Email Marketing

How to Build an Email List From Scratch | Twilio SendGrid

There are two components of successful email marketing: high-quality content and an email list of subscribers. Your email newsletter and other communications can’t go out to an audience of one—or none. An email list, even if you’re starting from scratch with a handful of names, goes a long way in supporting your email marketing efforts.

What is an email list for?

Tracking and managing 1:1 relationships is the foundation for personalized marketing and loyalty—and a list of people interested in your products or services will help you do just that. Effective email marketing campaigns will drive traffic to your website and encourage subscribers to become or remain customers. With an email list, you’ll see who has engaged with your brand recently or who could use a nudge. Then you can send out tailored news and promotions to each group. 

Tips for building an email list

In what follows, we offer simple tips to help you build an email list from the ground up. It’s a process that requires creative thinking and careful application of resources. However, the steps below can enhance your email marketing efforts.

1. Place signup forms strategically

Your signup form needs to be completed in a few quick taps and placed where people are going to see it. Include your signup form in a prominent place on your landing pages, in your headers and footers, and in pop-ups that appear when a visitor arrives at or is about to leave a page. 

Don’t overthink it: keep your signup form simple. Gather just enough information to properly segment your email list and tailor communications to subscribers.

2. Create more landing pages

Create multiple landing pages to attract potential subscribers rather than wait for visitors to stumble across your homepage. Personalize each landing page to target a specific customer segment, focusing on their unique needs and interests. Add an individual touch to build an email list of people who feel addressed, cared for, and actively engaged with your brand.

3. Give incentives to sign up  

You might feel like the benefits of signing up for your email newsletter are obvious on their own: subscribers are the first to know when your company is offering something new. But when you’re building an email list, an extra incentive can help entice customers. 

For instance, The Home Depot offers email subscribers a discount on their first online orders. Think about how your brand can offer a similar incentive to subscribers, and give them a reason to open up their inbox to you.

4. Make signing up interactive

It’s best to keep your signup forms simple—but building an email list can also be an opportunity to add a bit of fun and personality. Beyond name and email, invite customers to share what interests them and what kinds of communications they’re interested in receiving. 

There are a few benefits to making your signup forms more interactive. In addition to encouraging subscriber engagement, you’ll also gather information to better segment your lists and improve your email marketing efforts.

5. Use pop-ups—but not too many

Pop-ups have an advantage: unlike other elements of your pages, they’re impossible to ignore. A customer might scroll past a signup form in your page body, but they have to interact with a pop-up, even if just to click out. If you include a signup form in a pop-up, visitors to your site are more likely to take notice.

At the same time, pop-ups aren’t popular with users. They might tolerate one or two, but pop-ups on every page of your site can be frustrating. Use pop-ups appropriately, but don’t overdo them. Your customers will appreciate it.

6. Craft your call-to-action for maximum effect

Your call-to-action (CTA) is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal as you build an email list. Direct users to subscribe with CTAs on your landing pages, in your blog posts, and elsewhere on your site. CTAs should emphasize the benefits that subscribers derive from your email communications and create a sense of urgency.

7. Use social media for organic growth

Every company now has a social media footprint, and you can use yours to build an email marketing list. Include links to signup forms in all your social media profiles and in your posts. Customers who follow your profiles—and those who stumble upon them thanks to the implacable algorithm—will be more likely to sign up when you make it easy for them to do so.

Build an email list and maintain it

Putting these tips into practice, you’re on your way to building a solid email list. But the work isn’t done once you’ve built it. Producing solid content will carry you the rest of the way. Routinely revisit your list to make sure your subscribers remain engaged.

Twilio SendGrid’s Email Marketing suite includes drag-and-drop design templates along with list management tools to ensure email deliverability. Set up recurring newsletters and action-triggered drip campaigns to keep your brand top-of-mind for your email subscriber list. Leverage email segmentation, testing, and analytics tools from Twilio SendGrid—along with the tips above—to maximize your email marketing. Sign up for a free account today and see for yourself.

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