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List Building 101: Level Up Your Mailing List Game

Blog Post Written By: Melrose Michaels


Let's talk about strategic email marketing in the adult industry. While many creators face challenges due to restrictions imposed by email service providers, I have developed an untraditional yet highly effective approach to capturing emails, building an email list, and marketing to them without encountering the usual hurdles. By keeping everything 'squeaky clean' and safe for work, I have managed to maintain long-term success with my email campaigns. In this blog post, I will share my personal experiences and provide insights into my own process.

The Ineffectiveness of Traditional Email Marketing

Many creators in the adult industry encounter significant limitations when it comes to email marketing. Numerous email services either prohibit adult content or consider it a violation of their terms of service. These restrictions impede creators from fully thriving on those email provider's platforms. Moreover, when creators attempt to send out campaigns, they often include digital content that is not inherently safe for work or uses explicit language in the email's text body. These actions can result in issues with email service providers, who may flag such content, filter it into spam folders, or even bounce the emails back to the sender. These negative consequences adversely affect the sender's score with their email provider, potentially leading to reduced inbox reach or complete exclusion from recipients' inboxes altogether.

The Importance of Squeaky Clean and Safe-for-Work Content

To maintain a high success rate with your email list, it is crucial to ensure that all aspects of your content, including images, are safe for work. Email service providers actively monitor language and content and may penalize senders whose emails violate their guidelines. By keeping your content and language clean, you can avoid being flagged as spam and maintain a positive score with your email provider.

My Personal Email Marketing Process with

While may not be explicitly sex work-friendly, I have successfully utilized the platform for over a decade in various forms. As long as explicit content is not posted, and safe language is used, Wix can be employed for email capture, email marketing, and email campaigns. The key lies in how you use the platform, set it up, create automations, and craft your email content.

Building an Email Capture

So step one in this process is obviously going to be the act of capturing your fans' emails to begin with. To encourage fans to provide their emails for access to my exclusive content, I built an email capture form on a Wix website. I made sure it looked great on a mobile browser since that’s how 90% of fans will experience it. Then I bought a domain ( and redirected it to my Wix email capture website. By directing fans to click the link in my social media bios, they are redirected to my Wix email capture website, where they can submit their email. Now to Incentivize fans further, I offer a free three-day pass to my spicy content in return for their email submission. You can incentivize your fan base with something similar as well should you choose!

Automation and Thank You Emails

Once you’ve got your Wix email capture website set up & live, you can go into the back end and set up your email campaign automations. For instance, when a fan submits their email through the capture form, an automation in Wix triggers the sending of a 'thank you' email, which includes the link to the 3-day free trial to my spicy site. This email includes a safe-for-work image, brief text, and a button leading to the free three-day pass offer. This simple yet effective email automation has been running without any issues for over a year, with few spam reports and bouncebacks.

Email Automation Outline

A user does something that triggers an action to take place. So everything is a trigger and an action, very similar to a cause and effect. So for example, when a fan comes to my email capture, enters their email address, and clicks submit, that is my automation trigger.

As a result of that event taking place, it triggers an action to occur. The action that occurs is an email gets sent to that email address with the free trial link in it. That’s the action.

Repurposing My Email Content

For creators seeking inspiration for their own email automation, I encourage them to go through my email capture process on and sign up for my email list (you can always unsubscribe right there at the bottom of the email itself). When you receive the three-day free trial thank you email, you can observe my exact captions and text, which you can then repurpose and tweak for your own email automation campaign.

Secondary Triggers and Discounts

To capture those fans who have not subscribed at the full price after the initial three-day trial, I have set up a secondary trigger in Wix. Three days after sending the free trial link thank you email, I automatically send a second email with a discounted offer for the first 30 days of my spicy site. This strategy ensures that even those who did not fully subscribe during the 3-day free trial period have another opportunity to join at a discounted rate for 30 days. As a creator, it is always beneficial to have some revenue rather than none at all, and this secondary automation actively helps generate some of that revenue.

It doesn’t have to be Wix

Remember it absolutely doesn’t have to be Wix that you use to create your email capture website or your automations. This is just something I’m extremely familiar with because I’ve used the Wix platform to build websites since I was 14yrs old. There are a lot of other great no-code website builders on the market. There’s Square Space, WordPress, and now with the availability of AI, there’s also a plethora of AI-generated website builders you can play with too!

Conclusion To Mailing List 101

The end goal is strategically capturing emails, building out an email list of your fans, and effectively marketing to them. Like everything within the adult industry, because of the stigma and challenges we face, this requires a unique approach. By adhering to safe-for-work content and utilizing platforms that have built-in email campaign automation, you can overcome the challenges the massive challenges associated with email service providers. Through email capture forms, incentivization, automation, and first & secondary triggers, you can maximize your revenue on each email you collect, now and in the future.


If you enjoyed this blog, you'll really love the Twitter Space we did focusing on this topic. I discussed a few bonus ideas about how to leverage your e-mail list to market things like sales and in-person events. Have a question of your own about subscriber retention not answered above? DM or tag @sexworkceo on Twitter and Instagram or send us an email. We're always here to help, it's what we love to do! Want to be part of the conversation? Join us Tuesdays at 1 pm CST on Twitter where we discuss new topics weekly to help take your adult content creator business to the next level. Unable to make it live? No problem! You can listen to all our past Twitter Spaces here.



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