List building is a form of funnel marketing that refers to the process of growing your email list. You can achieve this by collecting email contacts from your current and prospective customers through social media platforms or websites.
Through our email marketing efforts here at ScottHall.co, we've developed a is a highly efficient way of gaining a broader, more targeted audience. This process can help you identify, engage, and grow a target audience more interested in your business.
Personalizing your messages to subscribers also becomes much easier than with other digital marketing systems—like social media websites. Not only that, but it is also one of the cheapest and surefire ways to increase and track conversions for your business.
Enough about the advantages of building your business's email list. Do you know how to get this done on your own? There are many different email marketing solutions available such as Aweber or GetResponse. Regardless of your business type, the various ways to build an email list are the same. We'll give you a brief highlight on how to do it yourself.
Here, we've listed our top ten best practices to follow to help your business build a massive email list. You'll also find step-by-step solutions and software that will allow you to put those practices into action.
Document Your List Building Goals
Establishing and setting specific goals should be your first step before starting the list-building journey. Not only will it help you track your actions, but it will also keep you focused throughout this journey.
You already have a purpose you want to achieve with list building, right? Most of the time, it’s to have a wider audience connected to you directly through your business. Apart from this, there are still some other goals you’ll want to target as you grow.
For instance, you may want to:
- Increase your impact and authority with your list.
- Promote sales by sharing exclusive offers
- Learn more about your clients or readers and understand what makes them tick.
Implementing a plan of action is considerably simpler once you've decided what you're aiming to accomplish and the activities you want your subscribers to take.
Get Clear on Who Your Target Market Is
Another "mind-blowing" best practice for email list building is clarifying who you’re shooting for. Clarifying who you’re shooting for entails having a clear understanding of who is interested in what you have to offer.
In the context of list building, finding your ideal customers for your services is relatively easy because they fall into a particular demographic or have a specific set of behaviors.
You can determine your target audience by age, gender, location, profession, language, social status, lifestyle activities, and interests.
Building your email list will become meaningful and yielding if you can clarify who your target audience is.
Choose an Email Marketing Software Provider
An email marketing plan begins with deciding the type of email marketing software, also known as an autoresponder, you’ll need to build your email list. That’s because creating and sending email copies to your target audience with your email address is neither realistic nor professional enough.
If you want to take email marketing seriously, choosing an email service platform is ideal. Sending mass email copies with your email is not only time-wasting but also limits what you can achieve.
There are several email marketing service platforms you can choose from depending on your current business needs. Although the pricing of plans may differ slightly, their features and benefits are pretty similar.
However, there are a few key questions you need to ask yourself before you decide to choose an email service platform for your business. Read some below:
Will The Software Deliver As My Mailing List Expands?
Expanding your list is most likely one of your email marketing goals, which means you’ll need an email service platform that will grow with you.
For instance, if you started with a mailing list of about 300, you might also be planning for an extra 3,000 per month. Will your software deliver as it demands? You need to decide on the email service platform that will be able to handle the increased workload and set realistic expectations for where your email marketing organization will be one to two years after the first purchase.
Bear in mind that some software solutions may cause you some problems while your mailing list increases over time.
Can The Software Be Integrated With Other Key Applications?
Sometimes, you must include other marketing tools or applications to aid your email marketing process. While some email services provide you with all the needed systems, others do not. So, if you need one of the latter for yourself, do the appropriate research about the service platform that’ll integrate with your chosen email service platform.
You wouldn’t want to spend a whopping sum of money and resources on an email platform only to realize you’re at a significant loss later. Therefore, to save yourself from regret, you must do the needful.
Can I Get A (Money-back) Guarantee?
While some email service platforms have numerous positive customer reviews that can trigger you to make a quick purchase, we’d advise you to pause. That’s because customer reviews aren’t enough, and no platform will do such on their website.
Another way to get a guarantee from the email service platform you’re purchasing is to test their free trial. You can also utilize the help of an experienced IT expert to test the email marketing software before buying it to be sure it delivers on its promises.
Will I Get Adequate Customer Support After I Make A Purchase?
