How To Start Your Email List From Scratch with MailerLite

How to start your email list from scratch with MailerLite |

If you’ve just opened your Etsy shop or if you’ve just launched your coaching business, full time or on the side, you probably already know what an email list is and why you need one asap.

Even if you’ve just opened your virtual doors for clients, an email list is one of the first things you do after publishing your website.

If don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, go back a step and read the first three articles in this little series:

  1. What Is An Email List And Why You Need One To Start Your Business

  2. How to Choose The Best Email Marketing Service For Your Business When You’re Just Starting Your Email List

  3. What Freebie To Offer When You're Just Starting Your Small Business

OK, now that you have all that info in your head, let’s get to work and finally start your email list from scratch with MailerLite.

There’s nothing too techy or complicated about it. All you need is an hour of your time, focus and the confidence that you can do this (because, you know, of course you can do this!)


Imagine you’re making vegan oat cookies with walnuts and coconut flakes. Follow the tutorial like a recipe and you’ll do great.

How long it’ll take (cooking time)

The setup itself takes about an hour. The writing of the welcome email and other text (copy) depends on how fast you can write and edit emails.

What you’ll have in the end (yield)

One email list, one group for your contacts, one sign-up form and one automation for your welcome email.

What you need (ingredients)

To create an account and setup your email list you’ll need:

  • a website with your own domain, such as

  • a custom email address, such as

  • a welcome email already written and edited (optional)

  • a freebie to deliver to new subscribers (optional)

  • a Thank You page (optional)


How to do it (step-by-step instructions)

First create your account. This should be pretty straight forward - you’ve created hundreds of accounts in your life and this one is no different. Then, verify it. For this you’ll need your own domain and email account on your name. Just follow the MailerLite steps and you’ll be done in no time.

1. Create your account at*.

2. Complete your profile.

3. Verify your account.

* I love MailerLite so much I became an affiliate and I receive a small commission from each sale.

Once you have your account, you’re ready to create your first form. This is where your readers will enter their information in exchange for a freebie and weekly, bi-weekly or monthly updates from you.

In MailerLite you have the option to create a landing page, popup or embedded form.

You can use the landing page option if your website isn’t ready yet, you can experiment with popups and you can put an embedded form in several key locations on your website (your header, footer, sidebar, and anywhere else you feel it’s appropriate to have a sign up form.)

To show you the process, we’ll create a basic embedded form.

4. Go to the Forms tab in the navigation and click Embedded Forms.

5. Click Create Embedded Forms and give your form a name.

6. Create a new group for the subscribers who’ll be using this form, select it, and click Save and continue.

7. Click on the form to add fields and use the panel on the right to style your form the way you want it to look.

8. When you’re ready with your form, go to Success Message tab above the form and edit the text (copy).

9. When you’ve made all the changes, click Next. (Don’t worry you can make more changes at any time, if you need or want to.)


When your form is ready, you need to put it on your website. I use Squarespace and I’ll show you how to do it there. If you use Wordpress or any other website platform, follow the MailerLite instructions.

Also, we’ll change how your Confirmation Email and Thank You page look.

10. Copy the JavaScript Snippet and paste it in the Page Header Code Injection of your Squarespace page (Page Settings > Advanced).

11. On your page, add a Code Block and add the code you’ll find below the JavaScript Snippet. Great job! Your form is now on your website!

12. Next, click the Confirmation Email tab edit the text and style it to match your brand colors. Repeat the same for the Confirmation Thank You page and if you have your own thank you page that leads back to your website, enter the link in the field under the thank you message.

Amazing job! So far, it’s all easy-peasy, right? Now you’re ready to turn your website visitors into subscribers and start building a relationship with them.

There’s just one more step left. To say hello and deliver your freebie, you’ll need a welcome email. Here’s how to set up one.

13. Open the automation tab and click Create a new workflow.

14. Use the panel on the right to give it a name and set up a trigger. (When subscriber joins a group > Select the group you just created for your list).

15. Click the + sign to Add a next step to your workflow. Add an email and use the panel on the right to give it a Subject and to design your Welcome Email. This is where you’ll put a link to the freebie you promised in your opt-in form.

16. Save and activate your workflow.

17. Test the process by subscribing yourself and make adjustments if needed.


And that’s the entire setup! All that’s left is to start spreading the word about your email list and to create your first campaign to send to your subscribers.

Yes, you did it!

Was that hard? Nope. It’s really easy when you have a map, right? I know that setting up a brand new online business can be crazy overwhelming but I want you to know that you’re not alone in this. So if you have any questions when it comes to creating your first email list with MailerLite, let me know in the comments below ;)


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