Small Business Marketing Blog

Email List Building: 9 Tips to Increase Subscribers

Email List Building Tips

Email List Building Tips

Building your email list should be one of your top marketing goals. Having great content that would attract your ideal client is a major component of this email list building process, but even with the best content, some businesses still haven’t built an email list of subscribers that can help them with their long term marketing efforts.

So, what are some of the key tactics that can help you build that valuable email list?

  • Understand who you want to attract (target market) – Like every other marketing activity you plan to do, you must understand who you are trying to attract and why.
  • Use an email marketing service – There are two major reasons for this. First, you will get more subscribers if you indicate that you are using a service because it means they can unsubscribe safely when they want to. Second, the days of sending email from your computer directly to your list, even if you have been diligent at getting permission, is over. No one trusts email messages coming from a random source. MailChimp is the email marketing service I recommend to small business owners because they have a free service for up to 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month and their features are very impressive. (Watch for a future post with more details.)
  • Make sure your sign up form is very visible and on every page – Make your sign up form easy to find by putting your sign up form at the top of your left or right sidebars. Don’t just have it on a separate page that I have to consciously find. WordPress makes it easy to do with widgets. Drop your form in a text widget and you are ready to roll.
  • Put your sign up form on your Facebook Business PageAdd your sign up form to your landing tab on your Facebook Page to encourage new fans to sign up as well as like your Facebook page.
  • Make the form simple – If you’re trying to build an opt-in, permission based email list, you only need the email address. I like to personalize my emails, so I also ask for their first and last names, which I find most gladly provide. But don’t ask for what you don’t need. Less is more in email list building tactics.
  • Don’t be overly aggressive in how you encourage people to sign up – Pop up sign up forms do increase sign up rates, but if you don’t like them, don’t thrust them onto your visitors. Remember point 1 – understand your market and whether these techniques will work or hurt you more than help.
  • Build trust with a visible privacy policy – If you collect personal information on your website, make sure you have a policy that tells people what you do with that information. Between a solid policy and an email service, you should gain your visitors’ trust.
  • Put your past email newsletters on your website – That valuable information that you provide in your monthly newsletter should be archived on your website to encourage new visitors to subscribe if they like what they see.
  • Create an offer they can’t refuse – Knowing your target market helps you develop the content you need to attract them to you and then provide you with a valuable asset: their email address.

When you have built an email list from the ground up with people who are interested in what you have to offer, you can then provide them with information, offers, events, news and other types of activities that they will find helpful. Remember that it is a privilege that they gave you something as valuable as their email address. Once you have their permission, do not abuse it.

Now that you have a qualified list, what do you do now? That’s for the next post. So what other creative ideas do you have to build a quality email list for your business?

Other items of interest:



10 Responses to Email List Building: 9 Tips to Increase Subscribers

  1. Dattanianup June 4, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    it is communication and relationship oriented, but there is some thing called WIIFM, target segment will ask this question,  handling client query,  and where to get db from, what should be investment strategy like wise so many practicability points are missing – not so but some what help ful

    thanks for sharing  

  2. Stamps March 5, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Building your email list with opt-in subscribers is the most important
    email marketing strategy you can use. Here is some practical advice on
    building your email list

  3. Debra April 9, 2011 at 12:00 am #

    Thank you Erica. I’m glad you like the site and hope it is helpful.

  4. Eric March 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    I agree. Every one seems to want more twitter followers or Facebook fans but I am old school and to put it in prespective I am using elements here, well for the most part..

    DIAMONDS…Email subscribers
    GOLD…RSS subscribers
    Silver… Twitter
    Bronze… Facebook pages likes.

    Some people could switch twitter and facebook around but if you do email and RSS subscribers right you don’t even need to worry about facebook/twitter followers.

    • Debra March 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

      Hi Eric,

      That’s an interesting way to view your subscribers and in some ways I do agree with you. However, each of those you’ve listed have value because people may prefer to follow your blog posts via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn (which is getting as robust as Facebook) rather than subscribe directly. So each community needs to support the preferences of those who connect with you. So I view all five communities as equal in value and as such, ensure my content is reaching them in their preferred format. I have obtained clients from people who have found and followed me on Facebook only.

      • Eric March 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

        90% of my paid clients come from facebook and I agree with you on all 5 are important in their separate ways. But I disagree with them being equally important. I listed what order was most important for me, you listed what your order was and I am sure a food joint might have a different view on what is important.

        I guess what i am trying to say here is it all depends on your ideal client and what type of media gets your msg accross the best. ?

        • Debra March 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

          Ah – yes absolutely. Your communities are very much tied to your ideal client. I have clients that will focus more on their email list, their blog post and LinkedIn because their clients are corporate executives. Doesn’t mean that Facebook and Twitter won’t help them be found (as it absolutely does) but they most likely won’t get as much value from their activities there as they will on LinkedIn.

          Thanks for the clarification.

  5. Sarah Harris March 4, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    This is a great list of tips. I think so many people do emails lists the wrong way. I especially think your point about not being overly aggressive is so important. I hate when I go to a site or blog and I get popups on the screen constantly asking me to sign up or register with the site. I don’t even end up staying there and I leave. People need to know that while you think you are getting everyone’s attention this way, it ends up turning a lot of people off.

    • Debra March 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

      Hi Sarah,

      I totally agree but unfortunately tests indicate that those annoying popups do work and do increase subscription rates. I’m like you – bug me too much and I’m gone. But then again, I used to leave department stores when I was shopping if sales people would follow me around and keep asking me if they could help me :-)

      Thanks for stopping by.

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