Customer Contact: 3 Ways to Develop an Email List for Your Business

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

Even in the modern age of Facebook posts and Twitter feeds, email marketing is still a great strategy for businesses. Most people check their email repeatedly throughout the day. While this may also be true of social media too, email is a more direct and intimate platform.

Email can be a great vehicle to drive more profit, but only if your business is able to cultivate an effective email relationship with a large list of potential customers. Here are a few secrets about how to grow your email list.

1. Create a White Paper

White papers are a popular marketing technique used by many businesses. The idea is to create an authoritative report which helps the reader understand an issue, product, or solution (similar to an eBook). They usually are a couple of pages long and read academically, although some marketing language and colloquial references are not uncommon. To receive the white paper, readers must sign up and receive it via email.

White papers are especially productive in business-to-business marketing, where your audience has more incentive to grow their knowledge base. Some examples of white paper titles could be “Essential Practices in Profitable Keyword Identification” or “5 Advantages of Software-Based Accounting.”

2. Build a Trusting Relationship with Existing Customers

Ultimately, your marketing emails should drive sales, but your products and services can also grow your email list. Think of an email subscription as one way to maintain a trusting relationship with your existing customers, as well as a very good way to find new customers.

Treat your email list as one exciting benefit that your customers get to enjoy. Let your existing customers know that they can continue to receive benefits by staying connected to your business via email.

One way to do this is to set up promotions or special offers that only email subscribers are privy to. You can offer benefits for those who get friends to subscribe to the email list. If you use social media, ask your followers to tag friends who may need the good or service that you’re offering.

3. Make Your Email Subscription Seem Valuable

People tend to avoid signing up for anything that doesn’t communicate value. To use an obvious example, very few men will sign up for an email blast about maternity or losing baby weight, as it has little immediate value for them.

Value might come in the form of an email drip course, or in a product giveaway that only subscribers can win. For example, you could promise to run promotions or offer special deals for you subscribers.

Each email list should carry at least one value proposition. You want to calibrate this proposition to meet the needs, interests, and culture of your target audience. The better you know your customers and potential customers, the easier this will be. Remember to do this everywhere you can. Your website, product descriptions, in-store marketing, and social media campaigns should make your email list seem valuable. If it is not a fit for your readers, they can always unsubscribe. It’s your job to give them that choice.

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