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How to build an email list?

Knowing how to build an email list is important to make your business successful. By collecting and storing the email addresses of people who are interested in your line of work, you can better plan and conduct different types of email marketing campaigns.

Sending emails at random will kill your email sender reputation and make you go nowhere. Email list building is vital to stay active and competitive in the market, as well as increase profits.

To highlight the importance of email lists, we decided to prepare this article for you. Here, you will find the best free ways to grow your email lists, how to manage them, and how to use them for marketing purposes.

  • What is an email list?
  • Why is building an email list important?
  • The best ways to build an email list
  • Building mailing lists: best practices
  • How to build an email list: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is an email list?

An email list is a collection of email addresses and other pieces of relevant information about subscribers, such as gender, age, location, occupation, and other data related to personal and identification matters.

They are collected through landing pages and visits to your website (registration forms). People who have hired a service from your company or have purchased items also belong to your email lists.

As long as these visitors, customers, and subscribers give you consent to send them emails, they are all participants on your mailing lists.

You can physically collect emails too. When you organize events, give lectures or classes, as well as special meetings, you can seize this opportunity to collect emails from attendees or students.

But don’t forget: ask for their consent before sending any messages or ask them to whitelist your email address. Otherwise, your messages might not be delivered as intended.

You are legally allowed to send marketing campaigns emails to every subscriber on your list, as long as you have permission to do so. Finally, your mailing lists are the best representation of the total number of subscribers you currently have.

Why is building an email list important?

Advertising products and services to people who are already interested in your business (or have already purchased something from you) is a highly recommended strategy.

For example, when you advertise on social media, you are reaching people who might not be interested in your company, as the public on these websites and platforms is too broad. As a result, you may not get the return on investment that you are expecting.

On the other hand, email campaigns are targeted at a specific public, your subscribers to be more specific. By offering products and services to people who really want to listen to you, you have more chances to increase conversions and sales, boosting your ROI.

That’s why build an email list is so important. It is primordial to define what email addresses are able to represent your target audience. Without your lists, you would be planning marketing campaigns in the dark.

There are other benefits in build an email list, such as:

  • build an email list is perfect for personalization: as companies collect email addresses organically, it’s possible to target the right people with the right products. You can also use marketing metrics and KPIs to have an even more organized email list.

  • email lists are great at adding professionalism to your brand: social media is good at promoting brands and industries, but if you want to go further, connecting users with your company’s, email address is mandatory. Imagine requesting support through social media? Despite some people getting their answers, most of these requests are ignored and forgotten.

  • email lists are the best representation of your ideal audience: when it comes to advertising, emails are more powerful because they are targeted and personalized, something you can’t do on social media.

  • subscriber lists provide valuable insight regarding your performance: as a marketer, you must test strategies to prove them. By analyzing Open Rate, Click-through Rate, Conversion Rate, and so on. You can separate the good ideas from the ones that need polishing. You can’t do that with social media ads or without any kind of list of contacts at all.

Learning how to build an email list will make a difference in your marketing campaigns, especially if you are used to advertising on social media.

The best ways to build an email list

Email lists are not built overnight. It’s a constant job, which demands care and attention from your whole marketing team.

When you are at the stage of generating your email lists and collecting addresses from every place, you should start thinking about the origin of these contacts and getting their consent.

Thus, a high number of contacts is not the same as having successful campaigns and many conversions. When we talk about mailing lists, you must always remember that quality is way better than quantity.

This insight will save you from a lot of work removing invalid addresses and disengaged users. In light of this conclusion, we have some useful suggestions that will teach you how to build an email list.

Use pop-ups

Many people consider pop-ups invasive and disruptive. You can even say they are quite unpopular and should be avoided. However, this idea is a result of incorrect and improper use of pop-ups.

This happens because many designers and marketers don’t think about the user experience when they create a new pop-up. They usually appear at the wrong timing and places, having no goal.

They are very useful to help you collect email lists. Pop-ups that are well developed, relevant, and have a clear purpose can provide great results.

