Easy Tips for Building a Powerful Email List

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This article was written by Alex Sixt, an Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble expert. If you are looking to take the NEXT step in your business then we encourage you to check out Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble.

Email marketing has been running strong for decades, but as social media and other digital channels continue to influence marketing strategies, email has become a second thought for many brands. Thing is, email is still as powerful as ever, and your email list is the secret sauce that bring your brand tons of new business.

A solid email list can benefit your brand by helping to reach customers beyond social media or traditional marketing. So, if you’re ready, grab another cup of cold brew coffee, and let’s chat about how to build your email list up to success. 

Use an email marketing tool. 

Email marketing can be confusing enough as it is, so why not recruit a tool to help you get organized? Getting organized is a crucial step in the process of building your email list and, luckily, there are plenty of email marketing tools out there to help you with this step. Although every platform is different, each offers a place to store your email marketing content and information about your email list to help make every email campaign an experience for subscribers.

All platforms have a price range for their services that is structured according to the size of your email list, and almost every one offers some version of a free plan. That’s right- email marketing services that don’t even cost you a penny, at least until your email list grows beyond what the free plan allows (sigh, the price of being successful). Take your time to research all options and decide which one is right for your email marketing strategy. Once you’ve chosen a platform, sit back, relax, and start to build that email list in peace knowing that your email marketing functions are well managed. 

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Add an opt-in form to your website.

There are customers who actively want to find a way to sign up for your email listwe love those people. We also don’t want to lose them by making the process so complicated that to sign up seems more like a task than an opportunity. To make it easier for wannabe subscribers, create a user-friendly opt-in form. An opt-in form essentially gives the company consent to send emails to an address, and this is often achieved by a subscriber simply entering their email and pressing “submit.” Sounds easy, right? 

Simplicity is key when creating an opt-in form; no one wants to jump through hoops just to be on an email list. To make it even more accessible, display the opt-in form in a highly visible place, such as your home page. This will prevent the form from getting lost in the mix with all of your other web content, and make visitors more likely to sign up. 

Related: 7 Things Your Opt-In Forms Need to Do to Gain Email Subscribers

Offer an incentive for subscribing.

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Obviously, most people do and the same applies to your customers. Full price never seems that attractive, but it sounds much more doable with a discount offered at the small price of entering an email address. Offering incentives is a fantastic way to grow your email list, as it makes customers feel that they’re getting something in exchange for receiving your brand’s emails. 

Make sure the discount being offered is well worth the customer’s time, as many will breeze past an offer if they feel it simply isn’t worth the pennies off their purchase. Another trick is to make them second guess their decision to close your pop-up by getting creative whit the buttons. It’s easier to turn down an offer when a button simply says “No thanks” rather than, “No, I don’t want 20 percent off and exclusive access to subscriber-only sales.” This will encourage the user to rethink their decision, giving them their prized discount while simultaneously building your email list.

The future of work is here—at Entrepreneur NEXT, we’re building a smarter way to hire top experts. Save yourself the wasted time typically spent in boring interviews or unnecessary agency pitches—we’ll take care of the hiring details for you. 

Send a welcome email.

Sit back and think about a time that you truly felt welcomed into a store, home, or event. What made you feel like you were appreciated, just for stepping foot through the door? Let’s apply those experiences to your email list. Much like attending an occasion or visiting someone’s home, your subscribers should feel that your brand is excited that they’ve joined the party.  

And nothing puts a stop to that wonderful feeling quicker than a simple “Please confirm your email address” message landing into their inbox. Your subscribers should feel appreciated from the second they hit the “submit” button to join your email list. The good news is, it’s much easier than you’d think to give that warm, fuzzy feeling in an email. Thank your new subscriber for joining and add relevant, up to date information about the valuable content they’ll receive from now on. 

Related: How to Make Your Customers Feel Valued

Create a pop-up form. 

We’ve all seen it before: you’re shopping on a website when suddenly, the page you were viewing is blocked by a peppy welcome window that offers a discount if you enter your email. Once again, you’ve been lured into a common email marketing trick: the pop-up form. Popup forms are an excellent tactic to build your email list with an easy hook; like taking candy from a baby, except we would never do that because babies are adorable and no one wants to deal with the temper tantrum aftermath. 

When designing a pop-up window, it’s important to think like the customer rather than someone who needs to build an email list. It’s simply not enough to say, “Hey there stranger, sign up to subscribe to our daily emails now,” because very few customers will go for something that doesn’t benefit them. Instead, consider including something to catch their attention such as a discount code for their first purchase (reference #3). This will build the foundation for a good relationship with your new subscriber, and help you grow your email list quickly. 

The future of work is here—at Entrepreneur NEXT, we’re building a smarter way to hire top experts. Save yourself the wasted time typically spent in boring interviews or unnecessary agency pitches—we’ll take care of the hiring details for you. 

Advertise the email newsletter on social media.

Remember how I mentioned at the beginning that social media plays a large part in marketing? Good, I’m glad you were paying attention because you’ll need to remember that as you build your email list. Although social media tends to get most of the marketing credit, that doesn’t mean you should totally neglect it when developing your email marketing strategy; it may just be the key to boosting it. Many potential subscribers are actually sitting in your follower count right now, which means promoting your email newsletter will reach further than traditional pop-ups or opt-in forms ever could. 

Remember, when promoting your email newsletter on social media, users must be given a good reason to subscribe, else you risk your social media efforts going to waste. To help users feel like they absolutely must subscribe to your email list, push discounts and other offers that users can only get when signing up with their email. Better yet, detail how subscribers will benefit from signing up, such as sale privileges and exclusive brand content. When subscribers feel that they’re becoming a member of something worthwhile rather than a daily spam email, they’ll be more likely to stay subscribed and tell their friends, too. 

Related: This Is Why Email Marketing Still Outperforms Social Media

If you’re unsure about how to grow your email list, you’re not alone. With marketing shifting towards other popular digital channels, it can seem that email is in the back of consumer’s minds. However, email is still a successful way to reach your customers, and there’s enormous value in putting time into building an email list. Figure out what techniques work best for you and watch your email list grow!