The Top 10 Ways to Build Your Business’ Email List

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Think about your personal email inbox. 

And all the time you spend swiping boilerplate marketing emails from companies into the recycling bin — there’s probably only one or two of those brand newsletters or marketing emails that you save and actually read.

In order to continue growing your business, you need to continuously increase the reach of your brand, products, and solutions. 

While it can be challenging to get people to subscribe to an email list, there are many diverse techniques to ensure your business emails are the ones being read and not those swiped away. 

That’s why we’ve compiled the 10 top ways to boost your email open rate and grow your email subscriber list!

1. Quick and Easy Pop Up

There is almost nothing more important to a successful marketing strategy than a long customer email list. 

It’s your entryway to promote your products and solutions and your brand identity, mission, and goals directly to those interested.  

You don’t want to let interested visitors to your site get away, and a branded pop-up form on your homepage or relevant landing pages is a great way to grow your list. It’s an easy chance to capture visitors’ information because their interest is high — you can even consider mentioning how often you send emails, so those fearing a constant barrage of content won’t be concerned.

First off, create an eye-catching headline. Many successful headlines include discount offers or highlight some other benefits of joining the list. Couple that with the necessary form info like name and email address, then finish it with a specific call to action like Signup for Weekly Perks. 

If you’re unsure about what makes a great call to action (CTA), you can review some excellent examples here.

Always remember to deploy pop-ups strategically. You can use a benefit highlight pop-up when visitors first land on any of your pages and then use a discount pop-up after visitors spend a certain amount of time on a page. 

Why CTAs Are Important

Don’t waste a CTA button by just saying “Join Now” or “Sign up for more.” Create CTAs that show your value. 

For example, “Download our free ebook” gives visitors a clear benefit for signing up. Use CTAs as a place to inject humor or sarcasm. Consider placing a “No thanks, I don’t like value” text box beside your value-prop CTA to reinforce the benefit of your company emails further. 

In general, aim for more enticing words in your CTAs; use “Exclusive” and “Members Only” type language over generic “Subscribe” buttons to increase signups. You can also use subscribe-style CTAs in various places, including at the end of your About Us section, on social media pages, and even on sales receipts.

The more unique and relevant your CTA, the more likely it is to be clicked. 

2. Make Your Content Special

Your business isn’t just competing within your industry when it comes to building an email list organically – you’re competing against every other site each person visits

In order to pull in prospects from your site to your email list, offer engaging content that goes beyond just sales offerings and blatant marketing pitches. Think about why you enjoy reading certain company emails and newsletters, and then try to deliver content that achieves a similar value for your prospects.

Your company emails don’t have to be boring, and these emails are a great place to inject humor and personality. You can also include relevant topical information or industry-related tips and best practice lists, even if they aren’t only from your site. The more overall value your emails provide, the closer you are to converting email subscribers into customers.

Value doesn’t have to mean discounts and sales exclusively. You can provide summaries and links to blog and thought leadership content you’ve created, as well as exclusive access to certain premium assets like case studies.

Include a “share with friends” button at the end of your emails so your engaged subscribers can help you continue your email list’s organic growth.

3. Use a Giveaway to Grow Your Email List

Everybody wants something for nothing, and today the closest thing to nothing is providing email contact information

You can take advantage of our inherent desire for prizes and goodies and boost the size of your email list by running a giveaway. 

If you keep the prize relevant by offering a prize pack of your products or services, a great strategy is to advertise it with pop-ups on your website. However, you can also try to capture a more top of funnel group of people by offering a universal prize like Amazon or Starbucks gift cards. 

Keep in mind that gift cards might bring in more contacts, but brand-specific giveaways might bring in better quality contacts who are clearly interested in your business line. 

Social media is also a great way to promote the giveaway, and you should also consider purchasing some social media post-boosts or advertising to really spread the word. Check out these great ideas if you’re struggling to think of a good giveaway prize.

4. Host a Shared Event

One of the best opportunities for growth that new businesses have is being active locally, and you can gain immense value from your surrounding community when they are part of your email list. 

The first step is to connect with other businesses. One way to do that is to suggest you build a free email list of business owners so that you can all connect more easily and share information as needed.

Get together with a few other local businesses and host an event. It could be anything from a small business meet-up to a summer concert BBQ event — choose something that offers local value and fun to people with little to no cost beyond providing contact information for free tickets. 

