How to Build an Email List of Qualified Leads

Email marketing is a way to reach consumers directly by getting your message delivered right to their inbox. The majority of online consumers check their email account multiple times per day, and chances are they have subscribed to your content by purchasing or opting in for something they found valuable. However, one of the biggest challenges in marketing is building an email list.

People are warier then ever of giving their email to others and often view marketing emails as spam. If you’re not sure how to build an email list, or think that email is dead, think again.

Email Isn’t Dead💀

Let’s think about why…

“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.” – David Newman, author of Do It! Marketing

On most other platforms people are fickle and will bounce around from platform to platform liking and unliking things they’re interested in on a certain day. However, people sign up for emails because they’re genuinely looking forward to what you have to say, they want to know what new products will be released, or they feel a connection to your brand.

Because the average person is so used to email, it feels less intrusive even if it’s something they’ve grown out of. It takes much longer for someone to unsubscribe from an email than it does to unfollow a friend or account on another platform.

You can use this fact to your advantage by offering content in emails, subject lines, and discount codes that may catch their attention and get them to re-engage with the brand several months down the line.

How To Build an Email List From Scratch

It’s not as hard as it might seem if you’re just starting out with a new product or service that you want to offer to the public. There are quite a few tactics that you can use, or even combine, to start getting the attention of future subscribers.

Your greatness is not what you have, it’s what you give. It may seem counterintuitive — you’ve created a product or service you want someone else to buy, but the average customer journey starts with discovery, continues with learning, and ENDS with buying (and if you’re lucky, buying again and again and again).

This means you need to offer something to that person to help with the discovery and then nurture them through the learning phase.

Think of it this way – you have to invest in them if you want them to invest in you.

Some great ways to pull new leads in and get them to subscribe are:

1. Home Page Calls to Action

Your website’s home page is ground zero for direct traffic, most organic traffic, and any referral from other sites, blog posts, or social references that didn’t find a specific landing page to lead to. Put another way, this means it’s your biggest opportunity.

Traffic that lands here may have found your site in a search, been sent over from another source they trust, or received a word-of-mouth recommendation that instigated them to head directly over to start exploring.

A few simple tricks on your homepage can help convert this traffic into new subscribers. One way to spark their interest is by showing them what your offer is above-the-fold, or by suggesting they sign up to get a guide, report, or part of a book from you (depending on what your product or service is).

See: Lead Magnets in the next section

If you want to use your page to direct them somewhere they’ll continue to learn about what you do, that works too! Use a popular blog post, a quiz, or an opt in to a free webinar or tripwire to get them to sign up.

Lastly, you can just be blunt and include some kind of banner at the bottom of your page that asks them to sign up for your newsletter to receive tips and information from you.

Above: Ruleoneinvesting.com homepage CTA.

These are easy to set up and the offerings don’t have to be extremely in-depth. If you can give them a taste of what you can do for them and why they should trust it works, you’ll be able to over-deliver on their trade (they gave you their email address), and you’ll be able to target them with future messaging.

2. Lead Magnets

A lead magnet is a free gift you can push traffic to on social media, on a landing page, through paid ads, or within a relevant blog post.

The best lead magnets have information that can help a wide variety of people address a potential problem in their lives, learn a new subject, or start on a path they’ve expressed interest in.

A sample lead magnet that we use for Rule #1 Investing is the 14-Day Financially Fit Challenge. This lead magnet helps anyone follow simple tips, one at a time, over a two-week period that will teach them to start a budget, pay down debt, and begin to save and invest for a more secure financial future.

The key here is to use your lead magnet to provide information they want AND push to information you can offer that they may not know about. For example, in the 14-Day Financially Fit lead magnet, we use a few of the steps to link out to other tools that Phil Town offers on his site, like a free webinar to learn even more about starting to invest.

Above: 14 Day Financially Fit Challenge Lead Magnet

3. Paid Ads

Paid ads are a great way to get traffic to opt in for an offer or visit a specific page on your website. The main channels for paid ads are Facebook and Instagram if you’re going the route of social media. You can also use Adwords through Google, Bing, or Yahoo when you get a little more advanced, or if you have keywords that will be easy to target.

With this strategy, you can target and retarget audiences based on other groups they are part of, interests they have, or actions they have previously taken on your social page. This allows you to build warm audiences, cold audiences, and newer lookalike audiences that facebook can gather for you based on the other people who seem to respond well to your content.

If you’re using a Facebook pixel, then you can see who visits your site or performs an action and then retarget them with google Adwords on other websites that sell ad space.

Above: Facebook & Google Paid Ads Examples

4. Exit Pops

Having an exit strategy, if you will, can help you save visitors who may be ready to bounce.

Perhaps you have a webinar running on a certain date and your potential registrant can’t make that work, or maybe you’re promoting a live event, but you know a new visitor just seeing your page for the first time isn’t likely to want to sign up for that.

Instead of losing a potential subscriber, offer an exit pop. This means when a person tries to leave your page, a form will offer them an alternative that may be just tempting enough to get them to provide an email address.

In the case of the webinar, try an exit pop that says something like, “If you can’t make it, sign up anyway and we’ll send you the replay!”

Above: Use an Exit Pop to capture bouncing visitors

This switch in the psychological response will probably save that conversion and add one more person of interest to your newsletter. Crazy, right?

5. Social Contests

If you have a following on social media, you can utilize contests to help get your followers to share with their friends and gather even more emails from the entries. The best way to host a successful contest is to make sure you’re not doing it too often, that you’re offering them something valuable, and that you set it up so they can opt in through the social network.

You might be thinking…“Then how do I get their email addresses?”

No worries, you can download the list of entries and import the information to your email software database the way you’d import any other list.

It’s almost like creating a list of people you know want your products and getting a new audience all in one from friends they’ve shared with.

6. Email

Email can be used to get new subscribers? Yes.

If you have a content nurture email strategy, you can use messages that you’re sending to current subscribers and ask them to forward it along to anyone who may be interested. If you include a discount code, a special offer, or a free lead magnet, then chances are you’ll get a good number of people to sign up that way each month. Everything comes full circle, right?

Now that you have everything you need to start gathering subscribers and building up your list, get out there and have some fun with it!

Let us know if you have a favorite strategy and how it has worked for you. Feel free to sign up for our newsletter for the latest marketing news and tools in the industry from the button below.

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Sam is the Marketing Director for Brandetize. She oversees most client accounts, coaches our team and specializes in branding and messaging. She loves e-commerce and strategic campaign planning. In her spare time, Sam is a horror-movie fanatic and yogi who enjoys snuggling her dog and exploring new places with her husband.