Table of Contents
- Why Use Email Marketing for Customer Retention?
- 40 Ideas for How to Build Your Email List
- 1 – Add a CTA to your blogs
- 2 – Ask on Your Podcast
- 3 – Add a Link to Your Email Signature
- 4 – Customize your Email Autoresponse
- 5 – Use a Lead Magnet
- 6 – Offer Email-Only Special Deals
- 7 – Write Guest Blogs for Other Businesses
- 8 – Be a Guest at an Event or on a Podcast
- 9 – Create a Landing Page
- 10 – Create a homepage sign-up box
- 11 – Create an Exit Intent Pop-Up on your Website
- 12 – Add a Scroll Box to your Website
- 13 – Create a Smart Bar
- 14 – Launch a Paid Community
- 15 – Add QR Codes to Your Marketing Materials
- 16 – Offer a Free Trial
- 17 – Offer Gated Premium Content
- 18 – Offer Free ‘Subscriber-Only’ Content
- 19 – Offer Discounted Deals to Subscribers
- 20 – Post in Online Forums
- 21 – Join Online Groups
- 22 – Customize Invoices and Receipts
- 23 – Ask for Word of Mouth Referrals
- 24 – Host a Webinar
- 25 – Create an Email Course
- 26 – Share Email Lists
- 27 – Don’t Give Up on Bounces
- 28 – Create a Pinned Post
- 29 – Use Social Media Advertising
- 30 – Update Your Facebook Cover Image
- 31 – Set your Facebook call to action button
- 32 – Set your email sign-up tab on Facebook
- 33 – Use Instagram’s Swipe Up Feature
- 34 – Create a YouTube Video CTA
- 35 – Play the LinkedIn Game
- 36 – Start Your Own Group Pinterest Board
- 37 – Share an opt-in offer in Slack
- 38 – Create a Quiz
- 39 – Make a Survey
- 40 – Create a Resource Library and Sell Digital Downloads
How to Build Your Email List: 40 Quick and Easy Ways
An email marketing list, also known as a customer database or subscriber database, is a list of contact details for current subscribers and potential prospects. Email marketing campaigns are the most powerful tool in your arsenal for increasing customer retention. But, before you can begin crafting emails, you need to know how to build your email list.
Why Use Email Marketing for Customer Retention?
In short, because it works! But there’s a solid financial incentive too. Research suggests it’s five to 25 times more expensive to find a new customer than to retain an existing one. So, for entrepreneurs who can keep their subscribers engaged and active, email marketing lists are a serious revenue-making tool.
Ready to reap the rewards by learning how to build your email list? Let’s get started!
40 Ideas for How to Build Your Email List
We know what you’re thinking – 40 seems like an overwhelming amount of strategies. And you’d be right. We’re not suggesting you follow all of them. That would be overkill. But, it’s impossible for entrepreneurs to make objective decisions and prioritize the techniques for their membership business unless they know all the options. So we’ve made our tips on how to build your email list as exhaustive as possible.
1. Add a CTA to your blogs
If you are posting blog content regularly, add an individual call-to-action (CTA) asking readers to input their contact details and join your email marketing list to access similar content. Of course, you should also include CTAs directing them toward more paid content like your e-book, digital magazine, or paid newsletter.
2. Ask on Your Podcast
Adding a request to join your email marketing list at the end of your podcast is effective because you’ve already built rapport, and your listeners are already invested in what you have to say. Plus, asking via videos has more of an emotional pull because people can hear your voice and see your expressions. You’ll see seasoned podcasters and YouTubers do this all the time.
3. Add a Link to Your Email Signature
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you probably send several emails every day. Replacing your standard email signature with a CTA to join your email marketing campaigns is a great way to stimulate interest. Plus, you can update it regularly to feature different content as your marketing strategy changes.
4. Customize your Email Autoresponse
With all this talk of other people’s email addresses, it can be easy to forget your own. Ensure every email you send has an opt-in form so recipients can sign up directly to your email marketing list.
5. Use a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is some form of freebie that adds value and entices potential customers to provide their contact details in return. Common examples include:
- Free Downloads
- Discount Coupons
6. Offer Email-Only Special Deals
Creating a special deal that prospects can only access via email means there is no way around submitting their details. Do make sure you still target your efforts effectively, however. There’s a difference between learning how to build your email list and managing to maintain your database without getting a heap of unsubscribes.