Although you aim to have your email marketing software serve you 100% of the time, sometimes an unexpected glitch may happen—either from you or your service provider. But then, how do you work things out on your own?
Of course, you’ll need the help of skilled personnel. And especially if you are on a low-budget plan, customer support is the ideal person to help you. Will you get adequate support from them? This is one of the questions you should find an answer to.
The Top 10 Email Marketing Providers
Invariably, choosing the right email service platform depends on how much research you can do. But hey, do you know the most common email service to choose from? Below is a list of the ten most common email service platforms you can choose from:
1. Constant Contact — Best for all business types
- Suitable for novices
- 60-day free trial (no credit card signup)
- Over 100 mobile-optimized templates
2. Sendinblue — Best for growing your customer base
- Fit for launching and tracking an email campaign
- 40 customizable templates
- Built-in CRMs
- Free version to send over 300 emails daily
- Very suitable for start-ups
3. MailerLite — Best for the essentials at an affordable price
- Straightforward to use
- A free trial is available for up to 1,000 subscribers
- Highly recommended for teams
- Drag & Drop User-Friendly templates
4. Omnisend —Best email and SMS marketing comb
- Highly recommended for e-commerce sites
- Automated email feature.
- Pricing starts at $0
- 24/7 Live Chat and Support Tools
- Access to email and SMS automation tools
5. Moosend — Best for eCommerce
- Perfect for online market stores
- Complete solutions for both absolute beginners and pros
- Drag and drop email builder
- Access to contact segmentation tools
- It has an AI-oriented email marketing system
- Simple user interface
6. AWeber — Best value for low subscriber count
- Simple pricing structure
- Maximum features for all levels of plans
- Ensure optimized content before delivery
7. GetResponse — Best for automated lead generation
- Marketing services are more automated
- Fully-packed and integrated lead funnels
- Discount and an upfront payment plan
8. HubSpot — Best for automated email marketing
- Stronger email marketing automation system
- The technical interface is made simple
- Suitable for all types of business
- High-quality email templates
9. Drip — Best for new ecommerce businesses
- Most suitable for new eCommerce businesses
- Customer-oriented marketing tools
- Customer segmentation is made easy
10. ConvertKit — Best for influencers, bloggers, and creators
- Perfect for all online creators
- Simple user interface
- Suitable for quick emails
- Provides easy tagging and segmentation of contacts
Leverage Social Media
When we talk about leveraging social media to grow a business, many people think it's limited to regular posting of available products or services.
While that’s not bad, the role of social media in business is much more than that. Building your business’s email list is one of the "goodies'' you can derive from social media.
Nonetheless, it won’t make sense to just drop the “subscribe to our email notification” tab on every one of your social media posts. Instead, you’ll need more innovative and highly effective ways to achieve that.
Below are some of the highly-effective ways to leverage your social media to build your email list:
Build Trust By Posting Social Media Content Regularly
Social media content generally has a way of trademarking a brand. The content you post for your business will always differ from what other companies (even though they may be in your niche) will post. That is the uniqueness of content.
That said, making your posts engaging is not enough; you must post consistently. What’s more, you also need to find ways to make your social media audience trust you. That’s because most people are often hesitant about signing up with an untrusted business through content alone.
One way to build trust with your audience on social media is by posting varying forms of content. This may include short-clip videos showing your company's behind-the-scenes production process, how to use your product, and much more. You can paste your sign-up link below the content while you promise a gift after signing up.
You'll be amazed at the result you’ll get using this method.
Promote Online Events for Your Business
While you must have gathered an encouraging number of customers for your business, osting intriguing business events can be a way of building your email list. You can achieve this by sharing the sign-in links with your audience, promising to remind them before the event date and while the event commences if they sign-up.
I know you must be worried about how to make your audience strongly anticipate your event. Here’s a to-do list to achieve that seamlessly:
- Engage with your audience before planning your event.
- Explore trailer advertisements
- Create content focused on the event
- Maximize the use of hashtags
- Employ the service of hype men if you can afford it
- Involve your guest speakers in the advertisement process
- Offer freebies for showing up at the event.
