Best Ways to Build an Email Marketing List

2022.08.22 04:01 PM By Joshua Taddeo, Principal Consultant
building an email marketing list

Email list building is the foundation of effective email marketing. This ongoing process of reaching your target audience and sparking their interest in your product or service fuels your revenue stream. Did you know it costs five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one? That's why all businesses should incorporate email marketing into their overall marketing strategy

Focusing on customer retention is a valuable long-term solution for increased revenue and sustainable growth, but it's not always easy to cultivate that kind of loyalty. The goal of this article is to show you clear steps to follow in order to build a solid email list and make the most of your email marketing for your business. 

Pop Ups

Pop-up forms provide visitors with a quick, convenient way to share contact information and subscribe to your list while they're browsing your site, making them a powerful tool for audience growth. They're easy to add to your site, and they're proven to work. To be more effective, email pop-ups usually offer a freebie, sale, or another type of incentive to get the reader to actually hand over their email address. Here are the most common types of pop-ups to consider: 

email marketing strategy

Eye-catching gamified pop-ups

Gamified pop-ups are some of the most fun and exciting website pop-ups you can integrate to double your conversion rate. This is because these pop-ups appeal to virtually any age group.

Most people love competition or getting rewards. If you place your gamified pop-ups correctly, you can increase your brand engagement easily. There are many benefits to using gamified pop-ups on your website: they improve sales, boost engagement, and can be tailored to different age groups.

But these gamified pop-ups can also help grow your email list. You'll just need to add an email field and request users' addresses so they can claim their prize or exclusive access offers. Remember, though, that you'll need to clearly state what you'll use their email address for and ask for consent if you want to send them marketing messages.

Last chance exit-intent pop-ups

Exit-intent pop-ups are a bit simpler than gamified pop-ups, but they're also highly efficient for boosting conversion rates for your brand. What sets this pop-up apart from the rest is the exit-intent technology that helps track your visitors' mouse movements.

Once the technology detects the visitor is close to leaving the site without buying anything, that is when the pop-up appears, allowing you to capture leads or reduce cart abandonment rates.

Tempting yet subtle pop-up teasers

Pop-up teasers are a new addition to the "pop-up world," and they have proven to be a small but significant change for these marketing tools.

You can look at these teasers as a pop-up of a pop-up. When a visitor is checking your website out, you can place a small-sized pop-up on the corner with a short but engaging phrase that invites the user to click on it – like "Click here," "Here's a gift for you," or "Click here for a surprise."

Once the user clicks on your teaser, the real pop-up will appear with the rest of the information. This can be a coupon, free shipping discounts, and other ideas you find appropriate for your website in exchange for their email address.

Top or bottom sign-up bars

The top and bottom bars aren't necessarily pop-ups, but they work in a similar way. As their name implies, these are bars that show up at either the top or the bottom of your website. You can make them appear at any moment or make them disappear at a particular point. For example, they could turn up when the visitor arrives and evaporate after a few minutes.

Leverage your social media accounts

Using social media traffic is one of the most organic ways to grow the number of users that will visit your website each day. Once they visit your website, if your content is valuable, there's a high chance of them subscribing to your email list as well. Here are easy ways to leverage social media to grow your email list: 

Use Facebook Lead Ads

The fastest way to get email leads from your social media platforms is by spending a little money on advertising. In the case of Facebook Ads, you'll be able to target your exact demographic, and if your message is right, you'll see dramatic results almost immediately in terms of gathering leads. 

Designing lead forms is one of the most daunting tasks for marketers because it cannot be too short that it fails to collect the desired user information, while, at the same time, it should not be too long that the user runs away from it. 

The Facebook lead ad form is a life savior here, as it is pre-filled with the information that the users have already shared with Facebook, such as name, number, and email address. 

The other benefit of Facebook lead ads is mobile-friendliness which means that the marketers will seamlessly be able to capture both mobile and pc users. 

Use Instagram Giveaways 

Undoubtedly, Instagram is a commonly preferred platform for brands and companies to build an esteemed community of their customers and the prospects that possess a similar interest in their products and services. 

Of all the available Social media contests, the Instagram giveaways are regarded as the most result-oriented campaign because people favor the curiosity of being a prospective winner.

Now the question arises: how to do it effectively?

