Small businesses are dependent on a solid email marketing list to help stay in touch with current customers, as well as convert prospects to buyers. If you aren’t doing email marketing for your small business in this current economy, you are missing out! Email remains one of the more powerful ways of marketing to your base, but your reach is only as good as your email list. If you struggle to add quality email addresses to your email marketing list, we’ve gathered four easy ways to build your email marketing list.

Newsletter sign up

Many companies don’t gather new email addresses that they can market to simply because they don’t provide an easy way for people to sign up for their list. If you don’t ask people to sign up, they won’t. Very few people will diligently hunt and peck around your website for a sign-up form, and virtually none will reach out proactively and ask to be put on your list. So how can you make it easy for people to sign up for your email blasts or newsletters? Here are three simple ways:

  1. Add a sign-up form on your website – this is really a no-brainer but do put a little thought into it. First, make the sign-up form easy to find; many people put the form in the footer of their website, so it shows up on every page. You can also create a popup form when people first visit your site, or right before they exit, prompting them to sign up. Make sure you offer a value statement, so people see the value of sign-up up.
  2. Add a sign-up form on your Facebook page – several email marketing platforms, including Constant Contact, give you very simple steps to follow to add an email sign-up form to your Facebook page. It’s worth the effort to give people the option to sign up!
  3. Add a link to your email signature – many savvy small business owners add their social media links to their email signatures, but few add a link to an email sign-up. It’s the perfect opportunity to capture a few good quality emails. Just add it to your email signature and watch your list grow!

Free downloads

e-bookPeople can be protective of their email address, but if you offer a free download in exchange for a name and address, many people find value in that. Downloads can be ebooks, infographics, checklists… whatever would be considered of value to your target audience is worth trying. Ideally, create a content piece that your prospects could use to help solve a problem they have or educate them. Keep in mind that even with free content, the more information you ask for, the less likely people are to fill out the form, so keep your request to name and email address (company name too if you’re targeting other businesses).

Offer email-only specials

Everybody loves a good deal, so why not offer an incentive to people by providing email-only discounts?  It is another way to encourage people to trust you with their email list.

Want more great ideas on how to build an email list?  Here are 29 ways to collect email addresses.

Encourage forwarding

email forwardingWhen you send an email, include a forward-to-a-friend link in case recipients want to forward your content to someone they think will find it interesting. Make sure the link directs newcomers to a page with your opt-in form.

With all of these, the key is making it easy for people to opt into your email list. Don’t ever buy or rent email lists. Purchased and rented lists often give you a bunch of emails for people who will probably never open your email. Everybody hates spam. Not only that, but it can also get you in hot water—the US government passed the CAN-SPAM act way back in 2003.

Trying these four easy ways to build your email marketing list could get you big results. Build bigger and better email lists to help market your small business.

Patty Hughes
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