how to create an email list

5 Ways To Build an Email List for a Business Newsletter

BY Dana Kessler

3 min read

Let’s build an email list. Why? Because email is king. We’ve discussed the benefits of email marketing, and specifically email newsletters, extensively in the past. Just to recap: In email marketing, YOU own your email list — not some social media platform — and you run the show.

With email, you also control the content and you don’t need to play by anyone else’s rules. By that, we mean different social media platforms that make up their own rules and change them whenever they please. Social media is great, and of course, your business should be on it, but you can’t rely on it as your only marketing channel. 

So, sending out an email newsletter is a great way to nurture your client relationships and boost sales and brand awareness. And the first thing that you need is an email list.

So how do you build such an email list? Here are a few ways:

1. Ask customers to join your mailing list in person. If you have a brick-and-mortar, you can ask your customers in person to subscribe to your newsletter. That is the most personal and effective way to gather emails. Tell them what they’ll get from your newsletter (will it be special offers? Helpful tips? News on products or services? Recommendations?).  Ensure them that you won’t be sending too often. 

2. Ask customers to join your email list when they book you online or buy from you online. Most online booking systems and most online shops offer an opt-in checkbox. You know, the one that says: “I would like to receive promotional material from this business”. Use this option to grow your mailing list.

3. Invite your website visitors to join your mailing list. People who visit your website are already interested in your business. That’s a great opportunity to get them to subscribe to your newsletter. So add CTAs (it stands for Call To Action) to your site and make it tempting and easy, by saying something like: “Join our newsletter for great deals and tips, and get 10% off your first purchase”. 

4. Grow your email list through social media. Get your social media followers to join your email list. Facebook, for example, lets you use the CTA button under your cover photo in a few ways. You can link it to your online booking, to your online shop or to your website — where your followers can join your email list.

You can also publish a post every now and then with a special deal, saying followers will get the coupon code to enjoy the deal if they join the mailing list. Get creative with it, but make sure you give followers good reasons to join your mailing list, like giving out free useful content. 

5. Run an opt-in campaign. You might have a bunch of emails that belong to your clients. But the thing is, by law, you are not allowed to send them emails without their consent. So ask them to join. That’s called an opt-in campaign. You are allowed to send a one-time email offering them to subscribe to your newsletter.

If they subscribe, then you can continue sending them emails. So go ahead, offer your clients to subscribe to your newsletter and don’t forget to stress what they’ll get out of it. 

Remember: Send the newsletter ONLY to people who have specifically agreed to receive it. You must always get their consent. It’s not only the legal way, it’s also the nice and polite thing to do. No one wants to get spammed, and getting unwanted emails, even from a business you like, is annoying. Plus, sending emails to people who don’t want them, will damage you, because it will get you on the spam list.

But even if people sign up for your newsletter they can still change their minds. After a while they might not want to receive emails from you anymore, so make sure your emails always include an unsubscribe link at the end:

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