How to Build a Profitable Email and SMS List

How to Build a Profitable Email and SMS List

It doesn’t matter how beautiful and engaging your emails or SMS messages are. If the quality of your list is bad… it won’t be profitable.

Let’s look at multiple steps on how to build a high-quality list that generates sales. Let’s dive in!


The quality of your list depends on the intent of the subscribers.

The highest-intent subscribers are buyers.

They have proven intent, and are more likely to engage and buy again.

Non-paying subscribers that you generate with pop-ups and lead magnets have a lower intent.

Traffic source

This will influence the quality of your subscribers.

The hierarchy is this one:

  1. Customers acquired organically.
  2. Customers acquired with ads.
  3. Non-customers acquired organically.
  4. Non-customers acquired with ads.


What offer did they subscribe for?

You’ll have two main groups here:

Subscribers who purchased an offer

Among these, people who bought a bundle showed more intent, therefore, they will have a higher lifetime value (LTV).

Customize your campaigns to maximize their intent.

Subscribers that submitted through a popup

For non-purchasers, you need to focus on offers that attract prospects deeper in the funnel.

You have three main opinions:

  • Top of the funnel audiences → Tools
  • Middle of the funnel audiences → Quizzes
  • Bottom of the funnel audiences → Deals

Market-message match

You must craft the popup offer based on the intent of the traffic.

  • For instance, you will offer a free tool for a blog post. But a deal offer to people who landed through a Google Shopping search.
  • Visitors who check your website the day before Black Friday are different from those who come to you in the middle of July.

This should give you an idea on how to build a high-quality list.

The final step is split testing the offers, the design, and timing. And of course, optimize.

Related: How to Keep Your SMS Marketing Program Compliant

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