Mike Paffmann, CEO, Virgo PR
Building an email list is an important step towards a successful email program. Several approaches can be taken, with some working better than the others. An email list can be built from scratch. The option to subscribe to the email program of a business should be offered on every existing touch point possible. For potential subscribers, the email program should be easy and visible.
Trying to play hide-and-seek while offering sign up opportunities should be avoided. Sometimes, the way to join a mailing list is not easily visible. The sign-up opportunities to an email program should be available in the following areas –
a) Social media channels
b) Company descriptions
d) Retail locations
e) Trade shows
When dealing with customers one must tread carefully. It is okay to reach out to customers with a mail asking them to opt in to the mailing list of a business, but no emails should be sent unless customers specifically opt in and grant permission that emails can be sent to them.
Avoid renting email lists
Renting an email list may seem to be an easy option to meet the need to grow a list, but it should be avoided. Renting an email list may be a common and legitimate practice, and buying email lists is not. Email lists that can be bought are normally spam lists that have been made without permission or knowledge of the email address owners. Buying a list goes against what email marketing is about, building brand-loyal relationships. It can damage the reputation of a business as recipients of emails will suspect that they are being spammed.
Understand the audience
Before building an email list it is important to have an idea of the people who are being targeted. Creating marketing personas can be helpful. Marketing personas can be people who represent the ideal customer.
To grow an email list, a business should be able to get people to sign up. To motivate people to sign up for emails they can be offered discount coupons , registration to a webinar or a free course. Offers will depend on the target audience and their needs. Free shipping for a limited time is a very common incentive. For instance, Olivia and June, offer a 20% discount to customers on signing up.
Use an email marketing platform
A crucial step to build an email list is to select an email marketing program. There are plenty of platforms available. They not only help to save time but also leverage the full potential of email marketing right from the start. For instance, Moosend offers effective subscription forms to increase email signups. They also offer segmentation options which help to increase the efficiency of email campaigns. There are others like ConvertKit and Omnisend which help to send automated messages based on lists.