How to Build an Email List for Your Small Business

/How to Build an Email List for Your Small Business

How to Build an Email List for Your Small Business

As an owner of a small business, email can be an excellent marketing tool. It reaches and converts traffic, while offering a high return on investment. According to Campaign Monitor, many marketers are still seeing impressive returns, while click-through rates are higher than social media marketing and search engine results by a sizeable margin. What more could you ask for? The challenge for many businesses comes in figuring out how to build an email list quickly and effectively.  Not to worry, we are here to help you with some tips to get your small business mailing list on the up and up.

Offer Incentives

Perhaps one of the best ways to start growing your small business email lists is by offering your audience a reason to join. Makes sense.  With customers receiving email opt-in offers from every online retailer they visit, it seems they would get in the habit of opting out. However, an opt-in incentive can help to do the trick.

It can be something like an e-book, infographic, webinar, coupons, or even a free gift; something to make it worthwhile for them to sign up. Check out this great example from Neil Patel’s Quicksprout blog. He currently offers a free course to double your traffic in 30 days in exchange for your email address. Pretty enticing, right? Who wouldn’t want to double their traffic?

Finding the right incentive can often be tricky and depends on your target audience. Some trial and error may be necessary to find what visitors really respond to.

Embed an Opt-In Form

The next option is embedding an opt-in form. This is a must-have as it makes it easy for visitors to subscribe on their website. If visitors want to subscribe on their own, you want to make sure there is an easy way to do so. Instead of asking people to click onto a new page to sign up, embed a form into the page they are currently viewing.

Prompt viewers to join your list on every page

Placing one opt-in box somewhere on a page on your website probably is not going to lead to a lot of people signing up to your email list. Not only should it be prominent, but it really should be found on every page on your website. The easiest place to do this is as a footer at the bottom of the page or right at the top of the vertical navigation bar. Be present but not obtrusive.

Use a Pop-Up Opt-In Box

Pop-up boxes can work in encouraging people to sign up for your mailing list. The secret with these however, is not to make them annoying. Many people do not like pop-up boxes, so they should be used in the proper way.

To add a pop up to your page, a number of methods can be used.

  • Using cookies, you can only show the boxes once a week to any visitor to the site. So even if they return, it will only pop up again in a weeks’ time. If they are interested in your product or service, they will sign up.
  • Alternatively, you could set them to pop up after 2 minutes of inactivity on the user’s part.
  • You could opt for a sliding pop up. This appears at the bottom of the page in an unobtrusive manner when they begin to scroll, moving down with them as they scroll and not blocking their view in any way.
  • You can have the pop up appear when they click to leave the page. A last effort to get their subscription.

Offer Text-to-Join

Another simple method to build an email list quickly is to take advantage of the public’s love of smartphones. No matter where you look, people seemed glued to their screen. By using a simple text to join approach, you can have people signing up for your email by simply sending a text Their text, which is free, will then include their email address which can be added to your mailing list.

Leverage FOMO

The ‘Fear Of Missing Out’! Use this to your advantage when building an email list. Start by using your Facebook or Twitter feed to let out little bits of information, insight if you will, into the content of your newsletter or emails that you send to customers.

If this is done effectively, you will get people who have not signed up, interested. The only way they will be privy to that content would then be to sign up for your email list. Of course, to set this up will depend on your line of business, your products or your services offered, but when done correctly can lead to a boost in subscribers.

Require Opt-ins On Web Forms

Using your web forms to increase sign ups is a must. Be careful, however, your confirmation email to them may go straight into their spam folder. It is imperative that your confirmation page is fully optimized. To do this, make sure you follow these simple tricks.

  • First, remind them of all the advantages they will receive when they subscribe.
  • Second, include a strong call to action that makes them want to subscribe and confirm their subscription as soon as possible.
  • Finally, take the potential subscriber through each step of the process, making sure they not only understand it, but that they do it as you take them through it.

By following these three steps you email list subscriptions are likely to improve.

Use Social Proof

Finally, make sure you make use of social proof to show your email list is valued by others. Do this by sharing how many other people have chosen to subscribe. For example, use tweets or Facebook posts which incorporate the numbers.  

This example also utilizes the FOMO tactic. By showing that other people are signing up, more people are likely to take action. You can also add these numbers next to your email opt in messages wherever they may be.

Now Try It Yourself

There you have some useful tactics for building small business mailing lists. The only way to find what works best for your business is to experiment, track the results, and experiment more. If you’re not savvy with opt-in pages, don’t sweat it. There are plenty of vendors, such as OptinMonster that can help you setup, test and manage your new email lists. As you have seen, tactics can be combined together to create a more powerful effect. Over time you will be able to fine tune your tactics and take full advantage of this great medium for moving customers through the buying cycle.


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