How to Build an Email List From Scratch

By January 17, 2020 Email Marketing
building an email list from scratch

Emails are crucial to marketing success. The stats say it all. For instance, for every $1 that marketers spend on email, they can expect an average return of $40. Likewise, marketers list email in their top three methods of generating leads. Social media marketing and clever developments with chat-bots may be buzzwords of the day. But emails remain pivotal. With an email list, you have direct access to individuals interested in you and your product(s). Furthermore, you have total control of how and when you decide to contact them. Compare that to social media. As vital as it is, you’re forever at the mercy of the terms, conditions and latest algorithm changes on the platforms. There’s no time like the present to get started with your email list. But, if you’re yet to start, you may be wondering how to build an email list from scratch. We want to help! Keep reading to learn how to start an email list from nothing.

How to Build an Email List from Scratch: 10 Top Tips

Check out these 10 essential tips to help you get started with your email list.

1. Start Building Early

Start collecting emails as early as you possibly can.

Make your email list a priority at the beginning of any new project. You’re ahead of the game if you’re reading this at the outset of your latest venture.

Your email list will grow as your website does. The list will snowball over time. The earlier you start, the quicker you’ll establish a solid collection of addresses. It gives you a major head-start compared to someone beginning their list further down the line.

2. Use an Email Service Provider

An email service provider (ESP) is another important practical step to get started with your email list.

ESPs help you with your emails, in return for a fee. They’ll enable you to create templates that you can use over and over again. You’ll be able to schedule emails, run particular email series automatically, see statistics about open rates, and more.

Overall, they’re an essential tool for successfully managing a large list of email subscribers.

3. Understand Your Audience

Understanding your audience is another preliminary stage of creating your email list.

It will play a significant role in every step to follow.

In the very initial stages, this may be as simple as imagining your target customer. Sit down and conceptualize who you want to visit your website and engage with your content. Go into detail about their demographics and beyond.

What do they look like? How do they behave? What are their interests?

Having the answer to questions such as these will impact your efforts down the line. Your future advertisements, content, overall aesthetic, and so on, will all align with your imagined audience.

With time you can use analytics to get hard data about your audience. Using tools such as Facebook’s marketing suite, you’ll be able to see the age, gender, whereabouts, and more, of the people engaging with your ads.

4. Create a Blog

The next step is to create a website, with a blog attached.

Your blog is a foundation for generating email subscribers. Your blog does this through something known as content marketing.

Essentially, you create content (more on this next) in the form of blog articles. People will find your posts and have the chance to subscribe to your blog.

5. Write Great Content

With your blog up and running, it’s time to start creating great content.

This is where the magic happens. By writing awesome, engaging posts that provide value to a reader in a particular niche, you’ll be on your way to attracting subscribers. With the option of receiving more articles of the same quality, how could they resist?

But there’s more to it than meets the eye. You’ll need to get up to speed with search engine optimization (SEO) and keywords to get people onto your blog.

6. Generate Traffic

Having a blog and having a popular blog are very different things.

There’s no point having one (and the option of subbing to your list) if no-one reads your content. You need to generate traffic to your site.

This is where SEO comes in. At its core, that means that you find keywords that people are searching for, and write content around it. Your content is filling a gap, and people find it through a search engine (usually Google).

However, SEO isn’t the only source of readers and potential customers. Social media and sites like Pinterest will be a big help too.

7. Use Calls to Action (and Experiment!)

Your blog’s now attracting your target audience. People are visiting your blog and have the option to subscribe.

This is a good start.

But people like some direction. It isn’t enough to just have an opt-in section, where a reader will miraculously input their email address. That might happen, but you’ll see better results with a “call to action” included at different places on the page.

An example might be: “Want more great content like this? Click subscribe below!” This would then lead to a space to put their email address.

Experiment with different types of calls to action too. Mix up the wording, location and aesthetic. Track the differences these alterations make in terms of subscribers. The trick’s to find the sweet spot!

8. Incentivize Opt-Ins

People rarely give something for nothing these days.

As great as your content is, you can’t guarantee subscribers. You need to offer a tempting reward in return as well. This is known as a lead magnet.

Many people offer a free e-book, access to exclusive content, webinar entry, and so on, in exchange for the email.

9. Do a Giveaway or Competition

Giveaways and competitions are another technique for attracting email subscribers.

Regardless of which you do (offering a free prize, or the chance to win one), you make the ‘cost of entry’ an email address. If a reader wants a chance of winning the prize, they need to give up their details. It’;s as simple as that.

You can run such giveaways and competitions directly on your blog/website. Likewise, you can advertise them through social media (more on this next), and promote it accordingly.

10. Leverage Social Media

Social media is a marketer’s friend. You should absolutely utilize the possibilities it offers in your marketing efforts.

It can make be of particular help when collecting emails. For instance, why not advertise and link to your latest lead magnet, landing page or blog post? You can do the same for your competitions and giveaways. Social media competitions are incredibly common.

Social media will be a big help, in whatever way you use it.

Time to Get Building

There you have it: how to build an email list from scratch with 10 top tips.

Email marketing has been around for a long time. But it continues to be a marketer’s best friend. It all begins with your email list. A long list of qualified, interested, and engaged customer email addresses will do wonders for you and your business.

The returns on investment are huge.

Hopefully, you have a better idea of how to get started now. Remember, begin collecting emails as soon as you can, sign up to an ESP, and conceptualize your audience. From there, start a blog and write great content.

Next up, generate traffic to the blog, and use calls to action on every page. Encourage everyone to opt-in using lead magnets and competitions/giveaways. Finally, leverage social media to support your efforts.

Commit to these tactics and you’ll be generating subscribers in no time. Good luck!

Want some help with your marketing strategies? Contact us today!