How to Build an Email List For Your Business in 2022
In order to be successful in business, you need a way to reach your customers.
One of the most effective ways to do this over the short term, and especially over a more extended period, is by building an email list.
An email list lets you stay in touch with your customers, informing them about new products or services, providing business updates, offering special discounts, and more.
But how can you build an email list for your business in the simplest way possible?
The reality is that it’s not as difficult as you might think.
In fact, with various email marketing software offering easy-to-use list-building tools, you can get started with this process in no time.
The key is knowing how to choose email marketing software and then following a proven step-by-step process.
Obviously, time is a factor that favors businesses that start building their email list from day one and keep at it consistently.
However, even starting from scratch, there are still plenty of opportunities to build a sizable email list for your business.
In this article, I’ll detail how to build an email list for your business, explaining the key steps to take along the way.
Let’s get right into it.
Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways to reach customers.
While social media provides a great way to connect with potential and current customers, people’s attention span on such channels is constantly getting shorter.
On the flip side, email has been around for a long time and still offers as much personal communication as required.
Plus, you can reach a wider audience with an email list with your marketing messages.
You’re not limited to those who follow you on social media or who happen to see your ads.
Instead, you can reach anyone who has subscribed to your email list and shown potential interest in what you do – regardless of when they joined or how active they are on social media.
This makes email lists a potent marketing tool for businesses of all sizes.
Whether you are starting to build an email list from scratch or already have marketing campaigns that you can leverage to grow your list, there are a few key things you need to do.
Like any other aspect of business, email subscribers have their own needs, wants, and interests.
Knowing your target audience will help you create email campaigns that resonate with them and encourage them to take action.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when trying to define your target audience:
- Who are your ideal customers?
- What needs do they have that your business can address?
- What are their interests?
- How do they like to be communicated with?
- What motivates them to take action?
Answering these questions will give you a good starting point for understanding who you should be targeting with your email campaigns.
Email list building comes down to offering something of value in exchange for an email address.
With email campaigns being dependent on the quality of your list and how qualified your leads are, offering the right incentive to get people that opt into your list will help you have more qualified options to get in touch with.
From a free eBook that provides tons of value to sharing exclusive masterclasses and webinars you host, several options exist in this regard.
It’s important to note that your lead magnet should be directly related to the products or services you offer.
For example, if you sell health supplements, your lead magnet could be a guide to healthy eating or a list of recipes that help promote weight loss.
The proper signup form will speak to your target audience and encourage them to take action.
As such, take your time and deeply consider the copy you use on your opt-in form, as this will be one of the most critical factors in getting people to subscribe to your list.
You might want to use an AI copywriting software tool to get the best results when brainstorming and creating high-converting copy for your opt-in form.
From the bullet points that provide information as to why someone should subscribe to your email list, to the specific call-to-action (CTA) that encourages them to take action, every element of your opt-in form should be carefully considered, optimized, and tested.
Whether your opt-in form is found on a dedicated landing page, at the end of a blog post, or in the sidebar of your website, there are plenty of ways to proceed with this step.
Typically, landing pages have the highest conversion rates as they have a single objective, allowing website visitors to subscribe to your email list without any other distracting element on the page.
However, your homepage sidebar can also be a great place to put an opt-in form as it’s one of the first places people see when they visit your website.
Social media accounts are a great way to collect the email addresses of people that have already shown an interest in your products or services.
While you might not always be able to embed sign up forms on social media platforms (this depends on the networks you use and the type of content allowed in various places), you can still use such platforms to drive traffic to a dedicated landing page where people can subscribe to your email list.
Potential customers that already know what you are about and the value you can offer are more likely to convert into email subscribers than those that are entirely new to your brand.
When building your email list through social networks, there are also paid options to consider.
These are relatively quicker ways to capture email addresses than organic methods.
However, remember that people coming across your ads might not know who you are or what you do.
When running paid ads, you must provide potential leads with a clear value proposition as to why they should sign up for your email list.
For example, suppose you’re running Facebook ads.
In that case, you’ll want to ensure that, at the very least, you’re targeting people who have already shown an interest in your industry or similar products or services to those you offer.
Ideally, they would have already visited your website or engaged with your social media content.
This will ensure you get the best return on your advertising investment when building your email list.
If you can leverage audiences that other online businesses have built, this can be a fantastic way to increase the number of people coming through to your opt-in form.
From using referral programs that encourage others to share your content with their network to partnering up with complementary businesses to co-promote each other’s products or services, there are several different ways you can go about this.
You can also decide to host a contest or giveaway, ensuring you collect a site visitor’s email address to allow them to enter a competition.
