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Are you yelling into the void with a lackluster list of contacts? It doesn’t matter how fantastic your email marketing strategy and email campaigns are if you’re not reaching enough new subscribers, and ultimately new customers, with your messages, which is why you need to have a list building plan in place for establishing — and growing — your email list.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. When it comes to your email lists, build, don’t buy. Aside from putting you at risk of not maintaining GDPR compliance, a purchased email list is also a cheap trick that rarely works out. Remember, you want an audience tha wants to hear from you. No matter how many email addresses you buy, if your recipients haven’t voluntarily hit opt in and stated that they want to subscribe, then they are very likely not going to convert in any meaningful way. As a further word of warning, many purchased email lists feature spam traps — i.e., dud email addresses that can get your IP flagged as spam. That’s not good for your long-term email marketing campaigns, making this one shortcut that isn’t going to get you where you want to go.

Now that we’ve got our spiel out of the way let’s talk action. In this post, we’ll go over what you need to do in order to build your email marketing list, whether you’re starting from scratch or just looking for a much-needed boost.

1. Provide a Way For People To Subscribe

The amount of people who are going to seek out your contact information and send you a direct request to get on your email list are few and far between. As such, you need to make it as easy as possible for people to discover and subscribe to your emails.

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There are a few ways to accomplish this, and we recommend doing as many as you can. These include website pop-ups, social media outreach, signup forms, and emails themselves. The more ways that you can provide for people to sign up for your email marketing, the more success you’ll have in getting people to do so.

2. Create Landing Pages

Let’s circle back specifically to one of those means of getting people to subscribe: forms. These forms live on landing pages and serve as the gatekeepers for certain pieces of valuable content, such as ebooks, how-to guides, and reports. Use digital outreach to promote the content, and then guide those who click to the landing page, where they’ll be able to provide their name and address on a form in exchange for the asset.

There are two ways to loop this form into your contact list growth efforts. You can include a checkbox where those who are filling out the form can choose to sign up for your email list, or you can include a line that indicates that they agree to sign up for your email marketing by filling out the information. In either case, be sure to include a note that they’ll be able to opt-out at any time, and make the text clear and obvious on the form, so they don’t feel like they were swindled into getting your emails.

Don’t forget GDPR compliance with your forms. The GDPR is a list of regulations designed to protect the citizens of the European Union’s data and privacy. Even if your business operates out of a non-EU country, you’ll still need to adhere to GDPR compliance because you never know if one of your subscribers is an EU citizen. In terms of your emails, following GDPR compliance requires obtaining consent for any data processing measures, including email marketing. This means providing a disclaimer or checkbox before adding an email address to your list, and making it easy for a subscriber to opt-out of your marketing if they so choose.

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3. Host Webinars

Webinars are an excellent opportunity to grow your email list by highlighting your thought leadership skills and tap into a potential pool of new email subscribers. And this goes double if you host it with another brand. Choose a brand with a similar audience as yours, and you’ll both benefit from the expanded outreach.

To turn your webinar into a list-growing endeavor requires that audience members register for the session by providing their name and contact information. After the webinar, email the registrants with additional helpful resources and add them to your email marketing list. As you would do with other pieces of gated content, be sure to include a clear and obvious note stating that providing contact information is consent to receive emails and that opt-outs can be undertaken at any time.

As an added incentive for users to join your webinar, hold a giveaway for registrants, and you could see your conversion rates from visitor to subscriber jump even higher!

Putting your focus into the three actions above will inevitably be a major advantage in growing your email list. Keep it up, too, refreshing your strategy with new initiatives to add more contacts over time. Not only will you have more people to send emails too, but you’ll also have more potential for turning those connections into sales.

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