Email Marketing: How To Build Your List From Zero

There are many forms of marketing. Social media, ads and flyers are just a few ways of communicating with your audience. But, did you know that one of the most effective tools to create potential leads is email marketing?   

So, how can you build your list if you are starting from zero? We'll share some tips to help you get started.

Why List Building Is Important To Your Business 

Building an email list is one of the fastest way to grow your online business. 

It's like the ecommerce version of achieving regular footfall outside your shop. According to Campaign Monitor, audiences are 6 times more likely to click through from an email than from Twitter. Campaign Monitor also reveals that your marketing messages are 5 times more likely to get noticed via email than on Facebook.

The biggest statistic that may shock you is that there are triple the amount of email accounts than Facebook and Twitter accounts put together.

You could be missing out on that huge audience. Audiences don’t always stick with the social media platforms or use them regularly. Plus platform owners such as Facebook are limiting who see's your content and how often. This all means that audiences on social media may well miss important posts from your business.

An email list is the one constant audience list you have, and importantly, unlike social media, your company owns that data. People always need to check their emails, so you will be catching their attention each time they load.

Gathering Emails - Which Tools and Techniques Could Help You

Now you realise that you could be missing out on a huge audience - what’s next? You need to build your email list up from zero and start collecting potential customers email addresses.

According to Ecommerce CEO 97% of your website visitors leave without buying anything. Yet, we can turn that 97% around by acquiring their email addresses. We then create tailored email marketing to convert them into potential future leads. The best ways to do this are;

1) Collect Emails With Pop-Ups

These pop-ups are often placed on the homepage and must look attractive, eye catching and encourage your audience in with an offer. In order for them to receive their offer, they need to fill in their email address adding them to your list.

You can create free downloadable content for your audience, or give them a voucher. Whatever it is, make it stand out and make it an offer they won't want to miss.

You can get immediate pop-ups, delayed pop-ups which appear after a certain time or a constant form that sits at the bottom of the web page. Exit-intent pop-ups often have the greatest success - this is when a pop-up appears as a website visitor is about to leave.

2) Interactive Sign Up Forms

This creates a fun and unique way for your visitors to enter in their email address. You create a game out of the sign up.

For example; they may have to spin a wheel to land on a prize but they only get the prize via email afterwards. This type of engaging and entertaining way of signing up is a great way of attracting your audience. If you use Shopify as your ecommerce platform, you can discover apps such as; Spin a sale, Wheelio and Omnisend.

3) Embed A Sign Up Form On Social Media

Some email marketing tools have the ability to link to your social media. This allows your followers on Facebook to be able to sign up to your emails. You can point your followers in the right direction and entice them with an exciting offer.

4) Reach Out & Connect

Join Facebook Groups relevant to your Industry under your personal profile, connect in a real way with real people who share your interests. Ask questions and if the connection is reciprocated, add them as a friend request. Once on your friend list, share your business page details and invite them to sign up for your free downloadable content / giveaway.

5) Competitions

Competitions are one of the most effective and proven ways to attract a fresh audience to share their email addresses with you.

They can be launched and run across social platforms, direct on your website or in partnership with a key influencer in your industry.  However you do it, always make sure your audience understand that as a condition of entry into your competition, they will be subscribed to marketing emails. 


Tailored Emails

Once you have started to gather emails, you can create exciting and persuasive campaigns. You could send out birthday emails, offering money off or a free gift at check out.

Other emails could be; abandoned basket emails or sales emails. The opportunities are endless. Be creative with it; check in on national holidays and create content around them too.

Top Email Marketing Tools: Choosing An Email Service Provider

Email marketing is easier than ever before using certain tools and websites. This takes away the hard work, all you have to do is ensure email gathering tools are in place and create persuasive content. What marketing tools are there?

  • MailChimp. MailChimp is easy to use and good for beginners and those with less than 2000 signups on their list as it's currently free up to this level. You can create tailored content and MailChimp have handy guides for users so you don’t feel lost. It has email marketing, ads, CRM tools and landing pages to help create the ultimate email campaigns.
  • Drip. Drip is an Ecommerce CRM. This platform allows you to connect with your email list using easy to use drag and drop tools. It is user friendly and is a great platform for sales and marketing automation.
  • Freshmarketer. It does all the above but boasts of being able to give users better leads. It allows users to create effective, responsive and beautiful emails. It creates powerful automation with customer journeys.
  • AWeber. This is an affordable yet powerful tool for small businesses that includes email automation and advanced sequencing and scheduling tools.

There are many more options in addition to those above. A quick Google search will bring out more, which you can compare.

Think about what is best for your business as you scale, look carefully at the recurring monthly cost commitment and see how that changes as your list grows.

Overall ease of use and integration with your other business systems will also be essential.

Don’t Forget To Consider Privacy and GDPR.

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law came into place in May 2018. It helps to protect consumer’s privacy and data.

To follow GDPR, you need to ensure that your email list is safe and secure. Your audience is giving consent to using their email address for your marketing purposes only. The email addresses should never be sold onto a third party.

The other aspect of GDPR is that your list should be able to opt out of receiving future emails. So ensure that you have created a link at the bottom of each email you send which allows the receiver to unsubscribe / opt out.

Make It Happen In Your Business

Email marketing is such an effective and critical tool for online business owners to use. Begin by choosing an email service provider tool to use and start to build your email list today. You will soon start to see conversions happening and your business growth accelerate.

Next Steps:

  • Start right now!  Step 1 - if you have website, add a pop up to the homepage with a freebie download or coupon in return for the customers email.  Collect that email in your newly opened Email Service Provider account. 
  • Relentless list building is an essential skillset for all online entrepreneurs. Competitions are another great way to get started and build your confidence in encouraging sign ups.  Try it for your business and see the results.  Always remember to give something of value first before asking for an email address. 
  • Don't forget to actually use your list!  There is no point building a lovely list of your perfect people and then not actually using it to communicate with them... Make it a regular drumbeat action to ensure that you send your latest news, promos and useful top tips to your audience on a weekly or monthly basis. 

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