Building a mailing list? Use these tips for better results!

Aleksandra Stankowska

If you want your email marketing email campaigns to be more effective and get better results, you should first build or extend your mailing list.

Email addresses alone are not enough, you need recipients who have the potential to become your loyal customers in the future. That’s our focus here in this post.

How to build a mailing list

Building a mailing list can be a challenge. People usually do not like to share their private data, right? To build your mailing list, you must start regular organic activities from scratch. You have to find ways that will allow you to reach the desired recipient group and encourage them to sign up. This is the best and most effective way to build any list of contacts.

Where to put your signup form

When browsing online content, users typically follow the path of the shape of the letter F. Take this information into account when you decide where to place the signup form on the site.

The path followed by users’ gaze when following web content

If you want your subscription form to always be visible to customers, it’s best to place it in the F-Pattern area. For example:

  • In the upper part of the page as her permanent element
  • in pop-ups (what more in a moment)
  • in the footer on the main page
  • in foot on all subpages
  • On the side of the page as a slidebar

What information should you collect?

In the registration form, ask for an email address and a first name. This is enough to be able to address the customer in a personalized way. You can also ask for gender or date of birth, which will allow you to segment your customers in the future but do it skillfully! Mention the annual birthday promotions and discount codes for Women’s Day or Boyfriend’s Day.

Another option is to ask for a zip or postal code. This will be especially important if you also run a stationary store in addition to an online store. You can easily inform your customers about special deals and discounts waiting for them there.

Newsletter subscription form in the footer – Bench
Newsletter subscription form asking about gender – Zalando

How to use pop-ups

Thanks to the use of pop-ups, Entrepreneur increased the number of subscriptions on their website by as much as 86%! You can also put your sign-up form in pop-up windows. However, avoid showing them in the cart section or during checkout, when they could distract your customers. Different types of pop-ups should be displayed on the screen at the appropriate stage of the user’s journey through your website.

Welcome pop-up

Display welcome pop-ups 30-60 seconds after users enter the site. Let them get acquainted briefly with the site before the pop-up arrives. First, provide the most important information about your brand – by posting it on the homepage, for example – and then ask if users are interested in receiving the newsletter on a regular basis. Then ask for their email address and offer something extra in return for the subscription! This could be, for example, an e-book or a short guide about your offer, or a discount on your first purchase. Or maybe both? Think about who your visitor is and what they may need.

Welcome pop-up – Nike.com
Offer of free ebook in exchange for newsletter sign-up – steemit.com‌ ‌

Exit pop-up

You can use exit pop-ups in a similar way. These are windows that will be displayed to users if they want to leave your website. This is the last chance to convince them that it is worth leaving an email address and staying in touch. Instead, offer benefits as an encouragement, for example a 20% purchase code or free delivery on their first order. Don’t write much, but be specific. At this point you have little time to make your point and the client is very impatient.

You can create a pop-up triggered by a specific user action, for example, hovering the cursor over a tab close button or outside of your website. At this point, pay attention to capping, i.e. the number of times a given ad is displayed to the same user. It will be optimal to show the pop-up about 1-2 times during a single visit to the site. Find out more about pop-ups and how to get the most out of them.

Exit pop-up with newsletter sign-up box – Elmnet.com

In addition to the welcome pop-up and exit pop-up, you can use sidebars as well. These are the sliding windows on the right or left side of the screen. Sidebars do not cover the content, they are present on the website, but unlike pop-ups, they are not part of the foreground content. Sidebars are considered a slightly more discreet and less aggressive form of advertising. Due to the fact that the decision to open them is usually well thought out, you can count on more informed, not random subscribers.

Building your list through social media

Social media gives you unlimited opportunities to engage your followers to take specific actions. You can also use them when building your mailing list. Offer users a discount for subsequent purchases, free delivery, one free product or a loyalty card in exchange for filling in the form. Ask for an email address and your list will start filling up quickly! You can also create a quiz that will require you to provide an email address and accept a checkbox regarding sending marketing information in the future. Also use Facebook contact ads. They will help you reach any group of potential customers with great precision. These ads contain a form that allows you to get additional email addresses for your list. It’s simple! There may be plenty of solutions.

