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How to Create Your Own Free Email Address List from Scratch

When you are starting with email marketing, you want to make sure that you are reaching your audience in the right way. You might even bump into trouble when you are making an email list because you aren’t sure where to start. Email lists contain details about your target audience and allow you to send out emails to multiple people at once. You can even go as far as creating unique drip campaigns. These campaigns will enable you to send multiple emails in a specific period, resulting in people interacting with your emails in the right way.

Free email address lists can be found all around the internet. They contain a list of publicly available email addresses, which means that anybody can find these addresses. Downloading a free email address list is never recommended because you will find that it is much harder to try and reach the right people. Instead, you should work on creating your email address lists. You will see that the results that you get from your email outreach campaigns will be significantly higher. In this article, we will dive into all the different aspects of free email address lists. We will explain how you can create your lists starting today. 

What is a free email address list?

A free email address list is a list of email addresses that others have collected and turned into a giant list. Some email address lists contain just a few dozens email addresses. You can find lists that contain over a million different details from people around the world. These free email addresses lists are available to download all around the web. It usually takes less than a few minutes to find lists that you can instantly use within your email marketing software. But, as you will often see, you will bump into a lot of problems when you want to use these lists for your B2B email marketing campaigns.

These email address lists are available because an individual scraping the internet collects them. For example, there are free email address lists out there that contain millions of addresses because they leaked. A few years ago, a Dropbox database leaked, resulting in millions of email addresses and passwords spreading around the internet. 

These email addresses could be copied from this enormous database. People would later provide these lists as a free download. As you can imagine, the quality of these email addresses is deficient. Hundreds of others have already downloaded this list and tried to reach the people on this list in various ways. 

Why using a free email address list is a bad idea

In short, free email address lists are a terrible way of trying to reach your potential B2B customers. They will often not bring any results because the lists are full of people who are already on thousands of other people’s radar. lists. But there are a few more issues you will bump into when you are downloading free email address lists:

  • It’s not up to date

  • People haven’t heard about you yet

  • Often the people on the list are irrelevant

  • It will get your IP blacklisted

  • It will give your company a bad image

  • You won’t find any B2B contact details

The lists are not up to date

You want to make sure that you are reaching people that are still reading their emails. When you’re downloading a free email address list, you will often find that most of the data on that list is outdated. The email addresses are often no longer in use because hundreds of other parties have already tried to reach this audience. 

It has resulted in inboxes full of SPAM material, and usually, people decide to delete their email address to create a new one. That’s often the best way to get rid of all the SPAM that is being sent your way. The average email open rate will also be meager.

The people on the list haven’t heard about you yet

Creating new email marketing campaigns is hard work, especially when you want to turn the people on the list into lifelong customers. Downloading a free email address list will not give you any results because people haven’t heard from you yet. Today, most people only buy products and services from companies that they are familiar with. 

The online world is full of scams, and having no familiarity with a company is a red flag for most people. It’s always better to send people emails when they already know more about your company. These people are much more likely to buy your products and services. 

Often the people on the list are irrelevant

When you are running email marketing campaigns in the B2B space, you want to make sure that you are reaching people that are working at companies. Not just that, you want to reach people that work at companies within your market. 

When you download free email lists, you will encounter problems with the relevance of the list. These are often consumers that could work at companies that aren’t relevant to you or not work at all. It’s a waste of time to reach out to these people on free email address lists because you are not reaching the right people. If you want to reach the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you’re not likely to find any email address on the list that would be his or hers. The number of recipients on your free email address list can run go up to several million, but the odds of getting an address that is owned by that CEO is zero. 

It will get your IP blacklisted

Sending a lot of emails to a high number of people will, in most cases, result in a blacklist for your IP address. It means that no matter who you’re sending emails to in the future, they will never receive your email because it is blacklisted. The IP blacklist for emails is used by lots of different email clients such as G Suite. They will block the emails you are sending even before they reach your target audience’s inbox. 

This won’t just happen with the emails that you are sending to people on those free email address lists. It also happens when you send general emails that you are currently already sending. As you can imagine, this is something you want to avoid when you are starting with email marketing campaigns. You will also see that it’s almost impossible to be taken off these blacklists. 