That way, you’ll make your audience eagerly anticipate the sign-up form you’re about to release for the event. As a result, many people will hastily sign up for the reminder (as soon as the link is released) so they do not miss the event.
Utilize Social Media Ad Campaigns
Although you can significantly increase your email list through different organic approaches, social media ad campaigns can be good if you utilize them effectively. Through this approach, you’ll be able to reach a much larger audience.
Running social media ads has to be strategic; otherwise, it is easy to get your money down the drain. While you can learn how to do basic social media advertisements yourself, hiring an expert is smart.
If you want to utilize social media ad campaigns to build your email list, you may not directly tell your audience to sign up in most cases. Instead, you ask them to claim a free ebook, a gift, or a free souvenir of your brand—all of which are assumed to have a high value. Watch and see how your email list builds tremendously.
Collaborate With Relevant Niche Groups
Another way to leverage social media to build your email list is by collaborating with relevant niche groups.
Interacting with members in such groups is a strategic approach to making your brand well-known. Posting relevant content regularly without including your sign-in links is another way to do this. That’s because most group owners or online community founders do not allow ads from new or strange members.
Building trust in relevant niche groups is one of the strategies you can use before you can start including your sign-in links with content without anyone doubting or probing you.
Make Your Website Relevant
Your business website is one of your business’s assets. Even if you do not run an eCommerce business, your website should still be able to give you some profitable returns. If you've yet to have a business website, you’re missing a great deal.
Your website can be your email list-building machine if you can increase traffic to your website. But this won’t be possible if it is not functioning effectively. Some circumstances might have made this happen to your website, but more innovative ways to revive it still exist. Below are some ways you can explore to make your website relevant:
Post Problem-Solving Blog Posts
Regardless of what product or service your business sells, solving a problem is the ultimate goal of existing in the marketplace.
But do you know that some people know you exist but don’t know how your service solves their problems? Sometimes, only a single product of yours may solve more than one problem for your prospects, while they may be ignorant of this too. But if you don’t write to them, how will they know?
Also, you can have visitors on your website who haven’t signed up for your email notifications yet but are still familiar with your web pages.
Often, your problem-solving blog post content can be a way to engage them. For that reason, you'll always see them coming for more solutions again and again.
One way to build your email list through content like this is as easy as informing your visitors to sign-up for an affordable one-on-one therapy solution at the end of the blog post.
Who doesn’t want a solution? Your email list will sky-rocket in no time.
Write SEO Content
"SEO content" is an acronym for "Search Engine Optimization content." It refers to content created to help website owners rank higher in the search engine algorithm. If you wonder how this works, let us explain.
Naturally, when someone calls a name to your ear, you immediately search through your mind to capture a familiar person’s face, right? So it is in the search engine world.
When a user searches on a search engine, the search engine bot hastens to pick websites rich in similar words. It then ranks and displays them in an order that spells out the richness of the searched word. This is how SEO content works.
This implies that if your business website lacks a considerable amount of SEO content on the web, it’ll be difficult for internet users to find your website.
It’s not enough that you post content that solves problems alone. Your SEO content will help you rank higher in search engines, which increases the chance of your website becoming more visited.
Consequently, building your email list through your website largely depends on the number of visitors you can attract to your website.
Optimize the Use of Pop-Ups on Each Web Page
Pop-ups are quick ways to grab your website visitor’s attention. Without pop-ups, it’s difficult to achieve this, let alone compel them to sign in. Despite that, you can use pop-ups to your advantage if you don’t want your visitors to bounce off quickly from your website.
Strategically timing your pop-up is one way to optimize pop-ups. You have to ensure it neither shows up too early nor too late.
Another way to optimize pop-ups is to use attractive designs. A stunning design formed from your brand’s color codes has a way of catching your audience's attention. This, combined with the compelling copy and a powerful CTA, will make your audience rush to the sign-up tab.
Adopt the Use of Sign-Up Forms
Most people think that the use of sign-up forms is obsolete. But no, it is not. You only need to place your website’s sign-up forms on your web pages. For instance, sticky sign-up forms on a web page emphasize the importance of signing in rather than forms that hide.
