8 Email List Building Tips to Help Grow Your Small Business

How To Build An Email List: Screenshot of perceentage-based scroller for Sumo Scroll Box

How to get started with email marketing

With so many email marketing “growth hacks” out there, it’s hard to know what to believe. And you don’t have time to try out every list-building technique and marketing strategy out there to see what sticks.

Sure, a big email list gives you access to a lot of people’s inboxes. But there are more benefits to email marketing than just sending out email blasts to a bunch of people at once.

Email is one of the most powerful, scalable, and affordable digital marketing tools out there. As a new business owner, every dollar counts, and email has one of the highest ROIs of any marketing channel.

When it comes to selling digital products, your email list is the bridge that connects you to your audience. Email lets you share information, pitch products, and develop valuable customer relationships.

I was definitely a latecomer to it, but I just found email to be so much easier. It was easier to get someone on an email list, because I could offer them something for it, like being the first to know when my book comes out, or I could send them a free eBook for signing up. That’s so much more compelling than ‘follow me on Twitter.’

So it was actually easier to get email subscribers than it was to get Twitter followers, and then when I looked at the conversion rates in my book launch, the value of a Twitter follower versus an email subscriber just wasn’t even close. The email subscribers were 15x as valuable as the Twitter followers.

Run a promotion or contest

Again, email list building is all about providing value and offering incentives. One of the easiest and most straightforward ways of incentivizing people to share their email addresses is to run a contest. People love winning, especially when all you need to stand a chance to win is share an email address.

example of Instagram giveaway

Cash giveaways are an obvious option, but you will benefit more from setting up a contest that directly relates to your business. That way, if a participant is interested in the prize, they’re likely to be an ideal customer.

If you know your target audience, you can set up the prize in a manner will be most appealing only for that segment. For example, if your business sells eco-friendly sneakers, the obvious option would be to give away a pair of the latest sneakers from your line of products. A cheaper and still relevant prize could be recycled coffee mugs, handcrafted jewelry, or organic cotton activewear.

Provide lead magnets

Lead magnets are, as you can guess from the name, offers that you give to potential customers in exchange for personal information like email addresses. Lead magnets are a good way of raising awareness and connecting with prospective customers who haven’t heard of your brand.

lead magnet example

1. Most people end up signing up for lead magnets when they are looking for a quick answer to some problem they have. Make sure that as soon they give you their email address, you send them an email with the promised content or an email that confirms that what you committed is on its way.

2. Your lead magnet should be perceived as highly valuable or people will hesitate to provide their email addresses. Make sure the copy surrounding the lead magnet is sharp and it succinctly explains the promised value.

55. Offer content only subscribers get

Basically, anything valuable that your readers would love. The exclusivity is key here. The more you make those subscribers feel like they’re getting something exclusive, the higher the subscription rate you’ll get.

Frys.com has a newsletter specifically dedicated to offering product discounts. You’ll routinely see their crazy deals on places like Slickdeals only to find that you have to have the email code to claim the deal. [ * ]

How To Build An Email List: Screenshot of Frys.com landing page to join their newsletter

The only way you get that discount code is if you join their newsletter. Even if you can’t offer crazy deals like 50% off, you can still offer a 5-10% occasional deal to entice visitors to sign up.

57. Cross-promote on other email lists

Make sure you’re pairing with somebody either in a complementary niche or the same niche but who aren’t competitors. Drive each other’s email subscribers to a landing page with your opt-in offer.

As part of your autoresponder series, you can create an email that requests that your subscribers refer one or two friends who they think would benefit from the information you’re providing in your emails.

How To Build An Email List: Screenshot of email from Wilson Hung

How To Build An Email List: Screenshot of emails

These subscribers who are willing to refer you business in return for a freebie are highly interested in what you have to offer. By doing this, you can automatically identify your most engaged subscribers so you can send targeted emails to convert them into paying customers.



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