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How to Build an Email List in 3 Easy Steps

So, you want to build an email list? That’s a great idea!

An email list is an effective way to stay in touch with potential and current customers by communicating information and offers about your products and services. It’s also a relationship-building tactic to help people get to know you and your business better before they commit to buying.

In this blog, I will share my easy 3-step plan for building an email list that you can use to grow your business.

Step 1: A High-Value Asset (HVA)

To get people excited enough about your business to supply their email, you will need a carrot they may consider worthwhile. You’ll have to give them something “of value” to get something valuable from them (their email address).

I used quotation marks there because the value is always in the eye of the beholder. To you, the HVA will probably cost you nothing but time to create (unless you outsource copywriting and design). But, the advice or information you provide to the customer in that HVA could make them big dollars – cha-ching!

Take this blog, for example: How much money will your business make from these three easy steps? (Who knows, but I hope you provide your email address and subscribe to my blog for more great marketing tips and advice!)

What is a High-Value Asset (HVA)?

An HVA is a piece of content that provides resourceful information, trends, steps, tips, etc., that others may find helpful.

Common HVAs include:

  • Blogs/Articles

  • Ebooks

  • Whitepapers

  • Case Studies

  • Videos

  • Checklists

  • Infographics

  • Brochures

  • and MORE!

Any HVA you place in the market should be professional looking, branded, and well-researched to benefit your business. Please do not plagiarize others.

Research Topics

For an HVA to be effective, it needs to be relevant to your audience. If it’s not something they’re looking for, then they’re not going to download it. If you’re unsure what a trendy or timely topic might be, a little research can help.

Here are some easy ways to research topics.

  • Look into what your competitors talk about on social media, blogs, etc.

  • Follow social media groups where your customers may participate – what are they talking about?

  • Read industry publications.

  • Research trending keywords.

Once you decide on a topic, outline your content and supplement it with research, stats, and facts. Make sure the information you include is well-vetted and always from a reliable source.

Step 2. Promote Your HVA

After you have created an HVA, outline your plan for promoting it. Begin by making a list of channels you have to promote this asset. While various free options are available, you can run efficient paid social media campaigns for little expense. In addition, these campaigns can maximize your reach. Don’t shy away from the paid items because they can be very beneficial if you have the budget.

What channels do you have?

  • Social media (organic)

  • Social media (paid)

  • Social groups

  • Website

  • Email

  • Display Ads (paid)

  • Press/Media

  • Sales

What do you include in a promotional post?

If you’re creating a promotional ad for your HVA, include these two things:

  1. What’s in it for the customer: Why should the customer download this HVA? What they will learn or how they will benefit should be the critical information in your post or ad.

  2. A call-to-action (CTA): What do you want the customer to do with this information? Give them clear instructions for the next steps to take.

If I were to write a social media post to get you to read this blog, it might look like this:

Have you tried to build an email list before but failed miserably? Read this blog for 3

easy, tried-and-true steps to build an email list that will grow your business.

How’d I do? Would you read this blog?

Another great idea is to include an engaging graphic with your post or ad. If possible, have an image of the item or something that represents the value to the customer. Stick to your branding and promote your HVA with a colorful, engaging image (or a short video works great, too!).

Delivering the HVA

Someone clicks on your ad, now what?

Before you deliver the HVA to the individual, you want them to visit your website. Ideally, you will create a landing page on your website that is specific to the HVA.

There are several benefits to sending traffic to a landing page using this method.

  1. This provides more real estate to introduce your business and show your value.

  2. A landing page is a trackable piece of the marketing funnel.

  3. Now you have an opportunity to collect an email address.

Step 3. Gaining a New Email Subscriber

Here we are, Step 3. So far, you’ve created an amazing piece of content that your customers will find interesting, and you’ve promoted it through your marketing channels. You’ve got someone to say, “I want this,” and they’ve clicked on a link to deliver them to an HVA-themed landing page on your website.

From here, you have two great options for how to go about collecting an email address. I would recommend testing both options to learn which way will convert best with your specific group of customers.

Option 1: Gate the HVA

When you gate a piece of content, you require the visitor to provide their email address (and potentially more contact information) before you release the asset to them. This is a common method of gathering sales leads in the B2B market.

Only after the person provides this information do you release the free resource. In some instances, if it is a PDF resource, you can have it sent to the email address they provided, which is a great way to validate that they didn’t provide you with fake information.

Another great way to validate emails is to provide the asset upfront and send a “thank you for downloading our content” email soon after they’ve supplied their information.

Option 2: Pop-up Forms / In-line Subscriptions

Some marketing experts believe that people are more likely to provide an email address or subscribe to something after they’ve already experienced the value. For this reason, there’s option two.

With this option, you send contacts to a landing page that contains the HVA. If it’s a PDF, you can present it in a window on the page; if it’s an article or blog, it’s just directly in the page text.

At some point, though, perhaps halfway through the article, a triggered pop-up should appear, asking readers to subscribe for more great content. And then, just in case someone has an activated pop-up blocker, include a subscription request at the bottom of the page.

It’s interesting that maybe one option will work better than the other for your particular audience, so be sure to test and try them both out!

Make Use of that Email List!

Now that you’ve gone through all the work to build a stellar email list be sure to use it wisely! First, send a thank you email for subscribing to your email list. From there, don’t be spammy; time your emails at least a week apart if possible. Think through the benefits to the customer for each email you send, and if you notice an uptick in your unsubscribe numbers, you may want to re-assess your strategy.

Well, that’s all for now, folks! Happy Emailing!

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