7. Write Guest Blogs for Other Businesses
Guest blogging on another business site is a great way to sell your expertise online and attract new email sign-ups because it establishes you as an authority in your field. It also helps you build relationships with other entrepreneurs and exposes your products and services to an entirely new audience.
8. Be a Guest at an Event or on a Podcast
In much the same way as writing a guest blog elevates your standing as an expert in your field, being a guest at an event or on a podcast demonstrates that your expertise is valued and in demand. Use your appearance as an opportunity to ask for email signups directly.
9. Create a Landing Page
Landing pages are stand-alone pages not accessible through your main website navigation. While they can be used for several purposes, the goal of this one is to build your email list. This type of landing page is usually more effective when coupled with a lead magnet, but there’s no reason you can’t A/B test to establish whether giving freebies is truly necessary or not.
10. Create a homepage sign-up box
Website homepages receive more than 50% of all visitor traffic. So, why not capitalize on that with a sign-up box that arouses interest and curiosity in your services and captures email addresses at the same time? Carefully crafting the copy to make it short, punchy, and exclusive is the best way to ensure maximum uptake.
11. Create an Exit Intent Pop-Up on your Website
An exit intent pop-up appears once website visitors move their cursor towards closing the page. You’ll need a catchy headline to make people stop, read it, and input their email addresses. But they’re already leaving the page anyway. So, at this point, you have nothing to lose!
12. Add a Scroll Box to your Website
For this method to work, you’ll need basic Google Analytics info about how long people stay on your page. Once you know that, you can select the best place to put your box. For example, on a blog post, you may set a higher scroll percentage (above 40%) to ensure readers are truly invested before you ask for their email info.
13. Create a Smart Bar
Smart bars are a great way to build your email list because they only take a few minutes to install and don’t take you long to design. A smart bar sits at the top of the browser, regardless how far down the page your site visitors scroll. If they click the sign-up button on the bar, they are redirected to leave their email details.
14. Launch a Paid Community
As your membership business grows, you’ll attract a community of engaged people, all interested in what you have to offer. It’s also only natural that they’ll want to interact with each other. The community element is key to attracting new subscribers and developing better relationships than you can on social media. So leverage that to get sign-ups.
15. Add QR Codes to Your Marketing Materials
QR codes are a great way of directing people directly to your membership site without them having to remember your details or the web address. Consider offering bonus material through a QR code that requires people to enter their email addresses in return.
16. Offer a Free Trial
Free trials work incredibly well for service-based businesses. Most entrepreneurs design a tiered membership model with more content available to those who pay a higher fee. Offering a 30-day trial period for paid tiers using email registration doesn’t just build your email marketing list. It increases the chance of conversions from free to paid memberships.
17. Offer Gated Premium Content
You’ll have seen this strategy used multiple times on news and media websites. To access the full article or post, readers need to log in as paid subscribers. A pop-up box alerts them that to read further, they need to either log in or submit their email details to subscribe.
18. Offer Free ‘Subscriber-Only’ Content
Similar to offering premium gated content, but with a twist. Membership is free, provided subscribers submit their email addresses to your email marketing list. All you need to do is offer small snippets of exclusive content like a video, blog post, or podcast recording once per week.
19. Offer Discounted Deals to Subscribers
One of the easiest ways to get prospects to hand over their email addresses is to offer something exclusive in return. Whether you give a percentage discount or put together a regular subscriber-only newsletter with specific promotions, this is a great way to build your email list and generate revenue simultaneously.
20. Post in Online Forums
Posting regularly in online forums where your target audience hangs out is an excellent way to get your name out there as a thought leader and authority in your field. Once you’re into a rhythm of posting regularly and attracting likes and comments, slip in a post asking members to sign up to your email marketing list.
21. Join Online Groups
There are online groups on Facebook for almost everything you can imagine. Using the same tactic as with online forums, make high-value posts to convey authority and leadership. Then, slip in an opt-in post encouraging members to join your email marketing list.
22. Customize Invoices and Receipts
When you send out invoices and receipts, add a field line where customers can input their email addresses, and include a CTA encouraging them to sign up for future email marketing campaigns. After all, they’ve already bought from you once, so it’s an easy target.
23. Ask for Word of Mouth Referrals
Word-of-mouth referrals are one of the first things you should prioritize when considering how to build your email list. Research shows that 83% of people trust word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, and 92% of consumers say they trust personal referrals more than any other form of advertising.
