Building an Email List: How to Attract New Subscribers

By the small business content developers at

While social media continues to grow and develop, there’s an old, dependable standby that you can use to stay in touch with your customers. Your email list is a powerful tool in your lead arsenal, but it does require your diligence on a regular basis. The advantages of an email list are many, and include a lack of gatekeepers between you and your audience -- many social media sites now charge you for the privilege of communicating with your audience or put pay-to-play ads between you and your customers.

While email lists require ongoing maintenance and stewardship due to the degeneration of email addresses and unsubscribes, the benefits of maintaining a robust email list are plentiful and make the return on investment very high (as much as 3800%), easily exceeding other channels like social media or search. The challenge with an email list is that it can feel like a hamster wheel of effort in terms of the continuous list building and content development, but it’s just an aspect of business with which a marketer or small business owner must make friends. So how do you build an email list? Here are a few pointers.

1. Use cutting edge lead generation.

Your list needs to be maintained like a garden, removing dead leads (leaves) and generating new leads (sowing new seeds). You can proliferate this process by making it easy for your audience to share your email newsletter with a link or badge embedded within your web copy.

Does your website have a pop-up that encourages site visitors to sign up for your newsletter? If not, you’re missing a lot of traffic that can help you build your list. You can also reconnect with customers who may not have engaged with your company in a while by creating a special campaign to inquire why they have not been active, and to re-engage them.

2. Employ all your channels.

Use your social media profiles, your email signature, your packaging, and every means your business has available to encourage your audience to sign up for your newsletter. A strong message that emphasizes the utility and satisfaction offered by membership to your email list will convince even the most reluctant admirer to give you their email address. Each channel has the potential to reiterate the invitation to subscribe and remind your audience about the benefits of connecting directly with your brand.

3. Produce creative content.

Put substantial effort into generating content that is engaging, entertaining, and educational. Make your audience know that you understand the value of their time by offering great content that hits the sweet spots of your buyers’ personas. Great headlines will draw in an audience, but you need something more substantial to become a resource. Share awesome links and deep information that can’t be found anywhere else.

4. Entice your audience by offering a distinct benefit.

Sometimes your customers will need a little extra something to sweeten the proposition. If your business model is built on information, a whitepaper or ebook can be a great incentive to motivate. If your business model revolves around goods or services, discount codes can also serve a role  in building your list. You can also use affiliate links that encourage your audience to assist you in getting signups and reward those that send the most new subscribers your way with a special gift.You can use exclusive videos, behind-the-scenes peeks, or special question and answer sessions to build interest in joining your list. Give your audience something unique that they can’t get anywhere else and your list is sure to grow by a bushel.


By Andrew Patricio

February 24, 2016