5 Ways to Organically Build Your Email List

In my last post, we learned that email is virtual real estate you own versus renting your social media channels from the social media companies. Now you’re ready to make email your favorite tool in your marketing tool box.

But… how do you actually build your email list?

Putting a sign up box on your site has only resulted in SPAM sign ups. It’s harder to earn those email addresses than you thought.

Here are a few ideas to help you build your email list organically.

1. Solve your customer’s problem with a free piece of information

Your business exists to solve problems. Your ideal client is dealing with the main problem your company solves. As a business owner, you have probably forgotten more about your industry and the problem you solve than your client even knows about the problem.

Put together a fraction of the information you have in your head to solve part of your customer’s problem. For our clients we usually put the information together in a 5-8 page pdf. The pdf is “gated” behind an email sign up form.

These emails tend to be high quality leads, because they have specifically asked for a solution to problem that they are either experiencing or anticipating to experience.

2. Offer a Discount Coupon

If you’re in the retail business, coupons are a great way to gather email addresses and foster a purchase. You can use a pop tool on your website with an email sign up that will deliver the coupon code to their inbox.

For a service based business, consider offering a 2 week free trial of your product. The audience will sign up for the trial with their email address, and you can email them during the trial period with best practices and other tips for using the service.

3. Host an event

Maybe you’re a new business just opening your physical or virtual doors for the first time. Or maybe you’re a bakery in town, and you need a focus group to taste your newest cronut flavors (please invite me).

Host an event where people have to sign up to attend to sample your product or services.

4. Sponsor a Giveaway

Join forces with another similar organization to offer a giveaway of products or services. Host a contest online where the viewer has to give you their email address to be entered in the drawing.

This is a great way to gain exposure if your partnering with another organization who has a bigger reach in an area you aren’t well established yet.

The drawback with this option is that many people will sign up for these things because of the free stuff and not because they’re interested in your business. This results in a much lower quality lead.

5. Share Helpful or Interesting Content

The majority of the time people won’t sign up for emails from brands when there isn’t a specific offer they’re interested in. An exception to this rule is if they know you as a thought leader.

If the audience knows you publish helpful content in a specific area they’re interested in, they will be more likely to sign up for emails from you.

Are you an authority on how to raise and train alpacas? Do you publish interesting written or video content helping people with their own alpacas? Then people are more likely to sign up for emails from you. Take care of that relationship, and make sure your latest content ends up in their inbox when you publish it. 

The moral of these 5 ideas is to solve problems and be helpful. Do the hard work at the beginning of building your business to identify your one thing you want to be known for and clarify your message so people understand how you can help them. People will want to stay connected to a business who can help them like that.

Don’t take for granted that someone has given you their email address and allowed you to send them emails. The more you can respect that and deliver incredible content and service, the more loyalty you’ll earn.

What other ideas have helped you grow a strong email list? Send me a message through our contact form, and I’ll create another post to help other businesses grow.