24. Host a Webinar
Webinars are a great way to convert curious prospects into paying subscribers. Attendees have to register with their email addresses to attend the webinar. Because they are already interested enough to listen, there’s a good chance some of them will convert – either right away or on future email marketing campaigns.
25. Create an Email Course
Creating a short introductory course where the materials are delivered via email doesn’t just build your email list. By providing high-value content and information, you’ll also be guaranteed a captive audience for your future membership offerings.
26. Share Email Lists
Double the prospects for half of the work! Creating lead-sharing relationships with other entrepreneurs with similar client bases (but without being in direct competition) is an efficient way to grow your email marketing list and build long-lasting B2B relationships simultaneously.
27. Don’t Give Up on Bounces
Receiving bounce-back notifications from your email marketing campaigns is frustrating. Sometimes it’s a simple case of a missed letter or typo. Take the time to see if you can correct it. Every email has the potential to earn you money, after all.
28. Create a Pinned Post
Social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all allow you to add a pinned post that stays at the top of your page. A pinned post asking followers to sign up to your email marketing list will be the first thing people see when they click on your profile.
29. Use Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising provides easy and cost-effective opportunities to reach people with your ideal customer profile (ICP) through targeting. Some platforms even allow you to upload your current email marketing list and will display your ads to people whose interests and information match similar criteria.
30. Update Your Facebook Cover Image
The cover photo on your business Facebook page sits loud and proud and is the first thing people see when they click through to your page. So it’s a great place to put a CTA encouraging visitors to join your email list.
31. Set your Facebook call to action button
There’s an opportunity to add a CTA right at the top of your Facebook page. Simply edit the button to read ‘Sign Up’ and use this to drive traffic to your signup landing page.
32. Set your email sign-up tab on Facebook
Make a custom tab on your Facebook page and embed a form that collects email addresses. Of course, you don’t have to limit this function to data collection. You can use it to boost sign-ups to private podcasts and digital downloads etc. too.
33. Use Instagram’s Swipe Up Feature
This one takes a little working towards, but once you have a business account with more than 10,000 followers, you qualify for the Swipe Up feature. When you use it, include the link to your email list so followers who view your story are directed to your subscription page.
34. Create a YouTube Video CTA
You can add CTA’s to your YouTube content in two ways: either add a callout link over the top of each video or include links in every video description.
35. Play the LinkedIn Game
Love it or hate it, LinkedIn is becoming a powerful social media force for modern-day entrepreneurs. Start by updating your profile and posting regularly as you would on your other social media channels. Then join active groups in your industry and get involved before dropping in an opt-in post.
36. Start Your Own Group Pinterest Board
The CTA on a group Pinterest board can be set to follow the owner. As an alternative to a straightforward follow, you can make it a prerequisite for people to subscribe to your email marketing list before they can contribute to the board.
37. Share an opt-in offer in Slack
Aside from being one of the most popular team communication platforms, Slack hosts large topic-specific groups where a whole chunk of your target audience may hang out. Add some high-value content in the communities within your field and include opt-in CTAs that connect to your signup page.
38. Create a Quiz
You’ll have seen a bunch of these as you cruise through social media. You’ll need to download the quiz-making software, but many free and cost-efficient options exist. Once your quiz is ready and posted online, anyone can take it. However, they have to enter their email address to access the results.
39. Make a Survey
Surveys can help your business in multiple ways as they collect insight into your audience’s interests, habits, and needs while simultaneously collecting email addresses. You may get some uptake just by asking on your social media channels but be prepared that for people to provide their contact details, you may need to offer a freebie or discount in return.
40. Create a Resource Library and Sell Digital Downloads
Content libraries and digital downloads are an excellent way for entrepreneurs to share their high-value resources while continually building their email list and charging a premium for access. When you offer videos, tutorials, templates, images, guides, or worksheets that save people time and effort, they will gladly provide their email addresses in addition to paying you for access.
We hope we’ve given you some great inspiration on how to build your email list. Keeping your email marketing list growing and ensuring it is up to date is essential to attracting and retaining members.
Of course, you’ll also need a solid Membership Marketing Plan to drive more traffic to your website and scale your growth.
No matter what your business does, MemberSpace’s team of experts and flexible membership software can provide you with the tools you need to succeed. Whether you want to start a membership site, online community, or sell digital products, our team can help. Learn more and get started today for free.