How to Build a Strong Email List

By Wednesday July 22nd, 2009

Email marketing is a great way to spread your message, but is only practical with a healthy list. The privacy issues tied to purchasing email addresses are serious, so growing your list in an organic and innovative fashion is crucial.

Building your email database

Email marketing is a great way to spread your message, but is only practical with a healthy email list. The legal privacy issues tied to purchased and unsolicited email addresses are serious, so growing your list organically is crucial. The methods outlined below will help to accomplish this goal.

Opt-in Form
The first step is the inclusion of an “opt-in” form on your website. Featuring your email sign-up form prominently plays an important role in soliciting customer email addresses, but it is only effective if you already have abundant website traffic.
Implementing Microsites
Often, companies have websites that are geared for a special product, event or campaign called a microsite. Use your microsite to engage users with a creative means of collecting their information.
Day-to-Day Effort
The people in your organization with the best opportunity to solicit a customer contact point are those in client-facing roles, such as customer service representatives. Acquire an email address at the end of a phone call or provide a link to your website in their email signature. You can also provide newsletter information on receipts or on point-of-sale displays. These handy techniques can provide very qualified leads.
Loss Leader Strategy
The most widely effective method for acquiring customer contact points is to engage a “Loss Leader Strategy.” This is the practice of providing a good or service at a loss for the sake of promoting future patronage. For example, provide email coupons to individuals who subscribe to your newsletter to ensure that you get accurate information from interested targets.
Regardless of the nature of your business, you can work the loss leader angle to aggressively build your client and contact bases. Consumers rarely respond to offers that do not present immediate value; by providing a good or service for free, you can get them to opt-in to your email campaign. After the consumer is on board, the email marketing campaign sustains their business, negating losses on the initial transaction.
In-Field List Building
If you work in B2B sales, networking is essential to building a substantial list. Extend beyond your current network by attending formal and informal networking events – keep every business card you come across and manually add the new connections to your target email list. Send a customized message to these new subscribers and thank them for their time and interest in your company before sending further promotional messages.

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