How to build an email list for businesses is a question I get asked a lot. The steps to creating and building an email list are the same for any organisation. Whether you’re a hobby blogger or a multi-national brand, the fundamental steps are the same. Create a list, promote it and then send emails to your subscribers. Here are my top tips for building any email list.
Create a lead magnet
Everyone likes to feel like they’re getting something for nothing, right? And this is exactly why lead magnets (aka opt-in freebies) are great for building an email list for businesses.
Lead magnets are an incentive to get people to sign up to your list. I have two lead magnets, one is a workbook that helps you set up your mailing list landing page for maximum impact. The other is a workbook to help you plan the content for your website.
Having a lead magnet means that when you’re promoting your email list that you can say “hey, do you need help with this problem you’re having?” versus saying “hey join my list”.
How to create a lead magnet
A lead magnet can be pretty much anything. You’ll see a load of cheat sheets, checklists and access to exclusive videos offered as lead magnets. But really and truly it could be anything as long as it follows the following rules.
- Specific to your ideal client – otherwise you risk building a list full of people with no interest in you or your products/services
- Solves a specific problem for your ideal client – all businesses are here to solve problems. Increase your know, like and trust factor by solving an ideal client’s pain point for free
- Focuses on one specific outcome for your ideal client – your lead magnet should deliver on one single promise and it should deliver well.
- Easily consumed – people don’t have the attention span or time to read a 1000 word e-book, especially if it cost them nothing. Do yourself and your potential subscribers a favour by cutting to the chase and providing easy to follow action steps to fix their problem.
- Gives value – your lead magnet needs to look good and not like something thrown together in 20 minutes. It should also deliver on your promises as a minimum.
Social media is a great tool for not only promoting your products/services, but your mailing list too. You should be pushing the benefits of your lead magnet regularly on every one of your social media accounts.
Only a fraction of your followers will see each post, so to get the most eyeballs on it, you need to be posting about it regularly. There’s no one-size-fits-all number, but I would say at least 2-3 times a month on each platform if not more. Test the response you get from these posts and tweak you strategy as needed.
If building an email list for businesses is a priority, then you should also think about changing your social media profile links to go directly to your mailing list landing page too.
Popups and infobars
Love them or hate them, the right popup can work wonders for getting more sign-ups to your mailing list. Especially when you’re building an email list for businesses.
There’s no right and wrong when it comes to setting up popups on your website. I would say, that you don’t want one popping up as soon as people land on your website. Look at the average time spent on your site and set the popup to display just before that time. That way people will have had enough time to have a look around and to get to know you before you ask them to join your list.
If you’d rather not have a popup, then an infobar is a good alternative. They usually appear at the top or bottom of the screen and can display instantly or on a timer like popups.
You can experiment with having a button to click through to your landing page or having the sign up form directly in the infobar. Again, test and tweak and see what gets you results.
How many emails do you send from your business email address in a week or even a day? My guess is that a lot of these emails are between you and ideal clients, making it an ideal place to promote your mailing list.
Beneath your usual links either add an image, or if you’re confident in HTML a button that takes people to your mailing list landing page. It should take 10-30 minutes tops, so what do you have to lose?
I’m not going to lie, this is something I haven’t done myself since I re-branded last year. My bad. But it’s something that I’m going to be putting in place in the next week.
Does the thought of setting up your mailing list send shivers down your spine?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Between getting snacks for your kids and clients calls, it’s fallen down your list of priorities. It’s not your one of genius and you just don’t have the head space for it right now.
That’s why I created Fabulous Funnels, your one stop service for getting your mailing list set up today. I take care of the tech, you just need to give me the content. Want to find out more? Click here, or the image below.
Use your website
If building an email list for businesses is a priority, then you really need to get it front and centre on your website. I’m talking about a dedicated space on your most-visited pages promoting your lead magnet.
It should be on your home page, your about page, your most viewed blog posts, your sidebar if you have one as well as having it’s own dedicated menu item.
A lot of people worry about having a pretty website versus one that helps them fulfil their business goals. It’s all well and good having a website that looks good. But if building your email list is truly a priority then it makes sense to use some real estate on your website to push it.
5 epic tips to build an email list for businesses – summary
In this blog post I’ve talked through some basic tips for building an email list for businesses.
I discussed lead magnets. Creating an effective one to make sure you not only build your email list, but get the right kind of subscribers.
I also talked about using social media to promote your email list and lead magnet effectively.
Other things I covered were your email signature, especially if you email potential clients regularly as well as exploring adding popups and or infobars onto your website.
Lastly I talked about the importance of dedicating some space on your website to promoting your email list.