in advance that the letters will come, for example, once a week. The mailing list should not be too intrusive and annoying.
  • When conducting a webinar or speaking at an offline event, do not forget to mention the newsletter. Try to do it unobtrusively, “by the way.” In an online event, you can simultaneously send a link to the registration form to the chat. Some people will definitely be interested.
  • Use the “share with a friend” buttons in the blog and in the newsletter. Give people the opportunity to invite 3-5 friends to the newsletter at the same time. The “share” buttons on social networks work even more effectively.
  • Publish reviews on the website and landing pages, including in video format. Social evidence will help the visitor to make a positive decision.
  • If payment by bank card or through payment services is implemented on your website, add information about the mailing list to the payment receipt.
  • It is also worth using a link to the subscription page in the payment invoices.
  • Explore the possibilities of integrating offline advertising with contact data collection mechanisms.
  • Work on increasing site traffic. This is good both for the growth of the number of subscribers and for the promotion of the project as a whole.

We tried to gather as many ideas as possible on how to build a subscription base.

 KRAB Marketing Agency