Tips for building an email list

A healthy email list is important to ensure that you can contact a range of clients and drive success in your business. If you are already using Simplelists for email marketing, this won’t come as a surprise. If you are just starting a business, developing a list of contacts or ‘members’ can be challenging, especially when your customers are receiving other marketing messages in their inbox and becoming more sensitive to spam. Nevertheless, there are some effective ways to build a list of relevant members who will want to receive your emails.

how to build an email list

Ensure that it is easy for people to sign up

There are plenty of ways to encourage people to sign up or ‘opt-in’ to receiving your emails. If you put a subscribe form on your website, make sure it looks ‘clean’ and matches the rest of the site. Place the form towards the top of the page, and add some text to explain why they should sign up. You can create a subscribe form using Simplelists, if you wish. It is best not to ask for too much information at this stage – an email address is all you need. Asking for a first name as well will allow you to personalise your emails when you contact them.

You could also consider placing a subscribe form at the end of blog posts, in your site’s footer, or on your ‘About’ page. You can also use social media to encourage people to sign up and/or visit your website. Writing guest blogs with a sign-up form in them can also work well.

Sign up at the point of sale or when completing other forms

If your website/product requires people to set up an account or fill in a form on your website, you could also build in an email list sign-up into this process. Try to ensure that the reason for registering is clear though, and relevant to your target audience. You could make it as simple as including a check box that reads ‘Subscribe to our mailing list?’ that they can check when registering.

Word of mouth and events work well

You may like to offer those people who have been on your list for a while a small incentive or discount that might encourage them to tell others about your site/product. Make sure you ask for the friend’s email address and first name (again, to allow personalisation).

Make sure they know what to expect

It is good practice to make sure that your customers know exactly what to expect when they subscribe to your list. You should let them know what to expect with regards email frequency and content, and reassure them that they can unsubscribe at any time. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the law surrounding email marketing so that you don’t break any of the rules.

Branding the landing – top tips

When you contact the members of your email list, it is likely that your message will include a link to a page on a website designed specifically for them to read more, subscribe and/or visit email archives – this is called a ‘landing page’ and these can be generated automatically using Simplelists. So that the page that they land on looks correct and does what you need, you may want to make sure that your list members see your branding or logo when they click through. In this post, we explain how to customise your landing page and share some other top tips for making the landing page ‘perfect’.

branding your landing page

Use your own logo or branding

To replace the Simplelists branding with another image, copy the web address of the image that you would like to use instead. When logged in to Simplelists, navigate to the ‘General Settings’ menu and paste the web address of your image into the custom image field. Click ‘Update Settings’ and you should see the message ‘The settings have been updated successfully’. Refresh/reload the page and you should then see your own branding. You can also watch these instructions in a short video.

Top tips for marketing landing pages

If you are running an email marketing campaign, have a think about what you want to get from your landing page when your members visit it. For example, do you want to persuade the visitor to click on another page (click through), buy a product, or gather data from them (lead generation)?

Don’t link to your home page

A good landing page will generally be a separate page that is distinct from your website (i.e. not just to the home page) and it will tend to have no navigation menu and be accessible only from the link in the email.

Use a snappy, concise headline

The title of the page will be the first thing that visitors read so make sure that it is near the top of the page and large enough to be obvious. Make sure the title is relevant to the content of the email they have come from.

Use an image or video

An image or short video is a great way to make an immediate good impression and also entices people to read what follows. Put the image/video near the top so that people don’t have to scroll to see it.

Check your colour scheme

Different colours generate different emotions and feelings when people see them. Try to match the colours in your image/video to what you are doing. Blues tend to be associated with trust and stability, while red emulates energy, strength and passion.

Break up your text

It is a good idea to use sub-headings to break up the text on your page. This makes it much easier for people to read and directs them quickly to the topics of most relevance to them.

Make the call-to-action obvious

Whatever you hope that your visitors might do (subscribe, buy a product, click through, etc.), make it clear and easy for them to do so.

Make sure mobile users have a good experience

Finally, don’t forget that the majority of visitors may well be using a mobile device. So, make sure the landing page can be viewed well on a range of devices. If it is not an option to make the page responsive, at least make sure it works OK on phones and tablets. This is definitely important if you want your visitors to fill in a form or make a purchase.