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36 Proven Tactics for Building a HUGE Email Marketing Database


To Build a Business, You Need to Build Your Email Marketing Database

emailmarketingOne of the most coveted, but also one of the most difficult challenges for any company is to build an email marketing database. Sure it’s possible to build a list in a “black hat” (Boo!  Hiss!) kind of way, but most firms know that building their list in an ethical and compliant manner is a challenge that must take on.

It’s estimated that in a year, about 25% of a firm’s email list goes sour. So, the challenge of building and maintaining a list must be constant, and should be a key part of any firm’s marketing plan and budget.

36 Ideas for Building an Ethical email Marketing Database

First of all, we’re not suggesting that you use all of these different tactics to build an email list – some combination of them will do quite nicely. You’ll notice that some of these are “set it and forget” types of tactics, like placing subscription sign up forms throughout your website, while others require real work. Regardless, having a marketing strategy and dedicating resources to building and maintain a list is a “must have”.

If your current marketing plan doesn’t have a section dedicated to email marketing, go back to the drawing board and get busy by adding some number of these tactics to your overall marketing mix:

  • Create content in emails that’s so remarkable that the subscriber forwards it to their contacts in the hopes that they will become subscribers
  • Do a scrape of your staff’s Outlook contacts and after their review and scrub, add those contacts into your firms’ email database
  • Create a lead gen offer that requires an interested party to fill out a form, including their email address
  • Drill deeper into your current clients to add more names and email addresses other than your primary contact, but make sure you get their permission
  • Host an online webinar and collect email addresses as part of registration
  • When sending invoices to clients, include a form where they can list people on their staff that could benefit from being part of your enewsletter or email subscription list
  • Put a resource up on your website, like a calculator , that users sign up for with their email address
  • At the checkout process, if you’re selling a product or service online, provide new customers with the option of receiving further communications from you with a simple check off box
  • Add a QR Code to your marketing materials linked to an opt in form for your newsletter that requires an email address
  • When onboarding a new client, account managers or staff should get permission and make the collection of the new client’s email addresses part of the process
  • Provide motivation and validation to potential subscribers about the value of being on your email list by showing them the number of subscribers already receiving your materials.
  • Consider an online contest with a great giveaway that requires an email address for participation
  • Add an email sign up using a call to action button on your website and social media accounts
  • When talking to a new prospect, ask them for their email address and permission to add them to your email database
  • Create an offer or do a special event  with an affiliate or strategic partner, and leverage their email database to collect email addresses for the new offer
  • Develop a contest for employees for the most email addresses collected in a day/week/month, but make sure the rules state that they also have to have the new subscriber’s permission  to be included on the list
  • Collect email addresses- and permission to email -  at trade shows
  • At networking events, ask the people that you meet if you can sign them up for your newsletter
  • Use social sharing buttons on your emails that your subscribers can use to promote your emails to their base of friends, followers and contacts in the hopes that they will become subscribers
  • Include information about how to subscribe to your newsletter at the end of a presentation, and provide a link to a landing page where you can collect contact information
  • Use paid search ads to link to a landing page with an email sign up
  • When guest blogging, create a link to an email or blog sign up or subscription
  • Use social media to promote offers that link to a landing page requiring an email address for redemption
  • Develop and conduct a survey and share results by requesting an email address to send out the report
  • Use your LinkedIn company profile page to present an offer that links to a landing page requiring an email address for redemption
  • Find and use relevant LinkedIn groups to present an offer that links to a landing page requiring an email address for redemption
  • Give potential subscribers and opportunity to see a sample of your newsletter before they sign up.
  • Promote offers and opportunities to subscribe to email or enewsletters through a Google+ business page
  • Promote subscription to your newsletters, along with a link for signing up, using testimonials from current  subscribers that have found your content to be useful and valuable
  • Add call to action and URLs at the end of videos uploaded to your company’s YouTube channel offering your newsletter or a subscription to your emails
  • Promote a piece of thought leadership content on a partner or affiliate site, or through their enewsletter, that requires an email address for redemption
  • If using traditional tactics like direct mail, inform recipients of the opportunity to receive email communications instead, and provide a link for them to opt-in.
  • Assure potential subscribers that their email addresses will not be shared or sold by directing them to read your firm’s privacy policy
  • Host a seminar or webinar that requires a registration form that includes an email address
  • Use highly trafficked pages on your website to promote subscriptions to your email newsletter and other offers. Link a call to action button to a landing page  requiring an email address for subscription
  • Make the process of subscribing  to your email list or to you eNewsletters quick and simple by only requiring a minimal amount of information on your sign up form

Now That You’ve Built Your email Database, What’s Next?

Answer: use your precious email addresses to build your brand and generate leads, of course.

Today, one of the most valuable assets of any firm is their list of clean email addresses, as they represent a targeted market that has given the firm permission to send information to them. So, it’s time to get busy and use that list.

Develop or purchase an eNewsletter. Create and promote an offer for your valuable thought leadership. Do a survey. Invite subscribers to a seminar or webinar. Send subscribers case studies. Offer them a free consultation. The list goes on and on.

But a word of caution: be judicious in the quantity and timing of the emails you send, or you will end up with a pile of unsubscribers or bad spam reports.

At the end of the day, being effective and ethical in how you use email is not just a function of where you got the addresses for your list, but also, a function of not becoming an intrusive pain in the neck and ending up as part of the noise of digital marketing activities.


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