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15 List Building Strategies to Build Your Email Lists

What’s the first step to converting leads through an email outreach campaign? It’s building a good email list, and this is very much an art. 

Here are fifteen list-building strategies you should look to implement. 

1. Offer an Incentive

Look at it as a transaction. Your subscriber is giving you their personal details, so what are you offering in return? Yes, your emails might be amazing, but often it’s necessary to sweeten the deal by offering something of value. Work on your lead magnets to entice more people to sign up for your email lists.

2. Use a Sidebar Form 

You can’t expect people to sign up for your email list if you don’t publicize it. This is a form of marketing, so you’ve got to market it! If you hide your sign-up forms, then fewer people are going to see them and sign up. Your sidebar is one of the most visible parts of your website, so it’s a great place to advertise the value of your email communications.

3. Create an Exit Pop-Up

There’s a fine line between annoying people and awareness and pop-ups can sometimes straddle that line. You don’t want your users to be bombarded with pop-ups everywhere they go, but a nice, clean exit pop-up that tells people about your email subscription can be a good way to build your email list.

List building strategies - exit pop-ups

4. Install a “Bar” at the top of Your Site

A bar at the top of your site is an un-intrusive yet highly visible way of making sure people know about your email subscription. It makes it quick and simple for people to sign up to your email list without interfering with their user experience, making it a good list building strategy. 

5. Create Focused Landing Pages 

When people sign up for email notifications they want to know they will be relevant and useful. One way you can convey this is by creating extremely focused landing pages. For example, rather than having one landing page for antique watches, you might have a page for each of the most popular brands - this allows people to get the specific information they’re looking for, making them more willing to sign up. 

6. Use Squeeze Pages

A squeeze page tempts people with basic information but asks the person to fill in a contact form to learn more. You might use a video to tease people with footage of a new product, but ask for them to fill out your submission form in order to see product specs and pricing. It can be a risky play, as people can just leave, but if you do it well, it can result in lots of people subscribing to your email list. 

Use all the opportunities you have to tell people about your email notifications. If you’re sending out emails regularly, then why not put a link to your sign-up page in your email signature? It doesn’t cost you anything, but people may see it and want to check it out, making it a good list building tool. 

8. Include a Sign Up on Your About Page

The about page is often very overlooked. People like to know who they’re interacting with, so your about us page is an important part of telling this story. If you can engage your users with this page and create a strong brand identity, then it’s a great way to lead into your email subscription, so make use of this link building strategy by making sure there’s a signup form. 

9. Add an Opt-In Field to Your Checkout 

If someone’s decided to add your product to their cart and got all the way to the checkout stage, then the chances are they like your brand. These are people who are actively engaging with your business, so give them the option of staying up to date with your email communication. A simple checkbox works, allowing people to quickly sign up for your emails. 

10. Optimize Your Copy 

It’s not just about the value you offer, email list building is also about how well you convey that value. You can simply write “sign up here,” but it’s not going to have the same impact as some carefully thought-out copy. You’re convincing people that your email communications are worth the effort, so show them this with some creative, persuasive copy. 

11. Personalize CTAs 

Calls to action are powerful. They might just be a few simple words, but they make a big difference to conversion rates. They’re also much more effective when they’re personalized to the content you’re on. For example, if you have a page about vintage Rolexes, then make the CTA specific to that content. 

list building strategies - CTAs

12. Offer Content Upgrades

Another good list building strategy is using gated content. You can offer people basic information, but save the more detailed content for those people that sign up to your list. You’re trading valuable content for people’s valuable contact details. 

13. Engage People with Interactive Lead Captures

What if you made it fun for people to hand over their email addresses? You can do this through interactive quizzes, surveys, gamification (a common version you see is where people spin a wheel to win discounts or other prizes), and useful tools. This will depend on the nature of your brand, but it can be a very successful list-building tool.

14. Offer a Free Trial/ Consultation

Give people a taste of what it’s like to use your products or work with your company. We talked about offering value, and this is a simple way to immediately offer lots of value. People won’t mind giving you their personal information if it means they get to try out your products or services. 

15. Create Loyalty/Referral Programs

People love rewards and loyalty or referral programs are a great way to give them this. Naturally, you will need their email addresses for these programs, so they mean more people you can add to your email list. 

Building The Perfect, Lead Generating Email List

Don’t just hope that people will sign up for your email list - make it happen! Try implementing a few of these strategies, one at a time, to see which of these list-building tips work best for your products, brand, and customer.  

Email outreach can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool for your business, but it all relies on building a good email list. If you’re not having the success you crave with lead generation, then it might be time to seek some outside help!

Learn more about our list-building services!