5 Secrets to Building an Email List for Marketing Professionals




  • March 18, 2015

    10 Killer Secrets to Building an Email List FastBuilding a healthy, targeted, robust email list is one marketing practice that will help your business drive long-term revenue. With a solid list, keeping in touch with your existing customers to boost your referral and repeat business becomes easy. But why stop there? Continually adding to your list is going to drive even more new business for you over time.


    The formula is quite simple:


    Build an epic email list + send incredible content = Trust, retention, referrals, and business growth


    Starting your email list isn’t difficult. While it can be tough to build a crazy-successful email list filled with the right prospects, it’s very doable once you know how to make your existing website and social networks work for you.


    That’s why I’ve put together this collection of tricks, tips, hacks and secrets to help you do just that.


    Secret 1: Homepage Capture Form


    Most likely, your business website’s homepage gets the most page views. With high traffic concentrated on a specific page, it’s your job to maximize this opportunity, and you can you do it with a homepage email capture form.


    By limiting sidebars, and avoiding long scrolling and text-heavy distractions, you can increase your form conversions. Treat your homepage like a lead capture form and experiment with incentivized calls-to-action that provide immediate value. Check out Expensify, Social Media Examiner, and OutboundEngine for some good examples.


    Extra tips:



    • Make sure your form provides some value in return and doesn’t take away from someone’s ability to navigate the rest of your site.
    • Maximize the visibility of this space to really grow your email list.

    Secret 2: SumoMe and Instant Gratification


    SumoMe is one of the more clever tools I’ve come across lately. It’s a collection of WordPress plugins that are easily installed and designed for people with very little, if any, website coding knowledge.


    By using the SumoMe Leads App, you can add a button to your blog or website to incentivize someone to take action. I use this plugin to add a PDF download button for bonus content. Check out this blog post on OutboundEngine for an example of what it looks like.


    You can also edit the colors, text, message, actions and images. I like to keep mine simple and clean. The email addresses you collect are stored within the app or are directly connected to a supported email service.


    Secret 3: Export Email Addresses from LinkedIn


    If you’re an avid LinkedIn user or even moderately active, your connections there are a goldmine of email addresses for your database. Even if you have these contacts in your database already, it’s always a good idea to export updated information. People can often change companies, and, therefore, email addresses.


    LinkedIn has made it easy to export emails into your database, too. They’ve documented the whole process here. If you connect with people you’ve met in groups or other professionals you’ve met offline, this tip is a great way to make sure they get added to your email list.


    Secret 4: Incentivized Popups Using OptinMonster


    Mentioning popups and popovers is usually met with skepticism, groans and eye rolls, but they can be effective. The key is offering something worthwhile to the person you just interrupted.


    OptinMonster is a WordPress plugin that’s easy to install and configure, and connects to most email tools. It can also be customized to fit your needs.


    I’ve got the plugin configured to show up to readers only after a certain time frame and set so that a visitor will see it only every few weeks or so. The time frame qualifies them as interested in the content, and chances are there might be more content that will grab your attention in the future. Offering our readers an opportunity to receive an email update for new posts is a low-commitment barrier and it works.


    Secret 5: Quizzes and Surveys


    Quizzes are a hot marketing strategy right now. They are huge traffic drivers because people are naturally inclined to share and compare with friends or colleagues and they fuel our identities and egos.


    I’ve been experimenting with a tool called CredSpark to see how I can translate this experience into something more relevant than “Which Disney Princess Are You?” Last year, I created a quiz for real estate agents.


    Like all good quizzes, you get to see the answers at the end, but I did mine with a little twist. I gave quiz takers an email address opt-in form so they could get the full report to see how they stack up against others in the industry.


    In conclusion, when building your email list make sure that you’re giving your audience a genuine incentive. Don’t snag someone’s email address and then spam them with sales pitches. That’s just bad content marketing.


    Do you have any other email list building secrets? Share them in the comments.

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