Build Your Own FREE Email Lists,
Mailing Lists & More

Forget adverts for shady CDs full of anonymous free email lists or free postal addresses - there are few shortcuts to long-term success at database marketing.

And while using legitimate mailing list brokers has its place, it can be very expensive and - if not used with great care and consideration - very disappointing. Better and less costly to build your own free email lists, free mailing lists etc.

free email lists

Here are the steps to creating your own free marketing lists.

Gather Existing Free Data

You might be surprised by how much free customer data you already have. Sales records of existing customers (see anti spam laws about the soft opt-in for email and sms campaigns), past customer surveys and feedback, entries to competitions and promotions.

Even if it’s ageing, it may still be worth including in your first email or sms campaign so that you weed out the expired stuff.

If you’re compiling older data for telesales or mailshots, you should screen it against suppression lists and deceased records. There are suppliers who will do this for you.

Decide Which Bits of Data to Record

When building your free email lists, start with some or all of the basics:
  • First name and surname
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Mobile number
  • Email Address
You could also add:
  • Gender
  • Significant personal date, such as birthday or anniversary
free email lists
Beyond these, there are all sorts of possibilities such as average spend, buying preferences, frequency of visit. It just depends on how detailed you want to get, and how sophisticated your internal business systems are.

What you capture should be determined by what you think you’ll use the data for. For example, if you never plan to send mailings, omit postal address.

Identify your Customer Contact Points (CCPs)

A Customer Contact Point is where a customer or potential customer comes into direct or indirect contact with your business. This could include your website, business premises (and the signage outside), newspaper adverts, leaflet drops, vehicle livery, sponsored events, telephone enquiries.

Note how in some of these CCPs you or an employee will be present, ie in direct contact, while in others you’re not, ie in indirect contact.

Your task is to first identify all your CCPs. Then, set up a means to capture some contact information that will feed into your free email lists, mailing lists etc. This is a big topic, and we explore it in more depth elsewhere.

In the meantime, start with the obvious candidates such as:

  • Your website - a sign up form. Try Formstack to quickly and easily add a form to your site.

  • Telephone enquiries - train staff to invite enquirers to join your mailing list

  • Point of Sale - an obvious but much neglected opportunity. You’ve done the hard bit - made a sale - now ask for their contact details and start building those free email lists!
free email lists
We’ve some really interesting and creative suggestions to turn your indirect CCPs such as newspaper ads into rich sources of free email lists elsewhere on the site.

Keep the data accessible and up-to-date

You can have all the free email lists and free mailing lists in the world, but they're useless unless kept up-to-date and easily accessible. This means having a database or CRM system. More on this elsewhere.

direct marketing consulting
Free or otherwise, be disciplined and don’t get bogged down in reams of data you never use. If I had to recommend just one piece of data to capture, though, it would be email address.

And remember to give customers a genuine reason to join your database. Incentivise, encourage, sell, BRIBE them. Inviting website visitors to ‘sign-up for our newsletter’ just doesn’t cut it. Why should they? So they can receive more ‘spam’ email? Come on, you can do better!

There’s lots more to discover. Try these pages…

To leave free email lists and discover ways to get the maximum return from your marketing lists, start at our database marketing homepage>>

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George recommends the resources detailed below...


Fantastic tool to quickly and easily create web sign-up forms for your website, with NO CODING required.

Full integration with Mailchimp Email Delivery System. You can even store the data in the Formstack online database system.

Create surveys and landing pages too, with no technical knowledge needed.