Why You Need to Build a Mailing List Right Now

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mailing list

Are you looking for new ways to grow your business? Not sure how to build a mailing list or what are its advantages?

For some business owners, email marketing may seem archaic. With the prevalence of social media and a hundred other forms of messaging, the traditional email format might feel relatively old.

However, email remains one of the most powerful forms of business communication. That’s why just about every social media platform requires you to have an email to sign up.

In this post, I’ll share compelling reasons why and how you should build your email list. More specifically, I’ll talk about these 2 topics in detail:

Related Content Email Marketing vs. Social Media: Which One Is Better?

Why Email Marketing Is Still Effective

Let me share my personal experience with email marketing.

I dabbled with email marketing a few years ago when I was freelancing for one of my clients in the SaaS domain.

Growing an email list from scratch was daunting, especially since I was more adept at helping other clients build their content marketing strategy.

But I knew an email list would pay us off handsomely in the long run. So I partnered with other in-house marketers working for the company to start building their email list.

Our first attempt at an optin form was, well, let’s just say underwhelming. A generic ‘subscribe for updates’ didn’t exactly scream value.

However, after researching email marketing best practices and testing different approaches, I created a lead magnet (a free eBook) that resonated with our target audience.

The results were great!

Email signups skyrocketed a few weeks after we launched. More importantly, the leads we attracted were highly engaged.

This early win solidified my belief in the power of a good email marketing strategy.

Later, I helped the SaaS client set up different campaign types, list segmentation strategies, and even launch an email newsletter.

There have been a few bumps along the road. A few subject lines landed with a thud and a poorly timed campaign once clogged inboxes and resulted in a few unsubscribes.

To be fair, even experts confess that they make email marketing mistakes early on in their careers.

But those experiences have been valuable lessons that I’m willing to share with you today.

For most business owners, email lists can yield dramatic rewards. According to Litmusemail offers $36 for every marketing dollar spent on average. That means email marketing drives a higher return on investment (ROI) than any other marketing channel.

You certainly can’t say the same about your social media marketing campaign.

Here’s one of my favorite case studies on how email offers the best ROI:

Before using OptinMonster, Stays.net only converted 1% of blog visitors to their email list. However, after the brand succeeded with its email list, it converted an average of 39.74% of visitors into trial users.

This campaign on their site, for instance, converts 37.21% of abandoning visitors:

mailing list

Besides high ROI, email marketing also has 3 distinct advantages over other communication channels.

  1. Email is direct: Every person on your mailing list receives an email the same way that they would receive a mail piece. It’s much different than finding a piece of content in a newsfeed, even if it’s personalized.
  2. Email is necessary: You can go for a few days without checking social media or video chatting with your friends and family. But 28% of people check their inbox more than 10 times a day.
  3. Email is highly customizable: You can create a direct mail campaign on any subject, and add all kinds of bells and whistles to get the job done.

It’s also incredibly inexpensive and well-documented by email marketing experts.

The Secret To a Great Marketing Campaign: A Great Mailing List

You can’t just start emailing people randomly and expect to see great results.

The best campaigns start with the best lists, so building a targeted mailing list should be your #1 priority. Even great email campaigns, with brilliant design, engaging copies, and unique value propositions can fall short if your mailing list isn’t in order.

You should have 3 main priorities for building a quality list. These include, in this exact order of priority:

  • Quality: You want real information from real people who check their email frequently.
  • Relevance: These people should be genuinely interested in your brand and industry.
  • Volume: If the first 2 priorities are squared away, you can start focusing on quantity.

A Word of Warning

Based on what I said in the preceding section, you might get ahead of yourself, thinking that the faster you build a big list, the better.

You may even turn to an online source that promises you thousands of email subscribers for a relatively small amount of money. Don’t do it.

Buying email lists from list brokers is a bad idea. You rarely get what you pay for.

Most of the subscribers will have old or fake email addresses, and the few who don’t probably aren’t interested in your services. Add in the possibility of getting flagged as a spammer, and you can see plainly why it’s almost always a bad investment.

Interested in learning more about what email marketing is and how it works? Here’s a great video by my colleague Timothy Johnson:

How To Build Your Email List (Step-by-Step)

Instead of buying an existing list with a mailing list service, you should build one organically. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Step 1: Start Early

This isn’t a formal step, but it’s a practical piece of advice that you’ll need if you want to excel at building an effective email list.

With best practices and a visionary strategy in place, your business list should compound in growth as you spend more time developing it.

