How to Build an Email List from Scratch: 8 Effective Strategies for 2021

As a powerful lead generation tool, a great conversion technique, and an effective retention hack, email is the biggest source of ROI for 59% of B2C businesses and 40% of B2B professionals. Even though 99% of consumers check their emails every single day, getting them to sign up for more is never easy. But how do you build an email list from scratch?
According to many marketers, it boils down to two things:

  • Creating a user experience with conversion in mind, and
  • Providing real value to your email newsletter subscribers.

The following strategies aim to achieve both of these goals:

1. Create Different Landing Pages for Different Visitors

First things first:
Before you can start building an email list, you need to have a compelling website with more than a few landing pages. More precisely, the recommended number of personalized landing pages is 15.
According to HubSpot, having this many lead generation baits results in a 55% increase in email subscribers. Use a landing page builder to create pages for every segment of your audience.

2. Transform Your About Me Page into a Squeeze Page

You’ve arrived at the website of a brand you’ve never heard of before and you like what you see, but you’re not ready to shop yet. You want to first check who they are, so you navigate to their About Us page. There’s nothing unusual about this. Almost every visitor does the same background check.
So why wouldn’t your business take advantage of this behavior? Simply turn this section into a clean and convincing squeeze page.

3. Use Personalized Pop-Ups and Slide-Ins on Each Page

Of course, some of your website visitors will pass right by your landing and squeeze pages and start looking for real value. They won’t have much patience, though. They’ll stick around for a few minutes and then bounce when they don’t find what they’re looking for. Pop-ups can make them stay longer. Pop-ups can do more than that. They can make the visitors subscribe.

Marketing expert Brian Dean is a firm believer in this email list building techniques. Having said that, his stats show that pop-ups are only successful if they are relevant and specific to the page they appear on. So, if the page is about email lists, the pop-up will boost conversions by 65% if it offers new email tips.
A relevant pop-up survey or quiz is another trick you can try. Using simple eLearning software, you can create lead generation quizzes with an average conversion rate of 50%. This is a simple way to grab your visitors’ attention and give them a sneak peek into what it would be like to get newsletters from you.

4. Don’t Interrupt Their Journey with Irrelevant Offers

Pop-ups can go either way. Make them relevant and engaging, and they’ll help you grow your email list. Anything less than that is counterproductive. Every time you interrupt a visitor’s experience with an irrelevant offer, you’re triggering their frustration and risking an increase in your bounce rate. To make sure you’re doing the right thing, A/B test your pop-ups.

5. Master the Craft of Writing Magnetic Call-to-Actions

And now for the most important email list building tool – a CTA.
Every strategy on this list relies on your ability to write magnetic call-to-action. The big red button has become so deeply intertwined with the online shopping culture that most customers wouldn’t know how to make a purchase without it.
The same goes for CTAs that capture leads via email subscriptions:

  • To be convincing, CTAs have to describe value.
  • Like pop-ups, CTAs must be personalized for each page.
  • Humor in CTA “no, thanks” copies is a game-changer.

To outline the value you’re offering, avoid generic CTAs that say, “subscribe” or “sign up”. Instead, use actionable, self-explanatory words such as “learn”, “access”, or “download”. Of course, you need to make this copy specific to your visitor’s needs. For example, “Learn how to grow your email list now.” As for humor, its purpose is to make your website visitors reconsider their initial impulse to click “no, thank you”. To go along with our previous CTA, we’d write something like “No thanks, I’m not interested in new leads”. When using sarcasm, make sure not to come off as arrogant and offensive. These bootstrap templates can be a useful resource to get you started.

6. Turn Your Blog Commentators into Email Subscribers

When somebody leaves a comment on your blog, it means that they’ve either enjoyed what they’ve read or that they’re frustrated about it. Chances are 50/50, which means that you can get half of all your blog commentators to sign up for your email newsletter using a CTA in your comment sections.
Make it a simple checkbox opt-in and add an engaging copy.

7. Pitch Your Email Newsletter Across Social Media Sites

Email is a brilliant marketing tool, but that doesn’t mean that it can do everything on its own. You need subscribers first and you need to get them by any means necessary. The above strategies are proven and tested, but it doesn’t hurt to promote your newsletter on social media too.
Choose up to three sites that your audience uses and focus on them.

8. Don’t Forget to Polish Your Opt-In Confirmation Copy

Before they subscribe to your email, your website visitors must click a CTA on one of your landing pages, opt-in to receive your newsletter, and as a final step, confirm their subscription via an email they’ll receive to their address. This is a long process and it’s not unusual if it leaks quality leads.
Some of them change their mind. Others simply forget about it.

The least you can do to increase your chances for a bigger and stronger email list is to optimize your opt-in confirmation page. Make sure to repeat a CTA so that the value of subscribing is not lost on people. And then, walk them through everything they need to do to confirm the opt-in, step by step.
Every business should use email in its marketing strategy. The trick, of course, is in building a big enough subscription base for this technique to make sense.
To help you reap the benefits of email marketing, we’ve made this list of hacks for growing your email list indefinitely. The only thing you need to do now is to start writing your CTAs and applying these tips.

*** This is a guest post from Kamy Anderson. Kamy is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & eLearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs Training Maker. ***



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