How to Build an Email Marketing List

How to Build an Email Marketing List

Even though social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and others get a lot of headlines, humble email should be the first part of your digital marketing strategy (after setting up a website, of course). Why? Email that’s tied to your domain name is something that you can control. You can grow your list over time, and having your own email list means the path to your customers is not under the control of a sometimes-capricious algorithm that decides who gets to see what posts. (I’m looking at you, Facebook and Instagram.)

There are two key parts to an effective email marketing strategy. The first is to have is to an always-on method to continually grow your email list. Then, of course, the next part is to reach out to the subscribers on your list with valuable information on a regular basis. It makes sense to reach out to your list somewhere between once a week and once a month. If you reach out too frequently (or aren’t sending out information of value), subscribers will leave the list, or worse, flag you as spam. On the other hand, if you don’t reach out frequently enough, subscribers will forget about you in between missives. Balance is important.

If you don’t have an email list, how do you build one? You may be tempted to buy a list from a third party that wants to sell you a list. This is almost always a bad idea. Lists that are purchased from third-party vendors are often either filled with low-quality leads or, worse, contain the email addresses of people who didn’t request to be on the list in the first place. Don’t buy lists.

Make it easy for someone to sign up

A primary way to get people to sign up to your list is to include a subscription box right on your website. Website builders like GoCentral have this capability built right in. And, if your website is built with WordPress, there are plugins that make it a snap as well.

The best part of setting up these automated collection points on your website? They work 24/7 and, after setting them up, they’re available to all visitors who come to your site.

In fact, building your email list is a best practice according to the Content Marketing Institute, and it is a must for local businesses.

Other ways to grow your list

Have visitors join the list to get deals and offers — If your business runs promotions, occasionally make the promotion available only to members of your list. People will have the incentive to sign up in order to get the goodies.

Ask at checkout time — If you sell online, ask customers if they’d like to join your list as part of the “thank you page” of your checkout flow. (You’d typically do this in the flow after you’ve made the sale, as to not distract the customer from the reason they came to your website in the first place.)

Email signup popup forms — Some people love them, some people hate them, but a popup form on your site to collect email addresses is worth a trial. Be sure to do some testing and make sure that the popups aren’t too intrusive to visitors.

So get going

While starting an email list takes a bit of effort, the rewards can be sizable. Email may be one of the original online marketing technologies, and its staying power is a nod to its effectiveness. A small amount of effort in creating and nurturing your list is an investment in having a connection to your customers and prospects that you can control well into the future.