How to Build an Email List Without a Website

Build and email list

We’ve all been roped into providing our email address in one way or another, maybe you even have a separate email account just for signups and promo offers (I do!). But as a small business owner, it’s important that you take note from the entrepreneurs around you and have an email list of your own in place. 

What’s the value of an email list?

Email lists hold tons of value in both the short and long-term depending on how you use them. It’s about building relationships. Having access to someone’s email gives you personal access to them through one of their most commonly used channels of communication. 

For instance, email lists can be used to:

  • Upsell and cross-sell products
  • Send out information about new products and release dates
  • Follow up with customers
  • Promote new products and services 
  • Build trust with your customers for providing value

8 practical ways to build an email list without a website

There is no wrong way to go about building your email list. The only bad way of doing it is by not doing it at all. We suggest that you take a look at the eight ways to build your email list and pick the top ones that align with your business and grow from there. These include: 

  1. Setting up a landing page
  2. Social media 
  3. Referrals 
  4. Podcasts guest appearances
  5. Guest posting on blogs
  6. Personal contacts
  7. Have a giveaway

Landing page

A landing page is basically an opt-in page where visitors come for the sole purpose of converting into your email list. Unlike a website, there’s nowhere to click because it’s just a solitary webpage. 

Usually, they also feature some type of incentive for the opt-in like an e-book or special content access. The best landing pages are captivating, concise, and stay away from any unnecessary fluff that would otherwise steer the visitor away from the signup. 

Here’s a great example of a perfectly crafted landing page. Airbnb showcases:

  • Only one button for an obvious opt-in point
  • User referrals 
  • An estimate on how much you can earn
  • How it works

Social media 

In working with a landing page, another popular method of email capture is through social media where there are multiple ways to get the job done. 

For starters you’ll need to have:

  • A social presence on one of several social media channels
  • An optimized platform including links to your website or opt-in page
  • Calls to action (CTA) to drive customers to opt-in
  • A landing page if you plan to drive them off the platform (you should!)

Here’s a way to drive traffic to your email list using Instagram

Applying the same principles mentioned above, you’ll want to be an active Instagram user with a groomed following. Also, you’ll want to be sure your bio has been optimized with a CTA and a landing page link to drive traffic to. 

Some examples of using Instagram to drive traffic would be:

  1. Use many chat Instagram automation to put keywords into play 
  2. Host an Instagram Live broadcast where you feature yourself, and your services
  3. Ask your followers to comment with a specific Keyword in your feed 
  4. Once they comment on the KW, Automation will send them a DM starting a conversation based on the flow you built
  5. The flow will then retrieve all the information you ask of them (such as an email address)

The best part of this is: you are now able to use that information as a database where you can transfer the contents to a Google Sheet and use it to market to your target audience. 


Combining referral marketing with your regular email capture tactics can yield some outstanding results. But how does it work? Well, referral email marketing is a scaling tool from followers or subscribers that are already on your list. Here are a few ways to rope in some additional email captures by using referrals. 

Just ask: The lowest level of this plan is through just asking. Flat out ask your audience to share your email opt-in with friends and family as an attempt to collect emails. For example, create a newsletter with a CTA at the end and ask your readers to share it. 

Incentivize: The second tier involves creating an incentive. For example, offer a freebie to anyone that shares your newsletter on social media and tags you. 

Double incentivize: Last is you want to include a reward on both ends of the spectrum. This means offering an incentive for both the sharer and the friend who signed up using the sharer’s CTA. 

Podcasts guest appearances

Let’s say you’re an expert in your field (which we already know you are), and you want to find a new way to not only share your expertise with a wider audience but also capture some of those people for yourself to market to later. One of the best answers is through podcast guest experiences. 

Through a podcast guest experience you can:

  • Showcase your talents and skills without coming across as “braggy” 
  • Captivate a whole new audience by appearing on some of the top marketing podcasts
  • Ask the host to share your email opt-in on their podcast website or blog
  • Ask the host to announce to listeners an incentive for going on the website and opting in for your email list

Guest posting on blogs

As with partaking in a guest spot on the air, a guest blog post on a website can also yield positive benefits for you and your business. Usually, with many guest posts on a blog, it’s an exchange, a free article for a link on the article going back to wherever you choose (like an email opt-in). And finding guest posts is usually simple. Start by:

  • Checking with blogs you already read
  • Checking with a blog in your niche or congruent to it
  • Check with popular blogs that your target audience would gravitate to 

Next, you’ll want to pitch to them and you’ll want to be sure you’re concise but also offer value to their website and readers. Check for submission guidelines, most blogs that accept guest posts have them and cater your pitch to the person you’re talking to. Stay away from the generic “To whom it may concern.” 

Personal contacts

Utilizing your network is highly advised when you’re building a business, looking for work, or even building your email list. But you want to be sure of a few things before going in for the big task of asking your friends and colleagues. 

  1. Start by making sure your email opt-in is seamless. Test your landing page with your own information to be sure it’s working properly, especially if you’re offering an incentive. You want to make sure they actually receive it. 
  2. Treat your contact as a business partner. Offer value to them and their audience, give them something to pitch to their audience when asking to opt-in to your email campaign.

Have a giveaway

Everyone loves freebies. Especially if they get it without having to jump through hoops. One of the best ways to incentivize new email list building without a website is to host a giveaway. Plus this tactic can be coupled with several of the other tactics like using social media for instance. 

  1. First, decide on the freebie you want to offer. This could be a product you created, an email Bootcamp, or a PDF with great content. As long as it’s something unique that provides value, it’ll make a great incentive. 
  2. Next, pick your social media channel (or pick a few of them). The more the merrier since you want a broad audience it’s best to choose as many social channels as you feel good about hosting on. 
  3. Use a tool like ManyChat to help you filter through your DMs and respond to all the freebie inquiries. For example, if you make a post saying DM me the word “Freebie” to get signed up, ManyChat allows you to have a trigger built around that word that will not only send them a DM but walk them through your flow to capture their information and give them the freebie. 

Quick tips for building your email lists

Here are some additional tips for making sure you’re doing your part in monetizing your target audience, new subscribers, and email marketing.

For starters with email marketing, you need to have a reliable place to build your mailing list and cater to your email subscribers. This is done by:

1. Having the proper email marketing software

2. Setting up a strong email campaign

3. Having the ability to campaign monitor to assess what’s working and what isn’t

Get more information on Instagram DM Automation by ManyChat and how it can help you grow your business!

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The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.