Email marketing is a form of digital marketing with the highest ROI when done right. Despite spam emails giving this marketing strategy a bad name, it’s still one of the best ways to engage with your target audience, build trust, and improve conversions and sales. After all, email is used by the majority of people around the world today and most people have their emails in their pockets on their smartphones. So, what better way than to build engagement and grow your customer base than with an email list?

What is Email List Building?

Email list building is the process of putting together a list of subscribers for your email marketing purposes. Simply put, it’s the people who are interested in learning more about what your business has to say by receiving a regular newsletter. You could send them information on the latest deals and offers for your business, news that they might be interested in, tips and advice that is relevant to them, or a combination of all of these.

How to Build an Email List

While you can buy email lists, it’s not recommended that you do this. That’s because pre-made email lists are not likely to all belong to customers who are actually interested in what you do, which can lead to a high unsubscribe and spam rate. If you’ve ever received a marketing email that you had no interest in the slightest in, you’ll know how annoying it can be.

The best way to build your email list is authentically and organically. Asking people to provide their email addresses and give consent for you to send them marketing emails might take some more time compared to just buying a list, but the results are always going to be worth the wait.

Where Can You Collect Email Addresses?

You can collect email addresses for your email list in a wide range of different ways. Your online presence can be utilized in several ways to collect email addresses from consenting parties who agree to sign up for your email newsletter. For example, you might include a sign-up form on your company website where visitors can enter and send their details to join your mailing list and stay in the loop. Some other options to consider include:

  • Opt-in checkbox in the checkout section of your online store
  • Social media contests
  • Questionaries and quizzes
  • Webinars and other online events
  • Offline events such as industry conferences
  • Landing pages

What’s the Best Option for Email Collection?

While different methods of email collection tend to work better for different customers, offering something in return for somebody’s email is often a good way to guarantee more emails coming your way. Most people are excited to receive something for free and providing an email address might be seen as a very reasonable exchange for access to exclusive content or exclusive discounts as a thank you.

How to Build an Email List Fast?

Unfortunately, building an organic email list with high-quality recipients that are interested in what you have got to offer is always going to take time. However, by incentivising people to sign up for your email list, you can speed up the process of building your mailing list. As mentioned above, offering exclusive gifts or discounts in return for email addresses can often encourage people to provide their details and take advantage of what’s on offer. Get to know your customers and what they like to make sure that you’re providing incentives that they are actually going to go for.

How to Build an Email List for Free?

The good news is that most of the ways to build an organic mailing list are free of charge. Landing pages, for example, can be included in the cost of your website and are a great way to collect email addresses from people who you know are interested in your company and what you do after reading about it or watching a video. If you run an online store, placing an email list checkbox in the checkout section of your website is a great way to sign up your existing customers to your email marketing list. Existing customers are almost always going to be easier to market to compared to new customers since you already know what they are interested in based on their past purchases and interactions with your company. Attending industry events, hosting webinars, and running competitions and contests on your social media profiles are just some other free and cost-effective ways to collect more email addresses.

How to Build an Email List From Scratch

If you want to start with email marketing but don’t have an email list to speak of, starting from scratch can seem daunting. The good news is that you probably already have emails for your existing customers that you can use to get started with. Get in touch with your existing customers to ask them if they would like to be added to your mailing list to stay updated on the latest news from your business. Placing an email newsletter sign-up form on your website is another simple and easy way to start building your email list from scratch. Make sure that it is placed somewhere central and easy to notice. For the best effect, you might want to include a pop-up box prompting your website visitors to enter their email and sign up. While not everybody is going to take advantage of these invitations, placing them in as many places as possible online will help you improve your chance of getting your email list together.

How to Grow Your Email List

There are several things that you can do to keep your email list growing steadily. First of all, don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth recommendations. If you are sending high-quality emails that offer a lot of value to your readers, solve problems, and are relevant to them, you might be able to earn more subscribers through recommendations. You may even want to consider directly asking your current subscribers to recommend your email newsletter to their friends if they have enjoyed the content so far and think that somebody they know might feel the same way.

In addition, offering something for free is another way to keep your email list growing. People will always jump at the chance to get something for free, especially if it’s going to be relevant and useful to them. This is an area where getting to know your customers as well as possible will also come in extremely handy, as this will help you avoid offering incentives and free gifts that aren’t going to be that interesting. Digital content is a popular choice of incentive for encouraging more email list sign-ups. E-books are easy to produce and distribute, and the best part is that once you’ve written and formatted the book, you don’t have to do any additional work on it and can simply send it out to anybody who subscribes to your email list, giving them access to the exclusive content within as a way of saying thank you.

What to Consider as You Grow Your Email List

As you grow your email list there will be several different things to consider to make sure that you are on the right track to getting the best results from your email marketing efforts. These include:

Segmentation: Segmenting your email list involves dividing it into sub-groups based on a number of criteria. For example, you might group emails based on the age, gender, location, past purchases, customer status, or interests and preferences of the subscribers. It’s best to begin doing this as soon as possible when building and growing your list to ensure that each subscriber is receiving the messages that are most relevant and personal to them. Since we all receive so many hundreds of email marketing messages all the time, high levels of personalization and relevancy are critical to getting your emails noticed in the first place.

Email validation and list cleaning: Keeping your email list clean is a key consideration that should be taken at every step during the process. Over time, email addresses may go out of use or become invalid, which can increase your bounce rate and put your sender reputation at risk if they are not removed from your list. In addition, sending emails to high-risk email addresses such as those associated with spammers can have a similar effect. Use an email validation and cleaning tool on a regular basis to ensure that your messages are going to real-life people who are actually interested in receiving them.

Tracking: Finally, it’s important to constantly track your email marketing progress and make sure that your list is segmented correctly. Keep an eye on who in your list opens certain types of emails more than others, for example, so that you can improve the content you send and ensure it is relevant.

Email marketing is one of the best digital marketing strategies when done right, but to get started, you will need to build an email list of interested subscribers.