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For any business, big or small, an email list is considered as an asset. Building an engaged subscriber list is one of the most important aspects of email marketing. This is only possible by taking the time to build your email list the right ways, if you want to reap long term benefits and not by renting, buying, sharing lists or by employing other black hat tactics.

Naive bloggers and small business owners in pursuit of early success, go after spammy ways of building lists and end up failing and losing their valuable followers.

Marketing Sherpas research shows that B2B data decays at a rate of 2.1% per month. This is an annualized rate of 22.5%. This means you will lose 22.5% of your existing subscribers every year.

Email Marketing how to build your email list

Why do you lose so many contacts?

There can be multiple reasons.

  • Contacts’ email addresses change as they move from one company to another.
  • Others abandon that old AOL address they don’t really use.
  • Unqualified leads opt-out of your email communications.email list naturally degrades by about 22%- 25% every year.etc.

That’s why it is so important to continuously build your email list and make up for those lost contacts.

Often beginners simply install a sidebar opt-in form on their website and wait for users to subscribe. This results in slow subscriber growth.

For faster growth, you need to clearly communicate the value and offer your users multiple opportunities to join your email newsletter before they leave your site.

So in this guide, I have picked up 15 ways to build your email list faster, the right way. Implements these tactics one by one, be patient and see your business boom exponentially. Looking back, this is what I’d do if I had to start growing my list all over again, or if I were starting a new business.

Let’s get to the business.

Best Ways To Build Your Email List Even When You Are Starting From Zero

#1- Choose A Professional Email Marketing Service

feature image: how to build your email list

First, you need is to make sure that you are using a professional email marketing service.

Using the best email marketing company ensures that your emails don’t end up in the spam folder. It also provides you with the right set of tools to build and grow your email list.

We recommend using Get Response. It is one of the largest and most popular email marketing service provider in the world. This is what I have been using since I have started this blog.

Get Response has 30 days Free Trial and no credit card info required. They have got an amazing 24/7 customer support. As a beginner, I needed a lot of support in setting up my campaigns, designing landing pages, etc. They were always there to help me out.

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#2- Download Optin Monster: The Best Lead Generation Software

opt in monster landing page screen shot

(Image Source)

Next, you will need OptinMonster. It is the best lead generation software in the world. It helps you convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers.

Now that you have the best tools, let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to build your email list.

#3- Create Multiple Opportunities For Email Sign-ups 

Email list-building is everything to your online business. Once you have picked up the right tools i.e Get Response + OptIn Monster, you have to give your audience as many chances to opt-in as possible on every page of your website

Write an engaging call to action and be creative.

On your site, experiment with different Call To Action (CTA) placement and opt-in forms.

Below we have discussed some best places to place opt-in forms on your website.

  • Have an opt-in form above the fold.

“Above the fold” is just anything that a user sees before having to scroll down on your site (which is considered “below the fold”). You should have prominent headers with a clear call to actions (CTA).

Here’s what my current website design looks like:

screenshot of website homepage

 

  • Include 3-5 additional opt-in forms around your site.

Have you ever heard the Rule of 7? Well, it says that someone has to see something SEVEN times before noticing it and taking action.

The mistake that a lot of people make (and that I used to be very guilty of) is that they only include one or two opt-in forms on their site, often in their sidebar, which is easy to miss.

To Build Your Email List Fast You Must have Opt-in Forms Included in These Locations Around Your Website.

  • Above the fold/header
  • Navigation menu
  • Below all blog posts
  • Within many blog posts
  • In the sidebar of the blog
  • Popups especially the Exit- Intent Popup
  • Use After Post and In-Line Opt-in Forms.

After post opt-in forms appear when a user has already scrolled down an entire article. This means that they are already interested in your content and are much more likely to sign up.

You can also use in-line opt-in forms within your blog posts. The middle of a long read is the point where users are most engaged with the content. Reminding them to sign up at that point, works like a charm.

  • Add Polite Slide-in Scroll Box Forms

As we mentioned earlier that users simply ignore most static signup forms. The goal is to divert the user’s attention to your offer and sign up form. Slide-in scroll box forms do that beautifully. They stay out of the way so that users can look at the content while diverting user attention to the signup form with slide-in animation.

