In our last posts, we talked about the importance of e-mail marketing and how to put together an effective e-mail marketing campaign. However, there is one vital factor every e-mail marketing campaign must have. No, it is not graphics or unique content, nor is it having eye-catching headlines and a Call to Action, although all of those are important. Rather, it is having people to receive your emails.

This may seem to be an obvious element, but it is often one of the more difficult ones to do. After all, thanks to spammers, many people are not as willing to hand out their e-mail addresses, as perhaps they once were. Consequently, it can be difficult to build up an e-mail marketing list. To help out, here are 40 inexpensive, and relatively simple, ways to build your list thus making the time spent on creating those newsletters worth it:

  1. Create remarkable content that will cause those receiving your newsletter to want to forward it to others who will want to subscribe.
  2. Design a lead generating offer like a free e-book, wallpaper or app and require guests to leave their e-mail address to download it.
  3. Host an online webinar and collect addresses at registration.
  4. Add a QR code to your print marketing that people can scan to opt in to your newsletter.
  5. Promote an online contest such as a free give-away and have entrants sign in with their e-mail addresses.
  6. Collect e-mails at trade shows, seminars and offline events.
  7. Promote your lead generating offers on social media.
  8. Leverage your company’s YouTube channel and be sure to use a Call to Action that encourages people to sign up for your e-mails.
  9. Have a conference or social event. Host your own, or collaborate with someone and collect addresses as part of the application form.
  10. Encourage your existing   e-mail subscribers to share and forward your e-mails by having social sharing buttons.
  11. Include a “subscribe” link at the bottom of your e-mails.
  12. On your social media accounts, link to your Landing Page with sign up form. Be sure there is a strong call to action so that people will want to sign up.
  13. Do you sent out press releases? Then be sure to include a CTA in the release.
  14. Show excerpts of your email as part of your social media posts.
  15. Keep it simple; don’t make people fill out a lengthy form, just a simple form asking for their first name, last name and email address.
  16. Whenever interviewed by the press, be sure to mention your free newsletter and tell people how to sign up for it.
  17. Identify the websites and online publications for your area and submit letters to the editor and post comments or stories. Promote your business and use a tagline.
  18. Post articles on article submission sites like E-zines, Hubpages and others. Make sure you optimize the article for local search by working in references to your city, state, area and zip codes.
  19. Post links to your e-mail subscription center at the end of any comments you may leave on other blogs. However, do not make comments that are nothing more than blatant self-promotion or not relevant to the actual post; for example, you could say “Last week in our newsletter, we discussed…” – just be sure it is related to the topic/article on which you are commenting.
  20. Include links to subscribe to your email subscription center in any bios you post online.
  21. Guest author for other blogs and publications. Be sure to include links to your website.
  22. Include a subscription form at the bottom of every blog post on your website.
  23. Encourage your employees to be active on social networks and to talk about your products, services, promotions, etc.
  24. If you offer a service or product, be sure to ask for emails as part of the checkout process.
  25. Remember everyone’s favorite radio station- WIIFM (What’s in it for Me?). Let others know the benefits –awareness of special sales, promotion codes, early notification of events, etc. – of singing up for your e-mails.
  26. Pay attention to the click-through rates and note what subjects get the most. Be sure to include frequent posts about those topics.
  27. Consider using pop ups asking people to sign up for your e-mails so they can be aware of company updates.
  28. Just ask. Don’t be afraid to ask people to sign up for your email; whether it is over the phone, on the back of receipts, as they are purchasing a product, etc. this is a great way to add to your e-mail marketing list.
  29. Make it easy to unsubscribe. This may sound counter-productive, but sometimes people don’t like to feel “locked-in” on an e-mail list. Making it easy to unsubscribe helps them be more likely to sign up. Then, it is up to you to fill the newsletter with engaging content. Keep in mind, also, that it is better to be unsubscribed from than to be blacklisted for spam.
  30. Take advantage of “unsubscribers” by taking the time to get feedback from them. Be sure to find out why they are unsubscribing and what would make them most likely to come back.
  31. If you are retailer, have sign up forms available at the checkout and hard copies of your newsletter available so people can see what type of content they would be receiving.
  32. Run special promotions for anyone who brings in a print out of your newsletter to your establishment.
  33. Have a fishbowl campaign. This is a great way to collect newsletters!
  34. Do you send snail mail? Then send a form where people can sign up for your newsletter either by returning the card to you or by telling them where they can find you online.
  35. Offer special savings and promotions with text subscriptions; for example: “For special coupon, text your email address to 43014.”
  36. Optimize your website for mobile use. Be sure your newsletters are easily read on mobile devices so people can read them wherever they are.
  37. Post a free advertisement about your newsletter on Craig’s List in the cities you wish to target.
  38. Put pictures and names (first name and last initial) of your customers and employees in your newsletter so that featured people are likelier to forward it to others.
  39. If you have a global market, then be sure to produce the newsletter in more than one language!
  40. Honor their privacy! Be sure subscribers know that you will never sell, share, etc. their email addresses. Then, hold to that promise!

Building your email marketing list(s) may take some time, but if you are persistent, you will soon a large list of people in your e-mail marketing list. No, not every one of these ideas will work for every company, but there are sure to be those that will help you. Do you have other ideas that you have employed to build your e-mail marketing list? Here at Raleigh’s Page Progressive, we would love to hear about them.