Another way to ensure that your sign-up form works effectively is by having a compelling copy on your entire website. That way, your website visitors will find it difficult to leave until they sign-up completely.
Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Gone are those days when website owners didn’t care about mobile users. Now, the narratives are changing.
Google has essentially modified how it crawls the internet, such that mobile sites rank higher than desktop sites. This can cause major problems for websites with mobile and desktop versions, especially if the two versions of the site differ. For PCs as well, it can be even worse.
So, ensure you inquire with your website designer whether your website is mobile-friendly so that you don’t miss out on the amazing results mobile email subscribers will give you.
Create an Online Community
An online community involves a group of users who come together online for a common purpose, interest, or vision.
You can create an online community for your business where people communicate about trending issues, business transaction feedback, questions, and answers related to your business. Communication is often done through a chat room created separately online.
If you want to use an online community for your business, include a sign-up form for every visitor who wishes to be part of the community. Don’t also forget to promise an instant reward for doing so.
However, apart from building your email list, an online community can benefit your business in any one of the following ways:
- Increase your customer loyalty.
- build real connections
- Stay unique in the business world
- Receiving constant feedback
- Help you improve in quality delivery
- deliver quick notification of upgraded products to customers before the public
- Create an independent support system between customers
- Increase ROI for your business
- Skyrocket your organization’s growth
- and lots more.
In the above-listed benefits, there are more than one you can also tweak for existing customers or prospects who have yet to fill out the sign-up forms. That way, you will see your email list growing.
Include Updated Reviews
Do not underestimate the presence of reviews on your website. Reviews are powerful magnets on your website that say a lot about your offer.
We all know what an updated review on your website will do. Boost trust in your prospects, of course!
Therefore, you can use the power of updated reviews to make your website relevant and compel a prospect to drop their email address.
Everyone loves freebies, including you. Especially if it’s something you’re severely in need of at the moment, freebies are one of the best ways to make people rush to your sign-up call-to-action button and fill in the tabs.
Giving freebies can also refer to doing giveaways. It’s a common practice to motivate prospects to buy from you by giving away a small piece of what you sell. You can also use the same tactics to compensate existing customers and compel them to buy more.
Freebies can come in the form of a product or a service. But if you want a massive audience, try making it a highly valuable product and, perhaps, one of their most urgent needs. Most of the time, there are often terms and conditions attached to becoming entitled to giveaways. You can use your ‘sign-up to our email’ link as bait to make people rush to it.
Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet
Lead magnets are one of the most resourceful ways to build your email list.
A lead magnet is a free, highly valuable resource that you put forward as a reward to attract potential customers. A well-positioned lead magnet appears irresistible to prospects, making them eventually sign up for your email list and also become paying customers.
Trying to build an email list without an irresistible lead magnet implies that you're going to the river to catch some fish without a hook. Will your net suffice for you? Of course, not!
And as the saying goes: "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax." To make your lead magnet compelling enough, you should take your time in giving it the best design that will make it appear more appealing to your visitors' eyes.
Although there are different types of lead magnets, being able to generate leads is the ultimate goal of all of them. As we mentioned earlier, a lead magnet should be given out at no cost and must be a highly-valuable resource.
To get the most out of your lead magnets, ensure they do at least one of the following.
- Showing you're an authority in your field
- Offers a practical remedy
- Promises an instant benefit
- should contain highly detailed, digestible, and valuable contents
- should be readily available
Now what comes to your mind is: where do you position your lead magnets? Here are some spaces you can position your lead magnets:
- In your website (header, footer, or sidebar)
- In popups
- On landing pages,
- In blog posts
Create More Targeted Landing Pages
A landing page is also called a squeeze page. Unlike a website with several pages, a landing page often has only one page. This single page is built separately to execute just one action.
It looks more straightforward than a website, with very few designs you can customize to your taste. Landing pages are often built to serve only one purpose. Here, the copy on the landing page is centered around what action you want your readers to take.
So you might need to create more than one landing page to market different products. But your goal for all of them should be to collect visitors' email addresses. This makes your landing page copy compelling enough to make your visitors rush to your purchase tab. Here, you then make them sign-up in exchange for a benefit before buying your product.
