Email marketing continues to have one of the highest returns on investment out of all the marketing channels. The ROI of an email marketing campaign is an impressive USD $36 for every $1 spent! Moreover, email is still the preferred option of communication for many consumers, with many of them wishing they received more emails from their favorite brands. Many businesses get excited about these figures, but often forget about the most crucial component: They need an email list for marketing too!
Building an email list can be a time-consuming process. However, the good news is, that collecting emails is mostly an automated task once all the collection mechanisms have been set up on the website. With a call to action placed in appropriate locations, offering products, services, and information of value, a business can easily collect the email addresses of its target audience.
The reason why email lists are so valuable to businesses is because of how cost-effective email marketing is. With a high ROI, a relatively low entry barrier to begin with, and the high-quality leads that are collected for email lists, marketers from every industry are constantly competing to outperform other email marketers and gain the attention of their audience.
To help your business develop its email list for marketing, we have developed this guide that offers 5 easy and foolproof ways to collect email addresses for marketing. To start the guide off, we will cover the basics of what email marketing is, and then why marketing with email is important.
Next, we will get into the finer details about an email list, including what an email list is, why having an email list is important, should you buy an email list, and then finally, the 5 ways to build an email list for marketing!
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What is email marketing and why is it important?
What is email marketing you ask? Email marketing is a component of internet marketing that includes marketing lines such as social media, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, content marketing, and pay-per-click advertising.
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate sales. It utilizes the ability of the website to capture email addresses from its target audience, to be placed on an email list. The reason email marketing is so valuable to companies is that it has an extremely high return on investment. Whereas, for every USD $1 spent, a business gets a return of $36. The high return on investment is because the individuals registering for the email list are typically high quality and highly relevant. This is because they have submitted their email address in return for information, a trial, or a feature on a website, thus signifying interest and trust within the company.
Therefore, because of the high relevance of email subscribers, it is much easier for companies to send out targeted emails that will convert into sales. When it comes to email marketing, you can think of an email address as a form of currency. Therefore, to answer the question of why email marketing is so important, it boils down to the number of email addresses a company can collect, and directly market to with emails. Whereas, the higher the number of email addresses, the higher the chance the company can convert a subscriber of their email list into a paying customer.
What is an email list?
An email list is a list of emails that has been gathered from a company’s visitors or customers, who would like to receive email updates regarding new products and services, company updates, discounts, and other news. An email list is a great digital marketing tool that allows a company to directly market to highly motivated and relevant leads.
A list of emails can be collected in two different ways. One, it can be collected by the company itself, through various methods such as promotions on the website, call to action, offering discounts and deals, making a sale, or offering gated content.
Another way a business can acquire a list of email addresses is by buying them from a third-party vendor. Which is what we cover in the next section.
Should I buy an email list?
No, you should not buy an email list. A business can easily make its own email list by providing value to its website traffic and customers. Additionally, a list of email addresses made in-house will ensure that the subscribers are relevant and interested in the services and products being offered.
A business that buys an email list risks not only hurting its brand image by sending unsolicited emails but also risks getting penalized by its email service provider. A few other reasons why a business should avoid buying an email list from a vendor includes the following:
Why you should avoid buying an email list:
- It is illegal to send unsolicited emails without consent. Laws such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, as well as the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States, forbid the sending of unsolicited commercial emails.
- If email addresses are for sale, there is a chance that they are of low quality and irrelevant to your business’s niche
- Your business will have no brand recognition with the people on the bought email list. They will not recognize your brand and will be confused, or upset that they are receiving unsolicited emails from your company. Moreover, if someone has no brand awareness of your company, they are likely to not open your emails and may mark them as spam
- With more email addresses marketing you as spam, the higher the chance you will hurt your brand in the eyes of your email service provider. Moreover, you risk the chance of getting in trouble legally with the anti-spam laws
- If too many people from the bought email list mark your emails as spam, your email service provider such as Gmail or Yahoo can end up penalizing you. This means they can end up limiting your abilities to send emails, or refuse to provide you service altogether.
To sum up this section, it is a bad idea to buy an email list from a third party. Your company can end up being penalized by your email service provider. However, more importantly, you may end up spending money on email addresses that have zero relevance to your business.
The issue of relevancy brings us to our next point, why do I need an email list?
Why do I need an email list?
Building an email list is one of the best ways to develop relationships with your customers and audience. The list will allow marketers to send direct marketing messages to the subscribers’ inboxes. Resulting in an intimate way to communicate, and allows for important information, updates, news, and discounts to be passed on to the subscriber.
A few other benefits of having an email list include:
Benefits of having an email list:
- Having an email list allows businesses to directly market and communicate to a highly motivated and relevant audience. If an email list has been generated in-house, it means that all email addresses on the list opted in to receive emails because they are interested in the products and services being offered.
- Email marketing has a low-cost entry barrier. The process of collecting emails can be automated on the website and does not require much time, energy, or money to conduct.
- Marketing with email gives a business access to a large highly motivated and interested audience. As mentioned, all subscribers on the email list are giving the business permission to send commercially based emails. Social media marketing also provides a large audience, however, this audience may not see the post, or might not be as interested in the products and services being offered
- Subscribers can also help spread your business through word of mouth. This is because they have either bought something from the company, or they are highly interested in the products. Therefore, if you provide superior customer communication and valuable information to your email list the subscribers on it will result in them promoting the business to their friends and colleagues.
