Build Your Email Contact List

Despite numerous predictions of its imminent demise that have splashed across the headlines of business publications for several years now email marketing, in various formats, continues to march forward in vigorous health because it works. If email marketing didn’t produce quantifiable ROI we would have abandoned it years ago. Nope. Email marketing remains an efficient communication pathway that allows companies to announce a product launch, register attendees for a podcast or webinar, deliver to subscribers this week’s installment of your blog, entice mailing list members with an invitation to your virtual book launch, or inspire potential students with news of the debut of your online course.

Despite the popularity of half a dozen social media platforms that are experiencing an upward trend that shows no sign of slowing down, email marketing continues to be accepted by those on the receiving end, so long as the number from any one source does not overwhelm. When email list members value the sender, they seem to like updates delivered to their inbox.

So building a quality email list that’s populated with prospects who are interested in you and your company is good business. Today, we can identify a few smart, simple tactics that are fast-acting, free and can potentially create for your organization a brand building, money making email list.

  1. Social media

An effective and obvious way to quickly and organically build a robust email contact list at no cost is to post content on social media platforms and the more platforms you post content to, the faster you’ll collect names and email addresses. How so, you ask? Because sooner or later, readers of your content will respond to what you’ve written and when they do, you’ll capture their name and email address. It’s likely that those willing to give a like to your posts or make a comment will also be willing to join your email contact list.

Another easy email capture tactic can be done on your Facebook page, by way of the Call to Action button. Hover your cursor on the CTA and select the “Edit Button” option, then change the text to read “sign up” or “join” so that you can invite Facebook Fans to your email contact list.

LinkedIn users are able to send emails to all of their primary connections but to quickly grow your email list, you’ll want to reach out to your second degree (the connections of primary connections) and third degree connections (secondary connections, once removed). There is a free service called Snovio that allows account holders to install an email finder extension which, by way of a gmail account, allows LinkedIn users to find the email addresses of those distant cousins. Click to learn more.

2. Website sign-ups

Upload to your website reasons to collect names and email addresses. For some, that will be the “Contact us” form—website visitors who have questions or want more information about the company’s products or services are required to fill out a contact form and provide their name and email address. Other common website signup tactics are surveys, free telephone (video call) consultations, registrations for webinars and requests for free special publications—-your e-book, case studies, or white papers, for example. All are effective conduits for collecting names and email addresses that grow a viable email contact list.

3. Call to action

On your website landing page, on your white papers, blog, or newsletter, invite people to connect. You may be pleasantly surprised with the positive results of a straightforward appeal for email contact info. The share button and invitation to subscribe to or follow your blog and/ or newsletter will also bring in names and email addresses if your content is well- written and relevant.

Add a chat bot plug-in to your WordPress hosted website so that visitors can quickly obtain answers to basic questions about your products and services. Bot analytics will reveal the names and email addresses of your chat bot users, who are all set to join your growing email list.

Finally, get more mileage from your email signature block and invite recipients of your emails to opt-in and subscribe to your blog, newsletter and notices about other interesting things you’re doing.

4. YouTube videos

YouTube is the second- largest search engine in the world and about six billion videos are viewed on the site every day. People like visuals and videos are the favorite visual. Production value matters, so ask around to find out who you know with equipment that’s a level or two more advanced than your cell phone. Your public library may have equipment to use and a quiet room that will be all yours for an hour or two.

What story can you tell? You’ll have a few and you can make one or two of them sound appealing with a little thought and some rehearsal time. Providers of B2B services don’t have a product to show but we can do a convincing 5 minute promo on a course we’re set to teach, or a virtual talk we’ll give, or panel we’ll participate on.

If you’re rolling out a new service, pivoting your business, or embarking on a collaboration with colleagues that you and your partners can make sound exciting and useful to certain of your clients and prospects, include a video pitch in the launch campaign.

Remember to conclude your videos with both a verbal and text Call to Action. Ask for the business and direct viewers to click a button and be directed to your squeeze page, a landing page you can create that collects the names and email addresses of those who want to know more about your topic (i.e., what you’re selling). Learn to create a Wordstream squeeze page here.

After posting your pithy little video promo to YouTube, also get it onto Instagram stories, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and your website. Write a short teaser sentence to accompany a link to your video and include them in your email signature block.

5. Join business groups

All meetings are virtual and will remain so for the time being, but by attending events hosted by the group you join—-the chamber of commerce, a neighborhood business group, the local alumni chapter of your school, or other professional development and networking associations—-the benefits of membership include access to the member directory.

I don’t recommend that you import the directory and spam fellow members by sending your content without permission, because that will do you no favors. But one easy way to obtain the names and email addresses of desirable contacts is to attend virtual programs and make a pitch through the chat function.

During the final 15 minutes or so of the program send an all-person chat message to briefly introduce yourself and offer to send your blog, newsletter, e-book, or other content to anyone who’ll (privately) provide their name and address.

Attend one or two virtual events each month and you’ll be almost guaranteed to add 4-5 worthwhile names each month from this one source. This type of ask was originally done during the face2face conversations that took place during pre- event meet & greets (remember those?), but they can migrate to a virtual format without feeling awkward.

Building a robust email marketing prospect list is one of the best growth strategies business owners and leaders can do. If you’re able to add 10-20 contacts each month, declare victory. List building is an ongoing process—- it never stops. I’ve personally witnessed Freelancers who have 5000+ names on their list politely, skillfully, relentlessly, invite every potentially good contact to join their email list.

Thanks for reading,


Image: Replica of a vintage mailbox