Here, you can also use software that increases their odds of winning if they invite other people to participate in the contest, further expanding the reach of your campaign.
Doing this allows you to tap into new audiences but can also help to solidify relationships with other businesses in your industry, leading to even more opportunities down the line.
At the various stages of building an email list, remember that providing value should be the one constant in anything you do.
From your email sign up form and the language used on the relevant landing page, to the various emails you send (more on this in the next section), value is the name of the game if you want to get new subscribers that stay signed onto your list.
The best way to provide value through your email list is by sending out high-quality content that educates, entertains, or both.
No one wants to receive a barrage of promotional emails, so focus on creating content that your subscribers will welcome.
First impressions count, and they matter a lot when it comes to email marketing.
The welcome email someone receives should accomplish a few critical things.
- Introducing the subscriber to your brand
- Thanking them for signing up
- Highlighting the value that they will receive by being on your list
- Asking them to whitelist your email address so that they don’t miss any of your content
- Having a CTA that encourages them to take the next step with your brand, whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for a free trial, or something else.
From using pop up forms throughout your website to placing a signup form offering someone access to your latest webinar, there are many ways to keep growing your email list through lead generation.
The more people you have on your list, the more opportunities you’ll have to drive conversions and sales.
Having an open mind regarding how you collect email addresses (as long as they’re qualified and you can help such people with their problems) will also ensure that your list continues to grow for years to come.
Tracking your results is essential to continue growing your email list.
When choosing an email marketing platform, ensure that the analytics provided as part of the package are robust and will allow you to track key metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates.
By analyzing your results regularly, you’ll be able to identify what’s working well and where there’s room for improvement.
This will enable you to fine-tune your approach and continue building an email list that converts.
Getting someone onto your email list is a significant first step.
However, what type of content do you send your new email subscriber once they’re part of your email list?
After all, building an email list also means getting people to stay subscribed and inviting others to subscribe.
Here are some ideas that can help you with your email campaigns.
An email newsletter is one of the potential ways to keep subscribers updated on your latest content, getting them to come back to your website or blog.
By sending a regular newsletter, you can build relationships with your subscribers as you explore the topics they’re interested in, providing them with solutions and showing your expertise regularly.
In this case, having an email cadence can be helpful as subscribers can become used to receiving your newsletter at the same time each week or month.
When you make significant changes to parts of your business, sharing these with the relevant people on your email list can be a great way to generate excitement and get people talking.
While these marketing emails can be a minor part of your overall email strategy (compared to newsletters), they can effectively drive engagement and generate buzz.
From templates that can help new customers perform vital tasks to longer, more detailed, step-by-step guides that show them how to get the most out of your products and services, providing helpful tips and tricks to your email list can be a great way to nurture leads and build loyalty.
Customers typically want to learn how to solve a problem (or multiple ones) they currently have in their life, and such content can be very valuable to them.
Whether you help customers with their SEO and digital marketing strategy, or pave the way when it comes to starting an ecommerce business, case studies are a great way to showcase the results your business can help potential customers achieve.
Moreover, case studies help break down beliefs around what’s possible and can get people to start taking action.
By seeing others that were in their same situation and what they were able to achieve, your case studies can inspire people to realize that anything is possible.
Showing that you care about the customer also means sharing what they go through and their stories.
Suppose you occasionally send quizzes and questionnaires asking for feedback about your business.
In that case, this could be a great way to use specific information from such tools to craft compelling customer stories you share in your emails.
As a small business, running the right promotions is essential to generating sales and growing your customer base.
From freebies that help introduce a particular offer, to coupons that enable customers to get discounts on your products and services, there are many types of promotions you can run to grow your business.
If you can tie in a specific reason for running a promotion, such as a holiday or seasonal event, that can also help drive engagement.
After going through the types of email content you can send to your email list, let’s now consider the main aspects of keeping your subscribers engaged while looking forward to the following email.
When it comes to email, usually less is more.
Remember that an email differs from longer forms of content marketing.
In addition, many people will read emails on their phones, so getting straight to the point is usually best.
That said, having longer emails is not something that can never be done.
As long as it makes sense as part of your general email strategy, there is a time and place for it.
No one wants to read chunks of text with no line breaks.
Being creative regarding email formatting can be a great way to engage subscribers and get your point across more effectively.
Remember that most people will skim-read an email before deciding whether to read it in full.
With that in mind, ensure your emails are easy to scan by breaking them down into smaller paragraphs with plenty of white text.
Also, if an email aims to get someone to click and head over to your site, then ensure that your call to action is clear and is immediately visible above the fold when someone opens your email.
Whether you want to send someone to your podcast, register for an event, or buy a product, you must explain why someone should act now.
