6 effective email list-building strategies

Email marketing is still one of the best ways to reach customers — but first you have to build an effective distribution list. Learn how in this blog post from LocalBizGuru.

Email marketing is still one of the best ways to reach customers — but first you have to build an effective distribution list. Learn how in this blog post from LocalBizGuru.

By Nachum Langsner

Email marketing is a highly effective strategy for reaching your target audience. With an effective email marketing campaign, you can tailor content to exactly what your customers are looking for, which allows you to provide them with deeper insights into your products, the knowledge they need to solve their pain points, and a deeper overall sense of connection to and appreciation for your brand.

The benefits of email marketing are well known. There’s just one problem: Before you can start your email marketing campaign, you must have an email list. For some small business owners, building that email list is an ongoing challenge.

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Here are six helpful email list-building tactics to round out a successful digital marketing campaign.

1. Make it easy for customers to sign up for your email list

If you want interested prospects and customers to sign up for your email list, make it easy for them! The more steps there are to the process, the more likely potential customers are to step away from the list altogether. There are several things to keep in mind when offering email list sign-up options. 

Put a sign-up on the sidebar of your website. You may find that customers are more likely to sign up when they can see the option easily from anywhere on the page. 

Make it easy to sign up as part of the purchase process. Provide customers with a box to click if they want to join your email list when they make a purchase from you.

Place a bar across the top of the website. This makes it easy for customers to click and sign up.

Include email list information in your signature. People who have been forwarded your email–or who have connected with your customer service team to ask questions–can easily sign up when the link is accessible in your signature.

Offer email sign-up information on your social media pages. Customers won’t always sign up the first time they see the invitation. However, by making it easy to see where they can sign up, you make it easy for interested leads to come back to your site and sign up quickly when needed. 

2. Keep the process simple

If you want customers to subscribe to your emails, don’t put barriers in their way that could make it more difficult for them to complete the process. Many small business owners have relatively few opportunities to collect information about their customers and their needs. They may try to use their email signups as a chance to better connect with those customers, asking multiple questions about customer needs, plans or positions.

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However, your email list may not be the best place to seek that information. If you have a complicated sign-up process with multiple questions, interested customers will be more likely to simply close out the window and move on. Instead, try asking just a couple of questions–or even just securing the customer’s email.

3. Offer incentives to make signing up for your list worthwhile

You know why you want customers to sign up for your email list–so that you can more easily sell to them. Your customers, on the other hand, need a reason to sign up for your list. Some will do it because they appreciate your brand and want to learn more about it. Others, however–especially those vital leads who may not yet have made a purchase from your brand–may need more incentive to take those steps. 

Offer something that will encourage people to sign up. That may mean providing:
• Access to exclusive content that adds genuine value to your subscribers
• Coupon or discount codes
• Freebies
• Quizzes or other fun things your email list subscribers can try
• Marketing surveys

Consider what your customers need or want most and what will make them most likely to sign up for your email list. Consider it a trade: you want them to give you their email address, so you need to provide them with something in return.

4. Create a specific landing page just for email signups

When you run a campaign geared toward increasing email signups, where does that campaign take visitors? If it’s taking them straight to your website, they may quickly get distracted. There are product pages to look over and a company to learn about. By offering a specific landing page, on the other hand, you can guide customers directly to the step you want them to take next: that is, signing up for your email list. 

5. Integrate email signups as part of your ongoing marketing efforts

You’re probably already engaging in content creation. But are you creating content that will encourage subscribers to trust what you have to offer and sign up for your emails?

What about your social media posts? Are they encouraging interested customers to connect with your brand and determine what more you could offer in longer-form posts or through your email content? If your goal is to increase email signups, make sure you’re offering content that is geared toward that goal.

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If you only offer the same information – including discount codes, promotions and content – that you offer on your social media platforms or website, consumers may be less likely to sign up for your email lists.

On the other hand, if you’re offering valuable content in all of those locations, with additional incentives or information in your emails, consumers will be more eager to share their contact information with you.

6. Make sure your emails add value

You don’t just want to increase your email subscribers with new signups. You also want to keep the existing contacts on your list.

Make sure each email you send out provides genuine value: valuable information, insights into new products or discount information. When you offer quality content, subscribers will have a better reason to stay.

In conclusion
Often, people avoid signing up for email lists because they feel that they don’t have a reason to. With these strategies, however, you can offer customers the incentive they need to share their contact information while providing genuine value throughout that connection with your brand.

Nachum Langsner is the Co-Founder & CMO of LocalBizGuru, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Cleveland, OH. He has over 14+ years of experience in the SEO industry and is a frequent presenter and instructor of digital marketing and SEO seminars for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Greater Cleveland area for organizations such as COSE, Jumpstart, the Better Business Bureau, Score and the Ohio SBDC at CSU.  


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