How to Build an Email List from Scratch
Build an email list
Marketers generally focus on improving the quality of each campaign.
But even the most powerful messaging won’t lead to sales if you don’t have a good contact list. While building an email list from scratch doesn’t happen overnight, it’s one of the most effective methods of increasing sales over the long term.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the most effective ways to develop a strong email list. Although quantity obviously plays a critical role in your marketing results, it’s equally important to focus on contacting qualified leads with a high chance of conversion. A large email list might look good on paper, but it won’t lead to more sales unless the recipients are genuinely interested in your products.
Leverage Exit-intent Popups to build an email list
Popups are often considered distracting or intrusive, but they can be surprisingly useful when used effectively. Exit-intent popups are designed to appear when a user is ready to leave your site—for example, when they move their cursor off the edge of the page to click the “exit” or “quit” button.
With that in mind, exit-intent popups bring a user’s attention back to your site rather than distracting them from an existing visit. The main goal of exit-intent popups is to extend the length of each interaction and give customers another reason to stay on your site.
Some brands add to the effect of exit-intent popups by including a gift such as a discount or free shipping. Lead magnets like ebooks and guides can also be incredibly effective. Even small incentives will lead users to reconsider their decision to leave and come back to check out your products.
Optimize Email Subject Lines
Every aspect of your marketing emails is important, but the subject line is the first thing readers will see in their inbox. Perfecting subject lines will give a better first impression and lead to more recipients opening your emails to find out what’s inside.
Emails can only lead to sales if the recipient opens them, so open rates are something of a limiting factor in digital marketing. You could be missing out on an incredible volume of sales if you’re struggling with low open rates. This should therefore be among your top priorities when evaluating past digital marketing results.
Most readers will only scan the subject line for a second or two, so it’s critical to catch their attention and stand out from the rest of their inbox. On the other hand, overly generic or sales-focused messages like “don’t miss out” or “amazing value” can have the opposite effect.
One of the simplest ways to improve your results is to consistently test email subject lines through marketing software. While humans will gradually recognize trends over time, data analysis provides concrete, actionable information that makes these changes occur more quickly. You should try to test marketing emails as often as possible, including both subject lines and other elements.
Run social media giveaways to build an email list
Giveaways are an incredibly powerful way to get your brand in front of new leads. Running giveaways on social media provides an amazing opportunity for social shares, leading to a significant increase in outreach.
First, make sure to use a prize that’s relevant to your target audience. You’ll still get some clicks for Amazon gift cards, but customers are more likely to care about a unique giveaway. This practice also leads audiences to self-select—people who are interested in the prize will also be interested in your products.
Another common giveaway strategy involves offering more entries to users who complete additional tasks. You could provide an initial entry in exchange for their contact information. Plus another each time they share the giveaway on social media or follow one of your profiles.
Contests can be even more effective than conventional giveaways in that they make audiences actively involved, rather than simply being asked for their email addresses. For example, a mountain biking company might offer a prize for the best picture of one of their bikes on a ride around the world. This strategy engages the audience while simultaneously providing social proof of the product’s utility.
Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular platforms for giveaways, and they offer a low cost-per-click compared to other channels. That said, you can run successful contests and giveaways on any social media channel.
Develop more landing pages to build an email list
Landing pages are designed to give a great first impression and add users to your list as soon as they visit your site. As in other areas of digital marketing, personalizing your landing pages allows you to provide more relevant messaging for each unique visitor.
You can segment landing pages in a variety of ways to optimize your results. Even going from 10 to 15 different landing pages has been connected to a substantial increase in leads. Start by considering what different visitors are looking for and building each landing page around customer trends.
Analyze Your Results
No matter which strategies you’re using, you can always improve your approach by analyzing past results and adjusting your current practices accordingly. This applies to every aspect of lead generation. Regularly auditing yourself allows you to consistently identify the latest trends and avoid repeating the same mistakes.
A/B tests, or split tests, involve comparing two variants of the same ad to identify the better option. If you’re testing two different landing pages, you could determine which one leads to more subscriptions. Running split tests on a small group gives you the information you need to make informed decisions about large-scale campaigns.
While marketers often test multiple elements at the same time, it’s usually better to compare two versions of a single element. If you change the subject line, for example, leave the rest of the email the same. This ensures that no other changes affect your results.
Building an email list takes time, but optimizing a few of your tactics can have a significant effect on both short and long-term subscriptions. With more purchases taking place online every year, developing an email list from scratch is one of the best investments you can make in your business.
About Laura Narušytė
Laura Narušytė is an experienced digital marketing and SEO specialist at Omnisend – Ecommerce Marketing Automation platform.
When not blogging, she likes to read about SEO, digital marketing and ecommerce trends, technology and personal productivity. Follow on LinkedIn