Email list building is the foundation of effective email marketing. This on-going process of reaching your target audience and sparking their interest in your product or service fuels your revenue stream.
The goal of this article is to show you clear steps to follow in order to build a solid email list and make the most of your email marketing in 2021.
Table Of Contents
- 1. Make your newsletter a valuable product
- 2. Promote your newsletter like a product
- 3. Create lead magnets
- 4. Present the benefits or joining your email list
- 5. Create a landing page for your newsletter
- 6. Add subscription forms to your website and blog
- 7. Create a survey for website and blog visitors
- 8. Run a webinar for your target audience
- 9. Create a list building funnel
- Go for it!
1. Make your newsletter a valuable product
If you want people to sign up for your newsletter, you need to make it worth the effort and time. That’s why I’d recommend treating your newsletter like a product. I’d say develop a great product and communicate the benefits of using it.
There are a few rules to follow when it comes to newsletter design but in my opinion you can boil it down to the 3 following:
- Focus on your target audience
Focus on the people who are likely to become your customers. Constantly learn about their information needs and develop the right content that corresponds to their daily challenges.
- Make it useful
Help solve real-life problems with your content. Put your resources into content that is valuable for your target audience.
- Engage with your contacts and ask for feedback
Use your newsletter as a two-way communication channel, e.g. send emails people can reply to, ask questions, run surveys, organize webinars, etc. Remember that the closer you are to your customers and potential customers the more you know about their information needs.
As observed in the email marketing benchmarks, when your provide value for your contacts, you see higher conversion and engagement rates.
2. Promote your newsletter like a product
Once your newsletter is ready, you can advertise it and run promotional campaigns via the available channels (just like you would do with a product).
- Social media pages: Add your newsletter signup link or a banner promoting your lead magnet to your email signature and all your key social media profiles. Most platforms let you customize the description of your business page or bio in your personal profile.
Here’s how a popular organizational psychologist, Adam Grant, promotes his work in his Twitter profile.
- Blog: it’s very likely that people who land on your blog organically represent your target audience. Invite them to join your email list if they like the content on your blog.
- Podcast: if you run a podcast, tell people about your newsletter and provide a subscription link. You can even create a separate email list for your podcast listeners and provide them a VIP experience.
- Online conferences and events: in 2020 we moved our events online. This format means that we’re not able to talk and exchange business cards, but we still can add a slide about newsletter to our presentation deck.
- Partnerships: finding the partner is not easy but crucial for our well-being 🙂 Think of the people to run cross-registration campaigns and write guest articles with. Create a list of potential partners and put outreach on your weekly agenda.
- Ecommerce customer profile: make sure that people can easily sign up for your newsletter when they register with your ecommerce platform.
- PPC campaigns: paid advertising requires budget but at the same time gives you a lot of targeting options so you can reach your audience with unparalleled precision. Explore the opportunities like Facebook Lead Ads and retargeting campaigns to bring more people to your contact list.
- Tools and software: a great way to grow your email list is to build an online tool or software that your target audience will want to use. Rather than asking users to pay upfront, give them the chance to get limited access in exchange for their email address.
3. Create lead magnets
A lead magnet is something valuable for your target audience that you offer in exchange for contact information. The goal of the lead magnet is to incentivize subscription and maximize the number of targeted leads captured via a web form.
Lead magnet examples:
- Resource kit
- Educational materials
There are of course other types of “freebies” or “opt-in bribes” you can offer.
The key point here is that if you want to grow your email list, you need to create content that your audience will want to trade their email addresses for.
This article will provide you with more ideas for lead magnets that’ll help you grow your email list fast. Plus, you’ll find valuable tips on what content you should create to generate the collect the highest number of subscribers.
Editor’s note: Want to find out which opt-in incentives work best? Check our new report: Best Lead Magnets for Lead Generation.
4. Present the benefits or joining your email list
Why should anyone join your contact list? I’m sure that at this point, you can quickly answer this question but do you communicate clearly to the people who haven’t heard about your brand yet?
Go beyond the “sign up to our newsletter” by simply providing a few reasons to do so.
Come up with different incentives, like a loyalty program, discount, exclusive merch, or contest and test which one proves to be most effective.
5. Create a landing page for your newsletter
A landing page, also known as a “lead capture page” or a “squeeze page”, is a single web page designed to build contact list. Create a landing page for your newsletter.
There are many ways you can build landing pages but the most convenient one is to use a landing page creator.
Landing page creator available in GetResponse comes with mobile-optimized free landing page templates, intuitive drag and drop editor, and multiple other features.
Here you can see it in action:
Conversion tips: keep your landing page simple by providing a single call to action. Create A/B variants of your landing page. Run tests and see how content type, copy, or design changes influence performance.
6. Add subscription forms to your website and blog
A web form a.k.a. a signup form is an HTML form that is installed on a website to enable visitors to sign up. There are different kinds of forms to choose from, e.g., a subscription form, download box, scroll form, fixed bar, lightbox, or an exit pop-up.
Add a fixed bar or a pop-up form to the highest converting pages like product page and about us. This way people who are interested in your offer might sign up and receive more relevant information.
To build a web form, you can either code it from scratch or use a list builder, like the one built into GetResponse.
There, you’ll find various templates to choose from and an intuitive editor that’ll let you customize your web form to fit the style of your website.
When designing your web form think about the quality to quantity ratio. If you want to reach a specific target audience (e.g., to generate B2B leads), you might need to create a longer web form asking for more details: company name, company size, position, etc.
On the other hand, if your goal is to reach a broader audience (e.g., to reach potential ecommerce customers), you might ask only for basic information like name and email address.
The rule of thumb is that the longer the form, the fewer people subscribe. The shorter the web form, the more subscriptions you get, but you can’t be sure how many people actually meet your criteria. The trick is to know your goal and ask only for relevant information to balance the quality/quantity ratio accordingly.
7. Create a survey for website and blog visitors
Your website visitors and blog readers already expressed interest in your products or content. Use surveys to jump in and invite people who enjoy your content to subscribe for more.
8. Run a webinar for your target audience
A webinar also known as an “online seminar”, “web conference”, or an “online meeting” can serve as a great way to build an email list with high-quality contacts. The idea is simple – you offer valuable information for everyone who signs up to your contact list.
Carefully planned webinar content will certainly attract your target audience. You can promote your webinar via other online marketing channels to maximize outreach.
If you’re interested in this particular list building method, this article talks more about how webinars work.
Pro tip: Partner up with people in your industry with same target audience.
9. Create a list building funnel
Looking for a quicker way to generate leads? Check out the conversion funnel – a simplified way to create a list building campaign.
There are 2 kinds of a list building funnels:
- Lead magnet funnel
With lead magnet funnels you can host your lead magnets, set up landing pages, create autoresponders, and promote them with Facebook Ads — all in a matter of minutes.
Pro tip: You don’t need a lead magnet to start collecting email subscribers with lead magnet funnels. They come with a set of pre-made templates and content upgrades you can use in your own campaigns.
- Standard opt-in funnel
These list building funnels can help you setup a full lead generation campaign even if you don’t have a downloadable opt-in incentive. Use them to promote your newsletter, an email course, a monetary incentive, or a resource vault.
Read more to learn how to build a lead funnel.
Go for it!
You’ve got everything you need to start building your email list. Just follow the steps in this article and build yourself a solid revenue stream. Generate a whole lotta leads with email marketing and make 2021 a great year for your business.