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How to Build Your Contact List from Scratch with Norby

December 6, 2022

The opportunities are endless when it comes to getting in touch with your ideal audience, but how do you stay in touch with them? Sure, you can amass followers on various social media channels but with ever-elusive algorithms at play it’s not a sure shot for consistently reaching and converting the leads that matter the most. A way forward? Reclaiming access to your core audience by building and managing your own contact list. Ya know, so you can keep the relationships going on your own terms — beyond the comments section — and with options for customization.

If you’re ready to make the switch from renting your audience to owning and growing it, we’ll show you how to do just that with Norby! Read on for 4 strategies that’ll get you on the right path.

Tip #1: Gather Existing Contacts

If your business has sold a product, delivered a service, or hosted an event, chances are you already have access to a group of folks who’d be interested in staying in touch with you. These individuals aren’t just alumni of your business; they are evangelists for your brand and potential repeat customers. You’d do well to have their information readily available so you can keep them informed on what’s new with you. Hello, warm leads!

To get started, simply compile their contact information (e.g. name, email, phone number) in one central location, like a digital spreadsheet. This makes it easier to review, organize, and eventually import the information into an advanced tool when you’re ready. You can use this template by our Norby Team to begin creating your contact database. Pro tip: add a column for tags

Keep in mind, even though you have the direct contact information of past clients, you still need to confirm whether they’ve agreed to receive marketing communications from you (i.e. newsletter opt-in), which brings us to our next point…

Tip #2: Get Permission

It’s the law. Like, really. To avoid facing fines of up to $16,000 per email, you’re required to get explicit consent from individuals in the form of an opt-in or opt-out confirmation. Yikes!

If you’re unsure of how to get this information after the fact, don’t worry. You can always just send a separate email requesting their consent or inviting them to sign up directly to your newsletter. When you get their response, be sure to update the “Newsletter Opt-In” column in your digital spreadsheet by marking "TRUE" or "1" if they’ve opted in, or "FALSE" or "0" if they’ve opted out.

Now that you’ve got things organized and covered all legal bases, you can get to the fun part: importing your contacts into Norby! Just download your spreadsheet as a CSV document and upload to Norby.

Tip #3: Prep the Pathway

So the foundation is set and it’s time to start building upon the network you’ve already created by creating a pathway for new people to join your contact list. This can be as simple as setting up a sign up form for new visitors to subscribe to emails or text communication updates via your Norby landing page. You can even add custom fields to collect more detailed information about your contacts like preferred pronouns, birthdays, or best contact method. You choose!

Once this sign up form is live, you can get creative with how you promote it to your audience to increase the number of subscribers, and thus the number of contacts now stored in your digital rolodex. For example, you can incentivize people by including a freebie that will be delivered when they sign up or make a routine of sharing the link to your sign up page via your social media. Link-sharing is the perfect bridge for converting your social media followers into direct contacts.

Pro-tip: Let people sign up via text message by using a keyword. This can be a great branding opportunity to promote your business and create less friction for getting sign ups!

Tip #4: Customize Your Contacts

A major plus side to owning your own audience is being able to analyze and segment your list such that future communications are personalized by interests and other relevant categories. Norby lets you add tags and notes to your contacts which further opens up possibilities for engagement and ensures that your contacts are set up to be in the loop on what matters most to them. You can use our Zapier integration to add automations and special workflows based on these custom tags.

When the time comes to launch a product, announce a new event, or share a podcast episode, you’ll be able to quickly and intentionally curate a list of people who’ve already expressed interest in what you’re sharing based on their customized contact profile. Your marketing efforts can go from basic to personal in just a few extra steps. And even better, you can export this information at any time to analyze in new ways because it is indeed owned 100% by you.


We hope this has inspired you to get started with developing your contact list and get started with bringing your relationships to life with Norby to grow your business. For more information on implementing any of the tips mentioned, check out our knowledge base for helpful articles. We can’t wait to see how this helps expand your business relationships and achieve your goals!

Ready to get started? Click here to join Norby today.

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