Well, choosing the right objective behind the giveaway will certainly lead you to design it adequately for the best results. 

In regards to expanding the email list, assign "Email Subscription" as the only way to enter the giveaway. You could further leverage the volume of new email leads by insisting the participants share the giveaway with their contacts in order to entitle themselves to an additional reward. 

Promote Gated Content

If you're not already promoting gated content, you're missing a very simple and easy method of lead generation. Gated content is simply content that is hidden until the visitor enters their email address. Here's how this strategy works:

Use social networks and ads to bring visitors to your website. When they get there, block their way with a "gate" requesting their email address before they get to the good stuff. It's a low barrier to entry but a worthwhile one for you.

Make sure that the content you are gating is worth charging $50-$100 for, and then give it away in exchange for an email address. That's the secret to a high-converting gated article.

So why use social media to promote your gated content? Well, gated content is easier to promote on platforms like Facebook and Twitter because it doesn't look like a traditional lead magnet or sales pitch. It just looks like a blog post. And you definitely do not want your social media posts to look salesy if they are going to be effective!

Put the Website at the Head of Your Social Media Profiles 

Many social media channels allow you to showcase your website's domain name in your profile's headline. This is great because it exposes your website constantly to the hundreds or even thousands of people that will pass over your social profiles. Where this becomes valuable for your email list is when people click on your website link.

That click will direct your social media traffic to your home page, where you can then invite them to join your email list via a popup. You can even take things a step further by having an opt-in 

email form on your home page's sidebar or in its "above the fold" content.

Personalize your CTAs

The people who visit your blog post or web page are looking for something specific, so your CTA needs to meet those unique needs. For instance, if you've got a ton of traffic visiting your "List-Building Strategy" blog article, why not entice those people to subscribe to your email list by including a simple CTA like this: "Click here to download a free list-building toolkit."

Of course, personalized CTAs only work if you have the resources to create that quality content in the first place, but that process doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. Instead of a toolkit, you could also offer an e-book, a fun quiz, or an exclusive article from your CEO on list-building strategies.

If you offer content directly related to your visitor's needs, your email newsletter won't feel like a gimmicky advertisement. Instead, it will feel helpful and valuable -- key principles for a long-term customer retention plan.

email marketing list sign up

Utilize more landing pages

A landing page, also known as a "lead capture page" or a "squeeze page," is a single web page designed to build a contact list. Create a landing page for your newsletter. There are many ways you can build landing pages, but the most convenient one is to use a landing page creator. 

The landing page creator available in GetResponse comes with mobile-optimized free landing page templates, an intuitive drag and drop editor, and multiple other features. Remember to keep your landing page simple by providing a single call to action. Create A/B variants of your landing page. Run tests and see how content type, copy, or design changes influence performance. 

Provide incentives for signing up

While it's easy to put an opt-in form on your website or a check box in the checkout process to encourage users and customers to sign up for your email list, the truth is that not everybody is going to be interested in just hearing from your brand for the sake of it.

Lots of us get hundreds of different marketing emails per day, so there really does need to be something that is worth it available for most people in order for them to be ready to sign up. The good news is that there are lots of incentive options to consider to give users a great reason to add their contact details to your email list.

For example, some of the most popular is a voucher code to use on their next order to get money off at your online shop or access to exclusive content that they will not find anywhere else. You can also give away freebies like templates, eBooks, and more as a thank you for joining your email list.

Some people won't open email newsletters, but they won't say no to a discount code in exchange for email signup. 

email content creation

Some people won't open email newsletters, but they won't say no to a discount code in exchange for email signup.  Consider offering things like:

  • Reports and whitepapers
  • Discount codes
  • Sale alerts
  • Downloadable tools and templates
  • A free session or sample product
  • An email course

Use a scroll box

Timing is everything. Your call-to-action works best if you catch visitors when they are, in fact, ready to take action.

Figuring out when your visitor is ready to convert depends on your website viewers' behavior, so you'll want to conduct A/B testing to determine where you need to place your CTA. Does it work best towards the bottom of a blog page when it slides out to the right, or does it get higher conversions at the beginning of the page, sliding out from the left?

Ultimately, it will vary depending on your page's content and your viewers, but a scroll box is a subtle and useful option to help you catch your viewers when they're almost ready to convert.

