How to build your email list

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Contrary to popular belief, email marketing isn’t dead! Done the right way it can be a very powerful tool. There are many newer marketing strategies that are more appealing to businesses. But isn’t it always better to create a strong foundation for your marketing strategy that you can control?

This foundation can be built over your business’ email list which you can control. It is true that you can reach people through online advertising and by using social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. But I am sure you must have realised by now that the algorithms used on these platforms change constantly. Meaning you have to be changing and adapting your marketing strategy with these changes and you will no longer be in control. For example, you could have 20K followers on your Facebook fan page but organically you can only really reach a mere fraction of those followers. You certainly can reach them all but only through advertising which will require you to invest money. Now imagine the same number in your mailing list where you can reach them all, anytime with a simple email campaign.  Having your own mailing list gives you the control back. More importantly, it is FREE.

If you are a startup, building an active email subscriber list should be one of your top priorities. It is one of the best ways to get people excited about and engaged with your brand. You will also use this list to stay in constant contact with your customers. If you are not a startup and does not have your email list then it is not too late to catch up. Because it costs 5 times more to attract new customers than to retain your existing ones. So imagine if you had captured and created your mailing list since you first started. Don’t worry though, as I said before, it is not too late. Here are a few tips you can use to start building your mailing list.

One of the best places to start building your email list is your website. There are many ways to optimise your website to help you with this. You can use a personalised pop-up on selected pages on your website. A pop-up can sound bothersome but if done right it can be a powerful lead capturing tool. Pop-ups can be optimised to appear when a user spends a certain amount of time on the page or based on their behaviour on the page. Remember what your visitors are looking for is value. So give them a strong reason to sign up.

The case study conducted by Digital Marketer is a good example of a well-executed pop-up ad. They wanted to see the value of retargeting returning visitors to their website. In one of their experiments, they created a pop-up ad for returning visitors who spent more than 15 seconds on their site. The pop-up ad was designed in such a way that it was not shown for anyone landing on their page that comes from their newsletter and did not appear on their sales page so as not to interrupt with the user experience. Their campaign generated 2,689 leads in two weeks and increased their average time on page by 54%.

In your pop-up ads give a strong call to action. Here is another great example of a pop-up ad on QuickSprout’s website ( They are using conversion elements such as timing language, revenue language, colour psychology and a facial photo.

Use a chatbot or a live chat on your website. On our own website and on many of our customers’ we use FreshChat. There are many other options on the market but the idea is the ability to run page specific campaigns based on your visitor behaviour. You can easily capture visitor information here.

Create more landing pages on your website. You need to be able to appeal to different visitors you have on your site. There is nothing that is really one size fit all. You need to consider what value your visitors are looking for and create landing pages based on these needs to obtain better conversions on your site for your email list.

You can also drive organic traffic to your website by using SEO. Create content, write blogs that your target audience is looking to consume and within your blogs have personalised CTA’s to invite your visitors to sign up to your email list to receive more value-added content.

When building your email list don’t forget your customers. So when your customers purchase online, incentivise them to sign up for an account on your website to receive after-sale service, guarantee, etc. Get your customers who purchase from your physical store to sign up or register their products online on your website.

When you are starting to build your email list, it is important to invest a little to get to find your people. One of the best places to invest is on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. You can easily target ads using value-added content to your target audience. Facebook offers powerful targeting tools to help you with this. The best part is that you are sure to get subscribers that are looking to consume your content and what you have for them.

Additionally to paid ads also use your social media content to invite people to sign up to your newsletter. People consume a lot of digital content daily. Give them value, give them a reason to sign up to your newsletter by adding value.

Depending on which of these methods you employ you will start to build up your email list. Build your email list using a CRM such as FreshSales or an email marketing platform such as MailChimp to keep your subscribers in one place. Remember your emails work best when segmented and targeted with value-added content. Do not spam! Make it special and build a relationship with your customers. Now go forth and start building.

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