How To Build A Email List
Why is list building so important?
For the majority of businesses, websites are where email list building begins: From static embedded opt-in forms to dynamic pop-ups and overlays or specific lead capture pages.
What is an email list?
An email list is a list of email addresses and other data, such as name, gender, and location, which is generated by collecting data from website visitors, customers, and event attendees.
What is email list building?
List building is the process of collecting email addresses from visitors, customers, and other patrons of a business. This can be done using a website, social media accounts, events, in-store signup sheets, and more.
How do you create a mailing list?
List building can be done online using website pages, pop-ups, embedded signup forms, and social media accounts. You can also build a mailing list offline at your events or in-store signup sheets.
Building an email list from scratch
- Enticing content upgrades
- Exit intent pop-ups
- Fully or partially gated content
- Squeeze pages
- Loyalty and referral programs
- Discounts and deals
- Exclusive notifications
- Social media
How to build an email list using your website
1. Use embedded signup forms
Embedded signup forms are perhaps the most traditional of strategies for attaining email subscribers. Static embedded forms should be placed on high-traffic pages in visible areas, such as headers, footers, sidebars, and splash pages.
The benefit of embedded forms is that they’re non-intrusive. They serve as a humble reminder for the visitor that they have the option to sign up and nothing more. That’s why they’re best used together with the more proactive and dynamic list-building strategies that we’ll discuss below.
2. Deploy pop-ups and overlays
The guidelines lay out the ‘correct’ use of pop-ups from Google’s viewpoint. The main points are:
- Don’t show a popup that covers the main content either straight after a user hits the page from search, or whilst they are scrolling through the page.
- Don’t display a standalone interstitial that the user needs to close before accessing content.
- Don’t use a page layout where the above-the-fold section of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
- Interstitials that need to appear due to a legal obligation. For example, cookie usage or age verification.
- Log-in requirement on sites where content is not publicly indexable. For example paywalled content.
- Banners that are deemed to use a reasonable amount of screen space can be easily dismissed.
Now that you know what NOT to do when deploying pop-ups on your website, let’s look at some of the most common types of pop-ups and overlays used by eCommerce businesses to substantially grow their email lists.
3. Welcome pop-ups
Welcome pop-ups are used to greet visitors to the site mostly within the first 15 seconds of them settling on the landing page. A strong call-to-action is crucial for a welcome pop-up so it doesn’t get dismissed as disruptive. Best practices include offering a discount, a sales notification, telling them more about your USPs, or some other form of value exchange for the visitor’s email address.
To lessen the intrusion, welcome pop-ups should be kept as simple as possible. Most feature a single field asking to enter an email address. Complicated forms with multiple fields and weak copies are less likely to convert.
Timing is key here and it will be important for you to find a time that’s specific to the page you are implementing this pop-up on. To find the best time to implement a welcome pop-up, you can use Google Analytics to find the average time a user spends on that page.
If you’re doing this on the homepage – a page that visitors are meant to leave quite fast when navigating deeper into your website – you might want to serve it right away. However, if your new visitor lands straight on a product listing page where they’re meant to dwell longer, you can set the welcome pop-up to appear after 7 seconds or once they’ve scrolled 30% of the page.
All in all, promotional pop-ups often play on emotions: People feel more willing to hand over their data in exchange for receiving something unique to their experience and to make the most of a discount deal.
Timed Pop up forms
Timed pop-ups are great for generating leads because you only show your lead generation offer to people who have been on the site or page for a determined amount of time. If they bounce after less than 5 seconds, then it’s likely that this visitor isn’t interested in what you offer and would never become an email list member!
It will again be important to reference Google Analytics as highlighted above so you can figure out who are more engaged users within your target audience to show this type of sign-up form to. Not everybody will want to sign up so this is a nice way to segment engaged users.
BONUS: How to build an email list using social media
Social media marketing is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website and get more subscribers. Social media strategies for generating email signups include:
Embedded signup buttons on social accounts. The easiest, no-cost way to advertise your company newsletter to social media users is to add a call-to-action on your social profiles. Facebook and Instagram allow you to do it by featuring a “Sign Up” button on your profile but can also always share posts that invite people to join your email list.
Giveaways and contests. Social media platforms are making brands more reachable, personable, and above all, interactive. Instagram stories especially include polls, quizzes, and Q&A features that can generate user engagement. By promoting a contest, giveaway, or even a limited-time special event, traffic can be driven to a landing page where followers can sign up to take part.
Lead forms via Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads allows businesses to run lead form ads, which basically means that a person can convert, i.e. subscribe, without leaving the platform. Due to convenience, lead form ads are known to boast quite high conversion rates.