How Can I Get Free Email Lists for Marketing?


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How Can I Get Free Email Lists for Marketing?

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How Can I Get Free Email Lists for Marketing?

From keeping contacts engaged with your brand to collecting email addresses using an opt-in, here are 13 answers to the question, “What are ways to get a free email list for marketing?”

  • Run a Social Media Contest
  • Use Gated Content
  • Leverage the Power of Social Media
  • Encourage the Distribution of Your Emails
  • Offer Exclusive Content, Discounts, or Free Trials
  • Delegate Lists from Events and Conferences
  • Create CTA Posts on Your Brand’s Social Media Handle
  • Ask Your Clients for Feedback
  • Gather Addresses from Your Email Closing or Signature
  • Activate the Forward Button on Your Emails
  • Mail Postcards With an Offer
  • Optimize the Location of Your Current Form
  • Grow an Email List by Offering Free Value First

Run a Social Media Contest

Use social media platforms to run a contest or giveaway that requires participants to sign up for your email list. In this way, you can effectively build your email list while generating buzz for your brand.

Brainstorm a creative contest idea, set the entry steps, and choose a brand-aligned prize. As part of the rules and policies, determine the winner selection and prize awarding rules. As your goal is building a mailing list, ensure you include information about the requirement to provide an email address as part of the entry process. Require participants to fill out a form on the website with their email addresses or email you directly with their contact information.

Once you have collected email addresses, follow up with participants via email to announce the winner. Then, use this contact information to keep them engaged with your brand by sending special offers, discount codes, or newsletters with information about your products or services.

Nina PaczkaNina Paczka
Community Manager, Resume Now

Use Gated Content

Gated content involves offering potential customers exclusive access to certain content, such as special offers, exclusive videos, and tips & tricks, in return for their contact details, often a name and an email address. Gated content allows marketers to capture leads while also providing value and building relationships with customers.

Kate Wojewoda-Celinska, Marketing Manager, Spacelift

Leverage the Power of Social Media

If you have no money but need to build an email list, you can exchange your time instead and leverage the power of social media. Places like Facebook have thousands of groups you can tap into, which are full of people looking for answers you can provide.

Set up a profile page or landing page on your website with more information about yourself and a link to a squeeze page where you offer something for their email. You could also run contests or giveaways and link straight to the opt-in page depending on the rules of the group.

Once you have that setup, you can answer questions in groups, providing real value to gain the attention of other group members who will naturally click through to find out more about you and what you offer.

Marketa KropacovaMarketa Kropacova
Holistic Therapist, Alpha Therapies

Encourage the Distribution of Your Emails

Contact people who have already subscribed to your email list and ask them to forward it to other people they know. Email provides the ideal setting for recommending that your subscribers spread the word about your business through word-of-mouth, which is one of the oldest and most effective forms of advertising.

If they are on your list and getting something out of your messages, there is a good probability that they know other people who could also benefit from what you send out. It is essential that you make it simple for people to share and subscribe to your emails.

Make sure your template is up to date and has buttons for social sharing. Include a segment in your newsletter that specifically addresses ‌getting subscribers to pass on your message to others. Then, within your email, offer a link that directs new readers to your sign-up page, or a hosted web form so that they can immediately begin receiving your content.

Hamza UsmaniHamza Usmani
Head of Content, Believe Money

Offer Exclusive Content, Discounts, or Free Trials

An effective and ethical approach to building an email list for marketing is to create valuable content that resonates with your target audience and encourages them to opt-in to receive future communications from your business. You can do this by offering incentives such as exclusive content, discounts, or free trials for an email address.

Derek BruceDerek Bruce
Senior Director, Onsite First Aid Training

Delegate Lists from Events and Conferences

Events, conferences, and industry trade shows often publish a list of relevant delegates, enticing potential advertisers. As a digital marketer, these delegate lists are a gold mine, providing a ready-made list of potential leads.

