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How to Build an Email Marketing List

Everyone says you need an email marketing list, but why?

One of the top reasons is customer retention. It costs 5x more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing customer. The staggering cost of attracting new customers is a huge motivation to keep your current customers. Email marketing is also a great way to nurture prospective customers.

But where to start? The first step to any email marketing strategy is list building.

Why is list building so important?

Email list building is essential for business owners, and while an email list cannot be created overnight, many effective strategies exist to grow email lists. And, getting new subscribers and email signups requires patience and a good strategy. We’ve outlined some of the top methods for building your mailing list, including:

  • Personalized CTA (call-to-action)
  • Custom pop-ups
  • Timed pop-up surveys
  • Creative CTAs
  • Phrasing your CTA correctly
  • Using social media accounts and email signatures
  • Create more landing pages
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Invite email signups for notifications

A targeted email list can be one of a business’s biggest assets. Regardless of the changes in social media platforms or search engine algorithms, you can still reach potential customers with marketing emails consistently and cost-effectively.

How to Build an Email List Using Your Website

There are many ways to build a list for email marketing campaigns. For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on building your email list using your existing website.

Personalized call-to-action for each page

Potential customers are more likely to engage with personalized CTAs. For example, if you get a lot of website traffic to your “Keeping your home clean” article, try encouraging this traffic to subscribe to your email list by including a CTA like, “Download a free home cleaning checklist.” You know this audience is interested in home cleaning and will be more likely to be interested in a specific freebie, e-book, quiz, or article related to this topic. Plus, offering content specific to your visitor feels helpful and valuable.

Create a pop-up or slide-in for each page

Instead of a random pop-up on your site, set up targeted pop-ups relevant to the page content or the visitor’s behavior. These could be exit pop-ups (appear when the user leaves a page) or scroll box pop-ups (appear when the user scrolls to a certain section of the page). Other helpful ways to target pop-ups are ensuring visitors from newsletter links don’t see the pop-up, no pop-ups on sales pages as it interrupts the purchasing process), and offering meaningful content for the visitor. The most effective pop-ups offer users value and are not intrusive to their website experience.

Pop-ups should always follow Google’s interstitial ad guidelines to avoid penalties. Google has set guidelines for pop-up best practices, including not covering main content immediately after the user hits the site, requiring a user to close a pop-up before accessing content, and using similar formatting to content in the above-the-fold section of the page. Legal requirements, logins, and banners are exceptions to these guidelines.

Timed pop-up surveys

Why should someone sign up for your email list? Most of the time, people need value before exchanging their email addresses. This value could be information or even a special offer. Timed pop-ups can give website visitors time to engage with your website and read your content. The University of Alberta saw a 500% increase in their email subscriptions, with a pop-up appearing after the user had been on a news page for more than 10 seconds. Having already viewed the content and seen the value, people were more inclined to sign up for emails.

Creative CTAs

Instead of the classic “Sign Up,” now CTA, use humor and even sarcasm to engage and entertain your audience. This shows people a bit of your personality and maybe a little chuckle. Would you be more included in clicking on a CTA with a “No thanks, I already know it all” decline under a large “Yes, Free tips are the best”? It makes it a bit harder to say no.

Phrase your CTA correctly

It’s important to express value in your CTA language. No one wants to sign up for more junk emails and spam. Consider using language like “download,” “featured,” “exclusive,” and “learn” to boost interest. Potential customers want to know how your emails will add value and something special to their day rather than another email to delete. Google Analytics can give you insights into which CTAs are most effective.

Using your social media accounts and email signature

Your network is a rich source of loyal connections for building your email list. You can tap into that audience and pitch your email newsletter if you have a large following on social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or Tiktok. Add a direct link to sign up in your bio and a CTA in a few appropriate captions. Email signatures are invaluable for small businesses with a small social media following. Add a link to your email newsletter, blog post, or landing page that contains email sign-up forms. Think of the number of emails you and your team send each day— those recipients might want an option to learn more about your company and stay up-to-date on the latest news, new products, sales, etc.

Create more landing pages

Many small businesses have several ideal customers, and each prospect needs something different when they visit your website. Creating individual and personalized landing pages is time-consuming but allows you to appeal directly to the person hitting your website. You can answer specific questions and address concerns and pain points for that particular customer. The more personalized, the more customers you’ll bring in.

Create a sense of urgency

Discounts or valuable content with a countdown or expiration date can encourage people to sign up immediately. You can also phrase your CTAs to encourage email signups. Including language like, “Want to [pain point solved]? Sign up now!” can resonate with people faster.

Include a CTA on your About Us page

Users come to your site looking for information about your company, products and services, and how you differ from everyone else. The About Us page is usually the first stop for visitors who want to learn about the company and is a prime location for conversion. After reading about your company, they are more likely to fill out an opt-in form to learn more.

Invite to sign up for notifications

Notifications are an effective way to grow your email list. Depending on the type of notification, these opt-in forms can be added to landing pages, product pages, and even timed pop-ups. Notifications are often very successful for e-commerce but can be used by small businesses outside of retail as well.

Pre-sale notifications

Pre-sales utilize urgency, scarcity, and exclusivity to boost sales. Pre-sale notifications are also convenient for busy customers who want to purchase an item but won’t necessarily remember the release date and time. They are often willing to sign up for email campaigns to participate in special sales.

Back-in-stock notifications

Back-in-stock notifications are a good idea to get customer information for those ready to purchase an item but can’t because it’s not in stock. Requests for these notifications can also provide valuable insight for product releases, planning, and development. Small businesses that utilize this information can produce products directly aligned with customer needs, leading to higher revenue and customer retention.

Best Practices for Building an Email Marketing List

Email list building is a very popular and effective method for growing your business. It enables small businesses to engage with their customers and prospects on a personal level with curated content designed to provide value and conversion.

With a number of email-building tools, it may take some testing to see what method works best for your business, industry, and target audience. A/B testing and Google Analytics can help you determine effective versus not effective methods for gaining new subscribers over 2-3 month campaigns.

Once you start growing your audience, you’ll need an effective email marketing strategy to keep them engaged, reduce opt-outs, and increase conversion rates. We recommend sending short targeted emails about relevant topics with interesting subject lines and short CTAs.

If you need help growing your email list, we can help! Contact us to learn more about our email marketing services