A Beginner’s Guide to Building An Email List

If you want to get the most from the web, you need to have an email address. This unwritten law means that by 2022, there’ll be more than four billion email users around the world.

This inbox boom has not been overlooked. Businesses both large and small are building email lists with as many of these email addresses as possible.

It’s an exclusive invitation to their pockets, bypassing all the noise and reaching a potential or existing customer directly and personally. No paid ads, no worrying about algorithms displaying content… Just simple, one-to-one communication.

The numbers are impressive too. Statistics from Salesforce show that email marketing has an average ROI of a staggering 3,800 percent. To put that into perspective, that means for every pound a business invests in email marketing, it can expect to see a return of £28.

If you’re at the outset of your email marketing journey, this straight-to-the-point beginner’s guide is for you. We’re going to provide you with guidance and inspiration to help in building an email list that will instantly start delivering value.

Begin by Creating SMART Goals

First things first, It’s important to start with a series of solid goals. This will give you an idea of what exactly you’re hoping to achieve and what is realistic according to your business’s resources and timeframes.

We recommend using SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Developing these goals will help you to understand what you can achieve and shape the rest of your process going forward.

A great way to lay out your SMART goals for your email marketing efforts is by using this downloadable resource from Project Smart.


Start Building an Email List

It’s now time to set about achieving those SMART goals by collecting email addresses and building up a healthy list of subscribers.

You may want to begin by importing an existing list of contacts you’ve already collected. If you have them, these will provide the foundation for your new list and offer a great testing ground for your initial campaigns.

At this stage of the process, you’ll also want to consider how these email addresses are going to be stored. There are many popular CRM and email marketing services out there, so it’s important for you to get this right — moving large volumes of data in the future can be a complicated, costly, and time-consuming process.

Leverage Gated Content

Businesses use a range of techniques to secure the email addresses of their customers. Giveaways, newsletters, and subscription models being just some of them.

In recent years, content marketing has developed and “gated material” has become a frequently used method to secure users’ contact details. Gated material or content is essentially valuable resources that businesses create and that can be accessed by providing an email address. This creates a fair and profitable transaction for both the business and the customer. If this sounds complicated, it’s not; you can create gated content from content you already have.

Make it Simple & Trustworthy

Whichever technique or techniques you use to build an email list, the key is to make it simple unless users won’t bother making the effort to subscribe.

Do some digging into research around UX and UI to understand how you can give your signup form the best chance of collecting those precious email addresses. And remember, always make sure your forms meet GDPR and data privacy best practices. If not to make prospects feel they can trust you with their data, to ensure you don’t get red flagged and loose all your hard-earned subscribers further on down the line.

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Alistair Hague

Alistair Hague

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