Email marketing lists are not a new idea, and businesses have long collected customer information to use later. Email lists are still useful, and a near necessary tool for online businesses, but new technology and processes have changed the game a bit. There are more elements to consider with an email list now than there were a few years ago. As technology continues to progress, it is vital that businesses understand how to use the current tools, so they are not playing catch up later. Some businesses might not realize how much an email list can help with other areas of the business or how data from other areas can help bolster your email list. The business world consists of connections, and an email marketing list does not exist in a vacuum.

What Is An Email Marketing List

An email marketing list, in simple terms, is a collected list of customer information that helps companies target email ads to the right customers. The collected customer information could be as simple as names and email addresses, but you can also collect far more information if you want. With more information like location, income, education, family status, and more, you can better target customers on your email list to ensure they receive ads they like. Email marketing lists are a fantastic tool, but they do not appear out of thin air. It either takes time and hard work or money to get a robust list you can use for mass email marketing.

How To Build An Email Marketing List

Building an email marketing list takes time and effort unless you decide to use money. You can buy marketing lists from other companies that compiled the information, but these lists are not cheap, nor do they provide niche-specific customer information. Bought lists tend to be more general customer information, but they can be a great starting place if you have no list currently.


However, if you want to build your own list, you can start by collecting customer information after completing an order or signing up for your newsletter. You can also use your small business shipping process to get geographic information on customers. You may not get all the details you want, but it is a place to start. Social media is another excellent place to collect information for your list, as many people freely post their information that businesses can use for marketing.


While collecting as much information as possible might sound attractive, or like the right move, it can cause more problems down the road. Collecting and hoarding data can degrade your asset health over time as not all data is good data. Data also decays over time, and you must remove erroneous data, so it does not affect the rest of your analysis projects. The more data you collect, the more there is to clean out later, so be careful with how much information you collect for your list.

Protect Your Email List

Once you have a significant email marketing list that is not bogged down with useless data and is adequately maintained to control data decay, it is time to protect your investment. Ensure that you have a copy of your list on a different machine in case something goes wrong. You can also keep a physical backup on a hard drive and keep the drive somewhere safe. You do not want to lose all your hard work due to one mistake or one criminal attack, so take steps to protect your list now. You should also limit who in the company can access your email list as any changes to the list can ruin upcoming campaigns. A password-protected system will keep track of who logs in and when so you can track changes should anything go wrong. You should also secure the room where the computer lives as you don’t want just anyone plugging in a USB drive to deliver malicious code.


Every business needs to use every advantage and tool available, especially in the modern age when technology can accomplish so much. An email marketing list is a critical tool that all businesses should utilize. Build your list by collecting information from customers and across the Internet as many people freely post information you can scrape. Once you have your list growing, ensure your protection procedures are enough to keep your company safe from digital and physical attacks.




  • Nick Rojas

    Nick Andrew Rojas is a journalist and a self-taught serial entrepreneur who has worked with various startups as a business consultant. His work often discusses marketing, business and technology. He loves to connect so reach out on Twitter! @nickarojas. Nick volunteers for AMA Boston in his (limited) spare time.