#4- Use an Exit-Intent Popup

exit intent popupExit-Intent® is an advanced technology built by OptinMonster that tracks your user’s mouse behaviour and show them a targeted email signup form at the precise moment they are about to leave your website.

Think of it as On-site Retargeting.

You can use this technology in combination with full-screen welcome gates, lightbox popups, or other opt-in types to convert abandoning visitors into subscribers.

Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner used it to add over 250,000 new email subscribers.

#5- Add Gated Content in Your WordPress Blog

 

how to grow your email list. Gated content

(Image Source)

Gated Content is the content on your website that can’t be accessed until the visitor enters their email address. You can use plugins to hide some of your content or hide the entire blog post until the user enters their email address.

Just remember that gated content needs to be highly valuable, well-written, and informative in order to give the reader the expected payoff.

Remember, we’re trading value-for-value, here. The reader’s email is worth a lot to you, so return the favour.

When done right, you’ll give your audience the option to unlock a great blog post with lots of good insights, tips, or information. They’ll be scrambling to give you their details. This is how you turn a blog post into a lead magnet!

#6- Create Opt-In Incentives to Build Your Email List

Opt-in incentives are the best way to build up and warm up your email list.  Below we have mentioned some charming incentives, which you can use for your site visitors.

  • Run Giveaway and Contests

An easy way to quickly get a lot of new followers and subscribers is by running viral giveaway or contest. You don’t need an expensive prize to launch a successful giveaway campaign.

Users can join your contest by providing their email address, social sharing, or following you on social media. This creates a snowball effect and helps you reach many new users.

  • Use Discounts and Deals

grow your email list. Discounts and deals

Sometimes a discount or exclusive coupon is what encourages a customer to finally make a decision. However, why not use this opportunity to nudge them into joining your email list?

If you are using WooCommerce, then you can simply go to the WooCommerce » Coupons page to create a coupon.

After that, you can use OptinMonster’s ‘Success’ view to reveal the code after users enter their email address.

  • Use Gamified Campaigns

gamified campaigns

(Image Source)

Experts agree that gamification helps boost user engagement. Did you know that you can use gamified campaigns to boost newsletter conversions as well?

To create a gamified wheel campaigns campaign, simply follow the coupon wheel guide on Optin Monster website.

#7- Add Contact Forms to Grow Your Email Lists

Contact forms offer another great opportunity to ask for a user’s email address. Users already enter their email address and a tiny checkbox can allow them to subscribe without entering it again.

We recommend using WPForms, which is the best WordPress form builder on the market. It allows you to connect your forms with top email marketing services and helps you easily build forms with simple drag and drop tool.

WP Forms Landing Page

#8- Add Sign up Call to Action on Your Facebook Page.

Facebook has introduced Call to Action buttons for business pages. These buttons are prominently displayed on top of your cover image and are visible without scrolling. Below is the image of my Facebook official page. In which I have installed a ” Sign Up ” button as Call To Action.

Add one such button on your official Facebook business page and link it to your opt-in campaign.

#9- Use Social Proof to Encourage More Sign-ups

Social Proof is a psychological effect used to describe social behaviour where people feel more comfortable following other people. Marketers use social proof as a tactic for easing the minds of worried customers and increasing conversions.

There are many ways you can use social proof to get more subscribers.

  • You can use testimonials on your landing pages
  • Add reviews,
  • Show number of registered users, etc.
  • Show number of people visiting your site of every month
  • Show number of social shares.

#10- A/B Test Your Opt in Forms 

Many beginners continue to rely on guesswork to understand what works on their website. You need to understand how your audience reacts to different call to actions, optin placements, colors, design, and copy.

With A/B testing, you can find out which optins work better on your website. You can use these A/B testing tips to continuously test and improve your optins.

#11- Create Valuable Email Content

You don’t want to build your email list and then send junk to your subscribers. I’m pretty sure you didn’t plan to do this. Remember, it pays to be thorough.

Your subscribers are your BIGGEST fans and they care about what you’re doing online. Having someone give you their email address is kind of like someone giving you their digital phone number.

So, show them you care by creating epic and valuable content that fulfills their search intent. Your readers must find your content helpful.

  • Whenever you create a new opt-in incentive, send it to your current list, too.
  • Whenever you have an inspiring breakthrough or vulnerable, personal story that might resonate with them, share it.
  • Whenever you’re hosting a free workshop or just hit publish on an amazing piece of content, tell them about it.

