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How to Build Your Free Email List with WordPress

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

As a blogger, you probably have heard of email marketing. Almost every top blogger has their own email list of followers to whom they engage with exclusively via email. Having an email list allows you to directly engage with your users and promote your products when you have one. It is still one of the fastest ways to get loyal following and exposure to your new ventures. The only problem that most bloggers have is the money that is involved into building your list. In this article, we will show you how you can build a huge email list for free by using WordPress.

Problem that Bloggers face

Collecting emails is expensive. Aweber charges $19/month to have a newsletter. Mailchimp only lets you have 500 free subscribers and after that you would have to start paying. The pricing structure of these popular email services hinders a lot of bloggers from starting their own email list. Most bloggers make the mistake of waiting until they have a product to start building their list. We get asked on a regular basis when is the best time to start building a list? The answer is RIGHT NOW. Start building an email list even if you don’t have a product of your own. Because in 6 months or a year when you do end up creating your own e-book or something else, you will have an audience to promote it to.


Use the plugin called WP Email Capture by @rhyswynne. This plugin creates a two-field form for capturing emails (Name & Email). Email is double opt in, and allows you to forward opt in to services such as ebooks or software. When you are ready to begin your email marketing campaign, simply export the list into your chosen email marketing software or service. Once you are ready, we recommend either using Aweber or Mailchimp because these two are simply the best. Also don’t forget to subscribe to our Newsletter.


  • Widget Ready.
  • Uses WordPress’ internal wp_mail function for sending mail.
  • Easily integrated with posts & pages.
  • Dashboard Widget.
  • Export data into CSV files, compatible with most major Email Marketing Programmes (including Aweber, Mailchimp, Groupmail, Constant Contact)
  • Double opt in, so compatible with CAN-SPAM act.
  • And completely free!

Download WP Email Capture

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

37 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Pamm says

    This is what I want to do…I want to build an email list of people that are interested in a specific topic so that I can send them to my site to check it out? How do I build a specific list of artist, designers, travelers etc?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Pamm you would need to integrate a lead generation plugin on your site, like OptinMonster. You can then show different optins on different sections of your site. This will allow you to build email lists based on user interest in topics on your site.


  3. Elizabeth says

    Will this plugin work for me? Here’s what I want to do:

    Have a visitors key name/email address and upon doing so, receive a free ebook.

  4. Steve says

    I know this post is a little old, but, does anyone know if the double-opt in is required again for importing lists generated from this plugin to aweber?

    Also, Editorial Staff:

    1. How do users double-opt in with this plugin if it only collects email addresses?
    2. You say two things in the comments, 1. users will have to double-opt in with mailchimp and 2. you say it is not necessary if the emails were collected my site. Please clarify.

    • Editorial Staff says


      The user double-optins because this plugin sends a verification email. The user has to click a link in that email to confirm their subscription. The double-optin part when you import these emails to another provider varies. Sometimes, you can upload without the double-optin. Other times, the service may require you to do it.

      If you want to be on the safe side, just use MailChimp. They now offer upto 2000 subscribers for free.


  5. Daniel says

    Thanks alot for the post, it’s a great job.I’m still trying to set my online business and setting up blogs i think with this information i’m ready to dive in and start.collecting email list
    thanks for the sharing

  6. JorgeDiaz says

    Hey thanks for sharing that WordPress Plugin. Also AWeber has it’s own WordPress Plugin you can check that out and you can choose what list directly from that wordpress plugin.

    Thanks and talk to you soon.

  7. lordpercy says

    Aweber give you your first month for something like a buck… Just get all your admin in place first. ie. Your first months follow up emails, a couple of solid affiliate products that are relevant to your niche,sign up, input into the auto-responder and see how it goes. What have you got to lose for a dollar?

    It might surprise you how quickly you make that $19 you will need for the second month

  8. listbuildingcourse says

    Great plugin, i want to try on my site, i heard about this plugin first time.Anyhow want to use it .

  9. jason says

    When they opt-in via the plugin, then when you copy the list to mailchimp do they have to opt-in again?

  10. Marty says

    There are so many versions of these plugins I am simply confused. I’m looking for something that is more effective than the basic but I’m just unsure. Thats the problem with choice. It can be a block.

  11. Jan Rossi says

    I am using AWeber, but yes, it is expensive starting up. I wonder if you are just making more work for yourself if you are collecting emails using a plug-in and then you re-load them into another service like Constant Contact or AWeber. The constant opting-in is where you lose people.

  12. Caleb says

    Well this seems somewhat like GWA Autoresponder except you did not say how many emails can be sent or if they can be preset at intervals?

  13. Murlu says


    I was just about to sink money into Aweber (which I still plan to) but this is a great resource. I’ve been asked by a few people if there are any free options, definitely going to point people this way.

  14. Rob says

    When importing your list into Aweber (or Mailchimp, etc) do you have to get your list to re-opt in? If not, then I think this is a great way to build a list at no cost. If you do have to re-opt in, there’s a good chance you’ll lose a bunch of subscribers during that process.

      • Rob says

        Thanks for the reply. That eases my concerns – I’m definitely digging this plugin now. Though I’m a big fan of Aweber, it’s definitely not cost effect during the early list-building stages. Getting a few months of free building in place would definitely help out.

  15. ovidiu says

    How about featuring this one too? mailpress from or from the repository.

    does loads of things the commercial ones do too and is free. Has theming, double opt in, tracking, etc..

  16. Rhys says


    Thanks for featuring my plugin :)

    As mentioned above, I found newsletter management plugins for WordPress a little overly complicated, mine is designed to work with third party solutions.

    Thanks again, let me know if you have any problems :)

    • Ileane says

      I was listening to a blogging podcast this morning that talked about ditching feedburner and opting for aweber or mailchimp. This plugin seem like it will help with list building.
      Thanks @rhyswynne.

    • Editorial Staff says

      It doesn’t compare to the features that other paid services can offer. It is probably better to collect emails with the plugin we mention in this article and then import it to Aweber or Mailchimp when you are ready because they have pre-made templates, better tracking and a lot of other features that you can’t get with these plugins. Also they deal with all the legal aspects and it saves you a headache.


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