10 Ways to Build Targeted Email Lists with Minimal Resources

Research shows that most email marketing databases degrade by about 25% every year. This is due to many factors, including changing email service providers, unsubscribing, and more. So it’s important that you are constantly putting in the effort to grow your email list.

You may be thinking, “I don’t have the time or money to build an email list, let alone a targeted email list.”

You’ll be surprised how many cost-effective approaches there are to growing your valuable list of email contacts. To help you out, we’ve come up with 10 ways to build targeted email lists with minimal resources.

1. Create a Compelling Landing Page

The point of a landing page is to create a clear path that guides your website visitor to take a specific action, such as providing their name and email address in exchange for something they want. You should link to this landing page in blog posts, social posts, and paid search ads. Make sure your landing page has a clear call to action and a compelling offer. This will help ensure you’re getting the most out of your efforts.

2. Pinterest

Pinterest is a totally free channel you can use to build out a targeted email list. There are many ways you can utilize this platform, but let’s give a concrete example.

Let’s say you own a cooking class business. You could create a Pinterest image of mouth-watering cheese and garlic rolls with the caption “Get step-by-step instructions on how to make these cheese and garlic rolls.” When a person clicks on the image, they are taken to your landing page, where they enter their email address in exchange for a downloadable copy of your delicious cheese rolls recipe, instructions and expert tips.

For a more in-depth article on Pinterest, check out our post on how to generate leads with Pinterest.

3. Add an Email Sign up Box to every page of your website

Most companies have an email sign up box somewhere on their homepage, either in the footer or the sidebar. But what about the rest of your site? You could easily grow a targeted email list just by adding the email sign up form to every page (or the majority of pages) of your site.

4. Twitter

Set up a Twitter campaign to promote your lead-gen offer to your followers. This is similar to the Pinterest tactic above, and you can even utilize the same landing page. Just make sure your message is tailored to the Twitter platform and you utilize relevant hashtags where appropriate.

5. Social Sharing / Forward to a Friend

Encourage your currently active email subscribers to share your fabulous marketing emails with friends by adding social sharing buttons into each email you send out. You should also set up a simple process that allows your subscribers to forward to a friend. Most email services offer this feature and provide easy instructions on how to set it all up.

6. Collect Emails at Trade Shows and Conferences

It’s easy to fall into a mentality where you think about each marketing channel in a silo. But the reality is, you should be constantly thinking of ways to seamlessly integrate your offline and online marketing efforts. One way to grow a targeted email list is by collecting emails at your offline events like trade shows and conferences. Make sure to tell people what they can expect to receive from you in exchange for the email address. Finally, just like you should be doing online, ensure everyone that you will not sell or abuse their personal information in any way, shape, or form.

7. Facebook

Did you know that you can create a customized tab on your Facebook business page specifically for email sign-ups? It’s fairly easy to do and can help you quickly build your targeted email list. For more info, check out this HubSpot article on How to Create Custom tabs for Facebook Business Pages.

8. Create Amazing Email Content

Growing a targeted email list doesn’t mean squat if you’re not delighting your subscribers with amazing email content. So make sure that you’re meeting with your creative team on a regular basis and developing high-quality content that your subscribers will want to read and share with friends. Keep the focus on being useful rather than self-promotional and you’ll naturally build your targeted email list.

9. Create a Whitepaper / eBook

The majority of online content is free and accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Why not make your subscribers feel extra special by giving them something that’s NOT freely available to everyone online. This is the basic idea behind offering downloadable whitepapers, eBooks and other materials. You just want to make sure that the content is truly unique and something that would be hard to find elsewhere for free.

10. Split-test

Once you have these main tactics down, it’s time to optimize and figure out what works best for your business. Split-tests are incredibly useful for this purpose. For example, you could run a split test on your landing page to see if the color of your call to action button impacts conversions. Try two different headlines, change up the formatting, experiment with the placement of the email sign up form, and so on. Just make sure you have proper tracking in place so that you’re actually able to tell which version of your landing page converts more visitors to email subscribers.

These are just 10 of a million ways you can grow a targeted email list for your business. We encourage you to try some of these ideas out and see how they work for you!





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