6 ways to build your email list

posted by Lauren Rauseo on: 04/14/11 in category: email marketing | tags: ,

Is your email marketing list completely stagnant? Do you get more action on your match.com profile than you do on your email subscriber form? Here are six quick and easy ways to build your email marketing list. You can literally do them all today!

1. Feature your sign-up form on your homepage

Since many of your site visitors begin their experience with you there, it makes sense to highlight your email here. Don’t make the mistake of sounding salesy, like you are begging visitors to sign up. Tell people what THEY will get out of your email newsletter, not the other way around. Free tips? Industry updates? Exclusive discounts? Insider promotions? Ask a few of your current subscribers what they like best about your email communication to make sure it’s in line with why you think people are reading.

2. Feature your sign-up form on all pages of your website

Not everyone will make it to the hompage of your website, so you don’t want to put all your email sign-up eggs in that basket. In addition to highlighting the email sign-up in a prominent area of the homepage, you can also make the subscribe form available to your site visitors from every page of your site, by including it in the header, sidebar, or footer area of the site’s template. Wherever the sign-up form is included, be sure to give details (or a link to details) regarding the frequency a subscriber can expect to receive the email, the type of content that will be featured, and information about subscriber privacy and the ability to unsubscribe at any time.

3. Include your sign-up form on your Facebook page

As of March this year, Facebook supports the use of iFrame applications on your company’s page. This means there are pretty much no limits regarding the types of information you can present or collect through this outlet. You can even make the application you create be the first screen visitors see on your Facebook page (instead of the default, which is the wall). Here are instructions for setting up an iFrame application on your Facebook page. If you are comfortable with HTML and have the code for your email sign-up form, this is a piece of cake. If you are more technologically challenged, ask a web designer or social media expert for help.

4. In-person or over-the-phone sign-up

If your business has an in-person or over-the-phone component, your front-line people should be offering those they come in contact with the opportunity to sign up for your email newsletter. If you have a retail store, this is an easy step to implement at the checkout process (be careful if you just keep a paper list on a clipboard; this is not a very good practice for keeping your subscriber list private). If you have a community center where people stop in, you can have the receptionist ask people if they’d like to receive email updates. If you have a customer service hotline, have your call center add this question to the end of their script.

5. Offer an incentive

Some people just can’t get enough free stuff! Using your other marketing venues, such as online banner ads or printed direct mail (perhaps in addition to right on your subscribe form), advertise that anyone who subscribes to your email (during a fixed period of time) has a chance to win an iPad, gets a small free gift, will get access to a PDF full of helpful tips, etc. Be sure to follow up on your promises!

6. Use co-registration with a complementary business

Pair up with a company that complements your own (which is different than one that competes with yours). If your company offers personal training, a complementary company might offer nutrition counseling. If you have your own law firm, a complementary business might be an accountant or a financial planner. You get the idea. Co-registration does NOT mean sharing your email list with another business (you promised your subscribers privacy, remember?). Co-registration can simply mean that on the “thank you for subscribing” or confirmation page that visitors reach after they sign up for your email communication, you feature a blurb about the complementary company’s business with a link to its subscribe form. And, of course, they do the same for you.

About the Author

Lauren Rauseo is your one-stop shop for print design, websites, HTML email, and more. When she's not busy working on client projects, Lauren enjoys running, doing yoga, drinking a soy white mocha, and having a dance party in the living room with her kids. Shake it off, people, just shake it off.


  1. Great tips! If your readers are interested, BSF has a free eBook with 44 more ways: http://www.blueskyfactory.com/50 ways.

    p.s. The Chesapeake Containment systems site looks great. Impressive!

  2. Thanks, Amy! I’m sure my readers will appreciate that! And thanks for the compliment on CCS’s website. Did I ever properly thank you for the referral? :)

    Here is the website, for anyone who is interested: http://lbkdesigns.com/portfolio/web_ccs.shtml

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