In order for email marketing to work, you need a healthy list of subscribers. These subscribers do not just appear. It is often not enough just to have a place where site visitors can put in their email addresses, you have to provide the right circumstances and encouragement for those who come to your site, either to take advantage of your knowledge or to purchase one of your products, to hand of their email address.


This should be an ongoing process, as many people will throw in an email address they do not check anymore, or move companies and stop using the address they once frequented, or simply unsubscribe because they are no longer interested in what you have to offer. Building your email list should be one of the main tasks of all marketing, but we do have some basic tips and tricks to ensure not only that individuals will sign up for your list, but that they do not leave once they have signed up.


  1. Make sure your content is relevant. One of the biggest mistakes that brands make when sending out emails to their list is sending content that their target customer does not find interesting or relevant. While a company update might seem interesting to you, if it does not provide value to your customer’s life, it will not be effective. Send great content and/or promotions that make that subscriber want to forward your email to their friends and family.


  1. Make sure you have a lead offer. Unless you intend to gather email addresses just by requiring customers to give you an address during a purchase, a lead offer is a great way to collect addresses. It could be something as simple as offering a special discount for those who sign up for your list, or as complex as a free ebook, checklist, or how-to article. Whatever it is, make sure it is relevant to your ideal customer or client’s needs, something they will actually want and be willing to hand over what some consider “personal” information.


  1. Create a contest that requires an email address to enter. This is one of the best ways to give yourself a huge influx of email addresses. If all your customer or client has to do to win something that they really want or can use is subscribe to your email marketing list, most will be more than happy to do so. Again, make sure the prize is something that your ideal customer or client can really use.


  1. Don’t forget calls-to-action. This is one of the most often overlooked parts of building your email marketing list. If you want someone to do something, usually all you have to do is ask. While this call to action can be in the sidebar of every page, it might also be useful to have popup boxes or banners than ask your page visitors to subscribe. Especially if someone is perusing your blog, there is a good chance that they find the information valuable and would be very pleased to sign up for your email list, if they are just asked to do so.


  1. Create different subscription settings. As you attempt to build your email marketing list, you might it useful to create a number of different subscription levels or settings, so that those who opt-in to your email list can pick exactly what kind of marketing they want. Not only does this allow you to get to know your customer, it returns control of their own inbox to the customer. While they are still on your list, they choose what they see and when.


  1. Use your other marketing venues to promote your email list. If you are offering a promotion or lead generation tool over Facebook or Twitter, have one of the conditions of gaining the promotion be subscription to your email list. This allows you to reach your social media audiences and turn them into your email marketing audience, too.


  1. Change your opt-out settings. While it’s always the best practice to have a true opt-out option for those who simply do not want to receive your messages anymore, you can create a slight obstacle in the process that encourages them to change their subscription settings, instead of leaving your list entirely. Allowing them to adjust what kinds of emails they get or how often they get those messages, put them in control of their marketing, without leaving you one subscriber short.