Now that we have a good idea about the benefits of an email list, we need to start building the list of subscribers. In the next section, we provide 5 strategies for building an email list for email marketing purposes!
5 best ways to build an email list for marketing fast and from scratch
The first thing to know is these strategies are not going to build you an email list overnight. It takes time and your business will need to provide value to the potential lead. Providing value to a website visitor can be done in multiple ways. The business can have a great blog that provides unique and high-quality information, it can provide an ebook, a template of some sort, a free digital tool, or any other digital product that solves the customer’s problem. These digital products can then be exchanged for an email address.
Remember, think of email addresses as a currency. If a business puts in the work early to capture emails and build a subscriber list, it will pay off in the future!
Let’s dive into 5 strategies to build your email list!
1. Embedded signup forms:
These are the most traditional email address capture techniques. They are static forms that are placed on pages and blog posts throughout the website. They are non-intrusive capture mechanisms that look natural on the page. These forms can be placed in headers, footers, sidebars, and throughout the body of content.
Just make sure not to overdo it with the forms, they should look natural and not spammy. Moreover, they should only serve as gentle reminders that the website visitor should sign up and subscribe to the email list. This is why this email list-building strategy should be coupled with the more proactive email capture strategies we list below.
2. Welcome and exit pop-ups:
Pop-ups are a great email address capturing mechanism. They have great conversion rates, and studies show that they convert at around 11%! This is amazing by itself, but when you take into account that exit pop-ups can save between 10-15% of lost visitors!
It is important to note that Google does have very strict guidelines on pop-ups as when the tool is manipulated, it can be very disruptive, and spammy. A few things to keep in mind about pop-ups according to Google’s guidelines are:
- Don’t show a popup that covers the main content either straight after a user hits the page from search, or whilst they are scrolling through the page.
- Don’t display a standalone interstitial that the user needs to close before accessing content.
- Don’t use a page layout where the above-the-fold section of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
With those guidelines in mind, while using pop-ups as an email list-building strategy, make sure they are simple and easy to fill out. Moreover, there should be an enticing call to action on it. Remember, the pop-up is a disruption to the user, and if it is not helpful, or comes off as spammy, they are more likely to bounce away from your website.
3. Introduce gamification
As we continue to transition into the digital age, gamification of various elements has grown in popularity. Gamification is the process of using game elements in promotions to encourage users to participate in the capture mechanism.
The type of gaming element a website decides to use depends on the overall brand of the company. You want to figure out a mechanism that will best suit your website as well as your target audience. A great way to do this is by testing different games and seeing which one people engage with the most.
A few types of gamification elements you can try to increase your subscriber base include:
- Wheel of Fortunes (Spin to win)
- Contests, giveaways, and sweepstakes
- Website scavenger hunts
4. Utilize opt-in options during checkout:
Online shoppers expect to receive an order confirmation by email after purchasing something. Therefore, since they are already providing their email address, make sure to convert them into a subscriber as well.
This can be done by asking if they would like to receive marketing emails from your business. The key is to convince them it’s a good idea to do, all while not being pushy. You can use additional discounts, or free delivery if they opt-in to receiving emails.
One thing to think about is whether you want to use single or double opt-ins while they are subscribing to your email list. Single opt-ins mean the person only has to enter their email address and they are done. Double opt-ins however, force the person to go and verify their email address before they are placed on the email list.
Each option has different benefits and drawbacks. For example, a single opt-in is much easier for the subscriber as it doesn’t require any further effort. This means marketers can build the email list much faster. On the other hand, this may lead to a lesser quality of a lead.
Double opt-ins force the person to confirm their email address. This means more barriers for people to subscribe and they might abandon the process, resulting in your subscriber list growing slower. However, you can be sure that the list is of a higher quality as the subscribers went through extra steps.
5. Create gated content and features:
Creating gated content is a great way to build your email list because it shows that the people requesting the information are highly interested in what you offer. Moreover, it helps you target your email marketing better as you already have a way to segment your subscriber list by.
Gated content can be in the form of ebooks, master classes, software features, checklists, courses, templates, and digital tools. Depending on what your target audience is looking for, you can develop one of the pieces of content mentioned above (or get creative and offer something different) and offer it to your website visitors in exchange for their email address.
A great way to find out exactly what your target audience is looking for is by conducting keyword research. Research various tools, software, and features your audience is looking for, and develop that exact resource. After that, make sure to promote it on your website, on social media accounts, and work to increase website traffic back to that webpage.
Key Takeaways: Email list for marketing: How to create an emailing list!
Building an email list for marketing is extremely valuable. It allows digital marketing professionals to engage directly with their target audience, and promote their products and services. The reason this is so important is that the subscribers on the email list are highly motivated and interested individuals and are likely to buy a product or service.
By taking advantage of various strategies to convert potential leads into customers through email marketing, a business can reap a substantial return on their investment (USD $36 for every $1 spent!). To accomplish this, make sure to take advantage of best practices for email marketing, business email templates as well as email marketing automation software.
If you are interested in getting help with your email marketing campaign, then reach out to Clear Door SEO.
Clear Door SEO is an Oregon SEO company in Portland that focuses on providing digital marketing solutions including SEO services. If you want to take your digital marketing and email marketing efforts to the next level, then make sure to contact us! Additionally, make sure to take advantage of our free website audit!