And continue sharing valuable strategies and info with your list, long after they subscribe.

Doing this will not only keep your subscribers happy (and subscribed), but will also silently encourage them to share your work with their friends.

It may even help you build relationships with larger websites in the longer term.

#12- Create Consistent Content With Multiple Lead Magnet Pages

First, you have to understand what a lead magnet is.

In digital marketing, a lead magnet is defined as

“an irresistible incentive offering a specific piece of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.”

That pretty much sums it up. A lead magnet is essentially a piece of content that you offer for free. The catch is the prospect has to give you their email address in order to get it/download it/access it/etc. That content piece could be anything. It might be a guide, an eBook, an email course, or a white paper.

What Types of Lead Magnets Should You Use?

There is no single perfect lead magnet. The right type of content “bonus” you offer your readers depends on their preferences, your business, and other factors.

That said, here are some solid ideas for starters.

  • Cheat sheets – A cheat sheet gives your audience a list of steps to check off for a certain task. Whatever it is, they won’t have to remember the right steps in the right order. They can just look at your cheat sheet!
  • Checklists– A checklist is similar to a cheat sheet, but it’s a simpler one that’s generally shorter. Instead of steps, you might list the tools or resources needed for a task.
  • Comprehensive resource lists– Where do you get all the good stuff that helps you in your business on a daily basis? Think apps, websites, downloads, or lists where you’re compiling information to save the audience research time.
  • Guides– Guides go deeper than cheat sheets. They’re step-by-step, but they take time to carefully explain those steps in more detail. They provide the how and why behind the process.
  • Prompts– Prompts are little snippets that can spark creativity. You can provide these to help your audience with idea generation for any topic.
  • Short eBooks– If you have an incredible benefit or solution to a problem you can write about with authority, a short eBook is a good format for it.
  • Tutorials– Show your audience how to do something cool and valuable. Offer them a video tutorial, or create a PDF document with illustrated steps.

 

#13- Use SEO To Drive Organic Traffic To Your Site

 

Grow your email list: SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is a term that EVERYONE with a business should be familiar with. No matter which niche or industry you’re in. Or what kinds of products or services you sell. SEO is where it’s at.

Your goal with SEO is to ensure that YOUR content pops up as one of the first results on Google and Pinterest when someone searches for a particular word or phrase.

USE KEYWORDS

The best way to SEO your content is by finding the right keywords to write for.

A keyword is a word or phrase that someone might be searching for in order to find your blog post or product or anything.

There are tons of tools out there. I recommend Ahrefs and SEM Rush.

Since Google and Pinterest are both search engines (and search engines rely on keywords), this strategy works for both platforms.

For Google SEO, put keywords in:

  • Your blog post title
  • Several times within your blog post
  • Your blog post URL (notice how the URL for this post is simply “how-to-build-an-email-list” — a keyword I’m targeting here)
  • Your image file name and description
  • Use the YOAST SEO plugin in WordPress to optimize your content for SEO

For Pinterest SEO, put them in:

  • Your blog post title (this will be pulled from your blog post and displayed on Pinterest if you have Rich Pins enabled)
  • On your pin image itself
  • Your pin’s description
  • Your board descriptions

Not hard, right? But simply adding keywords to your content will drive more people to your site, rank your content higher in search results, and attract the RIGHT people to your website (because you’ve targeted exactly who you want to attract).

All of this new, targeted traffic, combined with your opt-in incentives and high-converting site designs are the perfect storm that will help you grow your email list.

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#14- Monitor The Right Metrics – And Put Them To The Test

Perhaps the most important aspect of your newsletter, and for that matter, all of your email efforts is your analytics panel. While there are a seemingly infinite number of items you can monitor, pay close attention to your delivery, open, click-to-open, share/forward, spam complaint, and unsubscribe rates.

Once you baseline these rates, start testing! Try different subject lines, article content ideas, and images. You might even test HTML vs. text emails.

The end goal is to create a system of consistent and persistent improvement in order to build 1-to-1 relationships with your customers.

#15- Some Email Marketing Best Practices

Email marketing isn’t as simple as writing a message and sending it to a list of contacts. There are a lot of email marketing best practices to follow and email marketing industry benchmarks to hit.

