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Building a quality email list

Did you know that attracting a new lead is five times more expensive, then to keep an existing one? The biggest benefit of building a quality email list is that you can approach and connect with these prospects at any time, without hardly any additional cost.

A solid email marketing strategy sets the foundation for reaching your marketing goals and achieving sustainable online growth, and a good starting point is to build of list of leads, that enables you to engage with them.

Focus on the relationship first

When it comes to list building, the primary focus is geared towards establishing a good relationship with your prospects. Someone will join because you give valuable information, not because you are pushing them to buy something. This also indicates that this is a long-term strategy.

Why is email marketing important?

Building a quality email list is without a doubt, the most valuable asset an online marketeer has to reach out to its audience. Because of the leverage, it is a very efficient way to be productive. You can read about it in my other post here. Expanding this email list is your top priority!

Create lead magnets

The first thing you should do is to use a lead magnet. This is something you give away for free, in exchange for someone’s email address. Nowadays, unless people are true fans of your brand, they are reluctant to just give you their email address. By giving them something of value, you will find that you can grow your email list significantly within a reasonable amount of time.


Lead magnets can be a coupon on their first order, or a digital download like an e-book, cheat sheets or a tutorial. Important is that it represents value. If there is no value, then this will not work.

Work with gated content

This is a bit teasing, but it works like crazy. Give your visitors a piece of the pie first, before you give them the whole thing. Let them read the first part of the article, and when they hit a certain part, you restrict it until they give their email address. For this to work, you need to make sure the content is good before and after the cutoff. If it isn’t good before, they won’t leave their email, and if it isn’t good after, they will be disappointed and probably unsubscribe the first chance they get.

Another option that you can offer visitors, is to allow them to receive a content upgrade. When someone reads your article, you can insert a CTA at the end that provides them with more information about this topic, in exchange for their email. This can also be a downloadable cheat sheet or checklist of the topic.

Give exclusive access

Giving viewer privileges to hidden content that visitors wouldn’t see if they didn’t submit their email. This is a more psychological strategy, where you make people feel special because they have this access, it is a separate area, only accessible to a few privileged visitors.

This looks a bit like gated content mentioned earlier, but now, you don’t show them anything unless they give you their email. Loyal visitors to your blog are bound to use this feature when you include this on your website. The reason being, they know the value your content represents.

Make personal call to actions

For each post you make, include a CTA for signing up for your newsletter. Tailor these CTA’s specifically towards the topic of the article, they are included in. Setting it up like this creates a relation between the CTA and the article they have already shown an interest in. Because they have landed on this page already, this will have a higher success rate. For example, when you have an article about the latest smartphone on your electronics website, including a CTA that says, “get the latest on smartphones”. The CTA now relates to the content of the article, which makes it more relevant for the visitor, which gives you a much larger chance they will click through.

In addition to collecting emails, this CTA also divides your email list into subscriber’s preferences. Now you can really target emails towards them, which they have an interest in. This eliminates the possibility of spam and keeps your subscribers engaged.

Next, you need a tool that allows you to create targeted email opt-in forms for specific website visitors, that adds them to the appropriate email segments. You can do this with a plugin called MailPoet. Once installed, you can create segmented lists that you can display on your signup form, so your visitors now have the option what they want to subscribe to.

Building an email list from scratch

Besides preferences based on interest, you can also segment your email list based on time preference. Allowing your subscribers to choose when they receive emails, gives you an edge to approach them when they are in the right mood to receive them.

Allow for email capping

Many people refuse to subscribe to a newsletter, out of fear they will be bombarded with emails. You can take this fear away, by letting them choose the frequency of emails they will receive from you. This option is shown at the same time they submit their email. Now, they know what they can expect from you, which ensures they will not be spammed. In the future, they may update their preferences where they can adjust this frequency.

Use social media

You can also start to collect emails outside of your own website, like your social media channels for example. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are perfect for collecting emails, or to generate traffic to your website where you can collect them. You probably have a couple of social media accounts already, thus why not utilize this to your advantage? And by the way, it’s free!

Use Twitter lead generation cards

For this, you need a twitter business account and have your add account set up. You don’t need to pay anything, but you do need to have this up and running. Within the twitter dashboard, you can now create a card, with an image, title, and URL to your website. This way, you can drive traffic from Twitter to your website where the sign-up form exists.

Collect emails through Facebook

Start collecting emails through your Facebook account. You can insert your email provider into your Facebook account to start collecting emails from your Facebook business page. Out of all the strategies I talked about here, this may not be the most effective one. However, since you only have to set it up and doesn’t require any effort afterward, its an absolute no brainer!

Exit pop-ups

Add an exit popup to your website. On average more than 70% of your visitors will never return. You can insert an exit pop-up when they are just about to leave your site. This might be your last opportunity to stay in contact with them, so you need to make this as attractive as you can! The pop-up is triggered by the mouse which moved to close to the x in the top right corner. Super effective! You can use Hello Bar to create your exit popup.

All of these are easy to setup. Your email list will bearly grow only by inserting a sign-up field on your homepage. It is good to include them anyway because it does create an opportunity to collect emails. But gone are the days when people would just leave behind their emails, on a dull sign-up form. With these actions, your email list will grow, so time to start adopting them.

Join the discussion

  1. vurtilopmer

    Hello.This post was really fascinating, particularly because I was browsing for thoughts on this subject last Friday.

  2. 3m 9501v

    Hi. I hope you will publish again such type of post. Thank you!

    Best regards,
    Lunding Schneider

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