January 2013 – Build an Effective Email List

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Social media may be getting all the press these days, but nothing trumps email for connecting with your customers. According to Social Media Today, email accounts for more than five times the daily online activity than Facebook and Twitter combined.

Twenty Ways to Build an Effective Email List

How can you tap this email activity to drive sales?

It’s all in the list – your email list that is, and only a home-grown list will do. Sure, there are lists for sale, but don’t ever pay for one! Paid email lists are problematic for two reasons. First is quality. Is it targeted and up to date? Second, unsolicited email has extremely low open rates.

That’s why an organically grown email list is the single most important aspect of any sustainable email marketing program. Here are twenty ideas for how to grow an email list for any business.

Go to the People

1 – Network with Purpose Put those business cards you collect to use. Don’t let them languish in a drawer – add them to your list.

2 – Take the Show on the Road Head to a trade show, and bring goodies to entice people to sign up for email updates.

3 – Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood? Get to know the other businesses in your building and in your neighborhood.

4 – Everybody Now! Who do you buy supplies and services from? Add your vendors, your accountant, your doctor… you get the idea.

5 – Host Something: Host an event and encourage people to sign up while you’ve got their attention.

6 – Share and Share Alike Find reasons to cross promote with other businesses, and mention each other in your emails.

Give to Get

7 – Show ‘Em What You’ve Got Make your archives available on your website (here’s Solutions for Growth’s).

8 – Something for Nothing Give away an E-book or white paper on your website in exchange for newsletter sign ups.

9 – Give a Gift Whether it’s a free 30 minute session, or a slice of pizza, give your customers what they want, for (almost) free.

10 – Enter to Win Give people a chance to win something big in exchange for their emails.

11 – Make it Easy Put your sign up form right on every website page. Don’t forget a compelling call to action!

12 – Keep Your Promise Tell people what to expect when they sign up, then deliver what you promised.

13 – Make it a Contest The employee who collects the most emails each month wins (something good!)

Get Tech Savvy

14 – Light it Up Some people shy away from light boxes. Don’t be one of them. They’re incredibly effective.

15 – Fast Forward Don’t forget a “Forward this email to a friend” button, and a “subscribe” link in every marketing email.

16 – Sign it Right Include a link to your newsletter sign up right in your email signature.

17 – Make it Scannable Add a QR Code to your printed marketing collateral that makes it easy to sign up for your newsletter.

18 – Touch a Tablet If you use a tablet to take payments, it’s a no brainer to get email addresses right then and there.

19 – Make it Easy When you use email marketing software like Constant Contact, it’s easy to manage subscription lists.

20 – Socialize Don’t forget to leverage your social media for new emails. Share buttons are a must on your email newsletters.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, in 2012 email marketing had the highest return on investment of all marketing tools – every Dollar invested leads to $39 worth of sales! Is email in your marketing arsenal?

Wishing you all the best for effective marketing!

David Fischer


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