Email marketing is alive and well. Did you know, there are more email accounts than social media accounts? So, email gives you the ability reach more people. Email can also be used as a more personal and/or more serious form of communication.
The biggest issue with email marketing? Building a list.
So how do you build a list that performs well and get started in the world of email marketing?
1. Open an email marketing account
Before you get started gathering email addresses, be sure to have a place to keep them all. We highly recommend MailChimp or something like it.
Within your chosen email marketing provider, you will be able to create multiple lists (i.e. newsletter, purchasers, leads). Using an email marketing service also keeps you CAN-SPAM compliant by including your physical address and an easy option to unsubscribe. The other benefit to using a service like MailChimp is the ability to create embeddable forms to place on websites where you can easily collect emails which will automatically be added to your list.
2. Don’t buy email lists
When you buy an email list, you are putting yourself in danger of being blacklisted as a spammer. Even if the worst case scenario doesn’t occur, you’re spending time and money emailing a list of people who have a low chance of being interested in what you are selling. They will be more likely to unsubscribe and flag you as a spammer. No bueno.
Instead, spend time building and curating a list from your clients and contacts, website leads, tradeshows, etc. to develop an engaged and interested audience.
3. Start with what you have
Start out your email campaigns using the email addresses from people who have done business with you. If you have done business within the past two years, those contacts are likely who will be more interested in your products or services than those on a random purchased list.
Before you click send, check out these CAN-SPAM guidelines to make sure you’re compliant.
4. Add a signup popup
One of the best ways to get new email addresses is to publish a pop-up on the homepage of your website. With IP address tracking, it can be set to only pop up the first time someone visits from their device, so it won’t be a perpetual ask, but is very effective for gathering emails.
To get an email pop-up form set up, complete tip #1 above, then speak with your website designer/developer. If you aren’t able to add a pop-up, consider embedding a form in the header or footer of your website to collect email addresses instead.
5. Bring a sign-up sheet to events
If you’re heading out to an event with your company, a trade show or public market, don’t forget to bring an email sign-up sheet! People who sign up at events are interested in staying in touch with you and will be excited to receive consistent communication about your business.
Make sure to include a disclaimer on your form saying you will be adding them to your email newsletter lists and they can expect to receive communication from you about once a month or whatever your time frame will be.
6. Ask when taking payments
If you operate an online store, add a check box to your checkout form asking purchasers if they would like to receive continued communication and offers from you. Since they’re buying your product they could be an interested recipient and may enjoy to get information about future sales and promotions.
7. Offer freebies
Another way to collect email addresses to jumpstart your list building is to consider offering something for free in exchange for an email address. Your freebie can be something as simple as a coupon code, an infographic, sample product, entry to a contest or even an ebook or how-to video. We all love free stuff and many might be willing give you their email address in exchange for a freebie or other valuable content.
Quality email list building is like many things in business… slow and steady! Implementing the tips above will help you keep a leg up on the competition and keep your business moving forward.
What’s worked best for you to build a high quality email list?