Here are some ways to ensure you won’t be added to any blacklist:

  1. Only send emails to people expecting your emails

  2. Do not send any emails to addresses that no longer exist

  3. Limit the number of emails you send out every day

  4. You can check if you’re on a blacklist through SpamCop

It will give your company a bad image

You don’t want your company to be known as a spammer online. Your company’s reputation is vital from day one. Sending out emails to large lists with hundreds of thousands of irrelevant people will not look good and hurts your company's reputation. There might even be websites where your company’s name will show up in combination with keywords such as ‘spam’, ‘do not trust’ and other very damaging keywords. 

This is not something you want your company to be affiliated with because these pages are often shown in search engines such as Google as well. Protect your company’s reputation by not sending any emails to free email address lists. 

And most importantly, these are often not B2B email addresses

Reaching out to companies within your target audience is rule #1 when you are creating email marketing campaigns. Downloading a list of millions of email addresses that are all property of consumers is not going to land you that perfect customer. Instead, it’s just going to get people who are not relevant to your company in any way to read your emails. 

Creating a great email marketing campaign takes time. You don’t want to invest many hours creating the perfect one and just be seen by people that won’t buy anything. Save yourself from wasting hours on end doing something that will not benefit your company at all. Read our recommendations below to learn how to create email lists that are much better than the free email address lists out there. 

Creating your email address list

Below we will dive into how you can create your email address list and why it’s essential to do so. As you have learned so far, merely downloading free email address lists that you have found on the internet is not the best way to go. Instead, you should focus on building email address lists containing addresses of potential B2B customers. We will dive into:

  • Why you should do this

  • What to focus on at the start

  • Why you need to understand your audience

  • Methods to getting email addresses for your list

  • Tools to use when creating an email address list

  • Why you should start creating drip campaigns

Why you should do this

Creating your email address list will tackle all the problems that were listed above. It will help you to understand your target audience much better. It will also increase the results you are getting through your personalized email marketing campaigns. 

Building your email address lists also allows you to get a lot more information about the people on the list, even before sending out a single email. People can sign up for various reasons, such as to download a guide on how to solve a problem that many people will run into when they’re in your target market. 

In the end, creating your email address lists will always be the best way to go. There’s no other option that will beat this, not even buying email address lists from others on the internet. And when it comes to reaching people to sell your products and services, you want to use the best option. It will also avoid getting caught sending out a lot of SPAM and ending up on several blacklists, which will decrease your chance of getting into any inbox at all. 

What to focus on at the start

At the start of your email address list, you might be a little demotivated. After all, there is no one on your list yet. But there are several steps you can take today that will allow you to get a new email address automatically every single day. Your primary focus at the start should be to create a plan explaining what you are going to do to get new sign-ups for your email address list. 

You also need to make sure that you understand what kind of additional information you want from people that sign up. For example, you can ask new sign-ups to provide information such as:

  1. Their first and last name

  2. The company they work at 

  3. Their role within the company

You can register all this information based on the email list template we’ve designed. All this information will highly benefit you down the road. You can use this information to send better and more personalized emails, which will also increase the results of your email marketing campaigns. 

Why you need to understand your audience

Before you do anything at all, you need to understand who fits into your client profile. What are the types of people that you are trying to reach so they can be added to your email list? Getting sign-ups for your email list in B2B and creating a specific profile will be based on information such as:

  • Their current role at the company

  • The location of the company 

  • The number of employees of that company

  • The market that the company is focused on

  • What the workdays of that person look like

  • What kind of obstacles they might encounter

  • Why your product or solution is perfect for them

  • How they might look for ways to conquer their obstacles

By providing your insights into these specific aspects, you will understand what your target audience is dealing with daily and what their profile looks like. You can use this information to use websites such as LinkedIn to find these people by applying filters based on those details. 

Or you can use Anyleads’ Prospecting Tool to turn that data into valuable contact information which you can use to reach out to this audience. In the end, you might need to invest a few hours to make sure you thoroughly understand your target audience. But the benefits of genuinely understanding them will improve your short term results.

