Your small business email mailing list is your database of prospects and clients who have opted in to receive ongoing communication from you. List building is the process of getting more people to subscribe to that list.
Building an email mailing list takes time. You might be tempted to gather all the names and email addresses of people in your contact database, from business cards you collect during networking events, or even from email lists you purchase or rent, but I strongly encourage you not to do this. There is a much greater possibility that people who have not directly opted in to your mailing list will perceive your newsletter as spam if you do these activities.
Build Your Email Mailing List With Lead Capture Forms
A better approach is to include your mailing list subscription form on your website that allows site visitors to enter their contact information if they would like to receive your newsletter.
To maximize the number of visitors who subscribe, place your subscription form in a prominent place, such as on the top right-hand side of your page so visitors see it without having to scroll.
How to Build Your List with Incentives
Next, create an incentive for people to subscribe. Many people are initially skeptical about parting with their contact information. To encourage them to sign up, offer them a bonus that gets them to take action. Common incentives include:
- Weekly newsletter – Create a weekly newsletter filled with practical tips, articles and advice your subscribers can use immediately.
- E-Courses – A free e-course delivered as a series of lessons can entice people to sign up. Consider delivering at least seven lessons over the period of a few days, and throughout the course, subtly promote the products and services you offer.
- White papers – People are always curious about what their competitors are doing, so if you have insider information about how competitors have solved key problems your subscribers are facing, they will want to know more.
- Free e-book or special report – A free special report delivered as an e-book can be a great way to give prospects a sample of your services. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, but it does have to provide valuable information. If your free sample stinks, people will wonder if your paid services are just as shoddy.
- Free membership site – Offer special content or a free trial membership to people who subscribe to your newsletter. This can serve as a way to upsell them other products or other levels of membership with more resources.
- Sign up bonuses - If you sell a product, consider giving email subscribers a coupon or discount if they purchase your product in the next few days.
No matter how you collect email subscribers, always give people a way to unsubscribe. If you do offer incentives, some people will sign up just to receive the free report or coupon and will immediately unsubscribe. That’s OK. You only want people who genuinely want to receive information from you on your list. By following these tips, you can build your email mailing list quickly.