If not, expecting someone to act at a later stage usually results in no action ever taken, and people will often forget about your email.
One way to create a sense of urgency is to include a countdown timer in your email.
When tied to a plausible reason why someone should act, such as a sale ending or an event starting, this can be a great way to increase conversions.
Email is one of the easiest marketing channels business owners can use to personalize their communication.
List-building strategies may get as complex as one desires, but the simplicity of personalization should never be underestimated.
At the very least, using the subscriber’s name in the subject line and throughout the email body is a great way to get someone’s attention and make them feel valued.
More advanced personalization can include dynamic content that changes based on past interactions someone has had with your brand, as well as their location, gender, and other factors.
Various marketing tools help businesses create subsets of their email lists when sending targeted emails.
From announcements about new products, to a small portion of your list that showed past interest, to offering a cheat sheet to those who haven’t engaged with your emails within the last few months, segmentation is a vital part of any successful email marketing strategy.
Also, when you segment your list, do not be afraid to clean it up, deleting those that no longer engage with your emails.
It is better to have a smaller, more engaged list than a large one full of people that do not care about your content.
This improves deliverability, increases engagement, and generally results in higher conversion rates.
From using different email subject lines, to the CTAs you use to get the click, along with how you format your email text, images, and other elements, testing is a big part of a successful email list.
A/B testing allows you to send two different versions of an email to a small portion of your list and see which one performs better.
Testing can also help implement various email automation through CRM software.
This could be based on specific triggers that happen after someone takes a particular action as asked for in an email.
Most often, this can only be found after testing various elements.
Measuring The Success Of Your Email Marketing Campaign
Knowing which metrics matter most in your email marketing strategy is essential to determining what constitutes a successful campaign.
Here are some of the most important metrics you should track when building your list.
- Open rate: The percentage of subscribers that open your email. This metric will give you an idea of how successful your subject line was and whether or not your email was able to cut through the noise.
- Click-through rate: The percentage of subscribers that click on at least one link in your email. This metric will show you how engaging your email content was and whether or not it inspired people to take action.
- Unsubscribe rate: The percentage of subscribers that unsubscribe from your list after receiving an email from you. You want to keep this number as low as possible and track it over time to see if there is a trend.
- Complaint rate: The percentage of people that mark future emails from you as spam. This metric is critical because it can impact your deliverability if it gets too high.
It would help if you also considered other factors, such as the time it took to create the campaign and the resources you used.
These might be tougher to quantify initially, but as you progress, you should get a good idea of how much each email marketing campaign costs you in terms of the time it takes to put together.
Comparing this with the campaign results will help you determine if it is worth your time to continue pursuing email marketing in the manner you’re doing it or if something needs to change.
Yes, you can add an email popup to your website’s exit intent as an alternative to more traditional signup forms.
This can be a great way to capture interested leads in your product or service, who may not have signed up for your email list yet.
The importance of your lead magnet once again comes into play.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union regulates data protection and privacy for individuals within the EU.
As it relates to email marketing, GDPR requires businesses to get explicit consent from individuals before adding them to their email list.
While this does not apply to U.S. citizens, there are still various federal and state-level privacy regulations that businesses need to be aware of.
The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that regulates commercial email messages.
It outlines certain requirements for commercial emails, such as providing a way to opt out of future messages.
An email header is information that appears at the top of an email.
This includes the sender’s name, the recipient’s name, the subject line, and other information.
This is used to help the recipient know who the email is from and what it is about.
There are a few ways you can use offline marketing methods to promote your online email list.
You can include an easy-to-remember signup link on your print materials, such as business cards or flyers.
You can also mention your email list in any radio or TV commercials you run.
Finally, you can include a QR code allowing people to scan it using their smartphone and be taken directly to your email signup page.
Building an email list of subscribers is an essential part of any business, and it’s necessary if you want to succeed in the modern marketplace.
With that in mind, focus on providing consistent value and delivering quality content to your subscribers, and you’ll be well on your way to success in no time.
When people see that being on your email list has tons of benefits, they’ll be more inclined to stay signed up while waiting for your following email.
Do you have an email list?
Which strategies have you found most effective in building your email list?
Let me know in the comments below.
Further reading on AdamEnfroy.com: Did you know that specific software exists to send cold business emails?
While some frown on this practice, when done right, sending cold emails has its time and place.,
It can be used to reach out to those who may be interested in your product or services, but haven’t yet heard of your brand.
Check out the best cold email software to learn how to use this marketing channel for your business.
Moreover, if you’re looking for a high-quality email marketing tool, here are a few direct comparisons that can help you out: