Ways To Build Your Email List

21 Ways To Build Your Email List

Shane Herring
Shane Herring

Course Developer at Atomic Education

Last Updated: March 1, 2021

Email marketing is low cost way of delivery your message to prospective and current customers. It’s the best Return on Investment (ROI). Of course, that is if you have an email list. In this article, I give you 21 ways to build your email list.

If you’ve started to realise that email marketing can be the most effective way to market your business, then read on McDuff. This article is for you.

If you’re not sure if email marketing is for you, don’t worry, there is still a lot of human interaction in this list.

Remember that when you use the email addresses you collect, you must follow the Spam laws applicable.

Build your email list the right way

1. The good old sign-up sheet

You need to make it easy for people to give you their email address. Have sheets on two or three small clipboards where people can easily write down their details. Don’t have them standing at your display table to do this, if you get busy, people won’t bother if there isn’t any room.

2. Drum up emails with direct mail

Sometimes you have a physical address but no email address. Send a direct-mail offer they can only get by going to your website and joining your email list.

3. Make those business cards work

When you meet someone, ask for their business card. Offer them yours. In your office or store, put a glass bowl on the reception desk or counter. Ask visitors to drop their cards in it. Offer some incentive to do so. A free product or service, gift card, etc. If you’re looking for something to put on the back of your card, add an offer that encourages people to sign up to receive your emails.

4. Invite people to join the club?

Promote a birthday or anniversary club where people can give you their email address and relevant date. Give them a special offer when they sign up and special themed offers each year on the date in question.

5. Optimise your website for opt-ins

Make the most of a customer or prospect visiting your website. Create pop-ups (they do work) and include email registration forms on every main page of your site.

6. Use snail mail

If you only have a physical address, send people a postcard asking for their email address with a gift for providing it. Just include a simple link to a page where they can easily enter the details.

7. Build with your blog

Blog posts aren’t just for Google to take notice of your website. The posts are a fantastic way to give information and build a relationship with customers and prospects. While they’re there, ask them for their email address.

8. Engage through social media

If you are engaging with your audience on social media, use that channel to ask for email addresses as well. Simple forms on Facebook or links back to a sign-up page on your website.

9. Create an online community

Facebook groups, membership sites, or just a forum platform such as BuddyPress for WordPress. They give you an opportunity to create and nurture a community and encourage engagement with your brand. Just like other subscription options, put a sign-up form on each of your main pages.

10. Offer 'email only' specials

Make sure you add value to people who have given you their email address. Give them special offers that are only available to subscribers. Make sure you get them to forward a link to your sign-up page to friends and family. Make the offer valid for the next 7 days and watch your list grow.

11. Be active on blogs and forums

If you’re engaging with others on blogs, forums, and social media, make sure you’ve providing a link back to your website. If you’ve followed the advice so far, your main pages will have sign-up forms.

12. Encourage forwarding

Make sure your emails include a link that will allow the recipient to easily forward the email to a friend. Most major email service providers give you the ability to include this as part of the email design process.

13. Leave it on the table

For businesses such as cafes and restaurants, have a small but noticeable card on each table asking people for their email address in return for a small gift. Especially useful if they?re about to pay the bill and can get a great offer. Make sure staff know to ask customers if they’ve completed the card and get their gift.

14. Inside-the-box ideas

If you package up your products either for shipping or for the customer to carry away with them, include a card inside every package or carry bag. Be sure to tout your ?email only? offers and tell them to go to your website?s opt-in form. After they join, redirect them to a page where they?ll receive their first promotional offer.

15. Make it more than just a bill

An easy offer for anyone who sends out quotes or invoices is to include an option to sign up for email communications with you. While you may have their email address for transactions, giving them to opportunity to give you permission to use it for marketing with an incentive such as a discount or free shipping on the next order as a reward for providing email addresses.

16. Everyone loves a freebie

People will give you their email address in return for a free gift. Called lead magnets, they can take many forms. Just make sure they are useful and a high perceived value.

Related article: What is a lead magnet

17. Giving it all away

Each month, have a giveaway of something fun, useful, or valuable to your subscribers and anyone else who signs up to your list.

18. Make it personal

Few businesses offer only one product. And those that do don’t plan to do so for long. So when you offer different products or services, make it easy for people to receive information on only the products that they are interested in. Do they want their emails weekly or monthly? Do they want html or text emails? Give them a choice but not too many.

19. Teach and they will come

As a business, we can always teach our list something new. Show them how to use your product or make the most of your service. Show them how it works and how to do it themselves. They’ll work out how hard it is and you get to show them why you’re an expert in your field. Have it as a subscriber only course.

20. Reel them in with a scroll box

Don’t just put your sign-up forms on every page, have the pop-up when a viewer scrolls a certain distance down your page or takes an action that indicates they’re about to leave (called exit intent). These are harder to ignore, don’t get in the way of an engaged website visitor, and encourages them to take action before they leave your site.

21. Just do it

The biggest problem I see is people who know they need to be building an email list but aren’t doing anything about it. The final piece of advice would be to pick one of the things on this list and just do it. Then, each week or month, work on another one.

Wrap up

And that’s it. 21 ways to build your email list. There are many more limited only by your imagination.

Building an email list takes time and is critical to marketing success in the digital age. What tactics do you use to collect more emails?

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