How to Build Your Email Marketing List

Copywriter - email marketing

Everyone knows that the best way to market to your customers is by building an in-house email marketing list.

The fastest way to get your email marketing started is to use a bought-in list. But the problem with that is you are sending unsolicited emails to people who may not even be interested in what you have to say. Therefore the chances of your campaign being successful are slim.

By far the best way to market via email is to build your own list where people have opted in. That way you know that your email messages won’t be met with hostility.

That’s all well and good, but how to you build your list? What techniques can you use to get people to sign up?

Well, that’s where this little list comes into play.

12 Ways to Build Your Email List

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

1. Trade shows and fairs

If there is a trade show, fair or exhibition you attend regularly, have a sign up list with you on your stand. Then, as you engage and interact with your customers, you can ask them to sign up so they are the first to hear about your news and offers.

2. Shop event

Whether you are a retail outlet or if you have offices, why not have an open evening. It could be to launch a new product, celebrate a business milestone or just a new season event. Again, make sure you have a list available where they can sign up for your newsletter and email offers.

3. Public speaking

It may not be your favourite activity, but we all tend to get roped into giving a talk at some point. Use this opportunity to promote your newsletter. Weave into your speech mention of your newsletter and how they can sign up to receive your latest hints, tips and offers.

4. Prize draw

No one likes to think they’re missing out on anything. Offer your newsletter subscribers a free monthly draw. If there is a chance of getting something for nothing, people will sign up.

5. Packaging

If yours is a business that ships products out to people, make sure you have something within the packaging that mentions your newsletter. Make signing up more tempting by telling them of your email only offers. If they think it is in their best interests to sign up, they will.

6. Twitter

OK, let’s just get one thing straight, Twitter is not to be used for spam. Twitter is about engaging with your followers but there is no harm in mentioning your newsletter occasionally. Just make sure you don’t over do it. Perhaps if you have an email offer coming up, you can mention that: “sign up for my newsletter and get the latest email offer”.

7. Business cards

Business cards are often under utilised. They are seen as only being useful for passing on your contact details. Use the back of your card to tell people what you can do for them and include a call to action to sign up for your newsletter.

8. Email signature

Another under utilised tool. By simply inserting a hyperlink in your signature with a CTA to sign up for your newsletter, you are increasing your list building opportunities.

9. Something for nothing

Don’t we all like that? Getting something for nothing is always a great motivator so give something away in return for their signup. It can be an eBook, white paper, industry report, even a discount off a first purchase. Whatever it is, make sure it adds value.

10. Make the most of your bounce backs

Email addresses change, and most of the time people can’t remember what newsletters they’ve sign up for. So the first you’ll know about it, is when you get your email message bounce back. But don’t just delete it from your list, send out a postcard asking for their new email address.

11. Make it easy to opt in

Don’t hide your sign up box. Make sure it stands out. And to maximise your chances, include it on every page of your website.

12. Pass it on

Your email recipients are a great marketing tool in their own right, so use them. They are bound to know someone else who would be interested in what you have to say, so make sure you include a ‘forward to a friend’ button. Also, make sure when it is forwarded there is an opt-in form included in your communication somewhere so they can sign up immediately.

There are a few suggestions to get you started. Do you use any other techniques that I’ve not touched on here? If so, why not share them with us? Email marketing is a powerful tool that all businesses should be utilising. Building your list is one of the most vital aspects and by following these simple techniques, you’ll build a quality list, fast.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter

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#1 Nabeel | Create Your First Website on 06.07.10 at 4:12 pm

Great Info Sally. Thanks.

What about writing articles and submitting it to an article directory (like ezinearticle etc) and in the author resource box, encouraging your reader to sign up (to your free newsletter etc.).

#2 admin on 06.07.10 at 4:56 pm

Hi Nabeel,

Certainly, an author’s bio at an article site is also a great place. However not all allow links so it’s best to check the author guidlines first.


#3 Peter on 09.07.10 at 12:58 pm

nice article. you covered every aspect of email marketing…but can you put some more light on how to make an eye catching email subject? your response is welcomed.

#4 admin on 09.07.10 at 1:23 pm

To help you with the subject lines take a look at these posts Email marketing – It’s All In The Subject Line and 10 Words That Will Make People Open Your Email

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