How to Build an Email List for B2B (Suggestions)

Hey everyone! 👋

Figured I'd start a mega-thread where the indiehackers community could chime in on their favorite resources (videos, blog posts, podcasts, etc) when it comes to list building for B2B.

Many founders before us swear by getting an audience first, then marketing your software to them after. Even if you don't agree with that order, getting in front of an audience is still vital getting people to know your solution exists.

Considering that many SaaS products on here serve the B2B market (mine included), I thought it could be of value to get this going.

I was able to successfully build an audience before & get a list of about 64,000 email subscribers but in a completely different niche (b2c music production tools, etc).

I've found that a lot of tactics that worked in B2C (giveaways, contents, free resources) still sort of work for B2B but are not nearly as easy to gain massive amounts of traction.

I want to replicate my success but within a niche that's relevant to my business now, building up an audience list of people who are interested in advertising on Facebook Ads & Google Ads.

Before I asked for advice, I wanted to share one of my favorite strategies I found on list building for b2b then using the said list to validate AND pre-sell a software:

Shifting Gears with Clay Collins (Founder of LeadPages)

"Pre-sell everything you do. Sell it far in advance before making it. No excuse for not knowing whether or not your thing is going to be successful before you launch it."
Clay Collins, Founder of Leadpages

9:30 - Clay creates videos reviewing landing pages, creating photoshop files & html files after for free downloads (email opt-in). Everyone was asking him how do they upload & use it.

10:30 - Clay does an email blast to his audience list of about 2,000 business owners, asking if he built a software, would they pay for it to handle their needs? They said yes.

  • He did a pre-sale email campaign. Got 200 people to give $200 ($40,000 in pre-sale revenue). Built the first version in 2 & 1/2 months.

11:10 - He had his first 200 customers in 2012 upon launch. A year later in 2013, Leadpages had 2.5M, $10M in 2014, $20M in 2015. He learned a lot about the power of pre-selling & the power of content marketing.

  • He says you shouldn't just start working on a product, you should start working the Minimum Viable Audience of people who you will sell the product to eventually.

Do any of you have experience building email lists & a following in the B2B space? Any recommendations other than the following:

  • Blog Posts
  • Content Upgrades
  • Cheatsheets, eBooks, etc

How do you actually drive traffic to your lead magnets in the first place? Is it purely SEO? Cold Email? Linkedin Bots?

Would love to know how others are tackling this. It would be great if this post gets some engagement so we can start sharing ideas.


  1. 2

    I like a mixture of seo, content marketing, email, and facebook ads!

    This article is one of my favorite on the topic: https://www.ampmycontent.com/paid-content-promotion/

    Specific to B2B paid ads heres a list of good podcast episodes: https://www.listennotes.com/search/?ocid=c22292262db84bce9d58c7eadb36c1d0&q=b2b

    Then there is a greyish hat way of doing it that I'll be testing out soon (so it's just an untested idea right now). Buy Linkedin Sales navigator then do an advance search for your ideal type of client and use an extension that scrapes for emails (I'm not going to link to one because I don't want it to be abused). Then use an autoresponder to cold outreach to them and over the course of 7 to 8 days send them really good content (Like really really really good content. Content that you know for certain will solve their problems and provide value for them - you can curate it too but it HAS to be valuable for them). Then on the last day give them a good offer that they can't refuse ( A really really good offer that provides value to them.) If you do that the right way you could potentially speed up your launches.

    I hope that helps man!

    1. 3

      Oh! Also see if you can offer an affiliate deal to some of the bloggers in your space!

      1. 2

        Huge thanks on the ideas @jordancole21

        Something that worked recently for me was posting value-videos in niche-related Facebook groups!

    2. 2

      Thanks for recommending my article @jordancole21

      Much appreciated.

      I agree with the thread also- especially in today's climate.

      Have to build that audience, especially because it's an 'owned' audience i.e if FB dies, or Google bans you, you can still have those 1000 true fans to help you grow.

      1. 1

        Thanks @jordancole21 for the link & @Daniel_DH for the content. I actually just took some action & launched a small test campaign on FB to see what kind of CTR I get!

        1. 1

          Hey Lewis @Konvert ,

          No problem at all.

          You should even get lower costs at the moment, as a LOT of people are pulling out of paid ads, and far more people are at home on social media looking for content to consume.

          Let me know how it goes, and how it compares to what you're doing already


      2. 1

        Holy crap, no, thank you man! Your Experts on The Wire Interview completely changed my approach to marketing!

        1. 2

          No worries at all!

          As in a tie in for that article, and because it fits the list, here's an article on how we convert around 17-83% of readers into subscribers using a variation of the content upgrade


          (It's also why we can afford to scale paid traffic to content more effectively, because the content works so well and converts readers)

          We also wrote a book on the topic

          It's free on kindle unlimited, and I think it's free on the kindle store at the moment for 5 days also

          It breaks down the psychology of different article types and how they get people to convert


          1. 1

            Thanks man! Yeah I bought it a while back and working on implementing it now. Right now I'm just working on and learning email marketing and automation, so I can make sure that engine is built before I start driving any traffic to it!

  2. 1

    No doubt, the use of mix strategies like great content, SEO, target marketing and social media ads can help to build a B2B email list successfully, but there are also some aspects that you shouldn't neglect.

    First of all, it is important to highlight your subscription box on your website with engaging content. For sure, if you don't give you 100% to attract your target client with the content on the subscription box, then it would be tough for you to achieve the right customers via email list.

    Secondly, it is also very significant to cleanse and upgrade your email database regularly. Similarly, instead of using free email lists, the use of updated US B2B email list like this https://www.usabledatabases.com/database/us-business-yellow-pages-of-companies/ can definitely enhance your lead score via email marketing. According to the ZoomInfo, 62% of organizations depend on inaccurate email databases, and around 25% of email databases contain severe errors related to accuracy. That's why the use of the right email list is significant for B2B marketing.

    On the other hand, if you are not interested in getting email list from databases, then you can also create your own email list by creating CTAs, from signups and other social media platforms. Still, I think the users must be aware that you are using their email addresses for lead generation.

    Moreover, the inclusion of email subscription in your CRMs also sounds a great idea if you want offline ways to build B2B email lists. This article https://blog.goldenspiralmarketing.com/the-essential-steps-building-your-b2b-email-newsletter-list is also fascinating to explore more opportunities like this.

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