Your current customer base is a great place to start building your email list. If you have a CRM system, you probably have already have clients’ email addresses. The more information you have, the better. Start with an overarching list that includes all customers and then keep segmenting and branching out based on who your customers are, where they are located, what they purchased, or any other number of relevant variables that you have collected. If you don’t have a CRM and have not been collecting emails of past clients, then you’ll have little tougher time. Try calling your past and current customers, look on their website for contact information or reach out on social media to acquire their emails. Starting with your current and past customers will give you a solid foundation to build on.  
I agree with you James, Popup techniques should be used carefully but we cannot ignore the fact that these techniques grow email lists.The plugin tools allows the user to create attractive website, subscription forms, etc. to capture the attention of the website visitors instantly. Layered popup, GetSiteControl, SumoMe, Pippity, OptinMonster, etc. are few such tools that are present in the market and are widely used email marketers all over the world.Read a blog in EASYSENDY PRO which emphasise on the tools you can use to grow email lists.
Your blog provides a great way to build a personal relationship with customers and prospects — and to gather their email addresses. Consistently end blogs with a call to action that encourages readers to sign up for your email messages. Require blog visitors to provide an email list in order to leave comments, and set it up so that they have to actively opt out if they don’t want their email address included on your mailing list.

Conversations. You’ve had conversations with people on social media. What are they talking about? What are they repeatedly asking you about? Wouldn’t you love to have an email autoresponder handy so the next time you’re asked, you can mention that it is available? Places like Inbound or Quora are a great place to find out what people want to know about. Just read the conversations they have with each other. Answer their questions, and tell them about your email autoresponder. Social media isn’t as mathematical as pure analytics, but it is a good measurement of what people say they are interested in.
If you choose a product everybody wants - like an iPad or an Amazon gift card - then you’re risking driving unqualified leads to your list. You don’t want to end up having to pay to have a bunch of unengaged people on your email list who aren’t interested in your topic and who will just unsubscribe the second you send them the next email and they haven’t won the giveaway.

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Experts like Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, believes that an email list is critical as one cannot build his/her own content on a rented land. He continues saying that the first step is to collect email addresses whereby a person can understand who are his/her readers and hopefully they will be his/her, customer, soon. If a person’s goal is to drive sales or keep customers happy in some way, then he/she would first have to get them as part of his/her audience.
An email list can be one of the most valuable marketing assets a firm has. While building an audience on social platforms like Facebook or Twitter can be useful, investing time and resources into an asset that you don’t control can be dangerous. These platforms have the prerogative to ban your account and limit how and what you can say. Thus, email lists give you a direct path to your qualified audience. You’re free to say what you want to who you want, as much as you want: a luxury that you won’t find on social media, or through SEO and PPC.
When you focus on email marketing, one thing you learn quickly as your list grows is that it works. Having an email list is not just important for your business today, but it’s important for your business in the future. This is because you own your list, the people on your list will move with you wherever you go, and you can promote to them anytime for a raise when you need it.
Who it is from. Keep the “from” line in your email the same throughout the course. You are building trust, so it is important that the sender of the email remain the same Plus, if readers have whitelisted your email address, or directed your email into their primary Gmail tab, changing the address could hurt you. Choosing a person instead of an app or a blog name is best if you can; it is easy to ignore email from an entity and less so from a “real” person.

iii) List of questions in one email without the answers. Then, you can set up an Email Automation for those who click through your newsletter, to receive another email afterwards, with the answers to the challenges. (Because, on Moosend’s platform, email automation sequences only “cost” you one credit per subscriber, regardless of the emails in the sequence.)
At the start of my online career i used to think that list building has no benefits but after doing some research on the topic and starting with the link building thing i came to knew it’s importance. It’s really necessary for website and blog owners to build lists or they’ll just let their selves down because list building is the game changer when Search Engines and Social Media doesn’t work for you.
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