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How Important is an Email List?

Nov 21, 2022
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If you are a marketer or a business owner, then chances are that you’re fully aware of just how effective email marketing is when it comes to communicating with your customers and increasing conversion and engagement.

However, the success of your email marketing campaign will depend largely on the size and quality of your mailing list. Building a high-quality email list is essential to the success of your campaign and an important part of setting up any email marketing strategy.

What is an Email List?

Whether you’re just starting with a new business or have an established company and have heard a lot about how helpful email marketing can be in terms of engagement and ROI but aren’t sure where to get started, then don’t worry – you’re not on your own. Email marketing can be overwhelming, and building an email list that works well can be time-consuming. However, the effort and time you’ll put into building a high-quality mailing list will all be worth it.

Simply put, an email list is a list of emails you have permission to send marketing materials to. There are various ways to build an email list, including asking subscribers to sign up with a form on your website or having a check box that they can select during the checkout process to give them permission for you to send them future marketing materials. Landing pages on social media or forms that can be filled out after reading blog posts on your business blog are also good options to consider when getting more names on your email list. The most important thing is that you are collecting contact information for subscribers interested in your brand, what it offers, and who want to hear from you in the future.

How to Build an Email List

Most email service providers will offer an easy option for creating a new email list. Most of the time, this is in the form of a ‘Create New List’ option or similar. All you need to do is pick a name for your list and start adding subscribers by inputting their contact information. Most email service providers will also allow you to easily import established email lists from a spreadsheet or another ESP. Once you’ve created your list, then you can set up signup forms to start collecting more email addresses to add to it from your website visitors.

When adding addresses to your mailing list, you should have at least one or two required fields for your sign-up form. This is commonly a first name and an email address. It might also be worth considering adding fields where you can get more information on your subscriber, as this allows you to segment your list based on categories such as gender or date of birth for example. That being said, it’s essential to be careful when it comes to how much information you are asking for, as ask for too much and you may end up putting your visitors off from subscribing altogether.

Getting Started With Building a Mailing List

Your mailing list is a list of individual email addresses that belong to people who have given your business their consent to send them email marketing messages. There are several different ways that you can build an email list. You can gather emails from people who have subscribed to your newsletter via your website, through buying a product from you or signing up for a service or subscription, or get email addresses from people at industry events, conferences, and other gatherings. Building an email list is one of the most important things to focus on regarding your marketing efforts.

Keep Your Contacts Up to Date

Focusing on building and maintaining your email list makes it easier for your business to ensure that any contacts you have are up to date. From time to time, email addresses might become invalid. It’s not uncommon for people to stop using email addresses and switch to a different provider, or if you’re emailing professionals, they may no longer work at a particular organisation, and the old address you have for them there might not work. When you focus time and effort on the building and maintenance of your mailing list, you know that it’s being kept up to date and emails are not being wasted by being sent to addresses where they will not be received.

Improve Brand Awareness and Get Your Products Seen

Whether you are building an email list to send messages regarding offers and discounts to drive sales, providing your customers and subscribers with more information on upcoming products and the latest updates to your business, inviting them to relevant events, or more, spending the time and effort required to build a high-quality email list that is well-maintained will result in your brand, products, and services being put in front of more people, boosting brand awareness and resulting in increasing your customer base.

Build Your Email List Step by Step

Building a high-quality mailing list is easier than it might seem at first once you know the steps involved. Remember that you’re not going to build an effective mailing list overnight, and you will need to persevere and be patient to get it to where you want it to be. These two steps are essential to follow when building your mailing list:

Create Opportunities for Subscriptions

The first step to creating your mailing list is ensuring that people can easily sign up to receive newsletters and other marketing materials for you. You can create opportunities for people to subscribe to your mailing list in many different ways. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Website: Your website is likely to be where most customer interactions happen, especially if you run an eCommerce business. Because of this, it should be one of the major places to focus on when creating opportunities for people to subscribe to your mailing list. For example, you can include a subscription form for visitors to fill out in the footer of your website or a prominent location on the homepage.
  • Checkout: If you are selling products online, it’s also a good idea to turn the checkout process into an opportunity for people to sign up for your mailing list. This can be simple: adding a check box for customers to tick if they want to hear more from you. Write compelling copy for your call to action to encourage customers to check the box so that they don’t miss out on the latest information in the future.
  • Email Signature: Chances are that you might be sending emails for other purposes to people who are not subscribed to your mailing list. For example, this could be product order confirmation emails to eCommerce customers who have not signed up. Since these emails are likely to get a high engagement rate, it’s a good idea to consider adding a link in the signature, encouraging the recipients to subscribe to your email list and get more information for you in the future.
  • Social Media: If you are active on social media on a brand and have built a following on top platforms like Facebook and Twitter, then this presents an excellent opportunity to convert your social media followers into email subscribers too. You can do this by posting links to subscribe on your social media profile or using lead generation tools like Facebook Ads.
  • In-Person Interactions: If you interact with customers in person, for example, if you have a brick-and-mortar store to sell your products, this can be a great way to get customers to sign up for your email list by simply asking them to provide their information.

Offer Something of Value in Return

Once you have created a range of easy opportunities for people to sign up for your mailing list, you should consider what you will offer them in return for their contact information. Most people don’t want to give out their contact information for no reason, especially when we are bombarded daily with marketing messages. You should consider offering an incentive to encourage people to join your list. Some options to consider include the following:

  • Discounts and Offers: Getting some money off is often a big enough incentive for many people. If you’re targeting people interested in buying a product or service for you, then offering a percentage off their next purchase just for signing up for your email list can be an idea.
  • Content: If you use many content marketing techniques to attract visitors to your website or run a popular blog, offering high-quality, exclusive content in return for signing up to your mailing list can be very effective.

If you want to get started with email marketing, then spending the time to build an effective, high-quality, and up-to-date email list is hugely important.

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