Here are some of the top email marketing best practices to be successful this year:

1. DO NOT USE PURCHASED EMAIL LISTS.

Email marketing is so effective because people want to engage with your business and receive your message. Buying email lists takes away this trust by spamming their inbox with something they don’t want.

And the penalties for not following these rules are severe. According to Keap (formerly Infusionsoft), you can be fined up to $16,000 per incorrect email under the CAN-SPAM Act.

The health of your email campaigns depends on a healthy open rate. If you are interacting with a purchased list, you’re bound to have super-low open rates, spam complaints, and can even be blacklisted.

With the recent General Data Protection Guarantee (GDPR) rollout, it bears repeating – never purchase email lists. You should also clean your email list regularly to ensure your contacts are up to date.

2. PERSONALIZE CONTENT WITH MERGE TAGS.

An email titled, “Dear {first name}” is much more personal than “Dear Member.” Any piece of data that you collect from your email subscribers should be used to personalize the content they receive.

If the item fits in a column within a CSV file next to their email address, a merge tag can fire. A merge tag is a piece of ESP-specific code that allows you to place unique pieces of user data from your email list into your emails.

First and last names are the most popular merge tags at an email marketer’s disposal. Plus, you can use other cards like company name, date of the previous visit, the number of emails opened, products purchased, or information from a survey.

Using merge tags in your initial greeting is a great place to start making your email more personal.

3. WRITE COMPELLING SUBJECT LINES.

Email subject lines should be concise, compelling, and create a sense of urgency while providing enough information, so the user knows what they’re opening. Sound confusing? Don’t worry – it isn’t.

Subject lines should be between 30 and 50 characters (many email providers cut off subject lines more extended than that). They should cut through the noise and entice users to act. The use of numbers and symbols, well-thought-out emojis, and exciting offers and discounts will increase your open rates.

4. USE A WELCOME EMAIL SERIES FOR NEW SUBSCRIBERS.

Email automation is a powerful tool most often used in a series of emails that welcome new subscribers into the list. These free autoresponder emails send automatically when new users opt-in to your list.

You can time these emails so that your subscribers get them on day one, day three, day five, or even day ten. Only you know the correct cadence for these emails based on your business goals.

For example, an e-commerce website may offer a 10% discount on the first welcome email. For emails 2 and 3, they can further showcase their brand story, product catalogue, and social media accounts. A welcome email series is great because it runs on autopilot, engages your list, and nurtures prospects into customers.

An email autoresponder is very helpful in email automation. After creating an email series you can easily set up an autoresponder with Get Response.

Give the infographic below a thorough read to learn what is an autoresponder and how it can help you in list building.

5. FORMAT YOUR EMAILS PROPERLY.

Emails should be between 500 and 600 pixels wide – any wider than that and users may have to scroll horizontally on their mobile devices.

Never make your “from” email address a “no-reply” email, like [email protected] Make it a name your subscribers will instantly recognize.

Place your main marketing message and call to action (CTA) above-the-fold so that most of your users will see it right away.

In your email content and imagery, stick to three fonts or less, and make sure the design matches the look and feel of your brand. Finally, put your logo at the top of the email so that subscribers recognize your brand at first glance.

Let’s Wrap It Up

That the end of our article. If you do all of the above, you should start to notice a surge in email subscribers. And the best part? With this particular system, your subscribers will be coming in on autopilot, meaning you don’t have to constantly be promoting your list and you don’t have to pay for ads.

Certainly, there are other things you can do to be more promotional about growing your list or to spend money acquiring subscribers — totally great, too! — but there’s a lot you can accomplish with the strategies above, especially if you’re busy or just getting started.

In case you have found our article helpful, don’t forget to leave a comment. Your reviews are valuable to us.

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P.S: Do you know I could help you grow your blog personally? Yeah, that’s right. I offer special WordPress services to help your set up your website create content and monetize it.

I can put you on the path of financial freedom in 3 short months, only if you are willing to put in work and have a lot of patience.

If you will work with me, I will make sure that your goals and expectations are met in the best possible way. Find out more information here.

 

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links that I receive a small commission for at no cost to you. You can read my full affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy in the footer.

Umama Batool Qazi is a full-time Dentist, Blogger and Pinterest marketer having a keen interest in discovering new ways to reach more clients through Pinterest. Join me and other readers here at ubqdigitalmarketing.com to learn about blogging and digital marketing using our recommended resources.


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