Your email list is yours. It gives you direct access to your target audience, qualified leads, and customers. You can contact your subscribers as long as you respect and honor their time and continue to deliver value.
When you build your email list as an asset, you grow your business and its influence. But if you’re starting one from scratch, it can be a challenge. How do you get your first email signup? Once you implement a strong plan, you can build an effective list.
Table of Contents
Foundations Before Building Your Email List
What Makes an Email List Grow?
You could offer the best value in your industry, but how do you convince someone to sign up? When a potential reader sees your call to action, they’re dealing with a few hesitations:
1. Is it spam?
Like a bad break-up, we’ve been scarred, and we don’t want to repeat the past. Everyone has dealt with spammy emails. It’s worse when we give a brand permission because we thought they would provide value. We feel betrayed, and we are wary of inviting another brand into our inbox in the future.
Each email should have a purpose. Are you giving them an asset, deal, or some educational value? They should know how often you will send emails. When they sign up, do they expect weekly or monthly emails?
2. Can I trust you?
People want to know if they can trust you with their email address and inbox. Will their address be sold or shared with others? Will it be hard to unsubscribe from you in the future?
Clarify everything through your privacy page and lay out your intentions. They also want to trust that you will use their time wisely. Your emails should be valuable and easy to read.
3. Are you relevant?
The metric is not collecting the most emails. Instead, we want to collect the most emails from our targeted audience. This should influence what we promise people when they sign up.
Be clear with the type of content or deals you will include. For example, if someone reads an article on your website that may not involve the core focus of your newsletter, don’t promise more on that topic. They will expect something different, and you’ll lose them in the future.
When you communicate these promises and offer transparency, you’re attracting the exact audience you need for your email newsletter or campaign.
How Can I Build a New Email List?
After you’ve done your due diligence, decide on your distribution method. Here are ways you can capture the right emails:
When you drive traffic to your website, establish an end goal. Instead of losing someone forever after a visit, you could connect with them through your form. Add a button at the beginning of your website with an immediate digital asset promoted for new subscriptions.
Let Current Customers Know
You likely already have a list of emails after customers purchase from you. But they didn’t sign up for your newsletter. You don’t have to lose out, and many of these customers would be interested in what you offer. Send a friendly, respectful email announcing the newsletter and invite them to sign up. Provide an easy method for future customers to sign up after a purchase at the point of contact.
Encourage Signups at Events
If you’re at a trade show, community event, or anywhere your audience likes to hang out, provide a way for them to sign up for your email list. Depending on the venue, you could offer signup slips, a tablet to enter their information through your website, or an easy QR code on marketing materials.
By creating a marketable asset, you could encourage prospects to download a resource and tell them that they will continue to get similar value through your newsletter. You can promote this through online ads, influencers, social media, and other methods.
Empower Word-of-mouth Marketing
The most potent way to get new leads is through your current customers and audience members. Offer such great value through your content that it seems impossible it’s free. Provide amazing deals on your products. It gets your readers excited, and they’ll tell other friends.
Treat your email list like a hub for relevant value and perks. Your readers will become fans, spreading the word and helping you grow your business.
Consider Your Email Signup as The First Step to a Sales Funnel
Think of the moments you make a big sale or win a new customer. It often involves a first impression, a moment when you begin the relationship. It’s powerful when you meet someone in person. They are more likely to choose you for their purchase. When you capture an email and fulfill a promise, you do the same thing through digital means.
While you should be careful not to turn your email newsletter into a sales-only venue, you should consider this the first part of the process.
When someone signs up, you offer immediate value through an asset. You’ve then earned the opportunity to continue communicating with them. They trust you now. Through a value-first approach, you can invest in readers and later present them with a chance to take full advantage of the services and products you offer.
As you send out regular emails, you provide information and content that helps build your credibility and strengthen your relationship with the reader. The more value you provide, the more you can ask them later.
One option for new signups is adding a drip sequence for a short period. Be careful, you don’t want to scare them with many emails, but this is your best opportunity to convert a reader into a customer as soon as they sign up.
One example of an email drip campaign is offering your immediate asset at download. Your welcome email should describe your newsletter and what subscribers can expect. Let them know that they will receive a short series that complements the topic of the asset you’ve already provided. Tell them how many emails are in the course.
If you’re a SaaS company that helps service businesses with accounting, your asset could be 10 Accounting Secrets that Can Increase Your Profit. Then those who sign up can get an automatic seven-email course on how to decrease everyday expenses. Both complement each other and offer original value. Finally, you can provide a call to action for readers to try out a free trial of your software at the end of the course.
This method is effective for increasing sales while still offering value.
Make Your New Email List Permission-based
Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing helped cement today’s marketing. Permission-based marketing recognizes that consumers have shifted how they perceive marketing. They no longer want to be sold to. Instead, they want to give permission to the brands that connect with them most.
This slight shift in how we communicate with others makes a big difference. It should also reflect how collect emails.
We’re tempted to dump emails in our list, hoping readers respond. While many forms are illegal, there are still ways to ethically add emails to a list with existing customers and interested parties. But these methods won’t earn trust and will negatively affect you.
When you start a permission-based list, you’ll build a revenant, high-performing list that outweighs any other method of collection.
