Email marketing is still very much an essential part of everyday business. Companies can’t afford to ignore this channel of marketing if they genuinely wish to experience online growth and brand development. However, email lists don’t come together on their own. A business owner has to be willing to invest time and resources into creating a list of contacts that will not only translate into quality leads but also into actual customers. In this article, we take a closer look at what it takes for you to build an email list from scratch.

7 steps to help you build an email list from scratch

Email icon with inbox background on laptop screen.
Start working on boosting your email contact list today.

1. Always use personalized calls to action (CTAs)

Personalization is always a smart path to take in your marketing campaigns. Modern consumers want to feel special, and it only takes a couple of simple tricks to get that effect. A first name at the beginning of an email or a personalized call to action to match the subject of your email. Tricks such as these show customers that attention to detail and the willingness to impress them. And most businesses that take this path see twice as many email subscribers.

  • For example, let’s say you wrote an article on “The benefits of using a moving day checklist” and you wanted to create an email campaign from it. If you want to build an email list from this article piece, you need to go the extra mile and provide customers with a simple call to action like: “Click here to download a free moving checklist”.

This will give email recipients that incentive to go from reading the email to engaging and subscribing to your future emails. And just like that, you’ve earned bonus subscribers. Of course, you won’t always be able to offer audiences something to download, but there are plenty of tricks that you can pull out of this particular hat. Offering content directly related to your visitor’s needs will make your newsletter feel helpful and valuable. And these are key principles for a long-term customer retention plan.

2. Use onsite targeting through customized pop-ups

Pop-ups are definitely a tactic that consumers are more intolerant to than ever before. However, pop-ups are not the same as they were twenty or even two years ago. There are different approaches that marketers can take when it comes to designing pop-ups and slide-ins, one of the remaining efficient ones being trigger pop-ups.

A lot of marketers found it beneficial to time their pop-ups based on the:

  • amount of time someone spends on a page;
  • attempt to leave the page;
  • section of the page a user scrolls down to.

The purpose is to give site visitors a tailored pop-up that will respond to their behavior and needs, leading them to subscribe to your newsletter and learn more.

3. Time your subscription messages

Nobody really lands on a page or blog post with the expectation of getting an instant message to subscribe. Instead, you want to give users time to engage with the content before asking them to join your email list. By using simplified custom surveys on certain types of pages or blogs, you can interact with readers through a simple multiple-choice question, and follow-up with an offer to have them subscribe to your newsletter. Using longer forms can often deter people from spending time filling them out. Instead, go into the entire concept with the attitude that “less is more”.

4. Give your CTAs some personality

Enthusiastic person and purple background.
You need to incorporate some personality if you want to build your email list from scratch.

With so many default calls to action, it’s easy for websites to lose their identity among the countless others that customers come across. Instead, why not devote your attention to details that can leave a lasting impression on your site visitors. Sometimes, it only takes a single detail to make your site stand out from the competition. Let’s start with this simple example.

  • You land on a moving company website and as you are going through a page, a pop-up quote form comes up. The question is “Would you like to get a free moving estimate?” and the options below it are “YES” and “NO”. The choice, although professional, is very plain and therefore, lacks any personality to get your attention. Now, imagine seeing a slight modification in those options such as “Hell yeah, I want a free quote” or “No thanks, I don’t want a stress-free move”. Already, you give people something to consider here before clicking on any of the options.

And those couple of seconds of second-guessing are enough to keep the spotlight on your website long enough for people to subscribe to your newsletter.

5. Give value to your CTAs

A lot of consumers have gotten used to receiving generic offers in emails. However, there is a difference between receiving a generic email from a well-known brand that you know and receiving an email from a business that you know nothing about. And when you want to build an email list from scratch, having that impact right from the start is a big advantage. You really need to make your pop-ups and campaigns shine for people to go “Wow…these guys know what I need”.

So, if you’ve just started your business, you will want to avoid the washed-up “Sign Up” or “Subscribe” approach, because it’s a one-way-ticket to junk emails. Instead, incorporate valuable terms such as:

  • Download…
  • Exclusive…
  • Premium…
  • Limited…
  • Access…

People won’t subscribe to receive a newsletter from companies that have the same offer as everyone else. They need to be able to see the value in your offer, even when comparing you to others. And when you consider that a single CTA in an email can boost the number of click by 370%, it easy to see the importance of investing time in finding a unique one for your business.

6. Use social media to promote your email newsletter

Email inbox on smart phone and iPad
Start using different channels to promote your newsletter.

In order to build an email list from scratch, you need to go past the sheer quantity and focus on the strength of the network. Social media platforms are the perfect setting for expanding your email list. If you have followers on a variety of social media networks, why not bring them into the fold with your newsletter as well? After all, these are people that already know and have an appreciation for your business – they should have no reason to not subscribe.

7. Create more landing pages

As your business grows, it’s only logical for your email list to do the same. And as far as moving company SEO strategies go – this one is very direct. Offer more to cover more ground. In SEO, you need to create landing pages to target relevant keywords. And the same rule applies when it comes to gathering traffic for your website. With every new landing page, you can create content that is tailored to engage a particular audience. And you can use every one of those landing pages as selling points in your email marketing campaigns.

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