Email marketing is one of the fastest, cheapest and most effective forms of marketing available to any business. Without a doubt, it works – but many small businesses don’t take advantage of it’s potential. Why? In many cases, it’s because building a mailing list and reaching the customers that matter can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. In this post, I’m going to list five quick steps to get a mailing list started from nothing and start taking advantage of the benefits of email marketing.

1. Have a landing page

Your business may or may not have a website, but if you want to start building a mailing list, you will need a landing page. If you’re not familiar with the term, a landing page is just what it sounds like; a single page on which a customer will ‘land’. It is the place where potential customers for your mailing list will sign up. While a website will often be more complex, showcasing your business and the range of benefits you can offer your customers, a landing page’s content is much narrower. It has one job and one job alone – to get people to sign up to your mailing list. A good landing page should give the customer a reason to subscribe to your list, give them a form to fill in to sign up, and let them know what they will receive if they do… and that’s it! No other distractions, and no way within the page for the user to navigate to another part of your site… the fewer distractions there are, the more likely the customer is to do what you have brought them for and sign up to your list.

2. Be transparent

The chances are, you wouldn’t be willing to give out your email address to just anybody. Most people online know that their email address is a valuable resource, and fear being targeted by irrelevant spam emails if they don’t protect it. If you are clear and upfront about exactly what your customer will get from you by signing up to your mailing list, then you stand a much greater chance of getting their information. Let your customers know in advance how many emails a week they are likely to get and what kind of content or offers they will receive, and you’ll go a long way towards winning their trust.

3. Keep it simple

Nobody likes filling out long forms, especially ones that ask for personal information. Every field that you add to a signup form will reduce the number of people that will complete and submit it. Don’t ask for anything more than the user’s name and email address… or better still, just the email address. If you want to gather more information, for marketing and customer segmentation purposes, you can always use your mailing list to gather that through surveys and other offers later.

4. Give away something useful

Your customers won’t simply give you their email address for nothing. Unless they perceive that they will get something in return – special offers, unique information, or a better shopping experience – then they won’t sign up. My last post talked about content marketing, and the content you create can play a big part of attracting signups to your list. One way of achieving this is with ‘content upgrades’. A content upgrade is an addition to an existing piece of content you have created, such as a blog post or video, that provides expanded content on the topic you have covered. Usually, this would be a more in-depth coverage of the topic, or further information on what you have discussed. The reader is already engaged and, if they have made it to the end of the content, likely is interested in what you have to say, making this an ideal opportunity to take that interest and convert it into an email lead.

5. Take advantage of your email

This is a simple but effective tip. Once you have a landing page, be sure to link to it in your (and your employees) email signature. Potentially converting a day-to-day contact into one that has opted into email marketing is an easy win, and a great way to promote your list to existing customers who may be unaware of it.

These tips are a great way to start getting traction with your customers and building up a mailing list that will work for you and your business. If you’d like to step up your email marketing, John Rowbottom Design and Marketing can help you build your email lists and take best advantage of the leads you have. To find out more, visit and arrange a discussion today.

Photo by Mathyas Kurmann on Unsplash

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