For instance, you can make a special offer through a surprise pop-up, such as a discount, when a visitor spends some time on your website or blog or interacts with your page. Check some others suggestions on how to make the most of pop-ups:

  • your pop-ups shouldn’t cover the main page, especially when visitors are scrolling through the page or searching for an item or term on the search box;

  • avoid displaying a standalone interstitial page that requires to be closed in order to access the content;

  • you can use interstitial pages to show that privacy and security guidelines are being followed, in legal terms, such as cookie usage or age verification;
  • welcome pop-ups can be used as incentives for users to perform actions on your website when equipped with a sales discount, for example;

  • do not ask for a lot of information when you display forms through pop-ups, requesting an email account at most;

  • use exit pop-ups to re-engage users that are leaving your website, trying to get their attention one more time;

  • timed pop-ups are excellent for generating leads because it displays an offer after the user is scrolling on your page for some determined amount of time, avoiding uninterested users from registering as subscribers.

Pop-ups are not bad at all when used correctly, with a determined goal, they are going to help you grow your email lists.

Invite and incentive to sign up

Why would someone want to receive your emails? You must give people a reason why they should subscribe to your channels. When you invite and encourage visitors to sign up, they might become active subscribers, making your mailing lists grow.

You must be enticing and convincing. People won’t give their email addresses out of anything. You should offer something in return, such as:

  • free e-book;
  • discount
  • coupon;
  • spreadsheet;
  • webinar registration;
  • template;
  • free class on a subject of interest.

There are many options. As long as your gift or incentive is related to your target audience and their needs, you can create many leads and collect a lot of emails.

Utilize loyalty and referral programs

When your customers are advocates for your brand, they get to the end of the sales funnel. Only a few customers get to this place because there is a lot of loyalty involved. In a competitive market, it’s even harder to make clients get to this point.

Making your clients spread the word about your products and services can bring a lot of new customers, scaling and potentializing the range of your company’s online presence.

You can think of strategies to speed this process up, always offering the best to your customers.

For instance, you can plan referral programs, in which a direct recommendation from friends can bring special offers or redeemable store points for both parties (the actual customer and the prospective one).

This is the whole mindset behind referral programs. But these initiatives will only work if you build a strong and loyal list of contacts. Do your best to make your actual customers happy. Later on, they will bring new clients to you.

Improve your CTAs

Making someone do something for you is a very difficult task. Just a few people are successful when they do so. The fact is that we don’t like having people telling us what we should or shouldn’t do.

That’s why most CTAs fail. Call to Action sentences must be appealing and convincing. On the other hand, they mustn’t be forced or too imperative.

To improve CTAs, aim at personalizing your sentences, talking directly to the new visitors, and convincing them to act on your homepage.

When your content is related to the visitor’s needs, your CTAs feel less like advertising and more like showing the desire of your company in helping its audience. It adds value to the offer that you are making.

With personalized and relevant content, your visitors will certainly give you their address and eventually become paying customers.

Offer exclusive contents

Sometimes, you have many people visiting your website and landing pages, but they aren’t ready to make any purchases yet. They need more time and knowledge to make such decisions.

In the meantime, you can target them with exclusive content. When they are ready to buy the product, these visitors will remember your brand.

With content upgrades, you can offer a gated piece of content to visitors in exchange for their email addresses. These articles, guides, and catalogs, for example, must be related to the prospective client’s needs.

People who are already aware of your brand are usually in the consideration phase of the purchase cycle, that is, they are researching companies similar to yours, verifying which one has the best value-price principle.

If your exclusive content is powerful enough, all you need is time to achieve conversion.

Personalize your Landing Pages

When you are starting to build an email list, your website is not the best tool to be used. Your page can be confusing and distracting to new users, so you are likely to end up with no email address at all.

Landing pages are way more effective when it comes down to collecting email addresses. They are straight to the point, bringing information about the benefits of a product or service, as well as images and videos to better demonstrate the features of a product, for example.

While your website is more focused on informing about your company, landing pages are made to capture someone’s attention and achieve conversion.

To make your landing pages even more efficient, you should personalize them, appealing to a wider public at the same moment. For example, coming up with ideas to solve each concern that your audience has will result in more sign-ups deals.

This means that creating different landing pages advertising different products can increase your range when collecting emails to grow your lists. 

Adopt an opt-in process

Getting consent is important to all email senders. It helps to build a solid online reputation, making you stay away from blocklists and improving your email deliverability.

The best way to make your email lists functional is to adopt an opt-in process, in which users will give their permission to send emails, and also give them the opportunity to choose the frequency and the content of the messages.