Incorporate sign up options in your email signature

You might not have a long list of email subscribers, but that doesn't mean you don't have a network. If you have a following on Twitter, a fan base on Facebook, or businesses you communicate with via email, why not use those firm and loyal connections to build an email list?

You might try pitching an email newsletter on your business's Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts. The people who follow you on those sites already know they like you, but they aren't necessarily the same people who receive your newsletter. 

If you're uncomfortable pitching your email newsletter on social media, or if you don't have a large following on any of your accounts, you could also include a link in your email signature -- that link could go directly to your email newsletter or it could be a link to a blog post or landing page with email subscription CTA's. You communicate daily with a diverse group of people via email, and when they get value from your personal emails, they might want the option to click a link and explore your company in more depth.

Consider Offline Methods

Growing your email list with offline tactics is frequently overlooked by a lot of online marketers and even people with bricks-and-mortar stores. Everyone gets so excited about building the list using online tactics that they forget offline methods are very effective too. Let's get right into it. Start putting these tactics to work right away, and you'll see a huge growth spurt for your email list.

In-Person Events

There is almost nothing more effective when building your list offline than in-person events. People like to connect on a more personal level than just online. Even if you do webinars, there is something special about getting to shake hands, hug, and look into someone's eyes. All of these in-person, visual, and physical elements super-charge the trust-building process and shift it into overdrive. 

email content creation
  • Attend Networking Events – Find out where your audience is going to events. A good way to discover this is to find out where the gurus, movers, and shakers and your competition is speaking, attending, and sponsoring. Go to those events. Go with a plan. Bring sign-up forms with you, and give people a nice little gift such as a bookmark with a QR code or a jump drive with a document that leads to your sign-up and your gift.
  • Speak at Events – Don't just go to events; once you make a name for yourself, you can start speaking at events. When you go to events, get to know the people who have planned them. You can also reach out in advance and volunteer to help them at the event to get to know them. Then make sure everyone knows that you're interested in public speaking. Write a book and start handing that out. It can be the basis for your speaking topic too.
  • Host Workshops – A fun and effective way to build your list offline is to host small local workshops (and you can even travel to do it too). Keep them small, no more than 20 at a time. Via event advertising, people can still sign up for your email list, even if they can't attend. Plus, if you prefer to have an audience of more than 20, you can host a series of events or multiple sessions in the future. Keeping the session seat limits small helps you to give attendees a more personal experience.

Contact Local Businesses Who Need Your Offers

Another way to grow your list using offline methods is to think locally. Often the local market is forgotten in favor of marketing to people all over the world. Attracting a local audience can be easier because you're part of that community, and people will trust you faster due to that. 

Use the best email marketing platform

An email marketing service (ESP) is the software you use to manage all the list-building steps such as subscription form design and setup, email collection, and subsequent campaign dispatches.

  • Create custom subscription forms for different pages
  • Segment your subscribers' list into smaller groups by demographics
  • Design and schedule different types of promotional emails

On top, you get tools to analyze the effectiveness of each campaign so that you can know:

  • How many people open your emails
  • Which email signup forms bring the most signups
  • Who are your most active subscribers, and what they like
  • Which types of emails generate the most website click-throughs

In short, an email marketing provider is your go-to aid for automating and analyzing your email list growth. Here are a few of the top-rated email marketing software: 

  • Sendinblue: Ranked as the most intuitive by first-time users despite having a host of advanced email marketing features such as personalization tools, custom email automation rules, and a fully functional sales CRM.
  • Constant Contact: Provides drag & drop email design tools, excellent audience segmentation functionality, and an email automation suite. A great choice for small businesses.
  • GetResponse: Best suited for eCommerce businesses and marketers relying on webinars to build their email list.

Create an effective email marketing strategy

Whether it's a blog, eCommerce website, or portfolio, there are many kinds of entry points that will let you effectively begin collecting emails for your business. These are tried-and-tested tactics to gather email information from your customers and prospects. Use these powerful methods to build your email lists and succeed in your email marketing initiatives. If you're ready to start building and growing your email list, Universal Creative Solutions can help. We offer strategy consulting and marketing operations consulting services to help you define what you want from your email campaigns. Then we focus on devising and implementing your email marketing and lead generation strategy to meet your needs. Schedule a consultation call to learn more.