In all honesty, with social media such a prime focus for most businesses, some might think that email databases (or email lists) are a little less relevant.

But that is so misguided! Your email list is one of the most powerful assets you can have in a business.

Number one reason is: you own it.

All those email addresses that freely signed up to your mailing list are yours to market to however you wish. A mailing list can also go with your business if you should choose to sell it, making it a highly valued commodity.

The other bonus for a healthy email list is your audience is warm. They have already expressed interest in your content, so your sales pitch should be received a little more openly.

The last is your mail out will reach each person on your list. Unlike social media where your posts may reach 20% of your audience, every member of your list will receive your email. Whether they read it or not is up to you!

Building your mailing list can take time though. Research has shown that you need a list of a few thousand at the bare minimum to make it worthwhile, with an ultimate goal of 10,000+ to see real results.

So, how do you get a considerable mailing list without having to wait years to do it?

Your Website: This is an oldie but a goodie. Tried and tested, it is used by 90% of websites online today. But, if you don’t do it right, you won’t see the results. You need to target your market and almost corner them into signing up to your offer. Give them a freebie or a helpful guide that they will benefit from. Simply saying ‘Sign up here!’ won’t cut the mustard these days.

Now, Google is cracking down a little on the pop ups that cover your screen. So, a way around this is a sidebar email collection point or a scrolling subscription area that is the same as your pop up, but it is a widget that won’t affect any rankings. This is usually an add-on feature to most plugins or email list builders.

Create a Competition: People love a good giveaway. Something for nothing. The trick here is to make your prize so appealing that people can’t help but be tempted to enter. If your goal is to collect email addresses, then target your campaign only for this purpose. Don’t be asking people to like your Facebook page or comment on your posts, as this isn’t your goal. And remember to make sure you set your competition up to collect not only the email address of the person entering, but also their friends.

Confused? I’ll explain. Create a competition in an app like Gleam for example. Set your entry form to collect the email address of the entrant. By giving their details, they get one entry. Now tempt them further by asking them to share the competition on their social media accounts or invite their friends to enter. Each new entry gives them another entry in the draw. Now you have say 10 email addresses in your database from the one customer interaction on your competition. Target your prize to your audience and you will not only have a collection of email addresses, you will have a targeted audience that you can now re-target with your product.

Collaborate With Like-Minded Businesses: Why not include other businesses in your competition? Collaborate with them and use your combined audiences to reach more people. As a result, you will all have the email addresses of the entrants that you can then individually re-target with your own brand.

Share Your Email Links: When you send emails out, do you have a signature block? If not, you are missing a golden opportunity to share your links. This is free real estate, just sitting there waiting to be snapped up. Create a kick-ass signature block that links to your social media and even a link to your mailing list landing page and collect their email address.

Now I know what you’re thinking. If I am emailing them, I already have their email address. And yes, technically you are right, but unless they physically subscribe to your mailing list, you can’t market to them.

Use Your Blog: Your blog articles are another great way to grab an email address or 10. Again, this is free real estate that is just sitting there waiting to be utilised. If you have a blog that is targeting a specific topic or issue, then create a freebie or opt-in that helps solve that issue for them. Place the opt-in strategically in your blog and then you can kill two birds with one stone. Website traffic to your blog and an email address to boot!

Put all of these into action and watch your mailing list grow to a point where you can really target your ideal audience in your own way and start building a customer base from them.

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