We’ve all heard about the fantastic results email marketing can have. In the competitive landscape, businesses are looking to employ all sorts of strategies to compete and grow sustainably. So it’s no surprise if you would love to start utilizing email marketing more for your business. It allows you to easily communicate with your audience and send targeted messages.

Your methods of list building have a significant influence on how your campaigns will perform later on. Therefore, it is crucial to build an organic list that has given explicit consent to receive your marketing communications, has realistic expectations of the content they will receive, and, very importantly, is actually looking forward to hearing from you.

It may even be tempting to purchase a list of emails, but you will only see horrendous results. Contacts will quickly unsubscribe or report you as spam, and your ISP reputation will fall down a cliff. On top of that, most reputable email service providers won’t let you send emails to a purchased list.

Before we dive into how you can build out your list, here are some important things to keep in mind:

Always require opt-in. Ensure every subscriber has explicitly opted into your email marketing. This is called permission-based marketing. It is the only way to build a long-term, healthy, engaged mail list.

Think of what data you need. More tends to be better when it comes to data, but requiring a lot of data to subscribe to your list adds another barrier to potential contacts. Consider what data you truly need and keep this in mind when designing your sign-up forms later on.

So how do you organically build a high-quality email list? Let’s look at some ways in more detail.

5 ways to organically build a high-quality email list

1. Create valuable content

In a day and age where every company fights for a spot in the consumer’s inbox, emails aren’t being handed out without any thought. Instead, people will only give away their email addresses if they believe you can provide value to them.

To write content your target audience actually cares about, it’s important to understand your ideal customer profile. When you have an idea of your target audience’s interests, issues, and needs, you can start catering to them.

The most straightforward ways to provide value are to entertain, inform, and provide solutions. While you could probably talk about your company all day long, your recipients are looking for what it’s in it for them. Tips & tricks, guides, industry news, you name it.

2. Use lead magnets

Have you ever filled out your email to access a whitepaper or ebook? Lead magnets are free items or services given away to gather contact details.

Once again, it comes down to providing value. There are many things you can offer: product samples, case studies, webinars, free trials, ebooks. Lead magnets are commonly found on sites, but you can even use them in online ads aimed at your target audience.

When using lead magnets, make sure you send out the promised content as soon as somebody gives you their email. This sets your relationship off on the right foot and avoids needless frustration.

3. Use pop-up forms

Pop-up forms are an easy-to-implement way to turn site visitors into subscribers. Their moving nature immediately grabs the attention of a visitor as opposed to static sign-up forms. 

Pop-up forms have a lousy reputation for being a bit annoying, but their high conversion rates persuade websites to use them. For a more user-friendly experience, we recommend opting for pop-up forms that don’t obstruct the user experience too much. For example, use forms that don’t have to be clicked away before you can continue.

Once again, you’ll want to offer real value in your form. Make sure people know what’s in it for them if they decide to sign up for your list.

4. Embed sign-up forms

If you don’t want to get in your visitors’ faces as much, a simple embedded form on your site is a must-have. Unfortunately, too many businesses have no easy way for users to subscribe from their site. A sign-up form with a simple incentive or value proposition can do wonders for your email list. For example, online stores can offer a discount code for new email subscribers. This simultaneously incentivizes users to subscribe to your list and make a purchase.

5. Run a contest

If there’s anything people love, it’s winning. Running a contest is an easy way to incentivize people to leave their email addresses. The catch with contests is that you might get subscribers that are more interested in your prize than your company and services. 

Opt for a prize that relates to your company to where if people are interested in the prize, they’re interested in what you offer. For example, a headphones store will attract more audiophiles by giving away a niche pair of headphones, compared to giving away $500.

List building is worth it

Email list building doesn’t have to feel like a chore. While there are no shortcuts or quick hacks to growing an engaged email list, some experimenting can help find out what works best for your target audience. In the end, list building pays off big time by letting you fully utilize the digital marketing channel with the highest ROI.

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