How to Build an Highly Targeted Email List for a Huge Online Income

Without question your email list is one of the single most effective methods for connecting and building trust with your blog audience, promoting your articles, generating conversions and increasing sales.

To put it more simply, your email subscribers’ list will massively increase the chances of your online business being a success.

The Direct Marketing Association reports that email marketing has an ROI of 4300%, with 50% of email subscribers preferring to hear weekly from company subscribers.

Unlike Social Media Marketing and SEO which have an ROI of 74% and 275% respectively.

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Data related spend expected to rise to $1.2 billion for email (Source DMA)

So today I am going to show you how to use an acquisition email marketing strategy to boost your email subscribers list.

By implementing this method you will be able to gather a list of email subscribers who will come back to your brand to make repeat visits, repeat conversions and repeat sales for months to come.

The email marketing tips that I am about to outline in this article come from years of experience, of testing out sending strategies, email content, subject lines, knowing what to look for in an email list and a whole bunch of hours replacing and installing servers and email sending applications and, of course, a lot more besides.

You will hear a great deal of talk about acquisition email marketing methods and some of the areas that I am about to cover here. The truth is that there is no one way to increase conversions and revenues through acquisition email marketing. Personally, I have a number of strategies that I use depending on the vertical, the data and the resources available.

That said at the end of this post you will know how to set up a system for building up an email list that works and will bring your repeat revenue for months to come. And what’s more all advanced email marketers from affiliates to corporations are using this method to gather extra leads.

e marketing email

  • How to get started
  • What type of emails lists to use
  • How to build up trust with the users on your emailing list
  • How to set up a bulk mail server
  • The type of marketing email content and subject lines required
  • How to clean and build a highly targeted email list

The most common misconception among email marketers, even those that have been doing it for 10 years or more, is that you can buy a large list of email data, send out a marketing email containing some kind of offer and then rake in the cash from sales and conversions.

Most beginner email marketers make this same routine mistake and become deterred by the lack of immediate results for their initial effort and inevitably throw in the towel soon after starting.

So it is important to remember that the email marketing methods that I will outline below are not about trying to make money right away.

email marketing tips

Instead we are looking to build up a solid list of openers and clickers who will eagerly await the arrival of your emails, make repeated visits to your site and provide continuous sales for a long time to come. The main advantages of email marketing in this way are to generate both consistent and long term income.

In short – when done correctly the email marketing tips in this article make up one of the most effective and quickest yielding online income opportunities.

So pay attention, get your notebook at the ready and let’s get started.

How to Get Started

Email marketing is all about the data
The first step in this email marketing method is to begin spending a good chunk of time trying to source out data to help boost your email list while you wait for your Content Marketing, SEO and Social Media Marketing Strategies to kick in and generate some results.

According to Derek Halpern of Social Triggers: “Instead of building their email list, people focus on pointless things like social media… or worse… pageviews…BIG MISTAKE!”

I am not suggesting that you put all of your eggs in one basket and pursue only emailing as a marketing strategy. But I am saying that you should make every effort to start bringing a good sized number of subscribers to your email list right from the start as, unlike SEO and Social Media, you will see immediate results for your efforts.

So before you even think about those other marketing mediums you should seriously organise some good data sources and get your email sending running nicely in the background. Once set up you will get a steady drip of leads coming in to your site and making repeat visits to your site articles.

Don’t be daunted, sourcing out good email data is not as difficult as it seems. Just take a look at some of these stats from Neil Patel at Quicksprout to see that the rewards of building up a good sized email list right form the off are well worth it.

emailing marketing

As you can see in the above charts, email marketing campaigns (listed as campaigns) account for 13.91% of the overall site traffic. The interesting thing though is that these users account for 41% of the total blog comments. They are also 3.9 times more likely to share content via social media as opposed to visitors that are coming from other sources.

With numbers like those you can rest assured that your email subscribers will make up some of the most active users on your site, and when your email marketing strategy is set up and running, you will be able to get these users to interact with your first blog posts immediately.

What Type of Email Lists to Use

Good Email Lists and Bad Email Lists

The type of emailing lists that you want to use will determine whether or not your strategy will work. If your list is a bad list it will ruin your entire setup. If your list is good you will see great results very quickly. This is another fundamental that tends to be overlooked by email marketers of all levels.

