How Can I Make an Email List for Free?

To make an email list for free, you need to open a free account with a free email service provider like Mailchimp, create an audience name for your email list, build an opt-in form inside your free Mailchimp account or install a free email plugin like Mailchimp for WordPress (MC4WP) for that purpose. Next, you need to display your signup form and find a way to collect the email addresses of motivated visitors to your blog.

The truth is it is not that difficult to make an email list for free on your blog. But it still takes some planning and hard work to build the email list you would love.

I want to simplify for you the steps to take to make an email list for free on your WordPress blog. So if all you want to build a free email list, then come with me as I take you through the necessary steps.

1. Open A Mailchimp Account – Free

When I was looking for ways to make an email account for free, the first thing I did was to open a free Mailchimp account.

All you need to do is visit the Mailchimp website and fill out the new Mailchimp account form online. You will need your name, email address, username and a strong password.

There is also an option at Mailchimp for you to choose the two-step authentication method so that you can always login securely. The two-step authentication process also protects your Mailchimp account against any unauthorized login attempt.

There are other email service providers like GetResponse and MailPoet with whom you can start your email list with an initial free account.

2. Create a Name for Your List

Every new Mailchimp account needs a name for its audience. ‘Audience’ is what the folks at Mailchimp call an email list. The purpose of an audience name is to make it easy for the email marketer to locate and work with their list at any time. I recommend that you choose a name that fits in with your blog name and the purpose of your email marketing efforts.

For example, if your blog’s title is ‘Books Galore’, you may decide to name your email list ‘Books Galore Newsletter.’

Just remember that there are no hard and fast rules about choosing a Mailchimp Audience name. So feel free and decide on the Audience name you are comfortable with.

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3. Create a Signup Form

An email opt-in or sign up form helps every blogger collect email addresses from willing visitors to their website. Here is how to create an opt-in form with your free email account.

To create a signup form in Mailchimp, go to your Mailchimp account page and click ‘Create’. In the drop-down window, you will see ‘Signup Form’. You may choose to create an embedded form, popup form or a signup landing page.

Just follow the prompts of your preferred form to create the signup form that you will add to your website to start collecting contacts.

4. Install and Activate a Free Mailchimp Plugin

I personally use the free Mailchimp for WordPress plugin to make an email list on my websites. As soon as you install and activate the free Mailchimp plugin on your website, it will appear as an icon inside your Gutenberg blocks list inside your WordPress editor.

Remember that you can always go to your WordPress admin dashboard and locate the installed Mailchimp for WordPress plugin settings. Over here, it is quite straightforward to create and design any number of sign-up forms you want.

5. Display the Mailchimp Signup Form on Your Website

Now, with constant improvements in the functionality of the WordPress block editor, it is very easy to add the free Mailchimp for WordPress (MC4WP) signup form you have created to any post, page or sidebar of your website. You can even add the MC4WP opt-in form as a footer widget on your site.

6. Start Collecting Contacts

This is what you actually want to accomplish when you say you want to make an email list for free. So far, you have not paid any money directly to Mailchimp for your business account on their platform. For the free Mailchimp plan, you are allowed a maximum of 2000 contacts. It is only when you hit that number of subscribers for your Audience or email list that you will need to upgrade to a paid plan on Mailchimp.

But before then, try as many creative ways as you can to collect contacts in order to make your dream free email list become a reality.

Here are some ideas for you. Please focus on just one or two of these methods of adding new subscribers to your Mailchimp Audience.

  • Offer freebies to visitors in return for their email addresses. Most bloggers create ebooks, cheatsheets and templates in free PDF format to entice blog readers part with their email addresses.
  • Use other giveaways to make visitors sign up for your mailing list. These could be prizes of any kind for winning a competition or quiz contest.
  • Create and offer an exclusive membership status to new subscribers.

Final Thoughts

Whatever you do, make sure to treat your visitors and subscribers with respect. Try to be as honest as possible with them. The secret to increasing your subscriber base is to under-promise and over-deliver.

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Ralph Nyadzi is a self-published author and educational blogger at Cegast Academy. He took his first baby steps as an online publishing entrepreneur in 2016 and hasn't looked back since. He lives in the Central Region of Ghana with River, his adorable pet cat.

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