Guess what? You need an email list.

Even if you’re only occasionally sending out emails and can’t/won’t commit to a newsletter, you MUST HAVE a list. I’m not even exaggerating or trying to scare you. In today’s business climate, most products and services aren’t instantaneous decisions. Generally, the person making the purchasing decision thinks about it before they even step foot in your place of business. If you’re not in touch with them on a regular basis, you won’t be on their mind when they decide to buy.

Don’t believe me? Need more proof?

The 7 Biggest Reasons to Stop Putting off Building That List

It’s time to stop putting off building that list and here’s why:

  • If you had started when you first heard about the importance of a marketing list, you’d already have a large audience and list.
  • Your competition is building theirs.
  • Your list could be valuable. If you want to write a book, speak at an event, be seen as a thought leader, go on a radio show, or receive any other notoriety having a sizeable email list can help you land that spot and build your credentials along with your platform.
  • Staying in touch with your customers, even if they’re not in your store or business, is a way to increase sales.
  • Learning a lot about your customers’ preferences when they interact with your content can tell you what they want more of.
  • Raising funds or landing new customers can happen as your content is shared by your list.
  • Making customers feel a part of something exclusive is another way to increase sales.
  • It’s nearly half-way through 2019. It’s time to join the rest of the businesses using digital marketing.

Now that you’re (possibly) convinced you need to do this, here are 15 easy ways to build an email list for more customers and sales. Don’t worry. It’s easier than you think.

15 Easy Ways to Build a Huge Email List

All of these ways to build a huge email list are easy and cheap. While it’s not uncommon to buy sales lists, buying an email list will get you into trouble quickly. With Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) you can be fined if your email is considered spam so you want to make sure you receive permission before sharing your content.

While the U.S. may not have the same stringent email spam policies, it’s good to offer an opt-in process so that everyone is clear that you will be emailing them.

Also, before you start approaching people to join your list, make sure you are clear on what you plan on offering them. Will it be exclusive sales, discounts, new product info, etc.? When you use the ideas below, you always want to communicate the benefit (to them) of joining.

Now let’s get started in building that list:

  1. If you have a brick and mortar store and you offer to email receipts, ask them at the same time if they want to be part of your email list.
  2. If you sell online, as part of the checkout process, use an opt-in button to ask if they want to join your list.
  3. Add a pop-up to your website asking them to join.
  4. Run a Facebook ad to your target market, people who have liked your page, or friends of those who have interacted with you asking them to join.
  5. Use a paper list or an iPad to get people’s emails when they visit your business. Remember, always make sure you’re clear about what they’re agreeing to.
  6. Collect emails at a trade show, festival, or event.
  7. Add a URL that redirects to a landing page where people can sign up for your email list to your email signature.
  8. Host an event with your chamber and ask if anyone wants to join your list.
  9. Host a contest that requires an email but be clear about what the person is agreeing to when they provide your email. Allow them to enter the contest even if they don’t agree to check the box opting into your email list.
  10. Offer valuable downloadable content for an email address.
  11. Offer a special “secret” sale or event that they must join a list to be notified about.
  12. Run a special marketing campaign to “join the club.” Creating exclusivity of a VIP experience often makes people want to join.
  13. Add a special call to action to join your list at the end of a blog post.
  14. Post to social media and ask them to join your list.
  15. Share email lists with neighboring businesses by asking them to send your info out to their list and then inviting people to connect.

Even if you’re feeling shy about the technology, it’s time to start building that email list. You want customers and potential customers to keep you in mind. Reaching out to them and offering them things they want like special deals, coupons, exclusive information, and other items they’ll find value in will increase your list and, in turn, your sales.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.  

Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.