An opt-in process will avoid many problems in the future, so you must consider it when you are build an email list from scratch.

In addition, an opt-in process will prevent invalid addresses from reaching your database. This method can validate emails in real-time, making sure only well-intentioned users are able to finish the registration process.

Buying an email list

When you buy an email list, this collection of emails will bring nothing but trouble to your business. Such a list will contain emails that belong to people who have never heard from you and your business. In short, they aren’t interested in what you are offering.

Basically, you will be talking to nobody and sending messages without consent, which is against the legislation, by the way.

How can you get engagement and conversions when you advertise to an uninterested audience? Besides, a lot of these emails are fake or invalid.

All you will achieve with purchased email lists is a few opens and many spam complaints and bounces. This will trigger ISPs (Internet Services Providers), making it harder and harder to land in real mailboxes.

This is extremely damaging to your business. Purchased email lists can even wreck your marketing campaigns.

The best advice we can give you is to stay away from purchased email lists. Learning how to build an email list out of nowhere can be a challenge, but, in the end, it will give you the rewards you deserve.

Building mailing lists: best practices

Now you are completely aware of how to build an email list. So, let’s review some of the best practices to collect email addresses.

  • Opt-in process: make sure to get the user’s consent before sending any message, as well as let people decide the frequency and subject of the messages. You can do all of this through an optimized opt-in process, which will also avoid invalid addresses from reaching your database.
  • Don’t buy email lists: these lists are full of poisonous email addresses, such as spam traps and disposable emails. They won’t make your conversions grow, and will hurt your deliverability instead. Stay away from them.
  • Track the results: when you send emails to selected addresses, which have opted to receive your pieces of communication, you can read your results better. This way, you can maintain, adapt, or fix marketing strategies according to users’ responses in terms of engagement.
  • Maintain a hygienic list: an hygienic list is an updated one. After some time, the data you collected can expire and change, so you must clean your email list, removing addresses that are disengaged or no longer active. This strategy will make sure your deliverability is safe while it provides more concrete and trustworthy data about your online performance.
  • Verify the validity of collected emails: not every email that you collect will be proper to use. Some of them can be fake, misspelled, or invalid. That’s why you should use an email checker service to verify the validity of your email lists. These platforms can check email lists in bulk or check email addresses in real-time in forms. They are highly recommended to keep your email lists clean and protected from harmful accounts.

Learn more: Email list management best practices for your email marketing strategy

Starting your email lists is just the beginning. Email lists demand constant care and attention. That is, without managing your contacts, you can’t get what you are looking for: increasing your results. Managing your lists is not as difficult as it seems, and it helps you protect your deliverability and domain reputation.

Now that you learn how to build an email list, learn how to protect your email lists by verifying the validity of email addresses. SafetyMails has tools, features, and services to make you achieve success!

How to build an email list: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I create an email list?

Build an email list is a constant job. We can give you some suggestions on how to do it successfully:
 
●     pop-ups can be useful for collecting email addresses;
●     invite and encourage people to sign-up.
●     utilize loyalty and referral programs;
●     improve your Call to Action phrases and buttons;
●     design and write exclusive content;
●     personalize your landing pages;
●     adopt an opt-in process to confirm email validity and get the user’s consent;
under no circumstances, you should consider buying an email list.

What is the fastest way to build an email list?

Build an email list can take a lot of time. However, you can adopt some strategies to make the process faster, such as:
 
●     use strategic pop-ups to attract visitors to give you their emails while they are visiting your page;
●     use your blog posts as a way to offer content upgrades if people sign-up for your channels;
●     use coupons and sales discounts to hook people to your registration forms;
●     guest posts can reach more audiences;
●     use social media as a teaser of your content and landing pages;
●     create user-friendly registration forms;
●     offer incentives when people finish filling out registration forms;
personalize your landing pages.

Why is building an email list important?

Build an email list is important because it’s a method to reach your audience in a personalized way, helping you build a solid relationship with your subscribers.
 
They also help you intimately approach potential customers, which is positive when you aim at having conversions.
 
It’s general knowledge that people open emails every day, seeing news about friends, family, work, and brands that they like. When you build an email list, you are a part of this intimate connection, not only a notification that will disappear soon.

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