Useful methods for getting email addresses for your list

When it comes to attracting people to your website, you want to make sure that you use the insights you gathered. Understanding your target audience will help you think of the kind of incentives you can create for people to share their email address with you. Knowing what your perfect customer looks like will also help you set the right filters on LinkedIn to find your target audience. Several useful methods allow you to build an email list for your company on autopilot.


Why it works

Create an attractive piece of content that’s download-only

By creating a valuable piece of content, such as a free guide, you can attract people to your website. By providing an email gateway, you tell your visitors that they can only download the content when they submit their email address. This method has been proven to be successful millions of times already and can also work for your company. 

Allow people to sign up for webinars

Webinars are about 30 minutes to an hour long and cover an obstacle that your target audience might be dealing with. People can sign up for your webinar by providing their email address, which you can then add to your email list to reach out to them in the future. Looking to host more webinars in the future? Then you can reach out to the list of people that attended the first webinar and invite them again. Use our email invitation template to get the best results from your follow up emails.

Reach out to people on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has a massive database of people around the world, and you can filter the search results based on over 20 different data types. You can reach out to all of the people on the search result pages asking for their email address. Most people won’t just send you their email address. So instead you can incentivize them by saying you will send them a free content piece by email. Ask them which email address you should send it to when they’re interested. 

Get company lists and use Anyleads’ Prospecting Tool

You can also use LinkedIn to get a list of companies that fit your preferred company profile. This list of companies can be uploaded to Anyleads’ Prospecting Tool to get a list of email addresses of people that work at these companies. It’s a quick and easy way to get the initial first batch on your email address list and provides a great way to reach out to them. 

Tools to use when creating an email address list

When you are creating your email address lists for marketing purposes, you want to take control of the contacts who will end up on that list. Using the methods mentioned above, you can use a wide variety of tools that will help you to automate a lot within the process. No matter which method you are using, there are always tools out there that will make it a lot easier for you. In short, you want to get tools that:

  1. Allow you to collect email addresses on your website

  2. Collect the addresses into one big list

  3. Provide validation checks to make sure the email is valid

  4. Allow you to send emails automatically after the users are added to the list

The type of tool

What you’ll use it for

Email opt-in tools (email gateways)

An email opt-in tool provides a way to capture email addresses to send a valuable piece of content. This tool is included in landing page software that allows you to build single-use pages to turn your traffic into potential prospects. It requires a bit of time to set up everything according to best practices but will provide an automatic way of attracting new email addresses from that moment on.

Your email manager

You need a tool that collects all the email addresses into one big list. This will allow you to, later on, download the list and upload it to your preferred email marketing tool. Most opt-in tools provide integration with Zapier. It allows you to instantly move the email address from the opt-in form into a Google Spreadsheet or right into your email marketing software. With most email marketing tools, you can add an email signature to your email templates. 

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

When you are trying to get new people for your email address list through LinkedIn, it’s recommended to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It allows you to narrow down your traffic based on a lot more filters than your standard LinkedIn account. This is a monthly subscription with several great features. LinkedIn provides a free 30-day trial, so you can learn how to work with Sales Navigator and get the first lists of potential future email recipients. 

Anyleads’ Prospecting Suite

The Prospecting Suite contains several tools that allow you to turn company data into valuable information such as email addresses. By listing the companies and the role within the company (such as CEO or CTO), the tools can provide you valuable information such as their email address and first + last name. It’s a great addition to LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, as you can export the companies from the navigator and upload the exported list to the Prospecting Suite. 

Last things to take into account when building your email address lists

Creating your email address list is not going to bring you success overnight. It requires a lot of iterations during the next few weeks to get the most out of the chosen method. But, in the end, it will be worth the time that you’ve invested in it because you can create an easy to use and mostly automated system. This system will bring in new email addresses every single day, allowing you to expand your email address list quickly. 

Depending on which method you chose, you can see several to a few dozen new email addresses being added to your list daily (even on the weekends). And you can instantly start sending out emails to them. Need some inspiration for great first emails? Find our introduction email template here.



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