How to Building Your Mailing List


If you want to develop a successful email marketing campaign, you will need to develop a consistent strategy for building and growing your email list. One of the foundational elements of any list-building initiative should be collecting email sign-ups on your website.

People who are interested in your business are probably already visiting your site often. That’s why you should be using your website as one of the primary ways to gather email sign-ups.

Lead Magnets

In exchange for signing up for your email list, you need to offer your subscribers something of value. This can be a resource list, a discount coupon, or a free report. In the world of email marketing, this is known as a lead magnet.

Many website visitors are hesitant to enter their email address into an opt-in form on a website because of the perceived risk of receiving more unwanted spam email. However, if you develop a compelling and valuable offer so that potential subscribers will desire your lead magnet enough to outweigh any possible fear of receiving more unwanted email.

Your subscribers know that their email address is valuable to you, and you need to offer them something of equal value in return.

A good lead magnet will help your website visitors learn a specific skill, accomplish a particular task, or solve a specific problem. The lead magnet on any given page of your website should be directly related to the content on that page.

While you may be required to create multiple lead magnets for different parts of your site over time, the additional work will be well worth it when you significantly improve your opt-in rates.

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Here are a few common varieties of lead magnets that you can include to help build and grow your email list.

Free Report or Guide

These are the most common kinds of lead magnet that are used to gain new email subscribers. The report or guide that you offer should help your audience learn about something they are interested in or help them accomplish a specific goal.

For example, if you had a website about marketing, you might offer a free guide that helps your audience create their first Facebook ad campaign. The content of your free report should not otherwise be available on your website.

Resource List

A resource list is merely a list of products, services, tools, and worksheets that will help your subscribers get started more quickly with what you want to teach them. If you have a personal finance blog, you might provide new subscribers with a list of software budgeting tools and resources to help them keep track of their debt, ensure they have the right kinds of insurance, and determine whether they are saving enough for retirement.

Free Trial

If you run a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, you might think about offering new subscribers a 14- or 30-day trial of your service as a lead magnet. Offering a free trial will get users engaged in your SaaS application and give you the opportunity to send them marketing content via email.

Downloadable Software

If your company produces any kind of software that can be downloaded, you might think about requiring users to enter their email address in order to download the software.

Discounts or Free Shipping

Often, e-Commerce stores will offer a one-time coupon for use on their first order with your company. While providing a discount to new customers might lower the total price of a customer’s first order, it will significantly increase the probability that they will become a customer in the first place, because they will be receiving an email about your company’s products and services.

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Physical Products

If having a physical mailing address for your subscribers is essential, then you can offer an inexpensive-to-produce physical product as your lead magnet. Small tools like flashlights,

screwdrivers, and knives are often used as physical product lead magnets. In order to make up the cost of producing and mailing a physical product, you can also charge a small shipping and handling fee that will generally pay for both the product and the shipping.

If you aren’t sure what lead magnet will work best for your website, there are a large number of resources that are available online that offer specific ideas for lead magnets. You can do a Google search for “lead magnet ideas” that will return dozens of pages of articles that contain ideas for lead magnets that you can model. You can also check out your competitor’s websites to see what kinds of lead magnets they may be offering.

Messaging and Copy

After you’ve determined the lead magnet that you are going to use, you will need to identify the kind of message you are going to use to get your potential subscribers to sign up for your mailing list.

The language that you use on your opt-in forms will have a significant impact on the number of email signups you receive. By creating a compelling and relevant offer, and using strong language with clear calls-to-action, your opt-in rates will be much higher.

While other list-building strategies might require an upfront cash investment, subscribers that opt-in through your website are effectively free. If you spend sufficient time writing compelling copy, creating a highly-desirable lead magnet, and implementing an opt-in form plugin, your mailing list will steadily grow over time.

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