How to Build an Opt-In Email List
If you’re thinking about buying a list of emails to start your email marketing campaign—don’t! What that usually leaves businesses with is a flood of op-outs or junked emails. Buying a list of email addresses just isn’t effective. Don’t do it! There are ways to build an opt-in email list that will leave you with a list of addresses from interested parties that actually want to hear from you. There will be far fewer opt-outs and far fewer addresses that label you as junk. Here’s how to do it:
- Make a commitment to never spam your customers. Why? Because then you can put it on your request for their email address. This commitment will be the underlying current that keeps your emails relevant and valuable, and everyone likes to see “We will never spam you or sell the address you give us to anyone who will!” when they are handing over something as personal as their email address.
- Find a way to attract people to opt-in. One of the best ways to drive traffic to your website and encourage them to opt-in to your email list is with a blog. Why? Because if someone seeks out your content online, they are more likely to welcome that content when it is delivered directly to their inbox. This works just as well for ecommerce websites as it does for any other kind of business. Find a way to drive traffic to a page that encourages the visitors to offer up their email address.
- Offer an incentive. Some marketers call this a “lead magnet.” All it means is that you offer something to those who sign up for your email list. For example, an informative whitepaper about a relevant topic, or a 15% off discount on their next purchase. If the incentive is good enough, most people will think very little about handing over an email address in order to get it. The main reason so many people sign up for and stick with marketing emails from their favorite businesses is because those emails offer special deals, which will get them discounts on purchases they were going to make anyway. Or, alternatively, give them an impetus to return to your website and make a purchase there, instead of with another company, since you are the one offering a sale.
- Include an opt-in page or pop-up. Many websites make use of a popup that appears after the site visitor has been on the page for a while, asking them to sign up for the newsletter or discount email list. Others have a page that users can click onto to deposit their email address in return for their incentive. Most websites that require an email address in order for a customer to make a purchase have a tick box that customers have to unclick if they do not want to be added to the email list (most forget to unclick that box before purchasing). Make it easy to opt-in and make sure to highlight the benefits of opting-in.
- Make opt-down an option before opting-out. There are just some people that do not want to get marketing emails, even from companies they love. In order for an opt-in email list to be effective, you also have to have an opt-out capability, so that those don’t want to get your emails, don’t have to. Keep in mind that this is actually a good thing for you—if they do not want to be receiving your emails, that person is not going to be receptive to your message and you will essentially be paying for an email that is immediately deleted and never read. However, you can also offer the option to receive fewer emails or to adjust what kind of emails the consumer receives. Sometimes, they may just feel like their inbox is flooded, and they only want to receive an email from you every other week, instead of every week. This will keep a name on your list and provide you with valuable feedback about your email marketing practices.