The sooner you start, the sooner this compounding can begin, and the faster you’ll be able to build the list that you want.

Pro-Tip: Did you know that you can use SeedProd on your WordPress site to create a ‘coming soon’ page to build your email list before your site is even live? Talk about a jump start!

Step 2: Start With Who You Know

The start of your list should be everyone you currently have in your email database.

You may already have email lists from one of your previous direct marketing campaigns.

If you don’t, you’ll have to do some digging. Import all of your existing customer contacts that you have in your CRM system. This will give you a decent working start for your email list.

For building your email list, you can use one of the many email service providers available. I recommend AWeberKeap, or MailChimp.

Step 3: Build a Great Blog

The best way to build a list of email subscribers is to offer unparalleled blog content. This serves as a way to drive traffic to your site as well as an incentive to subscribe (to receive future content updates and exclusive content).

While content may take you some time to develop, it’s worth every second.

Once you have a decent number of blogs published on your site, be sure to add multiple call-outs for email subscription on your blog This can include easy-to-build campaigns, such as sidebar formlightbox popup, or in-line forms.

You should also limit the amount of information necessary to sign up. A name and business email address are all that you need to get started. Other demographic information, such as location, phone number, and profession is optional.

Related Content 9 Types of Popup Notifications and How to Make the Most of Them.

Step 4: Add an OptIn Incentive

Finally, cater to the people who don’t like sharing their personal information for free by offering something valuable in exchange for a signup also known as a lead magnet.

Many online marketers offer a free eBook download or a whitepaper in exchange for your email information.

As an example, Nick Gray used this lead magnet popup, in combination with other campaigns, to increase conversions by up to 1000%:

why you need email listDepending on what your potential customers prefer the most, you can offer them a free product trial, free sample, or discount offers that can be used in your online store.

What’s important is that you recognize the submission of personal information as a kind of currency exchange in its own right. You have to offer something of equal value if you want people to go through with it.

Just be mindful about changing up your offer from time to time to keep it relevant and attractive.

For more ideas on incentivizing email sign-ups, read our posts on 9 highly effective lead magnet ideas.

Pro-Tip: Generating leads is easy if you have the perfect lead magnets. And Beacon is one of the best lead magnet tools that can help you do exactly that. Beacon is a user-friendly tool that offers everything that you need to acquire new customers.

Step 5: Get Your People Sharing

Social sharing is powerful. For example, adding a ‘share’ functionality in the body of your email content can increase click-through rates (CTR) by 158% or more.

However, sharing isn’t just about getting more email subscribers to engage with your content, it’s also about getting more people interested in becoming subscribers.

Imagine that someone shares a feature of your email, like a coupon code or a piece of content. A group of social contacts who see the message will have a natural inclination to join your email list for future offers. This idea assumes that you have a valuable offer in your email to begin with.

Step 6: Experiment With New Calls-to-Action

A call-to-action (CTA) lets you ask your audience to do something specific, such as adding a button that encourages them to ‘Subscribe to our blogs’ or ‘Sign up for a free trial.’

You can maximize your potential subscribers by pursuing multiple avenues of recruitment. This includes both internal and external sources.

For example, you can A/B test a popup that offers a way for customers to sign up for email. Alternatively, you can write a guest blog or host a webinar with a partner brand to attract relevant people to join your consumer mailing list.

Even after people start filling out your signup form, you’ll have a ton of options to consider. For example:

  • Do you want a single optin or a double optin?
  • How will you convert your email subscribers into potential buyers?
  • What value will you offer your subscribers after they sign up?
  • How frequently will you send them your blogs or newsletters?

Keep these goals in mind when crafting your CTA. Remember to make the CTAs visually prominent, use action-oriented language, create a sense of urgency, and highlight the benefits to make your CTA effective.

If you’re having trouble building an email list from scratch, OptinMonster can help.

OptinMonster has dozens of built-in features to help you maximize your email signups, from pre-made conversion templates to tools for A/B testing.

Remember step #1, the sooner you start, the better, so stop procrastinating, and start building your email list today!

Start Your Mailing List Today

A nurtured mailing list is a powerful asset for every brand. It allows you to connect directly with your audience, build stronger relationships, and increase your conversion metrics.

Start building your email list today to improve your lead generation and boost sales.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few guides to help you take the first step:

Want to create an optin campaign to convert your website visitors into email leads?

Sign up with OptinMonster today!

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

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