If hosting an event is too big of a task, connect with your local chamber of commerce to see what events the town or city you’re in has on their calendar and consider becoming a sponsor in some capacity. 

Events are a great place to use a signup sheet. This classic method of growing your contact and email list requires only a piece of ruled paper and pen. If you have one, place it near your booth or a ticket stand and collect it the old-school way.

When you split the cost with other local businesses, you can also consider splitting email lists generated from each other’s ticket sales. It’s a win-win for the community and your email list.

Events may cost more to put on, but they can deliver impactful results in terms of new contact information.

5. Create More Landing Pages

Creating targeted landing pages is a great way to appeal to the individual tastes of your customer base.

Each of your customers has distinct interests in regards to your business offerings, and you can create more landing pages that target those adject interests. The more specific and varied landing pages you have, the more new visitors you can capture.

These landing pages may only highlight an aspect of your business or products, but using those slivers to locate new people with a similar interest can have a compounding effect.

The only downside is you need those landing pages to sing and for some of them to be a bridge to your quality gated content. There are excellent services you can use to help create both premium content and must-click landing pages so you can focus on other tasks.

6. Every Interaction Is an Opportunity

On any given day, you and your staff interact with customers and prospects in several ways — use each interaction as an opportunity to grow your email list. 

Before you end any phone call, take the opportunity to mention one or two of your email list values to quickly frame the customer’s benefit of providing their email information. For example, ask if they’d like to sign up to receive exclusive access to content and deals.

Your most common interaction is most likely via email, so why let all those sent messages go without adding some growth potential to them? 

In your email signature, add a value point and CTA to encourage email signups. Now, every email you send has a chance to deliver another name to your contact email list.

Interactions that only help one goal are as useful as single-use kitchen appliances. Sure, that donut pan is great, but you can’t cook dinner in it. Give all your conversations a chance to do double-duty for your business.

7. Build a Blog

As you grow, you’ll discover multiple reasons why a blog is a valuable tool to support your business. 

One of them is that it provides you with an excellent resource for building your email contact list.

At the end of each of your articles, include a specific CTA that drives new email submissions. You can use the end of each article as a clever way to ask for reader comments but require an email address to submit them. 

Blog articles are also another place to include share buttons. If you also include “Subscribe CTAs” when readers share articles, it’s easy for new readers to quickly become email contacts.

You want it to be easy to subscribe and slightly less easy to unsubscribe. Not so much that it feels clearly frustrating by design, but even a simple two-step process to remove themselves from your email list can be enough of a deterrent for casually uninterested.

8. Leverage Word of Mouth

You’ve taken the time to build connections with customers. Why not stand on the back of that work and encourage them to bring aboard other new email contact signups? 

Entice customers already on your email list with discounts or special offers if they bring in new email contacts. You can do this with unique tracking codes and landing pages that customers can share via a simple URL link. 

This is another slightly more passive way to get additional value from customer interaction. If you use different types of offers to entice current customers, you may also gain some insight into what aspects of your business they find the most value in. 

9. Create Free Resources

Generally, your original created content falls into two buckets: the content you give away and the content you gate behind a submission form

Gated content is often more in-depth pieces like a white paper or an ebook. This type of content isn’t paid, but it does require a value exchange through the completion of an email contact form to access the piece.

You can manage your content access at different points to maximize the opportunity to grow your email contact list. For example, consider using gated access to view more content-rich pieces found on your website. You can offer previews of these pieces on your site or social media but limit full access to those who complete the email contact form. 

Content with a broader appeal within your industry or marketplace can be targeted to a wider, more top-of-funnel audience and given away with signup. This content includes downloadable assets like email newsletter templates or market-research information like an industry-specific infographic. 

10. The One Thing Not to Do

The ways to grow your email list take time and effort, and it can seem like just another task on your list as a business owner. 

It’s understandable that for certain things, you might seek the easy way — the path with the least resistance is always enticing. However, sometimes the best tip is knowing what not to do.

The easy way for email contact list growth is to work with an email list provider and buy a consumer email list. These lists can give you false belief in their size because the likelihood of it being targeted enough to your prospect pool is incredibly low, even if you’ve bought a list segmented to include some of your prospect-type parameters.

This method will deliver inaccurate results with high unopen rates either due to uninterested recipients or email providers reading it as spam, so your recipient never sees it.

Other than giving you a feeling of having an extensive distribution list for your emails, it does little to nothing to provide any actual benefit to you.

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