One very easy way to get started with your email list is to let your friends and family know and have them subscribe. This could easily be your first 500+ contacts! The key is to make sure you ask for their permission and have them opt-in or signup to get your emails. You could start by importing a list of your family/friends and then creating a simple email that says something like “I am about to launch…and would love for you to be here for the journey. If you’d like to unsubscribe, that’s totally fine. If you’d like to stay on the list, you don’t have to do anything.”
Giving people clear permission to opt-out is a smart move, so you can ensure you only have people on your list who want to be there.