How to Build an Email List that Converts

There's no point in building an email list if it doesn't convert.

No matter who you are or what you do, you need to engage in some heavy duty email list building. Do you know how we know this? 3 reasons:

  1. You're in business.

  2. Email leads deteriorate by 22% every year (according to Hubspot)

  3. Speaking directly to people that want to hear what you have to say is easily the most effective way to sell everything from artisan bow ties to nuclear weapons.

List building allows marketers to put useful content where it can be the most effective. With average open rates of 17.8% and a clickthrough rate of 1.9%, email is a perfect method of permission marketing. You’re landing in inboxes of people who already know and love you, which is a veritable saving grace in a world so full of information that we’ve learned to ignore it without thinking about it.

Permission Marketing And List Building

Coined by the godfather himself, marketing pro Seth Godin described permission marketing as “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them." Just possessing the email isn’t enough. Godin goes on to say that "real permission works like this: if you stop showing up, people complain, they ask where you went."

Think about the sort of investment that signifies. How much more effective would your marketing be if, rather than simply tolerated, you were desired and loved? Even with Instagram, Facebook, MySpace, Pinterest, and all the rest, email remains one of the most intimate and personal ways to get messages to your audience. Messages that they will actually read. This is why it is so important to harness the explosive potential of kick ass list building.

The List Building Part

List building is simply about getting more and more subscribers in your email list. There are a variety of list building tools available to help with that from Mailchimp to AWebers to several others. The more difficult part is using tools to store the emails, organize what you get, aggregate the data it generates, and beautify what gets sent out. Of course, like anything, every email address is not created equal.

The Kickass Part

When building your email list, keep in mind that the best people to talk to are the most eager. There are a variety of techniques list build, but you still want to do it with the audience in to which you'd like to appeal in mind. Think about the content you want to produce and how that relates to your brand. You want to offer something substantial to those who give you their attention. This also informs everything with your list building, from the words you write to the colors of your pop ups. You want to connect with fans and friends that opt into your world and thank you for the time you spend communicating with them. .

Steps to Building Your Email List

1. Take Care With Your Landing Page

Your landing page is where the magic begins. In order to build your list of opt-ins, your landing page has to be concise, compelling, informative, and attractive. It can do more by offering something to the users for their time. Have an ebook? Give away a chapter for free. Have a new [something]? Offer access to it as an incentive for signing up for [something]. Try and make your landing page an experience for the people that see it. Which should be everyone in your target audience.

2. Don't fear the pop up

While pop ups have been given a bad name since their annoying inception in the 90s, when implemented with purposeful care today, they are an essential part of strong list building. Place them at crucial parts of your blog or website, like the "About Us" page or midway through an intensive and informative read. While it may feel intrusive, more pop ups create more opportunities for email sign ups and the data says they work. But take this advice carefully; if they’re not done right they are super annoying.

3. Beneficial Bullet Points

When it comes to generating conversions, your time is very short. There's less need for flowery language, more need for action words and value propositions. Be direct in explaining all the great benefits you offer with a simple points and save the heavy lifting for other spaces on your landing page.

4. Lots of Conversion Spaces

You may feel needy having an email conversion box in your header, another on your pop up, and a different one on your footer, but remember.. you ARE needy. You need to build a kickass email list. Don't be shy about asking for what you want. Good advice for listnk building, great advice for life.

5. Find a Five Year Old

Despite their love of it, five year olds don't have a lot of time for nonsense. Childhood is short, and they need to enjoy as much of it as possible. So if you want to test out your landing page copy, calls to action, or value propositions, find a kid and read it to them.

If they make it to the end without complaining, then you've done great work!

The Takeaway: Invest in list building for long term results. Test out established methods and see what your audience responds to best. Keep your website simple enough for a child to understand. Make your content readable while just scrolling through. Break it up into sections and summarize important points into lists. Add multiple calls to action where eyeballs naturally fall. Don't be afraid to sell yourself. Grow that list.

Now that you see how list building works, sign up for ours!

Chris Tweten