A landing page creates more ways for you outside your website to quickly compel prospects to sign up for your email notification before becoming a customer. To create more channels for people to access your landing pages, you can position them in strategic places such as your social media profile bio, website blog, online community profile, and ad campaigns.
Personalize & Optimize Your CTAs
Most of the time, the action you want your visitors to take revolves around a button called “the Call-to-action button." A great call to action button drives customers to take action. Customers find it compelling and difficult to ignore, which multiplies conversions. Customers
It might look simple in sight but has a powerful effect in marketing. However, crafting a powerful CTA is not as easy as you think. And if you want to take email list building seriously, knowing how to write personalized CTAs is essential.
Invariably, CTAs are the bridges between a prospect and the action after a compelling site page copy.
Writing a personalized CTA copy requires that you write what your customers expect from you after reading your page copy. That is, you not only need to be straight to the point, but you also need to write what they need to do, albeit succinctly.
For instance, use “Buy Now" instead of “Click here now,” use “Save 20% today” instead of “Save a few dollars today," write “Yes! I want one” instead of “I want," and lots more. That way, you are straight to the point, and your message appears personalized. Then, you can add the sign-up form to help you collect your subscribers’ email addresses.
Expand Your Horizon Through Influencers
Your ideal influencer may also be an organization if you want to build your business email list. And as we all know, choosing the right influencers shouldn’t be based on the number of audiences they have access to, but rather on the right audience itself.
Access to some influencers is as easy as engaging with them on their posts, then inboxing them to share your email link. While some may request a fee, some may do it for you for free, depending on your relationship with them.
While influencers mention your business name to an audience, they also build credibility for your business.
Introduce the Use of Referral Programs
Another method that can help you build your email list quickly is referral programs.
Referral programs are active ways of expanding your audience by making your existing audience invite prospects to your business.
Referral programs can help you grow your email list exponentially if you use them strategically.
The first step to starting a referral program is making each visitor create a unique referral link. This unique link is what your visitors will send or give to new prospects.
You can use different tactics to make your existing customers share their unique referral links. Politically, asking existing customers to share their unique referral links may not be enough. Below are some different formats to make your referral programs more profitable:
Entice Referrers With Instant Rewards
Offering rewards to get people to share their unique referral links is not bad. As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. You may decide to make different types of rewards available for your visitors to choose from.
Rewards can be in the form of a few dollars, shoutouts to their loved ones, or airtime.
However, the promised rewards shouldn’t be a long-term thing. To achieve a massive result, entice with instant rewards and watch how your email list grows.
Leverage Offline Meetings to Build Email List
One effective but most unpopular way to build an email list is to share your email contact with people of the same interest offline.
But remember, you need to do this with courtesy, which means you have to share a business card containing your business contact. Below are strategic ways to build your email lists offline:
Use Your Employees to Your advantage
Do you know that your business's success also lies in your employees' hands? There’s no doubt about that. While you’re on the journey of building your email list, why not leverage your employees to your advantage?
Using your employees to assist in building your email list is an offline method that eventually turns into an online marketing strategy. This way, your employees can make your business go viral more than you can ever imagine because you can never tell how many valuable connections they have online.
And there’s more to this: remember to treat them well and use incentives (moderately) to drive them to act appropriately.
Give Free Branded Souvenirs
Souvenirs are items that are kept as a reminder of a person, place, or event. Small businesses often refer to it as "merchandise." Souvenirs can be water bottles, pens, gift cards, or T-shirts. Your souvenirs should not only be branded but should include your company’s business contact information, including an email address.
You may give out your company’s branded souvenirs to existing customers. You can also leverage relevant organizations to convince their employees to sign up for free in exchange for souvenirs.
Use These List Building Best Practices To Build A List
Clearly, growing your business and building an email list for it is not an easy feat. It is, therefore, necessary to do all that is within your reach to make your list convert. Using these tips and list building best practices will keep you on track as you learn to send the right messages to your target audience.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do all the work by yourself. You can always get help when you reach out to a marketing consultant who will make it a full-time job to ensure your listing grows exponentially and within the fastest time frame.