12 Top Tactics for Building Your Email List

Avi Zolty
Avi Zolty
May 3 · 5 min read

When’s the last time you considered the effectiveness of your email marketing and how it enhanced awareness for your brand?

If your company is like most, it’s been awhile. A surprising reality since email marketing remains one of the best methods in connecting with current and future customers.

Let’s look at 12 of the most powerful ways to dust off your old email list and build one that engages prospects, drives traffic, and grows your brand.

1. Choose the Right Platform

You can choose to manage your email in-house, but why? Email management software automates practically every step of email marketing — from adding new subscribers to targeting specific demos to helping you create compelling email content. Some of the most popular platforms include:

2. Keep it Simple

The most crucial piece of info from a potential subscriber is, of course, their email address — so avoid asking them for much more. Lengthy signup forms are cumbersome and will quickly turn off a user. Keep your requests to the bare minimum — name and email or just their email. You can acquire more info from the user after adding them to your list.

3. Look for Simple Opportunities

Links are genuinely wonderful because they can lead a prospect to wherever you want them to go. Take advantage of this by adding opt-in links to places that get a lot of looks — the signature line of an employee’s email or your company’s social media pages, for example.

However, don’t sleep on the spots you take for granted, areas such as your websites above the fold header, your Blog Page or individual posts, your About Us or any resource pages, or you can it to a sidebar or create a welcome gate or floating bar to your website.

4. Offer Incentives

People love stuff — especially when it’s free or discounted — which makes an incentive or lead magnet so useful. The critical factor is to make sure the lead magnet you employ is valuable to your audience — either something that helps them solve a problem or is an offer or content they can’t get anywhere else. If you need ideas, here’s a list of 20 popular lead magnets:

  • Case Study
  • Cheat Sheet
  • Checklist
  • Discount Coupon
  • Ebook
  • Email Course
  • Free Trial
  • Gated Content
  • Infographic
  • PDF Version or Transcript
  • Podcast
  • Premium Content
  • Product Sample
  • Report
  • Resource List
  • Templates
  • Tutorial
  • Video
  • Webinar
  • White Paper

5. Leverage Your Existing Platforms, Part I

Do you already get a healthy amount of traffic to your website? A mobile app? Perhaps a physical store? Do you engage with others at trade shows or produce physical marketing materials?

Wherever a customer might engage with your brand make it a subscription or sign-up opportunity. These are high-value prospects since they already know who you are. Adding them to your email list increases future sales opportunities.

6. Leverage Your Existing Platforms, Part II

Video, podcasting, blogging and other forms of digital media are increasingly popular and provide enhanced engagement opportunities. Adding subscription buttons to videos or prompts on your blog or asking people to sign up during your podcast is perfect for generating more email connections.

7. Trade Your Expertise

As owner or manager of a business, chances are you carry particular expertise on a subject, be it the industry you’re in, the company itself, or how you’ve been successful.

Use that knowledge to your advantage by creating content that educates and assists others in reaching similar goals. From ebooks to white papers to email courses or infographics people love content from an authority, so offer it up in return for audience engagement.

8. Tailor Your Content to Fit Your Unique Audience

Certainly, your goal is to engage with a broad, like-minded audience. However, within that big group is a lot of smaller groups — each with various wants or pain points. Appeal to those unique needs by ditching one-size-fits-all content and developing several targeted pieces.

You can even do this with a single topic such as stretching a blog post into an ebook, condensing it down to an infographic, or breaking it out into a series of how-to emails. Does the blog cover several ideas? Create content for each one to appeal to the specific interest level of each prospect.

9. Ask For Feedback

People love to share their opinions and are more apt to when asked. Create forms that specifically seek out user feedback — what they like or don’t like about your content, questions they might have about your business or industry, or material or ideas with which they are most likely to engage.

10. Gate Your Most Valuable Content

Sure, there is a slight risk to this, but ultimately an email is a small price to pay for satisfying curiosity. This proves most effective when you provide no-strings-attached free content first and then play up the fact that even more “bonus” content is available by merely providing an email address.

11. Promote Your Social Proof

Including customer reviews on landing pages or your website shows prospects that it’s not just you who thinks your brand is awesome, but actual people who’ve engaged with your company. Link to your most rave reviews or add testimonials to engagement points to show prospects that you create tangible value for your customers.

12. Create Valuable, Buzzworthy Content to Build Organically

Finally, while everything mentioned above will absolutely help you promote engagement and build an email list, it’s critical to produce materials with which your audience wants to engage. This means:

  • Meaningful Emails that Matter to Your Audience
  • Compelling Landing Pages the Produce Call to Actions
  • Captivating Websites that Keep Visitors Browsing
  • Valuable Lead Magnets that Subscribers Want
  • Appealing Physical Marketing Materials that Draw People to Your Brand

While all of this is meant to serve the audience you’re directly targeting, it also helps with the indirect crowd. If you produce worthy material, your main prospects will share it. This gives your message legs that will pull many others closer to your brand.

Why is this so important?

Yes, you can easily build an email list that serves you in the short term. An email list built organically is one that not only grows but also lasts.

Check me out on Everipedia!

Written by

Avi Zolty

YC Alum with 3 large acquisitions. Founder @skurt

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