A Quick and Dirty Beginner’s Guide to Creating an Email Marketing List

By on March 12, 2014
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If you’re already using email marketing to reach out to a broader target audience, congratulate yourself: You’re on the right track!

It’s one of the best methods, if not the best, out there to expand your market share and grow your sales. Now, if you’re still thinking about it…

Here are a few stats which may get you to decide to take the email marketing route:
  • Merkle, in 2011, published a whitepaper that found that 74% of adults online have email as their preferred method of online communication.
  • Meanwhile, the Radicati Group reported 3.6 billion email accounts as of 2013 and expects this number to grow to 4.3 billion accounts by end 2016.

…and if there’s still a little doubt as to why you should be doing email marketing, consider this:

  • In a 2012 Channel Preference Survey, 66% of respondents said that they made a purchase based on a marketing message sent to them through email.  Direct mail came in at 65%, telephone at 24% and Facebook at 20%.

Now that you know exactly why email marketing has the highest return on investment of any online channel…

Get an Email Marketing Provider

First things first. Before you can create and build up your email marketing list, you need to first get an email marketing provider. Luckily, there are many to choose from!

One of the most effective ways to find out which email marketing software would work best for you is to list down what you need and match this up with the available solutions in the market.

There are two things you need to pay close attention to when choosing your email marketing provider:

  1. Deliverability Rate refers to the percentage of emails sent that hit your recipient’s inbox.
  2. Features refer to opt-in forms, an autoresponder, integration, scheduling options, social media sharing and so on.

For a list of email marketing providers to choose from, you can check out these top 10 services that were reviewed based on 93 email marketing features.

Once you have selected your email marketing provider, you’re ready to take the next step. Now, let’s go for the quick and dirty!

Beginner’s Guide to Creating an Email Marketing List

Start with Existing Clients

Just because existing clients are already sold on what you have to offer in no way means that you should stop marketing to them. Email marketing is a great way to engage with current customers, build value, and nurture loyalty.

Remember the popular marketing belief that it costs between five to ten times more to get a new customer than to keep an old one? Well, that still isn’t far from the truth.

Go Opt-In Crazy

Put an opt-in form in every page that your site visitor is likely to go to. That would mean an opt-in form in your About Page, Home Page, your Checkout Page, and even your Contact Us Page.

Make sure your opt-in forms are placed where they are easily visible to your visitors without the need for them to scroll down. Also, avoid having any distracting visuals anywhere near your opt-in form.

TWIS Email ListMake It Easy to Opt-In

Don’t make it complicated or difficult to sign up for your list!

You essentially just need their email address. Unless there’s a good reason to ask for more information, it is best to stick to that. Higher opt-ins have been noted with asking only for the first name and email address.

Incentivize Opt-Ins

Is there a freebie you can offer your visitors for signing up?

Free eBooks and coupon codes generally result in higher opt-in rates. Get creative and offer value. This creates a positive experience for your audience, identifies them as leads, and eases them into the purchase process.

Now That You Know The Basics…

We’ve given you some great tips today for beginners who are just getting started on building an email marketing list. For those of you who are looking for more advanced email marketing tactics, take a look at our article on the “Best Ways to Use Vertical Email Marketing in 2014” by clicking here.

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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