A permission-based marketing email list gives you a better grip on your data and statistics. You can measure actions by readers who are interested in your content. This is more effective than dealing with a large subset of subscribers that never wanted to be on the list.
When your audience consists of interested people, you can increase engagement and results. Your list may be smaller, but the focused, targeted email list will have more impact.
Techniques for Capturing Subscribers
Create an Email Magnet
We already know the importance of a digital asset to attract new subscribers. It gets them to subscribe, earning trust immediately if it’s valuable. So when building your new email list, make sure to create an asset that will attract your audience.
Place the signup call-to-action front and center of the website to capture visitors who will likely leave your website in a few seconds. Take advantage of your hard-earned traffic, and know who visited you.
There are many types of assets you can build for email magnets:
Digital books and PDFs are an effective and practical way to attract email subscribers. It doesn’t have to be long; it just needs to give fantastic value. You can hire a copywriter or do it yourself. A 15-page eBook is excellent for immediate value and a short read.
Videos are effective for engagement. There are also fewer video courses than books, giving you more leverage than competitors. Another benefit is that the reader and prospect get to know your instructor and team, providing a great first impression and increasing credibility.
Do you host seminars or webinars for your business? You can add it free when someone signs up. If the topic is technical with tons of value, this could be a great way to add more subscribers to your email list.
Studies and Surveys
Anytime you can develop original research and publish it, you increase your chances of getting cited by another website or discovered on Google. In addition, you can give away unique value, making you an authority on the subject. Run surveys and reports on your customers and network to develop outstanding, actionable research.
You are an expert in your field. You’ve likely become highly efficient at what you do. Offering templates and other resources to help your audience will encourage them to sign up for your list and later hire you or buy your product.
Once you create your email magnet and have it ready on your website, you can start growing your list.
Promote Your Brand’s Email Newsletter to Customers
You may be starting a new email list, but you might have been doing business for a while too. The relationships you’ve built, and the information you’ve collected, can still be used to build your email list.
First, utilize the data you already have. Then, tell customers the news through a physical address or an email– however you can.
Send a respectful message to let them know what’s going on. It might look something like this:
SUBJECT LINE: Value in your inbox
Hi FIRST NAME,
We appreciate you here at COMPANY NAME and want to let you know how much you matter to us.
We started COMPANY NAME to MISSION. You’ve helped make it possible.
I’m excited to announce a new email newsletter COMPANY NAME is starting. You’ll get great value in your inbox every EMAIL FREQUENCY, like:
1. VALUE OFFER ONE
2. VALUE OFFER TWO
3. VALUE OFFER THREE
If this is something that interests you, Click Here to subscribe.
If you aren’t sure, try it anyway. You can always unsubscribe whenever you want. If not, that’s alright. We look forward to serving you with great SERVICE/PRODUCT in the future.
Join us today for [NEWSLETTER NAME]!
Click Here to subscribe.
Once you’ve contacted your current customers, it’s time to implement an automatic process. When customers make a purchase, add a way to sign up for the newsletter.
For example, if they visit your store and purchase, you can have a prompt that asks them to join at checkout. In addition, it should offer a coupon to encourage them to take action.
For clients, after a contract is signed or your service is delivered, let them know and offer value right away if they sign up; a coupon, digital asset, or something that makes it worthwhile.
Provide Sharing Tools
You can reach more people than your initial email list when you send an email. Through forwarding, sharing, and word-of-mouth, passionate subscribers can help grow your list.
Your emails should have social sharing buttons at the bottom. Equip subscribers to click and share the letter to their network easily. Add an easy prompt to forward the email with one click to send it via email.
Another effective way to build your list is by adding a referral program. The Morning Brew saw insane results when they added one, encouraging subscribers to send invites to their friends. The more friends who subscribed, the more prizes they would win (each milestone became more prominent and valuable).
When you’re trying to get others to share, always think in terms of assets. What is something so incredible that they cannot help but share with the world? Even if you give up some profit or much-needed revenue opportunities, this serves as a marketing campaign and can bring many new subscribers and future customers to your doors.
Make it a Recognizable Format
As you build an email list from scratch, you are branding your business. Therefore, the sender, subject lines, colors, and templates you use will be a significant part of your newsletter.
While a great subject line can increase an open rate, readers will ultimately choose to read an email on a long-term basis because they see the value you provide. If they recognize your email immediately, they are more likely to read and engage with it.
See it as training the reader. The more you deliver value, the more than can trust and expect you to continue.
Offer Exclusive Content
Lastly, find ways to provide assets and opportunities no one else offers. You can come up with great ideas, like:
Notable Guest Writers
Is there someone in your industry that has influence? Partner with them to write an email packed with value. Their reputation and the content will make a huge impression.
Make an intentional plan to develop new templates, books, and other resources throughout the year. Nurture your audience and help spread the word about your newsletter and brand.
Transparency & Building in Public
Share your journey as a brand. The more clarity and information you give them, the more excited they will be, walking the journey beside you.
The Best Deals
Your newsletter should offer the best deals within your industry and be exclusive to the email list. This encourages people to join your insider club for more.
If you want to learn how to build a massive email list over time, focus on these steps. With a system to collect emails, deliver consistent value, and a strategy to build your brand, you can create a driving force for your brand that beats all other mediums.
Need help growing and communicating with your audience? Click here to learn more about my consulting services.