This point can’t be stressed enough, so it’s worth repeating – no matter how good your emailing setup is, if you use bad data it will all come to nothing. So it’s vital that you ensure that your email data is top quality if you want to carry out effective list building and especially if you are going to purchase email data up front.

emails marketing
Full Contact Data List – Be wary of lists that contain ONLY email address

Before we talk about what to look for in a good email list we should probably point out a few red flags to watch out for when considering which emailing lists to use:

  • Never buy a list from an individual on LinkedIn or a Forum. Especially someone who says they are selling premium consumer data. These kind of lists never really amount to anything because of the simple fact that you have to take the word of the person selling the list that it is a good list. Whereas in reality it might nothing more than a poorly scraped list of random emails or worse still a list of old data that has already received repeat email offers and is no longer active.
  • Never use a list that contains ONLY email addresses. Without full user details you have no way of ascertaining the quality of the list, what kind of information they have opted in for or, worse still, if they have even opted in to receive any emails at all. Sending to users who have not opted in to receive mails can bring you a whole stack of complaints and get your server blacklisted.
  • Be very wary of old lists. This can vary from vertical to vertical but older lists are more likely to contain inactive users and spamtraps. Repeat emailing to these can result in your server getting blacklisted immediately.
  • Be very wary of lists containing .gov, .edu suffixes. These type of suffixes tend to belong to governmental or administrative email user accounts who are very unlikely to have opted in for third party email offers but are very likely to get your network shut down. Sending email campaigns to these users is likely to bring you a whole load of trouble that you didn’t bargain for.

Take a look at this infographic from Experian on how damaging to business a bad list of email data can be:

emailing marketing

As you can see it will pay off a lot more in the long run to spend a decent amount of time sourcing out and investing in good sources of email data.

Conversely then, a good list should be the opposite of the points listed above. When you are using a good email list you will start to see positive results straight away.

Here are a few other suggestions for finding good lists:

  • Use a trusted list broker. There are many list brokers operating on the web. The bad news is that many of them are not very reliable. Be sure that you opt for a well recommended list broker, or spread your budget over a number of list brokers, test out small numbers of email data (say 50-100k) and then go with the brokers that provide you with the best opens and click throughs from their lists. Be wary of what you spend here, it’s easy to get trigger happy and spend a lot of money on lists that are unrelated to your vertical and the offers you are marketing.
  • Make a deal with a publisher. There are also plenty of publishers online for which you can buy and sell data. Again spread your budget over a number of different ones and work with those that work hard to deliver what you are asking for. A good publisher will have access to good email marketing data for a wide range of niches as it is in their interest to get you data that brings you results so that come back to them for more data. A publisher that takes your money and gives you a poor list is not a good publisher. Again be wary of how you spend your budget here – it can be a very quick way of blowing your reserve.
  • Subscribe to a Daily Data Feed. This is a very cost effective way of generating leads as with a Data Feed you can get email lists containing thousands of potential new consumer and business leads that have opted in for email offers each day and at very affordable rates. A good data feed will contain information that is collected right up to the day before delivery and from a wide range of up to date sources, including recent online purchasers that have opted in for third party email offers – which are some of the best users for marketing affiliate offers. The engines used to mine these kinds of data will also have removed all of the inactive email accounts, spam traps, support@, info@, admin@ etc leaving you only with active users for which to match up your offers to.
  • Subscribe to WHOis Data Feed.  This is another very effective and budget friendly data source, particularly useful if you are marketing tech products such as Web Design services, Hosting, SEO Services, etc. Whois Data Feeds contain the data of all recently registered domains and also comes in large numbers every day. Again the feed provider will only provide you with the cleaned data source so expect good open rates and low bounces if you do your email marketing campaign right.

There are other methods for acquiring email data, some of which may be unorthodox , others may be outright unethical.

But all of those sources listed above are legitimate, highly effective and within budget ways of sourcing out new leads for your business right away and are used by both start up and established businesses alike.

email marketing tips

Here are a few other pointers for helping to build a high quality email list:

  • Try to find targeted lists within your chosen niche
  • Regional lists always do better than generic lists
  • Mix up your lists to contain addresses from a wide range of ISPs to help build a positive sender score
  • Gather as much personalised data as possible – personalised messaging helps out loads in marketing

With this kind of email data and the right email marketing methods you can quickly generate a workable list of highly active users who will come back to your site time and time again.

How to build up trust with the users on your list of emails

So now that you have a few ideas for acquiring good email data let’s now take a look at how we extract the users who are interested in what we have to offer from the data.

And as we did previously, before we get into that let’s look at few examples of what not to do.

