List Building Header

A person comes into your store and makes a purchase.

A new customer. Great!

But what happens when they leave?

You may never see them again.

Unless, of course, you have a way to draw them back to the store.

That’s where email marketing comes in.

Email marketing lets you stay in touch with new customers and entice them to come back to your business. The more you focus on list building, the more opportunity you’ll have to create customers.

That means you have to always be growing your list.

For effective list building, you need to know the answer to three key questions: Why would someone subscribe to your email list? Where should you collect email addresses? And how should you ask people to sign up?

Why would someone subscribe to your email list?

Few people wake up each morning hoping they’ll get more emails.

They don’t want to receive emails, they want to receive value. And if this value comes in the form of an email, then that’s fine with them.

What does delivering value actually look like?

People subscribe to email lists for three main reasons: they want to receive promotions and discounts, they want access to exclusive content, or they want to show their continued support for an organization.

Make sure you have a plan to deliver value to your subscribers based on what they’re interested in.

Where should you ask for email addresses?

There are three main ways that you can collect addresses when list building: in person, through printed materials, and online.

If collecting in person, feature an in-store sign-up sheet at checkout that invites customers to subscribe for VIP benefits. You can also get email addresses when helping a customer by telling them briefly about the cool stuff they’ll receive by joining your email list.

Collect email addresses at events using our ListBuilder app, which automatically adds contacts into your Constant Contact account.

To collect via print materials, you can use a Constant Contact feature called Text-to-Join. With Text-to-Join, you choose a keyword that people can text to a set number, resulting in them being instantly added to your email list.

Put signage around your store that encourages shoppers to use their phones to join your email list. You can also put your Text-to-Join information on your business card, on flyers, brochures, and direct mail pieces.

When asking for addresses online, link to your sign-up form in your social media posts/profiles. You can also add a link to your sign-up form in your email signature, and add an embeddable or pop-up form on your website.

Hint: Constant Contact has a variety of sign-up tools to easily add your new subscribers to your email list.

As a bonus, expand your contact capturing with integrations that seamlessly work with your Constant Contact account.

With Neat, you can scan business cards and automatically add these people to your email list. Gazella offers a way to make email sign-ups required if someone wants to use your guest wifi. LeadPages helps you quickly create and deploy high performing landing pages.

How should you ask people to sign up?

Getting rejected is never fun. But if you have a plan for how to ask effectively, you’ll minimize rejection and maximize email subscribers.

The key to any good list building script, online or in person, is answering four key questions most potential subscribers will have.

First, what’s in it for them? Explain the value of joining your email list. This may include exclusive promotions and discounts, helpful content, or invitations to events.

Second, what objections do they have? Address any potential concerns including the frequency you’ll be sending emails, and how easy it will be for them to unsubscribe.

Third, how can they easily sign up? Make it painless and foolproof. Guide them through the signup process, doing it for them if possible.

Finally, what should they expect next? Explain what happens next and what type of emails they can expect to receive.

Use the script below to help prepare for these questions:

List Building Script

You can see that the tone is conversational and all about the customer. This same script will work online as well. Here’s an example of how that would look:

List Building Online

Even if your employees are trained on how to ask for email sign-ups, they may be hesitant to ask customers to subscribe.

One of the best ways to persuade them to take action is to hold a competition and provide an incentive. For example, whoever collects the most emails in the month of July will receive a $50 gift card.

The important thing is for everyone who works at your business to know that growing your email list is a priority.

Tactics to build an email list:
1. Use sign-up sheets to collect emails
2. Use business cards to add emails to the database
3. Use Opt-ins on your website
4. Utilize giveaways that require email submission
5. Leverage ‘email only’ specials where users have to sign up to receive these deals
6. Encourage customers with a daily deal that requires email submission to get the promo code
7. Collect emails to send a recap of monthly blog posts to customers
8. Gain emails through social media pages or Facebook Lead Ads
9. Run refer a friend campaigns on platforms such as social media
10.Use exit intent popups to collect emails from people who would have left the site otherwise
11.Create an online community for your brand or industry
12.Host an event for your brand or industry and have people sign in on a
computer or tablet linked to your ESP
13.Invite people to ‘join the club’ where they will get exclusive content
14.Gate downloads with email submissions & send the download file via email
15.Add a sticky banner to your website
16.Add a form to the footer of your website so it is on all pages

Tactics to avoid when building an email list:
1. Do not buy lists
2. Do not scrape emails
3. Do not email users that are unsubscribed

Now that you have the list building techniques you need to grow your email list.

Whether you have ten subscribers or ten thousand, these tactics will keep your list growing.

And while having a large list can be an invaluable resource, focus on quality over quantity. A smaller list of engaged followers is better for your business than a larger list full of followers who don’t care about you.

This means that you’ll only want to have people on your list who are interested in you and your business.

By following these tactics, you will grow a list of loyal subscribers who will become loyal customers.

And that’s what email marketing is all about.

Want to send business-generating emails in no time? Our 5-step Approach to Successful Email Marketing guide will show you how!

Ready to give email marketing a try? Sign up for a free, 60-day email marketing trial!