The trick is to target conferences relevant to your product or service, ensuring that your delegate list will contain product-aware prospects. Event organizers will naturally showcase the highest-value delegates first, making this method ideal for enterprise-level sales processes. Even when delegate lists aren’t publicly available, emailing the event organizer and asking usually works just fine.

Simply search for the biggest industry events of the year, and then focus on any available delegate lists and start prospecting.

Oliver SavillOliver Savill
CEO and Founder, Assessment Day

Create CTA Posts on Your Brand’s Social Media Handle

The creation, distribution, and promotion of CTA posts on your business’s social media accounts are one of the simplest ways to establish a free email list that applies to your brand and contains members of your target demographic.

Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok, using your outreach channels to double as target audience generators for your email campaigns gives you the benefit of highly accurate email lists. It leaves you with the assurance that you can send your emails to a group of people who are genuinely interested in what your brand offers.

Ariav CohenAriav Cohen
VP of Marketing and Sales, Proprep

Ask Your Clients for Feedback

It is very difficult to get an entire email list. Asking your clients for feedback, however, is an effective way to get their email addresses. This approach allows your company to position itself accurately regarding the services and products it provides. This will help you strengthen the bonds with your existing customers and enable you to reach out to them for new products and promotions.

Marco Genaro PalmaMarco Genaro Palma
Co-founder, TechNews180

Gather Addresses from Your Email Closing or Signature

The number of people you individually email each day, although these people haven’t subscribed to your email newsletter, you should ‌still encourage them to do so. Email signatures are a great place to include a brief call to action and a link to a form or landing page.

Even if this doesn’t result in a flood of new subscribers, it’s a simple, unobtrusive technique to raise awareness if you already email your audience frequently. Besides updating your own signature, make sure that all team members (especially those who deal with customers) change theirs as well.

Dean LeeDean Lee
Head of E-commerce, 88Vape

Activate the Forward Button on Your Emails

Get in touch with your current subscribers and ask them to forward your email to their friends and family. Email is a great place to recommend word-of-mouth marketing to your subscriber base, which is one of the oldest and most effective forms of advertising.

If they’re already on your list and finding value in your communications, they may know of others who would, too. You should make forwarding and subscribe to your emails simple. The addition of share buttons is a must-have for any modern website.

Include a section in your newsletter requesting that readers forward it along to their contacts. Then, to get new subscribers to sign up, include a link to your sign-up page or hosted online form in your email.

Sasha QuailSasha Quail
Business Development Manager,

Mail Postcards With an Offer

Mail a postcard with a freebie offer to your offline customers in order to collect their email addresses. Provide them with a landing page where they can enter their email address and receive the promised freebie.

Sending a customer a handwritten message or postcard with a return address shows honesty in advertising if you have their mailing address. Collecting email addresses online is a technical process, but this adds a human element to it.

Daniel Foley, SEO Specialist, Unagi Scooters

Optimize the Location of Your Current Form

You should still try out different page layouts even if you plan to make the subscription form available on every page of your site. Simply, a sign-up form placed at the end of a blog post will not attract as many readers as one placed in the sidebar or the middle of the piece.

You should place the inline web form in a prominent and consistent location across all pages of your site. The web form needs to be visible without having to “scroll” (the section of your site that is visible without scrolling).

Shakzod KhabibovShakzod Khabibov
Founder, Natura Market

Grow an Email List by Offering Free Value First

The best way to get a list of potential customers’ email addresses is to first offer something of value for free for their signing up to your email list. This is often called an “opt-in” or “content upgrade.”

The opt-in offer should relate to your products and services and should focus on solving any of the issues that you know your ideal customers have. A great opt-in can be a mini video training, a PDF worksheet or guide, a spreadsheet, or an interactive quiz where the result gives advice and the next steps in a personalized way.


By collecting email addresses using an opt-in, you know that every person who signs up for your email list is directly interested in the products or services that you offer, thus making your email list much more effective at driving sales.

Anna CrosbyAnna Crosby
Owner, Geni Collective

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