Below are a few examples of email subject lines that will do one or all of the following – annoy the users on your lists so much that they unsubscribe instantly, get your emails blocked by all of the ISPs and/or get your servers blacklisted fast:

“1 More Spot Remaining …. Grab it NOW…” – A hard sell Showing urgency to a stranger (This is outright spam)

“Buy 1 .. Get 3 FREE” –
Seriously? I don’t even know how you are

“Who else wants to lose 7 pounds in 1 day?” –
Are you kidding me? I know “NADA” about you. Why would I believe you?

” Get my course for half price” –
Stay in my junk folder for Free

Subject lines like these are guaranteed to get you little or no results. What I think of when I see a subject line like this is that the sender is only concerned with transferring the money from my pocket into theirs. And in reality – who is going to allow someone who sends a random email out of the blue to take money from them?

If you send out email subject lines like these and content to match you run a high risk of being classed as a spammer which puts your email marketing setup in serious risk of being blacklisted and shutdown.

Here is an example of a bad email follow up send out. Notice how there has been little or no effort made to understand what the potential client needs but the sender is chancing his luck (to say the least) by throwing in an off the chart sales pitch completely out of the blue.

email marketing tips

Ask yourself, if you received an email with these kind of subject lines and content out of the blue what would you do with it?

So now we have seen a few examples of what not to do, let’s take a look at how we can build up trust with the users on our email lists.

Get That List and Get Your Brain Working!

First up, you need to condition your head to think about building relationships with the potential subscribers. The sales will come later.

Below are a few simple methods that you can employ in your emails, landing pages and opt in forms to strengthen your brand’s image in the eyes of your new users:

#1 – Set expectations with email and other marketing channels:
Clarify exactly what a person should expect from signing up to your email list.

#2 – Provide premium content for free
Providing top level and relevant content to your potential audience for no cost is a powerful way of building trust, since you’re giving them something of enormous value for very little in return.

#3 – Offer a Free Giveaway
Setting up a few lead magnets such as a free eBook, white paper, video, instructional course, presentation or other piece of content to a subscriber or a lead in return for performing a particular action with your business is a sure fire way to get the users on your lists interested in your products.

#4 – Use Testimonials
Adding a testimonial, review or feedback in your email, landing page or even on a sign up form, will demonstrate to your potential subscribers that your methods or products worked for other people and so they can work for them too.

#5 – Include a List of Achievements
Showcase your brand by mentioning a recent press release, mention on another site or award. Recommendations like these are like references for a potential employer so prove to your users that you are qualified to deliver a top rated service.

email marketing tips

#6 – Understand Your Audience
Try to gauge your audience form the start. You can do this by getting as much information about the source of your email data as you can from your list provider. Find out what the users are already interested in, what they have signed up for previously and how old the data is. All of this information can help you to match your brand and products to the list and to ascertain how aggressive or subtle your marketing strategy can be.

#7 – Show Your Personality
There are so many online businesses for a customer can choose from, so it’s vitally important that you inject some of your personality into your email campaigns to show that your company’s offerings are unique.

#8 – Offer Outstanding Customer Support
Again being available for queries and to resolve issues will let your potential subscribers know that they can rely on you. There are many devices your can use to make this easier, such as a chat box on a landing page, push to web notifications on your site or landing page and providing links to social media.

Remember, that once you have built up trust your sales will come soon after.

Out of all of the lists that you have gathered from all of your sources you are aiming to compile a highly targeted list of active subscribers who will want to keep coming back to your content over and over and make repeat sales.

If you are not thinking on these terms then this method is not for you. But believe me when I tell you that when you do this method right you can easily build up a list of 100+ users per day. That’s an easy 20k list coming in monthly of highly targeted leads – and you don’t need me to explain to you how much potential revenue you can pull in from a list like that! Without a highly targeted list your email marketing methods will be a complete waste of your time, servers and IP addresses.

So let’s do a quick recap on what we have talked about so far:
#1 – Ensure that you have a working list to begin with that is of the highest quality (full user data, recent opt ins, etc)
#2 – Get your head into the mindset of making friends, avoid thinking about money, money, money – you will only look desperate!
#3 – Use your brain more!

How to set up a bulk mail server

Brace yourself – there is a whole lot of noise on this area of the discussion. So what I am going to show you is, without doubt, the most effective way to go about setting up a bulk mail server. And please note this isn’t just information I have plucked out of the airwaves, this comes from spending years working with some heavyweight affiliate and email marketers and by working as a server provider.

setup email server

Begin by buying a VPS from a reputable VPS provider – getting a suitable server to send from is the first challenge you will face in the set up. A handy tip is to build up a good relationship with your VPS provider. You are going to need to change servers, swap out IP addresses many times, and a lot more besides so develop a solid working relationship.

