You have a website. Perhaps it's a brand new website, or perhaps it's a website that's existed for a while but you haven't focused on collecting email addresses. Your website has content, products, or services that you want to communicate with individuals about. To do that, you want to combine a social media strategy with an email communications list. However, you're a little stumped as to where to find email addresses and subscribers. In this section, we'll walk you through all of the locations that you should utilize to build email list and to maximize finding email subscribers.

Why Build Email List?

The most obvious reason to build your email list is to maximize the value of your customers and your company revenue. However, it's also important to remember that your email list is a company asset. In the event that you want to sell your company, a high-quality email list can increase your company's overall valuation. Additionally, a high-performing email list can give your company additional revenue opportunities by giving you the chance to sell advertising space in your email products or send sponsored emails on behalf of partners or advertisers. You're not just building your marketing channel when you build email list. You're also building your company's total value. That's why it's worth your time to build a quality email list over time.

Quantity versus Quality to Build Email List

One of the first dilemmas that you'll need to deal with when you begin to build email list is the quality versus quantity debate. Obviously, the larger your email list is, the more potential you have to generate revenue from it. However, as with most marketing activities, the quality of your leads is equally important. If you create a large email list by porting over old contacts or by buying or renting a large list, you may have a great number of email addresses. However, you may have very few email addresses that are actually leads who are interested in interacting with your product, company, or brand. That's why it's often a better idea to start slowly and build email list over time. Focus on getting the best quality leads on your email list and then let the numbers grow as your business grows. While you ultimately do need to grow the largest email marketing list possible, you also need to grow a quality list that will respond to your offers and increase your company revenue.

Build Email List Location 1: Visitors to Your Site

The most obvious and logical place to find interested email subscribers is on your website itself. If users are visiting your website (regardless of whether they purchase or make a transaction), they have an interest in the information or content that you're providing. Every page of your website should include an email sign-up box that allows users to join your mailing list. We'll discuss the best practices for creating that email sign-up box later in this section. However, every visitor to your website is a potential email subscriber.

Build Email List Location 2: Customers Who Purchase Goods or Services

Customers who visit your website but don't make purchases or transactions are important email marketing leads. However, customers who do make a purchase or transaction are even more valuable email marketing leads because they've shown a willingness to purchase from you or entrust you with personal or financial information. Ensuring that you make it easy and inviting for users to opt-in to your email program when they purchase or transact with you will help you build not only a large email list but also an email list of valuable users with proven purchasing history.

Build Email List Location 3: Your Social Media Outlets

Social media is becoming an increasingly prominent form of customer retention and brand awareness. With the right motivation and a properly designed email sign-up box, social media leads can often be solicited to become higher converting email marketing leads. When we discuss the best practices for designing an email capture box, we'll discuss specific practices to use when encouraging users to sign-up for your email marketing program via social media outlets.

Build Email List Location 4: Websites That Have Similar User Demographics

Growing your email list can be quite similar to advertising your business as a whole. Websites that have similar content or user demographics to your website can be great places to prospect for potential email list leads. You can do this in a number of ways. Ideally, you can cut a deal with the website on which you want to collect emails to promise them advertising space in any email that you send. This will save you from having to pay to advertise for your email list. You can also pay to advertise for sign-ups to your email list on other websites. You can do this by purchasing an impression-based or click-based advertising campaign, or you can offer to pay per valid email sign-up. Both are acceptable industry standard ways to pay for email advertising. However, if you are going to pay to advertise your email list and recruit email sign-ups on another website, you'll need to ensure that you have a firm understanding of what you can afford to spend per email sign-up is. To do this, you'll have to assign a value to an email name. The best way to do this is to keep it simple. Take a look at your last email send. If you had an email list of one hundred people and your email generated $100 in revenue, then you can spend $1 per email sign-up.

Advertising your email list on websites other than your own site can be a great way to grow your email list. In fact, it can often be more profitable than simply advertising your website. If you can give users a compelling reason to sign up for your email (such as free offers or discount codes), it is a much lower barrier to entry for most people to sign up for an email list than to make an initial purchase. Just be sure that you understand how much you can afford to spend per email address and that you have a plan in place to identify which emails came from which advertising sources.

Build Email List Location 5: Search Engines (Organic and Paid Search)

Similar to the process of advertising to build your email list on other websites, using search marketing to build email list can be equally effective. Build email landing pages specific to your email list and then optimize for organic search engine placement or paid, click-based search engine advertising. Again, however, if you do this, be sure that you have a handle on how much you can afford to pay per email sign-up as well as a way to track where email sign-ups came from. If you're not well versed in the marketing areas of search engine optimization or search engine marketing, you may want to consider hiring a professional to help you since both of those areas can be complicated to learn. However, many successful email lists have been built using search engines as the primary method for recruiting subscribers.

Build Email List Location 6: Offline Locations

Just because your email list is an online marketing tool, it doesn't mean that you only have to solicit emails online! If you have a retail location, you can collect emails when customers purchase or visit the store or other location. If you market by attending festivals or concerts, you can collect emails at those locations. Offering to raffle off a prize but requiring an email on the raffle ticket can also be an effective way to grow your email list. Of course, you'll have to dedicate the time to retyping all of the emails that you collect into your system, but it's often worth it. Don't overlook offline opportunities to grow your email list.

Build Email List Location 7: Purchasable or Rented Lists

If you need to grow your email list quickly, there are a number of services that will allow you to rent or purchase email names. However, doing so comes with several risks. Most list purchases or rentals are somewhat expensive, and you may not make your money back as quickly or as regularly. Additionally, a rented or purchased list means that you are buying email addresses of individuals who have not been exposed to or shown and interest in your brand or product. This may mean that they are less likely to respond to your email, and may even mark your email as spam. This could create domain reputation problems for you with future email sends. Finally, if you do choose to rent or purchase a list, be sure to use a credible agency. If you rent or purchase a list that includes a high number of bad email addresses that will bounce or be undeliverable, you will incur sender reputation penalties that will impact your ability to email market moving forward. While buying or renting an email list can help to quickly grow your email list and show returns, proceed with caution when soliciting and buying lists.

Black Hat Techniques to Build Email List

There are also a number of black hat techniques for gaining emails, including spidering websites for registration forms. We cannot emphasize enough how much of a poor idea it is to participate in any black hat email techniques. Not only do you risk breaking privacy laws, you also risk your sender reputation and email future.

Growing your email list can take time and patience. However, a good quality email list not only gives you an opportunity to grow revenue for you company, it also increases your company's value as a whole. Take your time and build a solid email lead recruitment process. It will pay off in the long term.

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