Email marketing, when thoughtfully executed, is a critical piece of any marketing strategy. But no matter how enticing your campaigns are, you need an audience to read them. .
Earning, on average, $38 to every dollar spent, email marketing is an effective means of engaging clients and prospects. It also serves to keep your brand top of mind and remind customers of the value you offer. By consistently offering insights that are relevant to your clients, email marketing can strengthen brand-customer relationships and lead to sales.
Understanding the value of a robust email list is one thing. How to build your email marketing list is another story. Many businesses need support and creative ideas to effectively find leads who truly align with their brand.
Sound familiar? Keep reading! Today, we will share several organic methods for building your email marketing list to attract prospects who want to hear from you and engage with your brand content.
Sign-up/opt-in on website
If a prospect has already found their way to your website, chances are that they are interested in engaging with your brand. Having a simple, obvious invitation for clients to sign up for your email list directly on your website is low-hanging fruit you should be taking advantage of.
There are many popular and easy ways to do this. Here are a few:
- Add a banner to the header or footer of your website where people can immediately enter their email address.
- Insert a pop-up that appears when customers arrive at your site, inviting them to sign up for newsletter content.
- Set up your ‘contact us’ form to automatically add those who reach out to your email list.
- Create a gated offer, sharing free content—such as an eBook or other exclusive content—in exchange for a newsletter signup.
Social media calls to action (CTAs)
In addition to your brand website, social media channels are another essential place to move prospects who are already curious about your brand deeper into your funnel by connecting them to regular email campaigns.
Here are just a few of the many ways to retain social media followers:
On Facebook, you can create a sign-up tab/button on your business page. ConstantContact also suggests adding a sign-up link to any and all posts you share on the platform, as a CTA.
On Instagram, you can insert a newsletter sign-up link into your profile bio. Additionally, Campaign Monitor shares that having interested prospects use the ‘question’ feature on Instagram Stories to enter their email addresses is a fruitful way of building your email marketing list, as is engaging with prospects one-on-one through direct messages.
On LinkedIn, one strategic way to build your email marketing list uses gated offers, described above. Post a piece of gated content to your profile (in the website, media, and/or publications section), or simply share it to your feed. Once your LinkedIn connections click on the link, they will be taken to an email opt-in form before they can access the content.
Networking events can be a practical way to find prospects and build your email marketing list. When you host an event of your own—such as a free webinar—you can aggregate attendee information to build your email list. When you attend other industry events, you may be able to use those attendee lists to engage with potential prospects, with the goal of encouraging them to opt-in.
Brand-specific email opt-in tactics
While websites and social media channels are fairly universal, there are other, more brand-specific ways of encouraging prospects to opt-in as you build your email marketing list.
Here are some additional ideas:
- If your brand involves direct sales, ask for an email address at the point of purchase.
- When you offer a class or event, require attendees to share their email address when they register.
- For restaurant or hospitality service businesses, request that customers share their email addresses when they make a reservation.
Build your email marketing list with quality over quantity
While there are many ways to add subscribers to your mailing list, building a valuable email list takes time. Though your team may feel pressured to build an email list immediately, the quality of your list—measured by the open rate and click through rate—is what matters most.
This quality trumps quantity. We encourage you to evaluate the ideas listed above in terms of what best fits your brand and your customers. Your list-building strategy should consider who your audience is and which methods feel most natural and engaging from their perspective. Know your brand, know your segmentation, know your content distribution strategy, and above all, know your customer to get your amazing emails into the inboxes where they’ll be welcome—and acted on.