Always work with professionals. This point may seem obvious but I am always blown away by the amount of would be affiliates and email marketers that I meet who are willing to cut costs and corners with something so fundamental to their email marketing strategy. Not to mention the amount of VPS providers who promise large sending volumes to lure in business but then provide servers with already blacklisted IP addresses.

For solid reliable VPS Servers, fully configured for sending (DMARC, SPF, DKIM, ready) visit All servers are Linux, US Based IP addresses and can be provisioned within minutes.

 Packages of VPS servers also available or alternatively if you need a full system setup with a fully configured sending server AffexPro can help with that too.

We are available to chat any time for custom orders, so feel free to drop us a line!

Now with server at the ready it’s time to install the sending application. For this kind of email marketing there is no better sending app than Interspire with PMTA for rotation of IPs. Interspire is a web based application and despite the fact that they bring out updates as frequently as a hermit adds a new contact to his address book, and comes full of bugs it is still the best email marketing automation software.

email marketer

It is advisable to stay under the radar with mass mailing, so keep it to a maximum of 100k sends per day. For a 50k daily send you would need 6-8IPs, all you would then need to do is to increase the number of IPs to up the daily send volume. Your VPS will need to be fully configured with DKIM, SPF, DomainKeys, bounce processing, feedback loops, etc hence why you need a professional to set up. If you don’t know how to do this yourself then pay someone to do it for you. This has to be configured exactly right or you won’t even be in the game.

Your VPS are your main tool in the whole email marketing process, so treat them with the utmost care. They are fundamental to your business function – so don’t use them to blast out spam!

The type of marketing email content required

Now that we have a bulk mail sender ready we now need to set up another mail sender with a high deliverability rate and to put together our marketing materials.

For the mail sender I have used many in the business but the best email marketing software for this kind of strategy by far, for me, is aweber. There are many others to choose from, but what I like best about aweber is the Free 30 day trial and the speed at which you can set up a list and follow up series. Another of the big advantages of email marketing with aweber is the amount of insights you can gather from the data on offer. It will give you much juice not only for your email marketing campaigns but also for your future content management and products that you wish to market through your online business.

Aweber – Best Email Marketing Software

First 30 Days – Free
0–500 Subscribers – $19/month
501–2,500 Subscribers – $29/month
2,501–5,000 Subscribers – $49/month
5,001–10,000 Subscribers – $69/month
10,001–25,000 Subscribers – 10,001–25,000
25,001+ Subscribers – Get a Custom Quote

>>Sign Up for an Account with Aweber Now<<

aweber dashboard

Once you have an account setup you will need to build a cycle of email autoresponders relating to your website to send out at various intervals to your list of targeted subscribers that we will be extracting from our combined lists of email data.

You will also need to set up a cheap hosting account and landing page with a sign up form for which to collect the users data that sign up from the autoresponder cycle. Again there are many ways to do this but I usually go with the guys at SMTPBay who have put together many lead generation landing pages and can do it super fast and at a super discount rate for readers of this blog so follow this link if you need help setting that up.

How to clean and build a highly targeted email list

Now that we have all of our sending infrastructure and tools ready comes the really fascinating part. This is where we begin to filter out the openers and clickers from our email lists, put them into our “clean” list  and see how good the lists you have collected really are!

With VPS and autoresponders at the ready we now need to begin whetting our audience’s appetite – this where we apply an email marketing method known as the sniper technique  using a well thought out sequence of emails and subject lines.

target email address

So, without further ado – load up your first list to the VPS that we installed Interspire. Now we will start sending out a group of two or three mailers preferably as autoresponders to really pique the users’s curiosity and get the openers and clickers from our big lists.

Here is a list of my best subject lines for email marketing that will get you decent open rates on active email lists to be used on the First set of Mailers:

“Hello, #FirstName”
“Appreciating you”
“Let me ask you?”
“Happy Father’s Day” (holiday days are a great marketing opportunity)
“I think I like you … oops!” (suppose it’s a dating niche)
“Who are you?”(something shocking to make them want to know more)

Here are some humorous and concise ones :

“Pandora needs to think outside the box”
“Allow myself to introduce myself”
“Let me train your brain how to make money”
“If you like me, you will love this”
“Please don’t call this a fake promise”

The key here is to be as concise as possible. Remember that the receiver of the email doesn’t know you from Adam and as this is a cold call sales email there is always the danger that you are going to annoy them. For that reason, the best subject lines for email marketing this way are humorous, self deprecating and contain a subtle acknowledgement of the likelihood that you are gatecrashing their inbox!