Gift offer for becoming a club member – H&M 

Promote webinars

You can also use social media to promote your webinars. Signing up for this type of event requires an email address. This is a great place to expand your contact list. Highlight the benefits of participating in the webinar. You can make a short announcement and make sure attendees won’t want to miss it.

Prizes for the most active webinar participants – Axence

Use lead magnets

Let’s change the order of things. First, suggest interesting content or service to users, and in the next step, ask for an e-mail address.

Instead of: “Subscribe to the newsletter and you will receive a free ebook”

Try: “Download the e-commerce report and learn about the latest industry trends”

Don’t set any conditions right away! Simply asking for an email address on a website can be difficult at times. Your lead magnets can be:

  • case studies
  • ebooks
  • reports
  • calendars
  • infographics
  • bonuses and rebates
  • free delivery
  • the first chapter of an ebook
  • free courses
  • video instructions

Creating an attractive lead magnet

First of all, think about who your potential recipients are and what they need. This is sure to generate some ideas. If you want to be sure that lead magnets will fit perfectly and convince lots of new subscribers, ask about it on social media! Your followers are an invaluable source of knowledge. Who knows better what will interest them if not themselves? To do this, prepare a post on Facebook or Instagram and encourage them to write suggestions in the comments. Use instastories and engage in the form of a survey!

If you want to avoid subscriptions by random users who are not interested in your brand, avoid creating lead magnets that are useful “for everyone”. Offer content or services that will only be helpful to real customers. This will help you keep your subscriber base in order.

Offer: “7 ways to increase the likes of your online store fanpage”, which will be helpful for customers running a company fanpage.

Instead of: “4 facebook background photos in 3D”, which any casual Facebook user may be interested in.

Remember that your lead magnets should fit the area of your brand’s operation as much as possible. Don’t offer SEO optimization tips if you only deal with social media. Create expert materials and materials that you can use for subsequent content, such as internal linking.

Free marketing courses – HubSpot

Newsletter signup models

When building a mailing list, you can use the single opt-in or double opt-in model. In the first one, the user provides his email address, and you do not require him to confirm the subscription. It goes automatically to your list without any verification.

In the double opt-in model, the verification takes place in two stages. The user subscribes to the newsletter via the form. Then he receives a verification email asking him to confirm his subscription. Only then is his email address saved on the mailing list.

Why you should use double opt-in

If you want your subscriber base to grow with really valuable users, then this subscription model will be right for you. After all, your goal when building your mailing list is to collect potential and real customers. The use of this model will eliminate the risk of legal consequences related to sending content to people who have not consented to it. This will allow you to avoid accidental subscriptions and protect you from being attacked by bots. Useless addresses simply won’t end up on your list.

Email confirming subscription to newsletter – The Sock Drawer

Why is your mailing list so important?

This essential element of every mailing campaign is one of the basic ways of communication with your recipients. Your mailing list is the pillar of your email marketing! With your own mailing list, you can act independently of the ever-changing algorithms of Google, Facebook, Instagram and many others. You do not lose anything due to external factors. You build it through substantive and interesting content and its appropriate distribution. You are also not dependent on social media policies or search engine policies. You will not be banned, no one will forbid you to publish anything, your reach will not depend on anyone or anything.

Remember that your social media followers are actually not yours. They can leave at any time. Thanks to your own mailing list, you do not lose contact with your recipients. You can send them the latest offers or invite them to webinars whenever you want.

Email is sometimes considered a somewhat outdated communication channel. However, it is enough to look at the statistics that show how many emails are sent and received annually in the world. In 2022, this number is estimated at 333.2 billion messages, which shows the enormous potential of this medium.

Number of emails sent and received annually worldwide (2017-2025)

Aleksandra Stankowska

She cares about good quality content. Believes that success in e-commerce depends on the right approach. She claims it is good to know something about everything, but specializes in modern marketing.

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