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It’s pretty well established that 40 years after it’s invention, email marketing remains one of the most effective marketing channels for many companies. But, before you can have a successful email marketing program that delivers the best ROI of any of your marketing channels, you need to have an email list.

Email List Building

Whether you’re starting from scratch or continuing to build an email list over time,  you need to have a strategy for adding recipients to your email list.  Many of the tactics are the same, regardless if you’re creating a new list or adding to one you’ve been building for a decade.  Here are a few tips to help you build your list.

Make the Signup Process as Simple as Possible

While your natural instinct may be to gather as much information as possible from each individual, remember that obtaining the opt-in and email address is the priority here. The more information you require from users, the lower your completed signup rate is likely to be. So, you need to weigh the value of the extra data on a lower number of signups against having a larger email list, with less extra information.

Gathering additional data about the members of your email list is incredibly valuable down the road as you consider audience segmentation, personalization, and other means of ensuring each recipient is getting relevant content. But, it is possible to gather that data later, after you’ve established a relationship with the user.

Give Users a Reason to Opt-In

There’s nothing wrong with have a simple subscription box on your homepage to gather email addresses from visitors. But, one of the best ways to get people to opt-in is to give them a reason to share their email address with you. Let them know what to expect from you. Will you be sending them a monthly newsletter? Weekly coupons or special offers? Valuable information they can use in their daily lives? Whatever it is, make sure you promote the value signing up to receive emails from you.

Provide Multiple Opportunities to Sign Up

Don’t think you’re limited to just getting users to sign up for that weekly newsletter. Look for various opportunities to collect email addresses from your site visitors, customers, or other contacts. Run a contest, create a waiting list for a new product, create a some special downloadable content, offer different types of email subscriptions with different content, etc. There are any number of opportunities to collect email addresses and build your overall email list asset.

There are plenty of other tactics to use in building your email list, but these are good places to start and include in your overall marketing program.

By: Tom Wozniak, Executive Director of Marketing