At the same time, your subject line needs to stand out above all of the other emails – remember we are trying to foster some curiosity and get as many opens as possible here.

For More Information on How to Draft a Great Cold Call Sales Email for Guaranteed Results check out this post.

The same goes for the content of your email – and remember – NO LINKS in the first email. Links can potentially ruin the entire strategy and bring a whole load of trouble to the email domain that you are linking to – so take care!

Below are some sample email swipes for building up a loan emailing list :

The final email swipe also contains the links and is the most revealing of the four in the series. You can afford to give the openers a little more information in an attempt to extract more clicks.

Another tips here is that if you find that you have a large number of openers and very low number of clicks, you can try sending out another one or two emails along the similar lines to try and push up those click rates.

But the most important thing to remember is that you must never repeat send to those that didn’t open the first mail. By all means try and run another email for another marketing campaign at another later time, but trying to run a sequence of emails over your entire initial list will burn your VPS and mean that you have to start allover again. This is a rookie mistake that I see email marketers of all levels making all the time – so don’t put yourself into that category!

Like to See The Results of This Email Marketing Strategy? Check Out The Case Study Here

Interspire Email Marketer

I mentioned earlier that interspire is one of the best pieces of email marketing automation software out there. This is because it comes with many really nifty add ons for running this entire process on auto which I well recommend investing in as they will save you a whole lot of time and effort of sending out email campaigns and segmenting your email list.

These include:
Advanced Triggers that move your openers and clickers to separate lists for you,
Autoresponders whereby you can time when each of your email swipes gets sent out and
Re-Engagement Campaigns for working on your openers list to try and extract some more clicks out of it and preventing you from repeat sending to users who no longer open your emails

Whilst sending out three emails may not sound like a lot of work, trust me when I tell you that if you are collecting large numbers of email lists and planning on sending emails to them every day it will become majorly time consuming and tedious repeating the same process over and over – so save yourself the time and supercharge your Interspire so you can focus on what to do with the active users who are now on your highly targeted email list.
setup email server


There are also some really cheeky “under the table” addons that have been developed for improving inbox deliverability, but I will be talking about those in another article. If you’re super keen to find out about them now, leave a comment below and I’ll give you some more details. But in the meantime watch this space as I will be publishing an article on all of the advanced automation tools available with Interspire very soon!

So now you will have a list of clickers that will be growing daily which you can upload to your follow up email series in aweber. Remember that you still want to be building up trust with your list and not be thinking about making money just yet. The idea here would be to send out links to top level content that give the users on your list some great tips, advice or freebies to keep them engaged with your brand. As your list is super targeted you should expect to see open rates of 50-60% and above, so you want to sustain this for as long as possible.
These kind of open rates will be maintained if you have a blog and after sending out 3 or 4 follow up emails you can start to introduce some offers into the series.


DO NOT keep emailing the users that NEVER open your emails or don’t respond. It’s simple – they just don’t like you and its best not to bother them again or else they will report you as a spammer.

Make sure VPS is configured correctly. If you are consistently sending out 100k emails daily, you may need to replace your sending servers monthly

Make the unsubscribe link very clear in your emails. You must always give the users on your lists the option to opt out of receiving your emails



At this point you should now be well on your way to generating a consistent and sustainable online income. By keeping this list building process active and rejuvenated with fresh lists daily, your email list of subscribers will continue to grow month after month.

And Here is the GOOD NEWS:

Once you have built up a sizeable list you can ditch the VPS servers and the whole acquisition email marketing strategy as your list and traffic source will now contribute to your site’s traffic growing exponentially.

You will eventually have a list of only double opt in subscribers who will keep returning to your site so there will be no need to worry about VPS bans, blacklisted IPs as your list will be safe in your clean email account.

This will be the time to start blending your promotional materials with your content marketing emails. Your subscribers’ list will have full confidence in your brand and content and so will you will be in a position to start monetising your list.

So now you have read this article, it’s time to get started! Get working on your list sources, get your sending infrastructure set up and get that list building process underway!

Don’t forget if you like what you have read here, if you have any other email strategies that you have seen good results from or if you would like any advice or just to say hi, leave a comment below!

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