Better Email Marketing Pt 8. Building Your Email Marketing List

Jun 13, 2020

Part 1

Is Email Marketing Still Relevent

Part 5

The From Name and Address

Part 2

Putting The Customer First

Part 6

The Style & Body of the Email

Part 3

Writing A Great Email Subject Line

Part 7

Segmenting Your Mailing List

Part 4

The First Line or Preview Line

Part 8

Building Your Email Marketing List

Welcome to the final part of the Better Email Marketing blog series. This post focuses on building your mailing list.

I must quickly mention GDPR. I’m not going to talk much about it in this post as most of the ideas below are GDPR safe as long as the subscriber decides themselves to receive emails from you.

This goes to the heart of GDPR. You can’t just put people on a marketing list, you need to ask them first.

This blog post will give you a hand in understanding GDPR and marketing.

Quality Is More Important Than Quantity

It doesn’t always follow that the bigger the list the better the results, in fact you could have a huge list that performs very poorly and drives hardly any sales or leads. The most important thing to remember is the quality.

“Make sure your list contains people who want to hear from you and are interested in the emails you send.”

List Building Ideas

There are many ways to build a list but not all will work for every business. Look at your customers and decide why they would want to receive emails from you, is it for information or advice?

“Always think about your customer and decide why they would want to hear from you and then give them what they want.”

Here’s a list of different ways to build a mailing list; pick and choose what you think will work best for you.

A Website Form

It goes without saying that you need a subscribe box on your website. Make it attractive, easy to fill in and very mobile friendly. Also think about creating a specific web page for your mailing list where you can sell the benefits of joining your list.

Tell people what you’re going to send them and how it will improve their lives!

Pop Up Scroll Boxes

We all hate them but they really do work! We’ve all seen the pop up boxes that appear when you scroll down a certain amount of a page and I’m sure you’ve grumbled about them – but they work!

One caveat. Make sure your pop up box doesn’t cover the whole screen on mobile phones. People still want to see the content of your web page!

Give Out Tips & Advice

Another powerful way to generate subscribers is to offer help and advice on a regular basis. This is particularly useful if you are a services company, blog or business that doesn’t have a physical product.

In exchange for an email address, offer some genuine help and advice on a weekly or monthly basis.

Latest Fashion Tips

If you run an online store selling any type of clothing, accessories or homewares, then you should be offering lots of tips on how to wear or use your products.

Work in conjunction with your blog to create an attractive tips newsletter showing off your new products. I usually find that these types of emails get shared quite a bit which helps to increase your list even more.

Social Share Buttons On Emails

Make sure you give everyone the opportunity to share your email on social media.

Build your social share buttons into your email template. The example below is from my newsletter.

Promote On Social Media

Most modern Email Service Providers give you an option to connect your emails to social media – so share away.

Some providers may supply you with a web page version of your email with subscribe options at the bottom. Share this on your social media platforms to encourage new sign ups.

Ask People In Store

If you run a bricks and mortar store, or have a physical business presence, then make sure you ask people if they’d like to receive your emails.

A beauty salon could ask customers to go onto their tips and advice newsletter or an accountant could encourage customers onto a list that provides financial advice.

Ask People At Trade Shows

Most Email Service Providers like MailChimp offer a web based minimal online form designed for mobile devices, some call it Kiosk Mode.

This means you can hand a tablet to people at trade shows and exhibitions and store data directly on your mailing list.

No more copying lists of email address from spreadsheets at the end of a show.

Mention Your List On All Paperwork

Invoices, quotations, flyers, business cards or anything you give to your customer can be a place to mention your mailing list.

Make sure there is a web link, tick box or something to direct the customer to your sign up page.

Host A Webinar

This can be a powerful way to gain quality subscribers.

Webinars are straightforward to set up using tools like Zoom, Facebook Live Streaming or Zoho Meetings.

Prepare and promote a short 15/20 minute webinar offering help and advice to current and prospective customers and use a web registration form to gather email addresses.

Include a tick box on the form to gain permission and make sure you include the value of your list. Why should they sign up?

Blog Post – Call’s To Action

Don’t forget your blog. It’s the place where a lot of people will be introduced to your brand for the first time so use it as an opportunity to grab an email address.

Make sure there’s a signup form or ‘call to action’ button somewhere on the page but don’t stop there. Include another ‘call to action’ button halfway down long articles and maybe include a small line of text at the bottom asking people to join.

Every Time You Touch A Customer

No don’t really touch your customer…. unless you have to!

There are many places you come in to contact with a customer be it physically in store, online via your website or on social media.

Make sure you take advantage of all these touch points and gently ask and persuade people to join your list.

Think about shopping cart processes, registration forms, quotations, call back forms or even when on hold on the phone.

Look at the places you touch your customer and ask them to subscribe.


I hope you’ve found this series of blog posts useful and it’s helped you to create better emails that get opened and clicked much more than before.

A lot of the content I provide is reader supported so I would really appreciate it if you could buy me a coffee from just £3 if you’ve found this series useful.

You can also join me on Twitter where I post about Digital Marketing and announce new podcasts and blog posts.

Finally I also have a monthly email called Not Another Marketing Newsletter which offers marketing insights, interviews and news.

Thanks for reading.